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by pprincess

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Engineer Easy Insanity Guide by pprincess

Updated: 05/04/2014
Highest Rated Guide

Introduction and Copyrights

The purpose of this guide is to provide an easy way to use the Engineer class. Most people perceive the Engineer as one of the more difficult classes to use, and forum topics are sparse for this build on Insanity. "Mass Effect 2" copyright Electronic Arts, Bioware 2010.

Engineer Build

Starting Build

  • Overload Level 2
  • Incinerate Level 1
  • Drone as many points as possible
  • Engineer 0
  • Armor Piercing Ammo Level 1

Level 30 Build

  • Overload Level 2
  • Incineration Blast Level 4
  • Explosive Drone Level 4
  • Cryo Blast Level 2
  • AI Hacking 0
  • Demolisher Level 4
  • Armor Piercing Ammo Squad Level 4

Explosive vs. Attack Drone: If you are new to Engineer, the idea is to constantly keep drones up as a crowd control and enemy distraction. On Insanity, higher level enemies kill your drone quickly, and overall the drone doesn't do much damage but is instead a distraction. Explosive Drone will stagger shielded enemies and stun drop unshielded enemies giving you extra time. Extra seconds buy you time for cooldowns and healing, but use whichever drone you find useful. Demolisher emphasizes damage, the Mechanic health bonus is too small to be helpful.

Priority Upgrades Submachine Gun, Tech, Heavy Weapon Ammo, Damage Protection, Medi-Gel


Controller Settings Insanity, Squad Powers Off, Auto-Save On

Escape Lab

When you receive the Grenade Blaster, equip it to satisfy the tutorial, but don't use it. Save the ammo for upcoming missions.

Miranda's Build
  • Overload Level 2
  • Unstable Warp Level 4
  • Cerberus Leader Level 4
  • Slam Level 1

Dump extra points wherever, we won't be using Miranda much.

Jacob's Build
  • Pull Field Level 4
  • Squad Incendiary Ammo Level 4
  • Cerberus Specialist Level 4
  • Barrier Level 1

Priorize Squad Incendiary Ammo first. AP Ammo is better on armor in Insanity, but you won't have it leveled for awhile. Get Squad Incendiary on Jacob before attempting Archangel on Omega.

  • Heavy Weapon: any (we won't be using it, save ammo for later missions)

Try to get through this mission without using any Medi-Gel. At the first door, place squad in cover at either side of the door. Open it and run back and take cover behind the large sewer pipes. Use the drone to flush out enemies far ahead, move into the compound only when the first group is done or you will be flanked by fenris mechs. Use drones and Incinerate and the pistol to take everything out.


Heavy mechs kill your drone almost immediately, but the explosion can do damage and it will turn away from you. Send out a drone, leave your initial position and run into the building on your left, using the down arrow on the D Pad to get your squad to follow you. The mech won't flank you in the building, and you don't need to use any heavy weapon ammo. Keep drones up and use powers and a few gunshots at a time to whittle it down. Afterward, pick up all upgrades in the area.


Time for shopping. Buy as many of these upgrades as you can afford, in this order: Submachine Gun, Tech, Damage Protection, Heavy Weapon Ammo, Medi-Gel, Pistol. Buy any armor pieces you can afford after this.

Talk to Chakwas, Rupert and the engineers to get their missions and buy the items they need. You will want the Medi-Gel upgrade from Chakwas as soon as possible.

Shepard's Armor

Cerberus Assault Armor is a good starting choice if you have it, or any other DLC pieces. However the most helpful armor build pieces will be:

  • Kuwashii Visor 10% Headshot Damage
  • Capacitor Chestplate 10% Shield Regen speed
  • Amplifier Plates 5% Power Damage Bonus
  • Off Hand Ammo Pack 10% Ammo Bonus
  • Stimulator Conduits 10% Storm Speed

If you are going to use a DLC set, use one with Storm Speed. Shepard is slow when running without this bonus. Storm Speed allows you to run into cover faster.

Dossier: The Professor

  • Arc Projector, Shuriken, Predator Pistol.
  • Squad: Miranda, Jacob

Mordin has Heavy Weapon Ammo power cells in his clinic, so feel free to use some on the krogan along the way.

Use Miranda's Overload or your Incinerate on Vorcha Heavies with flamethrowers, they will explode. Focus Jacob's Pull on enemies after you have used Incinerate to take off their armor. Drones keep the krogan busy.

Switch on Fans

After the center fan, you have a choice to go right or left to activate the other two fans. I believe there are slightly fewer enemies if you go down the right stairway first. Just stay in cover and keep drones up to flush out enemies in cover, they stop coming when you take the krogans out.

When you are ready for the second stairway, you'll notice the vorcha heavies using rocket launchers on the balcony. You don't have to kill these guys. I recommend not killing them because you'll end up using unnecessary medi-gels and run out of ammo. Send a drone up there, and run down the stairs below the balcony so they can't hit you. Focus on the rest of the enemies on the path ahead and hit the button when they are gone.

Predator Pistol this pistol has more shots than the Carnifex, though it does less damage. It's up to you, but I find extra ammo more helpful than extra damage.

Kasumi Loyalty

  • Arc Projector, Shuriken/Locust, Predator
  • Squad: Kasumi

We want to do this mission now to get the Locust Submachine Gun and also a Tech upgrade. The Locust will be your bread-and-butter weapon through the rest of the game. When you enter Hock's vault, make SURE you pick up the Locust before touching the greybox.

