I am no expert when it comes to Mass Effect in general,i am more or less an average player who loves the trilogy (duh) and decided to went blindly on Insanity with the first game.
Do not come at me crying if some strategies that i will show didn’t worked for you or call me names,let`s keep it respectful around here. Otherwise i`ll shoot your kneecap.
Preparing for Insanity
Either do multiple playthroughs to unlock every achievement for those extra bonus powers even tho that will take dozens of hours,or you can use the developer console to unlock every single achievement (outside of the Insanity one,my game got bugged and lost the savefiles and didn’t want to bother doing countless playthroughs all over again so maybe you can understand why).
I`ll link guides to how activate the developer console and what class should you play in general if you still don’t have a favorite one at the end of this guide.
FYI,even if you level yourself up to level 60 by console commands,you are not gonna one shot every single enemy on early quests,as they become your level,just do not be surprised.
In the first game,biotics are the most broken force,they can push anything,outside of assault/rocket drones so in general,Vanguard and especially Adept are gonna be extremely powerful.
Soldier is the best class if you wanna be tanky and have a demigod ability aka Immunity,you even have more HP than Wrex,the krogan battlemaster himself with this class which i find it ridiculous but hey,this is a videogame so we are gonna let that one slide for now.
Tech classes are…meh,the better one of them imo being the Infiltrator as you can snipe enemies from afar,bur even then,snipers aren’t that great in this game unlike in the sequels where they dominate on higher difficulties,you`ll need to get used to that sway if you are gonna use a sniper rifle a lot.
Sentinel is an interesting one,personally the weakest class in the first game,as it has no weapon training, (correct me if i`m wrong) which every other class does. Yeah,it still has some biotics,and has tech too but i found out that this class is more of a support type,so if you prefer to help the team more rather than do the damage yourself,you can try,just good luck killing anything as it takes centuries to even kill a husk,let alone a dangerous enemy like battlemaster krogans.
Shepard Skill Tree [W.I.P]
I only have the skill tree for the Soldier and Vanguard class Shepard,i will eventually put the other classes skill trees here as soon as i want to try another class,this will take a while…
Also i will only show the skill tree at level 60 and also after completing the Luna sidequest which i would argue any player should do it regardless of difficulty as it unlocks a class specialization.
Soldier has the benefit of being able to use any weapon at his disposal,outside of that,it`s your basic shooter class,but it`s the tankiest of all the classes in Mass Effect,so if you like to absorb a sh!t ton of damage,this class may be for you.
Heavily recommend upgrading Fitness and Spectre Training as it will boost your HP and renegeration,as for what weapons you should upgrade,i recommend upgrading every single one of them till you unlock their ability:
Afterwards upgrade the one you are using the most.
This is the only class that can use Heavy Armor too.
Recommended bonus talent: Medicine (cause of Neural Shock which stuns organic enemies)
Another tanky class,unfortunately you won’t rely on shotguns that much especially as to how enemies love to rush in numbers and if an enemy like the krogan or rachni reaches you in melee range you are pretty much F-U-C-K-E-D.
But unlike the Soldier who nods to himself that he can’t use space magic like you,you have something to defend yourself and don’t have to rely on your teammates 24/7,Throw is great for giving you space to breath and Lift is great to catch enemies off guard.
Warp is good for weakening the enemy,especially if they love to spam Immunity,and Barrier is a life saver,especially against snipers which Vanguards always struggle to fight against,you will need a squadmate that can use a sniper rifle such as Garrus or Ashley to have an easier time with enemies from distance.
Recommended bonus talent: Singularity (you basically become Liara lel)
Coming soon: Engineer,Adept,Infiltrator,Sentinel
Kaidan Skill Tree
Alenko is a decent squadmate in this game,and if paired with either Liara or Wrex,you can wreck anything in your path,not much to say about him,just keep him near you at all costs as he dies fast most of the time if let rogue during combat.
Both Decryption and Electronics are a must upgrade,especially if you go visit every uncharted world,otherwise focus on his biotic abilities as much as possible outside of Stasis as that ability isn’t great in this game,and put some points into Medicine to unlock Neural Shock as he is the only squadmate who has that ability and if you have trouble with certain enemies like the krogan (which almost every single time they spot you,they will charge at you) command Kaidan to stun them.
Combat usefulness: 7/10
Ashley Skill Tree
Sh!t on Williams on how much you want cause she is “racist” but her combat skills are next to God mode,no kidding.
