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Mass Effect 3 Powers and Stat Upgrades Guide

Mass Effect 3
In this guide we’ll go over some of the Powers and abilities in Mass Effect 3. Note that for the Class-specific active powers, please read our Classes guide.

Powers are generally of various types – they may not necessarily refer to abilities like those of a Biotic or a Tech, as they span even ammo types, Universal Powers and more.

Like in the previous games, these Powers can be upgraded every time your character levels up. We’ll go over how the leveling is done in detail later in this guide.

For more help on Mass Effect 3, read our Weapons and Equipment, Multiplayer and Mining Guide.

Powers in Mass Effect can be divided into the following categories:

  • Ammo
  • Biotic
  • Class Powers
  • Combat
  • Tech
  • Universal

Ammo
Ammo does not refer to the heat sinks which are reloading periodically in Mass Effect 2 and 3, but actually the type of projectiles that are being released from the weapon. In the Mass Effect universe, various types of ammunition with different effects have been present since the first game.

These include:

Armor Piercing Ammo

Equips ammo that can pierce through enemies. Can be leveled up 6 times

Cryo Ammo

Freezes unarmed enemies for a short time and weakens armor and movement speed

Disruptor Ammo

Causes severe damage to target’s shields and barriers, and may stun synthetic and organics enemies

Incendiary Ammo

Equips ammo that makes weapons deal fire damage, burning through armor and preventing health regeneration

Shredder Ammo

Deals heavy damage to organic tissue, dealing additional damage to bare flesh

Warp Ammo

Penetrates and destroys enemy barriers and does bonus damage to those affected by biotic powers

Class Powers
Class Powers in Mass Effect refer to the available passive masteries for each Class type. Class powers generally give boost to the player’s stats depending on which class has been chosen.

Once you reach level 4 on your mastery skill, mastery specialization can be made. Each class gets a choice of two mastery specializations at each level. Many of the specializations carry both advantageous boosts as well as disadvantageous nerfs.

The Class powers in Mass Effect 3 are:

Assault Mastery for Vanguard:

RANK 1

  • Reputation Bonus: 4%
  • Weapon damage bonus: 2.5%
  • Power Damage Bonus: 5%
  • Weight Capacity Bonus: 15

RANK 2

 

  • Reputation Bonus: 8% [+4%]
  • Weight Capacity Bonus: 30 [+20]

RANK 3

  • Reputation Bonus: 12% [+4%]
  • Power Damage Bonus: 10% [+5%]
  • Weapon Damage Bonus: 5% [+2.5%]

RANK 4

  • Power Damage Bonus:’ 20% [+10%]’
  • Weapon Damage Bonus: ‘10% [+5%]’

or

  • Reputation Bonus: ‘20% [+8%]’
  • Force Bonus:’ 30%’

RANK 5

  • Squadmate Power Damage Bonus:’ 15%’
  • Squadmate Weapon Damage Bonus:’ 10%’

or

  • ”Weight Capacity Bonus: 65 [+35]”

RANK 6

  • Shotgun damage bonus: ‘15%’

or

  • Power Damage Bonus: 35/45% [+25%]
  • Force Bonus: 25/55% [+25%]
  • Power Duration: 25%

Biotic Mastery for Adept

Rank 1

  • Be an expert tactician on and off the battlefield.
  • Faster and stronger biotic powers. More dexterity. More charisma.

Rank 2

  • Increase reputation bonus by 4%.
  • Increase weight capacity bonus by 20 points.

Rank 3

  • Increase reputation bonus by 4%.
  • Increase damage bonus and force bonus by 10%.

Rank 4

  • Increase damage bonus by 15%.
  •  Increase force bonus by 15%

or

  • Increase power duration by 25%.
  •  Increase reputation bonus by 8%.

Rank 5

  • Increase the force and damage of squadmate powers by 30%.

or

  • Increase damage bonus and force bonus by 10%.
  • Increase weight capacity by 20 points.

Rank 6

  • Increase recharge speed of all powers by 40% for 30 seconds when detonating biotic powers.

or

  • Increase damage bonus and force bonus by 25%.
  • Increase power duration by 25%.

