Mass Effect 3

A quick guide to show what Squad members are best used in what situation and for your Insanity run.


First of all if you haven't beaten the game once I would recommend doing so, at least if you are making a go at an Insanity run. Now we will talk about what squad combinations would best suit you for pretty much any class that you choose. Granted it obviously varies for what kind of skills your Shepard has. We will talk about which squad members are best used for a certain situation on an Insanity play-through. But keep this squad set up is ideal for any play-through no matter the difficulty.

CHARACTER'S YOU BE USING (And what powers to Max)

  • Kaiden (Max out Cryo Blast, Reave, and Overload) Weapons: M-37 Falcon only.

  • James (Max out Carnage, Frag Grenades, and Incendiary Ammo) Weapons: M-37 Falcon only.

  • Liara (Max out Statis, Warp, and Singularity) Weapons: Pistol: M-5 Phalanx, Submachine Gun: M-12 Locust

  • Garrus (Max out Concussive, Overload, and Armor-Piercing Ammo) Weapons: M-37 Falcon only.

  • EDI (Max out Incinerate, Overload, and Unshackled AI) Weapons: Pistol: M-77 Paladin, Submachine Gun: M-12 Locust

  • Tali (Max out Sabotage, Energy Drain, and Combat Drone) Weapons: Pistol: M-5 Phalanx, Shotgun: Graal Spike Thrower)

  • Shepard Adept (Max out Statis, Pull, and Warp) Weapons: (Recommended) Pistol: M-5 Phalanx, Assualt Rifle: M-8 Avenger, Bonus Power: Energy Drain (Max out)

  • Shepard Engineer (Max out Cryo Blast, Overload, Incinerate, and Sabotage) Weapons: (Recommended) Assault Rifle: M-96 Mattock, Pistol: M-5 Phalanx, Bonus Power: Statis (Max out)

  • Shepard Infiltrator (Max out Incinerate, Tactical Cloak, and Sabotage) Weapons: (Recommended) Sniper Rifle: M-92 Mantis, Pistol: M-5 Phalanx, Bonus Power: Energy Drain (Max out)

  • Shepard Sentinel (Max out Overload, Throw, and Cryo Blast) Weapons: (Recommended) Assault Rifle: M-99 Saber, Pistol: M-3 Predator, Bonus Power: Statis (Max out)

  • Shepard Soldier (Max out Concussive Shot, Frag Grenade, and Adrenaline Rush) Weapons: (Recommended) Sniper Rifle: Black Widow, Pistol: M-5 Phalanx, Bonus Power: Statis (Max out)

  • Shepard Vanguard (Max out Pull, Shockwave, and Biotic Charge) Weapons: (Recommended) Assault rifle: M-96 Mattock, Pistol: M-5 Phalanx, Bonus Power: Energy drain (Max out)

  • Priority: Mars

At the beginning you will be using James and Kaiden, make use of your Shepard's biotic or tech powers and make uses of Jame's Carnage and Kaiden's Cryo Blast. During the second part James will leave you and you will get Liara. Most enemies you encounter now will have shields, make use of your Shepard's Overload/Energy Drain. Once you have shields on your enemies down, hit them with Liara's Singularity and Kaiden's Cryo Blast. Do this for pretty much all of the mission and it should be a cake-walk.

  • Priority: Palavan

Now you will only have James and Liara. At least up until a certain point, until that point your main enemies are Husks. This time again make use of your Shepard's biotic or tech powers such as Shockwave, and Incinerate. And of course use Jame's Carnage, and Liara's Singularity. You will get to a point where one of your squad starts fixing a comm tower. Have James fix the tower in all instances unless you are playing as an adept that way you have is Soldier powers to back you up. After a certain point Liara will leave you and Garrus will join you. Now you will have enemies such as Marauders and Brutes. Use your Overload/ Energy Drain on the Marauders, and even Energy Drain on the Brutes. Make use of Jame's Carnage/ Frag Grenades on the Brute's as well as Garrus's Concussive Shot once you take down the shields of the Marauder's. Between that and them hammering away at the Brutes with the M-37 Falcon, you should have no trouble with this mission.

  • Priority: Sur'Kesh

By this point you now have 4 squad choices to select before a mission. For this mission I would choose EDI and Garrus, this way you have a good combination of tech and soldier skills, allowing you to use any biotic skills you have. Use EDI and Garrus's Overload on the Centurion's and Engineer's and afterward blast them with your Shepard's biotic's such as Pull, Singularity, and Statis. The Atlas at the end can be a bit challenging but keep hammering it with both of your squad's Overload as well as your own Overload/ Energy Drain. Once it's shields are down commence to using EDI's incinerate against it's armor and you use either Energy Drain, Incinerate, or Warp. While Garrus keeps pounding it with the Falcon. Mission cleared.

  • Priority: Tuchanka

For this mission and the side missions where you have to rescue the Turian Platoon, as well as the Turian bomb mission I would go with EDI and Garrus as most of the enemies have shields. Again use the same tactic as with most shielded enemies make use of Overload/Energy Drain, and the afterward make use of powers like EDI's Incinerate, and your Shepard's biotic powers. On the Harvesters, it's pretty much the same as with the Atlas but no shields to worry about just hammer it with EDI's Incinerate as well as your own Energy Drain, Incinerate, or Warp. For the Krogan mission, it's time to switch things up a little. I would pick EDI and most of the enemies just have armor. Making EDI's Incinerate and Jame's Carnage wonderful powers to have against the Ravager's, Cannibal's and Husks.