Kasumi's Build
  • Rapid Shadow Strike Level 4
  • Overload Level 1
  • Master Saboteur Level 4 (weapon damage)
  • Improved Flashbang Grenade Level 4

Kasumi's Rapid Shadow Strike and Improved Flashbang can disable and kill Harbinger, locking him down and preventing him from using Biotics. Improved grenade duration is equal to the cooldown, and Rapid Shadow Strike has its own bonus cooldown; therefore I suggest higher weapon damage for Kasumi's class rather than faster cooldown since she won't be specializing in Overload.

Change Squad Powers to On if you're having trouble keeping Kasumi alive, she dies alot anyway but seems to do a bit better when uncontrolled than other squad mates. In general, stay in the starting cover positions. There are a couple of Heavy Weapon refills in the mission, so feel free to use a couple of shots on large enemy groups to whittle them down and make it easier. The final area has 4 medi-gels, so waste your medi-gel on Kasumi during the final fight, you'll have to in order for her to take Hock's shields down. If you must use the Arc Projector, use it on the Loki mechs and mooks to avoid getting flanked, rather than using it on Hock.

Dossier: Archangel

  • Arc Projector, Locust, Predator
  • Squad: Zaeed or Miranda, and Jacob

We want to do this mission now so that the enemies are the lowest possible level, and we want the Tech and SMG upgrades too. It just gets tougher the longer you wait. However, if you are close to leveling, use Omega, Citadel or extra DLC non-combat missions like the Normandy crash site to gain a level.

Zaeed is useful here because we will leave him with Garrus to help keep Garrus' health bar as high as possible, and he does more gun damage than Miranda when using sniper rifle. Take Squad Disruptor on his build, but use Jacob's Squad Incendiary on this mission instead. We will use Squad Disruptor later on geth. The rest of Zaeed's build doesn't matter so put points anywhere once you get his ammo done.

If you re-programmed the heavy mech, you shouldn't need to waste Heavy Weapon ammo, but pick up the power cells right away after talking to Garrus. The room will be closed up when you return from the shutters.


This is a nightmare, leave Zaeed with Garrus and take Jacob for his Squad Incendiary and Pull. Have him use shotgun. Do the large garage room on the right first, and use the Arc Projector to prevent getting flanked and to kill the krogan ASAP. The enemy spawns slow down a little once that first krogan is gone. The second shutter isn't bad but you'll need to use drones and powers to take out the vorcha pyros. Try and leave 2-3 shots in your Arc Projector and have it equipped when you hit that last shutter button.


Use the Arc Projector right away to strip the varren and hit several other enemies in the process. Let Garm and the other krogan go upstairs while you finish off the vorcha. Unload whatever you have left in the Arc Projector on the two krogan. The rest of the battles are cover fights, and Garrus is no longer in danger so you can take your time.

Garrus' Build
  • Concussive Shot Level 3
  • Area Overload Level 4
  • Turian Survivor Level 4
  • Armor Piercing Ammo Level 1

Garrus gets increased health, weapon and power damage with every level of his Turian class. He tends to run out of cover and die, though he is better about staying in cover when using a sniper rifle, which he should be using all the time. I prefer the increased health just because of how squishy he is. We are going to use Garrus mainly on Blue Suns missions where Area Overload will strip multiple enemies.

Zaeed Loyalty

  • Arc Projector, Locust, Predator
  • Squad: Zaeed, Garrus or Mordin

We want to do this now for a Heavy Weapon upgrade and get a power cell refill after blowing out the Arc Projector rescuing Garrus. The Paragon path gives the Heavy Weapon upgrade. The Renegade path gives an Assault Rifle upgrade, which isn't as useful. You won't ruin your morality bar choosing one or the other Doesn't really matter which squadmate you choose, I took Garrus and Zaeed, with both on sniper rifles.

To save your Heavy Weapon ammo, DON'T enter the final fight room next to the loadout. Place Garrus and Zaeed in cover behind the desks or next to the loadout area. If you don't enter the room, the door won't close and you can dodge enemy fire using the wall. The Suns will run out into the open and you can gun them down, as well as reach the overhead tanks to shorten the fight. Just send in drones and use Overloads. When the mech arrives, stay in the doorway area and let it come up into the open.

YMIR fight: You can fight the mech either by working the doorway and sending in drones, or you can retreat further back in the room and take cover. The mech will enter the room where you are and stop walking.

  • Possible Glitch:

The door can glitch and close, trapping the YMIR behind it, and the green button might disappear. If this happens, you don't have to reload the fight. Your powers and gun can't reach the mech, but you can spawn drones behind the door. Once the mech is dead, run back to where you jumped down into the area originally and get your squad to follow. This will re-set the door button so you can proceed. Pick up the credits and other goodies before leaving.

Dossier: Subject Zero

  • Arc Projector, Locust, Predator
  • Squad: Garrus, Mordin or Kasumi

We want to do this mission now to get a Damage Protection upgrade. This is a standard cover fight mission. Kasumi's grenades stagger shielded enemies for a second or so, and drop unshielded enemies, but she dies easily. Put Garrus on sniper rifle so he stays in cover. Mordin has Incinerate to help out on enemy health, but you have to watch him carefully if you use him.

The only tricky part to this mission is the final fight due to Blue Suns who will flank you. Use Garrus' Concussive Shot to drop the shield barriers protecting the boss. The quicker you do this, the enemy spawns start to slow down. After clearing the area in front of you, head up left. Take the small cover wall in back and place your squad behind cover spots up ahead of you facing the boss.

Here you must remove one pair of Blue Suns who will spawn and flank you on the right. The flanker pairs will come across the bridge. If you move up too soon they will take positions behind you and kill you, so stay in the back cover spot to kill ONE of these pairs, then move forward to a new cover spot. The flankers will then stop spawning after you take out the first pair AND move forward.

