Your Pathfinder will have a host of new challenges awaiting them in Mass Effect: Andromeda, and not all of them can be solved with good looks and a charming (or intimidating) personality. When diplomacy fails, your Pathfinder will have to call upon their unique abilities to get their team home in one piece. This Mass Effect: Andromeda Skills Guide will help you navigate the wealth of skills, upgrades, powers, and profiles used to give your Pathfinder an edge in any situation.
Skills are separated into three trees representing three different classifications of abilities: Biotics, Tech, and Combat. Pathfinders have access to every skill in every tree, and additional skill can be unlocked by investing more points in a certain tree.
Abilities can be either active, which grant you a power to use in combat, or passive, which provide buffs to things like weapon damage, power duration, and shields. Skills are unlocked with skill points awarded when you level up, and skill points are spent to upgrade your squad as well. Your squadmates level up the same way your Pathfinder does, but they have significantly less options for active and passive abilities. In fact, each squadmate only has three active and two passive abilities in total.
The Combat tree contains skills that favor guns, armor, and ammo as well as passive abilities that buff damage resistance, shielding, and health for every point invested in the combat tree. The skills in the Combat tree include:
- Omni Grenade – Standard issue grenade. Customization options offer sticky or frag versions, increased damage or capacity, and the ability to damage either shields or armor.
- Barricade – Deployable cover that boosts shield regeneration for everyone behind it. Consumes a power cell.
- Trip Mine – A mine that explodes when enemies get near it or cross the laser sensor. Can be upgraded to act as a combo detonator. Consumes a power cell.
- Flak Cannon – This skill fires exploding shrapnel shells. Consumes a power cell.
- Turbocharge – A skill that temporarily increases thermal clip size and fire rate.
- Concussive Shot – Combo detonator that knocks down unshielded, unarmored, normal-sized enemies.
Passive Combat skills in Mass Effect: Andromeda include Combat Tools, Combat Fitness, Sniper Rifles, Shotguns, Assault Rifles, and Pistols. When considering profiles that work well with Combat skills, be sure to keep Explorer, Infiltrator, Vanguard, and Solider in mind.
Quick Tip: Some Combat skills require the power cell consumable to activate. Capacity and supplies are limited, so be on the lookout for supply caches and upgrades that will allow you to carry more.
Tech skills focus on debuffing your opponent to set them up for devastating combos. Skills in this tree also allow you to buff the tech abilities of you and your squad.
- Overload – Damages shielded or synthetic enemies. Charge it to chain attack multiple targets.
- Incinerate – Unleashes a burst of flame that burns through armor and does damage over time to unshielded enemies.
- Assault Turret – Creates a tech construct that fires at enemy targets. Can be detonated for area of effect damage.
- Cryo Beam – Freezes and immobilizes enemies. Not effective against shielded targets. Channeled ability.
- Energy Drain – Restore your shield by draining your enemy’s. Does bonus damage to shielded and synthetic enemies.
- Tactical Cloak – Sacrifice shield and health regeneration to become invisible while gaining a bonus to guns, powers, and melee attacks. Attacking breaks cloak.
- Flamethrower – Does bonus damage to armor and damage over time to unshielded enemies. Channeled ability.
- Invasion – Unleash hostile nanobots to damage an enemy over time and spread to other targets.
Quick Tip: The Tech tree contains abilities that remain unknown without the proper research. Keep exploring to unlock your Pathfinder’s full potential!
Biotic skills rely on the manipulation of mass via organically generated mass effect fields. These abilities focus mainly on incapacitating your enemy, making it easier to burn them down. They are also great at providing your Pathfinder with temporary shields and barriers that absorb more damage with every point invested in Biotics.
- Pull – Suspends an unshielded, unarmored enemy in the air. Pulled targets are primed for combo detonations and can be used as living shields.
- Throw – Launches an enemy away and detonates combos.
- Charge – Hurls you into a target at high speeds. Detonates combos.
- Nova – Unleashes an area of effect biotic explosion, damaging multiple targets. Can be upgraded to cause a knock-back effect.
- Shockwave – Deploys successive biotic explosions, knocking back enemies in the line of fire.
- Annihilation – Does an area of effect, damage over time skill. Primes targets for combos.
- Backlash – Interrupts melee attacks and reflects projectiles with a Biotic shield.
- Singularity – Damages and suspends multiple unshielded and unarmored targets in the air. Concentrated ball of mass effect energy.
- Lance – Biotic projectile, effective against enemy weak points.
As your Pathfinder’s abilities grow and evolve, they will gain access to profiles. Profiles are specialized combat styles that grant you specific bonuses and can even unlock special passive abilities at higher ranks.
While your Pathfinder has unlimited access to every power in the Tech, Biotic, and Combat trees, not every profile will be immediately available. Instead, you unlock profiles based on how many points you’ve invested in one, two, or all three of the skill trees.
Allocating a certain number of skill points in the Combat tree unlocks the Soldier profile. Points in Tech will unlock the Sentinel profile, and points in Biotics unlock the Adept profile. If your combat style favors hybridization, don’t worry, there are profiles for you too. You will also gain higher ranks (and by extension more powerful buffs and passive abilities) in your profiles the more points in invest in their component skills.
- Soldier – The pure Combat profile. Provides buffs to weapon skills.
- Engineer – The pure Tech profile. Boosts Tech power damage and Tech construct damage.
- Adept – The pure Biotic profile. Enhances all Biotic stats and replaces the jump-jet with pure Biotic power.
- Sentinel – Hybrid profile combining Tech and Biotic combat styles. Focuses on increasing combo damage, power recharge rate, damage absorption.
- Vanguard – Hybrid profile combining Biotic and Combat abilities. Favors hit-and-run tactics with increased melee damage that also regenerate Biotic shields.
- Infiltrator – Hybrid profile combining Combat and Tech skills. Ideal for snipers for a faster recharge rate on Tech abilities like tactical cloak and increased damage against enemy weak points.
- Explorer – Hybrid profile combining Combat, Tech, and Biotic skills. Optimized for maximum versatility between the three trees.
Favorites allow your Pathfinder to switch tactics on the fly as combat situations change. Your Pathfinder will have four slots, customizable with one profile and up to three active abilities that can be changed at will.
Quick Tip: The best Pathfinders prepare for every situation. Equip your favorites with abilities to tackle shielded or armored enemies, take advantage of environmental hazards, or work in conjunction with squadmates’ priming or detonating abilities.
To learn more about characters, weapons, and skills in Mass Effect: Andromeda, visit the Mass Effect Wiki.
Ash is a part-time writer/full-time gamer and has managed to successfully combine the two hobbies into one profession. She enjoys RPGs of all stripes and dreams of being a competitive Triple Triad player.