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For information on the controls, general gameplay mechanics, and AI behaviors of NPC allies, see Squad.
Squad selection screen in Mass Effect 2

This Squad Members Guide is meant as a general overview of the various squadmates Commander Shepard can acquire in Mass Effect 2, 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 Members Guide, Squad Members Guide (Mass Effect 3), Squad Members Guide (Mass Effect: Andromeda)

Overview[]

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 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. Squad members are listed in approximately the order in which they become available.

Legendary Edition: All characters and outfits that previously required DLC to unlock no longer have this requirement, but any characters that can only be squad members during select missions that were formerly exclusive to DLC are still categorized as such on this page as they are still not available outside of those missions in Legendary Edition.


Jacob Taylor[]

Powers*

ME2 Ghost Of The Father.png


*Jacob Taylor and Miranda Lawson can each have 31 points maximum available for distribution, not the 30 that is usual for squadmates.

Overview

Jacob has a very similar kit to Jack, wielding a shotgun, an ammo power, and Pull, though his class and loyalty powers are geared more towards defense than offense. Pull once maxed is easily the strongest disabling power in the game, able to render multiple enemies instantly helpless and vulnerable to weapons fire or combos with Warp, and for a long duration. Jacob's ammo power is Incendiary Ammo, the most versatile of the ammo powers: not only does it deal good damage to most organic health and all forms of armor, it stops the health regeneration of enemies like krogan and vorcha, and panics most organic humanoid targets.

Unlocking Jacob's Barrier can create the conundrum that he will constantly reactivate it during battles even if Squad Power Use is disabled, making it much harder to call upon his Pull. The only way to have a loyal Jacob but avoid this problem is to reset his powers using the Advanced Training terminal at the Shadow Broker's Base (requires either Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC or Legendary Edition) and investing no points in Barrier.

Miranda Lawson[]

Powers*

ME2 The Prodigal.png


*Miranda Lawson and Jacob Taylor can each have 31 points maximum available for distribution, not the 30 that is usual for squadmates.

Overview

Miranda is the definition of versatility, as all of her powers are useful in almost any mission. The challenge comes from choosing which of her powers to invest in first. On higher difficulties, Overload should be maxed and evolved for area damage first, as shielded enemies are nearly ubiquitous in the early game where Miranda is one of the only squad members. Warp provides sufficient supplemental damage even at Rank 1, and enemies with barriers are fairly rare until later. Warp should be maxed out eventually and evolved to Unstable Warp for a reduced cooldown time and more powerful combos.

Slam, which only gets unlocked in the mid-game, fills in one of the only major gaps in Miranda's kit: lack of a true disabling power. There's really no need to invest more than the single point Slam automatically gets; this leaves another full 10 points available to max out Cerberus Officer, one of the strongest class passives in the game, buffing the health and weapon damage of the entire party. This bonus layers with the additional damage an ammo power provides. Pairing Miranda with a party member that can combo with her Warp is generally desirable; Jacob is a natural choice early on and his Incendiary Ammo makes the two a good pairing throughout the game.

Kasumi Goto[]

Powers

ME2 Broke Blind And Bedlam.png


Overview

Kasumi has Overload, immediately making her useful for dealing with mass enemy shields, but it's her two other active powers that set her apart as a unique and versatile addition to Shepard's team. Her exclusive Shadow Strike ability is capable of dealing more single-target damage than any other squadmate power. It works simultaneously as a distraction and as a defensive tool for Kasumi, as well as disabling most targets, often even if a target was still protected before the attack.

Kasumi's loyalty power is Flashbang Grenade, which inflicts minor damage and stuns enemies for a brief period of time, knocking down most unprotected enemies. This ability is unusual both for its extremely large blast radius and its ability to hinder enemies still protected by shields, barriers, and armor by overheating their weapons and disabling any biotic and tech abilities they possess. Master Thief, Kasumi's class power, increases the recharge speed of her formidable abilities, cementing her as a powerhouse of utility and damage in any fight.

Zaeed Massani[]

Powers

ME2 Revenge.png


Overview

Zaeed is a combat specialist who can deal a high amount of damage with his weapons, especially sniper rifles. He is the only character outside of an Infiltrator/Soldier Shepard with Disruptor Ammo, so he is a valuable addition to any party for dealing with multitudes of shielded or synthetic enemies. Due to his early and easy availability, Squad Disruptor Ammo can make Zaeed a useful teammate even for an Infiltrator or Soldier, enabling the player to invest points in other powers first. Disruptor Ammo is also the ideal ammo power for sniping shielded targets—see its own page for more information.

Zaeed's other active powers are useful more for their crowd control utility than their raw damage, though Concussive Shot and Inferno Grenade do moderately well against barriers and armor, respectively. Inferno Grenade can panic multiple enemies, making it very good for flushing them out of cover.