Use the Arc Projector and Kasumi's Flashbang grenades to thin out the Blue Suns near the final shield post, so Garrus can take it out with Concussive Shot. Mop up the remaining Suns while your squad starts in on the boss. You shouldn't need heavy weapons to take him out because the Suns will have stopped spawning, giving you all the time in the world.

Last Chance before Horizon

Once we complete Dossier: Warlord we will be forced onto Horizon, so do up any scanning or side planet missions you want to do. I recommend not doing any side planets yet because none have useful upgrades, and you'll just be raising the level of Horizon to make it harder. If you're close to leveling, however, and can get Incinerate Level 3, go for that level so you can do more damage.

Dossier: Warlord

  • Arc Projector, Locust, Predator
  • Squad: Mordin, Jacob or Miranda

This mission gives a sniper rifle upgrade, and Krogan Vitality, nothing useful to an Engineer. Squad AI is terrible on this mission, all squad mates run out and get killed on every section no matter what you do. Don't waste medi-gels reviving them, they will stand up after all the enemies are gone out of an area. Luckily, Blue Suns are easy kills and drones flush them out of cover.

The infinite krogan section is the toughest part of the mission which is why you want Mordin, Jacob or Miranda. Jacob's Incediary ammo is nice, but not necessary. Pull is somewhat useful. The krogan will kill your drones, but they will turn their back to you to do so. Use the Arc Projector and drones. Once you have only one krogan on the field, stick a drone under his nose and move past him to the stairs to stop the infinite spawn before finishing that last one off.

Boss fight

Bust out the Arc Projector and get rid of the krogan and then the YMIR before starting in on Jedore. Keep drones up on the mech until it's gone. Save up 1-2 shots in the Arc Projector for Horizon, blow the rest if you want.


  • Arc Projector, Locust, Predator
  • Squad: Mordin, Miranda or Garrus

The difficulty on Horizon can be controlled: you can make this mission as easy, or as difficult, as you want. Every fight section has a power cell refill. That means you can use Heavy Weapons on every section for the easy route. For more of a challenge, ban your Heavy weapon use and try to get through on powers, regular guns and excellent positioning.

All squad mates die no matter who you take. Mordin's Incineration Blast is very useful. Miranda's Warp is nice on Collectors if you can keep her up long enough to use it. Garrus is helpful on snipers. Grunt is the worst choice of all, his AI is the worst in the game and he won't be the tank you hope for. Even Jacob is better than Grunt because Jacob at least has Pull to offer as a crowd control. Kasumi has some great skills but she just doesn't last long enough to use them.


He will destroy your drones but he turns his back to you while doing so which gives you time to get in a shot or Incinerate.

Don't pick up the Collector Particle Rifle until you are done taking out Harbinger and the two waves of Collectors. Use the building on the left, the doorway can be closed if you need time to recover. Harbinger will move up towards you but doesn't enter the building.

Talk to the guy locked inside the building and make a separate save here, the next section is a nightmare. You'll have flanking husks, Harbinger, a Scion and Collector reinforcements to deal with. The best spot seems to be the first wall section. Use the Arc Projector to take out the husks immediately and hit other Collectors, while using a drone to keep Harbinger busy. Spray a couple Arc shots to hit both the Scion and Harbinger at the same time and then finish both off with guns. Pick up the power cell refill, credits and the upgrade on the dead Collector before moving on.

Communication Tower

You can keep the doorway open by staying on the stairs and killing the Scions without triggering the husks. If you want to fight the hoards of husks, take position in the truck bed on the left to start out. Try and group up the scions around a drone so Mordin's Incineration Blast hits both of them.

Otherwise, from the open doorway you can see the two Scions hiding behind the tower. Youtube has videos that show where they are. You can get your squadmates to take position by moving them forward into the area a bit at a time while you stay on the stairs. Use Incinerates and Warp to curve around the tower onto the Scions. You will see them drop, and when the second one is gone EDI will talk about the tower to signal the next section.

First, pick up the power cells on the right of the map if you need more ammo for the Arc Projector, or leave it for now. The first position you will take will be on the balcony near the med kit. Hack the tower and then head to the balcony. Use the Arc Projector and drones to get rid of the husks and as many collectors as you can. When Harbinger starts getting close, focus drones on him. He may respawn several times during the fight, but you can't have him flanking you or getting too close or he will knock you out of cover and then incinerate you.

After the first wave, run to the other side of the map and pick up the power cell refill if you need it, and then position the squad behind the truck closest to the refill. Use the truck and blocks nearby to work the Collector waves. You won't need Heavy Weapons here because only 1 or 2 of the Collectors will flank, the rest take cover behind the tires. When you're done here, run to the truck where the Collectors were hiding, it's the truck nearest the balcony. This is the best spot to kite the Praetorian.

Praetorian: just kite it around the truck and let your squad mates gun it down. Use their powers to take out the barrier and drones to help with damage and brief diversion. Don't waste Heavy Weapon ammo on it, drones and Incinerates are safer.


We only have 5 mission landings before the Collector Ship, but we can make the most of these. One important goal is to get all 5 Submachine Gun upgrades done. Buy the following upgrades: Damage Protection, Tech, Medi-Gel and Submachine Gun. Buy the Star Charts or at minimum the Pylos Nebula and Shrike Abyssal charts.

Stay on Illium to do the following missions in order: Miranda Loyalty, and Dossier: Assassin. You'll have all the Submachine Gun upgrades after these two missions, and together they will only count as one mission.

