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Best "Mass Effect 3" Classes

I love to play the "Mass Effect" series and come up with various strategies to make gameplay smoother along the way.


Mass Effect 3 was just released and I had a chance to play the game and experiment with the 6 different classes in the game. They are Soldier, Adept, Engineer, Vanguard, Sentinel, and Infiltrator.

There is no single best class. It really all depends on your style of play and what you want to get out of the game. If you want a straight, no-frills, shooter-style game then the Soldier class will suit you fine. If you love Star Wars and often fantasize about being a Jedi warrior, playing as an Adept class may suit you better.

Picking the right class is important as it will shape your entire game strategy. Please read below to discover the best class you could choose to suit your gameplay.

Soldier Class

Soldier Class

Soldier Class

The Soldier class is by far the most popular one. They are weapon experts which means they can use all types of special ammunition and frag grenades. They also have some very cool upgrades.

While this class can be a lot of fun, gamers have already started complaining that it gets boring. This class almost makes the game another standard shooter game. As a Soldier, the tactic you will probably find yourself using most is cover and shoot, so it tends to get boring relatively quickly.

What Can a Soldier Class Do?

  • They can exclusively use frag grenades that rip enemies apart and cause massive damage. They can also use cryo ammo, which is now even better than it was in Mass Effect 2. In Mass Effect 2 cryo ammo froze enemies but in Mass Effect 3 it does that and it weakens enemy armor, slowing your enemies down.
  • Incendiary Ammo lights enemies on fire, dealing extra damage and stopping health regeneration.
  • Concussive Shot allows you to fire a high powered shot stunning enemies for a few seconds.
  • Disruptor Ammo causes extra damage to shields and to synthetic enemies.
  • You can use the Adrenaline Rush power which slows down time, temporarily allowing you to line up good shots and zero in on enemies quickly. Damage to your target is also increased when using Adrenaline Rush.
  • The class has another major benefit as it is the class with the highest carry weight capacity. This allows you to offset more of the negative effects of carrying many weapons.
  • A Soldier's default weapon is the assault rifle.

Should You Play as a Soldier?

If your goal is to confront and kill everything that moves, with a vast variety of weapons, ammo, and grenades, then the Soldier class is your best choice. It can get a little boring but if you’re the kind of person who likes nothing more than playing a good shooter than this is your class.

Adept Class

Adept Class

Adept Class

The Adept class is able to biologically generate and control Mass Effect fields in order to kinetically manipulate nearby objects. Basically, Adepts have biotic powers so they are like Jedi’s with the Force. Adepts can use their powers to throw enemies around and make them hover in the air, unable to fire or defend themselves.

They are the polar opposite of Soldiers. They can dominate a battle without firing a single shot. That being said, they are not easy to play as and you will need to level up a bit before your biotic powers become really useful. The class is definitely more of a challenge, especially at the start of the game. Whereas a Soldier is much more suited at taking the battle to the enemy, an Adept is suited to sticking back and using strategy to combat his enemies.

If you decide to be an Adept, then you will probably find yourself allowing your teammates to strip away enemy shields before moving in to attack.

What Can an Adept Class Do?

  • As an Adept, you will be able to use biotic powers such as Pull to make enemies levitate and fly towards you. Pull is useful as levitated enemies are defenceless so your teammates can deal a lot of damage with firearms as enemies are floating towards you.
  • You can also use Throw to send enemies hurling toward walls or objects, causing them a lot of damage. This also makes enemies easy targets as they will not be able to shoot back for a short while.
  • Adepts can also use Singularity, allowing you to throw a mini black hole at enemies. The Singularity can pull multiple enemies into a floating orbit around the black hole, leaving them defenceless and open to fire from your teammates.
  • Another useful power is Warp which creates a Mass Effect field near enemies. Warp severely weakens an enemy's armor and deals damage to the enemy. Warp is useful against heavily armored opponents, allowing your teammates to inflict more damage by weakening their armor.
  • Adepts can use all firearms but they are not as good with them as Soldiers are. Adept classes can also use cluster grenades to send enemies flying into nearby objects causing a lot of damage.
  • Finally, you should note that Adepts have one of the lowest carrying capacity in the game and they can only use light armor.

Should You Be an Adept?

If you want to stick back and play smart whilst wielding some very cool magic-like powers then the Adept class is for you. Being an Adept can be a bit of a challenge and when choosing your squad you should make sure you choose a teammate that has access to assault rifles. This will allow you to use your biotic abilities to levitate enemies whilst your teammate peppers them with bullets. This is a highly effective strategy.

