Ranking the Known Spectres of Mass Effect

Who is the best Spectre in Mass Effect?

In the Mass Effect universe, there is no greater military honor than being granted the title of Spectre. Standing for Special Tactics and Reconnaissance, this position grants the agent extreme power, including the ability to travel to restricted space and even take a life. 

Given how much power and responsibility this role represents, it makes sense that the title of Spectre isn’t just given out willy-nilly. In fact, across the four games so far, we only know of about 10. 

Below, we’ve compiled a list of those 10 Spectres and ranked them based on how important they are to the series. So let’s get started!

10. Lonar Maerun

Ranking the Mass Effect Spectres

Spectre symbol

Of all the Spectres in Mass Effect, Lonar Maerun is the most mysterious one, as we don’t even know their gender or species. The only way we even hear about them is via Cerberus Daily News, specifically the “12/23/2010 – Alleged Spectre Plot Against Lira Speight Foiled” entry.

In this report, it is stated that a Spectre was involved in an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Lira Speight. Not much is known about the details surrounding this, outside of the fact that Lonar was wounded by her security. 

Due to the vagueness surrounding the character, and the fact that they failed to successfully assassinate Lira, they land at the bottom of this list. 

9. Nihlus Kryik

Ranking the Mass Effect Spectres

 Nihlus Kryik

First off, let’s just agree that Nihlus is a really cool character. Alongside an awesome design and the fact that he puts his neck out for Shepard, he’s also one of the most decorated Spectre agents of all time. 

Unfortunately, all this character is remembered for in the Mass Effect universe is being a naive fool, as he turns his back on Saren and gets killed for it at the start of the game. Sure, you can argue that they had a history, and it would make sense for Nihlus to feel comfortable around his friend, but he just goes out in the lamest way possible. As such, he lands himself near the bottom of the list. 

8. Jondum Bau

Ranking the Mass Effect Spectres

Jondum Bau

Outside of yourself and the Virmire survivor, Jondum Bau is the only Spectre that is in Mass Effect 3. You run into this Salarian during a side mission thanks to master thief, Kasumi Goto. 

In the mission, your goal is to help Bau get info and capture a possible hanar diplomat that has been indoctrinated. If successful, the Salarian will join the War Effort. So, why is he so low on the list?

Well, the fact of the matter is he’d be dead without Shepard’s help, as he gets shot by one of the Hanar’s human bodyguards. On top of this, he also failed to capture Katsumi Goto beforehand, his main objective before this mission, meaning he’s failed at pretty much everything he’s done when working alone. 

6 & 7. Ashley Williams/Kaidan Alenko (Virmire Survivor)

Ranking the Mass Effect Spectres

Ashley Williams/Kaidan Alenko
Image Source: CBR

Despite what thousands of message boards and forums would have you believe, Ashley Williams and Kaidan Alenko both have positive and negative traits. 

The former is an excellent soldier – and a complete powerhouse in Mass Effect 1 – while the latter is one of the best biotics in the series. However, they’re also both pretty moody and untrusting of you, regardless of whether you’re playing Paragon or Renegade, and can make some pretty boneheaded decisions once they’re made a Spectre in Mass Effect 3 – like trusting Udina over Shepard.  

Honestly, these two are pretty similar in terms of how they act throughout each game overall, mostly because they have to fit the narrative of being the Virmire Survivor. As such, these two characters share a spot near the middle of the list together. 

5. Beelo Gurji

Ranking the Mass Effect Spectres

 Beelo Gurji
Image Source: Screenrant

Beelo Gurji is one of the most interesting characters in the entire Mass Effect series. In 693 CE, this Salarian operative was appointed by the Council as the first ever Spectre. 

The interesting part is that Gurji was appointed as a Spectre following a mission where he was accused of using 30 civilians as bait to flush out his target. Instead of arresting him, the Council offered him the chance to establish the Spectres. 

While seemingly irrepressible to some, Gurji’s drive to get his target no matter what the cost served as the basis for how this elite group of military personnel would act from there on out. He served as a Spectre up until his death over Tuchanka in 700 CE while fighting in the Krogan Rebellions. 

While we may know a bit more about Beelo Gurji than Lonar Maerun, there still simply isn’t enough info on this Salarian across all the games. Due to this, he lands in the middle of the pack, despite being the first Spectre ever. 

4. Avitus Rix

Ranking the Mass Effect Spectres

 Avitus Rix

The lone Spectre Ryder meets in Mass Effect: Andromeda, Avitus Rix is a Turian who is handpicked to join the Andromeda Initiative. He served the Citadel Council for 15 years before resigning after his mentor, Saren Arterius, betrayed the galaxy to help the Reapers. 

