Zaeed build - Complete Guide

Zaeed build - Complete Guide - Mass Effect 2 (ME2)

By zanuffas
Last updated:

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 Cerberus has recruited. He will join Shepard's crew if you will decide to help with his personal mission.

Zaeed build - Mercenary King

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 Level (Squad Points)
concussive shot mass effect 2Concussive Shot Heavy Concussive Shot 4 (10)
Disruptor Ammo iconDisruptor Ammo Squad Disruptor Ammo 4 (10)
mercenary veteranMercenary Veteran Mercenary Warlord 4 (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 Disruptor Ammo Lv 4 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.

Level Ability Description
5 concussive shot mass effect 2Concussive Shot Lv 2
Drell assassin iconMercenary Veteran Lv 3
Concussive Shot is not a particularly strong skill, it knocks out defenseless enemies. It also works against Barriers. Mercenary Veteran gives an exceptionally large weapon damage boost. Due to this, we try to obtain it as early as possible.
6 -  
7 Disruptor Ammo iconDisruptor Ammo Lv 1 This ability will boost Zaeed's damage against enemy shields. Moreover, it will overheat enemy weapons and deal additional damage against synthetics like mechs.
8 -  
9 Disruptor Ammo iconDisruptor Ammo Lv 2 Further, improve ammo ability damage against shields
10 -  

Level 11 - 20, mid-game

Now, we further improve Zaeed's build. We will concentrate on obtaining better support abilities and increasing base stats

Level Ability Description
11 Disruptor Ammo iconDisruptor Ammo Lv 3 Further, improve ammo ability damage against shields
12 -  
13 -  
14 -  
15 Disruptor Ammo iconDisruptor Ammo Lv 4 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.
16 -  
17 -  
18 -  
19 Drell assassin iconMercenary Veteran Lv 4 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 the correct weapons, he will tear through enemies.
20 -  

Level 21-30, late game

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

Level Ability Description
21 -  
22 -  
23 concussive shot mass effect 2Concussive Shot Lv 3 Upgrade the ability to deal more damage.
24 -  
25 -  
26 -  
27 -  
28 -  
29 -  
30 concussive shot mass effect 2Concussive Shot Lv 4 Although any upgrade works, I prefer Heavy Concussive Shot, to deal more damage against 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. This makes him very effective at ranged combat.

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 extensive damage with no drawbacks to fire rate or other stats

Weapon Name Effective against Description
M-29 Incisor sniper rifle mass effect 2M-29 Incisor Shields
This is an extremely strong rifle. On Insanity, difficulty this has its modifiers not decreased making its damage outmatch most other choices.

Assault Rifles

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

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

Weapon Name Effective against Description
M-96 Mattock Heavy rifle mass effect 2M-96 Mattock Shields
Very effective Assault rifle in most situations. It is very accurate, making it easy to use
geth pulse rifle mass effect 2Geth Pulse Rifle Armor
Has a very high fire rate and is effective against all protections.

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 M-29 Incisor sniper rifle, there will be not much to do with him besides leaving him to target appropriate enemies. So just use companion commands and target enemies.
  • Spam Concussive Shot especially on enemies with barriers. This will provide additional DPS during encounters.

Regarding companions here is what I recommend:

  • Because Zaeed is not a biotics user I suggest having someone like Miranda, Samara, and Jack. They can easily disable enemies after their protections are down
  • Having Miranda will further increase the damage of all Squad members in the group, including Zaeed.


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.


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!