Choosing your squad in Mass Effect: Andromeda is all about combat. (Well, it’s mostly about combat and a little about who you want to hear dialogue snippets from while you’re driving around.)
Unlike previous Mass Effect games, there aren’t specialized abilities — you won’t be locked out of anywhere if you have the wrong people in your squad. In fact, the only time your squad makeup really matters is during each character’s loyalty missions.
Which is not to say that there’s no logic to assembling your Mass Effect: Andromeda squad. Each member of your team has strengths, weaknesses and tactics. Some, like Drack, go charging into the middle of combat. Jaal, on the other hand, prefers to hang back and snipe. Mixing and matching their abilities and styles is the key to making your squad helpful during a fight.
As a human asari huntress, Cora relies on her biotics. Like Liam, Cora has a tendency to charge into close quarters combat. Sometimes, this provides a helpful distraction. If you or your other squadmate like to get up close and personal as well, Cora’s shield boost provides some welcome protection. If she’s on her own, though, her aggression can make her vulnerable.
Liam is kind of an all-around fighter. He’s got a useful shield-draining attack (overload), and he’ll toss out some frag grenades, which are great for getting bad guys out from cover. But Liam tends to get in close to use his omni-blades, so he doesn’t deal a lot of damage, and he’s not a bullet sponge. Couple that with his havoc strike, which tends to drop him straight into the heart of a battle, and Liam’s a mixed bag. But his overload ability pairs well with most other squad members, so it’d be a mistake to disregard him.
Peebee’s go-to move in combat is her biotic pull, which will send your enemies floating into the air, making them easy to shoot and vulnerable to combo attacks. She’s also good at medium range with her pistol. Especially in early levels, though, you’ll probably spend a lot of time reviving her — it doesn’t take much damage for her to fall in battle. As she levels up, though, her pull becomes even more powerful, and she’ll develop her tech skills as well — like invasion. Peebee’s not the hardest hitter, but she’s invaluable for finding (or making) weaknesses in your enemies.
Drack is Drack. That’s kind of all there is to him. And that’s OK. Drack is a krogan tank through and through. He’s a charging, shotgun-wielding, grumpy old man. Drack is great against most bipedal enemies, but he struggles against shielded bad guys and things out of melee range (like the flying remnant bots). Drack is another heavy-hitter that works really well with Liam or Peebee.
Vetra, your fixer and acquirer of all things quasi-legal, is a heck of a soldier. She’s got strong armor, and she’s good with her rifle. Vetra’s weakness, though, is going up against an enemy with shields — at least until you unlock her disruptor ammo ability after her loyalty mission. Vetra’s a good squadmate in general, but she shines when paired with someone who can take care of enemies’ shields for her — like Liam.
Jaal starts off as a great long-range (from cover) combatant. As he levels up, he’ll unlock a devastating close-range sneak attack. At early levels, he can be hard to keep alive, but he provides great support — both from a distance and at melee range. Beyond his martial capabilities, Jaal also gets the energy drain tech ability — dealing a lot of damage to shields. After you complete Jaal’s loyalty mission, his energy drain will also restore the shields of nearby allies.