Game Info

Mass Effect: Andromeda Guide - Understanding Profiles and Classes to pick the best one for you

Mass Effect: Andromeda has changed a lot of gameplay behind-the-scenes compared to the original Mass Effect Trilogy, and one of the most significant mechanical changes comes in the form of profiles - a new mechanic which acts as a replacement for the class system found in the original Mass Effect.

If you're an RPG or Mass Effect veteran or relatively new, profiles can actually lead you astray a little bit early on - compared to just picking and sticking with a class at the start of the game swapping profiles has a bit of a learning curve and is immediately more complex while also more open. Don't let it get the better of you - we're here to help keep you on the right track. Let's get to it.

Want more Mass Effect: Andromeda help? Be sure to check out our hub - it's full of quest walkthroughs, tips, tricks, system explanations and more.

How Mass Effect Andromeda's Profiles Work

Rather than forcing you to pick one distinct class at the start of the game and then making you stick with it for the whole story as in previous Mass Effect titles, Andromeda uses the profiles system to give players a little more choice all the way through their journey in Andromeda.

Players can swap between their unlocked profiles at any given time, meaning that in theory you can switch between different profiles that focus on different kinds of skill for specific combat encounters, or even switch mid encounter in order to switch things up on the enemy. While you pick training at the start, you can quickly forge away from your starting skills with profiles if you wish.

How to unlock new Profiles via Skills

New Profiles are unlocked in a pretty simple way: every single skill in the game has an affinity towards different types of profile. By buying a lot of biotic skills with your skill points, for instance, you're pushing towards the Adept profile, which is a purely biotic focused profile based on the biotic master adept class from the Mass Effect trilogy. The bonuses it provides boost biotic skills as a result.

If you mix and match biotic skills and combat skills you'll be pushed towards Vanguard instead, another classic Mass Effect class, but one that mixes less potent biotic powers with soldier weaponry. You likely get the idea - if you pump points into weapon carrying and the like you'll of course level up and boost the Solider profile.

Once unlocked, each profile goes from level 1 to level 6 based on the skill points allocated, and with the increased level come increased bonuses.

Pick your skills carefully - based on what you pick, different profiles will unlock. The idea is that your profiles will grow with your own character progression choices. Don't forget that if things go south you can respec your character for a few credits.

There are six profiles in the game, and most of them map pretty closely to classic Mass Effect Trilogy character classes. They are the Soldier, Engineer, Adept, Sentinel, Vangurd and Infiltrator. One new jack of all trades profile, Explorer, joins them. Below, we list the bonuses for each class.

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Soldier Profile / Class Bonuses

The Soldier profile loses the classic 'adrenaline rush' Mass Effect ability but remains focused on having the biggest armory. You'll deal more damage with weapons and be able to carry more weapons, but have less flashy powers.

  • Bonus Power - Marksman's Focus: Every enemy you kill gives you a temporary damage bonus that can stack, meaning by the end of a big firefight you can be utterly deadly.
  • Stat Bonuses: As the solider profile levels up it'll provide steadly increasing bonuses to the following stats when used, with the total bonus depending on the profile level:
    • Weapon Damage: Between 10% and 20% 
    • Weapon Accuracy: Between 10% and 35% 
    • Damage Resistance: Between 2 and 12 
    • Weapon Clip Size: Between 10% and 35% 

Adept Profile / Class Bonuses

The Adept profile is focused on biotics and is one of the most iconic Mass Effect classes. All of its skills are geared towards enhancing your biotic abilities - who needs guns?

  • Bonus Power - Biotic Echoes: Biotic Combo attacks trigger additional explosions on the enemies they hit
  • Bonus Power - Biotic Jumping / Evasion: Rather than your jump jets, you'll use biotics to jump and dash, increasing how far they reach in the process.
  • Stat Bonuses: As the Adept profile levels up it'll provide increasing bonuses to the following stats when equipped. The bonus depends on the profile level:
    • Biotic Force: Between 15% and 40%
    • Biotic Area of Effect (AOE) Damage & Radius: Between 15% and 40%
    • Biotic Effect Duration: Between 20% and 45%
    • Biotic Combo Radius: Between 20% and 45%

Engineer Profile / Class Bonuses

The Engineer is focused around tech powers as you'd expect, and matches the Mass Effect trilogy class closely. This class is great for taking on Remnant enemies, who are weak to many tech attacks.