Engineer class

Engineer class

Engineer Class

Engineers are one of the least used classes in Mass Effect 3. However, they are incredibly useful and a lot of fun. Like Adepts, Engineers start off slow but become very useful when they level up a bit.

Engineers are not frontline fighters; they are much more useful sticking back and causing absolute havoc to enemies, whilst aiding team mates. The Engineer class
does have offensive abilities. However, you will probably find yourself sticking back and using your large variety of skills.

What Can an Engineer Do?

  • As an Engineer, one of the most useful powers is Overload. It allows you to disable enemy shields, leaving them open to attack from either you or your teammates. Once ranked up, Overload will also cause enemy weapons to overheat, rendering them temporarily unusable. How cool is that? Unshielded enemies with no weapons equal easy targets. Better yet, it causes any unprotected enemies equipped with flamethrowers to explode, which is always fun to see.
  • Engineers have exclusive access to the Combat Drone power which distracts enemies, draws their fire, can stun targets, and damages their shields. Similar to Combat Drone, Engineers can exclusively use the Sentry Turret power to deploy a turret, which fires on enemies.
  • Engineers can use the Incinerate power which fires an explosive plasma round from their omni-tool (a wrist-worn device Engineers use.) The plasma round causes damage to all nearby enemies. The Incinerate power deals extra damage against armor and it will stop enemies from regenerating health. Engineers can also use the Cryo Blast power to freeze nearby enemies leaving them more susceptible to damage.
  • One of the most entertaining Engineer powers is Sabotage. Sabotage allows you to hack unshielded enemy robots and turn them against the enemy. This is very useful and can cause absolute havoc, especially when your enemies start attacking each other. When upgraded, this power can be used to hack all robots in the vicinity. This allows you to effectively turn robots into stationary targets who simply wait for you and your teammates to destroy them.
  • An Engineers carry capacity is one of the lowest along with the Adept class.

Should You Be an Engineer?

Engineers are the most underrated class in Mass Effect games. On the surface, they do not sound terribly exciting but playing as an Engineer can be very challenging and rewarding. If you like the idea of throwing enemy ranks off, or stripping your enemies of armor and shields so you can take them out easily with your pistol, then try the Engineer class.

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Vanguard class

Vanguard class

Vanguard Class

A Vanguard is a cross between a Soldier and an Adept. Vanguards are close-range fighters. As a Vanguard, you will generally find yourself moving in close and using a mix of biotics and firearms (particularly shotguns) to decimate enemies.

What Can a Vanguard Do?

  • Vanguards can gain specializations in both pistols and shotguns. Obviously, using shotguns means that a Vanguard needs to get up close to do maximum damage.
  • Vanguards can exclusively use the Charge power. Charge allows a Vanguard to rush towards an enemy, at great speed, causing massive damage and sending an enemy sprawling to the ground when hit. The cool thing about Charge is that you will be able to phase right through physical objects, such as crates, so almost nothing can get in your way.
  • Another exclusive ability is the Nova power which causes a massive shock wave, sending any nearby enemies flying. Combining the Biotic Charge power with the Nova power is highly effective. You can use your Biotic Charge to knock down one enemy and then use your Nova power to knock down all other enemies in the area. This leaves several enemies severely damage and makes them easy targets for your teammates to finish up.
  • Vanguards also have access to the previously mentioned Adept power of Pull and the Soldiers Cryo and Incendiary Ammo.
  • Vanguards have a decent carry capacity, higher than that of Adepts but lower than Soldiers.

Should You be a Vanguard?

Amongst experienced Mass Effect players, the Vanguard is one of the most popular classes. they have a great mix of abilities and are deadly in battle. If you like the idea of knocking enemies on their asses and then pumping them full on incendiary rounds then Vanguard is the class for you.

Sentinel class

Sentinel class

Sentinel Class

A Sentinel is a cross between an Engineer and an Adept. They focus on supporting the squad, using a mix of biotic and technical powers to strip enemy shields and deal damage. A Sentinel is also useful with firearms and have advanced shield abilities, making them more useful in offensive combat.

What Can a Sentinel Do?