Miranda Loyalty

  • Arc Projector, Locust, Predator
  • Squad: Miranda, Mordin

Make sure you find the Submachine Gun and Medi-Gel upgrades on this mission.

Using drones, Overloads and Incineration Blasts, only real challenge on this short mission is the final fight. If you stay in the starting cover position, you will either get flanked on the left by the boss, or on the right by a Vanguard. I suggest moving back into the elevator and focus on killing the Vanguard on the right. Take out anything else on the right and then move in and take cover on the right near where the Vanguard was. Focus on the boss next, the rest of the mobs on the left side of the room are easy to mop up.

Don't go back to the Normandy, talk to Liara about Thane and recruit him next.

Dossier: Assassin

  • Arc Projector, Locust, Predator
  • Squad: Mordin, Garrus.

We want to get the Submachine Gun upgrade on this mission. It's a "stay in cover and send out drones" kind of fight. I usually bust out the Arc Projector to take out the krogan coming from the elevator and the Vanguards on the final walkway because, well, Eclipse is using heavy weapons too and they are stupid enough to run out in the open.

You will end up back on the Normandy afterward and can research all your fancy new upgrades. The Locust will be noticeably more powerful and will be able to whittle down biotic barriers MUCH quicker with all 5 upgrades done.

N7 Anomalous Weather

  • Squad: Zaeed, Garrus
  • Damage Protection Upgrade

The Pylos Nebula star chart opens up this mission. Go to the Dirada system and find the planet Canalus.

This is a geth fighting mission. Use Zaeed's Squad Disruptor. The truth is that this ammo takes out Geth health quicker than other types. Put Garrus and Zaeed on snipers so they stay in cover.

Jacob Loyalty

  • Arc Projector, Locust, Predator
  • Squad: Jacob, Garrus or Kasumi

This mission gives a Heavy Pistol upgrade which we will need for the Tuchanka Loyalty missions, and for the Collector ship where ammo is scarce. Also, the mission is pretty easy with Engineer drones, and you won't need to use heavy weapons. The YMIR in the final area can be drawn out with drones and fought outside the compound behind cover or behind the wooden entry fences.

Grunt Loyalty

  • Arc Projector, Locust, Predator
  • Squad: Grunt, Jack or Garrus

Talk to Mordin and Grunt to get their missions. Do them in any order but don't buy any upgrades until finishing Grunt's Loyalty so you can use his store discount. Don't return to the Normandy until both missions are done.

Thane or Garrus can work well on Grunt's mission but They Just Cannot Stay Up on Insanity. Jack will die a couple of times too, but her shotgun does decent damage. Give her Pull Field and Primal Vanguard, and use Pulls to toss varren and klixen after you strip them with Incineration Blast.

For Grunt, take Squad Incendiary spec him any way you want, nothing you pick will make him better.

Use your own AP Ammo for the Thresher Maw, it works much better than Incendiary.

Use the Arc Projector on the krogans to take out a couple and then run around to pick up the extra Power Cells, credits and med kits before finishing off the boss krogan.

Mordin Loyalty

  • Squad: Mordin, Thane
Thane's Build
  • Throw Field Level 4
  • Unstable Warp Level 4
  • Drell Veteran 4
  • Shredder Ammo 0

To get this build, you'll have to reset Thane's skills on the Shadow Broker ship. I recommend doing this before the Suicide Mission. Thane is very useful on the Suicide Mission for sniper power, barrier stripping and tossing Collectors off platforms. For now, prioritize Throw Field so he can deal with krogan and husks, and put leftover points into Warp.

This mission is pretty easy with drones and Incineration Blasts. Bust out the Arc Projector on krogans, we can get a refill on power cells in a next mission. The one difficult area is after the Weyrloc clan leader speech. Sprint to take a position behind the pillar at the bottom of the walkway to funnel the enemies, use drones and a blast of the Arc Projector on the flanking krogan.

N7 Strontium Mule (Capture the Freighter)

  • Squad: Garrus, Kasumi

You can get a Heavy Skin Weave and a heavy weapon ammo refill if you are short after the Tuchanka missions. This mission doesn't really require heavy weapons. It's a standard Blue Suns cover fight.

This mission really isn't necessary right now but you will get 40% damage reduction from melee attacks which might be helpful on the Collector Ship. You could do Thane/Garrus Loyalties instead which will count as the final mission, or Dossier: Tali, or Dossier: Justicar. Assault rifle upgrades are nice, but chances are you haven't had the cash to buy other Assault rifle upgrades yet, so the pay off is rather limited for the moment. Thane's Heavy Pistol upgrade is nice, but you already have the pistol double damage upgrade. Garrus' sniper upgrade is okay but doesn't improve you.

Collector Ship

  • Arc Projector, Locust, Predator
  • Squad: Thane. Samara or Jack

Ugh. Most people try taking Miranda on this, but you WILL REGRET IT. The Collector platforms are one of the toughest areas on Insanity. Collectors tend to ignore drones as a group, and Harbinger kills drones quickly. There goes your crowd control out the window. You need Crowd Control and Gunners! The one difference between Jack and Samara is Jack's shotgun, when she shoots she will hit harder. Anyone you take on this mission will die (no, Grunt will not help you either) so go for biotic crowd control skills above all.

Ideally, you will want to have 6-8 Medi-Gels on hand. If you've followed the guide, you shouldn't have wasted too many. The missions we have completed so far all had plenty of med kit refills. Plan to use 4 Medi-Gels on the Collector platforms. If you get to the platforms and have only 1 or 2, restart the mission and make sure you don't use any before the platforms.

Save after every fight section! Do you want to repeat any of this mission? Didn't think so.

