This Squad Members Guide is meant as a general overview of the various squadmates Commander Shepard can acquire in the Mass Effect Trilogy, 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.

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 in the various games, 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.

A good basic understanding of how Power Combos work is essential for getting the most out of squadmates in Mass Effect 3, especially on higher difficulties, so be sure to review that page and see the quick reference table here. Finally, for recommendations on which squadmates to take on specific missions, see the Walkthrough page for that mission.

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 roughly the order they become available in each game.

Mass Effect[edit | edit source]

Kaidan Alenko[edit | edit source]

Talents
ME1 Sentinel Ally.png


Overview

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]

Talents
ME1 Soldier Ally.png


Overview

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]

Talents
ME1 Turian Ally.png


Overview

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]

Talents
ME1 Krogan Ally.png


Overview

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]

Talents
ME1 Quarian Ally.png


Overview

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]

Talents
ME1 Asari Ally.png


Overview

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
Squad Member Ashley Wrex Garrus Tali Liara Kaidan
Class Talent Soldier Krogan Battlemaster Turian Agent Quarian Machinist Asari Scientist Sentinel
Weapons
Overkill.png Assault Rifle
Marksman.png Pistol
Carnage.png Shotgun
Assassination.png Sniper Rifle
Armor
ShieldBoost.png Basic Armor
ShieldBoost.png Combat Armor x
ShieldBoost.png Tactical Armor
Combat
AdrenalinBurst.png Assault Training x
Immunity.png Fitness
Tech
Sabotage.png Decryption x x x
Overload.png Electronics x
AI-Hacking.png Hacking
Damping.png Damping
Biotic
Barrier.png Barrier x
Lift.png Lift
Singularity.png Singularity
Stasis.png Stasis
Throw.png Throw x x
Warp.png Warp x
Health
FirstAidIcon.png First Aid x x
Neural shock.png Medicine

Mass Effect 2[edit | edit source]

Jacob Taylor[edit | edit source]

Powers
ME2 Ghost Of The Father.png


Note: Unlike Shepard's other squadmates, save for Miranda Lawson, Jacob Taylor has 31 points available for distribution.

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 Advanted Training terminal at the Shadow Broker's Base (only available with the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC) and investing no points in Barrier.


Miranda Lawson[edit | edit source]

Powers
ME2 The Prodigal.png


Note: Unlike Shepard's other squadmates, save for Jacob Taylor, Miranda Lawson has 31 points available for distribution.

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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Powers
ME2 Revenge.png


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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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 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[edit | edit source]

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; however just as with AI Hacking, it only affects unprotected enemies.


Tali'Zorah vas Neema[edit | edit source]

Powers
ME2 Treason.png


Overview

Early on, Tali is not very effective except on missions involving many enemy synthetics. 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, however 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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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, however 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[edit | edit source]

Weapons Table[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Default Loyalty Alternate Appearance Pack 1
ME2 Garrus Basic Outfit.png ME2 Garrus Loyal Outfit.png ME2 Garrus Alt Outfit.png

Default Loyalty Alternate Appearance Pack 2
ME2 Grunt Basic Outfit.png ME2 Grunt Loyal Outfit.png ME2 Grunt Alt Outfit.png

Default Loyalty Alternate Appearance Pack 1
ME2 Jack Basic Outfit.png ME2 Jack Loyal Outfit.png ME2 Jack Alt Outfit.png

Default Loyalty
ME2 Jacob Basic Outfit.png ME2 Jacob Loyal Outfit.png

Default Loyalty
ME2 Kasumi Basic Outfit.png ME2 Kasumi Loyal Outfit.png

Default Loyalty
ME2 Legion Basic Outfit.png ME2 Legion Loyal Outfit.png

Default Loyalty Alternate Appearance Pack 2
ME2 Miranda Basic Outfit.png ME2 Miranda Loyal Outfit.png ME2 Miranda Alt Outfit.png

