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Disambiguous This article is about abilities in Mass Effect. For abilities in Mass Effect 2, see Powers. For abilities in Mass Effect 3, see Powers (Mass Effect 3). For abilities in Mass Effect: Andromeda, see Skills.

The skills or abilities used in combat in Mass Effect are called talents.

Overview[]

There are 12 talents available to each class: four starting talents and eight unlockable talents. Talents that provide primarily passive bonuses to characters can also unlock further active abilities that can be used during combat; for example, Fitness can unlock Immunity. Players are also able to unlock a Specialization Class that augments their base class talent. Below is a list of talents, separated by type and accompanied by which classes can use each talent.

When Shepard commands a squad member to use one of their offensive biotic, tech, or combat-oriented talents, it takes effect as if the Commander personally had the talent. The party member need not have the usual line of sight to the intended target or target location. In this way, Shepard can take point while leaving the rest of the party safely behind.

Talent Points Leveling Progression[]

See also: Experience Guide

To advance the levels of the various talents, players are awarded 100 points between the character levels of 1-60 to place where they see fit, in addition to the 2 points that are automatically assigned to two starting abilities (one point each).

  • Starting talents: For starting talents (talents that have no prerequisite to unlock), there is a cap on how many points can be allocated to a single talent at very low character levels, equal to character level plus 1. Once level 11 is reached starting talents can be maxed out with a full 12 points allocated if desired.
  • Unlockable talents: Talents that must first be unlocked by placing a certain number of points into a prerequisite talent are also similarly capped in terms of points that can be invested at once, only the limit begins raising starting at the first character level from which that talent can first be unlocked. Put another way, this limit is equal to character level + 1, minus the character level at which the unlockable talent first unlocks. For example, the Vanguard can first unlock Lift from Throw level 7 at character level 6. The cap on points that can be put into Lift on unlocking it at character level 6 is 6 + 1 minus 6, or 1 point maximum. Thus, Lift can first be maxed out at character level 17.

The player is automatically awarded additional training for becoming a Spectre, and gains points in Charm and Intimidate for advancing the Paragon and Renegade meters respectively. Advancing said meters can also provide unique enhancements to Shepard's combat prowess (see Morality for more details).

Each NPC squad member, on the other hand, receives 80 points between the levels of 1-60 to place where players see fit, in addition to the 2 points that are automatically assigned to two starting abilities. Points for both the player and squadmates are assigned from the Squad menu screen.

Note: In a player's very first playthrough of the original version of Mass Effect, Shepard and NPC squadmates can only reach a maximum of level 50. It is also basically impossible to reach level 60 starting from level 1 in one playthrough of the story even once the level 50 cap no longer applies.

Legendary Edition: In Mass Effect Legendary Edition there is no level cap on a first playthrough and experience scaling is improved in various ways to make reaching level 60 considerably easier. There is also an option to scale character levels to the 1-30 scale used in the subsequent games in the trilogy. This does not affect total talent points awarded.

Shepard:

  • Levels 1-5: 3 points per level
  • Levels 6-35: 2 points per level
  • Levels 36-60: 1 point per level

Total: 100 points

NPC squad members:

  • Levels 1-20: 2 points per level
  • Levels 21-60: 1 point per level

Total: 80 points

Warning: Point assignments for both the player and squadmates can only be undone or adjusted for a character while their screen in the Squad menu is open; once it is closed or switched to a different character, chosen point allocations become completely irreversible for the rest of the current playthrough of the game's storyline. The chosen point allocations will even carry over to any future Mass Effect playthroughs with the same character. Only the talent point assignments for NPC squadmates are reset on starting a new playthrough of the story and can be reassigned differently if desired. For this reason, it is a very good idea to create permanent save points before choosing point assignments.

