Best Tank Build

Best Tank Build - Mass Effect: Andromeda (MEA)

By zanuffas
Last updated:

This post covers the best Tank build in Mass Effect Andromeda. The idea is to create the sturdiest and most protection-oriented build. This will allow the player to feel safe even under the heaviest enemy fire.

Tank Build - Turtle

With this build I wanted to create something sturdy, that could have high damage resistance, HP, and shields. Moreover, they could turtle up, and slowly take out enemies behind the cover. I would say, this is a perfect build for a person starting on Insanity difficulty. Especially, if you are not comfortable constantly being in the open, under enemy fire.

best tank build combat mass effect andromeda

Thanks to the skills that were picked all of them provide some kind of defensive support. Barricade allows to create protection anywhere on the battlefield, Charge allows to change positions, do damage, restore shields, and get damage resistance boost. Lastly, Energy Shield restores shields and deals damage.

The big drawback with this build is that it will not deal huge damage. But I think this is not a problem as the build concentrates more on survivability and slowly taking out enemies with your ranged weapon. If this sounds like your build let's move.

The build has been tested on Insanity difficulty

Skills allocation

This section covers how skill points should be allocated for the end game on the Tank build. Overall the abilities are spread out over all the trees, so this will require a lot of skill points.

Check this post on how to reset Ryder skill points and start using this build

Combat Skills

tank build combat tree mass effect andromeda

Power name Upgrades Choices Description
barricade mass effect andromedaBarricade
  1. Any
  2. Weapon Feedback
  3. Regeneration
The ability allows you to deploy a barricade that you can use to take cover anywhere on the battlefield. For the level 4 upgrade, choose Duration if you do not switch positions often. However, Power Cells can be useful in prolonged combat. The level 6 upgrade, will further improve tanking capabilities and allows for very fast shield restoration
combat fitness mass effect andromedaCombat Fitness
  1. Regeneration
  2. Heavy Lifting
  3. In the Trenches
Gives boosts to shields and health. The biggest choice is the level 6 upgrade. You can either go for Hold the Line or In the Trenches. The first one is very effective if you fight without cover. However, In the Trenches will perfectly synergize with Barricade, so I recommend this one.

There is also weapon choice. Generally, I suggest picking one - shotgun or assault rifle. The first is good at close range, the latter is good at both close and medium range. I recommend starting with Assault Rifles as they are easier to use.

Power name Upgrades Choices Description
assault rifles skill mass effect andromedaAssault Rifles
  1. Weight
  2. Clip Size
  3. Shatter Defenses
Boosts Assault Rifle effectiveness, the last upgrade gives stacking damage boost.
shotguns skill icon mass effect andromedaShotguns
  1. Weight
  2. Clip Size
  3. Damage & Force
Improves shotguns with higher accuracy, damage, and stability.

Biotic Skills

tank build biotic tree mass effect andromeda

Power name Upgrades Choices Description
charge mass effect andromedaCharge
  1. Damage & Force
  2. Weapons & Melee
  3. Bastion
One of the key skills for the build. Allows getting close to the enemies, restoring shields, and getting a damage resistance buff.
barrier mass effect 3Barrier
  1. Unyielding Barrier
  2. Biotic Alacrity
  3. Saving Barrier
Gives a defensive boost to shields. The last upgrade allows instant shield restoration when HP is low.
offensive biotics mass effect andromedaOffensive Biotics
  1. Alacrity
  2. Detonation
  3. Biotic Warrior
Improves biotic skills' offensive stats. The last upgrade Biotic Warrior will give a large damage boost to weapons after using Charge.
containment mass effect andromedaContainment
  1. Duration
  2. Shield Detonation
  3. Event Horizon
The skill is low priority but still provides some small benefits. The main reason is that we need to unlock higher-level Sentinel profiles by spending points on biotic skills.

