Characters: Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Characters

This page is for listing tropes associated with playable characters appearing in the multiplayer portion of Mass Effect 3.

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Tropes Applying To All Characters

  • Action Girl: The female characters, of course. Debatable for asari, however, considering their "gender".
  • Badass: Obviously.
  • Badass Crew: When playing as a team of course.
  • Battle Cry: Most of the characters have one for their respective homeworld.
    • "For Earth!" - Human
    • "For Palaven!" - Turian
    • "For Thessia!" - Asari
    • "For Tuchanka!" - Krogan
    • "For Rannoch!" - Quarian
    • "For Irune!" - Volus
  • The Cameo: Several of the multiplayer characters appear on leave in the Citadel DLC.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The in-game description states that the Alliance is recruiting anyone and everyone, regardless of race, to combat the Reapers. As the teams were originally organized and lead by N7 personnel, the teams have come to be known as "N7 Special Ops"; Alliance Command has allowed them to keep the name in acknowledgement of the positive effect it has on morale.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Sixty characters in total with ability sets, rising to sixty-six when factoring in two genders for the six basic human characters.
  • Mook Horror Show: The Cerberus troops go from saying "Taking casualties" in a calm, professional manner to panicked terror later on as you mow through them.
  • Multinational Team: One can play as pretty much any non-extinct, non-completely enslaved, post-spaceflight race short of Elcor, Rachni, or Hanar (yes, even the Volus).
  • One-Man Army: Should the player decide to run solo. Even on Bronze difficulty, you're required to rack up a body count of close to two hundred enemies.
    • Even while in a team, each player will inevitably rack up a significant killcount before the mission ends.
  • Phlebotinum Rebel: The Project Phoenix troops, as defectors from Cerberus. Also, in an involuntary way, the Awakened Collectors.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Those that aren't professional soldiers.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: Everyone save for the Vorcha and the Krogan Warlord, who have regenerating shields, regenerating health.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A large variety, showing for many of the characters in the series, playable and not. See the specific characters for more information.

Tropes Applying To Specific Races and Racial Subgroups

  • Acrofatic: Despite being 4 feet tall and chubby, volus can sprint just as fast as Humans, and perform combat rolls almost as quickly as them too.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Vorcha. Also likely the Krogan in a different way.
  • Beehive Barrier: Volus can generate a shield in lieu of a heavy melee.
  • Blood Knight: Krogan and Vorcha. The former's Rage is an indication of their behavior, whereas the Bloodlust ability on the latter emphasizes theirs.
  • Boring but Practical: The basic human characters. More limited in what they can do than the others, yet still easy to learn.
  • Cast from Hit Points:
    • An asari, N7 biotic-based combatant's or Turian Cabal's dodge will drain their barrier.
    • A normal-sized geth's heavy melee drains its shields.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • A downplayed example with the geth. A typical geth can withstand as much absolute damage as a typical human. However, most of that absorption comes from their shields, with their synthetic frames being more fragile than an organic one. Normally this is not much of an issue, but when certain attacks are better at stripping shields than they are at doing physical damage, the geth are at a disadvantage. Certain geth characters, such as the Geth Juggernaut, still have more shields than physical robustness, but their total of both is higher than most.
    • The Turian Cabal vanguard suffers this as well. Most of her best abilities assume that you'll be using her biotic, melee and grenade powers (all poison-based) to stack up damage. Her weapons abilities are mediocre at best. Playing the former way (poison blitzing) is extremely risky and extremely death-prone at higher levels. Playing the latter way (weapons specializing) pretty much ignores everything that makes the character unique, and there are characters far better at it.
  • Dual Wielding: Turians use dual omni-blades as the typical heavy melee.
  • Elemental Punch: Drell uses a biotic variant as their heavy melee, as do Adept Humans.
  • Empathic Weapon: Downplayed in that the geth deal bonus damage when using geth weaponry, as do the Awakened Collectors with Collector (or Prothean) weapons.
  • The Faceless: All human characters wear suits of armor that cover their whole bodies. Same goes for turians of the 26th Armiger Legion (Havoc, Ghost, Saboteur). Most krogan (shamans, battlemasters, and warlords) also go with covered faces. Same for Quarians and Volus, but that's par for the series.
  • Flaming Sword: Regardless of class, male quarians always use incendiary omni-blades. The N7 Shadow's level 6 evolution in the Sword Mastery tree allows turns her sword into one, with the additional benefit of increased damage against armor.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Drell characters are all faster and more agile than others, but have extremely low barriers/shields.
  • Gender Is No Object: At first only humans allowed one to play as both sexes. Eventually the quarians and turians added members of the opposite sex.
  • Glass Cannon: The Drell universally have high-damage abilities and combo potential, but have extremely low barriers/shields.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Some of the Project Phoenix troops defected from Cerberus, leading to the Project Phoenix Adept and Vanguard classes. As well as the extremely powerful Awakened Collectors who managed to break free of the Reapers.
  • Healing Factor: Vorcha can regenerate.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Volus can turn invisible in lieu of a light melee.
  • Jetpack: Turians of the 26th Armiger Legion (Havoc, Ghost, Saboteur) have them.
  • Laughing Mad: Krogan will laugh maniacally when they activate Rage.
  • Large Ham: Some characters from any race can fall into this, but every one of the krogan and vorcha fits.
  • McNinja: Drell are very quick and use martial arts in their fighting styles, hinting at a form of this.
  • The Medic: Volus characters have an ability called Shield Boost that lets them recharge the shields of themselves and their allies.
  • Mighty Glacier: Krogan move relatively slowly compared to other races, but they can take a lot of punishment and have some of the strongest melee in the game. Taken to the limits with the Geth Juggernaut, lacking the ability to sprint altogether but has easily four times the shields/health of any other character. The Juggernaut's heavy melee also saps enemy health to recharge its shields.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Krogan characters enter a rage whenever they kill enemies with melee attacks in quick succession. A basic krogan needs to perform 3 melee kills in 30 seconds, but a skill reduces this number to 2 if chosen. The Warlord needs one less melee kill than other krogans before entering a rage.
  • Off with His Head!: Vorcha, Batarian, and sword-based heavy melee will decapitate an enemy if it kills them. Useful against Abominations, as they explode if not killed by a headshot.
  • Only in It for the Money: Volus' battle quotes seem to indicate this.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Batarians have a unique melee combo with rifles where they grab the gun by the barrel and use it as a club.
  • Power Fist: The Batarian heavy melee "enforcement gauntlets" - the most powerful heavy melee attack. Now with a piece of gear, other characters can use it too.
  • Punched Across the Room: Krogan and Batarians have heavy melee attacks that knock infantry troops far back.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Basic human characters comes in both sexes, although there's no gameplay differences between them.
  • Quit Your Whining: Said almost word for word by any Krogan character when reviving a downed ally.
  • Roundhouse Kick: Included in one of a drell's light melee combo. Also used by the Alliance Infiltration Unit.
  • Set Bonus: Geth characters who invest points in the Networked AI power will gain additional damage from using geth-manufactured weapons.
  • Shock and Awe: Geth heavy melee will electrocutes enemies continuously when active.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: For Krogan anyway. Several Krogan classes can evolve their powers to reduce the weight of (and thus speed up ability cooldown times when using) shotgun-class weapons.
  • Squishy Wizard: Volus characters. All volus characters. They have moderate shields on par with many characters, but the absolute lowest health in the game, at only a quarter of that of a human.
  • Spy Catsuit: All asari bar justicars.
  • Take Cover: Averted with the volus, Geth Juggernauts and Krogan Warlords but available on others.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: With a couple exceptions, all races but the krogan, non-Armiger turian, and batarian have some form of dodging ability, usually in the form of a combat roll.
  • Use Your Head: Krogan like to headbash their enemies as their standard melee.
  • Wolverine Claws: The Vorcha use omniblade versions of these in their "Vorcha Pounce", and the Turian Cabal has poisoned ones.
  • X-Ray Vision: Geth Hunter Mode of the normal-sized geth allows them to see enemy targets through walls. The Geth Scanner, a piece of Gear, allows other characters to get this bonus.
    • The geth-manufactured Javelin Sniper Rifle also has a limited ability to do this when looking through the scope, enabling the user to exploit its natural anti-material qualities to accurately hit targets through cover. Naturally, geth with Hunter Mode and Networked AI get a big Set Bonus when using it.
  • Your Head A Splode: The result if a batarian's heavy melee kills a non-Boss in Mook Clothing.

