Mass Effect Andromeda Character Builds Guide PS4 PlayStation 4

Mass Effect: Andromeda may not be BioWare's best game overall, but there is one area where it excels, and that's combat. Gunfights are punchy and full of cool abilities - and its these skills and powers that we're focusing on with this guide.

Unlike Commander Shepard of the original Mass Effect trilogy, Ryder isn't stuck with one basic character class that you select at the start of the game. Instead, you're free to shape Ryder's playstyle however you like by picking and choosing skills from three different categories.

Below you'll find some Mass Effect: Andromeda character builds that are well worth playing around with. But first, let's break down the basics.

The Basics: Skill Categories

The three skill categories are:

Combat skills

The Combat category largely focuses on weaponry, with skills that benefit gunplay. These skills perhaps aren't the most exciting or interesting, but they're reliable, and they can easily benefit non-Combat character builds.

Biotics skills

Biotics are basically space magic, allowing Ryder to create mass effect fields. Skills in the Biotics category offer a lot of variety; they can be used to control the battlefield or deal devastating damage - some can even be used defensively.

Tech skills

The Tech category features skills that take advantage of gadgets and technology. Like Biotics abilities, Tech skills can be very adaptable depending on your style of play. Some deal damage, while others are effective against specific enemy types.

The Basics: Profiles

On top of these three skill categories, we have the Profiles system. Essentially, Profiles reflect Ryder's overall growth. Profiles are unlocked by spending a certain amount of skill points in each skill category - and you can unlock higher ranks of each Profile as you spend more points. For example, pumping loads of points into the Combat skill category will gradually unlock higher ranks of the Soldier Profile. Each Profile comes with its own unique benefits in the form of passive buffs, alongside unique abilities.

There are seven Profiles to choose from:


The Soldier Profile is all about making the most of Combat skills. Numerous passive bonuses to weapon efficiency means that this Profile is a safe choice for those who just want to shoot things. Its special ability is Marksman's Focus, which allows you to deal out more and more damage for every enemy you kill within a short space of time. Putting skill points into Combat skills unlocks higher ranks of the Soldier Profile.


The Engineer Profile benefits those who focus on Tech skills. It provides passive bonuses to things like Tech skill damage, recharge times, and general effectiveness. Its special ability is Combat Drone, which essentially improves the recharge rate of your Tech abilities, allowing you to use them more often. The drone also explodes if enemies get close to Ryder. Putting skill points into Tech skills unlocks higher ranks of the Engineer Profile.


The Adept Profile is best suited for players who focus on Biotics skills. It adds passive buffs to all aspects of Biotic abilities, from damage to effect radius. Its first special ability is Biotic Echoes, which allows you to chain biotic combo explosions to nearby enemies. Its second special ability is Biotic Jump & Evades, which basically just replaces your jump jets with cool looking biotic animations. Putting skill points into Biotics skills unlocks higher ranks of the Adept Profile.


The Sentinel Profile is meant for players who specialise in both Biotics and Tech skills. It grants various bonuses to recharge speeds and combo damage. Its special ability is Tech Armor, which gives Ryder an extra layer of defence against incoming attacks. Putting skill points into Biotics and Tech skills unlocks higher ranks of the Sentinel Profile.


The Vanguard Profile is best suited to those who like to be on the front lines, dealing damage with Combat and Biotics skills. It gives bonuses to things like melee damage and maximum shields. Its special ability is Siphoning Strike, which allows you to restore your shields by hitting enemies with melee attacks. It also gets Biotic Jump & Evades. Putting skill points into Combat and Biotics skills unlocks higher ranks of the Vanguard Profile.


The Infiltrator Profile best benefits players who rely on both Combat and Tech skills. It buffs things like weapon efficiency and Tech skill recharge time. Its first special ability is Battlefield Awareness, which allows you to see enemies through walls when aiming with a gun that has a scope. Its second special ability is Cloak Evades, which adds a moment of invisibility to your evasive boosts. Putting skill points into Combat and Tech skills unlocks higher ranks of the Infiltrator Profile.


The Explorer Profile encompasses all three skill categories. It provides a bunch of different bonuses, including increased weapon damage and faster recharge times for your powers. Its special ability is Biotic Blink, which allows you to pass through some cover with your evasive boosts. Putting skill points into Combat, Biotics, and Tech skills unlocks higher ranks of the Explorer Profile.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Character Builds

In this character build guide, we'll be taking a look at sets of skills that best suit specific styles of play. At any one time, Ryder can have three different skills equipped - not counting passive skills. As such, each of the builds that we detail below focus on three key skills that work well together. We'll also list passive skills that may be of interest to each build, as well as which Profile best complements the chosen skills.

