The Mass Effect Trilogy is considered one of the best Sci-Fi gaming franchises in gaming history, with one of the industry’s most profound narratives and likable characters: Commander Shepard. Yet, with several classes to choose from, many players end up wondering which class is the best in the trilogy. We’ve created a Mass Effect classes tier list to help you pick the best that suits your playstyle.
The Mass Effect franchise is undeniably one of the most iconic in recent years. It redefined what gamers could expect from sci-fi games, setting a new precedent for storytelling within the gaming industry. The franchise offers an emotionally engaging story with deep lore that immerses players into its world, as well as fantastic gameplay mechanics that encourage replayability.
The release of Mass Effect Legendary Edition allowed new players to jump in and enjoy all three with upgraded graphics and features. The trilogy provides many unique options and decisions throughout each playthrough. One of the most critical is which kind of class you will select for your character.
Join us as we discover the best classes to decimate the Reaper forces on your next Mass Effect playthrough through a comprehensive class tier list!
Quick Overview of the Class System in the Mass Effect Trilogy
Classes in Mass Effect allow players to have a specific playstyle and a set of abilities that the player can adapt to different situations. These classes provide the player with active and passive skills, which they can upgrade by spending Talent Points. A player earns Talent Points to spend on upgrading their skills every time they level up.
There are two specialization classes that players can choose from for every class. When a specialization is chosen, it gives access to new traits that come with perks and bonuses.
Please keep in mind that while these recommended classes may differ between the three games, they have been chosen based on their general utility.
The Best Mass Effect Trilogy Classes Tier List
While this is a ranked class tier list for Mass Effect, it is fair to say that every class is valuable based on a gamer’s playstyle. While some can be very useful, they may be dull or useless for others based on how they like to play their games.
6. Engineer (D Tier) – Maybe the Least Effective & Most Boring Class in Mass Effect
Engineers have more support roles for their squadmates, as their primary abilities rely on lowering enemy shields, disrupting weapons, and hacking synthetics. Depending on the game, Engineers can also spawn combat drones that attack enemies on sight.
While Engineer is a helpful class, it’s less combat-focused, and players will have to rely on light weapons for the most part. This reliance on light weapons may make them challenging to use in some of the trilogy’s combat scenarios. Beyond that, relying on combat drones to take down enemies makes combat less exciting as the player is less able to directly affect the outcome of each engagement.
That being said, if you prefer this kind of playstyle, especially one that can rely on minions (i.e. combat drones), then you should absolutely consider playing as an engineer-class character in your next Mass Effect playthrough. Don’t just completely ignore the engineer because he ended up at the bottom of our Mass Effect classes tier list.
Best Weapons for Engineers
- Submachine guns
Tips for Engineers in Mass Effect
- Bring squadmates with high combat abilities, such as Garrus, Wrex, Grunt, or James, trained on Assault Rifles, Shotguns, and Sniper Rifles that can damage enemies severely.
- Stay in cover and keep enemies from pushing by lowering their shields.
- Focus on high-priority targets.
- Use your pistol to kill weak enemies so squadmates can focus on the stronger ones.
- Coordinate with your squadmates and stay aware of their position and situation.
Quick Fact: Engineers get a special Paragon Interrupt in the Omega DLC for Mass Effect 3
5. Sentinel (C Tier) – Play it Safe With This Character Type
Sentinels have a mix of Tech and Biotic abilities that help them in combat and as support for their squadmates. While they have attacking abilities, those don’t tend to be as potent as the ones in other classes but can deal severe damage if played correctly.
The right person playing a Sentinel can aggressively rush their enemies to detonate their Tech Armor shield. Thanks to its unique power, close-quarters combat is easy for this class. Sentinels can also disrupt enemy Biotic and Tech attacks.
Best Weapons for Sentinels
- Assault Rifles
Tips for Sentinels in Mass Effect
- Use the throw ability to take enemies out of cover.
- Ignore weapon weight in Mass Effect 3 for an aggressive playstyle
- Bring Squadmates that can offer power combos, such as Liara and Javik
Quick Fact: Sentinels get much more robust by Mass Effect 3, basically turning into tanks.
4. Adept (B Tier) – Mass Effect’s Version of Jedis
Adepts’ powers are equivalent to Mass Effect Jedi Abilities in that they can manipulate objects and enemies and throw them around the room, making hilarious and badass moments in the game.
Adept is a powerful class that can take out enemies without using a single bullet. Instead, they can use their biotic powers to destroy shields and throw objects. If you want an interesting class that offers unique and interesting combat opportunities, we think you’ll enjoy playing as the Adept, despite it being in the middle of our Mass Effect classes tier list.
