Table of Contents
- Mass Effect 3
- Priority Mission: Menae
- Grissom Academy
- N7 Cerberus Lab
- From Ashes DLC Mission
- Priority: Sur'Kesh
- Missing Scouts
- N7 Cerberus Abductions: Benning
- N7 Cerberus Attacks: Tuchanka
- Turian Downed Vessel
- Tuchanka: Bomb
- Priority: Tuchanka
- N7 Cerberus Fighter Base
- Priority: Citadel
- Arrae: Ex-Cerberus Scientists
- Mesana: Distress Signal (Investigate Asari Colony)
- Priority: Geth Dreadnought
- Rannoch: Admiral Koris
- Rannoch: Geth Fighter Squadrons
- N7 Fuel Reactors
- Priority: Rannoch
- Priority: Citadel
- Priority: Thessia
- N7 Communications Hub
- Priority: Horizon
- POINT OF NO RETURN
- Priority: Cerberus Headquarters
- Priority: Earth
Electronic Arts and Bioware 2012
Walkthrough by pprincess No part of this guide can be used without permission of this author. email@example.com
This is a more in-depth guide for using Infiltrator, with a special focus on Insanity difficulty. I'm not the best player of Mass Effect 3, and there are many ways to play. My background is primarily Role Playing Games, rather than shooter games, where strategy and varied tactics are more important than straight gunning. There are lots of ways to play, and what I've written is just one way. If you think you can write a better guide, go ahead and do so because every guide is useful in different ways.
Using a Female Commander Shepard is recommended because you will then have Kaiden Alenko on the team. Kaiden has the power Reave in his build and will give Reave as a Bonus Power for you to use. He also comes with Overload. By contrast, Ashley Williams is a Soldier and offers nothing to the Infiltrator other than Overload, but she basically duplicates what Garrus Vakarian can provide.
I recommend using Infiltrator on New Game+ because you have immediate access to bonus powers that fill in gaps in this build, and because you start with upgraded weapons. Infiltrator can be played in a gunner style or a true assassin style. This guide will focus especially on the Assassin style, employing tech and squad biotics to complement a more stealth RPG style gameplay.
Expect to redo your build for various missions. The Infiltrator Build is lacking in powers to take down Barriers, Shields and Armor quickly, and has no innate biotics. Missions fall into two categories: you are either fighting Cerberus or Reapers. Cerberus primarily has enemies with Shields. Reapers have enemies with Armor and Barriers. You can build your character similar to a traditional Assassin, or more of a gunner.
This strategy relies upon fast Power Recharge, and employs stealth and Tech to manage the battlefield. The goal of this build is to be able to fire off 2-3 powers while Cloaked. With your Power Recharge as fast as possible, an Assassin will spend the majority of their time Cloaked and Invisible. The keys to staying light include wearing armors for Power Recharge speed bonuses, Power Damage and Headshots. Bonus Powers are used strategically. To maintain speed, the Assassin will carry only 1 or 2 weapons which lightens your Weight Capacity so you can be Cloaked nearly all the time. Mass Effect 3 introduces the Decoy skill which you can use from the start on New Game+. Decoy is a more traditional Assassin skill that allows you to maintain your stealth position by confusing the enemy into shooting your Decoy. Grenades supplement this build by adding additonal armor damage.
Many players from FPS gaming backgrounds prefer to just gun everything down as quickly as possible and focus on weapon damage, melee and ammo powers. If your aim is good, you will be relying on Cloak more to add damage than to maintain Stealth. Many areas of the game are close-quarters fighting where it's impossible to set up sniper shots. Taking a shotgun rather than a sniper rifle on the mission will help the gunner take down huge armored targets at close range. A few Bonus Powers useful to a gunner for max damage would be Armor Piercing Ammo or Warp Ammo. Defense Matrix can help you recharge your shields if you get in trouble. A Gunner build has fewer points in Tech skills like Incinerate. Having a good aim and using strong guns means you can equip Armor for weapon damage rather than fast Power Recharge. Although melee upgrades are part of the Fitness skill tree, keep in mind that no matter what you do, an Infiltrator build will not be as geared to taking damage as the Soldier or Vanguard. You are a 1-2 hit kill on Insanity so make up for your lack of Defense with high weapon damage and excellent aim.
- Max this ability.
- Rank 4 take Squad Disruptor. This will enhance the weapon power of biotic squadmates against Shields and Barriers at 50% effectiveness. Biotic squadmates carry weaker weapons so you want them to do as much damage as they can.
- Rank 5 take headshot damage, for sniping.
- Rank 6 take Damage upgrade.
- This is a matter of personal preference. It does work well on husks and Cannibals. Cryo Ammo works best when Maxed.
- Rank 4 take Squad Cryo, which will help abuse squad biotics.
- Rank 5 you can take Headshots or Ammo Capacity, Headshots will give you yet more damage but you can probably do without it, because the best guns will kill an unshielded enemy anyway. If you're a gunner more than a tech user, you might want the extra Ammo capacity.
- Rank 6 take Damage Combo to abuse the extra damage of squadmate powers. Freeze Chance is worthless, it isn't going to work on shielded or barrier enemies.
This staple of the Infiltrator build is a matter of personal preference. It is not powerful enough to one-hit kill unshielded enemies on Insanity unless you equip armor with power tech damage upgrades, or by exploiting with biotic combos. If you're more of a gunner rather than Assassin, don't bother with Incinerate at all.
- Rank 4 take Damage.
- Rank 5 gives you the choice of extra damage or Recharge speed. If you took Damage at Rank 4, take Recharge instead, you'll notice a huge difference in recharge once weapon weight is taken into account.