Default Loyalty
ME2 Mordin Basic Outfit.png ME2 Mordin Loyal Outfit.png

Default Loyalty
ME2 Samara Basic Outfit.png ME2 Samara Loyal Outfit.png

Default Loyalty Alternate Appearance Pack 2
ME2 Tali Basic Outfit.png ME2 Tali Loyal Outfit.png ME2 Tali Alt Outfit.png

Default Loyalty Alternate Appearance Pack 1
ME2 Thane Basic Outfit.png ME2 Thane Loyal Outfit.png ME2 Thane Alt Outfit.png

Default Loyalty
ME2 Zaeed Basic Outfit.png ME2 Zaeed Loyal Outfit.png

DLC Mission Exclusive[edit | edit source]

Liara T'Soni[edit | edit source]

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 however 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.

Mass Effect 3[edit | edit source]

James Vega[edit | edit source]

Powers


Overview

James plays the same role as the krogan team members in the previous games as the quintessential meat shield and point man, with his unique Fortification power granting him unrivaled toughness. James's class power, Arms Master, potentially provides him with the highest personal bonus to shields and health out of all squadmates though even on Insanity this tends to be overkill; the real prize is the Squad Bonus evolution, letting James share some of his toughness with the entire squad. This evolution is known to be buggy and sometimes fails to apply properly to the entire party, however James himself always benefits from it.

Incendiary Ammo can boost James's firepower and that of the squad if so evolved, and makes him effective at priming enemies for Fire Explosions which he can also self-detonate with Carnage, however the tradeoff for James's exceptional resilience and above-average firepower is very slow power recharge times, especially while Fortification is active. While this is somewhat mitigated by the passive nature of many of his abilities and also because Frag Grenade has no cooldown, James is not the man to call on for power wizardry.


Liara T'Soni[edit | edit source]

Powers


Overview

At the opposite end of the spectrum from James, Liara is the most fragile member of the squad, and her weapon options are unimpressive. However, her biotic powers Stasis and Singularity and extremely fast power recharge times can turn battles with rank-and-file enemies into one-sided turkey shoots. The Rank 6 Squad Bonus evolution of her class power makes her a tremendous asset to other biotic party members, as does the vulnerability debuff of her Warp Ammo.

Liara is the only squad member with Warp, an even more versatile power than it was in Mass Effect 2, able to soften up hard targets and set up biotic combos even on heavy, armored enemies that can't be lifted. It's also one of the only biotic powers that can detonate all types of Power Combos, not just biotic ones. The duration of most of her powers combined with the speed at which she can cast them makes Liara more than capable of creating her own combos if needed. Keep her well out of harm's way and Liara can help any party handle virtually any threat.


Garrus Vakarian[edit | edit source]

Powers


Overview

Garrus remains much as he was in the previous two games: capable of massive ranged damage, with an excellent collection of powers that enables him to strip shields and support the team, but possessing only average staying power. Armor-Piercing Ammo is exceptionally strong not just for softening up and destroying hard targets, but its cover-penetration properties make it especially useful for NPC squadmates who have a tendency to fire at enemies even when obscured by terrain.

Overload is arguably the most versatile power in Mass Effect 3, now effective at not only damaging both shields and barriers, but also for crowd control and combo potential. Concussive Shot is effective crowd control and a good Power Combo detonator on a relatively fast cooldown. Finally, the Rank 5 Damage Taken evolution of Proximity Mine can soften up hard targets for the entire party. The only real downside of Garrus's kit is deciding which of his powers not to max out; however as good as his powers are, he can't use them quite as often as the more power-oriented squadmates.


EDI[edit | edit source]

Powers


Overview

EDI is the only squadmate with Incinerate, and the only squadmate other than Garrus with Overload unless Kaidan is also available. She is able to do more raw damage with these powers than any squadmate, as her class power, Unshackled AI, provides substantial benefits to her tech power damage. This can be further increased by her default costume, certain weapon mods, squad bonuses from other party members such as Kaidan or Garrus, and even further by the Rank 5 Power Synergy evolution of her unique Defense Matrix power. EDI's weapon damage on the other hand is mediocre, par for the course for a power specialist.

