The best Mass Effect: Andromeda multiplayer character builds

Mass Effect: Andromeda multiplayer has six starter character classes: Soldier, Vanguard, Engineer, Adept, Infiltrator and Sentinel. You can unlock uncommon, rare, and ultra rare characters by opening supply boxes, earned from successful missions or bought with money. As we get access to Andromeda's rare characters [*says a quick prayer to the supply box gods*] we'll add recommended builds for them too.

Techniques are the first half of success in multiplayer, and for that, you should read our multiplayer guide. The other half is putting together a strong build that accentuates your playing style. Here are the six builds we recommend as you're getting started.

Soldier build

Focus: Heavy armor + guns
Recommended weapons: Assault rifle + pistol, shotgun + pistol, or assault rifle + shotgun
Recommended ability upgrades

  • Turbocharge
  • Rank 4: Duration (+50% active duration)
  • Rank 5: Damage & Force (+15% gun damage and force bonus)
  • Rank 6: Supercharge (+20% fire rate and clip size)
  • Concussive Shot (combo detonator)
  • Rank 4: Recharge Speed (+30% recharge speed)
  • Rank 5: Damage & Force (+15% damage and impact force bonus)
  • Rank 6: Anti-armor (+40% damage against armor)
  • Frag Grenade
  • Rank 4: Radius (+25% explosion radius)
  • Rank 5: Grenade Capacity (adds two extra grenades)
  • Rank 6: Anti-shield (+50% damage against shields)

The Soldier is a sturdy frontline warrior capable of dishing and soaking plenty of damage while in the thick of the action. Following the rank upgrade choices here will give your Soldier additional oomph against armored and shielded foes while keeping the single-target stun Concussive Shot on low cooldown for breathing space.

Vanguard build

Focus: Biotics + mobility
Recommended weapons: Shotgun or high-damage pistol
Recommended ability upgrades

  • Charge (combo detonator)
  • Rank 4: Damage & Force (+30% damage and impact force)
  • Rank 5: Power Synergy (+25% power damage and impact force)
  • Rank 6: Shock Trooper (+75% recharge speed)
  • Nova (combo primer with upgrade)
  • Rank 4: Radius (+40% radius)
  • Rank 5: Anti-shield (+60% shield damage bonus)
  • Rank 6: Seismic Nova (+30% damage and impact force with added knockdown effect and combo primer)
  • Shockwave (combo detonator, combo primer with upgrade)
  • Rank 4: Radius (+50% radius)
  • Rank 5: Recharge Speed (+25% recharge speed)
  • Rank 6: Lifting Shockwave (lifts affected enemies midair and becomes combo primer)

Having a Vanguard in your squad guarantees some flashy biotic action as he surges across the battlefield to give the biotic boot to a hapless foe. Keep your equipment weight low if you choose the Vanguard; most biotic and tech users lean more heavily on their abilities over straight combat classes. The rank upgrades displayed here offer some wonderful shield retention with rapid-cooldown Charges and adds vital crowd control to both Nova and Shockwave.

Engineer build

Focus: Elemental damage + debilitative effects
Recommended weapons: Assault rifle + pistol or sniper rifle + pistol
Recommended ability upgrades

  • Cryo Beam (combo primer)
  • Rank 4: Recharge Speed (+25% recharge speed)
  • Rank 5: Brittle Freeze (50% armor defense debuff)
  • Rank 6: Cryo Trap (creates freeze trap if not aimed at a specific target)
  • Assault Turret (combo primer with upgrade)
  • Rank 4: Recharge Speed (+40% recharge speed)
  • Rank 5: Omni-link (turret self-repairs and provides +30% tech power recharge speed while within 2 meters of Engineer)
  • Rank 6: Flamethrower (incendiary damage within 8 meters, 50% bonus damage to armor, and combo primer)
  • Overload (combo detonator)
  • Rank 4: Recharge Speed (+20% recharge speed)
  • Rank 5: Anti-shield (+50% damage to shields)
  • Rank 6: Maximum Charge (+30% charge-up chain damage)

If you’re up against the synth-only Remnant faction or struggling with crunching through heavily armored enemies, then the Engineer is your best friend on the galactic frontier. Her bag of tricks isn’t as showy as the Vanguard or Adept, but she’s still a superb choice for weakening enemy defenses and delivering consistent elemental damage with a concrete fallback to the Assault Turret for recovery. The spread of ability upgrades shown here double-down on the Engineer’s utility, including some nifty anti-shield boosts to Overload to help bolster the class’ shortcomings against shielded enemies.