- Rank 6 take Armor Damage, Incinerate can then take out 1-2 bars off a heavy armored enemy.
Maxed all the time.
- Rank 4 take Damage bonus.
- Rank 5 take Recharge Speed. Sometimes the melee damage can be useful on husk missions, but you'll want your faster cloak most of the time. :Rank 6 Bonus Power will generally be most useful because you can fire off another power while Cloaked, essentially a free cooldown. With extra Power Recharge bonuses on armor, you can eventually hit 2-3 powers while still Cloaked.
Occasionally grenades can get you out of a bad situation. Go for Damage bonuses and Armor damage bonus. Detonates Incinerate or Incendiary Ammo.
This skill is very useful for hacking Cerberus turrets to turn on enemies and to hack Geth to fight on your side. But Sabotage is unnecessary for Reaper missions and the points are best spent elsewhere for this type of enemy. There is no need to put points in this skill immediately, you can re-spec to get it for Geth missions and a few Cerberus missions.
This skill tree gives you specific sniper bonuses. Most are personal preference, but at Rank 5 take the Weight Capacity because sniper rifles don't have a lightness mod and you want the faster recharge on your powers.
This is about strength and melee ability and will depend upon how much you use melee. Rank 6 Durability is the better of the two choices, as it is one of the few spots in the build to add to your health and shields.
At the start of New Game+, you can choose a changeable bonus. If you are playing New Game+, Dark Channel or Energy Drain are good to start with. Dark Channel at Rank 6 will give you a 75% bonus damage to Barriers and Armor. Energy Drain is almost as good as Overload on enemy shields and it will replenish your shields too. Later you will change this Bonus Power almost every mission.
How to Fire 2-3 Powers Cloaked
You can get your Cloak so long in duration and your Recharge fast enough to fire 2-3 Powers before Cloak wears off.
- Tactical Cloak--take Recharge Speed at Rank 5 and Bonus Power
at Rank 6.
- Wear Rosenkov armor pieces for Power Recharge speed.
- Make sure when your powers recharge when Cloaked you DON'T hit Cloak again, it will take you out of Cloak and reset your recharge. Just use another power instead.
- Take Stasis as your Bonus skill, and take Rank 5 Bonus Power which allows you to fire 2 powers in a row. Along with your Cloak bonuses, you have virtually infinite Stasis use, and you should be able to fire 2 more powers for a total of 3 while under a single Cloak.
For most of the game, use only a Sniper Rifle and Pistol or Assault Rifle. Occasionally using a Shotgun rather than the Sniper will be better. Because of weapon weight, carry EITHER the sniper OR the shotgun, but NOT BOTH at the same time. Always take a pistol. In general, Reaper missions are best with a shotgun and scope, and Cerberus missions better with a Sniper Rifle. The biggest challenge early in New Game+ is having enough money to upgrade all 3 weapons to level X if you bought the Black Widow, which is probably the best sniper rifle. I like the Arc Pistol but it can only go to VII until you get it again in story mode.
What you choose depends somewhat on whether you are more of a gunner or tech power user. For Assassin style, we want armors that emphasize headshots, Power Damage, and Power Recharge. The point is to be light and nimble in the sense that your powers recharge quickly. Don't use the full armor sets if possible, you'd be gimping something in your build by doing so. By focusing on Power Recharge, Headshots and Power Damage, you should be in Cloak or other tech quickly.
- Armax Arsenal pieces give 5% weapon damage and 10% Headshot damage. Wear ONE.
- Serrice Council pieces give 10% power damage.
- Rosenkov Materials pieces add +10% power recharge speed. These are excellent, with only two weapons and a piece of two of this armor along with a recharge bonus on Tactical Mastery, you can remain cloaked almost all the time.
- Delumcore Overlay for 5% Headshot Damage and 10% Weapon Damage.
- Full Sets: Blood Dragon Armor at Kanala Exports has Power Recharge Speed +10%, Power Damage+ 30% and Shields +20%, but it's pricey and will gimp your weapon damage a little. For some missions, the extra shield protection might be worth it for close quarters battles. The Inferno Armor has 30% Power Recharge and 30% Power Damage, but you'd be doing without any weapon/headshot bonus.
I suggest as a general armor set to mix Serrice, Rosenkov and a good visor for headshots. Until you get a good headshot visor, Delumcore Overlay is fine.
Kaiden is useful for Overload in this mission, so max it out right away. If you have Ashley, max out Concussive Shot. Max Liara's Singularity and put points into Warp and also Stasis Bubble if you want. If you want to put points into Warp Ammo, don't take the squad version for now, just max it for her personal damage use. She has a fast recharge, so keep up the Singularity/Warp detonations in doorways and on enemy groupings, and fill in with your Tech powers and Kaiden's biotics. Use Disruptor or Cryo Ammo throughout the mission. Once you get the Mantis on Mars, use it at a distance in hallways once you set up Singularity. You may already have the Black Widow or regular Widow, which you can use without mods at this point.
When you gain control of the ship, visit the Armory in the Shuttle Bay to start upgrading weapons and pick armor. On New Game+ you can probably afford to upgrade at least two weapons to level X. Upgrade the Shotgun and Pistol now, our first mission will require the shotty rather than the Sniper Rifle.
If you need credits, you can scan a few planets. Fuel can be bought in Annos Basin.
- Hades Gamma: Anteus, Trebin 10,000 credits; Cacus Chohe 10,000 credits; Dis Klensal 10,000 credits.
- Kite's Nest: Untrel Adek 10,000 credits.
Visit the Citadel now to move on with the story.
