Complete Sentinel Build for Shepard

Complete Sentinel Build for Shepard - Mass Effect 1 (ME1) | LE

By zanuffas
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In this post, I will cover Sentinel build details, skills, equipment, and tactics. This is a complete guide for Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 1 Legendary edition.

Sentinels are a support class that tries to avoid direct contact with the enemy. They are strong with biotic abilities but have week combat skills: Assault Rifles, shotguns, etc.

Skills and Talents

In this section, I will go through what abilities and talents you should pick for your Shepard Sentinel build.

sentinel abilities mass effect 1

Here is a sum-up of point allocation close to the end game:

  • Throw: 12
  • Lift: 12
  • Barrier: 12
  • Stasis: 12
  • Decryption: 9
  • Electronics: 9
  • First Aid: 0
  • Medicine: 0
  • Bastion: 12
  • Charm/Intimidate: 12
  • Spectre Training: 4

Level 1-20 or 1-10 Legendary Edition

Important: always invest in Charm/Intimidate when available.

For this interval of levels, I suggest prioritizing these abilities:

  1. Decryption: 9 – will allow you to unlock many of the containers throughout the game. You can skip it for later if you have a companion with this ability.
  2. Electronics: 9 – similar to Decryption. If you want to maximize your loot and credits gained, this skill is essential
  3. Barrier: 7 – have this defensive ability early in the game. It will make your survival much easier. This is mandatory on high difficulties where you may die easily, because of the light armor you wear.
  4. Spectre Training: 4 – enough to unlock Unity. I think this is a mandatory ability as you can revive your companions in the middle of the battle
  5. Throw: 7 – one of your main offensive abilities to crowd control enemies. Moreover, at level 7 you will unlock Lift
  6. Lift: 7 – You can use this skill for many situations: to lift enemies so that it would be easier to shoot for your companions, do combo with Throw, for the maximum amount of damage, or throw off enemies from the ledges.

Level 21-40 or 11-20 Legendary Edition

At this point in the game, it is important to finish the quest: UNC: Rogue VI. It starts at level 11 when Hackett informs that he needs your help with disabling a VI. By finishing this quest you will unlock Bastion specialization which will power up your class further.

Here is how I recommend continuing leveling your character:

  1. Stasis: 12 – I recommend at first getting to level 6, and then continue investing to 12 after you maximize Bastion. Stasis alone is a mediocre ability, however, with the upgrade from Bastion specialization you can damage enemies. This will allow you to immobilize almost all enemies in the game
  2. Bastion: 12 – Extremely strong tree. It will unlock Marksman skill for pistol, improve Barrier and Stasis. Moreover, it will reduce the recharge rate of your abilities. Thanks to Bastion, you can now use Pistols effectively by activating Marksman.
  3. Throw/Barrier/Lift – level these abilities to 12. Choose any way that you prefer, if you see that you get hit a lot, prioritize Barrier. Otherwise, concentrate on Lift or Throw first.

Bastion maximum

With this, the core of the build is finished and you should be ready for anything that the game throws at you.

Some points are left

With the remaining points you have a few alternatives:

  • Invest in First Aid if you heal often.
  • Get Medicine after leveling First Aid 5. This ability allows to knock out organic enemies. It may not be useful throughout the whole game
  • Finish leveling Electronics and Decryption. This will maximize your tech explosion damage and shield levels

Gear and Equipment

In this section, I will go through what gear should be used for your Sentinel Build.


The drawback of Sentinel is that this class does not have any weapon training. Due to this, there is no preferred weapon at the start of the game. However, once you get Bastion specialization you will unlock bonus stats for Pistol.

From this point onward I suggest using Pistols to maximize your damage. It is also important to utilize Marksman ability.

HMWP pistol mass effect 1

For recommended Pistol, I would go for Spectre – Master Gear HMWP. This is the best pistol in the game bought in Citadel C-Sec. I recommend getting the best available at the time: Tier VII or X

For Ammo upgrades I recommend:

  • Inferno Rounds - will put enemies on fire and deal damage over time.
  • Sledgehammer Rounds – will knock down 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.


Sentinel’s biggest drawback is that it can only wear Light Armor. It is important to get the best armor with the highest damage protection that you can get. For this, I definitely recommend Colossus X Human Light armor.

It may be hard to get as it all depends on luck, but if there is a chance that a Requisition Officer is selling it on Normandy, get it.

Other good armors are: Titan, Hoplite, Hazard, or Gladiator

Here are recommended armor upgrades:

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

Omni-tool and Biotic Amp

For both of these, I recommend Savant tools. They are the best ones that you can find.

However, if you will not be able to get Savant always prioritize the tool that gives the largest cooldown bonus. You will want to be able to use your skills as much as possible.

Tactics and Squad

In this section, I will go through what party members you should bring and how should you play with this type of Sentinel Build.


For squad members, I recommend taking one with great weapon ability. Either Ashley or Wrex. The Krogan is sturdier, however, Ashley can deal more damage. This will be effective with the Stasis field activated.

For another party member, anyone works. If you think that you need more biotics users, take Liara. She will be extremely helpful with her Singularity. If you want more Tech talents that also deal with enemy weapons take Tali or Garrus.


Unfortunately, Sentinel has so many variations with its tactics it is hard to recommend one. However, here are some pointers that I can recommend:

  • Try to stay behind the cover and use your companions, like Wrex or Ashley to lure out enemies from the cover.
  • After you get Bastion to invest in Stasis. This skill is extremely helpful as you will be able to lock enemies in place and also shoot them. This is effective against especially strong enemies like Geth Destroyers. However, it can also be used against snipers who can easily one-shot you on Insanity.
  • Use Sabotage to disable enemy weapons early in the combat
  • Use Lift together with Throw. This way you can deal more damage and also throw enemies off the area.


Thank you for reading this guide. Hope it will help you to build the best Sentinel in Mass Effect 1. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below.



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!