Mass Effect: Andromeda is an extensive and demanding production, and despite the fact that it explains how the majority of gameplay mechanics work, it does it in a sketchy way and many players will surely have problems with finding their feet. This chapter provides help in the form of tens of very valuable tips that make playing the latest BioWare's game significantly easier and more pleasant.
1. Before you start playing, think about what kind of character suits your preferences. Although you can change the majority of things later, jumping from one type of character (e.g. a one fighting with firearms from a long distance) to another (e.g. a user of Biotics and Tech combined) can significantly retard your development. It's a good idea to browse through the available abilities and profiles right at the start and plan your development ahead.
2. Regularly spend available skill points. You might lose or win a fight depending on where and how you invested skill points so it's not worth it to save them "for later". If you don't know what to spend skill points on, see the chapters devoted to developing a character with specific roles in mind.
3. Remember that every point invested in a given tree (Combat, Biotics, Tech) increases the efficiency of all abilities unlocked within it. It means that, for example, Barrier from the Biotics tree initially increases the shields level by 2%, but this bonus increases with every point invested in Biotics, giving you a boost of 3%, 4%, 5%, and so on.
4. Be reasonable when selling items. While weapons may not be useful to you because of your playstyle, you absolutely have to keep Resources! They are essential to create new, often very powerful equipment. The only Resources you don't have to bother with are those that belong to the Salvage category - you can sell them since they are useless.
5. Pay attention to icons of dialogue options. Every one of them means something different - some allow you to romance characters, others let you gather additional information about a quest or push it forward.
6. Remember that weapons also impact your equipment's weight. Weight has a direct influence on the cooldown speeds of your abilities - the heaver the armaments, the longer the cooldowns. Adjust your weapons to your playstyle - if you fight mainly with Biotics and Tech, it's not worth it to burden your character since these abilities will take longer to cool down.
7. Regularly sell items from your inventory. Your character can carry a limited number of items so you cannot afford to go to a new planet with almost full inventory. Sell unneeded items to free the valuable space.
8. Remember to send Strike Teams on missions. It costs you nothing and every team brings various rewards to the base, possibly some valuable resources or even powerful weapons. It's best to send your teams on missions that have at least 75% success rate - in such cases, the risk of failure, and of brining no rewards, is relatively small.
1. Constantly observe your surroundings on the battlefield. Taking cover protects you from frontal assault but your enemies can still flank you or surprise you with a sudden melee attack.
2. Pay attention to incoming grenades and enemy abilities and try to avoid them. They can reach you even behind the best cover, while dodging them usually takes making several steps in any direction. Then, you can go back to your previous position.
3. Don't take your cover for granted. Most terrain covers you can hide behind have limited durability and simply fall apart after some time, leaving you exposed to enemy fire. Some enemy abilities, such as throwing grenades, significantly speed up this process. It's a good idea to prepare an alternate position in advance in case the current one be destroyed.
4. Never fight in open spaces! Always try to take cover - it reduces the damage you take since enemies will have harder time hitting you. Moreover, hiding behind covers makes your shields regenerate faster. The only exception from this rule is playing a melee-focused character that often has to be exposed to enemy fire.
5. Remember to command your companions. They can handle themselves quite well but it's still worth it to control them. Andromeda doesn't offer as much freedom as the previous Mass Effect games, but even such modest action as placing your squad mates in a different spot on the battlefield can decide the outcome of a battle.
6. Use your equipment well. If you use a weapon that works well at large distances (sniper rifles and some assault rifles), it's not worth it to get too close to the enemy - it's better to keep a safe distance and attack them from afar. If you use equipment best suited for close quarters combat (melee weapons, shotguns, or rifles with high rate of fire and low accuracy), get close to the enemy and give them hell.
7. Remember that enemies concentrate primarily on the protagonist. If you lean out of cover, most enemies that see you will focus their attention on you - they'll start firing and throwing grenades and abilities at you or close the distance and hurt you with a melee attack. When you take cover, enemies lose their interest and focus on your squad mates.
8. See if there is a supply stash nearby. If so, go there regularly, especially when you have a weapon with low ammo capacity or if enemies deplete your health bar on a regular basis. Supply stashes allow you to replenish your health, ammunition, and Power Cells.
9. Use Combos. Combos are advanced combat techniques that cause an explosion that hurts your enemies and triggers an additional effect. It could ignite nearby foes, freeze them, or throw them into the air. Combos are initiated with an ability called a Primer and then activated with Detonators. You can read more about this mechanic in a separate chapter of this guide.
10. Use your abilities properly. If one of your powers allows you to, for example, push an unshielded and unarmored enemy back, it's not a good idea to use them against a one that is protected by either/both shields or/and armor since the power will be significantly less effective. You can, however, "soften up" the target by destroying its shields and/or armor and then use such an ability.
11. Pay attention to your shields level at all times. They protect your character from damage. When they are depleted, they break, and your character starts taking damage to his/her health. If an enemy takes out your shields, it's a good idea to take cover and stay there for a few seconds until they regenerate - this will significantly increase your chances of survival.
12. Monitor your health bar. When the protagonist's health reaches zero, he/she is killed and you are forced to load a save game. There is no way for you to be revived by a squad mate so when your health is dangerously low, take cover and let your shields regenerate to gain more protection.
