Mass Effect 3 may be contrived, predictable and not to mention anti-climatic but it does ship with a rather enjoyable multiplayer component in the form of a co-operative horde mode. At first, this mode may seem tough and at times a tad unfair but as you level up your character and invest points in his/her progress, you’ll experience something far more addictive than the single player campaign. And this basic yet effective guide for beginners will ensure you don’t rage quit after being shot/stabbed/burnt by Mass Effect 3’s bloodthirsty horde.
Communication is key
If they can communicate well, so can you
You’ve probably heard me talk about the importance of communication before but that’s only because I keep encountering people who just refuse to invest in a mic or are just plain shy. In Mass Effect 3, voice communication is nearly as important as player skill in achieving victory. Besides co-coordinating tactics in-game, it is also the only way players can plan their load outs and tactics beforehand since Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer (surprisingly) does not ship with any support for text chat in-game or even in the main multiplayer menu.
Chose your load out wisely
This point is basically an extension of my previous tip where I encourage players to discuss their class and load out so you don’t end up in a squad with three soldiers and zero engineers. If anything, support your squad’s classes for maximum effect on the battlefield by choosing a class whose abilities work in tandem with theirs.
Weapon selection is also a tricky affair since you can choose only two weapons at a time so make sure there aren’t three squad mates rocking a sniper. If someone has already gone with long range weapons, balance things out by choosing an assault rifle or a shotgun, perfect weapons for short to medium ranged combat. At the same time you also have to make sure you don't encumber yourself because the more your load out weighs, the longer it takes for your powers to cool down.
Learn your surroundings
Take cover at all times
Beside the horde, every map is a challenge in itself. Know where all the ammo crates are so you can make a mad dash for ammunition as soon as a wave is over. More importantly, get to know its choke points so you never find yourself stuck in a bad spot during an ammo run. Knowing the map is vital to survival so make sure you take some time to learn it. The good part about Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer is that it lets you fire up a Private server by yourself so you can experiment to your heart’s content without endangering the lives of your squad mates.
Don't be a hero
If you have a God complex and have a yearning to be a saviour, play the single player campaign and save the galaxy as Commander Shepard. In multiplayer however, it’s all about being a team player because unlike the single player campaign, you won’t be able to take down a Banshee and a Brute by yourself, especially on the higher difficulties.
Don't try and take them on by yourself
In fact even on lower difficulties, the game’s pretty challenging and a petty grunt can take you down easily. Make sure you take cover at all times otherwise you’ll just end up dying – a lot – forcing your teammates to abort their objectives just to come over and revive your fallen butt, endangering their lives in the process. Also during objective based rounds, don’t go scampering off from the group in search of kills because if the timer runs out before the objectives are completed, you will lose the round.
After every few waves of just fending enemies off, you'll come across objective based waves that require the assassination of particular targets or protecting/hacking certain terminals spread out over the map. Don't try and do them alone; rush to each objective with your team as soon as possible because finishing them fast will grant your entire squad a credit bonus. And remember, every objective is timed, so try and avoid enemy confrontation (if possible) to finish them ASAP because if the clock runs out, you lose even if all players are still alive.
Patience is another important aspect of playing smart. Many packs bestow players with Medigels (that allow you to resurrect yourself) or Missile launchers. Don't be in a hurry to use them at the first sight of a Banshee or as soon as you go down in the second wave. These items can only be used a handful of times throughout all ten waves so use them only as a last ditch effort.
Plan tactics with your squad beforehand
Besides Medigels and missiles, buying different packs (with your in-game credits) grants players better weapons, weapon upgrades and different characters. But you also have to understand that every pack has random drops so you never know what to expect. This is why I suggest you don’t save up all your money only for Specter packs because as valuable as they are, they are also quite expensive and unless you buy the lower grade packs, you won’t have access to important items like medigels AKA life savers.
Of course, these are just some basic tips to help you ease into the game’s multiplayer. The best course of action would be to play the game a lot, particularly with friends or at least with people who have mics. If you’d like to share some of your gameplay tips, please feel free to do so in the comments below.
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