Garrus Vakarian[]

Powers

ME2 Fade Away.png


Overview

As in the first game, Garrus's weapon proficiencies and Overload allow him to deal significant damage during combat. While Concussive Shot is effective against barriers on lower difficulties and can temporarily knock down unprotected enemies, its use is more situational and generally should not be maxed out. Turian Rebel increases Garrus's power damage, weapon damage and health, and enables his Overload to do slightly more damage than the Overloads of other squadmates, which on higher difficulties can actually be the difference between one-shotting enemy shields and not.

After his loyalty mission in the mid-game he gains Armor Piercing Ammo, which inflicts significant additional damage against armored and unprotected enemies and makes Garrus the only squadmate with both a dedicated shield-killing power plus an ammo power. Maxing out points in Overload to gain the Area Overload evolution at Rank 4 is recommended, as is maximizing Armor Piercing Ammo and evolving it for squad-sharing.

Grunt[]

*Whenever the tank is opened (no time limit)
Powers

ME2 Battlemaster.png


Overview

Grunt benefits from the innate krogan ability to continually regenerate health, which is unlocked when points are spent on his Krogan Berserker class power. In addition, his already above-average base health can be upgraded: two levels of Krogan Vitality give Grunt a +50% increase total. This combined with his unlockable armor-boosting Fortification ability makes Grunt's endurance in combat unmatched, giving him value in almost any mission by virtue of this alone.

At close-quarters, Grunt is a juggernaut: his shotgun can be upgraded to the devastating single-shot Claymore Heavy Shotgun (aka the "Krogan Shotgun"), and his charging melee attack can crush through even protected enemies like a bowling ball through pins. Grunt is the only other squadmate besides Jacob to possess Incendiary Ammo, easily the best general-use ammo power in the game, which should be maxed out and evolved for squad-sharing.

Jack[]

Powers

ME2 Catharsis.png


Overview

Jack specializes in biotic crowd control but her ability to wield shotguns gives her above-average firepower as well. Her bread-and-butter power is Pull, which should be maxed out and evolved into Pull Field. Jack is the only squad member with Shockwave, more situational but useful for masses of enemies, penetrating cover, staggering protected enemies, and knocking unprotected ones off their feet. If used against enemies already suspended by other biotic skills, Shockwave can send targets flying, often to environmental deaths.

Jack's unlockable Warp Ammo is the only ammo power that deals bonus damage to barriers in Mass Effect 2, making her a powerful tool against the Collectors once the power is max level and evolved for squad sharing. Her Subject Zero class power provides a bonus to her power recharge times, giving her more power casts during fights than the average squad member; however, for her abilities to have their maximum impact, enemy defenses must be stripped.

Mordin Solus[]

Powers

ME2 The Cure.png


Overview

Despite having only tech powers, Mordin possesses no ability to deal with enemy shields or barriers. He does however excel against armored targets, being the only squad member in the early game that can do serious damage to multiple armored enemies with the Rank 4 Incineration Blast. His omni-tool upgrade makes this powerful enough to one-shot the armor of grouped lesser enemies of all types, even on Insanity difficulty. Incinerate and the rest of Mordin's kit are also powerful against most unprotected organic enemies; the Rank 4 Full Cryo Blast is notable as the fastest recharging squadmate power, and its ability to disable multiple enemies in one hit is invaluable. Neural Shock is not worth significant investment, not offering much that Cryo Blast doesn't already provide.

Samara/Morinth[]

*Morinth playable after Samara: The Ardat-Yakshi (outcome dependent)
Powers

ME2 Doppleganger.png


* Morinth only
Overview

Samara and Morinth are very similar, with class powers that increase their recharge speeds making them both formidable biotic powerhouses especially with Pull Field. The only functional difference between their kits is in their loyalty powers, though this is significant.

Samara's Reave is comparable to Warp and is effective against armor and barriers; though it can't detonate unprotected targets, it will cripple organics while simultaneously bolstering Samara's own health. Reave shines at Rank 4 with the Area Reave evolution, making Samara the best squadmate by far for dealing with mass barriers, and she is truly deadly versus the Collectors.

Morinth's Dominate can be thought of as AI Hacking for organic enemies. Dominated enemies are protected by a biotic barrier instead of a shield at higher levels. Because organic enemies are much more common throughout the game than mechs or geth, Dominate can find a great deal of utility, though just as with AI Hacking, it only affects unprotected enemies.

Tali'Zorah vas Neema[]

Powers

ME2 Treason.png


Overview

Early on, Tali is not very effective except on missions involving many enemy synthetics (mechs or geth). Her usefulness increases markedly after unlocking Energy Drain, which enables her to replenish her shields while damaging enemy shields and synthetics. This power should be maxed out at the earliest opportunity and evolved for area of effect. The rest of Tali's kit is similar to Legion's, though her class power enables her AI Hacking to last longer. Rank 4 Improved AI Hacking maximizes this advantage, allowing Tali to keep an enemy synthetic target subverted for use as a distraction basically indefinitely. Combat Drone is a useful situational power, but possesses such a long cooldown when used by squadmates that it doesn't merit more than the minimum investment.

