Some perhaps helpful things about Mass Effect Andromeda
After playing my first 85 hours of Mass Effect Andromeda (don’t judge me, a third of that was me trying to figure out the theory behind the mechanics I think) I noticed quite a few small things the game doesn’t explicitly tell you about, that are useful to know. So I compiled a small list of tips and tricks (of course as usual without any story spoilers) on the more technical aspects of the game.
Things about combat will assume “normal” as your difficulty setting unless stated otherwise.
- AVP are important – some are more useful than others. The one that gives you Milky Way Research Data is great. Another very useful one in the beginning of the game is the one for the extra Caches around forward stations. It gives you quite a bit of good loot early on.
- Level up your strike teams – once they start doing those silver missions your rewards get nicer and nicer. If you play multiplayer you want those mission finds for great armour upgrades for your mp characters. The app is super helpful bc you can just send them out again and again and collect your in game rewards the next time you log in.
- Fancy abilities are great but you only effectively need 3 of them for most of the time. Spend your skillpoints on the passives early on – they are immensely powerful ind all the skill categories. Combat Fitness is basically a must for everyone, barrier is super useful and don’t ever try to play on higher than normal without skilling team support in the tactical tree.
- Bc I see it again and again done really inefficiently: If you play Vanguard remember that you are primary a melee fighter. All your boni are helping your melee combat – use it. punch, stab and slice through those enemies instead of shooting them. Also: use the Asari Sword – it gives you another 15-meter gap closer (additional to your charge) and you are invulnerable while using it.
- If you have ammo problems more often than not – consider crafting at least one weapon with a vintage heat sink. It gives you weapons like in ME1 that over heat but never run out of ammo. Having one as a backup might be a life saver.
- Use the death from above. You don’t even need to hover and aim – just slightly jumping before pressing melee turns your single target stab/smash into an area of effect smash. In my current spec that single little smash (s small tap of the jump button is enough) kills about 6-8 regular enemies instantly. Very useful.
- If you are not really short for credits (and salvage usually makes you quite rich): Don’t sell armour and weapons you don’t use – deconstruct them for materials.
- Craft your armour! The things you find are great but you can customise the things you wear with a lot of useful boni. There is an electricity enhancement you can put in while crafting leg pieces that is incredibly useful against shielded enemies for instance.
- Craft your own weapons – for the same reason. Also: Heatseaking Plasma Projectiles are a blessing for everyone who has trouble aiming under stress. Makes even a dull pistol like the Carnifex pack a punch.
- Havarl and the low gravity moon/planet are a paradise for crafting materials. Havarl has quite a few nodes plus a lot of cashes that contain a wide variety of various materials standing around. The moon has tons of nodes of Platinum and Uranium in the parts where you can exit the car. (You go there automatically for Vetra’s loyalty mission.) Plus the mining zones are very good on that place and it is tiny – so you are done fast.
- Upgrade the Nomad. There is many useful upgrades you can craft that make the Nomad an even greater experience. Want to drive up a wall at an almost 90 degree angle? Possible. Want to hover long? Sure. Want to boost your speed boost to boost even more speed? Sure. Additionally you can get a dome-like shield around your car every time you exit it, making driving into a group of enemies a lot safer.
- After you’ve upgraded the Nomad take Vetra and Jaal in the low gravity moon and try to jump as high as possible – enjoy!
- Also on that moon: Drive into the abyss at least once with those two people in the back. Totally worth it!
- If you struggle through fights on normal or play on even higher settings: Learn the combos. While you can neglect them on lower settings they are essential on the higher ones for their damage potential alone. There are two parts to this – some abilities are primers (indicated by a small blue symbol on the upper left side of the ability) and others are detonators. (symbol on the upper right side) You can detonate combos that your companions primed for you but unless you are really aware of what your companions are doing during a fight this is very unreliable. It can be very helpful to have one of each in your skillbar. (Example for a biotic combo: Pull + Lance)
- Do loyalty quests. While companions don’t hate you if you ignore them the 6th rank of all their skills remains locked until you completed the loyalty missions. They also unlock the romances for most of the characters. (Together with the main quest trigger.)
- If you wonder why something in your quest log says “on hold” for a long time – progress in the main story line – it’s usually the answer
- Read terminals, mails, codex entries. I know it can get much to digest but you are missing out on some great gems. The fact that there is a Krogan called Vega Bull Jr. is pretty essential game knowledge imo. 😉
- Do the memory fragment quest. It is one of, if not THE best side quest in the game.
- Your companions and the npcs react differently to you and some even change the way they talk to you depending on your personality. A casual Ryder gets very different reactions than a professional one – and the game remembers. New npcs might react to that as well because you get a reputation depending on your personality. Might be extra interesting for a repeat run later.
- If you don’t want to do every side quest for viability of a planet putting down forward stations plus the planet’s vault usually gets you up in the 80% range already. The planet’s architect gives you another 20%
- Fighting the Architect: Remember the Thrasher Maw from the OT? And The single Reaper you fight in ME3? Now imagine that they met, probably after being defeated by Shepard in a bar somewhere to drown their shame in alcohol – sparks fly (literally) and after a night full of unwise decisions and with a killer hangover the next morning they got together. Resulting in the absolute hell spawn that is the Architect.
- Rule No.1: Move. You stay put, you’re dead. The Architect has an attack that can shred your shields through cover. So don’t stand still for longer than necessary.
- Rule No. 2: If you fight mostly melee you can do so. Charge into that stupid metal squid. Punch it, then run.
- Rule No. 3: Never run away in a straight line backwards. Strife. That thing has a large reach and if you just run in the opposite direction of it it can keep hitting you nonstop. Run around in circles, make it target-chase you.
- Rule No. 4: If you don’t like big boss fights – just ignore those. There are other ways to get what you want and while they give great resources, loot, VP and EXP you don’t necessarily need them. If they are frustrating just come back later or ignore them all together.
And that’s it for now. Except for the old but still true tip: talk to people. Talk to everyone. There is so much going on in Andromeda that is worth noticing. Tons of little references and easter eggs.