In this Infiltrator Build Guide for Mass Effect 2 Legendary Edition I’m going to cover the best Infiltrator Build (Mass Effect 2), which is an optimized Assassin Infiltrator Build designed to stealthily execute enemies. I’ll be sharing the best Powers to prioritize, what it means to choose the Assassin Specialization for your Infiltrator, the optimal Weapons, Armor, and Upgrades to use, and the Squadmates to take with you on Missions and Assignments. If you’ve been looking for a way to augment the cloaking system to your advantage as an Infiltrator, then this guide is for you.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition Build Guide: Infiltrator (Mass Effect 2)
The Infiltrator is the stealthiest among all of the Mass Effect 2 Classes, which is enhanced due to their Unique Class Power, Tactical Cloak, and Sniper Rifle Proficiency. Tactical Cloak instantly turns Commander Shepard invisible to move undetected for the kill. While remaining in this state, Infiltrators gain Weapon Damage bonuses. As such, it’s best to activate Tactical Cloak first before shooting with a Sniper Rifle.
In addition to this Weapon, Infiltrators are skilled at using Heavy Pistols and Submachine Guns. Heavy Pistols can hit fast-moving targets from close to mid-range distances despite its moderate rate of fire. If you’re only going to shoot enemies at close range, which used to be this Class’s weakness back in Mass Effect 1, you can switch to wielding a Submachine Gun.
The Assassin Specialization boosts the Infiltrator’s potential by increasing their Weapon and Power Damage. As such, this makes them deadlier from any range possible.
Powers – Infiltrator (Mass Effect 2)
In this section, I’ll talk about the different Ammo, Tech and Bonus Powers that you should focus on to make the most out of your Assassin Infiltrator Build. Note that the number of Squad Points I’ve allocated is based on reaching Level 30.
Disruptor Ammo works very well against Synthetics like Geth Hunters and YMIR Mechs by shredding their Shields and HP to pieces. What’s also nice about this, similar to other Ammo Powers, is that its effectiveness lasts until you switch to using another special type of Ammo. In order to stun enemies briefly and to overheat their Weapons for a period of time, you’ll need to break through their defenses first. This Ammo Power pairs well with the Sniper Rifle, and most especially the Submachine Gun, which further improves its damage due to the Weapon’s rapid fire rate and inherent efficacy against Shields. Although Disruptor Ammo does massive damage to Synthetics, it deals no extra damage versus Armor nor Organics like Collector Assassins and Husks.
Since this Power is readily available and there are a decent amount of Synthetics at lower levels, it’s best to reach Rank 3 as soon as possible. You’ll then be able to deal +40% additional Weapon Damage on top of overheating the enemy’s Weapons. At Rank 2, you also unlock Cryo Ammo, which I’ll talk about next.
Cryo Ammo freezes enemies with the possibility of shattering and therefore killing them quickly in the process. Frozen targets are vulnerable to incoming attacks, which becomes more useful when you sneak up on them as an invisible Infiltrator. Cryo Ammo is also best paired with Heavy Pistols because of their moderate rate of fire. As a result, only a few shots are needed to freeze enemies. The caveat of this Power is it’s only effective against unprotected species like Husks, or those who have been fully stripped of their Armor, Shields and Barriers. As such, I suggest investing just 1 point into Cryo Ammo whenever you can. This should be sufficient in temporarily stopping unprotected enemies.
Incinerate specializes in burning Armor and HP while retaining some of its effectiveness against Barriers and Shields. What’s more is it’s able to hinder HP regeneration, however, you’ll need to strip targets of their defenses before this can take effect. Unprotected Organics tend to panic when hit by this Power, thereby stunning and preventing them from attacking. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to change your hiding spot if the environment becomes too precarious. Comparatively, protected enemies can be staggered by Incinerate’s Fire Damage.
Note that this Power deals little to no damage versus the HP of Synthetics so you’ll have to make sure that Disruptor Ammo is active in order to use it instead. I recommend reaching Incinerate Rank 2 so you’ll be able to deal 150 points of Fire Damage over time for 3 seconds. Since this Power is unlocked only after reaching Tactical Cloak Rank 2, you can opt to allocate points at a later time. Moreover, you also unlock AI Hacking, which I’ll discuss next.
AI Hacking allows you to manipulate unprotected Synthetics to aid you in Combat by attacking their own party. At higher ranks, they develop strong Shields in order to defend themselves well as they eliminate more enemies. Compared to Mass Effect 1’s AI Hacking, hacked creatures in Mass Effect 2 will not attack your nearby Squad while this Power is active. If you hack say a Geth Destroyer, you’ll want to make sure that you stay away from it in preparation for when the effect of AI Hacking expires.