Thane Krios[]

Powers

ME2 Cats In The Cradle.png


Overview

Thane has two main playstyles he can specialize in. The first is as a pure sniper: Shredder Ammo is Thane's loyalty skill and can increase his damage to very high levels against organic enemies with the Rank 4 Improved Shredder Ammo. Coupled with a fully upgraded Drell Assassin, Thane can quickly kill off unprotected targets. This is especially powerful at lower difficulty levels where most enemies have no special defenses.

At higher difficulty levels, specializing Thane' biotic powers tends to be more useful, granting him versatile damage and crowd control. Warp should be evolved to Unstable Warp for faster recharge times and more devastating combo potential. To get the most out of these abilities, Thane should be paired with other biotics, particularly those with Pull. Pairing him with a party member able to provide him with an ammo power is also recommended if he forgoes Shredder Ammo.

Legion[]

*If not given to Cerberus and activated
Powers

ME2 A house Divided.png


Overview

Legion is the only squad member capable of wielding the devastating M-98 Widow sniper rifle. If the damage buffs from the Rank 4 Improved Geth Shield Boost and the Geth Infiltrator class power are combined with an ammo power from another party member, Legion is capable of greater weapon damage than any other squad member. On top of this, Legion's above-average shield strength can be further boosted with two Geth Shield Strength upgrades, making it more resilient than any squad member except Grunt. Aside from being a walking mass accelerator cannon, Legion is the only squadmate other than Tali who is able to hack synthetics and deploy Combat Drones, but unlike Tali, Legion has no dedicated power for stripping enemy defenses, so the rest of the party must be relied on for this.

Reference Tables[]

Weapons Table[]

Weapon Type: Submachine Guns Heavy Pistols Shotguns Assault Rifles Sniper Rifles
Garrus Vakarian
Grunt ✓*
Jack
Jacob Taylor
Kasumi Goto
Legion ✓*
Miranda Lawson
Mordin Solus
Morinth
Samara
Tali'Zorah vas Neema
Thane Krios
Zaeed Massani

* Character-specific option available

Powers Table[]

Squadmate Class Power Ammo Powers Biotic Powers Combat Powers Tech Powers
Garrus Vakarian Turian Rebel Armor-Piercing Ammo1 Concussive Shot Overload
Grunt Krogan Berserker Incendiary Ammo Concussive Shot
Fortification1
Jack Subject Zero Warp Ammo1 Pull
Shockwave
Jacob Taylor Cerberus Operative Incendiary Ammo Barrier1
Pull
Kasumi Goto Master Thief Flashbang Grenade1
Shadow Strike2
Overload
Legion Geth Infiltrator AI Hacking
Combat Drone
Geth Shield Boost1
Miranda Lawson Cerberus Officer Slam1
Warp
Overload
Mordin Solus Salarian Scientist Cryo Blast
Incinerate
Neural Shock1
Morinth Ardat-Yakshi Dominate1
Pull
Throw
Samara Asari Justicar Pull
Reave1
Throw
Tali'Zorah vas Neema Quarian Machinist AI Hacking
Combat Drone
Energy Drain1
Thane Krios Drell Assassin Shredder Ammo1 Throw
Warp
Zaeed Massani Mercenary Veteran Disruptor Ammo Concussive Shot
Inferno Grenade1

1 Loyalty power
2 Benefits from the Tech Cooldowns research

Squad Member Outfits[]

DLC Mission Exclusive[]

Legendary Edition: The following character(s) are still not available as squadmates beyond the mission(s) in which they appear even though DLC missions are now included with the main game.

Liara T'Soni[]

Powers

ME2 Catching Up.png


Overview

Liara rejoins Shepard's team during the mission to take down the Shadow Broker. As in the original Mass Effect, Liara is a talented biotic and her passive power Asari Scientist enables her powers to recharge very quickly. Singularity is very powerful for stalling protected enemies and lifting unprotected ones, and works against multiple targets clustered together. Warp can be used to detonate targets suspended in Singularity's vortex, but the cooldown on Singularity is a bit too long for Liara to self-execute this. Warp is of course a useful ability on its own for direct damage against enemy barriers and armor.

Liara's standout ability is Stasis, which is unique in Mass Effect 2 for its ability to stop even a protected or armored enemy in its tracks for the duration, and ragdolling the target after wearing off. Flying drone-type enemies are instantly killed instead of being ragdolled. Stasis should be maxed out and evolved to Enhanced Stasis if possible, as repeat uses will build resistance in targets, and during the Lair of the Shadow Broker missions there's a good chance of encountering enemies who need to be disabled more than once.

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