  • Bonus Power - Combat Drone: Unique to this profile, the combat drone lowers tech power cooldowns significantly and will also act to defend you.
  • Stat Bonuses: When equipped the Engineer profile will provide these bonuses, with the amount depending on the profile level:
    • Combo Damage: Between 20% and 45%
    • Tech Construct Health & Health Regeneration: Between 20% and 45%
    • Tech Construct Damage: Between 20% and 45%
    • Tech Restoration & Defense: Between 20% and 45%

Vanguard Profile / Class Bonuses

The Vanguard is a hybrid class, mixing the best of the Adept and Soldier profiles to make for a formidable opponent. Vanguards are at their best when they use their biotic powers to close the distance before letting loose with melee or a shotgun. In RPG terms, they're a classic tank.

  • Bonus Power - Siphoning Strike: Melee attacks from the vanguard steal shields - 20% of shields will be restored when you land a melee hit.
  • Bonus Power - Biotic Jumping / Evasion: Rather than your jump jets, you'll use biotics to jump and dash, increasing how far they reach in the process.
  • Stat Bonuses: When you've got the Vangurd Profile equipped the following stats will br raised - how much by depends on the profile level:
    • Melee Damage: Between 20% and 45%
    • Melee Force: Between 50% and 100%
    • Biotic Recharge Speed: Between 10% and 35%
    • Power Shield Cost Reduction: Between 20% and 45%
    • Max Shields: Between 10% and 35%
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Sentinel Profile / Class Bonuses

The Sentinel is another hybrid, this time mixing the adept and engineer trees for a biotic who is also skilled with tech. It's a big (but satisfying) risk/reward profile, since many of its best attacks drain your shields on use.

  • Bonus Power - Tech Armor: This ME2/3 classic returns in a different form - here, tech armor grants you extra damage resistance when your shields are down.
  • Stat Bonuses: With Sentinel as your profile these stats will be given a boost, with the potency of the boost decided by the profile level:
    • Combo Damage: Between 15% and 40%
    • Tech Recharge Speed: Between 10% and 35%
    • Power Shield Cost Reduction: Between 20% and 45%
    • Power Restoration and Defense: Between 20% and 45%

Infiltrator Profile / Class Bonuses

The Mass Effect universe's recon or stealth class, Infiltrator mixes tech abilities with combat abilities to get the jump on enemies and then blow them away. If you like flanking, this profile is bliss, especially if you pump points into the cloak ability.

  • Bonus Power - Battlefield Awareness: Enemies hiding behind walls or other cover will be revealed when you look down your scope - handy!
  • Bonus Power - Cloak Evades: Dodging will briefly turn you invisible, and when that happens enemies can't get a bead on you to attack you.
  • Stat Bonuses: Activate Infiltrator as your profile and these stats will be raised by an amount corresponding to your profile level:
    • Weapon Accuracy: 20% to 45%
    • Weapon Stability: 20% to 45%
    • Tech Recharge Speed: 20% to 45%
    • Headshot/Weak Point Bonus: 50% to 100%

Explorer Profile / Class Bonuses

New for Andromeda and not related to any classic Mass Effect trilogy class, the Explorer is basically a class that can safely do a little bit of everything. The bonuses you get are more broad but less potent, but in the early game if you're indecisive this can be a very useful profile.

  • Bonus Power - Biotic Blink: Dodges will use biotics instead of the jump jets, and you'll be able to dash much quicker as a result. This dash can even pass through some walls.
  • Stat Bonuses: With the Explorer profile active these stats will be given a boost. How much depends on - you guessed it - how high the profile level is:
    • Weapon Damage: 5% to 15%
    • Damage Resistance: 5 to 15
    • Tech Recharge Speed: 15% to 40%
    • Biotic Power Damage: 15% to 40%
    • Power Restoration and Defense: 15% to 40%

Want more Mass Effect: Andromeda help? Be sure to check out our hub - it's full of quest walkthroughs, tips, tricks, system explanations and more.

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