Which Bonus Weapon?

This is not an easy choice. The truth is, none of the extra guns will help much.

Snipers: The Viper can be useful to take out Scions at a distance if you know where they are. You can snipe off a good chunk before they can get close enough to use shockwave on you. But in general, you won't have enough time nor health to stick your head out of cover and aim a sniper rifle. Without Cloak and the Time Dilation you get as an Infiltrator or Soldier, snipers are too hard to use on Insanity.

Shotguns: Are you planning to take your squishy self up close and personal?

Assault Rifles: The Mattock is an excellent weapon. However, it will only have about 86 shots in it compared to the over 300 shots you have by now on your Locust.

The Locust Is Still Your Friend.

Collector Platforms

The key to getting through this fight is to take out the FIRST platform QUICKLY, before the second platform shows up. If you cannot take out this first platform immediately, you will never catch up and you will be overwhelmed.

Yes, that means bust out the Arc Projector and burst down the first platform. Use squad biotics Throw and Pull to toss stripped Collectors over the side.

Stay in cover back behind the control panel. Ignore the first Scion, your squad will work it down. Focus on the platforms using drones and everything you have to get rid of Harbinger before he gets too close. Waste out the entire Arc Projector. Your squad will start dying on you after the first scion, just raise them and keep up the pressure. Prioritize using Throw and Pull Fields on stripped Collectors to knock them off and save lots of time.

The final Scion will stay where he is and you can use drones and Incinerate from a distance. That Scion has a power cell refill near him so make SURE to go get it before hitting the control panel.


The two fight sections before the Praetorian are a nightmare. You will likely only have 1-2 Medi Gels left and might end up soloing. Use a couple Arc Projector shots, there are two more power cell refills along the way.

On the Praetorian fight, take cover above and take out the husks first because they will flank your team. When the Praetorian gets close, kite around the entire upper section. Down below, stay close to the wall so he can't hit you when he's up top. Keep your eye out for Collector reinforcements and Arc Projector them when they show up, there should only be one reinforcement wave. If you keep the drones up, they should distract the Praetorian briefly enough for you to change position or throw an Incineration Blast. Like on Horizon, the Praetorian will focus on you if you keep kiting around and this will allow your squad to safely gun it down.

The final Collector fight has some distance if you take cover near the start. Work your way up the far right side of the map to keep the scion out of the action.

The run to the shuttle is the husk portion, the spawn is NOT infinite. Just keep backing up and using drones, Pull and Throw.

Yay! You will have a Damage Protection upgrade and a Tech upgrade to research. The Tech upgrade will give you what you need to strip shields with only a level 2 Overload, and a full armor bar with Incineration Blast. At least on lower level mooks.

N7 Blood Pack Base, Blood Pack Relay

  • Heavy Weapon Upgrade
  • Avalanche or Arc Projector, Locust, Predator
  • Squad: Mordin, Jacob

You must buy the Shrike Abyssal star chart on Illium to do these missions for a Heavy Weapon upgrade and a refill on your ammo. The upgrade is acquired automatically after the second of these two mission, you must do BOTH but in no specific order.

The Blood Pack base is the harder of the two. I tried several squad combinations, but had the easiest time with Mordin and Jacob. Use Jacob's squad Incendiary and have him on shotgun. The Predator pistol is one of the best choices for weapons, but it doesn't have nearly enough shots to deal with vorcha and krogan on Insanity. Keep up drones, use Incineration Blasts, Cryo Blasts and Jacob's Pull. Use Incinerate on Vorcha pyros. The final fight is indoors and you can get flanked quickly by all the krogan. Go ahead and use heavy weapons, we will get another refill on the Relay mission.

The Relay mission is much easier, with only klixen to deal with if you follow the blue relay lines to each console. If you get lost you might run into a vorcha pyro. Yet more krogan at the end, but the squad strategy above makes quick work of them, just back up down the hill when the boss flanks to deal with him and then mop up any stragglers. I used the Avalanche just for fun.

Dossier: Justicar

  • Arc Projector, Locust, Mattock, Predator
  • Squad: Mordin, Garrus

This mission is pretty easy, distant cover is plentiful, even in the final fight. You won't need heavy weapons unless you feel like it on the gunship and fenris mechs section. Drones and Incineration Blasts take care of most enemies. Just run into the area to trigger the gunship and take cover behind the wall at the entrance area.

One mission or landing after obtaining Samara will trigger her Loyalty.

Samara Loyalty

  • Assault Rifle Upgrade
  • Squad: Samara

If you've been talking to people, you should have enough morality to pass the checks in Morinth's apartment. Save on the Normandy and then save on a new file on Omega, so if you don't pass the checks you reload the try the mission later on. But we want the Assault Rifle upgrade in Morinth's apartment so try and get it done now. The conversation points in Afterlife are Music/Expel 10, Art/Forta, Drugs/Hellix, Travel/Power is the Reward.

Samara's Build
  • Throw Level 2
  • Pull Field Level 4
  • Caedo Justicar Level 4
  • Reave Level 3
Morinth's Build
  • Throw Level 2
  • Pull Field Level 4
  • Malian-Yakshi Level 4
  • Dominate Level 3

I prefer the weapon damage class bonus for Asari squad mates. On Insanity, all enemies are shielded and by the time you strip shields, the Asari are cooled down and ready to use a power. Therefore, improved weapon damage is consistently more useful than additional cooldown time. By contrast, faster cooldown time is more useful on the game's lower difficulties where enemies are not shielded.

Thane Loyalty

  • Heavy Pistol Upgrade
  • Squad: Thane

This non-combat mission gives a Heavy Pistol upgrade that you won't really need by now. Thane's Shredder ammo isn't useful.

