Mass Effect: Andromeda Tips and Tricks

Mass Effect: Andromeda can be downright brutal sometimes. Everything on these planets are trying to kill you! Most of the enemies hit just as hard as you do, and that doesn't really get better as you gain more armor and better weapons. The terrain is rough, and sometimes your squad AI can be kind of... bad.

If you're having trouble making all of the planets viable while trying to balance ridiculous Milky Way politics and figuring out what the Remnant have done, this guide should help!

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Go looking for subquests

This one should be obvious, especially if you've played the other Mass Effect games, but don't try to burn through the main story. Everything will be so much easier if you frontload your game with sidequests, so you're at least a level or two ahead of the average player when you step into the next puzzle.

Always stop and check for sidequests, from the moment you first dock with the Nexus. There are several available well before you reach ESO, and the experience from those side jobs are way more than you get for completing the initial tutorial. It's a nice edge to have when going down into the first Vault, and you can keep that lead as you travel from planer to planet.

Use your Nomad driving modes

As soon as you touch down on a planet you're in a sandbox, and these mostly open worlds are best traveled inside your six-wheeled space car that totally isn't a less awesome Mako. The Nomad can cross dangerous areas quickly, which is a big deal as you try to make planets viable throughout the game, and the key to really enjoying this experience is remembering to constantly switch between drive modes.

Your Nomad has a fast driving mode and an all-terrain mode, and you can quickly switch between them with a tap on L1. This ends up being really important, because the all-terrain mode can climb up almost anything that isn't perfectly vertical and the speed mode will get you through an area twice as fast as long as it's mostly flat. Switching between these modes at speed makes it much easier to climb around areas instead of taking the long way around with the roads you see in the game.

Switch Profiles as often as possible

You may have been too busy trying to not get shot to notice, but Alec Ryder actually gives you a pretty good demonstration of the best way to use Profiles in the fight for Habitat 7. As simple as it may seem to pick a Profile that best suits your play style and level it up until it's the most awesome thing ever, things get a lot easier for you later in the game if you're regularly switching between Profiles based on your immediate needs.

Make sure you're jumping between Profiles on a regular basis. If you're out in the open and being ambushed by Kett, the Infiltrator profile will keep you from being pinned down and overwhelmed. If you're staring down a massive Fiend with nowhere to run, the Siphoning Strike in the Vanguard Profile will keep its attacks from destroying you in one hit. Even if you aren't loading up on weapon proficiency in your skill tree, the Soldier Profile keeps your aim steady when you need it most.

The most important thing is to practice switching quickly, so you're able to jump in and out of tough situations with ease later on.

Go to hazardous areas first

The open world aspect to Mass Effect: Andromeda is curbed by making some areas more hazardous when you approach them. In the Habitat 7 mission, for example, lightning strikes got worse when you drifted "off mission" in places. Sometimes it's a biohazard warning, sometimes it's a big hovering troop carrier, but the end result is the same for most people. You turn and run, not looking back until you've earned some Viability points to make the area less terrible.

Instead of avoiding those areas, grab your Nomad and barrel in quickly. Do a quick pass, and look for things to mine. These areas frequently offer the harder to get minerals, which makes the better weapons and armor easier to get much earlier in the game. You have to be very careful not to get yourself stranded or killed in the process, but it's so very worth it when you find those materials you've been hunting for.

Don't bother balancing your team

When you level up, your team members gain some experience points to spend as well. Team skill trees aren't nearly as complex as your own, which means you can choose between balancing your team members so they're all around more effective or focusing on one specific ability and jacking it all the way up as early as possible. I recommend that second one, especially early on in the game.

Your AI-based squad mates are blunt instruments, use them as such. If you're planning to let them run out and attack without a lot of instruction from you, focus on doing the most damage with their special abilities. If you plan offer a guiding hand to your team, or you plan to have them always by your side to keep you alive, don't bother spending points on special abilities initially. As you play the game it will you'll have enough skill points to focus on that kind of thing, but initially it's far more worth it to specialize and let each team member be very good at one thing.

How are you surviving?

Have you found that "one weird trick" for dealing the most damage or making the best decisions in Mass Effect: Andromeda? Share them with us in the comments, and we'll add the best ones to this guide!

