Best Garrus build

Best Garrus build - Mass Effect 2 (ME2)

By zanuffas
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In this post, I will cover how to best build Garrus in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 2 Legendary Edition. We will cover skill progression, gear, and tactics tips.

Garrus was a C-Sec agent. Unfortunately, his ways split with them, when he reevaluated what was important to him. You will meet him as Archangel in Mass Effect 2 and help him battle three groups of mercenaries. Once you are successful he will join you on the mission.

Best Garrus Build

Squad Point allocation

In this section, I will cover general progression for how squad points should be allocated for Garrus. This is the way that I suggest optimal play through on Insanity difficulty.

Garrus skills mass effect 2

Power name Evolution Level (Squad Points)
concussive shot mass effect 2Concussive Shot - 2 (3)
Overload iconOverload Heavy Overload 4 (10)
turian rebelTurian Rebel - 3 (6)
armor piercing ammo mass effect 2Armor-Piercing Ammo Any upgrade (read below) 4 (10)
Note: if you plan to always use Garrus in your group, get Concussive Shot to level 4 and Overload to level 2. This way he will be more versatile against enemies that do not have a shield.

Squad Points Progression

Here is the Garrus build progression and which skills to take when. Armor-Piercing Ammo Lv 4 requires you to finish his loyalty mission, so do that as early as you can

heavy overload skill

Order Skill Description
1 concussive shot mass effect 2Concussive Shot Lv 2 We take this ability to have a Crowd Control skill against normal enemies and unlock Overload. Overload is the main ability for Garrus making him very effective against Shielded and Synthetic enemies.
2 Overload iconOverload Lv 3
3 Overload iconOverload Lv 4 I recommend taking the Heavy Overload upgrade on Insanity. This way you will have an easy time against large Mechs or bosses. However, for lower difficulties, Area Overload will be just fine.
4 turian rebelTurian Rebel Lv 2 Very important passive ability. It boosts Garrus, weapon damage, health, and power damage.
5 armor piercing ammo mass effect 2Armor-Piercing Ammo Lv 4 Upgrade to Squad-Armor Piercing if other group members don’t have this ability. Otherwise, go for Tungsten Ammo. With the last upgrade, he can do 70% additional damage to Armor and health against enemies.
6 turian rebelTurian Rebel Lv 3 Further improves Garrus's base stats. This will provide an 18% bonus to Power and Weapon damage.

With these abilities, your Garrus build is finished.  


The main customization available in Mass Effect 2 is what weapon your companions wear. Garrus can equip a Sniper Rifle and an Assault Rifle. So let’s go through the best gear in detail

Sniper Rifles

There are 3 main options available for Garrus. The most optimized is the M-29 Incisor, in my opinion.

The most important aspect is its multiplier, which is the highest overall armor type. The rifle is well-balanced and has the largest magazine so Garrus will be able to deal large amounts of DPS.

Weapon Name Effective against Description
M-29 Incisor sniper rifle mass effect 2M-29 Incisor Shields
This is an extremely strong rifle. There is a caveat, it is only strong on companions due to their 100% accuracy. It releases 3 shots, has a large clip, and high fire rate. Moreover, on higher difficulties, it is bugged and does not lose any damage from modifiers.

However, before getting Armor-Piercing, I think M-92 Mantis or M-97 Viper can be used, specifically to deal with enemies having armor.

Assault Rifle

For Garrus I suggest M-96 Mattock. It is the most well-optimized Assault Rifle.

However, I also recommend Geth Assault Rifle if you are playing on Hard or Insanity difficulty

Weapon Name Effective against Description
geth pulse rifle mass effect 2Geth Pulse Rifle Armor
This rifle is better suited against Barriers and Shields with a 1.35x multiplier. It is also extremely accurate. I give it to Garrus before I obtain the M-96 Mattock
M-96 Mattock Heavy rifle mass effect 2M-96 Mattock Shields
This is probably the most optimized assault rifle in the game. It comes with good multipliers against defenses, high damage, and good accuracy. Moreover, it has low recoil making it effective at long range.

I prefer Sniper Rifles, however, you can change Garrus weapons in the tactics menu.

Garrus Tactics

This Garrus build should be taken on all maps where you expect enemies to heavily rely on Shields: Mechs, Blue Suns mercenaries, Geth.

Here are the things that you should follow:

  • Use Garrus Overload ability to take down enemy shields. Once they are gone, use Biotic abilities from other companions to lift enemies.
  • Overload also overheats enemy weapons from level 3. This makes it useful against any foes that you will encounter throughout the game.
  • Garrus will have Concussive Shot. Even though it is not as strong as the level 4 version, you can still knock out enemies without protection.


I hope this guide will help you understand Garrus better. It should allow you to build strongly in Mass Effect 2 Legendary Edition.

Feel free to leave any feedback 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!