This Squad Members Guide is meant as a general overview of the various squadmates Commander Shepard can acquire in Mass Effect, summarizing their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses in combat. The proper selection and use of squad members can significantly reduce the challenge of a given mission or assignment, especially on the higher difficulty settings.
- See also: Squad, Squad Members Guide (Mass Effect 2), Squad Members Guide (Mass Effect 3), Squad Members Guide (Mass Effect: Andromeda)
Overview[edit | edit source]
This page focuses on what makes a particular squad member stand out compared to others and is meant to serve as a starting point for how to assemble a team. For information on the controls, general gameplay mechanics, and AI behaviors relating to the squad, see the main squad page. For recommendations on what squadmate choices work well for specific player classes, see the individual Class Guides. For in-depth information on the various abilities, equipment, and weapon options, investigate those individual pages as most will contain notes and recommendations on squadmate use. Finally, for recommendations on which squadmates to take on specific missions, see the Walkthrough page for that mission or assignment.
Note: When the terms "squadmate" or "squad member" are used in this guide, they are only referring to other NPC characters and not Shepard. If Shepard is meant to be included, the terms "party" or "party member" will be used.
Note: Squad members are listed in approximately the order they become available.
Kaidan Alenko[edit | edit source]
- Specialty: Biotics, Tech, First Aid
- Weapons: Proficient with Pistols (via the Sentinel Talent)
- Equipment: Human Armor (light), Omni-tool, Biotic amp
Kaidan brings excellent utility to a squad, possessing not only both tech and biotic talents, but also the fast recharge times needed to deploy them often in a fight thanks to the Sentinel talent. With Throw, Stasis, Neural Shock, Lift, and Sabotage, Kaidan is better at disabling and suppressing enemies than any squad member except Liara. He can absorb most conventional firepower well with Barrier, however with only light armor at his disposal, damage sources that bypass shields such as melee attacks or rockets should be avoided. His weapon damage is mediocre, having some pistol proficiency but without the benefit of Marksman.
One of Kaidan's other standout features that shouldn't be overlooked is the Medicine talent, which makes Kaidan an effective medic for the squad, significantly reducing the recharge time of First Aid. Especially when playing at low levels or with relatively low grade armor and weapons, the ability to deploy medi-gel often can be the difference between being able to stay in a fight and being forced to retreat (or worse).
Ashley Williams[edit | edit source]
- Specialty: Combat
- Weapons: Proficient with Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles, Pistols, and Shotguns
- Equipment: Human Armor (up to heavy),
A true combat specialist, Ashley shoots down everything in sight while having the durability to withstand the return fire. Ashley is the only squadmate that can train with all four weapon types, and the only squadmate other than Garrus who is truly proficient with sniper rifles. Investing a lot of talent points in all four weapon talents usually ends up being a waste; it's a better idea to focus on 2-3 weapon talents at most and funnel the extra points into other talents, the most important being Fitness, unlocking the vitally important Immunity ability. At maximum level, Immunity plus heavy armor will keep Ashley alive through almost anything, enabling her to take point for the squad and counter-snipe dangerous enemies at range.
Avoid being tempted to put too many points into her Soldier class talent; a max level Immunity and a few extra points in First Aid are much more effective in the long run at keeping her healthy during a fight. Equipping Armor Upgrades that reduce cooldown times is a good idea to ensure Immunity can be active as often as possible. Ashley has no Electronics or Decryption, so Shepard or the third squad member will need to compensate if those skills are needed. She also possesses no ability to disable enemies in any way other than by knocking them down with a properly modded weapon, or of course, killing them.
Garrus Vakarian[edit | edit source]
- Specialty: Long-range combat, Tech
- Weapons: Proficient with Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles
- Equipment: Turian Armor (up to medium), Omni-tool
Garrus provides superior damage potential to the squad with both his weaponry and his ability to destroy enemy shields with Overload. Sabotage is also an invaluable tool for suppressing incoming enemy fire, and Damping can suppress enemy tech and biotic abilities. Empowering his tech skills also ensures the party can access any hackable object. The only other dedicated sniper aside from Ashley, his Turian Agent class talent enables Garrus to become the best marksman on the team, but his damage potential and versatility do come with some downsides. He possesses no real ability to totally disable or knock down enemies aside from what his weapon fire may do, and he lacks the protections afforded by Barrier, Immunity, or heavy armor. In battle, keep Garrus in the back line away from sources of damage that can overwhelm or bypass his shields while the rest of the party disables any major threats, or failing that, tanks the incoming damage.
