ByNicholas Montegriffo, writer at Creators.co
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Nicholas Montegriffo

As well as being set in a new galaxy, Mass Effect: Andromeda is shaking things up with a new class system for your main character. The class options in the previous Mass Effect games have been replaced by profiles in Andromeda, which are specializations that can be swapped based on the mission at hand.

's profiles are superficially similar to the old Mass Effect classes, with some being focused on enhancing a particular skill-set or combat role, but others are more balanced—for example, the Vanguard profile uses an even mix of biotics and combat. The new profile, Explorer, is a triple-class, blending combat, tech and biotics.

Here are all the profiles available:

  • Soldier
  • Engineer
  • Adept
  • Sentinel
  • Vanguard
  • Infiltrator
  • Explorer

'Mass Effect: Andromeda' Guide — Choosing the Best Andromeda Class For You

'Mass Effect Andromeda' [Credit: Electronic Arts]
'Mass Effect Andromeda' [Credit: Electronic Arts]

Profiles are made available by putting skill points in combat, biotics, or tech. If you want to be able to play around with all 7 profiles, simply aim for getting 6 points in each skill as soon as you can. This is achievable pretty early into the game.

Although profiles can be switched between missions, Ryder can still specialize by putting points into particular skill-sets, which unlocks a higher profile rank. Putting all your skill points into combat skills will unlock a higher rank in Solider and grant corresponding buffs, but if you're going for Infiltrator you'll want to split your skill points between combat and tech.

Your choice of profile will open up tactical opportunities in combat, but they will all be able to use the same weapons as shown in this video:

Our guide will help you to get the most out of this system. To do so you'll need to know the strengths and weakness of each profile, and where to put your skill points to unlock ranks.

Let's break them down, profile by profile, so you can choose the best Mass Effect: Andromeda class for your personal playstyle.

Soldier

'Mass Effect Andromeda' Solider profile [Credit: Electronic Arts]
'Mass Effect Andromeda' Solider profile [Credit: Electronic Arts]

Ranks unlocked by spending skill points in combat.

Rank 1 bonus:

  • +10% Weapon Damage
  • +10% Weapon Accuracy
  • +2 Damage Resistance
  • +10% Weapon Clip Size

Unique Ability:

  • Marksman's Focus—Grants an escalating damage bonus for every target killed in a short time.

Soldiers are pure combat specialists. This profile optimizes Ryder's mind and body for the most effective use of armor and weapons.

Pros:

  • Durable and hard-hitting
  • Make the most out of your armor and weapons
  • Rewards quick reflexes

Cons:

  • Not many tactical options
  • Can feel repetitive
  • Lack of battlefield control

If you're looking forward to shooting your way through the Andromeda galaxy, this will be the profile of choice.

Engineer

'Mass Effect Andromeda' Engineer profile [Credit: Electronic Arts]
'Mass Effect Andromeda' Engineer profile [Credit: Electronic Arts]

Ranks unlocked by spending skill points in tech.

Rank 1 bonus:

  • +20% All Combo Damage
  • +20% Tech Construct Health
  • +20% Tech Construct Health Regeneration
  • +20% Tech Construct Damage
  • +20% Tech Restoration & Defense

Unique Ability:

  • Combat Drone—improves recharge rate for tech powers and self-destructs with an EMP pulse if enemies get close. The improved recharge is lost after destruction.

Engineers are tech experts with formidable offensive and defensive powers. This profile enables Ryder to maintain constant control of a small combat drone which provides assistance and protection in battle.

Pros:

  • Rewards combo skill
  • Many Mass Effect enemies will be at least partially synthetic
  • Generate support for your team

Cons:

  • Relying on the drone can make the player feel passive
  • Can be tricky to line up combos
  • Tech builds are themselves vulnerable to enemy tech abilities

Synergy between abilities and setting up combos are key to the Engineer profile. This style will reward methodical players who make the effort to learn the game's systems.

Adept

'Mass Effect Andromeda' Biotic elemental attack [Credit: Electronic Arts]
'Mass Effect Andromeda' Biotic elemental attack [Credit: Electronic Arts]

Ranks unlocked by spending skill points in biotics.

Rank 1 bonus:

  • +15% Biotic Force
  • +15% Biotic Area of Effect Damage
  • +15% Biotic Area of Effect Radius
  • +20% Biotic Effect Duration
  • +20% Biotic Combo Radius

Unique abilities:

  • Biotic Echoes—Biotic combos can set off additional explosions on each enemy they touch.
  • Biotic Jump & Evades—Instead of a jump-jet, use biotics to jump and evade.

Adepts are biotic specialists, manipulating powerful mass effect fields capable of disabling and killing enemies. This profile will allow players to dominate the battlefield without ever having to even lift a gun.

Pros:

  • Great crowd and battlefield control
  • Able to employ different elemental effects to exploit vulnerabilities
  • Less reliant on equipment

Cons:

  • Micromanagement-intensive
  • Weak defense
  • Unable to make the most out of armor and weapons

Adepts are the 'wizards' of this space fantasy RPG, with powerful and far reaching offensive and disabling abilities. However, they tend not to be able to take many hits, so take care not to expose yourself while using this profile.

Sentinel

'Mass Effect Andromeda' Armor with Sentinel enhanced shield  [Credit: Electronic Arts]
'Mass Effect Andromeda' Armor with Sentinel enhanced shield [Credit: Electronic Arts]

Ranks unlocked by spending skill points in biotics and tech.

Rank 1 Bonus:

  • +15% All Combo Damage
  • +10% Tech Recharge Speed
  • +20% Power Shield Cost Reduction
  • +20% Power Restoration & Defense

Unique ability:

Tech Armor—Absorbs a significant amount of whatever damage gets past your shields.