On higher difficulties, raw power damage starts to become less able to kill even basic enemies by itself, and skillful use of Power Combos and debuffs to increase enemy vulnerability becomes more important. Pairing EDI with party members who possess Sabotage evolved with the Rank 6 Tech Vulnerability can effectively double the raw damage of her powers, even doubling the damage of any Power Combos they create. Pairing EDI with party members able to utilize cryo attacks can also greatly increase her Incinerate damage through its Rank 6 Freeze Combo evolution.

Even if the above strategies aren't used, EDI is always useful for stripping shields/barriers from enemies with Overload, which does not need its damage pushed into the stratosphere in order to perform this function adequately on most enemy types. It can be wiser to focus on improving EDI's power recharge speed by selecting the appropriate outfit and leaving her Defense Matrix power off except for emergencies. Finally, Decoy, her other unique power, is situational but has a few interesting properties; see its page to learn more.


Javik[edit | edit source]

Powers


Note: Javik's powers cannot be reset in the Normandy's medical bay.

Overview

Javik adds another biotic specialist to the team. He doesn't quite have Liara's effectiveness at creating Biotic Explosions on any target or the debuffing powers of Warp and Warp Ammo, but he more than makes up for this by bringing above-average durability and firepower to the squad. The Rank 6 evolution of his Vengeful Ancient passive that increases the Shield Recharge speed of the entire party by a whopping 20% is particularly powerful.

Javik's Pull, Slam, and Lift Grenade powers make him very useful for crowd control. Pull and Slam both take enemies off their feet and keep them out of the battle, and they can combo with each other to boot. Their recharge times are also quite fast, further improved if Javik wears his black armor. If Javik is specced for maximum power damage, his Lift Grenades can deal more damage in a wider area than any other squadmate power, crippling lighter enemies they don't kill outright. All of these powers are most effective against unprotected enemies; shields in particular are something Javik struggles to defeat on his own, but what Javik can't destroy with his biotics, he can always just shoot.


Ashley Williams[edit | edit source]

Powers


Overview

Thanks to her class ability, Alliance Officer, and unique Marksman power, Ashley packs weapon damage potential surpassed only by Garrus. As squadmates don't go out of their way for headshots and their accuracy can't be boosted, evolve her Marksman to maximize rate of fire and duration. Assault rifles with very high magazine capacities such as the M-76 Revenant or N7 Typhoon are ideal choices to use in tandem with Marksman. The power is unfortunately bugged in many versions of the game; turning Squad Power Use off is the easiest workaround.

The rest of Ashley's kit is similar to James's, with ammo and grenade powers. Inferno Grenade can hit enemies in a wide area but is unable to panic protected enemies like it could in Mass Effect 2; it is, however, capable of priming multiple enemies for Fire Explosions, perfect for follow-up powers such as a chaining Overload or Ashley's own Concussive Shot to detonate. Improved from Mass Effect 2, Disruptor Ammo is now effective against not only shields but barriers as well, in addition to having more impact on unprotected organic foes. Ashley lacks the resilience of James, so care should be taken with her positioning.


Kaidan Alenko[edit | edit source]

Powers


Overview

Just as in the first Mass Effect, Kaidan is a veritable Swiss Army knife, with only Garrus and EDI approaching his versatility for dealing with enemy protections. Kaidan has Overload for shields and barriers, as well as the fast-recharging Cryo Blast to debuff armor and disable groups of unprotected enemies. His Alliance Officer passive class power can give him an impressive boost to his biotics or tech powers; generally tech is the best route to go as Overload gets the most usage. The passive can also be evolved to either improve the power efficiency of the entire party, or its shield recharge rate.