Urdnot Wrex[edit | edit source]
- Specialty: Close combat, Biotics
- Weapons: Proficient with Assault Rifles, Shotguns
- Equipment: Krogan Armor (up to heavy), Biotic amp
With access to Immunity, Barrier, and heavy armor, Wrex is by far and away the most resilient squad member, excelling at damage-sponging for the team in almost any situation. His Krogan Battlemaster class talent can also make him highly resistant to being knocked down by forceful enemy attacks such as melees, making him the perfect candidate for taking on his own kind in battle without falling (literally). His weapons training and biotics make Wrex far more than just a meat shield. He is the only squadmate other than Liara who can utilize Warp to soften up hard targets, and Throw and Stasis give him some ability to put enemies out of action as well. His only major failing is a lack of tech skills, so the rest of the party has to pick up the slack in that area if desired.
Tali'Zorah nar Rayya[edit | edit source]
- Specialty: Tech, Anti-synthetic, Combat
- Weapons: Proficient with Shotguns, Pistols
- Equipment: Quarian Armor (light), Omni-tool
Tali is the tech specialist of the team, possessing not only the full suite of Overload, Sabotage, and Damping, but AI Hacking as well, which aside from making her devastatingly effective versus the geth, reduces the cooldown times of the other three abilities to the point where at high level and with the right gear, Tali can be using all of those abilities near-constantly. Like Garrus, Tali lacks the protections afforded by Barrier, Immunity, or heavy armor and must rely on her shield for survival, which luckily is above average thanks to her Electronics, Basic Armor, and Quarian Machinist talents. Despite her ability to train with shotguns, the close-range nature of the weapon means it may be better to focus on pistol training instead as Tali's light protections make her vulnerable especially to shield-bypassing attacks.
Liara T'Soni[edit | edit source]
- Specialty: Biotics
- Weapons: No special proficiency
- Equipment: Human Armor (light), Omni-tool, Biotic amp
Her Singularity talent alone makes Liara unparalleled at disabling groups of enemies, making them easy prey for the rest of the squad. Having access to the full range of other biotic talents as well is icing on the cake. The only thing that really limits Liara's potential is her level and the amount of points she has available to pump into her biotic skills; the priority after Singularity should be Asari Scientist to maximize her recharge times, with the added benefit of improving the First Aid talent's efficiency. Lift is also a must-have ability as at max level it will work on even the toughest enemies in the game. Warp is invaluable as well for softening up targets for the guns of the squad to finish off.
If her unmatched biotic prowess wasn't enough, Liara can also level up her Electronics talent to gain access to Overload for stripping shields from enemies. However, due to a limitation in the game's UI, if Liara learns all of her available biotic abilities, the Overload ability becomes hidden in the HUD/Power Wheel. In that situation, Liara will only be able to use Overload if the Squad Power Usage option is set to Active. To avoid this, no points should be invested in the Stasis talent. It should be noted however that once all of her talents are at high levels and her gear is optimized, Liara can spam her abilities so often that keeping Squad Power Usage on Active is practically required to unlock her full potential.
Talent Reference Table[edit | edit source]
|Note: ✓= Starting, ● = Unlockable, x = Starting Ability w/ Extra Point|
|Class Talent||Soldier||Krogan Battlemaster||Turian Agent||Quarian Machinist||Asari Scientist||Sentinel|
|Mass Effect Guides|
|Completion||Walkthrough • Morality • Experience • Systems • Mako • Codex|
|Achievements||Completionist • Rich Achievement • Party Member Achievements |
Scholar Achievement • Weapon and Ability Achievements
|Classes||Adept • Engineer • Infiltrator • Sentinel • Soldier • Vanguard|
|Weapons||Assault Rifles • Pistols • Shotguns • Sniper Rifles|
|Other||Squad Members Guide • PC Tweaks • Merchants|