Best Weapons for Adepts
- Submachine guns
- Light assault rifles
Tips for Playing as Adepts in Mass Effect
- Stay and don’t rush, as adepts tend to be weak targets.
- You can quickly wipe out unshielded targets, so make sure to get rid of them as soon as possible.
- In Mass Effect 3, remove Guardians’ riot shields with the Pull ability.
- Combine Warp and Throw to detonate a biotic explosion in Mass Effect 3 against shielded enemies.
- In Mass Effect 2, focus on crowd control as its powers are perfect for the scenario. Bring squadmates that can deal with long-range targets.
Quick Fact: Adepts are overpowered in the original Mass Effect game.
3. Infiltrator (A Tier) – You Can’t Go Wrong with a Sniper Class in Mass Effect
If your Xbox360 Gamertag was something like XxGh0sTSn1P3RxX back in the day, then this class is for you!
Those who choose the heavy combat/sniper rifle class, known as Infiltrators, will have a lot of fun sneaking up behind enemies and using special tech powers to weaken them before finishing them off.
If you’re looking to have an easy time in Insanity difficulty, then the Infiltrator class is perfect for you. You can stay far away from enemies and even attack them from behind without being detected.
Best Weapons for Infiltrators
- Heavy sniper rifles
- Heavy pistols
Tips for Infiltrators in Mass Effect
- If you are about to die, use the Tactical Cloak ability to stop enemies from focusing on you.
- Mass Effect 3 only uses a sniper and a pistol to prevent heavy cooldowns on abilities.
- In Mass Effect 1, maintain your distance from enemies.
- Almost any squadmate is helpful when playing with this great class in Mass Effect.
Quick Fact: Infiltrators can be very effective if replacing sniper rifles with heavy assault rifles such as the Mattock.
2. Soldier (A Tier) – Can Fit Nearly Every Situation
The Soldier class is the ideal option for combat in all three games as they have a keen understanding of every gun and how to utilize it on the battlefield.
Soldiers are not to be messed with; they pack a serious punch and can shoot anything in their sight. They also have some powerful abilities up their sleeve, such as concussive force and different ammo types.
The benefits of this class are immense in situations where a high amount of damage needs to be dealt. The only drawback is the lack of biotic abilities. If you want a versatile and well-balanced character, you should pick the Soldier from our Mass Effect classes tier list.
Best Weapons for Soldiers
- Any weapon
Tips for Soldiers in Mass Effect
- Bring squadmates that can help with crowd control, such as Liara, EDI, Tali, or Kaidan.
- Level up the Concussive Shot Ability as soon as possible.
- The Mattock and Cerberus Harrier are excellent weapons choices in the third installment of Mass Effect.
Quick Fact: While it is not official, the majority of the Mass Effect community agrees that the Soldier is the cannon class for Commander Shepard.
1. Vanguard (S Tier) – The Most Lethal and Fun Class in Mass Effect
Is your day not going well? Do you need to release some steam off your body? Put on some Rage Against The Machine music and pick the Vanguard class in Mass Effect to get ready for some chaos.
While Vanguard is not very helpful in a teamwork environment, without a doubt, it is the most high-risk, high-reward class in the whole game. Vanguards have access to a unique fund ability called Biotic Charge, and trust us; you get what the name says. With this ability, you will dash to your enemies with a consequential hit dealing significant damage. It’s always great fun to execute in combat.
This class takes time to master, as you must know when to use it and when to retreat. Yet, the up-close nature and dynamic combat make the Vanguard earn our Mass Effect classes tier list top spot.
Best Weapons for Soldiers
Tips for Playing as a Vanguard in Mass Effect
- Shockwave is a unique ability for Vanguards in Mass Effect 2.
- For a fast recharge rate, keep cooldown times low in Mass Effect 3
- Bring squadmates that can produce powerful biotic detonations, like Liara, James, or Zaeed.
- The Eviscerator and Piranha are both powerful shotguns. These work well with the Vanguard’s ability to close to melee range quickly.
Quick Fact: Vanguard can be very difficult in the Insanity difficulty.
Our Closing Thoughts
This was our comprehensive tier list ranking all the classes in the Mass Effect Trilogy. We hope it will help you determine what class to play on your next playthrough. While every class can be useful depending on which game you’re playing, we recommend trying each one out so you can choose whichever fits your style best.
That being said, if you like dynamic and intense combat, we recommend sticking with our top picks for a more engaging and rewarding playthrough.
If you have any thoughts or feedback on this, please let us know in the comments below. Additionally, feel free to tell us which class is your favorite Mass Effect class.
We plan to bring you more Mass Effect content soon. Until then, feel free to check out some of our other content, such as our list of the best open-world survival games like DayZ or our overview of the best Payday 2 builds.