     The Soldiers 

General Soldiers

Soldiers are renowned for their impressive fire support, flexibility, and speed, and masters at dealing weapon damage.

Human Soldier

Alliance soldiers are renowned for their impressive fire support, flexibility, and speed. Humans have quickly integrated new technology into their combat gear and can unleash VI's, drones, and artillery on the battlefield.
  • Boring Yet Practical: More so than any other character; this is more or less your typical, garden variety third person shooter character. Frag Grenade also has one of the highest damage outputs for a single ability. Adrenaline Rush is also a straightforward weapon damage boost for a few seconds.
  • Homing Projectile: Concussive Shot can home in a little.
  • Super Reflexes: Adrenaline rush. Though it doesn't have a bullet time effect as in single player (for obvious reasons), it does give the player a significant weapon damage boost.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: One of their abilities is to toss Frag Grenades.

Battlefield 3 Soldier

Originally a limited edition character exclusive to players who have an online pass for both Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3, but is now a Rare drop in the store. More or less identical to the regular Human Soldier, except he uses Carnage instead of Concussive Shot.
  • Boring Yet Practical: As noted in the description they are basically a copy of the standard Human Soldier, but with a slightly better ability.
  • Homing Projectile: Carnage can home in a little.
  • Kill It with Fire: By following up Carnage with a Frag Grenade quickly enough, they can create their own fire explosions.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Carnage tends to do this if it's the killing blow. It makes it useful for denying Cannibals anything to feed on.
  • Super Reflexes: Adrenaline rush. Though it doesn't have a bullet time effect as in single player (for obvious reasons), it does give the player a significant weapon damage boost.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Quite similar to James Vega in terms of abilities, especially when using incendiary ammo and assault rifles, and wears the same armor (N7 Defender).
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Can use Frag Grenades.

Turian Soldier

Turians receive the best military training in the galaxy. Their proficiency with a wide range of weapons, as well as their unmatched focus and determination, make up for their lack of speed and agility. They are a redoubtable ally on any battlefield.
  • Homing Projectile: Concussive Shot can home in a little.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Using the Marksman ability allows a Turian Soldier to rapidly fire a normally inaccurate weapon (i.e. Revenant or Typhoon) with pinpoint accuracy.
  • Land Mine Goes Click: Averted with Proximity Mine.
  • More Dakka: The Marksman skill also reduces weapon recoil in addition to increasing accuracy, making Turian soldiers popular choices for carrying high-capacity, heavy kick-back, fully automatic weapons since the power mitigates their major disadvantages.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of Garrus, with Overload swapped out for Marksman. The parallel is stronger when using assault rifles and armor piercing ammo.
  • Trap Master: Proximity Mine

Krogan Soldier

Armored like a tank—and as slow as one—an angry krogan has more going for it than the species' infamous belligerence. It should come as no surprise that a krogan dishes out as much punishment as they're able to take on the battlefield.
  • Combination Attack: You can now combo inferno grenade into carnage for a fire explosion, dealing massive damage to armour.
  • Homing Projectile: Carnage can slightly track its target.
  • Kill It with Fire: Inferno Grenade and Carnage.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Carnage tends to do this if it's the killing blow. It makes it useful for denying Cannibals anything to feed on.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The potent, area-of-effect power combo above gives them great damage, they've Krogan increased health and Fortification for defence and can still run pretty quickly (though not dodge).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of Grunt (with Wrex's head).

Batarian Soldier

Batarians are large brawlers that use nets and spiked weapons to capture targets...or to bleed them dry on the battlefield. If an opponent gets too close, a batarian enforcer bludgeons them with spiked armor and enforcement gauntlets. Included as part of the Resurgence DLC.

Vorcha Soldier

A vorcha's resilience and malleable DNA allow them to evolve and adapt to any situation, making them formidable opponents on the battlefield. Their lightning-quick pounce is a direct result of their societally ingrained bloodlust. Included as part of the Rebellion DLC.

N7 Destroyer

The Destroyer's T5-V Battlesuit gives these strong-but-slow soldiers mech-like protection. Driven by eezo-assisted actuators, these frontline troopers carry heavy weapons onto the battlefield. Included as part of the Earth DLC.
  • The Big Guy: Of the N7 ensemble's Five-Man Band.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Hawk Missile Launcher lowers his maximum shielding.
  • Guttural Growler: DEVASTATOR MODE ENGAGE!!!
  • Homing Projectile: Hawk Missile Launcher can track targets.
  • Immune to Flinching: While in Devastator Mode.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The N7 Typhoon was clearly made for the Destroyer whose dakka-enhancing abilities make it one of the highest sustained DPS weapons in the game. Few other character kits can use it effectively and none as devastatingly.
  • Large Ham: When DEPLOYING DEVASTATOR MODE!!!
  • Mighty Glacier: While using Devastator Mode, they take a penalty to movement speed and are unable to dodge. It also makes them immune to staggering.
  • More Dakka: Devastator Mode increases weapon damage, firing rate, and magazine size.
  • Palette Swap: For the main campaign's Terminus Armor-equipped player character.
  • Powered Armor: The T5-V Battlesuit.
  • Power Creep: The vanilla Human Soldier is a credible weapons platform which some still swear by, but as with other N7 kits, the Destroyer takes the basic formula and turns it up to eleven.
  • Recursive Ammo: Multi-Frag Grenade.
  • Retractable Weapon: The Destroyer's light melee involves a switchblade-like unfolding effect.
  • Sergeant Rock: "ON YER FEET, N7!"
  • Shockwave Stomp: The heavy melee.
  • Shoulder Cannon: The launcher is mounted on the Destroyer's right shoulder. It's pretty small, as far as cannons go, but it fires often enough to deal out good damage nonetheless.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Played straight and subverted. As noted above normally a Destroyer can dodge, but while using Devastator Mode they lose the ability.

Turian Havoc

Havoc soldiers are a part of the turian's lethal 26th Armiger Legion, a respected and feared frontline assault squad. On the battlefield, the 26th use propulsion packs built into their armor to launch lightning-quick airstrikes on unsuspecting foes. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.
  • Ground Pound: For a heavy melee, he jumps in the air and drives an omni-blade into the ground inflicting area of effect damage.
  • Heal Thyself: The Stimulant Pack, which instantly regenerates sields and provides a damage bonus at the expense of a grenade charge.
  • Homing Projectile: Cryo Blast can arc in mid-air.
  • Jet Pack: Like all Armiger units, although the Havoc is the only one that uses it for direct offense.
  • Kill It with Ice: Cryo Blast. What do you think it does?
  • Lightning Bruiser: Havoc Strike allows the Havoc Soldier to jet across the map in under a second in order to deliver a powerful melee attack.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Pretty much a soldier variant of most vanguard classes, what with Havoc Strike and Stimulant Pack behaving like Biotic Charge's dual benefits split into two.

Geth Trooper

Included as part of the Retaliation DLC. A simple soldier class that can divert power from defense into offense with the special Hunter Mode ability, increasing damage output.
  • Arm Cannon: An arm mounted flamethrower.
  • Barrier Warrior: Packing Fortification, to compensate for its low health.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Did we mention the arm-mounted flamethrower?
  • Glass Cannon: If Fortification is not evolved for maximum protection, a shield-less Geth is a dead Geth.
  • Good Counterpart: To the Geth Pyro. Both receive reduced damage thanks to Fortification and both carry flamethrowers.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Can use a combination of Fortification and Flamer, making it highly resilient while still being able to deal a ton of damage - in close quarters at least. Also, unlike the Juggernaut, he can run.

Quarian Marksman

The Quarian Marksman is a pugnacious tactician that, after assessing the situation, will just as soon blister the field with explosives as pick off enemies from a distance. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.

