Best Soldier build guide

Best Soldier build guide - Mass Effect 2 (ME2)

By zanuffas
Last updated:

In this post, I will cover how Soldier build guide in Mass Effect 2. I will walk through squad points allocation and progression, the best equipment, and tactics.

The soldier class is extremely versatile as it is able to use all weapons in the game. Moreover, it has a wide array of special ammo-related skills that help against any type of opponent that you will encounter.

So Let's Start

Best Soldier Build guide

This Soldier Build concentrates on pure gunplay. We will use time-slowing abilities and ammo improvements for maximum effectiveness on the battlefield. With a specific Assault Rifle, you will be able to clear most difficult encounters with Insanity difficulty.

Moreover, thanks to the weapons the build uses you will be able to shred enemies in several seconds.

Squad Points allocation

This section will cover squad points allocation progression. First, take a look at how the end build should look

soldier build squad points mass effect 2

Power name Evolution Level (Squad Points)
Adrenaline Rush iconAdrenaline Rush Heightened Adrenaline Rush 4 (10)
Concussive Shot - -
Disruptor Ammo Heavy Disruptor Ammo 4 (10)
Incendiary ammoIncendiary Ammo Inferno Ammo 4 (10)
Cryo ammo iconCryo Ammo - -
combat mastery iconCombat Mastery Commando 4 (10)
Warp Ammo (Bonus Power) Squad Warp Ammo 4 (10)

Regarding other Bonus powers, I do not suggest any. The thing is that you will mostly use Adrenaline Rush, using any other powers has a longer cooldown which will greatly reduce Soldier build combat effectiveness

You can also take Concussive Shot for some Crowd Control (CC). But have in mind it is a 6-second cooldown vs 3 seconds of Adrenaline Rush. Due to this, you will lose damage output. So I think it is best to have an appropriate companion who could use the needed abilities instead.

Ability progression

Now I will go through greater detail about when and what skills you should pick. The ones at the top should be invested in first.

Order Skill Description
1 Adrenaline Rush iconAdrenaline Rush Lv 4 This is Soldier's main skill that should be used the most often. It slows time and the Heightened Adrenaline Rush ensures that enemies will only hit you a few times. Pair this with a good assault rifle like M-96 Mattock for a breeze through insanity difficulty.
2 Combat Mastery Lv 2 It will boost your storm speed (will make you run faster), boost your HP and weapon damage
3 Disruptor Ammo Lv 2 We take this ability for Shepard Soldier to unlock Incendiary Ammo. Moreover, this skill will also be useful against early enemies that have shields like Blue Suns or Geth.
4 Incendiary ammoIncendiary Ammo Lv 4 By taking this ability plus Inferno Ammo upgrade you will be able to set enemies on fire in a 3-meter radius from your shot. Moreover, you will be extremely effective against armor.
5 Combat Mastery Lv 4 Take Commando upgrade. This means that your Ammo powers will get an additional 15% bonus. As you can expect Soldier Shepard will be able to deal crazy amounts of damage
6 Warp Ammo Lv 4 It will play important role in increasing your damage when enemies have barriers for the whole group. Moreover, it works against armor and health. So this is an extremely good skill. Pick Heavy Warp Ammo upgrade
7 Disruptor Ammo Lv 4 We finish the build by getting this ability to level 4. As already mentioned it is effective against Synthetics and enemies with Shields. So it will work wonders on Legion's loyalty mission. Get the Heavy Disruptor Ammo upgrade


In this section, I will go through what equipment should be used on Shepard Soldier build.

Assault Rifle

This will probably be Shepard's main weapon which will be mostly used throughout the game. Due to this, it is important to select the correct one and the best available.

Weapon Name Effective against Description
M-96 Mattock Heavy rifle mass effect 2M-96 Mattock Shields
It requires a bit of a different approach. It has a smaller clip, due to this, you should concentrate more on landing precise shots. Mattock can also empty the whole magazine during the single Adrenaline Rush and it works so well, that the game will be a breeze using it.

Another, more grounded option:

Weapon Name Effective against Description
M-76 RevenantM-76 Revenant Shields
This is the go-to choice for Soldier Build. Unfortunately, it has low Accuracy. However, when you use the Adrenaline Rush the recoil is negated allowing you to precisely hit enemies. Moreover, it has 80 ammo per clip, good damage multipliers, and a high fire rate. Overall it is the best choice for this build

M 76 revenenant shooting mass effect 2

As you can see the M-76 Revenant is a beast with this Soldier build. You can take out multiple enemies using a single clip

Sniper Rifle

Although you would think Sniper Rifle is for Infiltrators, it can effectively be used with a Soldier.