  • Sentinels can use the Adept powers of Throw and Warp.
  • The Sentinel class has exclusive access to Lift Grenades which lifts enemies into the air making them defenceless and easy targets.
  • As a Sentinel you will be able to use the Engineer power Overload. You will also be able to use Cryo Blast to freeze enemies in place.
  • An exclusive Sentinel power is Tech Armor. This power temporarily boosts your shields. This will allow you to rush and kill enemies whilst taking very little damage. When the Tech Armor is destroyed it releases a shock wave that will knock down or stagger enemies in the vicinity. This allows you to get in close to shoot multiple enemies. When the armor is destroyed the shock wave gives you time to get back behind cover.

Should You Be a Sentinel?

Sentinels are a great mix between Engineers and Adepts. Being a Sentinel allows you to offset some of the negatives of being an Engineer by giving you a better shield and more offensive powers. If you want to be able to strip enemies of their shields from afar and then run in with your almost impenetrable shields to blast unprotected enemies away, then the Sentinel is the class for you.

Infiltrator class

Infiltrator class

Infiltrator Class

Infiltrator is a mix between a Soldier and an Engineer. Infiltrators are hidden killers, like assassins. They are versatile and are good at lurking in the shadows and surprising enemies but they can also kill enemies from afar. They are quick and efficient. They are also particularly handy with sniper rifles as time temporarily slows down when they zoom in. This allows them to pull off near perfect shots every time.

What Can an Infiltrator Do?

  • Infiltrators can use the Soldiers Cryo Ammo to freeze enemies and damage their armor, or the Disruptor Ammo to cause extra damage to shields and synthetic enemies (robots.) Infiltrators can also use the Engineer powers of Incinerate and the Sabotage power.
  • Infiltrators can exclusively use sticky grenades which stick to targets causing the most damage of any grenade, but in a smaller radius.
  • Infiltrators also have the exclusive Tactical Cloak power which makes him invisible to all enemies. When the Tactical Cloak is active the Infiltrator does extra damage to enemies. Using a weapon whilst Tactical Cloak is active does deactivate the power. However, you can use Sticky Grenades whilst Tactical Cloak is active without being revealed.

Should You Be an Infiltrator?

If you like to play games with assassin type powers then being an Infiltrator will be most enjoyable. The class offers fun gameplay and is one of the more popular classes of Mass Effect 3.

Mass Effect 3 Classes

Hopefully, by now you can see there is no overall best class. However, I can't tell you which one is best for you but hopefully, after reading about the different types of classes you will have a better understanding of which one you would be best suited to.

Overall if you prefer shoot-em-up games then be a Soldier. If you love Star Wars and the Jedi powers then be an Adept. If you prefer to leave your enemies defenseless and like to play pranks then be an Engineer. If you want to be an elite fighter and have a mix of Soldier and Adept powers then Vanguard might be best for you. On the other hand, if you like playing as an Engineer but want to be more involved in offensive maneuvers then the Sentinel class would be a better fit. Last, but certainly not least, if you are sneaky and like to play assassin or spy games then you will love to play as an Infiltrator.

Try playing the game as different classes and you might be surprised at which class is your favorite.

© 2012 Lauryallan


Terry Jones on December 30, 2016:

If i could choose 3 I would choose 1 soldier 2 vanguard and 3 adept

Samuel Franklin on August 30, 2014:

I'm definitely a Soldier/Vanguard style player.

Sirrunalot on March 17, 2014:

Vanguard: Upgrade Biotic Charge to restore barriers plus 50% (So every time you use it, it restores barriers to full)

Upgrade Nova to recharge skills faster by 25%

Infinite nova.

Sarah Forester from Australia on February 01, 2014:

I always tell myself that I won't play as a Soldier this time when I load up Mass Effect 3 and I always do, lol.

Matthew on August 31, 2012:

Have to say, I am at a cross between Vanguard and Infiltrator. I've beaten ME2 Seven times, but 6 have been Vanguard, 1 Infiltrator, but ME3 Twice, One Vanguard and one Infiltrator. Vanguard got a huge buff this game with the addition of Nova but Infiltrators are still on par with a mix of Sabotage and Tactical Cloak.

In ME3, paired on my newest play through with Kaidan and Liara (Reave Bonus Power) you can set up countless Biotic explosions its not funny but still mow down the rest with a selected Shotgun/Rifle. However with the new Firefight pack that just came out, the Infiltrator got two new toys with the Reegar Carbine (Overpowered) and the Krysae Sniper (Even more Overpowered), plus the overall feeling of that Assassin aspect is awesome.

I would have to say though, on insanity Vanguard makes it seem like Casual.