Kaidan's unique combination of tech and biotics allows him to set up and detonate more types of Power Combo than any other squadmate, and he pairs well with anyone. Defensively, Kaidan is capable of rivaling James in the durability department, as he can layer both Barrier and the Reave damage protection buff; while going this route slows Kaidan's power use, Kaidan can wield assault rifles, ensuring he is always contributing to the party's damage output.


Tali'Zorah vas Normandy[edit | edit source]

Powers


Overview

Thanks to the addition of a few new and improved abilities, Tali is much more viable against non-synthetic enemies than in the second game. Her Energy Drain ability enables her to strip away enemy shields and barriers while reinforcing her own shields, and Sabotage is useful for disabling enemy weapons and turning enemy synthetics and Turrets into temporary allies. Tali possesses two different flavors of drone, and unlike in the previous game, they have very quick recharge times, making her much more effective at tying enemies up. Her class power, Quarian Machinist, mainly serves to increase the recharge speed of her powers even further, though Tali does decent weapon damage if specced for it and equipped with the right shotgun (the N7 Crusader, if available, is ideal).

As with the other power-oriented teammates, getting the most out of Tali requires a thorough understanding of how to create Power Combos with her kit. She can prime Tech Bursts with both Energy Drain and Sabotage, though both powers have somewhat finnicky conditions for doing so; it's a good idea to read their pages for full details. The Tech Bursts Sabotage can create on organic enemies are particularly powerful with the Rank 6 Tech Vulnerability, especially when detonated by a chain Overload. Overload and other tech powers will also deal double damage to enemies debuffed by the vulnerability, making Sabotage quite useful as an opener against tough enemies with thick shields or barriers.



Reference Tables[edit | edit source]

Weapons Table[edit | edit source]

Weapon Type: Submachine Guns Heavy Pistols Shotguns Assault Rifles Sniper Rifles
Ashley Williams
EDI
Garrus Vakarian
Kaidan Alenko
James Vega
Javik
Liara T'Soni
Tali'Zorah vas Normandy

Powers Table[edit | edit source]

Squadmate Class Power Ammo Powers Biotic Powers Combat Powers Tech Powers
Ashley Williams Alliance Officer Disruptor Ammo Concussive Shot
Inferno Grenade*
Marksman
James Vega Arms Master Incendiary Ammo Carnage
Fortification
Frag Grenade*
Kaidan Alenko Alliance Officer Barrier
Reave
Cryo Blast
Overload
Garrus Vakarian Turian Rebel Armor-Piercing Ammo Concussive Shot
Proximity Mine
Overload
Liara T'Soni Pure Biotic Warp Ammo Singularity
Stasis
Warp
Tali'Zorah vas Normandy Quarian Machinist Combat Drone
Defense Drone
Energy Drain
Sabotage
EDI Unshackled AI Decoy
Defense Matrix
Incinerate
Overload
Javik Vengeful Ancient Dark Channel
Lift Grenade*
Pull
Slam

* Grenade Power

Single-player Power Combos[edit | edit source]

In the table below, the columns marked Biotic/Cryo/Tech/Fire indicate whether the ability can detonate primed Biotic Explosions, Cryo Explosions, Tech Bursts, or Fire Explosions respectively. Underscore indicates whether a power has a multiplier evolution which increases the effective combo level of the power for the purposes of the combo type indicated by the column. These evolutions increase damage by at least 50% regardless of whether the power is used as source or detonator, and whether it is stacking with another power with such a multiplier.