Garrus Loyalty

  • Sniper Rifle Upgrade
  • Squad: Mordin, Garrus
  • Arc Projector, the usual other guns

A relatively challenging Blue Suns fight. Stay in cover and proceed slowly, sending out drones before moving ahead or grabbing loot. Suns and Lokis often hide in cover and you can save, but as soon as you move up they will come out. Mordin's Incineration Blasts help out on the Lokis, and panic the Suns so you can gun them down and focus your powers on drone upkeep.

After you reach the room with the window, grab the Sniper upgrade from the console before heading in. This section has infinite Loki mechs. To avoid them, go up the platforms on the far right to take cover from the Loki mechs. Let your squad deal with the first set of mechs while you focus on the well-shielded Sun heavies. The mechs will stop once the heavies are gone.

The YMIR mechs at the end are challenging because no matter what you do, one or both squad mates will die and it's not worth reviving them. Trigger the mechs and then run back as quickly as you can to the cover blocks at the very top of the platforms. From here you can solo the mechs by tossing out a drone and using heavy weapons and the Locust.

Dossier: Tali

  • Arc Projector, Locust
  • Squad: Garrus, Zaeed
  • Bonus Power: Heavy Energy Drain Level 4

You could respec and take all points from AP Ammo and instead take AI Hacking. However, hacking doesn't last long on Insanity so it's not worth it for this mission; in general geth are easy for an Engineer. Heavy Energy Drain is brilliant on geth, you get up to double your original shield using this on synthetic shields, and 200 points of damage with the Heavy Drain. Zaeed's Squad Disruptor works better on geth health bars than AP Ammo. Garrus and Zaeed using sniper rifles can take out drones and troopers quickly on Haestrom so you can focus on Geth Primes and Destroyers.

DO NOT pick up the Tempest submachine gun in the first garage. You can get it later in the room where Tali is found, but you don't want to face all the geth without your Locust.


Drones make this section easy because you send a drone all the way across the map or around corners. Take out all geth near the starting position, and plan to use the right Light path where the sun hits. The left path has far more geth and more Destroyers near the Colossus. The Light path gives you high ground near the Colossus and the geth can't flank you. Just work your way from cover to cover up the light path, don't use the turret. Use the D Pad to have your squad follow you when you reach the Colossus. They can work down the Colossus with sniper rifles while you manage the troopers and pyros.

Afterward, do a side mission or go shopping to trigger Tali's Loyalty.

Tali Loyalty

  • Tech Damage, Geth Shield Strength upgrades
  • Squad: Tali, Zaeed
  • Bonus Power: Heavy Energy Drain

Arc Projector, the usual other guns. Geth Pulse rifle can be fun but it won't do the quick burst damage the Locust does. A few points in AI Hacking for Tali can be fun, but in general I don't find AI Hacking helpful on this mission, the hacked geth are killed too quickly.

If you think you don't have the morality to pass the checks, go to Tuchanka and buy the Death Mask for an extra 10% persuasion, or respec your class skill.

The first room on the Alarei is a nightmare because of the close cover. Troopers and Hunters will flank you quickly and it's hard to keep up, even with two drone users. You might want the Arc Projector in each area, except that you can glitch the upstairs room by placing your squad in cover on the stairs, triggering the fight, and then running down the stairs. One Hunter and a trooper or two might follow, but the geth will stop spawning once the first Hunter is gone.

Power cell refills are available along the way. Use the Arc Projector and both drones in the final fight and it will go quickly, much easier than the previous rooms. I wish the Geth Shield bonus upgrade is more helpful, but alas on Insanity your shields crash in two hits no matter what.

Jack Loyalty

  • Biotic Upgrade
  • Squad: Jack, Mordin

This mission isn't especially hard. The Biotic upgrade is useless to you, and the morality check afterward is hard to pass unless you've been talking to people. With Incineration Blasts from you and Mordin, armor stripping is easy and Jack can Pull stripped enemies. Use the Arc Projector on a couple of the krogan at the end if they get too close.

Lair of the Shadow Broker

One problem with the DLC missions is that the additional upgrades you acquire won't help much. Some things are maxed out already. There are no additional Submachine gun upgrades unless you get a lucky one from the Shadow Broker ship. You already have 6 Heavy Weapon upgrades, so a 7th can't be researched.

However, the Shadow Broker Damage Protection upgrade 6 will give another 10% Shields to you, 10% armor to Grunt, and 10% Shields to the rest of the squad. A Heavy Pistol upgrade may be useful if you run out of ammo on the Locust.

  • Squad: Mordin, Samara
  • Arc Projector, the usual weapons
  • Bonus Power: Squad AP Ammo

Baria Frontiers offices are pretty easy with drones, Pull, and Mordin's many abilities. The Azure Hotel is another story. Dismiss Samara.

Liara's Build
  • Singularity Level 2
  • Warp Level 3
  • Asari Operative Level 4
  • Enhanced Stasis Level 4

Enhanced Stasis allows you to use it more than once on an enemy before they become immune. Singularity staggers shielded enemies slightly and tosses only unshielded enemies, which is why level 2 works fine. I'd rather have fully leveled Stasis for Insanity difficulty.

  • Sqaud: Liara, Mordin

The Azure Hotel parking lot can be challenging because waves of enemies are dropped in at different points on the map. Start out below behind the cars. When the first wave is gone, head up the stairs and move far left on the map. Then work back down staying on the left until you are behind the cars again. Liara's Stasis locks down fully shielded Engineers so they cannot use the drone, but with your Overload and Liara's Warp the drones really aren't a threat. Abuse Mordin's Neural Shock liberally.