- Liara: Singularity/Warp.
- James: Max Carnage taking Damage and Armor bonuses. Max Arm Master and take Health, Shields and Power bonuses. Put whatever points you have left into Grenades first, and Incendiary Ammo second. With the health bonuses, on New Game+ James will have around 1225 Health, the most of any squadmate.
- Weapons: Bring a shotgun and a pistol only. The fast combat on this mission is Reapers/husks/Brutes in close quarters, so you won't have many occasions to use a sniper rifle.
- Bonus Powers Med Bay: take anything that will add damage to armored targets, like Dark Channel or Armor Piercing Ammo. Or take Decoy for the Assassin's build.
Use Liara to fix the tower. James is too slow and you and Liara will get overwhelmed by husks. Activate Cryo Ammo and Decoy, if you have it. Run further away from the tower back towards the direction you entered the area, Liara will have the tower fixed after only a couple of waves. Keep on the run using a pistol, there is no useful cover. Use Dark Channel or Incinerate to take out husks, along with James' Carnage or Frag Grenades into the crowds.
Defend the Base
A few Marauders will show up wearing Shields. Max Garrus' Overload taking all the Shield damage bonuses you can get, and the same with Concussive Shot. These powers maxed for damage will fill in your weaknesses with shields and Barriers. For Concussive Shot, at Rank 5 take the Recharge bonus because you're going to need this ability to charge fast for Barrier enemies. Don't take Squad Armor Piercing ammo, just max it for Garrus to use himself.
Activate Cryo or Incendiary Ammo. The big gun is a bit slow and you might find it's easier to Cloak and use Incinerate and pistol on the husks. When the Brute shows up, switch to your shotgun and stay on the run. Make sure Garrus is using his Armor Piercing rounds. Kite the Brute around by running and rolling and use powers on the husks. Your squad mates should deal most of the damage on the Brute while you manage husks. The battle is over when the Brute dies.
Defend the Command Base
Take cover behind the first rock when you enter the field, use pistol and powers to take out the few enemies ahead. When Shepard says to move forward quickly, run forward along the map keeping on the LEFT and take cover behind the rock near the cliff edge with the shelters to your left. You will find a medi-gel just ahead on your left and ammo in the shelter if you need it. Don't waste too much time, get to the cover rock as will give the greatest distance from the 3 Brutes who will be coming in quickly, and you'll be far enough away from the enemy entrance to keep anything from getting too close.
Use Garrus' Overload on Marauders to strip Shields and activate your Disruptor Ammo. Use powers to finish them off. Watch for the first Brute because he charges more quickly than the others. Switch to Shotgun, and activate Garrus' Armor Piercing Ammo and James' Incendiary Ammo, and use an Incinerate. Bring up the Power Wheel and Target all 3 squad members' Grenade/Mine abilities onto the Brute at the same time. This should detonate the Incinerate/Incendiary and take out most of its armor and the blast from all 3 will stagger it enough to gun down the remaining bar or two. You should have about 4-6 grenades yourself and using 1 on each Brute won't run you empty.
There is a Blackstar Heavy Weapon further ahead which has 1 shot in it, as well as a Grenade box. I think it's too risky to go grab these unless you want to Cloak and run after you kill the first Brute. You can easily take down the last two Brutes far back behind the rock near the cliff edge using the strategy of your grenades, James' grenades, and Garrus' Mine in unison, and then follow up with Shotgun and ammo powers. With this strategy, you won't need need the heavy weapon. The key is being back far enough to catch the Brutes with the grenades+mine strategy before they get close.
Visit the Shuttle Bay and remove the Assault Rifle from your pack that you picked up on Menae. Take off the Shotgun and add your Sniper Rifle.
The Presidium Commons and various other missions will be open on the Citadel. Before you go, visit the Shrike Abyssal and pick up 10,000 credits in Xe Cha, Zada Ban planet, and in Urla Rast get the Prothean Obelisk on Talis Fia. In Minos Wasteland you can get 10,000 credits and 200 fuel scanning on the east side of Pietas.
If you talk to Traynor, you can open Grissom Academy mission. This is timed so we can't go on with the Priority summit mission until it is done. If you have the From Ashes DLC, you can do this now with Garrus and Liara or James. Garrus' Overload is useful on the mission. On New Game+ there isn't any hurry to do this mission, however, as you already have Dark Channel. If you choose to do the DLC now, re-spec Shepard and take Sabotage for the turrets on the planet.
Otherwise, head to the Citadel first to turn in the Obelisk for 20,000 credits. Ask Avina about other areas in the Citadel. Visit each of the areas to pick up all the available side quests. Do everything you can and return to the Normandy.
Grissom Academy is next. You can also do the Cerberus Lab first, but the Grissom enemies will scale so unless you need skill points, don't delay Grissom too long.
You can re-spec Shepard to add more points to Sabotage for hacking turrets. It's a Cerberus fighting mission so the main challenge is going to be stripping Shields. Energy Drain can be helpful for stripping shields.
Liara offers Singularity/Warp/Stasis for crowd control. Javik stays alive well in this mission and provides Pull to take enemies out of cover. Garrus has Overload which is really useful on Shields. I'll be using Liara and Garrus.
Sniper Rifle and Pistol. If you have the Black Widow X and at least one Ammo 30% bonus on you or a squadmate, you can even forgo the pistol and use the sniper rifle the entire mission.
Most of the battles can be done taking cover far in the back and sniping, hacking Turrets/Generators and using Liara's Singularity/Warp detonations, and Garrus for Overload. Use Overload, Energy Drain and Disruptor Ammo on the Atlas mech to strip the Shield. Use a Grenade when the Atlas is down to Armor.