Icon Power Primes Biotic Cryo Tech Fire Notes
ME3 Barrier.png Barrier Biotic* *On self-detonation
ME3 Biotic Charge.png Biotic Charge
ME3 Carnage.png Carnage Fire
ME3 Cluster Grenade.png Cluster Grenade
ME3 Combat Drone.png Combat Drone ✓* ✓* ✓* *On destruction, detonates with "Detonate" evolution
ME3 Concussive Shot.png Concussive Shot
ME3 Cryo Ammo.png Cryo Ammo Cryo Also applies to Cryo Rounds
ME3 Cryo Blast.png Cryo Blast Cryo
ME3 Dark Channel.png Dark Channel Biotic
ME3 Decoy.png Decoy ✓* ✓* ✓* *On destruction, detonates with "Exploding Decoy"
ME3 Disruptor Ammo.png Disruptor Ammo Tech Also applies to Disruptor Rounds
ME3 Energy Drain.png Energy Drain Tech ✓* ✓* ✓* *Only detonates shielded or synthetic targets
ME3 Flare.png Flare
ME3 Frag Grenade.png Frag Grenade
ME3 Incendiary Ammo.png Incendiary Ammo Fire* *Priming effect can apply to shielded targets but only detonatable once shields destroyed

Also applies to Incendiary Rounds

ME3 Incinerate.png Incinerate Fire
ME3 Inferno Grenade.png Inferno Grenade Fire
ME3 Lash.png Lash Biotic Primes if target is lifted. Armored targets cannot be detonated in MP.
ME3 Lift Grenade.png Lift Grenade Biotic *Unprotected enemies only
ME3 Nova.png Nova
ME3 Overload.png Overload Tech
ME3 Proximity Mine.png Proximity Mine
ME3 Pull.png Pull Biotic* *Combo evolution in multiplayer only
ME3 Reave.png Reave Biotic
ME3 Sabotage.png Sabotage Tech* *Only primes non-synthetics, application delayed 1.5s
ME3 Sentry Turret.png Sentry Turret Cryo* *Primes with "Cryo Ammo" evolution
ME3 Shockwave.png Shockwave Biotic* Primes with "Lifting Shockwave"
ME3 Singularity.png Singularity Biotic ✓* *On self-detonation, detonates with "Detonate" evolution
ME3 Slam.png Slam *Unprotected enemies only
ME3 Stasis.png Stasis Biotic
ME3 Sticky Grenade.png Sticky Grenade Cryo*/Tech*/Fire* *Primes with Cryo/Disruptor/Incendiary Ammo or Rounds
ME3 Throw.png Throw
ME3 Warp.png Warp Biotic

Squad Member Outfits[edit | edit source]

Default Alternate From Ashes N7 Collector's Edition Pack
ME3 Ashley Basic Outfit.png ME3 Ashley Alt Outfit 1.png ME3 Ashley Alt Outfit 2.png ME3 Ashley Alt Outfit 3.png
Weapon Damage +25% Shields +25% Weapon Damage +25% Power Recharge Speed +25%

Default Alternate From Ashes Alternate Appearance Pack 1
ME3 EDI Basic Outfit.png ME3 EDI Alt Outfit 1.png ME3 EDI Alt Outfit 2.png ME3 EDI Alt Outfit 3.png
Power Damage +25% Power Recharge Speed +25% Shields +25% Power Recharge Speed +25%

Default Alternate From Ashes Alternate Appearance Pack 1
ME3 Garrus Basic Outfit.png ME3 Garrus Alt Outfit 1.png ME3 Garrus Alt Outfit 2.png ME3 Garrus Alt Outfit 3.png
Shields +25% Weapon Damage +25% Weapon Damage +25% Shields +25%

Default Alternate From Ashes N7 Collector's Edition Pack
ME3 James Basic Outfit.png ME3 James Alt Outfit 1.png ME3 James Alt Outfit 2.png ME3 James Alt Outfit 3.png
Shields +25% Weapon Damage +25% Weapon Damage +25% Shields +25%

Default Alternate
ME3 Javik Basic Outfit.png ME3 Javik Alt Outfit 1.png
Power Damage +25% Power Recharge Speed +25%

Default Alternate From Ashes N7 Collector's Edition Pack
ME3 Kaidan Basic Outfit.png ME3 Kaidan Alt Outfit 1.png ME3 Kaidan Alt Outfit 2.png ME3 Kaidan Alt Outfit 3.png
Power Recharge Speed +25% Power Damage +25% Shields +25% Weapon Damage +25%

