Tips For Playing Mass Effect: Andromeda

Andromeda is an entirely new galaxy, and exploring it can be overwhelming. Here's what you need to know to make the most out of the latest Mass Effect game.

Don't try to do everything at once

Mass Effect: Andromeda throws a lot at you from the get-go, and stopping to immediately make sense of every piece of it won't work. Take a breath, and take it one step at a time.

Prioritise your missions

Priority Ops are main missions, which you'll want to tackle now and again. Beyond that, I found that the best quests were typically under the "Allies" menu. You'll also want to make sure to do missions about Angaran politics, as these will help you appreciate your new alien neighbours. Planet-wise, I particularly appreciated the Kadaran slum quests, and Elaaden's Krogan quests. If a crew member from your ship asks you to do something, you probably should — especially loyalty missions. Finally, get crackin' on finding those lost arks, they are important.

Talk to everyone

NPCs out in the world have things to say, yes, but you'll want to be especially aware of your crew. Just know that your squadmates occasionally move around on your ship, so you'll want to check your map to make sure you do the rounds rounds properly. Keep an eye out for your crewmates while you explore cities, too. You can count on new dialogue after major story missions, ally missions, and anything with political or personal significance.

Check your email

There is a console on the Bridge, behind Suvi, as well as on your desk on your personal quarters. Some of the best writing and characterization happens in these emails, and they will also contain quests / updates on missions, so don't miss them!

Customise your clothes

In a console on the left side of your personal quarters, you can deck out Ryder's civilian clothes.

You can respec

Don't like how you built your Ryder? Good news, there's a re-spec station in the back of the Medbay, on the bottom floor of your ship. You can tweak your own character (or your teammates) for some credits, not bad.

Look at your map

While exploring planets, your map will point out potential areas of interest, as well as tell you where missions take place.

Flirt

There's a reason people talk about Mass Effect romance so much. You'll note that the game will give you flirty dialogue options immediately after meeting folks, but unless you want to make a fool of yourself, don't greet folks by laying it on thick. After your initial encounter, though? If you have your eyes set on someone, pick that heart icon. Note that while some characters will demand exclusivity, others are cool with casual encounters, so tread carefully.

Mix and match abilities

While Andromeda asks you to pick a "profile," you aren't chained to whatever abilities fall under that specific tree. If you want a combat ability, a tech ability, and a biotic ability, go nuts.

Bring allies you like on missions

Don't overthink individual combat strengths. Everyone is capable, so you might as well pick whoever you're fond of — you'll get to hear more of their banter and get special dialogue.

Prime combos

Certain moves can be chained together for massive damage: for example, you can start with "Pull" and immediately follow it up with "Concussive Shot" for a killer combo. Your options will depend on your specific build.

Use the right ammo

If your enemy has armour, use Incendiary ammo. If your enemy has a shield, use Disrupter ammo.

Dash everywhere

It's faster!

Aim for the head, or visible weak spots

This is a video game.

Look out for health and ammo containers

They are everywhere, and they will save your life/keep you out of a pickle.

Run from overworld enemies

There are a lot of errant Kett/raiders/scavengers hanging out on planets. You don't have to stop and fight all of them if they aren't a part of a quest, so feel free to just drive or dash through 'em. Unless you want extra XP, though I got to a nice level without having to grind.

Stay on the roads

They are there for a reason. While you'll be tempted to use the Nomad to go through mountain ranges, more often than not, those "shortcuts" just made things infinitely more complicated and difficult.

Upgrade your vehicle

Specifically, you'll want upgrades to your shield, so you can withstand more damage, and your boosting abilities, so you can get around quickly.

Fast travel

Once on a planet, you can use Forward Stations to warp around on the map. Forward stations are also useful for changing your loadouts and crew, depending on the mission at hand.

Explore

Andromeda does hide some secrets and quests that you can't find unless you explore. In cities, make sure to visit every locale. On planets, investigate any special icons on your map, and keep an eye out for any visible phenomena in the distance. Things that might seem like ambient details might actually be something cool.

Look for anamolies

If Suvi says she detects an anomaly, it means you can scan the wider system to find something. Usually, it's raw materials, but sometimes, you'll find some other neat stuff out there.

Find Alec's memories

The payoff is worth it, even if the mission and initial cutscenes seem silly. Whenever you get to a new planet or locale, chances are good that there are new memories to collect.

Watch out for the water in Remnant areas

Stepping in it will wreck your shields and badly damage you.

Sell your salvage

Whenever you go to a shop, you can get some good credits by offloading salvage. You don't need it for anything, so.

Buy Remnant Decryption keys

The first few Remnant puzzles aren't bad, but they can become a major drag as you progress through the story. You can avoid the headaches by purchasing a special item. It's expensive, but worth it.