Geth Juggernaut

The Geth Juggernaut is a heavy geth infantry platform. Like the Geth Prime, it towers above ground forces as an intimidating presence on the battlefield. Included as part of the Reckoning DLC.

     The Adepts 

General Adepts

Specializing in crowd control, Adepts are an essential asset on the field, allowing for a wide range of combat options which otherwise would not be available. Through the use of biotics, an Adept can lock down a field. Adepts tend to emphasize power usage, especially in combination to create Biotic Explosions.
  • Combination Attack: Much of their damage output comes from chaining two powers and causing a biotic explosion. Some need a team-mate to do this, others can do it on their own.
  • Full-Contact Magic From Technology: Via biotics.
  • Gravity Master: Many of the skills of an Adept dip into this.
  • Mind over Matter: Many others dip into this instead.
  • Squishy Wizard: Typical for most adepts. Their very precise biotics require comfortable freedom of movement to control, and thus they tend to wear comparatively light armor. Even so, some are more or less squishy than others.

Human Adept

Human adepts specialize in biotic crowd control, a valuable and renowned asset on the battlefield. Allies often share stories of how an enemy soldier, sneaking from behind to deliver a fatal blow, could suddenly end up floating above their squadron.
  • Boring Yet Practical: Along with the other human classes, the Human Adept's powers aren't as impressive as others within the same class. It's still one of the most effective Adepts due to its versatility, and Warp/Shockwave triggers the strongest biotic explosions possible.
  • Energy Ball: Warp.
  • Homing Projectile: Singularity and Warp can curve to hit targets.
  • Power Palms: The heavy melee forces out a powerful blast of biotic energy from the hands.
  • Take Cover: Subverted. Shockwave goes through cover, so can hit bunkered down enemies, or through walls when you're on the back foot.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When Singularity was buffed to allow detonations even on protected enemies walking nearby. Before that, their range against strongest foes was rather limited, since Shockwave was needed to detonate.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: Singularity creates a miniature black hole that... dangles enemies.

Drell Adept

Though drell may lack the rugged durability of other races, they are lightning fast and deadly accurate. Drell are to be feared on the battlefield.
  • The Computer Is A Lying Bastard: The description for one cluster grenade upgrade reads "raise damage to lifted targets" but it actually applies to any biotic effect, including the Drell's own reave (though only one cluster will get the boost) meaning it can be used on enemies immune to lifting.
  • Fragile Speedster: As usual for Drell, it has the highest running speed but absolutely pathetic shielding.
  • Glass Cannon: Reaving then hitting an enemy with a damage-specced cluster grenade (triggering a biotic explosion) deals massive damage, but like other Drell they are a Fragile Speedster.
  • Homing Projectile: Pull can arc towards targets.
  • Lightning Bruiser: If you evolve Reave for defense, your Drell can become this - except against Geth whose life force cannot be drained.
  • Mind over Matter: Has access to Pull.
  • Recursive Ammo: Cluster Grenades.

Asari Adept

Asari are fierce, graceful warriors. They are incredibly powerful natural biotics. The asari excel at hit-and-run tactics to ruthlessly eliminate their opponents from the battlefield.

Asari Justicar

Asari are fierce, graceful warriors. They are incredibly powerful natural biotics. The asari excel at hit-and-run tactics to ruthlessly eliminate their opponents from the battlefield. Included as part of the Resurgence DLC.

Phoenix (Ex-Cerberus) Adept

Phoenix operatives are highly skilled combat and biotic specialists. Their ability to manipulate Cerberus lash and stasis technology, backed up by their powerful skills, make them invaluable assets on the battlefield. Included as part of the Rebellion DLC.

N7 Fury

Fury operatives use implants to fuel biotics and their incredible movement speed. These operatives wind an unpredictable path on the battlefield, moving in and out of combat before returning to unleash a sweeping biotic attack on their unsuspecting targets. Included as part of the Earth DLC.
  • Battle Aura: Weaponized with Annihilation Field.
  • Cool Mask: And extremely creepy.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Could be seen as a rare heroic example of the dark chick in the N7 ensemble. Her character model is sinister looking, her signature power is basically a portable krill swarm, and she seethes with dark energy. The Fury is still, however, an elite protector of Earth.
  • Full-Contact Magic: An unusual close-combat ability means they deal most damage by getting close to enemies, having their annihilation field prime an enemy then using a throw to detonate. By quickly moving away and back they can then do this repeatedly - if they are still alive.
  • Glass Cannon: To the Asari Valkyrie Mighty Glacier, both of them using Annihilation Field. The Fury is much faster when it comes to creating explosions (with the lower cooldown of Throw over Warp and the access to Dark Channel), however the Valkyrie can get a welcome 50% damage protection from the Tech Armor.
  • Gradual Grinder: Two of their three powers revolve around damage over time. Get close enough to inflict both Annihilation Field and Dark Channel at the same time and the grind becomes a lot less gradual.
  • Homing Projectile: Throw can turn slightly to hit targets.
  • In the Hood: Much like Kasumi's. Made extra creepy by the flat, featureless mask with large glowing lenses for eyes.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted in French, since the Banshees share their name ("Furie").
  • Power Glows: As befitting a biotic, but Annihilation Field surrounds her with a strange, spidery glowing aura.
  • Spy Catsuit: Again, like Kasumi. Though her moveset does seem to be primarily acrobatic, so it is at least somewhat practical.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: She appears to be Kasumi with biotic powers.
  • Teleport Spam: Rather than a standard combat roll or hop, the Fury has a short-range half-teleport half-acrobatic move that can take her through walls if done right. Also, her melee attacks involve teleporting to her target with every strike. Regardless of whether or not it's already in front of her.
  • Thanatos Gambit: The Fury can kill enemies with Annihilation Field even when she's on the ground. It differs from other DoT powers in that it can be cast on nearby enemies when the Fury is down.

Krogan Shaman

Armored like a tank—and as slow as one—an angry krogan has more going for it than the species' infamous belligerence. It should come as no surprise that a krogan dishes out as much punishment as they're able to take on the battlefield. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.
  • Barrier Warrior: Downplayed, but they do have the Barrier skill on top of being... well, Krogan.
  • Energy Ball: Warp
  • The Faceless: The armor does not show a face.
  • Homing Projectile: Warp can arc to hit targets.
  • Squishy Wizard: Notable for averting this while most Adepts play it straight. Their Barrier ability, coupled with their natural Krogan resistance and an upgrade tree that enhances robustness, allows them to soak up a lot more damage than other Adepts, bar maybe the Justicar.
  • Take Cover: Shockwave counters enemies who do this.

Batarian Slasher

Batarians are large brawlers that use nets and spiked weapons to capture targets...or to bleed them dry on the battlefield. If an opponent gets too close, a batarian enforcer bludgeons them with spiked armor and enforcement gauntlets. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.

Volus Adept

Volus are cagey support specialists that use the most technologically advanced power armor credits can buy. Not to be underestimated, the diminutive Volus Adept more than makes up for its size with biotic abilities that are nothing short of godly. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.

Awakened Collector

When the Reaper-killer known as Leviathan fought the Collectors, it severed their connection to Harbinger with a thrall device. Most Collector forces died as a result, but a few survived. Now, these rare individuals fight for the memory of their people, a proud race broken by the Reapers.

