The Best Mass Effect Squadmates of All-Time, All 20 Ranked

20. Morinth

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Get out of here with Morinth. There’s no way she can be any higher than last in our list of the best Mass Effect squadmates. If you decided to add Morinth to your squad over Samara you’re just a straight-up monster. Not only is she a sociopath that murders people for fun and power, but she also has no qualms about killing her mom on top of that. Granted Samara is also willing to kill her, but at least in her case, she has some justification. Not only that, she will kill you too if you try to romance her.

The icing on this crapcake is that, unlike Samara whom you at least get to interact a bit within Mass Effect 3, Morinth just slinks away after the events of Mass Effect 2 and does little to help you in the final battle. In fact, she will end up as a Banshee and try to kill you. Worst squadmate ever.

19. James Vega

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

James Vega never really had a chance. He’s the new guy aboard the Normandy in Mass Effect 3 and his whole persona is just basically “military bro” and doesn’t really ever grow far beyond that. He’s not a cool alien or an AI like Javik and EDI. He doesn’t have years of camaraderie with Shepard behind him like Tali, Garrus, or Liara.

He’s just… James Vega, that horny guy voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr. that thinks everyone is hot. He’s more or less harmless, at least, but he’s also quite uninteresting.

18. Ashley Williams

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

It’s very easy to hate on OG squadmate Ashley Williams, especially in Mass Effect 1. She’s racist towards aliens. Not just any aliens either: Wrex, Tali, Garrus, and Liara, arguably the four best squadmates in the entire series. As a result, it’s extremely tempting to leave her ass behind on Vimire and never look back. Even she survives, she’s not exactly appreciative in Mass Effect 2 once she finds out that you joined Cerberus.

And to top it off, she’s still kind of a jerk in Mass Effect 3. While she’s grown out of her racist ways for the most part by the last game, she still somehow doesn’t trust Shepard despite all that they accomplish together for the galaxy. Ashley high-key sucks.

17. Kaiden Alenko

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Kaiden is the less racist, but significantly whinier version of Ashley. They are both equally annoying about Shepard joining Cerberus and will both do stupid crap in Mass Effect 3.

To his credit, there is at least some interesting backstory with his character when it comes to biotics and the L2 implants, but that still doesn’t make up for how annoying his character is just as annoying as Ashley throughout the series.

Take your pick between the two, but honestly, you’ll probably end up wishing you could somehow leave both of them on Vimire and take Captain Kirrahe along with you instead.

16. Jacob Taylor

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Jacob kind of falls into the same boat as James, as he’s generally considered to be one of the more boring squadmates that Shepard gets the pleasure of working with, but he at least has a bit more going on behind the scenes.

His loyalty mission from Mass Effect 2 is pretty messed up as he has to come face to face with a father that turned out to be a pretty big jerk, but Jacob shows his mental toughness and gets through it. He’s also wiser than Miranda, and comes to the realization that Cerberus can’t be trusted much sooner than her. He leaves the organization and eventually settles and starts a family.

It’s a nice story, sure, but his personality is rather drab, and compared to some of the other squadmates he’s just a bit too vanilla.

15. Javik

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

I shared Liara’s disappointment when she finds out that the Prothean they uncovered is just some soldier because Javik should have been way more interesting than he was. He’s literally a Prothean, the only one alive and potentially capable of imparting knowledge about the galaxy before the current races evolved into intelligent, spacefaring species.

Instead, he just dishes out some casual racism and complains most of the time. The concept of Liara (and Shepard) coming to the realization that the Protheans, in a lot of ways, are just like us, is an interesting one. They are just another alien race that tried and failed to survive the Reaper extinction event and are not much more benevolent or intelligent than us.

That schtick, though, runs its course quickly and we all just wanted as much information about the Protheans that we could possibly get, and Javik kind of just doesn’t deliver on that regard. Still, we’ll take what we can get and that’s why he’s as high as he is.

14. EDI

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Maybe it’s just me, but EDI just felt like a bridge too far and a bit forced. Yes, even a galaxy as fantastical as Mass Effect’s take on the Milky Way, I just couldn’t fully wrap my arms around the idea that the ship AI is now in the body of some femme fatale assassin body and is instantly capable of being a useful asset in battle. It just felt incredibly forced and I would have much rather gotten to know another new alien squadmate, or had someone else from Mass Effect 2 return.

Maybe it’s just me, though. The EDI-Joker couple is very Disney-esque, and I’m sure lots of fans love EDI because of that. That or her sharp wit and dry humor. Still, EDI didn’t need to take up a spot on the squad to be all of the things that we love her for. I have her up here, just for Joker, but it’s all a bit hokey if you ask me.