Sentinels bring a mix of tech and biotic abilities to the battlefields. This profile creates a direct link between Ryder's biotic implant and the built-in computer systems of any armor worn, granting additional protection via flash-forged shielding.

Pros:

  • Very strong defense
  • Compensates for the Adept's vulnerability
  • Good against heavy-hitting enemies

Cons:

  • Tanking and taking hits can feel boring
  • Lacks the most damaging attack options
  • Can be difficult to manage those abilities - watch those cooldowns!

The Sentinel profile needs to balance tech and biotic abilities carefully, but can be incredibly effective. The extra shields also look really cool as well as being functional.

Vanguard

'Mass Effect Andromeda' Vanguard in multiplayer [Credit: Electronic Arts]
'Mass Effect Andromeda' Vanguard in multiplayer [Credit: Electronic Arts]

Ranks unlocked by spending skill points in biotics and combat.

Rank 1 bonus:

  • +20% Melee Damage
  • +50% Melee Force
  • +10% Biotic Recharge Speed
  • +20% Power Shield Cost Reduction
  • +10% Max Shields

Unique abilities:

  • Siphoning Strike—Melee attacks restore shields.
  • Biotic Jump & Evades—Instead of a jump-jet, use biotics to jump and evade.

Vanguards have an aggressive fighting style that focuses on dealing heavy damage in close combat, backed up by biotics. This profile enables Ryder to absorb energy from enemies on impact and channel that energy into reinforcing his shields.

Pros:

  • Getting up close and personal in combat is very satisfying
  • Don't have to worry about keeping away from enemies
  • Unique ability provides excellent durability

Cons:

  • Enemies can seize the initiative while you close the distance
  • Can find yourself surrounded if your squadmates hang back at range
  • Some enemies can be incredibly dangerous up close

This profile's unique ability makes a melee warrior viable—even effective—in a world of high-powered guns. Although devastating at close quarters, you'll need the proper support to make sure enemies don't just run around blasting you.

Infiltrator

'Mass Effect Andromeda' Infiltrator profile [Credit: Electronic Arts]
'Mass Effect Andromeda' Infiltrator profile [Credit: Electronic Arts]

Ranks unlocked by spending skill points in tech and combat.

Rank 1 Bonus:

  • +20% Weapon Accuracy
  • +20% Weapon Stability
  • +20% Tech Recharge Speed
  • +10% Weapon Headshot/Weak Point Bonus

Unique abilities:

  • Battlefield Awareness—Observe enemies through walls when using a scope.
  • Cloak Evades—While evading, a brief cloaking device is activated.

Infiltrators are tech/combat hybrids whose skills reward precise play, focusing on critical hits while avoiding enemy fire. This profile enhances Ryder's mental and visual faculties, so as to better track enemies throughout a chaotic battle and strike at the crucial moment.

Pros:

  • Stealth ability prevents enemies from targeting you
  • Getting those headshots is incredibly satisfying
  • Observe your enemies before combat and prepare accordingly

Cons:

  • Vulnerable if the enemy finds you
  • Needs time and skill to properly set up attacks
  • Not great if you're surprised or surrounded by foes

Infiltrators can be highly effective snipers, setting up barriers and taking heads from long range, but you can still sneak ninja-style into enemy groups and wreak havoc up close with flamethrowers or pistols.

Explorer

'Mass Effect Andromeda' Explorer profile [Credit: Electronic Arts]
'Mass Effect Andromeda' Explorer profile [Credit: Electronic Arts]

Ranks unlocked by spending skill points in tech, combat and biotics.

Rank 1 Bonus:

  • +5% Weapon Damage
  • +5 Damage Resistance
  • +15% Tech Recharge Speed
  • +15% Biotic Power Damage
  • +15% Power Restoration & Defense

Unique ability:

  • Biotic Blink—Evades allow you to quickly traverse a short distance, even seemingly passing through solid matter.

Explorers are the jack of all trades option for players that don't want to specialize. Explorer abilities are evenly split among combat, tech and biotics.

Pros:

  • Can dodge through walls where enemies can't follow
  • Keeps a lot of tactical options on the table at all times
  • Great for when you don't know what you'll encounter

Cons:

  • Lacks the most powerful effects of more focused profiles
  • Reliant on squadmates to fill specialized roles
  • You can take on any role, but never feel like the best at it

A completely new class for the Mass Effect franchise, the Explorer is for players who want to keep their options open, or who don't want to bother with specialized builds.

Pick The Right Profile For The Job

'Mass Effect Andromeda' [Credit: Electronic Arts]
'Mass Effect Andromeda' [Credit: Electronic Arts]

Mass Effect: Andromeda's flexible system allows Ryder to choose a profile before undertaking a particular mission. This can be risky but it will allow players to experiment with different styles and solve encounters in various ways. If you fail a mission, you can try again with a fresh approach.

Different profiles benefit a different skill builds. For example, the Engineer is an obvious profile for those who load up on tech skills. You can only have 3 loaded abilities from the skill trees at a time, so make sure you pick skills that are enhanced by your profile.

You will be able to save up to 4 profile 'Favorites'. These saved profiles are loadouts that include your equipped skills and profile at the time you save it.

[Credit: Electronic Arts]
[Credit: Electronic Arts]

If you plan your loadouts carefully, you can be prepared for anything, able to switch between diverse skill sets even in the middle of combat.

Switching favorite profiles puts your abilities on cooldown so do plan for a little time before unleashing your favorite ability after a change. Favorites can be accessed from the action menu and configured in the Main Menu.

This flexibility means you won't be locked in to playing the same way throughout the game, but most players will probably settle in to a profile that suits their style and focus on rising through the ranks. We hope that this guide helps you get started on finding the right profile for your Ryder!

Which class profile are you most excited to use?

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