Combat Mastery for Soldier

Rank 1

  • Be an expert tactician on and off the battlefield.
  • More speed. More strength. More charisma.

Rank 2

  • Increase weapon damage bonus by 5%.
  • Increase reputation bonus by 4%.

Rank 3

  • Increase weight capacity bonus by 30 points.
  • Increase reputation bonus by 4%.

Rank 4

  • Increase weapon damage bonus by 5%.
  • Increase power damage bonus by 10%.

or

  • Increase reputation bonus by 8%.
  • Increase power duration by 25%.

Rank 5

  • Increase squadmate weapon damage by 20%.

or

  • Increase headshot damage by 20%.

Rank 6

  • Increase weight capacity bonus by 50 points.

Or

  • Increase weapon damage bonus by 10%.
  • Increase damage of all ammo powers by 40%.

 

Offensive Mastery for Sentinel

RANK 1

  • Reputation Bonus: 4%
  • Weapon damage bonus: 2.5%
  • Power Damage Bonus: 5%
  • Weight Capacity Bonus: 15

RANK 2

  • Reputation Bonus: 8% [+4%]
  • Weight Capacity Bonus: 30 [+20]

RANK 3

  • Reputation Bonus: 12% [+4%]
  • Power Damage Bonus: 10% [+5%]
  • Force Bonus: 5%
  • Weapon Damage Bonus: 5% [+2.5%]

RANK 4

  • Power Damage Bonus: 25%[+15%]
  • Force Bonus: 20%[+15%]

or

  • ‘Reputation Bonus: 20%[+8%]
  • Power duration: 25%

RANK 5

  • Squadmate Force and Damage Bonus:15%
  • Squadmate Weapon Damage Bonus: 10%

or

  • Weight Capacity Bonus: 65[+35]

RANK 6

  • Power Damage Bonus: 25/40%[+15%]
  • Force Bonus: 20/35%[+15%]
  • Power Duration: 25/50%[+25%]

Or

  • Use two powers in a row by giving the first power a 15% chance to cause no cooldown.

Operational Mastery for Infiltrator

Rank 1

  • Reputation Bonus: 4%
  • Weapon Damage Bonus: 2.5%
  • Weight Capacity Bonus: 15
  • Sniper Time-Dilation: 25%

Rank 2

  • Reputation Bonus: 8%
  • Weight Capacity Bonus: 35

Rank 3

  • Reputation Bonus: 12%
  • Weapon Damage Bonus: 5%
  • Sniper Time-Dilation: 35%

Rank 4

  • Increase weapon damage bonus by 5%
  • Increase power damage by 5%
  • Weapon Damage Bonus: 10%

or

  • Increase power duration by 25%
  •  Increase reputation bonus by 8%
  • Reputation Bonus: 20%

Rank 5

  • Increase squadmate weapon damage bonus by 10%
  • Increase squadmate power damage and force by 15%

or

  • Increase weight capacity bonus by 35 points
  • Weight Capacity Bonus: 70

 

Rank 6

  • Increase power damage and duration by 25%

or

  • Increase sniper damage by 15%
  • Increase headshot damage by 15%

Tech Mastery for Engineer

Rank 1

  • Be an expert tactician on and off the battlefield.
  • Faster and stronger tech powers. More dexterity. More charisma.

Rank 2

  • Increase weight capacity bonus by 20 points.
  • Increase reputation bonus by 4%.

Rank 3

  • Increase power damage bonus by 10%.
  • Increase reputation bonus by 4%.

Rank 4

  • Increase power damage bonus by 15%.

or

  • Increase duration of all powers by 25%. Increase reputation bonus by 8%.

Rank 5

  • Increase the force and damage of all squadmate powers by 30%.

or

  • Increase power damage bonus by 10%. Increase weight capacity bonus by 20 points.

Rank 6

  • Increase Combat Drone and Sentry Turret’s shields by 100%.
  • Increase Combat Drone and Sentry Turret’s damage by 50%.

or

  • Increase power damage bonus by 25%.
  • Increase power duration by 25%.