  • Priority: The Citadel

Time to go back to the Citadel and fight Cerberus. For this mission as well as pretty much all missions we are gonna be using EDI, but we will also be using Liara here as to why I will get to that in a little bit. But mainly you will be wanting to use EDI's tech powers against Cerberus I.E. Incinerate and of course Overload. Now here is where Liara comes in...Phantoms. Liara's Statis and even your Statis depending on what class you went with just owns Phantoms. And believe it or not so does Energy Drain and Overload. I would recommend using Statis on them first followed my Overload or Energy Drain and then destroy their remaining health in a flash. Makes Phantoms seem so easy.

  • Priority: Perseus Veil/ Rannoch

And now we get another squad member in Tali...Tali is mandatory for some of these missions but not all such as the two side quests, but I would take her with anyway for all Geth missions I would recommend using Tali and EDI. Tali and EDI's Energy Drain/ Overload are invaluable when fighting the Geth such as the Rocket Troopers, Pyros, and Hunters. And Tali's Sabotage works very well on the Geth Primes even if they are only on your side for a little bit they do serious damage and can take out the smaller Geth quickly while it's on your side. Also if its the last one left...keep using Overload and Energy Drain on it while it has shields...then once it has only armor left keep hitting it with EDI's Incinerate and Tali's Energy Drain, but also make use of Tali's Combat Drone fully upgraded this provides a wonderful distraction allowing you to whittle down the Prime's health while it's dealing with the combat drone. Use Tali and EDI for all Geth missions and they should seem like a breeze as well.

  • Priority: Thessia

To be honest this is probably one of the hardest levels in the game on Insanity besides the final level. Banshee's are by far the worst enemy in the game. So for this mission since Liara is automatically one of your squad. We are gonna be using EDI still as the second member. Hopefully you are using a character in which I recommended Energy Drain as your bonus power. Energy Drain works very well against the Banshee's barrier as well as EDI's Overload. Once the barrier's are down throw everything you got at it, mainly in this case EDI's Incinerate, Liara's Warp, and your Energy Drain or Incinerate. During this mission you will also face some Ravagers and a Harvester, Incinerate, Warp, and Energy Drain work well on these enemies as well.

  • Priority: Horizon

Time to go back to using Garrus and as usual we will have EDI as well. But in this we are mainly going to be using EDI for her Incinerate and have Garrus and your Shepard concentrate on using Overload/ Energy Drain on anything and everything with shields and or barriers. And of course EDI's Incinerate on anything with armor.

  • Priority: Cerberus Headquarters

Alright more Cerberus which means more Phantoms at least at the end. Again Overload and Energy Drain just dominate Centurion's and Engineer's shields so you can blast them with biotics I.E. pull them into the air for easy kills. And with Liara there the tech/biotic combo becomes even easier with her Singularity. And now we have the Kai Leng boss fight. Use EDI's and Shepard's Overload/Energy Drain on Kai Leng while having Liara deal with the normal Cerberus troops. Next part Centurions will come to aid him, now you yourself will have to focus on Kai Leng while having EDI and Liara work on the Centurions by using EDI's Overload then followed by of course Liara's Singularity. Third and final part Kai Leng summons Phantoms...luckily there is only two. Now you are gonna have EDI hit Kai Leng while you have Liara use her Statis on the Phantoms followed by your Energy Drain and then mop them up with bullet's and Liara's Singularity. Then all that's left is to focus on Kai Leng destroying his shields with Overload and Energy Drain, then once they are gone hit his health bar with Liara's Warp so your weapon damage increases and unload on him with your weapons.

  • Priority: Earth Part 1

Part 1 before you get rescued by Anderson I would bring Garrus and EDI with you as most of the enemies are just Cannibals and Marauders which you can make easy work on using you guessed it Energy Drain and Incinerate coupled with Garrus's Concussive Shot. On the top part after you shot the reaper, pick up the other Cain!!! You can one-shot the Banshee that spawns while you are waiting for extraction, and then use your biotic's/ tech powers and EDI's Incinerate and Garrus's Concussive Shot against the remaining and ever spawning group of Cannibal's.

  • Priority: Earth Part 2

The trench run as I like to call it. In this final part I would highly recommended using James and then Garrus or EDI, it's really a toss up between those two. If you are and Adept I would go with EDI otherwise I would choose Garrus. It will be up to you to use Overload/Energy Drain against the Marauders but since Garrus has overload as well make use of his as well. Make heavy use of James Carnage...I would hold off against using his Frag Grenades just yet. Eventually you will make your way to the part where you have the two tanks with rockets attached to them and after firing the first set and missing you have to wait til the second rockets are ready...which is not fun. You are swarmed by Brutes, a Harvester, and Banshees as well as Marauder's. Time to use your Frag Grenades on the Brutes and do what you can against the Banshee, I would recommend letting your squad concentrate on them while you work on killing the Marauder's so you have a semi-open path to book it to the second tank when it's rocket's are ready.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend using EDI heavily no matter what class you are her tech powers are invaluable to you. Energy Drain, Statis, Overload, Incinerate, Warp, Sabotage and Singularity are also invaluable powers and highly recommend using squad members that have those powers. Hope you enjoyed the guide, but I definitely feel EDI, and Garrus are the most worth-while squad members.

2 comments for this Mass Effect 3 user guide

  • Comment by psy456

    Where is Ashley in this list?

    Aug. 3, 2014, 10:16 a.m.
  • Comment by Griezz

    Given how Ashley's powers match up fairly well with James' (being Concussion Shot/Carnage, an ammo power and a grenade power), it seems likely that you'd use the same set for Ashley that you do for James.

    Sept. 2, 2014, 6:42 a.m.
Comment on this guide 2