This battle has a lot of enemies and you will need to constantly bring up your power wheel to stop the action and look around to address any close up threats. The students are not at risk here, so you can take your time on the battle. Turrets can be hacked with Sabotage.
Safe cover can be had back inside the doorway or risking the first two blocks when you enter. The door appears to close behind you when the battle starts, but it reopens. You can position your squadmates inside the doorway with you in cover and use their powers from there, or at the blocks while you snipe from the doorway. Garrus can also squat inside the doorway and his Overload will work through the walls. The main group that will threaten you in the doorway are all straight ahead. Deal with guardians and engineers first. When nothing seems to be appearing straight ahead of you, then strafe in and out and look up the ramp to the right, and take out any enemies. Squad powers will work through the walls here. Having a squadmate like Liara who can do Singularity/Warp detonations helps save on ammo.
Take out the turret close to your position with Overload, Energy Drain, or a Grenade before moving forward to the ramp wall. From here you can take out the Atlas at a distance and it won't activate. Use the sniper gun and Overload to strip the barriers, and then biotics or a grenade to work off the armor. It will break apart when you're done.
There is a single ammo clip further up on the ramp that will refill quite a bit of ammo.
At this point, if no enemies remain and Jack doesn't warn of another wave, you still will have 1-2 turrets left and the game won't move on until you take them out. Move up the ramp staying in cover until you take them out. When Jack opens the hallway door below, move into it and make a manual save inside the doorway. Head down to the next doorway for the second half of the atrium battle.
The big problem here is the turret above you that will kill you if you try to enter the atrium. You could Cloak and run for cover, but expect to be flanked by Engineers, and a couple of Guardians. Send in a strong character like Garrus or James to the block/wall just outside the doorway. You can stay in the doorway and snipe until nothing appears to be coming toward you. Hack the turret in the distance on your right but you will have to take it out eventually before you can go in. Oddly I died once in this bit and when I reloaded the turrets weren't present, and no rubble for them appeared on the map.
After taking out the couple of assault soldiers in the next area, get the Sniper Piercing Mod IV in the Security Office.
Snipe out the Engineer next to the Atlas in the hallway. The big challenge for the final battle is the student barrier meter which means you must draw the aggro or manage the enemy crowds to keep them away from the students. You will have to make a choice whether to get in the Atlas or take your chances and go it on foot. If you go on foot you may end up fighting two Atlases. If you take the Atlas, make sure you turn squad powers on if you've been doing them manually. Also, plan to stay in the Atlas until it is completely destroyed, or else an Engineer will hijack it back again and it will be healed to 100% and have a new shield.
Where you enter is North, and the enemies arrive from entrances directly ahead to the South, just above your head North, on the west balcony and the two West ground entrances. When the regular enemies slow down, an Atlas appears from the center North entrance. Take out the shield generators on the balcony for an easier time taking out balcony enemies, the generators reactivate so keep an eye on them. It's fairly easy to snipe once you identify which entrance the next wave of enemies is using. If you use the Atlas and have Liara in the party, she probably won't last long. Garrus will stay alive fairly well on his own.
Take Decoy, Energy Drain, this mission isn't too hard. Otherwise you'll need Garrus for his Overload ability, and Liara's Singularity/Warp detonations make quick work of Cerberus soldiers.
Fairly straight up Cerberus mission. Look around for the Alien Medi-Gel formula before you leave the first Reaper Tech area. After securing the second Tech, head up a ramp to a computer room with windows. From here, through the doorway you can snipe Cerberus coming up the ramp to your left, while your squadmates front the room across the hall. Biotics and Overload will work in the hallway even though your squaddies are in the next room. Stay here guarding your doorway until you hear the cue to go to the Extraction point. Next to the shuttle is a block. Clear a path to it and take cover behind it, continuing to snipe above you on the ramp and watch out for enemy grenades. Recover the free 10,000 credits and fuel from the solar system before you leave the area.
All that's left now before going back to the Citadel is to pick up any remaining planet scans to finish up what you can of the Citadel side quests. You should have enough money by now to finish fully upgrading 3 weapons for yourself, if you haven't done so already. Afterward, any remaining credits can go toward upgrading Assault Rifles and SMGs for your party members who use them.
Shield stripping will be the main challenge so take anything you find useful. Crowd Control is another challenge because there are a lot of Cerberus enemies. This map also has turrets which you can hack with Sabotage..
Liara is a de facto squadmate and Garrus is again the best squadmate to help you with his Overload, so you can take cover and snipe.
Defend the Artifact
First wave of Cerberus is just a matter of taking cover and using squadmate powers. When the enemies are gone, move forward to their position and enter the building on the left. The next building just outside the door from here will trigger a wave of Cerberus. Climb the ladder outside the building to the roof. Snipe what you can from here, a couple of Cerberus will dig in behind objects you can't get at from the roof. Go down the ladder at this point to take out what's left.
Visit the previous building for anything you missed, and then visit the building where the Cerberus dug in and get the video footage. Continuing the clockwise circle around the map, the building ahead is the lab living quarters. When you click on the table and Shep mentions what happened to the people, it triggers another wave of enemies. Backtrack to the door you used to get in the living quarters, go back outside and go up the ladder on the building just south of you. Cue your squadmates to follow. Easy sniping and biotics to take out the enemies from here.
Head back through the living quarters and cross to the next building to view the video footage. When you open the door to leave after the video footage, another wave of enemies is triggered. Stay in the doorway with Garrus and have Liara hide just ahead in the next room around the table. Enemies will come toward you and Garrus in the doorway, and then from the left. Your position will make it easy to coordinate biotics and Overload. Just outside is a turret which you can take out after the flanking enemies are dealt with.