Moreover, I highly suggest targeting those positioned at the back of the group. This adds extra movement for their allies to turn around and to gang up on the hacked enemy, giving the latter extra time to kill its comrades. Additionally, you can keep hacking the same enemy when the duration of this Power runs out if you wish.
Despite having fewer Synthetic foes in the game, I still recommend reaching AI Hacking Rank 4. Between its two evolutions, you can choose Improved or Area AI Hacking. Improved AI Hacking significantly boosts the target’s Shield Strength to 500 while lengthening the Power’s duration at 12 seconds. Meanwhile, Area AI Hacking accounts for the 3-meter Impact Radius to hack multiple Synthetics. I suggest selecting Improved AI Hacking due to the exceptional increase in Shield Strength, making them incredibly durable to survive multiple attacks. Besides, groups of unprotected Geths are rare to come by so you won’t be able to fully take advantage of Area AI Hacking.
In Mass Effect 2, you can add one Bonus Power to Shepard at a time. This is earned by completing your Squadmates’ Loyalty Missions. You’ll then be able to add and use your chosen Bonus Power via the Research Terminal in the Tech Lab. Note that every time you change your Bonus Power, you’ll have to pay 5,000 Element Zero Resources.
Warp Ammo is optimal against Armor, HP, and most especially, Barriers, which the Infiltrator lacks the natural Biotic Powers to destroy. It can be obtained after completing Jack’s Loyalty Mission. The advantage of this Power is you also gain double the damage as your rank increases when facing enemies who are affected by Biotic Powers. Consequently, you’re able to one-shot those with Barriers using a Sniper Rifle. Additionally, since Warp Ammo is an Ammo Power, it doesn’t compete for the cooldown time of your other Powers.
I recommend reaching Warp Ammo Rank 4 so you can choose between Heavy or Squad Warp Ammo. Heavy Warp Ammo is much more destructive in that you get a 50% buff to your Weapon Damage whereas Squad Warp Ammo allows you to share this Power with the rest of your Squad. I suggest taking Heavy Warp Ammo because the damage difference between the two evolutions is 15%, which is notable considering that you don’t have other Powers to deal with Barriers anyway. Furthermore, since Squadmates by default don’t deal as much Weapon Damage as Shepard, Squad Warp Ammo won’t be as useful as anticipated.
Assassin Specialization – Infiltrator (Mass Effect 2)
Tactical Cloak is the Infiltrator’s best Power because it has multiple functionalities as soon as you become invisible. For instance, this is useful for flanking, sniping, moving from cover to cover, and even evading attacks. Since you can’t use other Powers when this one is active, you’re forced to deal damage with Weapons, which is advantageous given that you receive Weapon Damage bonuses as you rank up Tactical Cloak.
There are several drawbacks however. First, as soon as you shoot, you become visible and therefore vulnerable to attacks. And second, your HP and Shield regeneration are briefly impeded. Another risk factor of this Power is how enemies tend to hide behind covers more often when you’re invisible to prevent you from killing them on the spot with a Sniper Rifle. To circumvent the issue, you can either use your Squadmates to goad them into attacking your Squad or immediately shoot with your Sniper Rifle right after activating Tactical Cloak in order to gain the Weapon Damage bonus beforehand.
I recommend investing the 10 points, which is the maximum, into Tactical Cloak to reach Rank 4. Between its two evolutions, you can choose Enhanced or Assassination Cloak. Enhanced Cloak retains your Weapon Damage bonus at 40% while improving the duration by which you remain invisible from 6 to 8 seconds. Meanwhile, Assassination Cloak remarkably boosts your Weapon Damage from 40% to 75%. As such, I highly advise taking Assassination Cloak, which pairs extremely well with the Sniper Rifle to one-shot enemies from afar.
Operative is the Power you should focus on when it comes to choosing your Infiltrator’s Specialization. As it ranks up, your HP increases while the recharge time of your Powers decreases. When you reach Rank 4 after investing 10 points, you’ll get to choose between Assassin or Agent. Assassin significantly boosts both Weapon and Power Damage by 15% each whereas Agent lengthens your Power’s duration by the same amount. I recommend selecting Assassin because it makes you versatile since you can freely switch between using Weapons and Powers without worrying about the damage you inflict. Moreover, you’re able to precisely zoom in with a Sniper Rifle, thereby making your shots much more accurate.
