Mass Effect Legendary Edition: 10 Tips For Playing On Insanity Difficulty

Bioware has just released Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, a remaster of their popular (though often controversial) science fiction RPG trilogy. Fans new and old are desperate to get their hands on a copy and experience these alien races, galactic politics, and steamy romances in all-new graphics.

Playing every Mass Effect game is probably at least a hundred-hour task – no small feat. However, the most die-hard fans have decided to go a step further and take on the trilogy on its hardest mode: Insanity. For all those venturing out to take on the hardest that the galaxy has to offer, here are a few tips to help you along the way.

10 Pay Attention To Cover

It may feel obvious but finding the best cover (and helping your squadmates find it) will be essential to beating Mass Effect on Insanity. The enemies will deal truly unbelievable damage and being out in the open for too long will waste your precious, precious medi-gel.

It’s a good idea to get a lay of the land before engaging in combat, if possible. You may be able to tell that fighting is about to start by the not-so-subtle ammo and the conveniently placed rocks, waist-level walls, or storage containers.

9 Don’t Trust Melee Combat

Mass Effect games may have added melee combat but players learned an essential lesson then that must be passed on: it’s not worth it. They had to buff it. It’s still not worth it. 

Fans die trying to actively engage in close combat. Hopefully, playing it safe (which players don’t last long without) will keep them from finding an enemy right in front of their face. If not, opt for a shotgun over a melee attack. Those guns have knockback which will allow you to find cover before the opponent recovers.

8 Buy All The Upgrades

Though players can find and make superb gear in Mass Effect, they won’t get far on Insanity without a boost to their equipment. Utilize upgrades and improvements to weapons and armour as often as possible.

Unfortunately, this probably means a lot of tedious resource gathering. There are mods to make it easier, for players who are desperate. Or, consider putting on a television show in the background to keep yourself entertained.

7 Don’t Be Afraid To Respec

Mass Effect is a game of many choices. That involves picking a class and particular abilities to focus on. It’s easy for fans to become attached to the character they’ve built — after hours of dedication!

However, it’s hard to deny that certain skills are just more effective than others, depending on the opponent’s time. This isn’t to say that you need to be respec-ing for every fight with a new type of enemy but, for particularly tough battles, it’s a good idea to reevaluate which parts of your build will be the most useful.

6 Be Thorough

Take your time to search the battlefields you traverse in Mass Effect. Unfortunately, it can make an even long endeavour (trying to beat Mass Effect – let alone all three games – on Insanity) feel even longer.

However, players won’t regret it when they’re stocked up on ammo, resources, upgrades, and new, potentially unique, gear. Not to mention it’s the perfect excuse to stare at all the gorgeous new graphics.

5 Choose Your Class Carefully

Choosing a class during your profile reconstruction is a controversial topic – especially when it comes to excelling at Insanity difficulty. Some players swear by the Vanguard class, which combines combat and biotics focus – it’s basically space magic. Others think that Soldier is the best way to go since it’s the least complicated, with a pure combat focus.

Still others favour Infiltrator, which utilizes combat and tech, because that class excels at sniping (meaning, Shepard is usually a little further from the action). Whatever class the player decides to use, they should do some research – but not forget about their own preferences. Choosing a class you enjoy, or a class you know you can play well, will make a difficult experience slightly less miserable.

4 Save Your Medi Gel

Medi-gel is one of the most important resources you have in Mass Effect. In the heat of battle, it’s easy for players to panic and heal the companions on instinct. However, if they’re already in too deep (aka: fainted), don’t let the panic set in.

Shepard can revive a companion simply by reaching their body. Of course, this isn’t a good choice in every circumstance: they may drop in inconvenient places, like directly in the line of fire, or too far away from your position. Just don’t forget about the option entirely.

3 Don’t Take Death Personally

Players who attempt an Insanity run are going to die. A lot. Most gamers are intimately familiar with rage quitting – shutting off the game because you’ve died one too many times at a hard stage. It’s not always the player’s fault, though.

In Mass Effect, sometimes the cards aren’t in Shepard’s favour. It’s not uncommon that a player dies and there was really nothing that they could have done better. The key to keeping control – making the next life count – is not to take it personally.

2 Don’t Stick To One Team

Choosing who will accompany Shepard on their missions is a hard task – players pick for all sorts of different reasons, including personality preference, ability preference, balancing builds, and more.

Many will find a group they like and stick with it, for the most part. The best squad combinations, however, are not always meant to be your permanent squad combinations. Try not to get stuck in a rut; carefully identify each NPC’s strengths and weaknesses to mix and match as need be.

1 Have Patience

Players online who have attempted to play Mass Effect on Insanity will repeat this point until they die: be patient. They’re attempting to teach the up-and-coming players a lesson that they had to learn from experience.

Even if it sucks to wait a while for shields or powers to recharge, it’s a lot less painful than having to restart the encounter from scratch. Take calculated risks with a full shield, not half or empty, and it’s often worth pausing the game to take a look around.

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