Now go back to the living quarters and go to the back door again. There will be another turret there and an Engineer and a couple assault soldiers. Garrus will position himself on the steps and Liara can stay in the quarters and use biotics from there. When the turret is gone and nothing seems to be coming forward, go to the ladder you used before. Have your squadmates follow. You can snipe an enemy engineer at a great distance. Two guardians will come forward to the same position, and are easily dispatched. Move toward that location ahead to trigger the bridge outage. Remember the ladders and roof because they are useful for the final battle.
You can do okay fighting from inside the building, if you want to fight everything, and expect to be flanked in there from guardians. But the roof is a better location for snipers and biotics. A few enemies will come up on the roof, and you'll deal with enemy grenades, but that will happen anywhere on the map. The first wave of enemies will mostly enter the building. If you're on the roof, you'll have to go down the ladder to trigger getting the next wave which includes the Atlas mech. Snipe and Overload/Grenade/Warp the mech from the roof or from the building, make sure you kill it before it gets too close to the building, or it becomes unreachable from the roof and will regenerate.
Watch for the incoming Cerberus shuttle on the far left, have Liara put a Singularity in its doorway, none of the troopers will make it past the door without flying in the air.
To draw out the remaining soldiers in the building from your roof position, first place Garrus with his sniper rifle on the front part of the roof. Go down off the roof using the ladder on the side where you came up for the bridge outage. Liara may head down this way ahead of you, so follow her cue. This is a big dirt pit that has a large dirt pile in the bottom. Head down there and hide behind the dirt pile. The remaining enemies will come out on the walkway and you can watch Garrus sniping from the roof while you and Liara use biotics and tech or bullets. Liara will announce when the pod is ready so that ends the battle.
You should be able to scan for the Intel side missions on planets. You can get a Power bonus from the Biotic Implants Intel on Aquila, Metaponto planet. Take the Power Recharge Bonus rather than the damage, an extra 5% damage won't be as useful as the extra Recharge speed. That extra 5% will be useful toward carrying a third light weapon if you need to.
Turn in the side quests you have so far and meet with Miranda and Kaiden. You should hit level 60 if you're on NG+ by turning in these side quests. Then head to Annos Basin for the Diplomat Meeting.
Yet another Cerberus mission. Liara and Garrus are good teammates to bring.
This is a lot of close quarters fighting. If you have a good SMG, you might consider taking it instead of the Black Widow or Pistol. I used the Black Widow, however.
Hang back at the entrance of each new checkpoint. There are a couple of Cerberus shuttles unloading. Direct Liara to toss Singularity in the shuttle doorways and then Incinerate/Warp the soldiers that get stuck. Hack the turret at the next checkpoint and use Singularity on the shuttle on the left and near the Turret. Have Garrus Overload the Engineers. If you've been hacking the turret, your squadmates will return to you when the soldiers are dead, and you can direct them to help you take out the turret to finish off the checkpoint.
You're going to have to leave the initial position after the cutscene. Go left and run across the map and up the small stairway. There will be a couple of Cerberus assault soldiers to take out, then use Disruptor Ammo and Grenades to take out the Atlas, along with sniper bullets. Liara's Warp will shave off damage, and Overload will slow it down.
Reave, Armor Piercing or Warp Rounds, or just take anything you find useful against Reapers.
Liara and James.
Pistol, Shotgun or Sniper Rifle.
I brought the shotgun but I ended up using just the pistol for most of the mission. The first fight is a jump down the ledge. If you can, dump the Fire Storm and equip your fighting weapon before you jump. The Firestorm is not adequate for Husks on Insanity. When the cutscene starts and a Ravager appears, roll to the left at once or you'll get hit, and two hits from a Ravager will kill you. Find cover on the left behind a pillar rock which will hide you from the Ravager, but get prepared to be flanked on both sides by husks. Take out the barrier so you can hit the husks before they get close. Use Singularity casts to protect your position and into the openings where husks are coming through. Use Liara's Stasis on the Ravager and then follow up with James' Carnage and one of your grenades.
When you take out the last power source, veer left to a small cubby area and get ready to melee two husks, they are on top of you almost at once. Then take cover just ahead behind the rock long enough to do some damage on the ravagers, but the cannibals are the real threat, though easy to take out. They will throw grenades on you behind cover, these are more likely to kill you here than the Ravagers which cannot climb up the rocks. Veer left after taking out a cannibal or two in the distance with Singularity/Warp. Then roll out of cover and start running left behind the pillar. You'll get flanked on the left from cannibals and husks and you must get there to take them out. You'll be blocked from the ravagers by the pillar so focus on those cannibals before they throw grenades.
Traynor will notify you that Benning is available. Of the missions remaining, the Turian missions are timed and the second one must be done within 3 missions to clear both successfully. So, the best mission order at this point would be:
- N7 Cerberus Abductions-Benning
- N7 Cerberus Attack
- Tuchanka: Turian Platoon.
- Tuchanka Bomb
- Citadel visit to turn in side quests
- Priority: Tuchanka.
N7 Cerberus Abductions: Benning
Benning is another straight-up Cerberus fighting mission. It's hard to turn down Garrus' Overload/Sniper gunning and Liara's Singularity/Warp detonations, these are almost broken as they are so good. Of course you could make this harder for yourself and take EDI with you instead. Whatever you've done so far that has worked, it will work again here.