Protheans appointed avatars to embody and model a single virtue for their society. The Awakened Collectors' virtue is vengeance. Included as part of the Reckoning DLC.
  • The Atoner: Used to help the Reapers in their harvesting. Now they help the other races to save this cycle in both this and a race-wide Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Gets the third kind when they grab an enemy behind cover.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Zigzagged but ultimately averted. They were originally Indoctrinated by the Reapers, but Leviathan tried to Enthrall them. Most Collectors died from the attempt, but the few that survived regained their sentience.
  • Deprogramming: Performed (unintentionally) by the Leviathans.
  • Energy Ball: Dark Sphere.
  • Empathic Weapon: Downplayed. They deal extra damage with Collector or Prothean weapons.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Dark Sphere doesn't always work right: it will sometimes refuse to actually cast after the animation, and sometimes it triggers its cooldown when casting instead of when detonating like its supposed to, in which case the cooldown must be waited for again if its detonated. Either bug can severely derail the player's plan of attack.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The fact that the Awakened Collectors are supposed to be the only Collectors left at all doesn't stop a player from using one in a match against Collectors.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Insectoid wings to be exact.
  • Glowing Eyes: Its eyes glow shock-green while in ascension mode, and otherwise brightly glow whatever color the "Lights" option is set to on the appearance menu, unless they're made black.
  • Gradual Grinder: Dark Channel. Dark Sphere also has elements of this.
  • Heel-Face Brainwashing: Double Subverted. The Leviathan were trying to brainwash them into becoming their own drones, the attempt failed and killed most of them, but the survivors did willingly join the good guys.
  • Heel-Face Turn: The Collectors used to be mooks for the Reapers; the only ones left gladly turned on their former masters.
  • Heroic RROD: Ascension Mode. Increases recharge rates and damage dealt, but also increases damage taken.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: As Husks fighting their assimilators.
  • Homing Projectile: Seeker Swarm will track its targets.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Adepts are generally squish classes who rely on spamming their biotics. The Collector is an Adept with not one but two powers that have a six or seven second cooldown time, and that's with a maximum bonus from carrying light weapons. Effective use means taking advantage of those powers' unusual mechanics to make the cooldown times irrelevant, one way or another. A build that's meant to take advantage of the Collector's Empathic Weapon trait will play much more like a Soldier than a dedicated caster.
  • No Mouth: Like all Collectors, giving it The Voiceless trait.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: Dark Sphere.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: All of them have taken on the aspect of vengeance.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of Javik.
  • The Swarm: Can summon a Seeker Swarm.
  • Trap Master: Dark Sphere will stick to a floor or wall for a few moments and effect any enemies that walk by it until it dissipates or you detonate it.
  • Villain Override: Inverted, sort of, and then averted. The Leviathans tried to Enthrall them from the Reapers, but the end result was Deprogramming. Well, most of them died.

     The Engineers 

General Engineers

Engineers are support specialists that focus on setting up ambushes and providing support fire, often through the use of a variety of enemy-distracting drones, decoys, and turrets. They excel at destroying enemy tech. Engineers tend to place an emphasis on power usage and the creation of Tech Bursts.

Human Engineer

Human engineers are support specialists that set up ambushes, provide fire support, and destroy enemy tech. Their value is not lost on an ally when a battlefield is cleared of turrets.
  • Action Bomb: Combat Drone can be specced to explode upon being destroyed.
  • Attack Drone: Combat Drone.
  • Chain Lightning: Overload can be specialized as "Chain Overload". Also played straight as one of the specializations for Combat Drone.
  • Combination Attack: One of the few classes that can consistently set up and detonate multiple types of combos on their own (Overload then Incinerate will produce a Tech Burst while Incinerate then Overload will produce a Fire Explosion.)

Salarian Engineer

Salarian engineers specialize in providing long-range cover fire and debuffing targets. These agile combatants are deadly and difficult to detect on the battlefield, particularly once they bring their decoy ability into play.

Quarian Female Engineer

Quarian engineers are elite support specialists with a talent for setting up ambushes and providing cover fire through the use of turrets. Their technical wizardry makes them crucial contributors on the battlefield.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: They can combo Cryo Blast into Incinerate for Cryo explosions, but not on armoured enemies.

Geth Engineer

Geth engineers are elite support specialists. Unique perception systems give Geth an unsurpassed understanding of the battlefield. Included as part of the Resurgence DLC.

Quarian Male Engineer

Quarian engineers are elite support specialists with a talent for setting up ambushes and providing cover fire through the use of turrets. Their technical wizardry makes them crucial contributors on the battlefield. Included as part of the Rebellion DLC.
  • Trick Bomb: Arc Grenade, which creates an electrical explosion.
  • Enemy Scan: The Tactical Scan.
  • Homing Projectile: Incinerate can arc in mid-air.
  • Kill It with Fire: Incinerate.
  • Notice This: In addition to making its target take more damage, Tactical Scan makes its victim glow red, and can be seen by any player from anywhere on the map. Useful for directing teammates to high-priority targets. A potential upgrade also temporarily reveals the position of all enemies around the initial target.

N7 Demolisher

The Demolisher uses grenades to attack at range and to terrorize the battlefield. Demolishers can also create a supply pylon that stocks allies with an unending reserve of grenades and thermal reloads. Included as part of the Earth DLC.
  • Combat Medic: Supply Pylon increases max shields and also restores some shielding when a player gets in range.
  • EMP: Arc Grenade.
  • Good Counterpart: Loosely based on the Cerberus Engineer, except with an Alliance helmet and female body.
  • Grenade Launcher: Homing Grenades are launched off of a small mounting on her wrist. Presumably it mounts there so the omni-tool can program it with targeting information. Arc Grenades by contrast are thrown by hand.
  • Grenade Spam: Two of the Demolisher's abilities are grenade abilities. The third? The ability to (among other things) generate grenades. Amusingly, the Grenade Spam of the enemies in Mass Effect 3's multiplayer mode prompted the creation of the Grenade Spam page—and now the grenade is on the other belt...
  • Homing Projectile: Homing Grenade.
  • Mobile Factory: Their Pylon is literally a mini-factory which continuously manufactures thermal clips and grenades. It does not move under its own power, but is small enough to be man-portable.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Despite falling under the Engineer class, the Demolisher appears to be closer to a Soldier or Sentinel, both using grenades and being able to use heavier weapons practically. Also one of the few Engineers without a drone or turret power. Although the Pylon can be seen as a substitute, it has no offensive capability (sans minor self-destruct damage) nor can it distract enemies.
  • Punched Across the Room: Her omni-tool's melee function delivers a mass effect molded shaped-explosive detonation in the direction of her fist. Its low penetration potential does comparatively little damage, but its concussive effect sends humanoid-sized foes reeling and knocking them off their feet.
  • Stone Wall: This is a character well-suited to a "turtling" strategy (in comparison to some more "tanking" characters who can use their robust defense to bring the fight to the enemy.) She needs to stay close to her pylon to keep her ammo and grenades stocked, staying near it also boosts her shields, she has no abilities that benefit from closing with the enemy, and her lack of cooldown timers on anything besides relocating her pylon suit her to handle heavy weapons with good range like Sniper Rifles and Light Machine Guns.
  • Status Buff: Supply Pylon increases max shields and can be evolved into also boosting either power or weapon damage.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: She is called the Demolisher for a reason. Even the Omni-tool heavy melee creates an explosion. If you place a new Pylon, the old one explodes as well.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Built around the use of grenades, and uses the Arc Grenade and Homing Grenade.
  • Trick Bomb: Their Arc Grenade and Homing Grenade.

Turian Saboteur

Turians receive the best military training in the galaxy. Their proficiency with a wide range of weapons, as well as their unmatched focus and determination, make up for their lack of speed and agility. They are a redoubtable ally on any battlefield. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.

Vorcha Hunter

A vorcha's resilience and malleable DNA allow them to evolve and adapt to any situation, making them formidable opponents on the battlefield. Their lightning-quick pounce is a direct result of their societally ingrained bloodlust. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.

Volus Engineer

Volus are cagey support specialists that use the most technologically advanced power armor credits can buy. Not to be underestimated, the diminutive volus engineer more than makes up for its size with cutting-edge gadgetry. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.
  • Land Mine Goes Click: Averted with the Proximity Mine and Recon Mine.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Crap health and mediocre shields, but their buffs and powers make them some of the best support guys.
  • The Medic: Their Shield Boost power can be spammed rapidly to keep nearby friendly shields topped off, including the Volus Engineer's own.
  • Trap Master: Proximity Mine and Recon Mine.

Talon Mercenary

Talon Mercenaries bring a shady reputation to the battlefield. These hard-bitten warriors typically take jobs from crooked organizations, but today find employment with the Alliance, who are desperate for skilled fighters in the war against the Reapers. Some find this troubling, but times are troubled.