Weapon Name Effective against Description
M-29 Incisor sniper rifle mass effect 2M-29 Incisor Shields
For this build, I would go with the fastest fire rate sniper rifle - M-29 Incisor. It will shoot three shots, making it effective when adrenaline Rush is used.
M-97 Viper mass effect 2M-97 Viper Armor
I recommend using it on enemies with a lot of armor and health: YMIR mechs, Scions, etc. This way when shooting from afar you can use the whole clip


I do not recommend using a shotgun often with this particular build. The reason is that your adrenaline rush upgrade is not suited for that. However, if you wish, there is one weapon that I recommend:

Weapon Name Effective against Description
m 27 scimitar mass effect 2M-27 Scimitar Barriers
It will be able to shoot 3 shots during the Adrenaline Rush effect.

Heavy Pistol

I do not recommend using it on this build. Any pistol will work.

Weapon Name Effective against Description
M-5 phalanx mass effect 2M-5 Phalanx Armors This is a very strong Heavy Pistol. What makes it amazing is its laser sight that guarantees 100% accuracy.
M 6 carnifex mass effect 2M-6 Carnifex Armors More robust option than M-5 Phalanx, however, it has a bit slower firing rate and a smaller clip.


Armors can give good bonuses to the main stats in Mass Effect 2. Here is what equipment I recommend to maximize the Soldier build:

Type Armor Description
Helmet Kuwashii Visor Increases headshot damage by 10%
Helmet Kestrel Helmet Increases headshot damage by 5%
Increases weapon damage by 3%
Increases shields by 3%
Chest Kestrel Torso Sheath Increases melee damage by 10%
Increases weapon damage by 5%
Increases shield strength by 3%
Shoulders N7 Shoulder Guards Increases weapon damage by 3%.
Arms Stabilization Gauntlets Increases weapon damage by 5%.
Arms Kestrel Arm Sheathing Increases weapon damage by 3%
Increases shields by 3%
Increases melee damage by 10%
Legs Stimulator Conduits Increases storm speed by 10%.
Legs Life Support Webbing Increases health by 10%.

Soldier build Tactics

I think this is the most important section of the post. I will try to give you general recommendations and tips on best playing with the Soldier class. Be sure to read it.

Correctly using Adrenaline Rush

This is a unique ability for the Soldier class. It slows time, increases the damage and most importantly reduces damage taken. This is very important because enemies will be firing at you during your assault

Hardened adrenaline rush mass effect 2

If you are using the Hardened upgrade be sure to use fast-firing weapons like Assault Rifles. The reason is that you need to stay out of cover for a long time.

However, for slow-firing weapons like sniper rifles, you can go with Heightened Adrenaline Rush, which slows time more, meaning you can release fewer shots. This is perfect for landing an ideal single shot.

This all falls apart with M-96 Mattock, which is very powerful weapon, able to shoot much faster than intended and has pin point accuracy. Having Heightened Adrenaline Rush, is the right choice with this one.

Ammo ability management

Ammo ability management is very important for Soldier build. It greatly increases your damage against specific enemies and protections. More importantly, the upgraded versions give some unique effects.

So if you are fighting synthetic enemies like drones, mechs, and geth be sure to activate Disruptor Ammo.

Use incendiary ammo against Organic and humans. It will blast through armor and set enemies on fire. The Inferno ammo upgrade will also set multiple enemies on fire.

Warp Ammo is also very important and will allow the Soldier to shred through biotic barriers and armor. It is very effective against collectors, so be sure to take it on the missions where you fight them.

I do not suggest taking squad ammo upgrades. The thing is that you will be doing the most damage with this Soldier Build. Moreover, when playing on Insanity your allies will also die quite often, wasting the ability potential.

Squad selection

Here are what companions I recommend for this Soldier build:

  • Miranda is an extremely powerful companion that improves squad health and weapon damage. I would say she is a must in many encounters. What is good is that she also has Warp and Overload and can easily take out enemy protections.
  • This Soldier build lacks crowd control capabilities. Due to this, I recommend having a Biotics user in the group. For that, I think Samara or Jack is the best. They can disable enemies once you take out their shields, making encounters with many enemies much easier.
  • Other decent companions are Grunt, Zaeed, and Garrus. They have Concussive Shot that can crowd control unprotected enemies. Grunt is also very effective at soaking enemy damage and drawing attention. This way you can stay out of cover for much longer.


Thank you for reading this post. I tried to go into great detail on how to build Shepard Soldier. This should cover how to allocate squad points, what weapons to pick, and what squad to take with you.

Feel free to leave a comment below if I have missed anything!


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!