Best Tali Build - Must try companion - Mass Effect 2 (ME2)

By zanuffas
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Best Tali Build - Must try companion

In this post, I will go through how you should build Tali in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 2 Legendary Edition. She returns from the first entry with interesting skill choices.

Tali'Zorah nar Rayya is a quarian who returns in Mass Effect 2. She is skilled in engineer and will help maintain Normandy engines. You can expect Tali to be extremely effective against synthetic enemies like mechs and Geth.

Tali Squad points allocation

In this section, I will go through the recommend skills that you should pick for Tali and when.

Talents overview

tali skills mass effect 2

Power name Evolution Squad Points
Combat Drone Attack Drone 10
AI Hacking - -
Drell assassin iconQuarian Machinist Quarian Mechanic 10
Energy drain iconEnergy Drain Heavy Energy Drain 10

Unfortunately, I skip AI Hacking. Although the skill seems useful, it only works on synthetic enemies. Moreover, after the effect wears off I would forget to attack the enemy and it would just damage my companions unnecessarily.

Talents - detailed progression

Tali is unlocked fairly late in the game. Due to this get the abilities in the order below. The first two will be the most effective:

Point Progression Skill Description
10 Combat Drone This will be Tali's main ability. Upgrade it to an Attack Drone. It will work against all enemies and deals decent damage. Moreover, it can be a lifesaver, especially on Insanity as the drone attracts enemy attention. Sadly it has a large cooldown of 30 seconds

Here is the drone in action:

Mass effect 2 combat drone

The rest of the squad points should go into these abilities:

Point Progression Skill Description
10 Drell assassin iconQuarian Machinist Because Tali will have a large cooldown with the Drone, we want her to deal as much damage as possible, For this, you should take Quarian Mechanic upgrade at ability level 4. It will give 25% weapon damage
10 Energy drain iconEnergy Drain Take Heavy Energy Drain upgrade. I recommend having this if Tali is getting heavily attacked. She has low HP and this ability can be a lifesaver in tight situations. However, Explosive Drone may be better at attracting attention

As I mentioned I do not take AI hacking as I find it lackluster on Insanity difficulty and it usually stops the momentum. What do I mean by it? I have to wait till the effect wears off to finish killing enemies


In this section, I will cover what weapon should Tali equip during the missions.


Unfortunately, the stronger weapon that tali can use is a Shotgun. It is not an ideal weapon for a character with low HP. However, there is an alternative

In this situation, the best shotgun you can equip is Geth Plasma Shotgun. It is fairly effective at longer ranges, has a faster firing rate. This makes it perfect to be used by Tali

Weapon name Accuracy Damage multiplier (armor/shields/barriers) Base damage Ammo per clip Fire Rate
Geth Plasma Shotgun Moderate x1.0/x1.5/x1.5 Instant shot - 156.5, Fully Charged - 347.77 5 174 RPM

Heavy Pistols

I am not a fan of AI using Heavy Pistols, however, if you choose to have one here are some options.

M-3 Predator is the weakest however, it has a high firing rate.

Weapon name Accuracy Damage multiplier (armor/shields/barriers) Base damage Ammo per clip Fire Rate
M-3 Predator Moderate x1.5/x1.0/x1.0 37.2 12 300 RPM

M-5 Phalanx is also a good option. However, I think it is too slow for AI to use correctly.

Weapon name Accuracy Damage multiplier (armor/shields/barriers) Base damage Ammo per clip Fire Rate
M-5 Phalanx High x1.5/x1.0/x1.0 109.8 6 80 RPM


Here is what Tali tactics revolve around mainly:

  • Keep her undercover, use position commands for that. The Geth Plasma Shotgun should allow her to be efficient at long ranges.
  • Do not spam Explosive Drone. I suggest using it when you are getting overwhelmed as it is good to use as an attention distractor. Sadly it has really long cooldown, so be careful.
  • If Tali is the only one under suppressive fire, use Energy Drain. It has a short cooldown, deals damage, and restores Tali's shields. It works well against synthetic enemies, barriers, and shields.


I hope you enjoyed reading this build guide for Tali in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 2 Legendary Edition. Feel free to leave a comment or feedback in the comments.

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