Talon Mercenaries are feared for their deadly accuracy with the omni-bow, making their presence in the Alliance a necessary evil in the fight against the Reapers. Included as part of the Reckoning DLC.
  • Abnormal Ammo: Their special Omni-Bow arrows use grenades.
  • Automatic Crossbows: The Omni-Bow.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Intended to be strong character, but is so unorthodox in his utility that the devs eventually had to release tips on how to properly use him.
    • The Cain Mines in general are this, since they do great damage but depend on setting them up in the path of enemies, not helped by the beam angle being unpredicable.
    • They also have an unusual glitch on PC, in that using them resets the controls to default, which can be a real pain for players who are used to alternate controls when they play.
  • Enemy Mine: Their presence in the Alliance is considered a "necessary evil" to fight the Reapers.
  • Exotic Weapon Supremacy: No one else uses an Omni-bow. He can do a lot of damage with it, so presumably it requires a great deal of training to use.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: His Omni-Bow takes the place of what would be the melee function on any other character, and it still counts as being a melee function for most game mechanic purposes (kills with the Omni-Bow count toward melee kill medals, etc.) This can lead to some mechanically useful but in-universe illogical things, like sticking a bayonet on his gun somehow making his arrows hit harder.
  • Homing Projectile: The Omni-Bow arrows fired during a "heavy" attack will home in on the target. Normal shots also have a slight homing capacity, but since they spread out far more it is unlikely that more than one will hit the same enemy.
  • Human Pincushion: Or Husk Pincushion, Geth Pincushion, Collector Pincushion, etc. His arrows will stick in targets after impact. Most weaker targets will be killed in one burst of them, tougher enemies will be able to take several and keep fighting.
  • Land Mine Goes Click: Averted with the Cain Trip Mine.
  • Laser Hallway: A bunch of Cain Trip Mines clustered in an opening will resemble one, though in reality it is a Death Course set up for tough enemies to walk right into.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: The fate of any organic which is standing in front of a Cain Trip Mine. Seeing an environment filled with bloody chunks can be quite satisfying.
  • Multishot: He always fires multiple arrows at once from his Omni-Bow (justified as it not being a real "bow".) Firing "Light" will fire the arrows in a Spread Shot formation, whereas "Heavy" shots home in on a target.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, twice even:
    • The Talon Mercenary should not be confused with the M-358 Talon, a shotgun-like heavy pistol. Though you might equip your Talon with a Talon if you wish.
    • The Cain Trip Mine should not be confused with the M-920 Cain, a man-portable heavy weapon affectionately known as the "Nuke Launcher". Though the Cain Trip Mines do produce a big blast, it is not nearly so big as that produced by the M-920 Cain.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of Zaeed to a certain degree. He wears the same kind of armor, at any rate.
  • Trap Master: With the Cain Trip Mine.
  • Trick Arrow: Armor-Piercing Attack and Concussive varieties. The latter can also get electrified or ice characteristics.
  • Trick Bomb: The Cain Trip Mine is a repurposed grenade. So are the arrows.

     The Infiltrators 

General Infiltrators

While focusing on taking out enemies from afar without detection, Infiltrators also specialize in flanking and misdirection, serving to disorient the opponent.
  • For Massive Damage: Firing from cloak carries an enormous damage boost, which can be further augmented by specific evolutions (such as power damage or sniper rifle damage)
  • Invisibility Cloak: The Tactical Cloak.
  • Static Stun Gun: Minus the stun, since the electrified omni-blade on many of them is rather lethal.
  • Stealth Expert: Specializes typically in sneak attacks and sniping.

Human Infiltrator

Human infiltrators focus on taking out enemies from afar without detection, but they also specialize in flanking and misdirection, allowing their allies to make short work of disorientated opponents on the battlefield.

Quarian Female Infiltrator

Quarian infiltrators are elite support specialists with a talent for setting up ambushes. Their technical wizardry makes them crucial contributors on the battlefield.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Sort of goes with having Sabotage as a power. It is insanely useful against Geth, rather good against Cerberus, and almost useless against Reapers or Collectors.
    • This wasn't always the case, however. Sabotage has a 'backfire' function, making non-synthetic enemies take damage after a short period of time (in-universe explanation being that the target's weapon has overloaded, even if the enemy wasn't carrying a gun). One evolution of Sabotage made organic enemies take more tech damage, and would stack with itself. This lead to Quarian Infiltrators doing nothing but cloak and cast Sabotage against enemies like Brutes, killing them in 3 uses on Gold. Eventually, the devs reduced the tech vulnerability evolution by half, removing this strategy.
  • Elite Tweak: While it won't make them stellar, using cloak-cancelling makes sabotage much more usable by replacing the power's long cooldown with the 3 second cloak one.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Sabotage lets you do with with synthetic enemies (mainly geth, but also Turrets and Atlases)
  • Sticky Bomb: Sticky Grenade.

Salarian Infiltrator

Salarian infiltrators specialize in long-range suppression, flanking, and stealth-based combat. These agile combatants are deadly and difficult to detect on the battlefield.

Geth Infiltrator

Geth hunters converge quickly on a target while remaining undetected. Unique perception systems give geth an unsurpassed understanding of the battlefield. Included as part of the Resurgence DLC.
  • For Massive Damage: With the Cloak, the Hunter mode bonus and the Geth weapon bonus, the Geth Infiltrator can fire the most powerful Javelin shoots in the game, period. Add a Proximity Mine debuff and it is the most powerful Javelin shot made by a single character in the game.
  • Good Counterpart: To the Geth Hunter (particularly while using a Geth Plasma Shotgun)
  • Glass Cannon: They potentially have one of the highest sniper damage outputs in the game thanks to Hunter Mode, though it also comes with the drawback of reducing their total shields by half.
  • Land Mine Goes Click: Averted by the Proximity Mine.
  • Trap Master: Proximity Mine.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Legion, if you use sniper rifles instead of shotguns. Bonus points if you use the M-98 Widow.

Quarian Male Infiltrator

Quarian infiltrators are elite support specialists with a talent for setting up ambushes. Their technical wizardry makes them crucial contributors on the battlefield. Included as part of the Rebellion DLC.

N7 Shadow

Shadow infiltrators use implants to dramatically improve agility, making them slippery combatants on the battlefield. Their monomolecular blades are a menace from cover and close range. Included as part of the Earth DLC.
  • Back Stab: Shadow Strike is essentially this.
  • Charged Attack: Some of their most commonly used abilities, like Electric Slash and their Heavy Melee, only require a single button press but have a relatively long wind-up time in which the Shadow is vulnerable (that is, absolutely everything will interrupt her Shadow Strike—whether it be a melee strike, weapon hit, or some other source of damage). Careful use of the Tactical Cloak can mitigate this, so long as the enemy hasn't spotted you before you cloaked. In that case, Artificial Brilliance kicks in and yep—you're dead because the mooks blind-fired at you.
  • Diagonal Cut: What the N7 Shadow does with Shadow Strike.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Shadow Strike can end up in this territory, since it does huge damage against the right target (evolved for either anti-barrier/shield or anti-armor) but leaves the Shadow vulnerable—it is even possible to die mid-teleport before landing the blow! Choosing the evolution of Tactical Cloak which permits firing one power but staying cloaked combined with 150% cloak duration can help mitigate this.
  • Flaming Sword: The blade when upgraded to do extra damage versus armor.
  • Fragile Speedster: She has an incredible dodge ability, but can take little damage.
  • Glass Cannon: She can deal a ton of damage in a single hit, but cannot take much back in turn. This tends to focus her on doing One Hit Kills, and evading like crazy if the target survives.
  • Good Counterpart: To the Cerberus Phantom.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: She has an omni-blade, but the only time she uses it is when pulling a target over an obstruction. In all other melee circumstances, she uses the Hot Blade sheathed on her back. Amusingly, she gets great mechanical benefit from melee damage Weapon Mods, despite never actually striking with the modified gun.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: The best use of the class is as an assassin, sneaking around while cloaked and opportunistically picking off troublesome characters like Phantoms and Dragoons.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: When Sharpened to a Single Atom, at least.
  • Lag Cancel: The Electric Slash ability can be canceled at any time during the entire animation into other actions, such as a dash or melee attack. Due to having both huge startup and recovery times, this is useful for getting the hell out of dodge in a tight situation or piling on the hurt after the Sword Beam is released.
  • Life Drain: Shadow Strike can be upgraded to restore the Shadow's shields by the amount of damage they do an enemy's shields.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Rather than normal direct combat, Shadow Slash allows them to warp around the battlefield assassinating key targets.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Most Infiltrators are ranged classes, preferring to use Tactical Cloak to evade and flank the enemy to keep in optimum position for sniping. The N7 Shadow by contrast focuses on getting right into grips with the enemy to engage them in melee combat.
  • Off with His Head!: The result if a sword strike is fatal.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Can decapitate at least three mooks with one sword strike.
  • She-Fu: The combat style uses a lot of flips.
  • Spy Catsuit: They wear light armor, but it is very tightly fitted to the skin.
  • Super Reflexes: She has cybernetic enhancements to her nervous system to allow this, which facilitates her combat style.
  • Sword and Gun: Their preferred fighting style.
  • Sword Beam: The Electric Slash works this way.
  • Take Cover: Gets around enemies who do this with Electric Slash.
  • Teleport Spam: Via Shadow Strike, which is essentially this. An N7 Shadow with a short enough ability cooldown time can go from target to target with a series of near-continuous Shadow Strikes. Never mind teleporting to the side of a fallen comrade in ways that make even Vanguards pause (Vanguards can Charge through cover—Shadows can pass through walls.)
  • Waif-Fu: Via Shadow Strike, they are capable of taking out enemies as large as Brutes with a single swing of their sword.