When you leave the shuttle, you can choose to go left or right into two different buildings. Stay to the right and use one of the buildings as cover. The main threat will be grenades tossed by assault soldiers. Pick up the dog tag near the pillar where the turret was. When you reach the civilians next to the blue shuttle, the best cover spot will be to the right of the shuttle near the pillar/ramp. You won't get flanked through this building, but troops will be coming from the building on the other side of the shuttle. The main threat will be grenades, but you can roll left up into the empty building to get away.
Sniper Rifle or SMG
This mission is a serious pain for Infiltrator because the fighting map is a maze of blocks and walls. Nice for cover, but it's difficult to find sniper positions. Cryo ammo is very effective here for stopping everything, as well as Liara's Singularity/Warp detonations. In the first wave, keep on the move, going clockwise to the left will give you some defensive cover with rock piles. The first wave is probably the most difficult because the fighting area is so small. Scout the map carefully when you head up to the console, pick up the Improved Power Grid item at the console and salvage items along the way.
At the control panel, you have the advantage of height, stay up there and snipe. A turret on the lower left can be hacked. When you need to return to the power controls, expect a Centurion or Engineer and an assault soldier, so take care when approaching the area with the controls. After you activate the power controls, Cloak and run up back to the computer console. When you arrive, there will be a turret where the computer console is located, as well as an Engineer and two soldiers. Drop a Decoy, Overload and Sabotage the turret and take out the enemies here. If you want to fight any of the enemies on the lower map below, do so before taking out the turret near the console, because once the turret is gone the battle is over.
Liara, Garrus or James.
Dark Channel, Stasis, Energy Drain, or Armor Piercing Ammo.
This reaper mission has a lot of distant cover for the most part, so you can snipe from a good distance. I brought James for his grenades and shotgun, but I think Garrus and his ammo would have been better because the Harvester is so far away. Also, there are a LOT of Marauders on Insanity in this mission. Stasis works well on these, but Garrus' Overload is faster. Cryo ammo works well on the regular reaper enemies to slow them down.
The only really challenging battle is the last one, because the enemy waves are infinite until the Harvester is dead. You will climb down a stairs of rock to trigger the fight. Send your squadmates forward to cover and go back up the stairs as far as you can. If you stay to the left while facing the battle field and strafe in/out, you can pick off a LOT of cannibals and Marauders further away in the battlefield. This spot also makes it hard for Cannibals to toss a grenade too close. Singularity/Warp works well on the cannibals.
Watch for the Brute to enter the field, and use grenades, Warp and bullets to take him out before he gets close. Once the Brute is gone, in between waves move down onto the battlefield and take a position in the back to the left behind a rock. From this position, you will have virtually infinite Marauders coming in on your left, and mainly a few Cannibals coming in on the right. Use Stasis or Overload on the Marauders. They only come in one at a time, so not too bad to control. Take shots at the Harvester when you can, the reapers on foot will keep coming until the Harvester is dead.
Energy Drain or Decoy.
The usual Cerberus fight. Stay back at the first rock for cover, and send squadmates to cover right and left. At this position with a sniper rifle, you won't be in any danger from the grenades. Overload/Singularity/Warp along with Cryo ammo will take out everything. Stay in position until your squadmates come back to you, some of the enemies come in slowly at the end. Up the ramp just past the rifle will be another wave, stay in the entrance and strafe up and down the ramp using the wall for your Cloak cooldown time. Staying down the ramp for cooldown will also get you away from the grenades lobbed into your area.
Just below the medi-gel refill is a pit with some defense shields. A Cerberus Shuttle will fly in. Catch the door when it opens and throw a Singularity/Warp combo in the doorway. There won't be anything left to fight from that shuttle.
Defending Lieutenant Victus
Stay up on the first ledge after you jump down in the cutscene. This is a superb sniping spot. You can strafe to the right behind a wall during cooldown. You will have a view of each shuttle as it comes in, so you can direct your squadmates accordingly. Watch your ammo though: there is plenty in the field, but you can't get back up on the ledge again once you leave it. An Atlas will come in which you can hack, but it won't spot your position on the ledge, and it will sort of get stuck behind the big wall. When everything except the Atlas is gone, jump down from your ledge. The Atlas won't move from behind the wall.
This is your LAST chance to visit the Citadel and finish up side quests in Act I. If you've picked up all side quests, you will have 4 quests left in your Journal: Book of Plenix, Heating Unit Stabilizers, Citadel Automated Turret Schematics, and Priority: Tuchanka. The first three are sidequests that cannot be finished until Act II, don't worry about these. There is new equipment in the shops on the Citadel.
The entire preparation for this mission is going to depend upon whether or not you want to fight 3 Brutes in close quarters. This part of the mission can be skipped by running for the switches while Cloaked. No matter what armor or gun you use, there is no way your build is going to be a Vanguard or Soldier. You don't have the health, shields, and stamina of these combat builds. Equipping a shotgun and heavy armor will not make it so.
This doesn't mean you can't take out the Brutes. You can do it if you are nimble at keeping your character on the move, and rolling around. But you WILL have to plan a strategy, and both choices can mean different preparation.
Take Decoy as your Bonus Power and max it for damage. Equip all Power Recharge armor pieces. Take the lightest sniper rifle you can on the mission, but plan to use a Pistol for the round of Brutes. This strategy will rely on quick power recharge so you can drop rounds of Decoys that will divert the Brutes and explode. If your Power Recharge is quick enough, you should be able to Cloak occasionally. Use Grenades to supplement your weapon.
This can be done either with a pistol or shotgun. Take Armor Piercing Rounds as your bonus and spec for damage and ammo capacity. Or you can try taking Defense Matrix to recharge your shields. Keep in mind the shotgun will slow your Power Recharge, so you will have to evade getting hit and shoot while running. There is no way that health/shields armor will help you avoid being a one-hit kill from a Brute on Insanity. So you might as well just equip armor for weapon damage.
