Five Spoiler-Free Tips For Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda has been out for over a week. Players have gotten to know Ryder, explored strange planets, and met alien races. Even though you’re probably comfortable in the Heleus cluster, you might have overlooked something useful. The tips below aren’t necessarily secrets, but since the game doesn’t clearly explain them, you could be missing out on ways to make your time with Mass Effect: Andromeda better.

Ammo problems?
Are you running out of bullets at critical moments? Do you dread switching to your second-favorite weapon? You can avoid the hassle of ammo and clip limitations in a few ways. First is using a gun with the particle-beam firing style (like the P.A.W.), or by adding that property to your gun through augmentations. If you still want to fire standard bullets, you can research the “vintage heat sink” augmentation. When applied to a normal weapon during the crafting process, this augmentation makes ammo work like it did in Mass Effect 1; your weapon can overheat, but you never actually run out of bullets. This is particularly useful on harder difficulties, since enemies can take more punishment.

Your first two Andromeda Viability Points should be spent on…
Reconnaissance and Advanced Training. These are in the “military” branch of cryo pods, and you need to buy the former to access the latter – but they are both useful. Reconnaissance opens up hidden caches near forward stations. That may not sound like anything special, but what the game doesn’t tell you is that these caches are usually high-tier chests with valuable salvage and good gear, so tracking them down as you progress helps keep you ahead of the curve. Advanced training is a passive XP bump, so the sooner you get it, the sooner you start getting your bonus XP.

Visit Kadara’s mod shop
The guns you use are important, and the mods you apply to them can have a huge impact on their effectiveness. The problem? Your selection of mods is limited in the early parts of Andromeda, so you can’t fine-tune according to your preferences or playstyle. That changes when you reach Kadara; your first stop on that planet should be the mod shop, which sells a wide array of options for various weapons and lets you optimize their performance. Combined with augmentations and crafting, mods are the final step in creating your personal super-weapon.

Don’t forget to respec
Ryder can invest in a broad array of skills in the combat, biotic, and tech trees. As you experiment, you’re bound to find some dud powers you don’t plan on using again. Or maybe you made a decision about a power’s tier-six version that you regret. Either way, you aren’t stuck with your choices. Go to the med bay on the Tempest and find the station pictured above; it lets you reassign the skill points for Ryder or your companions. Be warned that this gets more expensive the more you do it, so keep the option in reserve until you can really make it count.

Craft Nomad improvements
At the research stations, don’t overlook the extra tab under “development” that you don’t have under “research,” because that’s the Nomad. You aren’t able to research blueprints for your vehicle in the same way you can for guns and armor, but once you obtain them through other means, you still use the crafting interface to upgrade the vehicle. Once you spend the requisite resources, the improvements are automatically applied to the Nomad. This function is easy to miss, so don’t forget to check out your options.

For more on Mass Effect: Andromeda, check out our review and read about some changes we'd like to see.

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