Turian Ghost

Ghost infiltrators are a part of the turian's lethal 26th Armiger Legion, a respected and feared frontline assault squad. On the battlefield, a Ghost uses propulsion packs and advanced stealth technology to launch lightning-quick airstrikes on unsuspecting foes. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.
  • Chain Lightning: Overload can be specialized as "Chain Overload".
  • Heal Thyself: Their Stimpack ability allows them to instantly restore their shields, making cover unnecessary.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The ghost is considered one of the best classes due to high power (their cloak has a unique boost to assault rifles, and boosts their chain-stunning overload, while as a Turian he gets the recoil bonus), durability (from Turian health and stimpacks) and agility (thanks to their jetpack). Add their Tactical Cloaks unique buff to assault rifle for maximum carnage.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Tactical Cloak increases assault rifle damage instead of sniper rifles like usual.
  • Shock and Awe: Overload.

Asari Huntress

Asari are fierce, graceful warriors. They are incredibly powerful natural biotics. The asari excel at hit-and-run tactics to ruthlessly eliminate their opponents from the battlefield. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.
  • Energy Ball: Warp
  • Gradual Grinder: The use of Dark Channel and Warp. With big boosts to biotic damage from cloak and gear you can remove the "gradual" part.
  • Homing Projectile: Warp can turn slightly to hit targets.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Infiltrators are usually a tech/combat class, but the Huntress packs two biotic powers in addition to a variant of Tactical Cloak that boosts power not weapon damage. Because of this, you're better off levelling up biotic powers instead of weapon damage like the others.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Due to a programming goof, her Tactical Cloak deals more power damage than it should. The fans liked it though, so it stayed.

Drell Assassin

Though drell may lack the rugged durability of other races, they are lightning fast and deadly accurate. Drell are to be feared on the battlefield. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.
  • For Massive Damage: #2 when it comes to raw power behind the Geth Infiltrator. And their debuff (Recon Mine) is much easier to use with Sniper Rifles than the Proximity Mine.
  • Glass Cannon: Of the highest degree. Drells have the highest weapon damage bonuses and the lowest Shields on the game. And unlike Adepts and Vanguards, Assassins have no ability to boost their survivability. On the other hand, they can combine the Cloaking damage bonus and the Recon Mine debuff to fire some of the more deadly sniper rifles shots in the game, matched only by Geth Infiltrators with Hunter Mode.
  • Homing Projectile: Their Homing Grenade.
  • Land Mine Goes Click: Averted with the Recon Mine.

Alliance Infiltration Unit

The Alliance Infiltration Unit is modeled on the Cerberus synthetic Eva that Commander Shepard's team discovered on Mars. Quantum blue-box AIs are considered illegal by the Council, but the Alliance has secured a special allowance to deploy the infiltration unit in this time of need.

Alliance Infiltration Units favor shotguns and are designed for close-quarters combat. They are durable and able to self-repair when downed. Included as part of the Reckoning DLC.
  • An Ice Person: Second character to have Snap Freeze.
  • Back from the Dead: Has a power that allows it to self-revive within 15 seconds.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Her full name reads Alliance Infiltration Unit Infiltrator.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To the Turian Ghost; both are Infiltrators that excel in the three fields of damage, staying power and mobility.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Their creation and unleashing on the battlefield is due to the Citadel Council allowing the Alliance to do so due to the stakes. Otherwise this would be very illegal.
  • Kill It with Ice: Snap Freeze. Her Omni-Blade is also Cryo-based.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Despite her fleetness of foot, sleek feminine lines, and graceful light melee, the AIU's heavy melee is a brutal uppercut that sends mooks skyward.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Her version of Tactical Cloak boosts shotgun instead of sniper damage, possibly making the Not the Intended Use of cloaking and shotguns an Ascended Meme of sorts.
  • Robot Girl: Obviously. Justified by the model she was based off of being used for infiltration among humans (hence the name Infiltration Unit) minus the artificial skin.
  • She-Fu: Has moves that would make a N7 Shadow gaze in awe. It is as though her limbs were made of springs. Though given who she is, that analogy could be close to literal.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Her Tactical Cloak can be evolved to give bonus damage to shotguns.
  • Stealth Pun: The Alliance Infiltration Unit is a Synthetic. The A.I. Unit is a Synthetic.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of EDI's combat platform. Comes with being explicitly designed based on it. However, unlike EDI, the AIU favors Shotguns.
  • Take Cover: Snap Freeze makes this pointless.

     The Vanguards 

General Vanguards

Feared frontline opponents, Vanguards favor a biotic charge that immediately brings them in contact with opposing forces with a devastating effect. Vanguard, meaning 'First-in' or 'First Attack' are vicious Brawlers and stop at nothing to tear enemies apart with their favoured Shotgun or Biotic abilities, Vanguards are a force to be reckoned with.

Human Vanguard

Human vanguards are feared frontline opponents that can charge across the battlefield, surprising enemies before devastating them in hand-to-hand combat.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Nova drains their barriers.
  • Difficult but Awesome: On lower difficulties they are very powerful but still quick to die in the event of mistakes. This ceases to be the case on higher difficulties where their damage output isn't enough to justify the difficulty of survival.
  • Elemental Punch: The heavy melee is a biotic punch.
  • Ground Pound: Their Nova attack.
  • Invulnerable Attack: Abuse of these is pretty much essential on higher difficulties; as well as Charge, Nova grants it, so a quick cooldown time (only needed for Charge) can make him quite difficult to finish off due to him being permanently doing one or the other.

Asari Vanguard

Asari vanguards use hit-and-run tactics to ruthlessly eliminate their opponents from the battlefield. Their biotic dash ability allows them to charge an opponent, inflict damage, and then quickly get out of harm's way.

Drell Vanguard

Though drell may lack the rugged durability of other races, they are lightning fast and deadly accurate. Drell are to be feared on the battlefield.

Krogan Battlemaster

Armored like a tank—and as slow as one—an angry Krogan has more going for it than the species' infamous belligerence. It should come as no surprise that a Krogan dishes out as much punishment as they're able to take on the battlefield. Included as part of the Resurgence DLC.

Phoenix (Ex-Cerberus) Vanguard

A result of the Illusive Man's early experiments in enhanced human physiology, Project Phoenix subjects are highly skilled combat and biotic specialists. When the Illusive Man turned to indoctrination in order to ensure the loyalty of his troops, many Phoenix operatives defected and joined the Alliance in order to stop the Reapers.

Phoenix operatives are highly skilled combat and biotic specialists. Their ability to manipulate Cerberus lash and stasis technology, backed up by their powerful skills, make them invaluable assets on the battlefield. Included as part of the Rebellion DLC.