Alongside being an interesting character morals-wise, Rix is also one of the most capable characters on this list. Despite being stranded in an unknown galaxy on a strange planet, he’s able to keep the small group of Turians he leads on Havari alive until Ryder finds him. 

Later, he then proves his merit once again by helping Ryder find the Turian Pathfinder, Macen Barro. Unfortunately, it turns out that Rix’s superior doesn’t make it, meaning that he is now the Pathfinder. 

While it does take some convincing from Ryder, Rix can take over the role and be seen piloting an interceptor during the battle for Meridian and shoot down numerous kett fighters. It is also possible that he becomes a drunken merc-for-hire on Kadara, but come on, who would pick that option. 

The fact that it is possible for him to become both Spectre and a Pathfinder means he lands pretty high up on this list. 

3. Tela Vasir

Ranking the Mass Effect Spectres

Tela Vasir

Originally an ally of Shepards, Tela Vasir is the Asari best know for doing her damnedest to kill Liara and Shepard in Lair of the Shadow Broker. She’s arguably one of the more challenging bosses throughout all of Mass Effect when you do end up facing her later on.

In her fight against Shepard, she busts out moves like Shockwave and Biotic Charge as well as sending out lots of Rocket Drones and Shadow Broker Engineers. Her defense is also impressive, boasting armor and a barrier as well as the ability to teleport around the battlefield using the aforementioned charge attack. 

Alongside her role in Lair of the Shadow Broker, Vasir is also an important character in the comic Mass Effect: Foundation 8. Here, we see her cunning once again on full display, as she’s able to snuff an informant in disguises, Rasa (aka Maya Brooks), and is able to turn her. 

Thanks to Vasir’s strength, speed, defense, and intellect, she finds herself amongst the best of the best of Spectre’s in the known universe of Mass Effect.

2. Saren Arterius

Ranking the Mass Effect Spectres

Saren Arterius

As the big bad of the first Mass Effect, it’s pretty easy to look at Saren Arterius and go, “eh, he sucks,” or “what a sucker he is to fall into the Reaper’s plot.” Yet, the reality is that Saren is still one of the greatest Spectres of all time, even if he’s a bit of an ass. 

Even before becoming a Spectre, Saren was seen as a savant in the military. Despite being only 15 when he joined, records show that he was promoted to active service after only a year of training due to his cunning, strength, and intellect. 

In 2159, he became the youngest Turian ever to be named a Spectre, soon developing a reputation for being ruthless but efficient. This “ends justify the means” mindset is what leads him to eventually siding with the machines and becoming indoctrinated by the Reapers. 

Saren uses this mindset, justifying his actions of joining the Reapers as the only way that organics could survive. And if it weren’t for Shepard, the Rogue Spectre’s skill when it comes to espionage and combat would have made the task pretty easy. He’s just that damn good. 

1. Blasto

Ranking the Mass Effect Spectres


That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The top spot belongs to everyone’s favorite Hanar Spectre and the star of the Blasto series, Blasto! Ever since bursting onto the scene in Mass Effect 2, this character takes center stage, showcasing its brilliance, strength, and raw sex appeal every time it’s mentioned. 

When Shepard actually gets to meet this living legend in Mass Effect 3 during the filming of Blasto 7: Blasto Goes to War!, everyone gets to experience how the Hanar single-handedly stops the Reaper invasion. 

Yep, it is safe to say that Blasto truly is the greatest Spectre of all time… no one could possibly be better. 

Actually 1. Commander Shepard

Ranking the Mass Effect Spectres

Commander Shepard

Okay, all jokes aside, the obvious #1 is the savior of the galaxy, the most feared person in all of Reaper lore, the “I should go” King/Queen, Commander Shepard

Regardless of the way that you play or the background you choose when it comes to the protagonist of the Mass Effect series, Shepard’s accomplishments and feats are unmatched. Alongside stopping the Reapers in the final installment of the series, this Spectre defeats Saren, Cerberus, the Shadow Broker, the Collectors, the Rachni (indoctrinated), and enough mercenaries to fill the entirety of Omega. 

This doesn’t even factor in stuff like becoming the first human Spectre, curing the Genophage, saving The Council, and oh so much more. Any one of these accomplishments is career-defining on its own. 

And sure, this all obviously happens because BioWare wants to let players live through a lot of grand adventures, but that doesn’t make Shepard didn’t accomplish any less impressive when looking at them in universe.

About the author

Andrew McMahon

Andrew was Twinfinite's Features Editor from 2020 through until March 2023 and wrote for the site from 2018. He has wandered around with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications sitting in his back pocket for a while now, all the while wondering what he is going to do for a career. Luckily, video games have always been there, especially as his writing career progresses.