Combat for Mass Effect 2 focuses on the basic and advanced combat mechanics of the game. From indicating the usage of the various weapons that can be equipped, battle movements, player and enemy combat details, and many more. This page covers information regarding combat in general as well as individual mechanics for Mass Effect.
Mass Effect 2 Combat
Zooming in on a target greatly increases weapon accuracy.
If you hit a piece of cover while storming, you automatically enter cover.
If you are ever lost and need help navigating the world, just click R3 to bring up an objective marker while on a mission or a map if visiting a hub.
Each class has a list of powers that can be viewed and upgraded from the Squad screen. Press START for the Mission Computer and select SQUAD.
Press ESC to bring up the Mission Computer screen. Use your mouse to select an area on the display. When an area receives an update, it flashes on the display. Your current resource totals are displayed at the bottom of the Mission Computer screen. The Mission Computer gives you access to details for:
- Squad: View the current status of Shepard and squad. You can also spend squad points here to upgrade your powers.
- Options: Set gameplay, controller, graphics, sound and other options.
- Journal: View current and recent quests and tasks.
- Map: View your current location and points of interest
- Save/Load: Save your game in its current state and location. Load games you have saved, and those that have been saved automatically.
- Codex: Learn all about the Mass Effect universe
During the course of the game, you are notified of certain events, like acquiring objects, finding or losing resources, or earning Paragon and Renegade points. Notifications appear in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Watch for these events to understand your interactions in the game.
You are part of a team, giving tactical orders to your squad helps keep them alive and in turn keeps you alive as they support you. Press dpad buttons to issue squad orders.
- Dpad Up orders both squad members to attack an enemy.
- Dpad Down rallies your squad to your position
- Dpad Left or Right orders squad members to move to point or attack a selected target
Squad-specific commands are context-sensitive. If you want your squad mates to move to point, first make sure no enemies are highlighted by a red square bracket.
On PC Press C, Q, and E to issue squad orders.
- Press C to order your squad to follow you
- Press Q to order the first squad member to move to point, use powers or attack.
- Press E to order the second squad member to move to point, use powers or attack.
Squad Command Interface
At certain times during combat, you may want to pause the game, take stock of what is going on around you, and issue specific orders to your squad by using the two command radials. On PC press and hold left-SHIFT to activate the squad command interface.
The squad command interface also allows you to switch Shepard’s and the squad’s Weapons. Use your mouse to highlight Shepard’s current weapon. This reveals all current weapons available for use. The weapons your squad has equipped are highlighted in blue. To switch out a weapon for anyone in the squad, simply left-click a new weapon. Each squad mate can switch out one new weapon at a time.
The squad command interface allows you to focus specific powers on different enemies. Move the camera around to target enemies. Highlighting a power shows its description in the lower left-hand part of the screen.
When you bring up the command interface, your squad mates’ images appear in the left and right sections. Each squad mate can have up to four powers.When a power is marked red with a downward arrow, it means it is already in use or should not be used.
The power Wheel
The power wheel allows you to focus specific powers on different enemies. Move the camera around to target enemies. Selecting a power shows its description in the lower left hand part of the screen.
When you bring up the power wheel, your squad mates’ images appear in the upper left and right sections. Each squad mate can have up to four powers by the end of the game. When a power is marked red with a downward arrow, it means it is already in use or should not be used
Target an Enemy
Targeting an enemy or combat object gives you context-sensitive information about what types of powers could be used on them. To target enemies with your powers, highlight them with the reticule, select a power, and press A button (On PC left-click). One power per squad mate can be queued up while the wheel is active.
Tip: Map powers to have them available in real time without pausing.
Squad points represent your ability to directly improve the powers you and your squad use. To spend squad points, go to the Squad screen off the Mission Computer. When you raise a power to its fourth rank, it evolves. Evolved powers allow you to choose one of two advanced forms of the power to use going forward. Choose wisely.
The Weapon Wheel
The weapon wheel allows you to manage which weapons your squad uses from moment to moment. Press and hold LB to bring up your weapon wheel.