13. Samara

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Samara is a certified badass. She’s a take-no-prisoner Asari Justicar and is probably one of the last people in the galaxy that you would want on your bad side. Samara is capable of being cold-blooded when she needs to be, but also very zen and warm at times as well.

While Samara is among the canonically strongest squadmates that Shepard ever gets to work with, having been in the business of kicking fugitive ass for nearly 1000 years, she’s also just a bit on the dull side as she prefers to keep to herself and takes quite a coaxing to let loose even just a little.

12. Zaeed Massani

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Every squad needs a Zaeed Massani. He’s not particularly interesting from a backstory perspective. He’s a mercenary that loves the thrill of combat. Those types are a dime a dozen.

But there’s just something enjoyable about going down to check on Zaeed and getting to listen to one of his wild stories of yesteryear. He’s equal parts comforting and psychotic and is just a pleasure to have on the crew. He feels like what you’d get if you turned a Krogan into a human. Oh, and of course, extra points for that accent.

11. Miranda Lawson

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Speaking of accents, Miranda Lawson finally shows up on our list at number 11. She’s… divisive. Miranda can be really bossy, naive, and frustrating to work with at times. She’s also kind of boring in the same way that Jacob is.

That said, behind that cold, callous shell is a warm heart, and although it takes, a while, when you do finally crack through to the real Miranda, the fiercely loyal sister that is willing to fight for what is best for the universe, the payoff is worth it. Miranda just always has a stick up her butt it seems, so whenever you’re able to get her to crack a smile or laugh, it feels very rewarding.

10. Kasumi Goto

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

We’ve arrived at the top 10 and our girl Kasumi Goto kicks it off. Clearly the better of the DLC squadmates from Mass Effect 2, Kasumi fits in like a glove with the rest of the crew despite being a recluse master thief. She’s extremely personable, witty, and is paying attention to everything. She always has some interesting tea to spill and offers some really unique and welcome commentary on the rest of the crew.

Plus, she has the best loyalty mission in the entire series, bar none. It’s just shame she doesn’t have more of a presence throughout the rest of the series, with very little to do in Mass Effect 3, or else she’d probably be even higher on this list.

9. Grunt

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Grunt is kind of the Muppet Babies version of Wrex. You know, if Muppet Babies had a lot more murder. Wrex is the OG, and we can’t possibly put Grunt higher than him considering how similar they are in personality, but being diet-Wrex is still cooler than 50% of the other squadmates in Mass Effect.

To give Grunt a little credit here, though, while Wrex gets distracted from time to time getting into the weeds of Krogan politics, Grunt is very much laser-focused on just being a killing machine and his mission in Mass Effect 3 alongside the Aralakh Company is among the best in that game.

On top of that, there is no one more entertaining during the lively Citadel party than Grunt. You’ll just need to take our word for it on that one if you haven’t seen it yourself yet.

8. Jack

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

A lot of the human squadmates fell low on this list because, let’s face it, there are lots of other games where we can play as, and with other humans. We play Mass Effect for the cool aliens!

Jack is the exception to the rule. There’s a ton of build-up to getting Jack onto the crew, and she lives up to the hype.

She’s a biotic monster that can rival even the strength of even the most powerful Asari. Jack is unlike anyone else that Shepard adds to his crew in terms of personality, and across Mass Effect 2 and 3, has arguably the most successful personal growth story.

And, most importantly, she is a total bitch to Miranda, and that makes for a consistent source of entertainment.

7. Thane Krios

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Thane is the heartthrob of the Mass Effect 2 universe and a favorite of many FemShep players. It’s not hard to understand why.

Thane is a tragic character. He’s a reluctant and mournful assassin, that feels everything too intensely. He’s able to recall his memories extremely vividly, sucking anyone in that chooses to listen to Thane and his experiences. All his memories, good and bad, are remembered with perfect clarity, and that includes the murder of his wife which still tortures him to this day.

Thane will suck you in with his incredible stories and will leave you wanting to reach through the screen, give him a big hug, and tell him he’s going to be OK.

6. Legion

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Hey, look at us with a Geth near the top of the list. Who would have thought? Not me, and probably not most people when they first invited the seemingly robotic and heartless Legion onto the Normandy in Mass Effect 2. It’s hard to discuss how amazing Legion is without completely ruining some of the best moments of Mass Effect 2 and especially Mass Effect 3.