She was gangbanged by some thorian creepers,expected her to die,but she didn’t,mostly cause of her big a$$ health and her Immunity ability.
Surprisingly she works well with anyone else you bring along,but her best partner in crime is either Tali or Garrus.
Upgrade her Fitness to the max ASAP then focus on upgrading her Combat Armor to unlock Heavy armor,she is almost unkillable. She died the least in my Insanity playthrough.
As for the weapons,upgrade all of them,but i mostly recommend upgrading her sniper and assault rifles as she works the best with these bad boys.
Combat usefulness: 9/10
Liara Skill Tree
The most broken squadmate in this game,if not in the whole damn trilogy,even tho she is squishy,she has every single biotic ability,and remember what i said about biotics in this game?
If you wanna have more of a cakewalk,bring her along with…anyone really,she is this broken,just upgrade all of her biotic abilities and done,tho focus on Singularity first as that is the best ability she has.
Combat usefulness: 10/10
Garrus Skill Tree
Garrus isn’t that great overall,but if you command him to use his sniper rifle tho,he becomes almost as ridiculous as how he is in ME3,but most of the time you are gonna struggle as he dies extremely quick,and tech in ME1 is meh in general.
Best paired with Liara or Ashley or Wrex.
Focus his skill tree on maximizing his sniper rifle then,whatever else you want really.
Combat usefulness: 6/10
Wrex Skill Tree
Here comes my bro that i almost always take with me on any quest in this game,even tho he isn’t the best or the tankiest,he is still a pretty damn tough teammate,focus on his biotics first,especially Barrier as enemies mostly focus on him if they don’t shoot you,then Fitness,then the rest of his biotic abilities,as for his weapons,he works better with shotguns but upgrade his assault rifle too in case he needs to fight from medium or far range.
Works well with any other squadmate you bring along but i would say either Garrus,Ashley or Liara,cause they have more range than Wrex.
Combat usefulness: 8/10
Tali Skill Tree
Sorry Tali fanatics,but your queen is the worst squadmate combat wise in this game,she dies in almost one shot always,and her tech abilities aren’t that great,outside of uncharted worlds where you wanna loot everything you find.
AI Hacking will bite you in the a*s eventually as the geth will immediately return hostile against you not too soon after she hacked one.
I only recommend to bring her on missions that you almost exclusively fight geth. Works best in the team with either Wrex or Ashley.
Combat usefulness: 4/10
Squadmates: Kaidan & Ashley
The most annoying part about Eden Prime is the beginning after the lord himself LERRROOOOOOYYYYYY JEEEENNNKIIIINSSS gets killed by those geth drones,as you start with a sh!tty arsenal of weapons which don’t handle great whatsoever.
After meeting with Ashley,killing the next wave of geth is fairly easy,tho save before encountering the husks just in case you die,if Kaidan has Throw or just any biotic abilities,command him to use it against the husks,or if you yourself are a biotic,do just that if the husks get too close,otherwise just go back and shoot at the same time.
After all that is done,before going to Nihlus`s body,kill the geth first but don’t get cocky and watch your surroundings to not let the husks approach too much.
Next thing after seeing Nihlus`s body and talking to that smuggler Cole,there are another wave of geth,you need to be really careful at this one,after reaching the lower platforms there is a Geth Destroyer that is scripted to instantly die after Kaidan uses his Throw on it,afterwards,slowly approach and shoot then go behind the covers,heal if necessary,also be careful to not let either Ashley or Kaidan die as you still don’t have the Unity ability yet.
The final phase is quite easy,you can disarm the bombs just fine,just make sure you have a wall that covers your butt,
Then just play as normally you would but just be more alert of the sniper,cause he will one shot you on Insanity,that includes your squad too. Kill the geth sniper first,then everyone else,and you completed this mission with next to no casualties.
Citadel Recruit Time!
After arriving on the Citadel,you can recruit Garrus,Wrex and Tali in any order you want but i find this order to be the better one,specially for Insanity.
Go to Dr.Michel`s office,kill those 3 goons then recruit Garrus.
Afterwards went down to the C-Sec to recruit Wrex.
Then taking both Garrus and Wrex along is just fine,doesn’t matter what class your Shepard is.
WARNING: If you want to spare Fist,DO NOT BRING WREX,as he will always kill Fist!
Alternatively you can take Ashley or Kaidan,both of them work fine against Fist`s thugs,but i would recommend Kaidan in the end for this round.