It's also important to keep in mind that Ryder can switch between sets of skills at any time by using the favourites menu. This mechanic allows you to jump from one character build to another in the heat of battle, so don't feel as though you need to pick one build and stick with it for your whole Andromeda playthrough.

Without further ado, here are a selection of Mass Effect Andromeda Builds that we've found to be quite effective:


Description: The Commando build relies entirely upon Combat skills while also ensuring that your weapons hit hard. It's a simple build, but a reliable one.

Preferred Profile: Soldier

Key Skills:

  • Omni Grenade (Combat)
    Omni Grenade comes in handy as a powerful last resort, or a as a fantastic way to deal with multiple enemies that are gathered together. It's this build's go-to skill for taking out armoured foes, too.
  • Concussive Shot (Combat)
    Concussive Shot is this build's bread and butter. Quick and easy to use, it's a skill that can temporarily take weaker targets out of the fight. It can also detonate combos that have been started by your squadmates, so if Peebee's lifted an enemy into the air, let one of these things off and watch them explode.
  • Turbocharge (Combat)
    With Turbocharge active, this build's weapon damage is maximised, allowing you to tear through weaker foes and deal increased damage to anything that can take more than a few shots to the head. An obvious choice.

Key Passive Skills:

  • Pistols/Assault Rifles/Shotguns/Sniper Rifles (Combat)
    This build obviously relies on its weaponry first and foremost, so it's a good idea to max out one or two of these passive weapon skill trees depending on which gun types you like best.
  • Combat Fitness (Combat)
    Although this build isn't specifically meant to be a tank, Combat Fitness allows you to carry and equip more weapons, which means that you have more options on the battlefield.

Walking Tank

Description: As its name implies, the Walking Tank build is all about survivability. It focuses on skills that make you incredibly hard to kill, no matter what your enemy throws at you.

Preferred Profile: Sentinel

Key Skills:

  • Barricade (Combat)
    Barricade can be incredibly useful when engaging targets in an environment that lacks immediate cover. Likewise, if your shields are down and you need to recharge, simply set this up and sit tight until they recover.
  • Backlash (Biotics)
    Backlash allows you to repel incoming damage even while on the move. It can keep you alive in some pretty dire situations if used right, especially when you need to back away from the fight and find cover.
  • Energy Drain (Tech)
    Energy Drain restores your shields on impact, making it an obvious choice for this build. Stay alive while keeping pressure on the enemy.

Key Passive Skills:

  • Combat Fitness (Combat)
    More health and shields can't be a bad thing for a build that focuses on defence.
  • Barrier (Biotics)
    Barrier further increases your shields and shield regeneration.

Tech Wizard

Description: The Tech Wizard is an offensive build that wrecks opponents with Tech powers and combo damage. With three different elemental skills on hand, you should be letting loose as often as possible.

Preferred Profile: Sentinel

Key Skills:

  • Overload (Tech)
    Overload shreds enemy shields and stuns lesser foes. For this build, though, it'll most often be used as a combo detonator.
  • Incinerate (Tech)
    Incinerate acts as this build's main combo primer, so hit unshielded targets with this before letting off Overload. It's also great for doing chunks of damage against armoured foes.
  • Cryo Beam (Tech)
    Like Incinerate, Cryo Beam primes targets for Overload detonation. It's also great for stopping enemies in their tracks because of its freezing capabilities.

Key Passive Skills:

  • Offensive Tech (Tech)
    An obvious choice, Offensive Tech boosts Tech skill damage, recharge speed, and detonation damage.
  • Auxiliary Systems (Tech)
    Great for further boosting the effectiveness of your three key skills.

Hack Attacker

Description: The Hack Attacker build is about manipulating the battlefield with Tech skills. It's quite strategic, but provides an effective support role when used well.

Preferred Profile: Engineer

Key Skills:

  • Assault Turret (Tech)
    The Assault Turret will act as your little buddy. It'll help you deal extra damage targets, and you can use it to distract enemies while you find cover or a better vantage point.
  • Energy Drain (Tech)
    Energy Drain works well in conjunction with skills like Assault Turret. While your foes are kept busy, use it to restore your shields and stay in the fight.
  • Invasion (Tech)
    Invasion weakens enemies, making them easier to put down. It also spreads to nearby foes, allowing you to potentially cripple whole groups of aggressors.

Key Passive Skills:

  • Offensive Tech (Tech)
    Decreased recharge time for your key skills.
  • Auxiliary Systems (Tech)
    Auxiliary Systems will make your Assault Turret that much more effective.


Description: The Lancer build specialises in setting enemies up for biotic detonations. You'll need to time your attacks correctly, but the damage can be devastating.