- Garrus- Max his armor piercing rounds for his personal damage, don't take the squad variety. If you want armor piercing, just spec it as a bonus power for yourself.
- James: he can tank with a shotgun, Carnage, Incendiary Rounds (maxed for his damage), and grenades. You can also discharge his Fortification if he gets close up to the Brutes. James should go on this mission if you are doing the Brutes.
- Liara: she will not last long without the Decoys, and even then expect to revive her. She is great for earlier in the mission, however. Make sure her Warp is maxed.
- Javik: a very durable squad mate and gunner. Max his Dark Channel for 75% bonus Armor damage.
The first battle after you exit the ruins will trigger as you move forward. Retreat back to the entrance of the ruins and take cover behind the rock. Have your squadmates take cover right and left in front of you, Garrus on his sniper rifle. You can snipe the mobs from there. The Ravagers can hit your location but you won't get hit by grenades. Cryo ammo works well.
Up the ramp on the left, hang back by the entrance just past the rifle you picked up, and strafe in/out behind the wall to take the enemies out at a distance.
The same goes for the next area, take the first cover spot coming up the hill a little to avoid the Ravagers and pick off mobs at a distance.
After you cross the bridge you'll have to move forward a little to trigger the battle. Retreat back to the entrance from the bridge and use the high ground here to take out Marauders and Cannibals. Their grenades can't reach you. To save after this battle, go back toward the bridge and the game will let you save. Switch to your pistol or shotgun now, as the next battles will be in close quarters. Have Garrus turn on his Armor Piercing Rounds now to save time.
Take out the Cannibals and husks on foot with your pistol or shotgun, there should only be a few. The next area will be the Brutes.
Hit the Switches
Cloak and rush up the left side to hit the first hammer switch. Let your Cloak wear off and hopefully that will draw at least one of the Brutes to you. Cloak, drop a Decoy if you have it and then run across the map to the other switch. Don't hit this switch yet if you want to take out the Brutes. You can drop another Decoy when the Brutes get close and then Cloak and run back to the first switch. The advantage of these locations is that the large Reaper can't hit you with its beam, and the distance is long enough for the Brutes to travel, so that you can anticipate their rush move. Just hit the second switch when you're done to trigger the final cutscenes..
Next up is the Citadel, but you can get side missions done before you go. Pick up the Book of Plenix in the Aethon Cluster Irune planet. If you missed other side quest items from Tuchanka they will appear in the Spectre shop in the Shuttle Bay. You should have everything now in your journal except the Heating Stabilizer Units which we can pick up next by doing the new N7 quest.
N7 Cerberus Fighter Base
More Cerberus, so take your usual party. When you land, stay near the pad. Enemies will appear below, and flank across the walkway toward you. Expect a LOT of grenades, keep moving/rolling and snipe. Pick up everything on the map, including the Heating Units, before using the console.
Whomever you assign to the console is not in danger. I assigned Garrus. Run back outside up the ramp on the left toward your original location by the landing pad. Put your other squadmate here, who hopefully has biotics or tech. The ramp by the shuttle is where enemies will emerge, and you can strafe back and forth along the top of the ramp. I fought off two Centurions and two assault soldiers and that was all.
Activate the other console when prompted, and then make a fast run up the ramp again toward the landing pad. Enemies will be outside this time, and there will be a turret by the shuttle. Take cover around the other side of the shuttle and hack the turret. Drop a Decoy and then make a run for the ladder to your original location, have your squadmates follow. You'll only get flanked here by a couple of enemies, and take far fewer grenades than you will by fighting further below. This is a great location when the Atlas is dropped near the shuttle. He won't be able to see you from behind the large block up on your walkway and you can snipe away to take him out.
Another Cerberus fighting section, so take the squadmates useful for stripping Shields. You'll also be fighting Phantoms and Nemesis with Barriers, so consider taking Reave, or Warp Ammo if you're a gunner, or Decoy if you're playing stealth because these enemies take awhile to kill and they will flank your position.
When you land, there is cover just ahead of you with two large blocks where you can put your squadmates. . However, you can't get stuck here because the grenades will come in fast. Stay Cloaked and move backwards sniping at a distance until the Cloak wears off, then move back into cover only until you're recharged. Enemies are straight ahead and to the right.
The next few enemy maps all give excellent sniping positions if you stay back at the entrance. Hack the turrets when you see them and use the enemy shield defenses for your squadmates.
After your shuttle lands in the Presidium, take out the few enemies ahead. Move forward until you jump across the broken walkway. This triggers a battle with several Phantoms. There is no good cover here so jump back over the walkway and keep backing up from cover spot to cover spot. It takes awhile to kill these enemies. Use Garrus for Concussive Shot, and activate Warp ammo. Liara has her own Warp ammo if you're using her, so make sure you activate hers after your own so she has 100% damage rather than just the 50% squad bonus. Using Decoys or Reave can protect your position.
An Atlas is very close to your position when you jump down. Use the cover in the office to the left. If you can hijack it, all the better. A couple of enemies in the distance can be sniped, and then you can save your game. The ammo box on the desk here will also refill your grenades.
This sequence depends upon taking out the elevator power conduits. The first set is easy. Pause using the Power Wheel and focus squadmates on these, it's more accurate than trying to shoot. I used Garrus' Concussive Shot on one and Liara's Warp on the other. The second set of conduits, if you don't take them out, will mean fighting 2 phantoms which is pretty hard to do given the time involved in stripping their barriers. If you take out the conduits, you won't have to fight the phantoms. Pause using the Power Wheel as you approach each one so it doesn't go by before you can take them out.