Then after killing or sparing Fist,you need to go to save Tali from those assassins,which you have 5 minutes,but don’t worry,even on this difficulty,you`ll still have enough time to reach her,alternately you can use Immunity or Barrier (depending on the class) to just run through the club`s door but i never tested this if it works,anyone who does is free to leave a comment.
Killing the assassins is easy,but the turian one might spam Overload to overheat your weapons so just be aware of that.
Therum (Recruiting Liara)
I`ll let this video show how bad it can get to the point where you wanna rage quit:
I`m not even gonna try to censor anything here anymore…♥♥♥♥ THIS ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ MISSION WHOEVER DESIGNED IT DESERVES A BULLET TO THEIR KNEECAP,A KICK IN THE BALLS AND A HEADBUTT!
Recommended squadmates: Kaidan & Wrex
Not even if you somehow got the Mako past the point where you are supposed to go on foot,it won’t help much bringing it.
Here now comes the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ parts of the mission.
FOCUS ON THE SNIPER ASAP cause otherwise you are dead,after he is dead,you can take out the remaining geth pretty easily.
Before triggering the next cutscene…SAVE!
After the next phase starts,run to the left fast as hell,same with your squad,wait till you kill those damn annoying frog geth first,then kill the sniper and then finally you can focus on the Geth Armature which derp derp derp,can kill you in one shot too,so NEVER GO BEHIND THE BOX where it`s pulse attack can still hit you even if you are in cover.
Before reaching Liara,you`ll fight some geth troopers and drones on the way,then before releasing her,there are 3 geth left,one of them OBVIOUSLY HAS TO BE A ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ SNIPER,then blast those mines,before triggering the elevator,SAVE as next comes the most luck based combat arena of any Mass Effect game ever as this part mostly requires luck,not skill to win.
Focus entirely on the geth first as to leave the krogan on it`s own,then just shoot him,if he charges,have either Kaidan or Wrex use any biotic abilities that leave him vulnerable but here comes the damn RNG part,if you are lucky,he`ll get up slowly,if not,he will automatically target YOU,and let me tell that a melee charge attack from krogan kills you in 2 damn hits and Shepard`s low stamina doesn’t help either,as (s)he will get tired in less than 3 seconds but here is the fun part,the krogan never runs out of stamina,so he will always CHARGE at you.
I only finished this part after half an hour of attempts and reached the point where i wanted to break something,that`s how bad this mission was…
Uncharted Worlds (SideQuests)
I`m not gonna go into much detail about the sidequests in this game despite most of them being good.
But in a nutshell:
Recommended squadmates against rachni: Wrex & Ashley/Garrus
Recommended squadmates against biotics: Liara & Wrex/Ashley
Recommended squadmates against Cerberus/Mercs: Anyone but i prefer Ashley & Tali
Recommended squadmates against geth: Garrus & Tali
Luna (Specialization Unlock SideQuest)
After you reach level 20 or a similar level,Admiral Hackett will contact you about dealing with a rogue VI on Luna.
Recommended squadmates: Ashley & Tali/Garrus
This sidequest is pretty easy for the most part,but just be aware of the rocket drones as those,like almost anything else on Insanity,will kill you in one shot.
Why is this sidequest important compared to the rest?
Cause you unlock a class specialization where you can choose do boost your offensive or defensive abilities,any choice is good,but for Insanity i would recommend boosting your defensive abilities,but you do you.
Recommended squadmates: Ashley/Wrex & Garrus/Liara
Feros is probably the easiest main quest on Insanity,the only parts that can be annoying are the ones dealing with the thorian creepers which is why i recommend taking one tanky squadmate with you cause they will resist their attacks more.
Also thorian creepers,how scary they can be? Well,if they vomit on you twice you are dead,I had one finish me from the behind (not that way tho you degenerates) cause those who only just stand on the ground idle can’t take damage till you disturb them to get up. Also focus on those asari clones,cause even tho biotics are broken and do you a favor,it can also do your enemies a favor by stunlocking you,most commonly seen in sidequests where you fight biotics.
What about the Geth Armature in that tiny room? I dunno since when i wanted to shoot it,for some reason the game bugged at that moment and the Armature vanished,what a plot twist,right?
Recommended squadmates: Liara/Wrex & Garrus
The main quest with the best OST in this game,anyway,not a difficult mission at all but some areas you need to be careful especially such as the rachni fights on Peak 15,especially those little swarmers when in group,they can kill you easily,if they get too close,have one of your squadmates or yourself use biotics that makes them vulnerable.
