Shepard Soldier - Complete Build guide

Shepard Soldier - Complete Build guide - Mass Effect 1 (ME1) | LE

By zanuffas
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This post will cover how you should build the Soldier class in Mass Effect 1 for Shepard. This is aimed more at Legendary Edition but the ideas can also be used for the normal version.

The Soldier is a purely offensive class that does not have any biotic or tech talents. However, it has some physical talents that enhance your weapon handling. It is the only class that can have high-level weapon skills on every weapon.

Talents and Skills

This section will cover how you should allocate your skill points. It is important to do that in correct priority to best utilize soldier Shepard in your Mass Effect 1 playthrough.

Here is a short list of how I suggest allocating your talent points:

  • Pistols: 0
  • Shotguns: 0
  • Assault Rifles: 12
  • Sniper Rifles: 12
  • Combat Armor: 12
  • First Aid: 0
  • Assault Training: 12
  • Fitness: 12
  • Commando: 12
  • Charm/Intimidate: 12
  • Spectre Training: 4

With this talent allocation, your main weapons will be Assault rifles and Sniper rifles. Let’s go through the priorities of how you should invest in the skill tree.

Note: Invest into Charm/Intimidate whenever there is an opportunity. It is important so that you would be able to unlock additional dialogue options and sometimes get better rewards or roleplay options.

Assault Rifles/Sniper Rifles and Assault Training

My recommendation is to start by getting Assault Training to 3. This will unlock Adrenaline Burst. The main skill that will make this build shred through enemies.

After this get Assault Rifles to 8. This way you will unlock Advanced Overkill and Sniper Rifles. They are your next priority and level them in tandem with Assault Rifles until you reach level 12.

Now you have all your offensive skills ready

Spectre Training

At this point in-game if you are able to get Spectre Training to level 4. It will allow you to resurrect your allies in combat and boost your damage by a few percentage points.

Combat Armor

At this point, you should level your defensive capabilities. Get Combat Armor to level 7. Now you will be able to wear Heavy Armor, which will ensure your sturdiness during encounters. It is mandatory on higher difficulties like Hardcore and Insanity,

Assault Training and Commando

You will now want to fully commit to getting Assault Training to level 12 to unlock Master Adrenaline Boost. At the same time level Commando to get a boost for weapon damage and Assassinate skill.


I leave this skill quite late in the leveling process. My reasoning being is that you will mostly fight from medium to long-range. Due to this Immunity is not as useful for you. However, as encounters will become harder and harder the additional health and Immunity skill will be extremely handy

Combat Armor, Pistols, other skills

At this point, you can finish investing in Combat Armor. If you will have additional points left you can get some points into First Aid and Pistols. However, the core of the build is finished in terms of ability allocation

Gear recommendations

This section will cover gear and upgrade that should be used for Soldier build


You will have two main weapons: Sniper Rifle and Assault Rifle. Due to this, it will be quite expensive to get both of them early in the game as Spectre Master Gear. My recommendation is first to get Assault Rifle: HMWA. You will use it more often and it can be used in more situations.

After this, you can get the Sniper Rifle HMWSR. You will usually use it in the beginning of the encounter to get a guaranteed kill.

Regarding modifications, here is what I recommend for Ammo upgrades:

  • Inferno Rounds - will put enemies on fire and deal damage over time.
  • Sledgehammer Rounds – will knockdown enemies, great for crowd control. However, it generates additional heat.
  • Shredder Rounds – deal additional damage to Organic enemies. Tier VII, adds 40% damage
  • Tungsten Rounds – deal additional damage to synthetic enemies like Geth. Tier VII gives additional 40% damage

For Weapon upgrade here is what I recommend:

  • Scram Rail – gives large damage boost, but increases heat generation
  • Frictionless Material – gives additional damage, but lower compared to Scram Rail. Moreover, decreases heat generation.


Generally, you will have quite high survivability due to wearing Heavy armor. Moreover, at high levels, you will also have high health and Immunity ability. Due to this, you can pick armors like Predator X which gives a boost to biotic and tech resistances.

However, if you want to maximize your damage resistance Colossus heavy armor is your choice.

Here are recommended armor upgrades:

  • Medical Exoskeleton – gives health regeneration and reduces power cool down
  • Energized Plating – increases damage protection.

Tactics and Squad

In this section, I will go through how to best utilize all the mentioned aspects for this build.


I recommend taking one member with Biotic abilities like Liara or Kaidan and another like Tali. This will give you overall good options in handling any enemy types.

Tali can disable enemy weapons and Liara can use Warp to weaken enemies. Moreover, biotic users can Crowd control enemies by throwing them off their feet.


The main idea of this build is to swap between Sniper Rifle when cooldowns allow. Here is how I approach combat situations:

  1. Initiate battle with Sniper Rifle and Assassination ability. The first shot should heavily damage or kill the enemy that you hit.
  2. Switch to Assault Rifle and activate Overkill (at the same time you can use Immunity). Use it to damage as many enemies as you can.
  3. Now activate Adrenaline Burst. Your abilities will reset
  4. Continue using Assault Rifle + Overkill. If you are on heavy fire use Immunity again.
  5. Once Overkill ends switch to Sniper Rifle.
  6. Repeat from the first step.

I think this should get an idea of how you can maximize your ability usage and have minimal cooldowns.


I hope you enjoyed this detailed build post. It should help you to mold your Shepard into an extremely strong Soldier. Moreover, you should have no problems taking out most of the enemies in Mass Effect 1.

Feel free to leave your feedback in the comments.


Post author zanuffas avatar zanuffas
Gamestegy Founder. I have been writing game guides and builds for 4 years. I like to push myself to create something wonderful for the readers!