Tech Skills

tank build tech tree mass effect andromeda

Power name Upgrades Choices Description
energy drain mass effect andromedaEnergy Drain
  1. Effectiveness
  2. Extend Duration
  3. Damage
Allows to prime enemies for tech combos and instantly restores Ryder's shields. We do not take Team Drain, because we already get a large boost to shield restoration from Sentinel profile.
team suport mass effect andromedaTeam Support
  1. Support
  2. Team Recovery
  3. Life Support
The most useful ability in the game is if you use Tech skills. With a Life Support upgrade, you can regenerate HP after each Energy Drain use.
offensive tech mass effect andromedaOffensive Tech
  1. Anti-Shield
  2. Detonators
  3. Technical Rounds
Improves tech skills, damage, and recharge times. Moreover, Technical Rounds will allow dealing additional damage after each Energy Drain usage with Ryder's weapons
auxiliary systems mass effect andromedaAuxiliary Systems
  1. Weapon Mass Reduction
  2. Enduring Tech
  3. Omni-Vents
The skill gives the passive ability to reduce cooldowns after using the Tech ability. Moreover, it increases the Duration of the Energy Drain.


You will need to spend 116 skill points in the tech and biotic skill trees to unlock the level 6 Sentinel profile
Profile Description
Sentinel profile mass effect anrdomedaSentinel Our main goal is to get the Tech Armor unique ability of the profile. It gives a flat 30 damage increase, which is a huge boon. Moreover, it improves tech ability cooldowns and improves shield restoration from Energy Drain.

Skills Progression

This section covers detailed ability progression for the best Tank Build. This is just a suggested progression, feel free to adjust it based on your needs.

Order Skill Description
1 energy drain mass effect andromedaEnergy Drain Lv 3 The main progression is to unlock all the core abilities. We need Offensive Biotics to spend 9 skill points into the biotic tree to unlock Charge.
2 offensive biotics mass effect andromedaOffensive Biotics Lv 4
3 charge mass effect andromedaCharge Lv 3
4 barricade mass effect andromedaBarricade Lv 3
5 energy drain mass effect andromedaEnergy Drain Lv 5 Improve the skills to make them more effective. Charge lv 6 upgrade Bastion is especially important. Have in mind that your recharge times will be high, so after using Charge either activate Barricade or look for cover.
6 charge mass effect andromedaCharge Lv 6
7 team suport mass effect andromedaTeam Support Lv 6 Maximizing the ability will unlock Life Support and provide health regeneration after each Energy Drain use.
8 barricade mass effect andromedaBarricade Lv 6 These skills will boost survivability
9 barrier mass effect 3Barrier Lv 6
10 energy drain mass effect andromedaEnergy Drain Lv 6 Maximize Energy Drain and improve its effectiveness with Offensive Tech.
11 offensive tech mass effect andromedaOffensive Tech Lv 6
12 combat fitness mass effect andromedaCombat Fitness Lv 6 Gives bonus stats for health, shields, and damage protection.
13 Weapon Skill Lv 6 Pick your choice between Shotguns and Assault Rifles, then max out
14 offensive biotics mass effect andromedaOffensive Biotics Lv 6 Improves biotic abilities
15 auxiliary systems mass effect andromedaAuxiliary Systems Lv 6 Further, improve the build, the skills do not make any drastic changes.
16 containment mass effect andromedaContainment Lv 6

Now, we are done with the base of the build. However, you still need to pump the biotic and tech skills to get the Sentinel profile to the maximum of level 6.


This section will cover playing the best Tank build in Mass Effect Andromeda.


This is an amazing ability, that gives some aggressiveness to this build. However, as I mentioned in the start all of the skills we use increase survivability - and Charge does that. It instantly restores shields and provides a boost to damage resistance.

tank build combat charge mass effect andromeda

Another good thing is that if you have difficulty shooting an enemy, using Charge will easily move you to them, and you can instantly release a few bullets into their face.

Use Barricade often

This Barricade ability plays a major role in this build. It allows you to tuck in and shoot enemies from wherever you want. It is like a moving wall that you can spawn at your will.