Squadmates – Infiltrator (Mass Effect 2)
Every time Shepard explores the different clusters of the Galaxy, you’ll have to select 2 Squadmates or Companions to bring with you, similar to the previous game. Remember that their levels are the same as yours even for those who are left behind in the Normandy. Since your Squadmates’ Powers are fewer than Shepard’s, they receive lesser points every time they level up.
It’s best to bring Miranda Lawson to take advantage of strong Biotic and Tech Powers. You can recruit her right at the start after completing the Prologue: Awakening Mission.
What makes Miranda a great Companion are her Overload, Warp and Slam Powers. Overload destroys Synthetics and Shields, which complement your Tech Powers. This also renders their Weapons unusable at higher levels provided that their defenses have been fully stripped. With Warp, she can inflict massive damage over time against Armor and Barriers while halting HP regeneration, thereby killing weaker enemies. Lastly, Slam lets Miranda lift and ram the enemy into the ground to deal huge Force Damage. Additionally, she’s proficient with Heavy Pistols, which deal decent firepower damage at close and mid-range distances.
Since Miranda doesn’t have Weapons to deal damage from afar, you’ll need an accomplished Companion who can, namely Garrus Vakarian. You can recruit him within 2 hours of playing the game.
Garrus’s forte lies in his proficiency with Assault Rifles and Sniper Rifles as well as the following Powers – Overload, similar to Miranda’s, Concussive Shot, and Armor-Piercing Ammo. With Concussive Shot, Garrus can damage and knock down enemies because of its force, thereby making them vulnerable to incoming attacks. On the other hand, Armor-Piercing Ammo deals a reliable and notable amount of Weapon Damage of about 50% at Rank 3 against the enemy’s Armor and HP.
Weapons – Infiltrator (Mass Effect 2)
When it comes to Weapons, the Assassin Infiltrator is well-trained at using the Sniper Rifle, Heavy Pistol, Submachine Gun, and Heavy Weapon. Out of these four, you can direct your focus to upgrading the Sniper Rifle, Heavy Pistol, and Submachine Gun the most since you’ll be primarily using these in combat.
M-97 Viper is the Sniper Rifle of choice because of its accuracy and damage versus Armor in particular. It’s also decent against Shields and Barriers, making it well-suited for the Infiltrator’s needs. Compared to other Sniper Rifles, the M-97 Viper has the highest Clip Size at 48 with a satisfactory Ammo per Clip of 12.
M-5 Phalanx is the best Heavy Pistol out there due to its effectiveness against Armor, however, it’s weak versus Barriers and Shields. This Weapon is viable at dealing mid-range damage coupled with the Disruptor or Warp Ammo to break through Shields and Barriers, respectively. Compared to other Heavy Pistols, the M-5 Phalanx’s Clip Size and Ammo Per Clip are fewer, which shouldn’t be an issue given its high accuracy and damage.
The best Submachine Gun is the M-12 Locust, which is effective against Armor, Barriers and Shields. This can be obtained while doing Kasumi’s Stealing Memory Loyalty Mission. You can shoot with a Submachine Gun when you’re shooting enemies up close and personal. Remember that its recoil and stability are both poor due to its rapid rate of fire, which makes this Weapon erratic when you continuously use it so you ought to shoot in short bursts.
When it comes to using a Heavy Weapon, there are a lot of options to choose from. However, I do recommend M-66 Avalanche or M-920 Cain, which are part of a Research Project in the Research Terminal. Both Heavy Weapons are very effective when inflicting great damage against Armor, Shields and Barriers.
Weapon Upgrades – Infiltrator (Mass Effect 2)
To improve your Weapon’s performance, you’ll have to collect Upgrades from Missions, Assignments, Squadmates and Merchants. You can then use the Research Terminal in the Normandy’s Tech Lab to research and to apply these Upgrades to Weapons thereafter. When you do, you’ll pay using credits or Resources. Note that some Upgrades require prerequisites by leveling up others first in order to unlock them.
For the M-97 Viper, you’ll need to obtain 3 Upgrades, namely the Scram Pulsar, Tungsten Sabot Jacket, and Combat Scanner. Scram Pulsar provides you with 10% Sniper Rifle Damage per level. You can upgrade this six times to gain a total of 60% bonus damage. Tungsten Sabot Jacking boosts the damage you deal against Armor by 50%. Combat Scanner allows you to significantly deal additional headshot damage. What’s great about these Upgrades is how Garrus also benefits from them directly when he uses his Sniper Rifle, making you both incredibly deadly at long-range distances.