Make weapons and armour

To craft gear, you need blueprints. Some blueprints you pick up from doing quests and looting enemies and crates, but you can also make some through the "development" option on the Research Station in the middle of your ship. Blueprint in hand, you can craft whatever you'd like on the "Development" menu, provided that you have the right materials. Materials can be purchased from vendors, or mined on Forward Stations. Planets can be scanned for resources, though they will often be random. Any planet you can set foot on will tell you what specific resources it holds before you land on it, so keep an eye out for that.

All gear can be augmented with more benefits, like added power, depending on what you have on hand. Augments can also be picked up randomly, or purchased from vendors, though I did fine with what I found naturally.

Personally, I loved crafting Remnant weapons the most, because they don't require ammo and are pretty powerful. You might find other types of weapons more viable for your own playstyles, though.

Reclaim planets

Terraforming planets — that is, unlocking the Remnant Vaults — allows you to more freely explore hostile planets, gives you access to more quests, and also unlocks AVP bonuses.

Collect AVP bonuses

It's easy to forget about AVP, but remember, you always have some extra goodies waiting for you, depending on what settlers you defrost. I was partial to the traders, who gave me credits and gave me better deals at shops.

Do the movie quest

Trust me.


Comments

    Woohoo! No snark, just happy to have a copy in my bag. Bring it!

    Fast Travel

    In a week or two we'll get an article titled Fast Travel Less in Mass Effect Andromeda

    Anyone else notice the abundance of Australian accents in this game?

    And they aren't cringe inducing ones either.

      Oh shit, really? Well that's a plus! SPACE AUSSIES. Getting drunk and being obnoxious across the universe.

        Given our history... are we sure they're not all criminals? :P

    Just know that your squadmates occasionally move around on your ship, so you'll want to check your map to make sure you do the rounds rounds properly. Keep an eye out for your crewmates while you explore cities, too. You can count on new dialogue after major story missions, ally missions, and anything with political or personal significance.

    Ahh, it's good that they've carried over the core gameplay principles of the Mass Effect series: completing missions for no reason other than unlocking new dialogue options with crewmates.

      all those random missions just for a one liner!

    me personally, the biggest tip is to get off Eos and grab your last squad member, the game opens up a heck lot more when you do

    also you can come back to Eos which is way more open the second time you visit

      I think this is honestly the smartest move in an open world game and I'm glad they did it.

      To many times you try to 100% an area and it takes forever and drains you. Letting the area open up later keeps you from getting bored.

        I suppose it also gives you a sense of before and after too

        actually ME:A is pretty good at showing the world changing even it's relatively subtle

    "Look for anamolies"...I think I found one. Several google links show academic works using this plural, but it might be regional. Always use 'anomalies' myself.

    Really enjoying MEA so far, it's overwhelming but I'm taking it slow. Kinda wish I'd stayed away from reading per-release reviews and "opinion", most of what I've read has painted MEA in a bad light, only highlighting frustrations. Maybe I'm easy pleased or I just really like the Mass effect games but for what it is, I'm having too much damn fun to give a care!

      Kinda sad that you feel the need to justify your enjoyment, given the lambasting it's received. I, too, can't wait to form my own opinion :)

      You know what, I'm probably only noticing some of the below par facial animations etc because they were so heavily frowned upon by the media etc. And they arent even that bad. Nothing's come up though that's been to the extent of what they've been talking about, it's just minor unnaturalness. It certainly doesnt pull me out of the game though.

      I've played 2 hours last night and man this game is fantastic so far. I spent probably half an hour just looking around when I was on Habitat 7, since the environment looks so spectacular. The combat is really easy to get into, although I've found a couple of the controls require some getting used to. My only gripe here is the cover system doesnt use a button (when most other games do) and sometimes the animation doesnt make it obvious that you're behind cover or not. But its not a big issue. I got used to it after a few battles.

      Otherwise, the story's got me pretty hooked already. Cant wait to get home tonight and play it! It's got that sense of wonder about it that i had when I first played the original trilogy.

      Also, is it just me, or does the guy voicing Scott Ryder sound fucking identical to Nolan North? Like, after playing for 2 hours and being convinced it was Nolan North, I looked it up and thought IMDB was wrong for some reason...

        Yeah, I haven't seen any egregious animations so far, 4 hours in. Sometimes people's eyes look a little too far left/right but that's been in ME games from the start.

        On the controls, I've been getting a strong urge to swap Ctrl and Space for the jetpack and vault commands, they just feel backwards to me.

          I have found a few unusual glitches before, but none of them game breaking, many of them humerous though.

    I don't understand the bashing this games reveives for facial animation. Has none of these people played a Bethesda open world game before?!?

    just found out you can gtfo of a planet in a hurry if you're holding down T whilst inside the Nomad

    I have no idea what it is on console but now I have to find this key binding haha

    Serious question, is there a menu option to look at all your available quests? I haven't got off Eos yet but I can't seem to see it.
    I can see info and a button to track the quest for finding the arks and one other (I can't remember) but I can't look at anything else like the quest for dropping the pendant thing on Eos for my that dude.

    I must be missing something?

      Yes, you can view your quests in your Journal from the main menu.

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