Adept build

Focus: Biotic damage + area crowd control
Recommended weapons: Low-weight pistol
Recommended ability upgrades 

  • Singularity (combo primer)
  • Rank 4: Duration (+40% active duration)
  • Rank 5: Anti-shield (+150% damage to shield)
  • Rank 6: Exploding Singularity (700 force explosion damage at end of Singularity)
  • Pull (combo primer)
  • Rank 4: Radius (4 meter radius increase, affects two targets instead of one)
  • Rank 5: Expose (30% defense debuff to target while under Pull effect)
  • Rank 6: Biotic Drain (10% shields leeched per second from target while under Pull effect)
  • Shockwave (combo detonator, combo primer with upgrade)
  • Rank 4: Radius (+50% radius)
  • Rank 5: Recharge Speed (+25% recharge speed)
  • Rank 6: Lifting Shockwave (lifts affected enemies midair and becomes combo primer)

The Adept is Apex’s biotic wizard, donning light armor in the sci-fi equivalent to mage robes in order to tumble multiple enemies helpless in the air with powerful biotic abilities. He excels at area denial and snap crowd control with his Singularity and Shockwave powers, so the rank choices here include improvements to the duration and radius of said abilities. Pull receives augments benefitting the frail Adept himself; it’s both an excellent way to yank two troublesome targets into your team’s sights while also restoring vital shields in the process.

Sentinel build

Focus: Adaptable biotic, tech, and combat all-rounder
Recommended weapons: Assault rifle + pistol or assault rifle + shotgun
Recommended ability upgrades

  • Throw (combo detonator)
  • Rank 4: Damage & Force (+30% damage and impact force)
  • Rank 5: Recharge Speed (+25% recharge speed)
  • Rank 6: Swift Detonation (+30% combo detonation damage)
  • Barricade (combo primer with upgrade)
  • Rank 4: Duration (+40% duration)
  • Rank 5: Power Feedback (+20% added power damage and force for all teammates behind Barricade cover)
  • Rank 6: Regeneration (negates depleted shield recovery delay)
  • Energy Drain (combo detonator, combo primer with upgrade)
  • Rank 4: Recharge Speed (+20% recharge speed)
  • Rank 5: Extended Drain (+6% shields restored per second for 4 seconds after initial drain and becomes combo primer)
  • Rank 6: Team Drain (+50% ally shield restore if within 8 meters, +30% personal shield restore)

The Sentinel dips equally into all three schools of ability power for her set of skills, and she brings an interesting hybrid playstyle borrowing from the aggressive Soldier and the debuffing Engineer. Squads will swoon over her Barricade ability, a piece of insta-cover that both buffs team power usage and greatly speeds up shield recovery. The suggested rank upgrades further emphasize the Sentinel’s team-wide benefits, but don’t forget about Throw’s fantastic Rank 6 upgrade that enhances all combo detonations to the target—one of the rare few combo damage boosters in the entire game.

Infiltrator

Focus: Stealth-based single-target assassin
Recommended weapons: Sniper rifle only or sniper rifle + pistol
Recommended ability upgrades 

  • Sticky Grenade
  • Rank 4: Damage (+20% damage)
  • Rank 5: Grenade Capacity (adds two extra grenades)
  • Rank 6: Anti-armor (+50% damage to armor)
  • Tactical Cloak
  • Rank 4: Recharge Speed (+30% recharge speed)
  • Rank 5: Speed (+15% movement speed while cloaked)
  • Rank 6: Escape Artist (cloak no longer prevents health and shield recovery)
  • Incinerate (combo primer, combo detonator with upgrade)
  • Rank 4: Burning (+15% damage over time, +30% duration)
  • Rank 5: Anti-armor (+50% damage against armor)
  • Rank 6: Detonator (initial damage now counts as combo detonator)

Expect plenty of Infiltrators to queue into your squad for his popular hit-and-run sniping playstyle and ease of escape with Tactical Cloak. Like the Soldier, the upgrade choices shown here directly boost the Infiltrator’s raw damage and ability power, in particular Incinerate’s usefulness as both a combo primer or detonator if needed. The Sticky Grenade has a charged effect of providing more precise throws while not blowing up in your hand like a traditional cooked grenade.