Russell Holly

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

  • Is this an Android game? Doesn't look like it to me. Why is it being reported on an Android site?
  • It's got Andromeda in the name! Lol just kidding. You're right though, why?
  • We've been covering PlayStation 4 for months now.
  • And I've been spending months just skipping past it and moving on with my life. Now I'd really like to know why. For some of the other things it could be argued that a PS4 controller can be used with an Android device, but the PS4 has NOTHING to do with Android outside "Sony also makes Android phones". If there's some integration that can be done with Android it arguably becomes Android related news for that specific instance, but as it currently stands there's no reason for this to be here at all. If you guys really want to report on PlayStation news then maybe make a dedicated arm of Mobile nations for it. Don't just shove it into the Android category because you don't have anywhere better to put it.
  • It has an app for Android.
  • The the article should be about that app and nothing more because that's the only part that is relevant to Android.
  • No.
  • It does :P the Apex HQ app.
  • Just "no"? No what? No you aren't going to tell me why you are reporting on something that has nothing to do with what the site is about? No you aren't going to have a dedicated section for stuff like this so the people who do want to see it still can and people who don't want to see it don't have to? No you aren't going to stop shoving irrelevant posts into the Android section of Mobile Nations because you don't have anywhere better to put it? Or is this just "no I don't care about your thoughts go away"? Maybe it should go the other way instead. Nintendo has apps now, you should do and article on how to survive better in Breath of the Wild because of it.
  • It's a cross nation's post on a lot of this stuff. If you don't like it ignore it
  • Wow dude just ignore it and move on. Don't get your panties in a twist.
  • The thing that I'm upset about is more the response to my question than the actual post itself. All I wanted to know was the reasoning behind the post and was given fairly rude non-answers. It's reminding me of the Pokemon post overload from a while back but at least those had a legitimate reason for being on the site. PS4 posts on an Android news site make absolutely no sense to me and I wanted to know why these posts do make sense to the people running the site. Apparently that's just not a question that I'm going to have answered.
  • I don't know the real reason but I believe it brings more people who may not read about android but are gamers to the site so that way people can get more into android and android gaming. Or they just like to change things up a bit. Do you really need another article about the S8? Or do you really want to learn about the specs in the next new phone by BLU? Probably not. Learning about a new game can be fun. After this article I'm more interested in watching some live streams of this game and maybe buying it whereas I had no intention of even learning about it before.
  • I'm sorry, but if they feel that reaching out to gamers is going to help get people interested in Android they are going to be sorely disappointed. Sure, this one article may see a boost from Google searches for this particular game, but people interested in this game won't stick around to learn about phones because that's not what they came here for. I'm a gamer. I don't own a PS4 or an XBone but I have a gaming PC and a selection of Nintendo's consoles from over the years to chose from. If I'm looking for info on video games I look to dedicated gaming sites, just like when I'm looking for Android information I look to Android dedicated sites. Sometimes there's an overlap like Pokemon Go that caused an overabundance of Pokemon related posts in my RSS feed, but for the most part each site stays dedicated to what it was made for. I'm personally only really interested in news pertaining to Nexus/Pixel devices and what I can look forward to in the next version of Android, but other people are interested in the other Android phones available to them and sites like this are a great resource for all kinda of Android information. As a gamer I had already heard about this game and decided it wasn't one I was interested in playing just like the Mass Effect before it. Good games but not really my cup of tea. If this was on a gaming news site I'd just skip past it like I would an article about the S8. This isn't a gaming news site though, this is an Android news site so it feels out of place to me and I have to question why it's showing up in my feed in the first place. After months of seeing posts like this that don't fit the content of an Android news site I'm starting to rethink having this site in my RSS feed at all, and getting non-answers from the people running this place about these posts really isn't helping this site stay on my list. It's sad too because this is one of the sites I've had in my RSS feed the longest.
  • Really dude you just sound like a *********. Give it up and move along. There is no reason for you to be hating so much. It's very easy to skip an article.
  • Now it's the principle of the matter. I asked a legitimate question and in place of an answer I got blown off. I'm making sure that my displeasure is well know to the people running this site and giving them a chance to address my complaints before deciding if I should just completely skip this site in the future or not. I've quietly skipped over articles like this for months figuring they'd go away eventually and they haven't so it's obvious that wasn't working.