13. Pay attention to your companions' status. They can stray from the group quite far which very often results in them being knocked unconscious. Try to issue commands to them regularly and move them around the battlefield. When they are down, remember to revive them in order to return them to combat without any major side effects.
14. Remember about character Profiles! Read the chapters about every single profile available in the game and use the one that suits your needs the best.
15. Keep attention to the environmental hazards. Running into a toxic geyser (planet Kadara) will immediately deplete your shields, making your character vulnerable and exposed to enemy attacks.
16. Monitor the life support system all the time. Its status can be checked in the lower left corner of the screen, but you first need to enter a hostile environment. Once life support is depleted, you will lose your shields and start losing health.
17. Attack from a hovering position. Jumping and then holding down the button will allow you to hover for a short duration of time. Attacks performed from this position will deal increased damage, will allow you to hit an enemy's weak spot and are useful to hit an enemy hidden behind cover. The hovering time can be extended by abilities and equipment mods.
18. Make use of the powerful Augments available for both weapons and elements of armor. Changing a sniper rifle into a powerful homing plasma launcher will allow you to hit an enemy hidden behind cover and using leg Augments will give your jump melee attacks new capabilities, like setting enemies on fire or freezing them.
19. Use Favorites. This mechanic allows you to prepare 4 sets of profiles and abilities that can be instantaneously switched between during combat - you won't have to enter the skill and/or profile selection screen. You just have to prepare several favorite profiles beforehand and alternate between them at will.
1. Look around while exploring. No matter whether you're in a research complex, a small isolated building, or an enemy base - there is a myriad of things to be found in the game, and they can be easily overlooked, especially in the heat of combat or when driving Nomad.
2. Use your omni-tool regularly. This mechanic is introduced in the prologue so you will know how to use it well. Remember to always look for new objects to scan when you, for example, get to a new area or find a hidden cave. Scanning objects allows you to gain Research Data which is essential to design new equipment.
3. The same goes for mining when driving Nomad. When you are in an area rich in minerals, always check if there's a mineral node at your position. If so, fire up a mining drone. More details on this mechanic can be found in a separate chapter.
4. While exploring, don't look only at the map. Many objects in the game world aren't marked on the map. Selecting a seemingly empty place may take us to a hidden treasure, an enemy group to fight, or a unique object to scan.
5. Use fast travel in moderation. It lets you move around the map quickly when you activate forward stations but you might miss many interesting places because of it. It applies especially to areas that you haven't carefully explored yet - it's a good idea to "waste" some time on reaching your destination on your own since you may come across something new.
6. Use your character's powers wisely. Some abilities deal little damage but can, for example, put an additional effect on an enemy, hit a foe hidden behind a cover (or destroy it), protect your character, or activate a Combo (see above). No ability is useless, you just have to know when and how to use it.
7. Remember to scan all planets in every system. This allows you to obtain a bit more minerals.
8. Pay attention to quests that require you to scan clusters. Some of them will allow you to detect additional anomalies, rewarding you with experience points, crafting materials and research points. Remember that those types of objects can be active in a cluster even when you've explored it thoroughly (100% exploration).
9. If a certain part of a planet is inaccessible because of extremely high Hazard (like, for instance, low temperature or high radiation), don't worry. Increase the viability of the planet by a significant amount. Afterwards, the previously inaccessible and highly polluted areas will now become less lethal and some of them will be harmless.
1. Remember that Augments can be easily recovered. If you've used a valuable Augment during development of a specific weapon/armor, you can get it back. You just have to deconstruct the item (by going into the inventory, highlighting the item and pressing the button shown on the bottom of the screen) to recover a portion of the invested materials, as well as all of the Augments used in the creation process.
2. Change your equipment regularly. There's nothing worse than using an outdated weapon and/or armor from, for instance, level 1 when your character is level 30 or higher. It's not mandatory (aside from the highest diffuclty level) to complete the game, but it definitely influences the overall gameplay experience.
3. Create your own equipment. Unfortunately, merchants in the game lack any decent equipment and you will quickly end up in a situation in which you have dozens of thousands of Crecits but you cannot find any noteworthy piece of equipment to purchase. This is why you should create your own equipment.
4. Use any excessive amount of Credits to purchase Augments and crafting materials. There's no point to waste Credits to purchase weapons and/or armors from vendors and that money can be used to buy extremely rare crafting materials required to create your very own and powerful items. The same applies when it comes to Augments - you should purchase all of them, provided you have enough Credits, to have at least one of each.
5. Instead of selling the unwanted items, you should decronstruct them. You can deconstruct items from the inventory (by highlighting the item and pressing the item shown on the bottom of the screen) and you can perform it with weapons and armors only - other items, such as mods and Augments, can only be destroyed. Deconstructing equipment, especially those ultrarare (red) items will allow you to receive materials that will far exceed the amount of Credits you would be able to get from selling the item.
6. Even if you play a character focusing entirely on abilities, you should still unlock additional pplace for weapons and consumables. This will allow your character to be more flexible on the battlefield and will give you more options when the sitatuion will need it. Additional weapon slots can be upgrades with the Combat skill tree abilities and consumable slots by unlocking specific cryo pods.