Talents Chart: Player Character[]

Key: ✓= Starting, ● = Unlockable, x = Starting Ability w/ Extra Point
Class Talent Soldier Vanguard Infiltrator Engineer Adept Sentinel3
Combat
AdrenalinBurst Assault Training5
Immunity Fitness6
Weapons
Overkill Assault Rifles4 x
Marksman Pistols3
Carnage Shotguns2
Assassination Sniper Rifles1
Armor
ShieldBoost Basic Armor7
ShieldBoost Combat Armor7 x
ShieldBoost Tactical Armor7
Tech
Sabotage Decryption12 x x x
Overload Electronics11 x x
AI-Hacking Hacking9
Damping Damping
Biotic
Barrier Barrier
Lift Lift
Singularity Singularity
Stasis Stasis
Throw Throw x x x
Warp Warp x x
Health
FirstAidIcon First Aid
Neural shock Medicine10
Miscellaneous
Class Power ME2 Icon Charm
Class Power ME2 Icon Intimidate
Class Power ME2 Icon Spectre Training8

Unlockable Abilities[]

The following abilities are unlocked from their respective talents and can be actively used in combat. Click the talent links above or below for detailed information and power ranks. Note that many enemy types can also utilize several of these abilities, such as Immunity, Sabotage, Shield Boost, and Assassination.

Weapons

  • 1 Assassination - fires a devastating single shot that does extreme damage - Unlocks from Sniper Rifles
  • 2 Carnage - fires a damaging round that deals heavy damage in an area - Unlocks from Shotguns
  • 3 Marksman - briefly improves firing rate and damage - Unlocks from Pistols; Shepard ONLY: Sentinel class talent (maximum of Rank 1)
  • 4 Overkill - briefly improves damage and reduces heat generation - Unlocks from Assault Rifles

Combat

Tech

  • 9 AI Hacking - briefly causes enemy synthetics to fight for you - Unlocks from Hacking
  • 10 Neural Shock - stuns a single organic foe - Unlocks from Medicine
  • 11 Overload - damages enemy shields in an area - Unlocks from Electronics
  • 12 Sabotage - disables all enemies weapons for a short duration - Unlocks from Decryption

Talents Chart: NPC Squadmates[]

Key: ✓= Starting, ● = Unlockable, x = Starting Ability w/ Extra Point
Squad Member Ashley Wrex Garrus Tali Liara Kaidan
Class Talent Soldier Krogan Battlemaster Turian Agent Quarian Machinist Asari Scientist Sentinel
Combat
AdrenalinBurst Assault Training5 x
Immunity Fitness6
Weapons
Overkill Assault Rifles4
Marksman Pistols
Carnage Shotguns2
Assassination Sniper Rifles1
Armor
ShieldBoost Basic Armor7
ShieldBoost Combat Armor7 x
ShieldBoost Tactical Armor7
Tech
Sabotage Decryption12 x x x
Overload Electronics11 x
AI-Hacking Hacking9
Damping Damping
Biotic
Barrier Barrier x
Lift Lift
Singularity Singularity
Stasis Stasis
Throw Throw x x
Warp Warp x
Health
FirstAidIcon First Aid x x
Neural shock Medicine10

Class Specific[]

See also: Classes, Squad Members Guide

Class Talents[]

The following talents have the same name as each of the six playable classes. They provide bonuses that help define the unique strengths of each class, and the talents are therefore also called the "class talents". NPC squad members Ashley Williams and Kaidan Alenko share the Soldier and Sentinel class talents, respectively, but with some differences; see the pages or the above two tables for details.

Squad Member Class Talents[]

The following class talents are found only on NPC squad members. See the links or the table above for details.

Specialization Classes[]

Class specializations are unlocked once assignment UNC: Rogue VI on Luna is completed. There are six specializations in total, two possible for each class of which one must be chosen. Selecting a specialization offers access to a new trait that add ranks 7-12 to your base class-specific talent; ranks 1-6 are unchanged, and grant the same bonus when you take ranks 7-12. Specializations are only unlocked once per player character and will carry over to subsequent playthroughs with that character, so choose carefully and create a save point beforehand in case you get buyer's remorse. Specializations are not available for NPC squad members.

