'Mass Effect: Andromeda' Multiplayer Builds: 5 strategies for creating a great character

'Mass Effect: Andromeda' Multiplayer Builds: 5 strategies for creating a great character

Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer is surprisingly tough. Even if you consider yourself a pro in campaign mode, switching to the more fast-paced, crowded multiplayer is a whole other beast to wrap your head around.

The options for multiplayer character builds vary wildly and depend entirely on what items and characters you've unlocked. So, rather than detail specific builds with every character, let's talk more generally about strategies you should use when you're building your own.

Mass Effect: Andromeda multiplayer character building: Look at your abilities first

Obviously, your character's build is going to vary based on which character you actually select. Start by looking at your character's three abilities, as this will help inform the rest of the decisions you make.

For example, are you playing an adept with three active abilities you'll want to use over and over? You should probably only equip one weapon — or two relatively light ones — so your ability cooldowns aren't hampered by your weapon load. A character like that relies on their abilities to be effective, so don't weigh them down with a Rambo-like arsenal.

Conversely, a character like the angara insurgent should probably stock up on more heavy-duty weapons. The assault turret is a set-and-forget type of ability, another is defensive and the third is a trip mine, which uses power cells rather than cooldowns. Therefore, having really fast cooldowns won't really be as beneficial here.

Mass Effect: Andromeda multiplayer character building: Consider your character's play style

This one is pretty obvious, but tailor your weapon choices to your character's strengths. If you're playing a vanguard who's going to be up in everyone's face, don't pick a wimpy pistol. Pick something that packs a punch at shorter range, like a shotgun.

Mass Effect: Andromeda multiplayer character building: Allocate a few skill points into your boring skills

Even though it's more fun to throw a bunch of skill points into your flashy, active abilities, you should probably invest in your passive skills first. In particular, the track that boosts your health and shields is where you should probably dump a few points right off the bat.

That said, don't put all your points into just one skill at the expense of everything else — do your best to strike a balance. Maybe for your first few levels, you'll get your defensive skill up to rank three, at which point you can actually start upgrading your active abilities.

Mass Effect: Andromeda multiplayer character building: Plan ahead to make sure your abilities synergize

Once you get into the upper ranks of a particular skill, you'll have to start choosing between one of two different upgrades. It's easy to impulsively make a decision here, but be careful not to hamper your character's overall effectiveness in the process. It'll pay off to plan ahead and make sure your abilities synergize.

For example, the sixth rank of the shockwave ability for the human female adept asks you to choose between two upgrades. One gives shockwave a 50% damage bonus versus armor, and the other allows shockwave to prime enemies for ability combos.

The first option is much better in this case, because the adept's other two abilities — pull and singularity — already prime enemies for combos. Having a third is just overkill. Also, since that character probably isn't equipped with heavy weapons that can shred armor very well, having an ability that helps against beefy enemies is clearly the better choice.

Mass Effect: Andromeda multiplayer character building: Make a character that fits the way you play

Ultimately, it's important to upgrade your multiplayer character in a way that fits your play style — there's no sense in following some famous YouTuber's build recommendation if you don't play the same types of characters they do.

If you find you're relying heavily on a certain ability and constantly wish it would recharge faster, throw points into an upgrade that will lower its cooldown time. As long as you're thinking critically about your character's strengths and weaknesses, you'll be fine.

And hey — if you mess up, you can always purchase a character re-spec from the item menu.

More Mass Effect: Andromeda news and updates

For more on everyone's favorite space opera, check out the rest of what Mic has to offer. Here's an essay on the troubling history of colonialism in Mass Effect, a story about the horrifying harassment campaign carried out against a former BioWare employee, a guide to removing Ryder's helmet, a guide on romancing Keri, a guide to romancing Reyes and a quick explainer on the different types of health in Andromeda.