For the M-5 Phalanx, you’ll need to research the Titan Pulsar, Sabot Jacketing, and Smart Rounds. Titan Pulsar considerably boosts your overall Heavy Pistol damage at Level 6. Sabot Jacketing increases your Heavy Pistol Damage against Armor by half. And Smart Rounds sometimes doubles the damage you deal with a Heavy Pistol.
For the M-12 Locust, you’ll also need to research the Microfield Pulsar, Phase Jacketing, and Heat Sink Capacity. Microfield Pulsar considerably increases your Submachine Gun damage by a total of 60% at Level 6.
Phasic Jacketing gives a bonus of 50% damage against Shields and Barriers, making it possible to quickly shred enemies with these defenses. Lastly, Heat Sink Capacity increases your rounds by half. This is more useful for your M-12 Locust, which has the lowest Ammo Per Clip of all of the Submachine Guns.
Heavy Weapons don’t receive damage Upgrades unlike the other Weapons. Instead, its Upgrade is concentrated on increasing Power Cell Capacity. Specifically, this is the Microfusion Array. At Level 6, your total Heavy Weapon capacity will have increased by a total of 90%.
Armor and Other Upgrades – Infiltrator (Mass Effect 2)
When it comes to Armor, you can choose to equip an Armor Set or customized Armor, which allows you to swap pieces to make improvements. For the Assassin Infiltrator Build, it’s ideal to pick Armor pieces that boost your Headshot Damage together with Power and Weapon Damage and Shield Strength. I highly recommend choosing the following:
|Armor Part||Customized Piece||Effect|
|Helmet||Kuwashii Visor||+10% Headshot Damage|
|Chest||N7 Chestplate||+3% Power Damage|
|Shoulder||Kestrel Shoulder Pieces||+5% Weapon Damage|
+3% Shield Strength
+10% Melee Damage
|Arms||Stabilization Gauntlets||+5% Weapon Damage|
|Legs||Kestrel Power Pack||+8% Shield Strength, +5% Heavy Weapon Ammo Capacity|
You’ll notice that there’s an extra +10% Melee Damage for wearing the Kestrel Shoulder Pieces, even when you’re not going for a Melee Build. The reason is this is the only piece of Armor that provides the best overall Weapon Damage and Shields stats compared to the others.
To further improve the Assassin Infiltrator’s durability and capabilities, you can add Armor Upgrades to increase your protection from damage as well as your max HP and Omni-tool Upgrades to improve the performance of your Tech Powers.
For the Shield Upgrades, it’s imperative to get Ablative VI, Nanocrystal Shield, and Burst Regeneration. Ablative VI greatly increases your Shields at Level 6. Nanocrystal Shield reduces the damage that your Shields receive.
Lastly, Burst Regeneration raises the chances of instantly and fully restoring your Shields when it breaks.
For Cybernetic Upgrades, you’ll only have to fully invest in two of them, specifically Lattice Shunting and Skeletal Lattice. Lattice Shunting increases your HP by a total of 70% at Level 7. Meanwhile, Skeletal Lattice reduces the damage you receive by half against Melee Attacks. Remember that this is only a precaution should enemies get close enough to inflict Melee Damage.
Since the Assassin Infiltrator is a semi Tech Specialist, it’s essential to acquire the Multicore Amplifier, Custom Heuristics, and Hydra Module. Multicore Amplifier considerably improves your Tech Power Damage at Level 6. Custom Heuristics increases the duration of all Tech Powers by 20%. This greatly benefits Tactical Cloak’s max duration, which becomes 7.2 seconds from 6. Lastly, Hydra Module reduces the cooldown of all Tech Powers by 20%.
Final Tips – Infiltrator (Mass Effect 2)
Since you’re now faced with enemies who can wear multiple types of protective layers, you’ll have to remember the appropriate Powers to use against them. This is differentiated based on the Power’s color. If the color is red with a downward arrow, then it means that that Power’s effect against the target is negligible. However, if the color is orange, then the damage you’ll inflict to diminish their Armor, Shields and Barriers is effective.
It’s worth remembering that the Assassin Infiltrator’s weaknesses involve dealing sufficient Power Damage against Barriers. To remedy this, you’ll need your Squadmates. Miranda possesses Biotic Powers that annihilate Armor, Barriers and Shields whereas Garrus specializes in knocking enemies down or dealing massive damage from a distance.
Lastly, make sure to level up your Upgrades as much as you can in order to take advantage of the boosts they provide so you can eliminate enemies efficiently.