Preferred Profile: Adept

Key Skills:

  • Pull (Biotics)
    Lift your target into the air, preparing them for the destruction that's about to take place.
  • Singularity (Biotics)
    Use a well placed Singularity to force multiple opponents out of battle, setting them up as helpless primed combo targets.
  • Lance (Biotics)
    Lance is where the fun starts with this build. With your foes floating helplessly in the air, start flinging biotic lances at them before sitting back and watching the fireworks.

Key Passive Skills:

  • Offensive Biotics (Biotics)
    The more force you can apply to your key skills, the better.
  • Containment (Biotics)
    Containment makes both Singularity and Pull more effective at holding your foes in place.


Description: The Berserk build is at home on the front lines of battle, taking the fight to the enemy with no fear. It focuses on being as deadly as possible at close ranges.

Preferred Profile: Vanguard

Key Skills:

  • Charge (Biotics)
    Charge will be your main means of getting in close to your enemies. It also keeps your shields healthy on impact, so use it as much as you can.
  • Nova (Biotics)
    Nova deals heavy damage to nearby foes, making it a perfect option for when you've used Charge to smash into a group of enemies.
  • Annihilation (Biotics)
    Like Nova, Annihilation impacts nearby foes, meaning that it's another solid choice for a close range skill. It has the added bonus of priming targets for combos - combos that Charge can detonate.

Key Passive Skills:

  • Shotguns (Combat)
    At close range, no weapon type is more effective than a shotgun.
  • Offensive Biotics (Biotics)
    More damage and better recharge speed certainly can't hurt.


Description: The Assassin build specialises in dealing huge damage to unsuspecting opponents. It requires quick thinking and precision, but it's suitably deadly.

Preferred Profile: Infiltrator

Key Skills:

  • Omni Grenade (Combat)
    Omni Grenade isn't what you'd call a stealthy skill, but a well placed explosion can take out multiple enemies in one go, thinning the numbers so you can concentrate on key targets.
  • Overload (Tech)
    This build primarily uses Overload to strip shields, allowing your gunfire to pass through targets unhindered. Overload can also temporarily paralyse your chosen foe, making them an easier target.
  • Tactical Cloak (Tech)
    The foundation of this build, Tactical Cloak allows you to find advantageous spots on the battlefield before combat has even started. What's more, the damage boost that it provides upon deactivation makes it the perfect skill for snipers who want to do max damage with each shot.

Key Passive Skills:

  • Sniper Rifles (Combat)
    Sniper rifles are your best option when it comes to raw damage at long ranges, so boosting their effectiveness is a must.
  • Offensive Tech (Tech)
    Offensive Tech ensures that Overload is working at peak capacity.

Force Master

Description: The Force Master build is all about smashing your enemies with brute force biotics. May result in hilarious ragdoll physics.

Preferred Profile: Adept

Key Skills:

  • Pull (Biotics)
    Pull will almost always be your starting point, especially against unarmoured or unshielded enemies, priming them for potential detonation or temporarily taking them out of the battle.
  • Throw (Biotics)
    When used in conjunction with Pull, Throw hurls your helpless target wherever you're aiming. It can also be used to detonate combos that have been set up by Pull.
  • Shockwave (Biotics)
    When you don't have time for a more technical approach, Shockwave will smash enemies aside and deal solid damage. Like Throw, it can detonate a combo primer.

Key Passive Skills:

  • Offensive Biotics (Biotics)
    An obvious choice for such an offensive build.
  • Containment (Biotics)
    Containment increases the effectiveness of Pull.

Jack of All Trades

Description: If you can't quite settle on one specialised style of combat, then the Jack of All Trades build makes for a simple, but solid starting point. Its key skills don't necessarily complement each other, but this build is equipped to handle any situation.

Preferred Profile: Explorer

Key Skills:

  • Turbocharge (Combat)
    Crack out Turbocharge when you need the extra damage boost. Great for taking out waves of lesser enemies, and a good choice when it comes to chipping away at the health of a stronger foe.
  • Backlash (Biotics)
    Extremely useful for when you're forced into a corner. Backlash repels enemy fire, and can even be used to deflect incoming melee attacks if timed just right.
  • Assault Turret (Tech)
    Your little mechanical buddy adds some tactical depth to this build, allowing you to better support your team and lay down extra fire when you're outnumbered.

Key Passive Skills:

  • Combat Fitness (Combat)
    More health and increased weapon weight capacity broaden this build's scope even further.
  • Team Support (Tech)
    Team Support provides numerous bonuses to both you and your squad.

Want to know which relationships you can form? Check out our Mass Effect: Andromeda romance guide. We also show you how to reset skill points in Mass Effect: Andromeda and how to change weapons and armor in Mass Effect: Andromeda. Finally, if you're struggling with the game, check out our Mass Effect: Andromeda tips and tricks.