What I will say is that Legion provides amazing insight into the history and thought process of the Geth, and forces everyone, especially Tali, to rethink the way that they treat and think of synthetic life.

The Geth are far more complex than the galaxy gives them credit for; trusting Legion and encouraging Shepard and Tali to show some compassion for life that they previously thought was, well, lifeless, might be the most important series of choices that the player can make in all three games.

5. Tali

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Speaking of Tali, everyone’s favorite Quarian of course cracks our top five. Tali starts off as a spunky, but naive engineer hailing from the Quarian Flotilla looking for something to bring back to her people for her pilgrimage.

Even with little experience outside of the Migrant Fleet, Tali is able to quickly get herself up to speed and become a critical asset to Shepard and the rest of the Normandy crew. She has an incredible mind for technology and synthetic AI, especially when it comes to the Geth, and is absolutely irreplaceable in this regard. No one even comes close to expertise.

In addition to being an invaluable member of the team Tali, like so many of the best characters in Mass Effect, grows tremendously; going from being relatively reserved to a leader amongst her people. Tali is a member of the squad in all three games and watching that transformation is absolutely wonderful.

4. Liara T’Soni

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Liara T’Soni is perhaps the most iconic character in Mass Effect. She’s the Asari that nearly all of us think of us first, and for good reason. Liara is soft-spoken, empathetic, curious, and highly intelligent. It’s just so damned hard to dislike her. You’d have to go out of your way to just be a total jerk, and even then, Liara will still care about you no matter what.

And just when you think you got her all figured out by the end of Mass Effect 1, she will shock you in Mass Effect 2 with a career change that would have seemed impossible for her in the first game. Liara is still the lovable Asari that you remembered from the original, but now she has a little bit of an edge to her too.

The two Liaras we got to know across the first two games fit together like peanut butter and jelly for Mass Effect 3 and make for the ultimate partner in putting a stop to the Reapers.

3. Urdnot Wrex

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Wrex is the enforcer of the Mass Effect crew. Not that Shepard really needs anyone behind them, but anyone that tries Shepard with Wrex around is going to have a bad time, guaranteed.

Wrex is ruthless, stubborn, and seemingly invincible in a fair fight. While he originally seems one-dimensional, once you get to know Wrex you find someone who has a deep sense of pride and love for his people and desperately wants to make a better galaxy for the Krogans. One that is more at peace with the other alien races, while not sacrificing any more than the Krogans already have to this point.

Working together with the next squadmate on this list, Wrex can be a key part in pulling off one of the biggest miracles in Mass Effect.

2. Mordin Solus

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

How can you not love Mordin? While so many Salarians can be self-absorbed and irritating, Mordin is objective and honest. He’s also one of the few Salarians that you encounter that not only eventually feels some level of remorse for their role in the Krogan Genophage, but also actually does something about it. He’s willing to sacrifice his life if needed to do what’s right.

Mordin is witty and is always quick with a joke (sometimes unintentionally). His prowess in the field of science and medicine is unmatched and can provide Shepard with some really interesting insight into the other alien races that other squadmates across all three games cannot provide. And, if you engage in some *ahem* relations with alien species, Mordin has got your back and will discreetly provide you some sage medical advice to keep you and your partner safe and happy.

Finally, before we forget, Mordin is a fantastic singer.

1. Garrus Vakarian

Best Mass Effect Squadmates

It had to be Garrus number 1, right? Garrus is just Shepard’s ultimate best friend. Shepard gets incredibly close with all of the squadmates of the Mass Effect trilogy, but there’s a special connection with Garrus. It’s probably because both characters are so similar.

Garrus, like Shepard, has moments where he can be Paragon or Renegade. Shepard can encourage him to lean more one way or the other, but Garrus always ends up being 100% certified badass. As such, his character not only has a lot of interesting and varied conversations that can be explored but is also incredibly deep.

This bromance is best summed up by the line he leaves us with at the end of Mass Effect 3: “Not sure if Turian heaven is the same as yours, but if this goes sideways and we both end up there… meet me at the bar.”

At the end of the day, there is no one we’d rather shoot cans with at the top of the Citadel.

That does it for our list of the best Mass Effect squadmates. Let us know your favorites down below. For more Mass Effect, check out our list of the best Mass Effect classes, or give wiki guide a read as it is filled with helpful guides, tips, and tricks.

About the author

Ed McGlone

Ed McGlone was with Twinfinite from 2014 to 2022. Playing games since 1991, Ed loved writing about RPGs, MMOs, sports games and shooters.