The Mass Effect series‘ combat is deeper than it might appear at first glance. In addition to gunplay and squad-based positioning mechanics, there are a ton of abilities that you’ll need to use in tandem with one another to dominate enemies time and again. This will be hard to do, however, if you don’t know how to use powers, abilities, and skills in Mass Effect.
That’s why we’re here with a guide on the subject. Below you’ll find a detailed breakdown of how to use these mechanics, when you should use them, and more.
How to Use Powers, Abilities, and Skills in Mass Effect
Powers, skills, and abilities are controlled in much the same way across all three Mass Effect titles, albeit with some quality of life tweaks in Mass Effect 2 and 3.
In all three games, you can access your available skills by holding down R1 on PlayStation consoles or RB on Xbox consoles. This will bring up an ability wheel with all of your available skills and powers. You can then select and use one by moving the left analog stick in its direction and pressing either the X Button or A Button.
The ability, skill, or power will then be triggered at the point where your aiming reticle currently is, or will auto-lock onto the enemy closest to your reticle. After being used, you’ll then need to wait a small amount of time for it to recharge before you can use it again.
It’s worth noting that in Mass Effect 2 and 3, there is only one recharge meter tied to every ability instead of each one having its own. In exchange though, abilities can recharge much faster through mods, armor buffs, and other factors.
How to Hotkey Powers, Abilities, and Skills
It’s important to mention that you can hotkey powers, abilities, and skills to specific buttons in Mass Effect 2 and 3.
This is done by opening up the ability menu and then pushing the left analog stick in the direction of the power, ability, or skill you wish to hotkey. This will highlight the one you’ve chosen, and you’ll have the option to assign it to one of three buttons. On PlayStation consoles, these buttons are the Triangle button, R1, and L1. On Xbox consoles, meanwhile, the buttons are Y, LB, and RB.
Once assigned, you can then press said buttons to use their assigned abilities without opening up the ability wheel.
That’s all there is to know about how to use powers, abilities, and skills in Mass Effect. For more on the series, check out our Mass Effect Legendary Edition guide wiki. It has guides on everything from basic mechanics to story and lore explanations that’ll surely help you make the most of your playthrough.
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