Why Mass Effect 3’s Engineer is The Best Class for Insanity Difficulty


For Mass Effect: Legendary Edition players eager for the coveted Insanity trophy, they will have to take on Mass Effect 3’s Insanity mode, its most difficult setting, and of all available classes, Engineer may be their best bet. On Insanity, players will face a far more formidable fight for Shepard. Enemies have more health and shields, deal more damage, and are far more aggressive with their tactics. Insanity will force players to use everything in their kit if they want to survive.

Thankfully, players have the Engineer as a secret weapon. Of all the classes, the Engineer has often been seen as the weakest. They frequently have lower shields and health compared to the rest of the classes, and they have the lowest weight capacity, meaning they are unable to bring some of the more powerful weapons into a fight. However, despite these limitations, a certain element of Insanity mode in Mass Effect 3 not only makes the Engineer immensely powerful, but may allow them to get through most of the game without firing a weapon.

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In Mass Effect 3, the higher the difficulty, the more damage Power Combos can do. Power Combos make up a new combat mechanic introduced in Mass Effect 3. It allows the player to combine different powers to create a powerful explosion or effect. For example, using Cryo Blast to freeze an enemy and then shattering the target with a Concussive Blast will create a cryo explosion, hurting and freezing nearby enemies. Because of how damage scaling in Mass Effect 3 works, Power Combos do three times the damage on Insanity difficulty compared to normal.

The Engineer has access to quite a few different tech powers including Cryo Blast, Overload, and Incinerate, and all of these powers can combo off of one another. The best way to think of these powers is as primers and detonators. The primer powers create an effect on the target that opens them up for a detonator power to create a combo. Cryo Blast is only a primer power, meaning it can only prime a target, never detonate one. However, both Overload and Incinerate are primer and detonator powers in Mass Effect 3.

Overload is best used on shielded targets (which appear frequently on Insanity) to remove their shields or barriers. Overload will also leave behind a shock effect that primes the target which you can detonate with Incinerate. Because of how often shielded enemies are encountered, this is a great bread-and-butter combo to remove shields while also dealing some damage. Alternatively, for armored targets like the feared Mass Effect Banshee or Atlas mechs, players can use Incinerate first to prime the target and then detonate it with Overload. Each of these combos does big damage on Insanity, and the resulting explosions can hit other nearby enemies. They can also be launched them from cover, and as most Mass Effect 3 powers home in on their targets, aiming becomes less of a risk. Prioritizing power recharge and damage when upgrading powers and looking at armor options can also help maximize damage output.

Players will want their cooldowns to be as low as possible so that they are always ready to use. The same thing goes for weapons: choose weapons with low weight like SMGs and pistols so you can take advantage of that 200% power recharge speed bonus. If done correctly, most of the Engineer’s powers should have cooldowns between 1-2 seconds.

With the Mass Effect Engineer in play, the Insanity trophy (or at least one of them) is as good as yours in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. The Legendary Edition also comes with plenty of more trophies that cover everything from using biotics in combat to pursuing romances across all three games. Either way, RPG fans are bound to be kept busy for quite a while.

More: Why Citadel Is The Best Mass Effect DLC

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