After the cutscenes, visit the Spectre shop and buy the Sniper Concentration Module IV and the Shotgun damage upgrade. Run around all the areas to pick up new side quests and turn in the ones you finished.
If you missed getting Reave from Kaiden in your first playthrough, talk to him immediately on the Normandy after accepting him back onto the squad. He'll give it now.
There are a ton of sidequests and more planets open for scanning. The game is getting toward having fewer missions left to reset the reaper awareness, so try and get as many of the war assets and side quests done as you can before starting a new mission. Some of the planets take several trips before you can get everything.
A few Planet Scanning guides I've seen have indicated that Valhallan Threshold is available only after doing one of the quarian Rannoch quests but that's not true. If you did the N7 Cerberus Fighter Base before the Citadel, then Valhallan Threshold is available now. You can pick up the Prothean Data Drives now on Paz to finish up a Citadel side mission. In the Attican Beta, you can get the Library of Asha Artifacts to finish another Citadel side mission. If you've followed this guide up to now, these two side missions will be all you can get done as the other planets aren't open yet.
Talk to Traynor to pick up a new mission.
Arrae: Ex-Cerberus Scientists
The usual Cerberus mission. Take your regular team and bring your Sniper Rifle.
Stay on the landing pad and take out the couple of enemies nearby. Then move your squad to cover positions further ahead. Move up yourself to trigger the full wave of enemies, then retreat back to the landing pad. The enemies will come toward the walkway and you can pick them off from a distance and avoid grenades. Your squad will tell you when the wave is over.
Pick up all the items including the Turian Poison before talking to anybody. Head to the roof, the enemies are straight ahead, and the up further on the roof and near the console switch. Before hitting the switch, climb up to the turret guns and pick up a datapad, med kit and familiarize yourself with the ladders needed to reach the guns. Then head back down.
Position your squadmates down from the console switch behind the defense shields right and left. Hit the switch and run down the map near the roof ledge, this spot will protect you from the enemies and you can strafe out to pick off soldiers. After a couple of ways, the front part of the roof ledge should be clear enough to get up and run toward the ladders. At the very top, start up the left set of guns first and then head right before enemies arrive. Assign a good tech squad member like Garrus to the gun repairs. Use the big turret gun yourself to take out the enemies coming in on your right and from below. There will be two phantoms, and you can avoid them flanking your position by training that big gun on them hard.
Protect the Shuttles
The game expects you to leave the building, but instead run back up the ramp and take cover at the top. Keep your squadmates in the building too. None of the enemies can climb to your position, and you have the advantage of height to pick them off. Take care to conserve ammo, there is more outside but then you cannot get back up the ledge. You can clearly see each shuttle leave from your position. When the Atlas arrives, hack it take out the surrounding smaller enemies, or hijack it for yourself. Stay in position until Jacob tells you he's sending a shuttle to evacuate your team, then make a run for the launch pad.
Visit the Citadel now to turn in side quests and do heart-to-heart talks with your romantic interest.
Mesana: Distress Signal (Investigate Asari Colony)
Aside from the final battles of the game, there is no mission that I'm dreading more than this one. This mission is full of Banshee enemies, and the final fight is difficult even on Normal. There is little cover and Banshees can teleport to your position. Banshees also have Barriers which are a bit of a weakness for the Infiltrator. Make a new save file when you start this mission, you can always return to it later or even skip it altogether.
Kaiden and Liara.
Kaiden offers Reave, Overload and massive health, giving him an edge over Garrus with enemy Barriers. Kaiden's Reave will take out several bars of a Barrier compared to only 1-2 bars with Garrus' Concussive Shot, but either are okay.
SMG and Sniper Rifle. A SMG has a faster discharge than a pistol and is better on barriers. You should be able to afford to upgrade a SMG now.
Warp Ammo or Reave or Decoy. Reave is very useful on this mission. If you and Kaiden both have Reave, you can take out a Banshee barrier in 2-3 uses. Re-spec Liara to get Squad Warp ammo if you take Reave.
Visit the near right and left sides of the map after descending the ladders to pick up Intel and Salvage Credits.
Stay at the bottom of the stairs and take cover for the first fight. The first Banshee seems to stay in place, allowing you time to use Reave and Warp Ammo to take it out fast. Snipe the remaining enemies across the map.
After talking with Samara, open the door and use your sniper rifle to take out 3 enemies in the distance before they see you. Stay in the doorway and strafe in and out to pick off the rest before they close in. The Cannibals cannot throw grenades at you in this position. Use Kaiden or Garrus for Overload on the Mauraders. When the room is clear move forward.
As you descend the stairs downward, a wave of enemies is triggered, including a Banshee. Run back upstairs to get a height advantage, and strafe back and forth from the balcony using Reaves and Singularity/Warp Combos to take everything out. After everything is gone, switch to your SMG or Assault Rifle before opening the next door. Activate Warp Ammo on Liara or yourself if you have it. The final battle has no decent cover for long.
Take out the Husks immediately with Liara's Singularity/Warp combo. Use Reaves and Warp or Concussive Shot on the Banshee's Barrier. Fire off any grenades you have on the armor of one of the Banshees: the battle gets immeasurably easier once one of them is gone. Run from one end of the hall to the other if a Banshee gets too close. If you didn't bring Reave, use Decoys to draw enemy attention.
Wow! I had a far easier time than I did on Normal by taking Reave myself and bringing Kaiden to use his Reave, these helped a LOT in getting those Barriers out fast.