As for the Benezia fight,kill the asari commandos first then the geth,just be careful to not be in Benezia`s sight as she can use Stasis to stun you and leave you in a vulnerable position,for biotics,use Barrier as soon as the fight starts,for Soldier use Immunity,and as for the tech classes,well…good luck.
What about the first arena of Peak 15 you might ask,actually it`s not that hard,but just be careful at the Geth Juggernaut and if the krogan charges,that`s why Garrus is very good in this part,as he can deal with them pretty easily with his sniper rifle.
Bring Down the Sky
Recommended squadmates: Liara/Wrex & Ashley/Garrus
Here comes one of the best story DLCs of the trilogy imo,the difficulty gets progressively more difficult as move from torch to torch.
The first fight is easy enough but focus on the varren first,then kill the remaining batarians.
After getting through the proximity mines (which depending on the class,do it with either the sniper rifle or the pistol) and getting inside the base,same story,but be careful as there might be assault and rocket drones which should be taken out ASAP.
Same deal with the third fight,as it is the same thing,then after either sparing or killing the surrendering batarians,the final fight against Balak comes.
The hardest part of this DLC is this final fight cause it has elevations where detecting an enemy can be hard without a sniper rifle,and speaking of sniper rifles,you can immediately die cause you can’t see the enemy snipers,so you need some luck here,I recommend getting into the area on the right as the snipers can’t hit you,then slowly kill any enemy coming in your way. Or if you wanna be balls hard,you can use Barrier/Immunity and rush to the enemy snipers and take them out. (just be sure you have a retreat plan in case things go south lol)
Recommended squadmates: Wrex/Liara & Garrus/Tali
FYI if you wanna save Kirrarhe you need to:
-Destroy the satellite link (it`s destroyed from one shot and it`s above the platform where the geth are spawned when you first start the push I believe)
-Disrupt geth communications
-Destroy geth drones/flyers
-Take the heat inside the base (it`s when your teammate tells you it can clear the guards for you but it might be too much for the salarian team,accept the heat inside and deal with any enemy there)
So,Virmire,the most interesting main quest in ME1 imo,the push isn’t that hard,just be careful as there might one sneaky cheeky enemy sniper,but for now most of your enemies are simple troops or Destroyers. After dealing with them,there is a platform where you can move either to the left or to the right,the choice is yours,but on the right are the geth drones so if you wanna save the salarian team,go to the right,then once you see those shields that geth spawn,I recommend using Immunity/Barrier and take out the enemy snipers first,then focus on the krogan,but let them come one by one,as you DON’T wanna face 2 charging krogans at once.
Afterwards take the heat inside the base,you`ll see yourself facing indoctrinated salarians who are no match for your guns,some Geth Destroyers and Juggernauts,normal troops and finally you`ll encounter a Geth Prime for the first time.
Then,if you want you can check on the salarian prisoners down there (there are 2 rooms FYI), and you can basically commit war crimes there if you want.
After you are done with your war crimes,go to the lab and you see Rana Thanoptis (i think this was her full name) and you can let her go or just kill her,it depends on you.
Chatting with Sovereign afterwards does nothing and you have to rush to arm the nuke now.
The bridge will open with 3 krogans waiting for you to try getting past them,just snipe them or use your pistol and if they get too close,Throw,Lift or Singularity baby.
After setting the nuke,you have to go save either Ashley/Kaidan,there will be some frog geth and 2 krogans,just be careful and always look so that the krogans never charges towards you,otherwise,a decent but grindy fight.
Now it doesn’t matter who are you going to save cause you are gonna fight pretty much the same enemies if i`m not wrong,those being geth Destroyers,Juggernauts and maybe even a Prime too.
After dealing with them,Saren is up next,and this boss fight is easy,just dodge his rockets and you are set.
Recommended squadmates: Wrex/Liara & Tali/Garrus
We reached the endgame boys and girls,after banging your love interest (if you had any in the first place),you are forced to go backwards from where you landed with the Mako to activate the damn ancient gate. Mostly you`ll deal with normal geth troops but 2 Armatures will be waiting for you,just shoot and dodge and don’t get behind any cover,then going even more backwards,again mostly you`ll find normal troops but some Destroyers too and some frog geth.
After taking the elevator down to the lower area,you`ll see some “sleeping” Armatures,I heavily recommend hacking at least one to fight for you to distract the geth Prime,otherwise,good luck.