Soldiers can train as a Commando or a Shock Trooper
Infiltrators can train as a Commando or an Operative
Engineers can train as a Medic or an Operative
Sentinels can train as a Medic or a Bastion
Adepts can train as a Nemesis or a Bastion
Vanguards can train as a Nemesis or a Shock Trooper

Player Exclusive[]

The following miscellaneous talents are available to Commander Shepard only:

Spectre Training[]

Main article: Spectre Training

Unlocked after becoming a Spectre. The talent provides a small but across the board increase to health, and to the accuracy/effectiveness of all attacks, talents, and abilities. Advancing ranks of Spectre Training also unlock and improve the unique Unity ability, one of the only ways to revive squadmates that fall in battle.

Charm[]

  • Opens Charm options in conversation
  • Decreases the cost of items in stores
  • Charm options in conversations will be grayed out if you do not have a high enough skill rank.
  • New skill ranks will unlock* when you become a Spectre and as you earn Paragon points.
Talent Ranks
Level 1: Sets Charm score at 1; opens up new dialog options
Level 2: Sets Charm score at 2; opens up new dialog options
Level 3: Sets Charm score at 3; opens up new dialog options
Level 4: Sets Charm score at 4; opens up new dialog options | Store Discount: Gives a 2% discount at stores
Level 5: Sets Charm score at 5; opens up new dialog options
Level 6: Sets Charm score at 6; opens up new dialog options
Level 7: Sets Charm score at 7; opens up new dialog options
Level 8: Sets Charm score at 8; opens up new dialog options | Store Discount: Gives a 5% discount at stores
Level 9: Sets Charm score at 9; opens up new dialog options
Level 10: Sets Charm score at 10; opens up new dialog options
Level 11: Sets Charm score at 11; opens up new dialog options
Level 12: Sets Charm score at 12; opens up new dialog options | Store Discount: Gives a 8% discount at stores

Intimidate[]

  • Opens Intimidate options in conversations
  • Increases credits gained when selling items in stores
  • Intimidate options in conversations will be grayed out if you do not have a high enough skill rank.
  • New skill ranks will unlock* when you become a Spectre and as you earn Renegade points.
Talent Ranks
Level 1: Sets Intimidate score at 1; opens up new dialog options
Level 2: Sets Intimidate score at 2; opens up new dialog options
Level 3: Sets Intimidate score at 3; opens up new dialog options
Level 4: Sets Intimidate score at 4; opens up new dialog options | Motivated Buyer: Sell items to stores for 2% more credits
Level 5: Sets Intimidate score at 5; opens up new dialog options
Level 6: Sets Intimidate score at 6; opens up new dialog options
Level 7: Sets Intimidate score at 7; opens up new dialog options
Level 8: Sets Intimidate score at 8; opens up new dialog options | Motivated Buyer: Sell items to stores for 5% more credits
Level 9: Sets Intimidate score at 9; opens up new dialog options
Level 10: Sets Intimidate score at 10; opens up new dialog options
Level 11: Sets Intimidate score at 11; opens up new dialog options
Level 12: Sets Intimidate score at 12; opens up new dialog options | Motivated Buyer: Sell items to stores for 8% more credits

*These "free" points can be earned again in any subsequent games with the same character.

Bonus Talents[]

See also: Weapon and Ability Achievements Guide

If the player is creating a second character, any unlocked bonus talents may be selected. These talents are unlocked by gaining the achievement for each talent. The player can choose one additional talent to add to their skill base. This talent is not reliant upon the existing class or even usual prerequisite talents. For example, a Soldier can choose Medicine as a bonus talent and put points into it immediately, even though it must usually be unlocked by first putting points into First Aid on the classes that have Medicine by default. A weapon talent such as Assault Rifles can also be chosen if the chosen class doesn't already possess it.

Bonus talent abilities do not benefit from normal class bonuses. For example, Singularity on a Bastion Sentinel receives no bonus to recharge times at all; neither will its duration be increased on a Nemesis Vanguard.

The following 15 bonus talents can be unlocked:

See Also[]

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