Universal Powers
Universal powers are those that are available to Shepard regardless of his/her class. The three known universal powers in Mass Effect 3 are:

Alliance Training

Passive skill that gives additional damage and strength

Rank 1

  • Weapon Damage Bonus: 5%
  • Power Damage Bonus: 5%
  • Weight Capacity Bonus: 10

Rank 2

  • Increase power damage and force bonuses by 5%.
  • Power Damage Bonus: 10%

Rank 3

  • Increase weapon damage bonus by 5%.
  • Weapon Damage Bonus: 10%

Rank 4

  • Increase weapon damage bonus by 7.50%.
  • Weapon Damage Bonus: 12.50%

Or

  • Increase power damage and force bonuses by 10%.
  • Increase weight capacity bonus by 20 points.
  • Power Damage Bonus: 15%
  • Weight Capacity Bonus: 30

Rank 5

  • Increase power damage and force bonuses by 15%.
  • Power Damage Bonus: 20%

Or

  • Increase headshot damage bonus by 20%.

Rank 6

  • Decrease weight of all weapons by 20%.

Or

  • Increase weapon damage bonus by 10%.
  • Weapon Damage Bonus: 15%

Fitness
Passive skill that boosts health, melee damage, and shield/barriers.

Rank 1

  • Put on some muscle and become fearless in close-quarters combat.
  • Health & Shield Bonus: +15%
  • Melee Damage Bonus +15%

Rank 2

  • Increase health and shield bonuses by 10%.
  • Health & Shield Bonus: +10%

Rank 3

  • Increase damage by 20%.
  • Melee Damage Bonus: +20%

Rank 4

  • Increase melee damage bonus by 30%.
  • Melee Damage Bonus: +30%

Or

  • Increase Health and shield bonuses by 15%.
  • Health & Shield Bonus: +15%

Rank 5

  • Increase melee damage by 75% for 30 seconds when an enemy is killed by heavy melee.

Or

  • Decrease shield recharge rate by 15%.

Rank 6

  • Increase melee damage bonus by 30%.
  • Increase weapon damage bonus by 25% for 20 seconds after an enemy is killed by heavy melee.
  • Melee Damage Bonus: +30%

Or

  • Increase health and shield bonuses by 25%.
  • Health & Shield Bonus: +25%

Unity
Revives downed squad-members, requires Med-Gel.

Power Stats Upgrades
Information regarding the Power Stats Upgrades is often asked about a lot. Though it didn’t matter too much in the singleplayer campaign in the previous two games, Mass Effect 3 changes everything due to the fact that it also features a multiplayer. This obviously means timing and balance are two vital variables.

Power bonuses are calculated using three different formulae:

Formula 1 – Normal Power Upgrades:

New Value = Base Value at Rank 1 x (1.0 + Sum of all rank bonuses + Dynamic Bonuses)

The majority of upgrades, such as damage, force, and impact radius, follow this formula for upgrading.

Base Value at Rank 1 indicates the power value at its first level. Sum of all rank bonuses indicates every other rank that you have bought, and then eventually adds them up.

For example, at rank 5 for something that gives physical damage, you would have to add up the previous damage numbers in floating numbers (meaning percentages would turn into decimals, with 100%=1) and represent them. So for 20%+20%+10%, the total would be 50%, which is equal to 0.5, and that is what you would add for the level.

Dynamic Bonuses indicate all the bonuses from passives (masteries or universal powers). These are also represented by floating numbers.

Formula 2 – Recharge Speed Upgrades:

New Value = Base Value at Rank 1 x (1.0 / (1.0 + Sum of all rank bonuses + Dynamic Bonuses))

Very similar, except that the entire variable in brackets is now a divider. This upgrade is mainly aimed for enhancing the recharge speed of a certain active ability in combat.

Formula 3 – Hard Value Bonuses:

New Value = (Base Value at Rank 1 + Sum of Rank all rank bonuses) * (1.0 + Dynamic Bonuses)

This value is mainly there for dealing with leveling percentage bonuses. There is the option of using Formula 1 for doing so, but that is totally wrong, as a percentage would be used to enhance a percentage, which is against what people expect to see. That would result in completely absurd values.

(Formula data courtesy of BioWare)