The good thing is that does multiple good things - increases damage, faster shield restoration, and more importantly actives In The Trenches passive upgrade of Combat Fitness. This will give 100 damage resistance, allowing you to shoot without any need for hiding against most of the enemies

Main Combat rotation

The build combat is fairly simple. It mostly relies on your weapon and you complement it by using the abilities at hand. For example

tank build combat mass effect andromeda

As I see a group of enemies, I summon a Barricade, this gives protection and increased damage. As I take down one enemy, I see that my companion has set burning on one of the outcasts. This is a perfect choice for either

  1. Use Energy Drain to detonate
  2. Use Charge, lose the Barricade protection, but also create detonation

I chose Charge as I would also get a weapon damage boost, and in case enemies start attacking me from the back I could just use Energy Drain or another Barricade to save myself.

Although the enemies here are fairly normal, this logic works through most game encounters. Generally, Barricade is your fortress, where you are safe, but you will not do the highest amount of damage. However, you only leave your fortress when you know that you can always sustain your shields and health.


I think the best companions for this build are those that apply various effects like biotics, fire, etc. This allows you to easily detonate them either with Energy Drain or Charge for some bonus damage. Check the squad builds recommendations


This section will cover what equipment you should be using with Tank Build.


Assault Rifles, I definitely recommend them if you are starting out and want to have a choice for medium-ranged combat.

Name Mods Augmentations
N7 Valkyrie mass effect andromedaN7 Valkyrie
  • AR Barrel
  • AR Heavy Magazine
  • AR Light Stock
  • AR Receiver
sweeper mass effect andromedaSweeper
  • AR Barrel
  • AR Heavy Magazine
  • AR Light Stock
  • AR Receiver


Name Mods Augmentations
n7 piranha mass effect andromedaN7 Piranha
  • Shotgun Barrel
  • Shotgun Receiver
dhan mass effect andromedaDhan
  • Shotgun Barrel
  • Shotgun Receiver

There is another option that is purely for survivability. However, for it to work, when leveling the Shotgun passive skill do not take Clip Size and pick Reload. This shotgun will restore 25% after each shot. Of course, you will have to sacrifice some damage for this, but it is a pure defensive weapon.

Name Mods Augmentations
scattershot mass effect andromedaScattershot
  • Shotgun Barrel
  • Shotgun Receiver

Melee Weapons

Name Augmentations Description
asari sword mass effect andromedaAsari Sword Even though you may not use melee weapons, their bonuses from augmentations always apply. Due to this, we want to maximize weapon damage with 5 slots.


Regarding Armor, there are many choices. The first one is very balanced and offers power damage, weapon damage, and damage resistance. More or less everything that you use with this build. Moreover, it covers the lower damage output that you do:

Armor piece Stats Augmentation options
heleus icon helmet mass effect andromedaHeleus Helmet +7%-25% Power Damage
+2%-8% Weapon Damage
heleus icon armor mass effect andromedaHeleus Chest +7%-25% Power Damage
+2%-8% Weapon Damage
+10-30 Damage Resistance

However, if you really want to go all in I can recommend this option, which would also work perfectly with Barricade skill

Armor piece Stats Augmentation options
hyperguardian helmet mass effect andromedaHyperGuardian Helmet +5%-20% Max Health
+1%-12% Max Shields 
remnant chest mass effect andromedaRemnant Chest +4-15 Damage Resistance
+5%-17% Health Regeneration
+5%-17% Shield Regeneration
+15%-40% Health & Shield Regeneration Delay Reduction 
hyperguardian legs mass effect andromedaHyperGuardian Legs +5%-20% Max Health
+1%-12% Max Shields 
hyperguardian arms mass effect andromedaHyperGuardian Arms +5%-20% Max Health
+1%-12% Max Shields

Fusion Mods

Name Description
fusion mod of health mass effect andromedaFusion Mod of Health An optional armor mod, that decreases max shields but doubles HP. I think it is a worthwhile choice for Tank build as you always have Life Support to regenerate health.


Thank you for reading this post on the best Tank build in Mass Effect Andromeda. I covered recommended abilities and their progression, best equipment, and tactics.

Feel free to leave a comment 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!