Seriously majority of my missions go like this:

See a lot of enemies? I reave, Liara warps, causing an explosion, tell Kaidan to Reave something else (With the Duration spec) Charge in and Nova and they're all dead. Even on insanity.

Reave+Warp+another Reave+Charge All day. Not to mention if I take Javik with me it is more like:

Dark Channel+Charge (Dead) Channel moves to something else, Liara Warp, Dead. Moves to something else, Charge, Dead. And so on and so forth. Insanity was much harder in ME2.

Either way, both are my favourite classes.

GFUGAF on July 06, 2012:

People who are new to the ME games may not know this but if you want to play all the games to have a perfect play-through which is really rewarding, you don't have to begin playing at ME1. You can simply start playing ME2 and get the genesis dlc which lets you make all the important decisions from the first game in a fifteen minute animated comic. Doing this will really help with some of the hardest decisions like saving Wrex and letting the rachni queen live or die.

DJT on June 13, 2012:

I picked engineer..

I played as an adapt in ME2.. which was fun.

But I enjoy summoning turrets to wreck havok... kinda really wanna try a vangaurd now though :(

restarting takes soooo long lol

john on May 28, 2012:


Lauryallan (author) on May 28, 2012:

Thx Me I am glad it was helpful. I love playing ME3 and wanted to help others enjoy playing the game too.

Me on May 27, 2012:

Damm this is such a helpful guide, summarizing what can the classes do. Really helpful but pretty hard for me to choose which class but Im playing Inflitrator right now and im enjoying popping people's heads lol.

Michael on May 11, 2012:

I used a Sentinel in ME1 & ME2. I imported ME2 to ME3. The Tech Armor lost it's luster. It doesn't restore shields, and when getting shot, it won't trigger automatic detonation. You can only do it yourself. Which renders Tech Armor useless in MP and SP. I know the extra power given would be Defense matrix + Tech armor. But, Bioware is just retarded

Pops on April 17, 2012:

I used a Vanguard in the campaign, but in multiplayer I almost always use my Male Human Sentinel. I think that any class that's capable of a biotic combination is a must (especially in multiplayer). I prefer the Sentinel because they have a little bit more health and carrying capacity than the Adept (although "stasis" and "singularity" can be extremely helpful on a team).

The campaign was fun but multiplayer is where it's at. The new Resurgence Pack is a great free treat.

Lauryallan (author) on April 10, 2012:

Thank Apeiron, glad the review of the Classes was helpful. Sounds like you have a real good grip on the game. Keep it up!

Apeiron on April 09, 2012:

Damn it, its a really good overview of the classes without taking sides, which I really appreciate. I played ME2 as an Infiltrator, which was quite an experience, but in ME3 I changed my Shepard to an engineer, and I was shocked what a good choice I made. Importing the char gave me lvl30 to start with, which gave me all the powers an engineer needed to have and it was really exciting to do all kinda damage to every opponent I faced. Incinirate is my favourite power, because its like throwing a fireball and causing unbelievable damage, cryoblast to freeze enemies and overload, which I think I dont need to specify. keeping my rechard speed at its minimum with a quick firing and low weight assault rifle. I used to go with Garrus and Liarra, but with enhanced talents, I changed Garrus to Ashley (my favourite character to my love interest...)so she could make more firepower. In the end my team consisted of an arms expert with a biotic lead by a tech expert. best assault team ever. Have fun!!

Hairy on April 04, 2012:

Played an Engineer, Vanguard, Soldier and Sentinel in ME3 and liked the first two most. Soldier is good, but boring, Sentinel doesn't have good power synergy anymore and feels broken. Engineer was much more fun than I expected, but starts a bit slow. Vanguard is downright overpowered, charge, nova, nova, charge continuously destroys everything once fully upgraded.

boogieman on April 02, 2012:

My favorite class is the vanguard. Charge just makes u feel like a bad ass, plus this new nova ability is a lot of fun. Just make sure u have an escape plan after you charge or you will die a lot... I always save the soldier for my second play through on insanity.

cimmkar on March 28, 2012:

I played me2 as soldier as that was the class of my import from me1. Just bought me3 and after taking an age to sort out the bugs from importing my character (didnt look anything like my Shephard) I have chosen to play Vanguard for the fist time. Loving it already, makes you play differently.

Dave on March 26, 2012:

My favourite classes in mass effect are vanguard and engineer, but I also like infiltrators.