Now Ilos is pretty much done,cause you return to the Mako,blow up some geth and go saving the galaxy after talking to Vigil.
Citadel (End Game)
Recommended squadmates: Those you had with you on Ilos duh
Going down to the lower area,geth will spawn and be careful cause some carry rockets,next,you`ll mostly deal with either geth Destroyers,Juggernauts and krogans,and here is why i recommend having a least one biotic squadmate with you,cause of the gravity changing,you can lift and enemy and to be sure they don’t come back,you can throw them into space or have a squadmate do it for you.
Then comes the section with the geth dreadnought coming and spawning troops groundside,activate at least one turret to help you destroy it,recommend to activate all 3 of them to get rid of that damn ship faster,also do no try to rush past the enemies into the next area if the dreadnought is still there cause the game will instantly kill you.
Next comes the most irritating part,with the rocket turrets,i heavily recommend getting rid of them ASAP,then just blow up the remaining geth and go to Citadel Tower.
Reaching the Tower,you`ll only find some normal geth troops to deal with (and maybe some drones too if my memory serves right). Now you are ready to confront the rogue Spectre himself,Saren.
FYI,you can skip the first phase if you can convince him to commit suicide,which you can only do if you have at least 10 points in Charm/Intimidate skill tree and having to do on Virmire too,if you didn’t,you have to fight his first phase,which is just his fight from Virmire but this time on the Citadel.
His final form is an easy fight too,even on Insanity,just more grindy,try Lifting him to stun him as that`s the only ability that i know that can stun Saren,otherwise play like normally you would,just do not be cocky and get directly to his face when he prepares to fire his Carnage shots.
And there you have it,Mass Effect 1 on Insanity completed.
1: When did you started playing Mass Effect?
In 2019,yeah,I know,late to the party,but better late than never,right?
2: Paragon or Renegade?
I never understood the concept of going full one or the other, hated that the game forces you into one path,so that`s why i basically use the dev console to give me max points to both sides to choose what I WANT not what the game wanted,but in a nutshell,I am an a$$hole to almost everyone outside of my Normandy crew and Anderson.
Renegon,it`s better to be an anti-hero with some heart,rather being the stereotypical hero that saves the day 24/7.
3: Favorite class?
Vanguard,space magic plus shotguns? Count me in.
4: Favorite squadmates?
Garrus & Wrex,ultimate space bros.
5: Favorite romance?
MShep: Either Tali,Ashley or Samara`s if you count that one.
6: Are you gonna do an Insanity guide for ME2 and 3?
7: Why made this guide for the normal version instead of “Legendary” version?
Cause i do not wanna give EA money,and thus i`ll never play “Legendary” edition which imo is just the same game but with mods as default,the only thing that looks interesting is that they changed the weapon gameplay a bit,otherwise,I`m not interested as they didn’t bother fixing most bugs,most commonly the Conrad Verner bug in ME2,which even if you acted nicely to him,the game thinks you put a gun to his face. And no,you can’t convince me with bullsh!t with “That`s canon duh”,as nothing is canon in the trilogy outside of defeating Sovereign,Saren and the Collectors.
8: Have you ever done a genocide run?
Not yet,not sure if i can,as i have to kill Wrex and i do not wanna do that…
9: Favorite game in the trilogy?
The first game,sure,it was a bit clunky and completing side quests can be quite a chore sometimes,but at least the sidequests did offer something which the main quests did not, unlike the next games which only gives “Go kill this or rescue this cause i said so lol”,and even tho characters weren’t at their peak that doesn’t mean that they are boring (outside Kaidan),I didn’t asked for a Gears of War clone gameplay,or removing overheating entirely,BioWare did it just to be more popular in the mainstream.
10: Favorite weapons in the trilogy?
Assault Rifles: Lancer,Collector Rifle,Mattock
Shotguns: Geth Plasma,Claymore,Wraith
Sniper Rifles: Mantis,Viper, (Black) Widow
11: Who did you leave on Virmire?
It honestly depends on what class my Shepard is for the most part,as both Kaidan and Ashley are still decent squadmates in ME3 when given the right weapons,you can basically have Ashley and Garrus carry you with sniper rifles only. The percent rate of who i leave on Virmire is this,60% Ashley,40% Kaidan.
Thanks for reading my guide and hoped it helped you on your journey against these many spongy enemies,feedback and constructive criticism is welcome.
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