N7 Slayer

Slayers use implants to dramatically improve mobility. Their dizzying sword attacks can hit multiple opponents, and the Slayer's ability to slip fire makes them hard to pin down on the battlefield. Included as part of the Earth DLC.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: Even though he has a sword, he really isn't the most effective melee fighter.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Phase Disruptor drains their barriers.
  • Flash Step: Mixed with She-Fu for the acrobatic teleport dodge.
  • Good Counterpart: To Kai Leng and, like the N7 Shadow, to Cerberus Phantoms in general; Citadel confirms this hardsuit is simply the male version of Phantom armor, and the Slayer even has a Power Palms attack like a Phantom.
  • Lag Cancel: The Biotic Slash ability can be canceled at any time during the entire animation into other actions, such as a dash or melee attack. Due to having both huge startup and recovery times, this is useful for getting the hell out of dodge in a tight situation or piling on the hurt after the Sword Beam is released.
  • Ninja: Though less so than the Shadow.
  • Off with His Head!: If the attack with the sword is fatal.
  • Power Palms: The Phase Disruptor ability.
  • Sword and Gun: With swords having been Sharpened to a Single Atom.
  • Sword Beam: Biotic Slash is a form of this.
  • Take Cover: Countered with Biotic Slash
  • Teleport Spam: His dodge enables him to teleport. He also makes quick "jumps" when using melee.

Batarian Brawler

Batarians are large brawlers that use nets and spiked weapons to capture targets...or to bleed them dry on the battlefield. If an opponent gets too close, a batarian enforcer bludgeons them with spiked armor and enforcement gauntlets. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.

Volus Protector

The volus homeworld, Irune, has a high-pressure atmosphere that supports an ammonia-based biochemistry. To survive on other planets, the volus must wear pressure suits and breathers or, when facing combat, specially sealed armor. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.
  • Energy Ball: Biotic Orbs.
  • Homing Projectile: Biotic Orbs can turn mid-air to hit enemies.
  • Lethal Joke Character: It's rather silly to see them Charge around the battlefield, yet he is THE best character of the game when it comes to Shield recovery (with the combination of Shield Boost and Biotic Charge), making him far more durable than less goofy characters.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: As a Volus acting as a Vanguard.
  • Useless Useful Skill: Biotic Charge loses some of it's lustre when the Protector has Shield Boost, which restores more shields, reduces damage and is a lot safer to use. Charge does damage though, which Shield Boost does not, expanding the Volus' otherwise limited offensive options.

Cabal Vanguard

Turian biotics are isolated from regular infantry in elite units called Cabals, whose proud dictum is, "the intangible is unstoppable." Since turian biotics are relatively rare, Cabals become small, tight-knit teams of fearsome biotic warriors that are trained to handle the deadliest infiltration missions.

Cabal training makes these deadly turians both biotically and technically proficient. Cabals equip their members with venom-infused gauntlets that are fatal to any enemy foolish enough to get within range. Included as part of the Reckoning DLC.
  • Call Back: Poison effects hadn't been seen since chemical rounds in the original Mass Effect.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Her dodge and heavy melee drains her barriers.
  • Difficult but Awesome: No Biotic Charge means no "free" Shield reloading, making her a very unusual Vanguard. A bad dodge or an untimely Poison Strike and you can easily find yourself surrounded by enemies. However, as soon as you master her Biotic Focus and learn about the best teleportation spots on all the maps, you will feel like you are controlling Nightcrawler.
  • Flechette Storm: Nightshade Blades.
  • Gradual Grinder: Her poison attacks, of which she can easily hit multiple targets. Understandably, she tends to rack up a lot of assists.
  • Heal Thyself: Biotic Focus can be specced up that way, along with providing a short invulnerability. Which makes her the only non-Volus character able to heal itself with a power that does not count as a grenade.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Her attacks tend to do only little damage immediately, with more Damage Over Time, and she has a lot of mobility-enhancing ability, one of which makes her briefly invincible while in use. She is otherwise (relatively) delicate. As a result, she tends to be good at charging in, hitting a bunch of enemies fast, then quickly escaping before the enemies can regroup and overwhelm her, only to have them die later from her poison.
  • Intangible Man: Or Woman, anyway. Her Poison Strike and dodge can phase through walls.
  • Lightning Bruiser: When you play her without Poison Strike. She has above average bulk (because Turian), weapon proficiency (because Turian), mobility (thanks to her Teleport Spam) and incredible survivability (with Biotic Focus, provided its cooldown is not too high). With Poison Strike, she is more of a Glass Cannon.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: She is the only Vanguard in the game to not have Biotic Charge. In its place, she has Poison Strike, which has some similarities to it, but with its own mechanical distinctions that require a different play style. For example, she his multiple targets in a line instead of just around the point of impact, she is invulnerable during the maneuver but it does not recharge her barrier, and it cannot target specific enemies which makes aiming the ability more challenging.
  • Off with His Head!: Can result in this if her melee attack is fatal.
  • Poisonous Person: Has multiple poison-based moves, including Poisoned Weapons.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of Nyreen from the Omega DLC. Comes with being from the same group.
  • Technicolor Toxin: Green.
  • Teleport Spam: Her dodge enables her to teleport. So does her heavy melee with, whenever possible, added In the Back effect/ And of course, Poison Strike goes right through walls.
  • Tranquilizer Dart: Nightshade Blades will paralyze unprotected enemies.
  • Wolverine Claws: Poisonous ones on their Venom Gauntlets.

     The Sentinels 

General Sentinels

Master of nothing but proficient in everything, Sentinels often end up the one everyone relies on to draw enemy fire. They have a variety of tools in their arsenal, covering both biotics and tech. Sentinels are also resilient—most have a form of upgraded armor to provide extra damage protection.
  • Dual Wielding: The typical heavy melee is two omni-blades slashed in a cross pattern at the neck.
  • Instant Armor: The Tech Armor for almost everyone, Blade Armor for the batarian.
  • Jack of All Stats: Make use of both tech abilities and biotics.

Human Sentinel

Master of nothing but proficient in everything, human sentinels are often relied upon to draw fire on the battlefield. Sentinels relish their opponents' look of surprise when they realize they were focusing on the wrong enemy all along.
  • Blown Across the Room: The whole point of Throw. Not quite as effective against hardened targets, though.
  • Boring Yet Practical: With Warp and Throw, they are able to set off Biotic Explosions on any enemy at any time. This arguably puts them up there as one of the better biotic characters in the game, and they are more than capable of handling Reapers on Gold Difficulty. Their tech armour also makes them more durable, making them a good choice for new players.
  • Energy Ball: Warp.
  • Having a Blast: They can spam biotic explosions endlessly.
  • Homing Projectile: Throw and Warp can turn slightly to hit targets.
  • Jack of All Stats: Among biotic explosions specialists. They can either be played offensively or defensively. However, some other characters will outmatch them - Asari Valkyries are more durable thanks to the Shield drain of Annihilation Field, and Asari Adepts have Stasis which is much more useful in offensive builds.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Asari adepts also get Throw and Warp, along with stronger bonuses to power damage, and their third power (Stasis) has a much better synergy with the aforementioned two than Tech Armor has.
  • Punched Across the Room: Throw does that to unprotected targets, especially if combined with a biotic explosion.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Sentinels are usually known for carrying both biotic and tech offensive powers (see the Turian Sentinel below to get a good idea). The Human Sentinel has no offensive tech power, and two biotic ones.
    • Though if the Citadel DLC is to be believed, Tech Armor is very much an offensive Tech power.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: of Kaidan when he wears a helmet.

Turian Sentinel

Turians receive the best military training in the galaxy. Their proficiency with a wide range of weapons, as well as their unmatched focus and determination, make up for their lack of speed and agility. They are a redoubtable ally on any battlefield.
  • Chain Lightning: Overload can be specialized as "Chain Overload".
  • Energy Ball: Warp.
  • Homing Projectile: Warp can turn slightly to hit targets.
  • Jack of All Stats: Has Overload and Warp for stripping enemy defenses, debuffing them, and paralyzing them, can set off tech and biotic explosions (though they require assistance from other players for the latter), has good shields/damage reduction, and receives inherent bonuses with all weapons, like all turians. His class talent makes his weapon skills even more potent.
  • Shock and Awe: Overload.