I am currently playing through me3 as a soldier I imported from me2, but I am also working on getting an engineer through the first two games so I can use him in me3 and I plan eventually to replay them all with the classes I am missing so that I have one of each (i.e I will play all games again with engineer, infiltrator, adept, vanguard and sentinel - not soldier as I have already imported one from me2).

The best part about the mass effect series for me is that all the classes play so differently so it won't get boring!

Part of me wishes that me3 had kept the class weapon restrictions that me2 has (made them even more unique) but there is nothing stopping you from only using the weapons appropriate to the class if you wish i.e. sniper rifles/pistols for infiltrators or shotguns/pistols for vanguards.

There is no best class, it is all about personal preference.

Butcher on March 23, 2012:

Your guide is awesome 10 from 10.

I love to play soldier in most of the games and rip enemies apart. Can be a little boring,but when it comes to fight - Soldier class is the best.

Jay on March 14, 2012:

Awesome post by the way, super helpful

Jay on March 13, 2012:

Soldier = Warrior

Adept = Mage

Vanguard = Monk

Infiltrator = Rogue/Ranger

Sentinel = Red Mage/Paladin

Engineer = Summoner

Pretty much how I broke it down trying the classes in the second part of the demo on PSN. They let you play as a lvl 42 (I think). This is my first futuristic fantasy game, so for us elf and goblin nerds, that's what I got out of it lol! Vanguard is my fav so far, quite pleasing knockin' people on their asses and meleeing.

Slunko on March 13, 2012:

Go go engineer! Nothing quite like hanging back with a bigass sniper rifle in hand and watching your attack drone+defense drone(tali's loyalti power, that fits the class great)+turret+hacked robot having a field day with enemy forces :D

Lauryallan (author) on March 12, 2012:

@Guy Guy Guy - I would recommend you play as an Adept. Adepts have a lot of biotic powers and specialize in using pistols.

In Mass Effect 3 pistols are great mid range weapons with a high fire rate and very high damage. You can also add a scope to pistols which makes them good for long range combat.

I think Adept would suit you perfectly.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, you cannot change class during the game.

Guy Guy Guy on March 12, 2012:

Also can you change between classes i was thinking of hetting this game. Just wanting to know and be ready for what ever comes at me.!!

Guy Guy Guy on March 12, 2012:

If i was to do mid range combat and have allot of power and those magic type stuff what class will i use??

Lauryallan (author) on March 11, 2012:

@Bob I agree, Infiltrator is the easiest class and cloak is OP. When I play Infiltrator I feel like I am running a trainer with God Mode on. I like Vanguard because its more of a challenge.

Biotic Charge + Shotgun = FUN!

Bob on March 11, 2012:

I think the infiltrator is better than any class. Cloak + sniper rifle (Black Widow) = OP. If you get shot at, just cloak. Hell Cloak while reloading and don't even go into cover. You really can't lose. With the Cloak duration being what it is, you can cloak run across the battlefield and pop someone point blank with a sniper rifle. Flanking is also very easy. Taking shots off the side and decimating an incoming army.

Lauryallan (author) on March 11, 2012:

@Justin I use that same strategy except I use fire bullets.

Justin J on March 11, 2012:

vanguard is by far the best.. and cheapest class.. it is nearly impossible to die once leveled up... after using Biotic Charge (your invulnerable during the use of this skill) your shield instantly regenerates ... and i have my fitness leveled up so high.. along with use of only light weapons that my recharge to use biotic skills again is literally 1 second if not less.

so all i need to do is biotic charge.. shoot a person or 2 with an ice bullet ... biotic charge again .. and repeat

HackitOut on March 10, 2012:

I use to love Sentinel in the 1st/2nd ME, but for some reason, Im leaning more Infiltrator or soldier. I dont know why but I keep dodging Vanguard, for some reason, that and engineer. My fingers will not let me create-a-player with them to even try them out.

Josh on March 09, 2012:

Im playing as an adept right now and it's fun but I'm not felling it like i do when I play as a infltrator I would recommend but this is my opinion to play as a infltrator or vanguard

Lauryallan (author) on March 08, 2012:

@Zak glad it was helpful. It can determine your whole game strategy so I think it is the most important decision you cn make in the game.

Michael Murchie from Parts Unknown on March 08, 2012:

Enjoyable read, I have just started playing Mass Effect from the beginning again so I can take my character into ME3. Gotta hate loosing a save game here and there!

I found the guide useful in choosing the char I will now take all the way through the games, many thanks and a vote up :)

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