  • They aren't going away because we've had a largely positive response to the subject. Turns out there are a lot of people with Android phones that enjoy also reading about PlayStation 4 experiences, and I'm happy to oblige because it's fun and takes relatively little of my time. These articles aren't going away. We haven't been "Just Android" for a long time now. In fact, a majority of my coverage is what would largely be considered Android adjacent because there's a lot out there worth talking about. Dropping into the comments with a variant of "why are you writing about this I don't want it" is unproductive. In much the same way that we write about Nintendo on iMore and Xbox on Windows Central, we're going to occasionally write about PlayStation on Android Central. It doesn't need an explanation beyond that. This is a thing we've been doing and will continue to do. It's never going to overwhelm our usual material, and it's never going to take priority over the important Android things, but it's been a part of the site for a while now and that will not change anytime soon.
  • No, you've been little android and more sponsored ****, plus unrelated ps4 news site for a while now. I rarely click on this app now, I used to check it multiple times a day but the stuff that has nothing to do with android, including **** like job postings that are near me, have driven me away from your site.
  • This is the kind of response I wanted in the first place. I just wanted some insight into the why and now I have it. I may not quite agree with the reasoning but all least now I know what the reasoning is without having to make assumptions.
  • There was an article that explained the reasoning. It wasn't Android related so you probably skipped it.
  • It might be asking a bit much, but do you happen to have a link? Typing "PlayStation" in the search bar didn't bring up anything that stood out as a reason for having this stuff on the site, just a lot of cross posts from VRheads about cleaning PS4s and watching porn in VR and stuff like that.
  • It's been a while since the article was posted. I'll try to find it in a bit. Not sure I'll be able to though.
  • Edit: GOT IT
  • Wow! I was about to say not to worry about it but you managed to do so 20 seconds before I got the email from the previous comment! Looking at the date I can easily see why I missed it before, it was posted while I was still in the thick of World of Warcraft: Legion's launch and mostly ignoring my RSS feed. It'd probably be wise for them to include a link to that in these kinds of articles for people like me who may have missed that, or even just a site specific FAQ that is a permanent link somewhere on the screen. Then it'd be easy enough to say "that question has been covered in our FAQ [link here]" and call it a day instead of just dismissing someone's concerns.
  • Start your own blog and don't cover what you don't want to write about.
  • But this game should really be played on PC
  • I'm digging the game so far, glad I haven't gotten too far into it before reading this. Thank you Russell.
  • Been really enjoying the game so far. Been trying to figure out some good profile/favorite combos but I just end up pumping all my points into a few powers and passives and destroy stuff. I'm betting it becomes a bigger issue later in the game.
  • I wanna know which book Russell wrote. There is no title mentioned in his lead-in profile. Seriously, anyone can be an editor these days at AC. They have a whole slew of them. Hey, Bader, who is the Paupa New Guinea editor? Indonesian?
  • I wrote an educational book on Android tablets with Apress back in the 3.0 days called Taking your Android Tablet to the Max (I didn't have any control over the title) and published a tongue in cheek fiction called The Space Monster Anti-Survival Guide. Both are pretty easy to find if you search my name on Amazon.
  • Also, I've been an editor here for three years now and I'm reasonably certain I've earned the title. Why are you just now bringing it up?
  • Great writing, keep up the good work!
  • The facial expressions, though.
  • I certainly can't get insanely worked up about it, but reporting on PS4 games is bizarre for an Android site. This is why we have feed streams, to organize the wheat from the chaff. I guess if doing so keeps you afloat, whatever. This game is horrific on so many levels but it won't stop the punters falling all over themselves to spend money on it, and I say this as a ME fan. Enjoy your grinding, folks.
  • The animation bugs are rough, but what what don't you like about it?
  • I'd rather them have this than all of that Pokemon stuff they had a few months ago. Hell I have know issues when they post apple or Microsoft stuff.
  • Tip #1: Don't play it.
  • Not a fan? What are you playing right now? Personally I'm a bigger fan of Horizon: Zero Dawn right now. Not quite finished that one yet!
  • Love Horizon: Dawn.
    Finished it and then completed every side quest and acquisition.
    The only thing that was not completed were the Hunting Lodge challenges.
    I am doing Mass Effect now to keep myself from spending the rest of my
    life in Horizon: Dawn :)
  • Mass Effect Andromeda is a warm soda compared to the refreshing tasty beverage that is Horizon: Zero Dawn.