Default Alternate From Ashes N7 Collector's
Edition Pack
Alternate Appearance
Pack 1
ME3 Liara Basic Outfit.png ME3 Liara Alt Outfit 1.png ME3 Liara Alt Outfit 2.png ME3 Liara Alt Outfit 3.png ME3 Liara Alt Outfit 4.png
Power Damage +25% Power Recharge
Speed +25%
Power Recharge
Speed +25%
Power Damage +25% Power Damage +25%

Default Alternate From Ashes
ME3 Tali Basic Outfit.png ME3 Tali Alt Outfit 1.png ME3 Tali Alt Outfit 2.png
Power Damage +25% Power Recharge Speed +25% Weapon Damage +25%

Temporary[edit | edit source]

David Anderson[edit | edit source]

Powers


DLC Mission Exclusive[edit | edit source]

The following squad members are only available during certain missions exclusive to DLC and cannot be chosen during missions of the main Mass Effect 3 storyline.

Aria T'Loak[edit | edit source]

Powers


Overview

Aria is a formidable biotic with several unique powers at her disposal, but her recharge times, especially of Flare, are on the longer side. Lash is her bread-and-butter ability as it has the lowest cooldown time and is the most applicable in general combat situations. With the Rank 6 Shield Penetration evolution of Lash, she can disable any enemy with shields or barriers as long as they are not armored, and Lash is also a universal Power Combo detonator.

Aria's Biotic Boss passive can make her extremely durable, and Reave is a good way to increase Aria's toughness still further in situations where she is likely to come under heavy fire. Aria's kit is rounded out with Carnage, giving her the ability to combo with non-biotics or simply deal a good chunk of direct damage, particularly against armored targets.


Nyreen Kandros[edit | edit source]

Powers


Overview

Nyreen is a very versatile squadmate and heavy-hitting squadmate, but fragile unless the player invests in her unique Biotic Protector power, which can be used when enemies surround her to ensure her survival. Its Rank 6 evolutions give it long-lasting buffs that make it a useful power even outside of emergencies. Overload and Incinerate allow her to strip away any kind of protection, while her Lift Grenades can disable large groups of unprotected enemies. This wide variety of powers also enables Nyreen to create Power Combos with Aria or Shepard in numerous ways.


Urdnot Wrex[edit | edit source]

Powers


Overview

Wrex is the most durable squadmate in the game by a mile. His already high health is further supplemented by Barrier and his unique Stimulant Packs. In true krogan fashion he seeks to get up close and personal with his foes and rarely enters cover if not ordered to. A Shotgun Blade Attachment or a Shotgun Omni-Blade will substantially improve his damage output. He automatically uses Stimulant Packs when his shields are down (even if Squad Power Use is turned off), but they are limited in number and share their stock with his Lift Grenades.

While Wrex's powers aren't the best for dealing with enemy shields, the Reegar Carbine, if available, can greatly mitigate this weakness. Wrex can create his own Fire Explosions through Carnage and Lift Grenades. Against unprotected enemies Wrex can create his own Biotic Explosions by detonating his Barrier and then immediately using a Lift Grenade. However in most cases Wrex can safely be trusted to wreak havoc in enemy ranks without needing to use any fancy gimmicks; as long as he's given adequate supporting fire, he'll almost never go down even on Insanity difficulty.

Armax Arsenal Arena[edit | edit source]

The following squad members can be chosen to accompany Shepard in the Armax Arsenal Arena combat simulator only. The character must still be alive in the main storyline to be available for simulated combat. These squadmates automatically start with all of their powers already at Rank 3, and they have one less available point to spend on their powers than regular squadmates.

Grunt[edit | edit source]

Powers



Jack[edit | edit source]

Powers



Jacob Taylor[edit | edit source]

Powers



Kasumi Goto[edit | edit source]

Powers



Miranda Lawson[edit | edit source]

Powers



Samara[edit | edit source]

Powers



Zaeed Massani[edit | edit source]

Powers


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