Zaeed build - Mass Effect 2 (ME2)

By zanuffas
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Zaeed build

In this post, I will cover one of the more notorious companions build Zaeed. I will go through weapons, squad points, and tactics that you should use with him.

Zaeem Massani is a mercenary and bounty hunter that has been recruited by Cerberus. He will join Shepard's crew if you will decide to help with his personal mission.

Zaeed Squad points allocation

In this section, I will go through what skills when you should pick with Zaeed. Feel free to adjust the build to your liking.

Zaeed skills

Power name Evolution Squad Points
Concussive Shot iconConcussive Shot Heavy Concussive Shot 10
Disruptor Ammo iconDisruptor Ammo Squad Disruptor Ammo 10
Drell assassin iconMaster Veteran Mercenary Warlord 10
Inferno grenade iconInferno Grenade - 0

Although many builds and discussions recommend Inferno Grenade I am against it. It does not work as well on Insanity and I would rather spam Concussive Shot. Moreover, you cannot get both Squad Disruptor Ammo and Inferno Grenade without skipping Mercenary Warlord.

However, if you tried it and liked it feel free to switch it with Disruptor Ammo.

Level 1-10, early-game

Zaeed can be strong quite early in the game. His strength comes from his passive and equipping the right weapons, so do not neglect reading the Equipment section.

Number of points Skill Description
3 Concussive Shot iconConcussive Shot Although not a particularly strong skill, it knocks out defenseless enemies. It also works against Barriers.
6 Drell assassin iconMercenary Veteran Zaeed's passive ability gives an exceptionally large weapon damage boost. Due to this, we try to obtain it as early as possible.
3 Disruptor Ammo iconDisruptor Ammo Disruptor Ammo will boost Zaeed's damage against enemy shields. Moreover, it will overheat enemy weapons and deal additional damage against synthetics like mechs.

Level 11 - 20, mid-game

Now, we further improve Zaeed to better support the crew:

Number of points Skill Description
7 Disruptor Ammo iconDisruptor Ammo Once you maximize the skill get Squad Disruptor Ammo. Now everyone will deal additional damage to shields. This is really important on Insanity as many enemies have Shield bars.
4 Drell assassin iconMercenary Veteran Once you maximize this ability, take the Mercenary Warlord upgrade. It will give Zaeed a 50% weapon damage boost, making him one of the strongest companions. With correct weapons, he will tear through enemies.

Level 21-30, late game

We add some finishing touches to the build at this point:

Number of points Skill Description
7 Concussive Shot iconConcussive Shot Although any upgrade works, I prefer Heavy Concussive Shot, just to deal more damage to a single target.

With these abilities, the skill allocations are finished and you are ready to move to gear optimization in the next section.


Zaeed can use both Sniper Rifles and Assault Rifles.

Sniper Rifles

For Sniper Rifles I suggest M-29 Incisor. It is bugged on Insanity, by not having its damage lowered. Here are some Incisor damage calculations

With this in mind, companions can deal extremely large damage with now drawbacks to fire rate or other stats

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 per bullet 15 600 RPM

Another important aspect is that Incisor has a well-rounded multiplier against shields, barriers, and armors of 1.25%. So it works against all enemies equally well

Assault Rifles

Assault Rifles are optional, I suggest only using them with Zaeed if you feel too overpowered. 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

Geth Pulse Rifle fast fire rate and is effective against shields and Barriers.

Zaeed Tactics

In this section, I will give some tips on Zaeed tactics. Unfortunately, there is not much to say as he is well optimized:

  • By having an Incisor sniper rifle, there will be not much to do with him besides leaving him to target appropriate enemies
  • Spam Concussive Shot especially on enemies with barriers.

That is all...


Thank you for reading this post. I hope it will help you understand how to build Zeed Massani the famous mercenary in Mass Effect 2

Feel free to leave any feedback below.

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