Garrus Build - complete guide - Mass Effect 2 (ME2)

By zanuffas
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Garrus Build - complete guide

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.

Garrus Squad points 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 Squad Points
Concussive Shot - 3
Overload Heavy Overload 10
Turian Rebel - 6
Armor-Piercing Ammo Any upgrade (read below) 10

Garrus Level 1 -10, early game

Early in the game, you will want Garrus to get Overload as early as possible.

  1. Get Concussive Shot to level 2
  2. Get Overload to Level 4 and get Heavy Overload upgrade (if playing on Insanity), otherwise Area Overload.

heavy overload skill

Here is the explanation of the progression:

  • Concussive Shot – there are two benefits to this skill. You will get a crowd control ability for enemies that have only a health bar. Moreover, it will unlock your main ability: Overload.
  • Overload – this will be Garrus main job – depleting and tearing enemy shields. 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.

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.

Mid Game, Level 11-20

Here there are two main objectives:

  1. Get Turian Rebel to level 2
  2. Get Ammo-Piercing to level 3 (get it first if you will do Garrus Loyalty mission early)

With these abilities here are the benefits for Garrus:

  • Turian Rebel will boost general Garrus stats, but most importantly it will boost your power and weapon damage.
  • Armor-Piercing will enable Garrus to do increased damage against armors. This way you will cover his weakness against armors. Moreover, this ability will allow him to deal more damage against enemy health.

Late Game, Level 21-30

At this part of the game you will just add some finishing touches to Garrus overall skills, it will have no meaningful impact on his gameplay:

  1. Ammo-Piercing level 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.
  2. Turian Rebel level 3 – will give additional 18% 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 is able to equip Sniper Rifle and 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 M-29 Incisor, but I suggest equipping it once you have all the abilities ready in the middle of the game. Here are its stats:

Incisor sniper rifle

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

Weapon name Accuracy Damage multiplier (armor/shields/barriers) Base damage Ammo per clip Fire Rate
M-29 Incisor High x1.25/x1.25/x1.25 53.6 15 600 RPM

However, before getting Armor-Piercing, I think M-92 Mantis or M-97 Viper is much better. As Garrus will deal more damage against enemy armors with them.

Assault Rifle

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

M-96 mattock heavy rifle

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

Weapon name Accuracy Damage multiplier (armor/shields/barriers) Base damage Ammo per clip Fire Rate
M-96 Mattock High x1.3/x1.2/x1.2 50.4 16 750 RPM
Geth Pulse Rifle Moderate x1.15/x1.35/x1.35 10.8 40 1000 RPM

I personally prefer Sniper Rifles, however, you can change Garrus equipped 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.
  • Garrus will have Concussive Shot. Even though it is not as strong as the level 4 version, you can still knockout enemies with Health bars
  • Overload also overheats enemy weapon from level 3. This makes it useful against all enemies that have weapons equipped


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

Feel free to leave any feedback below!

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