Run far RIGHT on the map and take cover near the last pillar. This will initially limit Vasir's teleporting to three locations, two of which will be further away. Stay in this area throughout the fight.

Liara's Enhanced Stasis can be used repeatedly, holding Vasir in place and dropping her to the ground when it wears off, then you can unload with guns. Singularity will also stagger slightly along with a drone if the Stasis effect starts to wear thin. Use the Arc Projector on her barrier and send a drone. Reuse Stasis when Vasir stands back up. When her barrier is at half, Shadow Broker forces will arrive with a couple of drones. Use Stasis on one of the Engineers, and a keep a drone on the other while you shoot off his shield, toss him in Singularity and use Neural Shock to keep him locked. Stasis makes quick work of drones.

Vasir's teleporting pattern will change between the Broker reinforcements and she may teleport behind you. Make sure Liara's Stasis is ready to deploy if this happens. Keep Stasis up, and when Vasir drops to the ground you and Mordin can hit her with Incineration Blasts. Keep a drone on Vasir in case a Stasis misses. Once Vasir is down to armor, Stasis can be used virtually non stop and Mordin can use Neural Shock when Vasir drops to the ground to keep her there. Just keep blasting with your Locust and AP Ammo. Use Singularity and Cryo Blasts when Vasir is down to her health bar, and then more Neural Shocks while you shoot away.

Shadow Broker Ship

  • Squad: Mordin, Liara
  • Weapons: Locust, Arc Projector

With this squad you have a full arsenal of attacks to lock down all the mobs. Most mob ambushes have a Vanguard Asari in the group. She will flank your group, watch carefully for her to appear and lock her down with Stasis and Neural Shock until you have dealt with other enemies.

Keep using the D Pad down button to prevent your squad from moving too far ahead; Liara especially tends to get herself killed. Don't waste medi-gels reviving anyone, stay in cover and move ahead slowly, sending drones in advance to check for hidden enemies.

Ship Door Lock

When Liara uses a shunt program to unlock the door, get ready for several waves of enemies. Stay down by the lock, and order your squad to take cover down by the lock, you can still use their powers in that position. Otherwise, if they try gunning they will be killed quickly. The first group will be up left. From close to the lock, send a drone up ahead of you to cover yourself as you strafe upward, pause the controller and look around at the enemies to decide which to hit. After choosing powers, move back down near the lock to avoid getting hit.

Each group has a flanking Vanguard who will be eventually forced into trying to confront your group. Have Stasis ready and stay near the lock so you won't be hit by any other mobs while you draw out the Vanguard. Keep her locked down with Stasis, Neural Shock and a drone just in case while you shoot her dead. Continue staying by the lock and send drones up ahead while you run up, pause the controller, and then choose powers from the power wheel.

Feron: after talking to Feron, order your squad to take position near him in the room. Go out to the guard's office and take cover behind the desk. Send drones to stir up enemies outside. Stay there until a Vanguard moves into the doorway. Use the usual Stasis/Neural Shock/Drone to deal with her. After the Vanguard is dead have your squad take positions in the doorway while you send out drones. Follow behind your drones to the Shadow Broker door.

Shadow Broker

Child's play for an Engineer. Don't waste Heavy Weapons here. Keep drones on him. The Broker has to melee your drones, turning his back so you can shoot and order Liara to use Warp. Stasis doesn't work on him. If you keep a drone on him constantly, he won't have time to shoot. There is a re-spawning ammo clip near the short wall where you start, the clip has about 100 shots. All you need is the Locust and drones, toss an Incinerate when you can.


This mission only has one upgrade, a Heavy Skin Weave, another 10% health bonus. Unless you need the achievements, this mission isn't really worth the time because you'll be getting another Heavy Skin Weave anyway on the Derelict Reaper. One of these will be unusable.

  • Squad: Zaeed/Tali, or Tali/Legion
  • Bonus Power: Heavy Energy Drain Level 4

The combat in this mission is all geth. To really make this easy, re-do Tali and Legion's build on the Shadow Broker ship and max their AI Hacking and Drones. Now you'll have 3 Drones and 2 hackers. You could take Hacking yourself if you bring Zaeed, and just take out the points from Incinerate. Having 3 hackers though is not really necessary.

When you are solo, hit the elevator button and run to a position in the back of the lab behind the column. Use the Arc Projector to take out the troopers quickly, and keep a drone up. There is a power cell refill in the solo section which you will need if you are playing on Insanity.

In the final section, hack and drone the troopers, and use Energy Drain on them while you shoot at the moving VI balls.


  • Squad: Shepard
  • Bonus Power: Tungsten AP Ammo Level 4

There is no reason to do this mission except for the 1 more Medi-Gel upgrade. The Heavy Skin Weave is redundant, and you'll blow through heavy weapon ammo to complete the mission.

You'll find the Medi-Gel upgrade behind the truck, use the crane to move a block out of the way and grab the upgrade before lowering the truck.

The first real challenge is defending Kenson at the security console. Stay in the doorway near her to protect her and yourself. If you venture out too far, the enemies will flank her and you. A few will run in front of the doorway, focus on them first, and then send drones to cover you while you peer out. The enemies on the left aren't too bad, but you might need a shot or two from the Arc Projector when they appear on the right due to the numbers of them ahead.

Project Base

Unless you have 19-20 full shots in the Arc Projector, you won't have even a remote chance to survive all 5 waves at the Project Base. That achievement is best done on a lower difficulty, and this DLC was meant for post-game. Just let yourself get "killed."