Krogan Sentinel

Armored like a tank—and as slow as one—an angry krogan has more going for it than the species' infamous belligerence. It should come as no surprise that a krogan dishes out as much punishment as they're able to take on the battlefield.
  • Mighty Glacier: Most durable character in the starting roster. Most builds forgo Incinerate in favor of high damage reduction from Tech Armor and maximum shields.
  • Trick Bomb: Lift Grenade.

Batarian Sentinel

Batarians are large brawlers that use nets and spiked weapons to capture targets...or to bleed them dry on the battlefield. If an opponent gets too close, a batarian enforcer bludgeons them with spiked armor and enforcement gauntlets. Included as part of the Resurgence DLC.

Vorcha Sentinel

A vorcha's resilience and malleable DNA allow them to evolve and adapt to any situation, making them formidable opponents on the battlefield. Their lightning-quick pounce is a direct result of their societally ingrained bloodlust. Included as part of the Rebellion DLC.

N7 Paladin

The Paladin uses his omni-tool to generate a powerful omni-shield, which he can use to block enemy fire. The Paladin also uses the shield as a heavy-melee weapon that, when modified with incendiary or cryo upgrades, creates a devastating combination attack. Included as part of the Earth DLC.
  • Barrier Warrior: Can use his omni-tool to generate an omni-shield, a highly-durable defensive field that can absorb significant amounts of punishment before breaking. That said, he also uses it as a weapon; all his melee attacks are some form of Shield Bash. Whilst the shield is deployed, the Paladin takes up a low, kneeling stance, and allies can use him as cover.
  • Combination Attack: All of his powers can prime and detonate combo attacks. Hit an enemy with Snap Freeze, then apply Incinerate or Energy Drain for a Cryo Explosion. Hit them with Incinerate then detonate with Snap Freeze or Energy Drain for a Fire Explosion.
  • Elemental Powers: Of the tech variety. Only character in-game that can prime for cryo/fire explosions and tech bursts. Better yet, he can even detonate all of them, effectively making him a walking elemental explosion factory. Bring some friends with detonation powers, and you can chain combos for days.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Incinerate, Snap-Freeze, Energy Drain. Each can prime an elemental explosion combo that any other can detonate.
  • Glass Cannon: Might as well be one without his Omni-Shield.
  • Good Counterpart: Roughly of the Cerberus Guardian. Unlike the Guardian, the Paladin can't move or fire weapons whilst his shield is deployed; but he doesn't need to have it out at all times and can thus sprint around if need be.
  • Homing Projectile: Incinerate can arc in mid-air.
  • Kill It with Fire: Uses Incinerate as one of his main abilities, and can upgrade his shield to a "Fire Shield".
  • Kill It with Ice: Uses Snap Freeze as one of his main abilities, and can upgrade his shield to a "Cryo Shield".
  • Life Drain: Sort of, in that Energy Drain drains out shields and barriers (unless used on synthetic enemies).
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Of the Omni-Shield variety. Generated by his omni-tool.
  • One Steve Limit: The N7 Paladin Sentinel should not be confused with the M-77 Paladin heavy pistol. Nothing stopping you from equipping your Paladin with a Paladin, if you so choose.
  • Shield Bash: All his melee attacks involve hitting things with the shield. It's surprisingly effective, and can send weaker enemies flying.
  • Squishy Wizard: Despite having the omni-shield, the Paladin isn't all that much tougher than most other classes. Given his focus on the Tech powers, he can be played like a Squishy Wizard, barrelling around the battlefield making things explode.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: His specialty, given all three of his powers can prime and detonate non-biotic combo effects. Any competent Paladin will be making everything in sight explode with fire, lightning, or ice as often as possible.
  • Take Cover: Countered with Snap Freeze.

Asari Valkyrie

Asari are fierce, graceful warriors. They are incredibly powerful natural biotics. The asari excel at hit-and-run tactics to ruthlessly eliminate their opponents from the battlefield. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.
  • Energy Ball: Warp.
  • Full-Contact Magic: They do most damage by getting close to enemies, priming them with annihilation field then using Warp to detonate a biotic explosion.
  • Homing Projectile: Warp can turn slightly to hit targets.
  • Mighty Glacier: Among the biotic explosion specialists, at least. The combination of Tech Armor and of the shield drain of Annihilation Field can turn the Valkyrie into a surprisingly durable character, albeit with a much slower rate of detonation.
    • Among Asari characters, only the Justicar is able to compete with her when it comes to durability. They tend to be more efficient against different targets : the Valkyrie shines against Geth (who all have shields to be drained, but against whom Reave does not provide defensive bonuses), while the Justicar, for opposite reasons, is a monster against Reapers (no Shields, but Reave bonus).
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. There is also an N7 Valkyrie assault rifle, though the character can, if the player chooses, equip the weapon.
  • Sphere of Destruction: Annihilation Field.
  • Valkyries: Evokes these with the name, at least.

Volus Mercenary

The volus homeworld, Irune, has a high-pressure atmosphere that supports an ammonia-based biochemistry. To survive on other planets, the volus must wear pressure suits and breathers or, when facing combat, specially sealed armor. Included as part of the Retaliation DLC.
  • Hired Guns: Presumably, hence the name.
  • Joke Character: His most powerful offensive ability is the Combat Drone, which deals very limited damage.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The ultimate defensive team player, even among Volus, with its dual "summons" to keep the enemies distracted.

Krogan Warlord

Krogan Warlords have earned the dubious distinction of being the elder statesmen of the species. They hold little regard for the honor that other races often display in combat, resorting to hostage-taking and genocide when victory is at stake. Warlords lug battle hammers onto the field to make quick and brutal work of enemies foolish enough to stick around, and their maturity gives them unsurpassed regenerative capabilities, making them extremely difficult to kill when enraged. Included as part of the Reckoning DLC.
  • Awesome but Impractical: A close-quarters-only character that is unable to dodge and is slow like a snail if he is not running: he is extremely vulnerable to sync-kills, especially coming from fast enemies, like Phantoms. This is why many players consider him unfit for Platinum games, where there always will be sync-killing enemies, whether it is Phantoms, Praetorians, Brutes or Banshees (and being unable to take cover does not help).
    • That said he might be the absolute best Geth killer in the game since they depend purely on guns which lets the Warlord run rampant in Gold or under. Even Reapers have troubles due to the Banshees' instant kill being predictable compared to others, and Brutes having a hard time surviving the hammer.
  • Call Back: Health regeneration was played up as a key krogan trait in the original Mass Effect, but fell out of focus as combat mechanics changed in the sequels. The krogan warlord is the first regenerating krogan the franchise has seen in a very long time.
  • Drop the Hammer: Wields a krogan hammer in battle.
  • Expy: For a Halo Brute Chieftain.
  • The Faceless: Wears a head concealing helmet.
  • Large and In Charge: A krogan leader, and is noticeably bigger than other krogans.
  • Mighty Glacier: Semi-averted. Like the Geth Juggernaut, his walking speed is significantly lower than any other character in multiplayer and lacks the ability to dodge or take cover, but he is able to sprint. That said, a good hit with his hammer will launch an enemy halfway across the map, and he has more health and barriers than anyone else except the Juggernaut. Couple this with the damage reduction his frenzy ability and Tech Armor provide, and improved health regeneration while in said frenzy, and the best the enemy can do is pray they can drown him in a sea of heavy ordnance before he gets close enough to start making use of that giant hammer he lugs around.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: Builds vary between focusing on Biotic/Electric Hammer and tankiness versus melee damage, but a Warlord's sidearm is always his (shot)gun, usually maxed out for melee damage.
  • No Sell: He is just as vulnerable to instant death moves as other characters (aside from the Geth Juggernaut)), but he is completely immune to getting grappled by Husks and Abominations.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: Subverted. Like the vorcha his health will recover as well as his shields.
  • Shock and Awe: When specced with Electrical Hammer.
  • Take Cover: Averted.