The weapons your squad has equipped are highlighted in blue. To switch out a weapon for anyone in the squad, move Left Stick to choose and highlight a new weapon, then press A. Each squad mate can switch out one new weapon at a time.
Tip: Press and hold X to quick swap weapons.
There are five Classes of Weapons in Mass Effect 2.
- Assault Rifles Useable by Soldiers
- Sniper Rifles Useable by Soldiers and Infiltrators
- Sub-Machine Guns Useable by Adepts, Engineers, Infiltrators, Vanguards, and Sentinels
- Shotguns Useable by Soldiers and Vanguards
- Heavy Pistols Useable by all Classes
Heavy weapons are highly destructive and lethal, but limited by ammunition reserves maintained on the person carrying them. Some heavy weapons are acquired on missions while others are made by doing research aboard the Normandy. The most common heavy weapon carried by Cerberus personnel is the M-100 Grenade Launcher.
As you acquire technology, new research projects become available for you to purchase aboard the Normandy. These projects equip you and your squad with new and powerful technology upgrades.
After analyzing geth advances in weaponry, the Alliance retrofitted every weapon in service with a thermal clip system developed by the geth. Thermal clips hold a store of disposable heat sinks universal to all small arms. Instead of waiting for an overheated weapon to cool down, you can simply eject the spent heat sink and the clip feeds in a new one. This allows for a greater sustained rate of fire and more numerous impacts on targets.The HUD element in the lower left corner shows how many shots are left in your weapons thermal clip. The bar below this number is the progress towards expending your current heat sink.
The game HUD is your window into the world. The HUD displays your squad’s status, your enemies’ resistances, your equipped weapon’s current amount of thermal capacity, and which objects in the world are useable. If you’re lost and need help navigating the world, pressing M or left-SHIFT brings up an objective marker while on a mission or a map while visiting a hub.
The squad bar is located at the bottom of the HUD and gives information on:
Health: Each squad member’s health status:
Resistance: Each squad member’s resistance status
Power Cool Down: While this element is active, the specific squad member is unable to use any powers. Watch for the power cool down indicator to disappear on the squad bar. This means that one or both of your squad members is ready to use powers again
The reticle highlights objects you can interact with in the world. The color of the reticle determines whether objects are combat or exploration objects.
- Highlighted: An object in the world shown with this reticle is highlighted but not selected.
- Useable: When you move close enough to an object, the reticle locks onto it. Press SPACEBAR to interact with the object.
- Selected: When you point at an object it becomes selected.
- Destructible: An object that can be used as cover but does not stand up to sustained fire. You can destroy enemy cover if it is marked with this symbol.
- Dangerous: A volatile object that could have interesting consequences if shot or overloaded.
- Enemy: A hostile opponent who is trying to kill you
The Target Bar
This bar highlights the name of the object you currently have selected. Exploration target bars show the name of the object and what happens if you press SPACEBAR to activate the object. Some common interactions are:
Enemy target bars show the name of the enemy and their health and resistance bars. Enemies with resistances are protected by armor, shields, or a biotic barrier. You must penetrate these resistances before you can take an enemy down. If an enemy’s red health bar is revealed, use debilitating powers to quickly kill them. While their resistances are intact, enemies cannot be incapacitated or affected by powers that damage health. You must lower resistances to use certain powers. If an enemy is protected by resistances, bring up your squad command interface to see which power could be useful against those resistances. Press and hold left-SHIFT to bring up your squad command interface.
The Health Bar
The health bar appears as an arc over each squad portrait. It is closely tied to the shield bar. When Shepard is damaged, the shield bar appears, indicating Shepard is under fire and taking damage. When all shields are depleted, the health bar appears in order to track Shepard’s health status.
Power Cooldown Meter
When Shepard uses a power, all powers cool down and are unusable for a short period of time. During this time, a small set of brackets appears around the target reticle. When the brackets disappear, Shepard can use powers again. Watch for the power cool down indicator to disappear on the squad bar. This means that one or both of your squad members is ready to use powers again