The journey out of the station is more time-consuming than difficult, and you aren't in a time crunch. Work doors and doorways, ducking back after each power move. Push drones out ahead of you. Use Incinerate to insta-kill the pyros.

After you deal with Kenson, look for a side room on the way out to get the Heavy Skin Weave. You should also find a Power Cells, it's the only one I know of on the station.

Outside, prepare for a timed battle with a number of enemies and a YMIR mech. If your time is getting short, use the Arc Projector on the mech which will also hopefully hit any mooks that are left.

Derelict Reaper

  • Collector Particle Beam, Locust, Predator
  • Squad: Jacob, Mordin
  • Sniper, Shotgun and Heavy Skin Weave upgrades
Shepard's Build
  • Overload Level 2
  • Incineration Blast Level 4
  • Explosive Drone Level 4
  • Cryo Blast Level 3
  • AI Hacking 0
  • Demolisher Level 4
  • Bonus Power: doesn't matter, anything

I experimented with Attack Drone vs. Explosive, and still found Explosive Drone long-lasting and superior at doing damage on husks and scions alike in this section. I also experimented with various Bonus Powers, including Geth Shield Boost, but the boost does nothing against scion shockwaves. Enhanced Stasis could be a helpful power; however with heavy use of drones and Incineration Blast there is no time for another cooldown power. Energy Drain does damage on armor but won't restore shields as it does against geth.

On the Shadow Broker Ship, I re-specced Mordin and gave him Full Cryo Blast by taking all points out of Neural Shock. Re-spec Jacob for Pull Field and Squad Incendiary. I got lucky on that Shadow Broker trip and got a SMG 6/6 upgrade from the Delivery terminal, so I chose to use the Locust rather than the Predator on this mission.

The main strategy is to keep Explosive Drone up, Incineration Blast to strip armor on husks and scions, Mordin's Full Cryo Blast to stop husks, and Jacob's Squad Incendiary and Pull Field to kill frozen husks outright. Jacob is not the best character in the game, but his shotgun and Pull Field killed a lot of frozen husks.

Keeping drones up on the scions, try and group the scion pairs close to the drone so Incineration Blasts hit both scions at the same time. Just keep backing up and having your squad follow you when the enemies get too close. Aside from dodging shockwaves, you shouldn't be in any danger.

Reaper Core

Move Left, down the walkway stairs, and work the back corner of this area. This helps funnel husks down the walkway above, and you'll have a good view of the Reaper Core. Also, you'll have access to the Terminal and the re-spawning clips on the table. Keep a drone up on the walkway to delay the husks here and prioritize the ones spawning closer to you. Continue using Incineration Blast along with Mordin's Cryo Blast and Jacob's Pull Field.

The Collector Beam heavy weapon does good damage on the Reaper Core with its precise targeting. When the Reaper Core opens up, equip the Beam and move forward a little and unload. You should be able to destroy the core on the third time it opens up. By prioritizing the husks nearby and keeping a drone on the walkway, you should be mostly in the clear to focus on that Core when it opens.

Heretic Station

  • Arc Projector, Locust
  • Squad: Legion, Zaeed or Tali
  • Bonus Power: Heavy Energy Drain

Tali is another good choice for this mission if you want 3 drones and another hacker. I felt 3 drones were unnecessary, and went for Zaeed's ammo instead which melts geth with the Locust.

Legion's Build
  • AI Hacking Level 4
  • Explosive Drone Level 4
  • Geth Assassin Level 4
  • Geth Shield 0

We can't get Legion's ideal build yet to get area hacking but it's not really useful anyway after this mission unless you still have Overlord to do. Max his drone and his class, and dump whatever is left into Hacking.

Geth hub areas aren't too difficult with two drones. Don't forget to grab Geth Shield Boost 2 from the console on the left when you see the first turrets. The worst hub is the last area with the ramp. Keep your squad up top, step on the green lines and send drones down below. The Hunters can be funneled on the walkway. Keep backing up and shooting while unleashing drones.

When you reach the console area where Legion does his upload, prepare for 4 waves of geth. Use the turrets far below the console in the following way: 1 turret, (first wave) 1 turret (second wave), 2 turrets and 2 turrets. The two turrets will help on the last two waves because Hunters join the battle on those waves. Use the turrets up near your position as needed.


Take out the troopers and hack the ones near the exit before moving to where the Geth Prime is. If you want to kill the Prime, use the Arc Projector and the drones to keep it busy. Or, use the drones and just run for the exit if you want to save on ammo.

Point of No Return

This is the last chance you have to talk to the squad and get any last ship upgrades. This is the last chance to re-spec your character and take a different Bonus Power. Think carefully about who you want to take on the Suicide Mission. You will want an ammo power of some kind, either Squad Warp or AP or Incendiary. Any of the ammo types will work, and you can also consider Energy Drain, Enhanced Stasis or Improved Flashbang Grenades.

Omega 4 Relay


  • Squad: Grunt, Garrus

Grunt is actually useful at staying alive with his Fortification and Squad Incendiary. Equip Grunt with the Claymore.

The Oculus kills your drone immediately but is distracted long enough to allow for squad recovery. Move ahead and take cover behind the computer desk. You won't get hit here and the Oculus will focus on you, allowing your gunners to fire away. Activate Grunt's Fortification.

After the cutscene when the Oculus is at 50%, stay near the gun battery and kite the Oculus around the structure, hiding so it can't hit you. In this portion, the Oculus is distracted by the drone only when it enters the hole ahead of you. When the Oculus disappears behind you, use the free time to run and grab the re-spawning power cells. Don't waste your heavy ammo, just use the crates to top off until you are full.