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Mass Effect 2 Legendary Edition

Best Tali Builds

Matt Chard

This page will show you some of the best builds for your squad mate Tali’Zorah vas Neema in Mass Effect 2. Here, you’ll find details on the best abilities to pick, and the best weapons to equip.

Tali Overview

Tali’Zorah vas Neema is a Quarian who has to live in a full-body environmental suit due to the Quarian’s weak immune system. You first meet her during her Pilgrimage, which is a Quarian rite, where young Quarians leave their home to obtain a gift to pass on to their Captain, which allows them to join the Ships crew. She is a technician, and engineer by heart as well as being renowned by the Migrant Fleet, but has additional pressure to reach the heights of her mother Rael’Zorah who is an Admiral for the Fleet. After the incident with Shepard which happened on the Normandy at the beginning of Mass Effect 2 she becomes a part of the crew of Neema, which is shown in her name.

When do you get Tali

Tali is available around the mid-point of the game during Act 2, which starts after Mission Horizon. Once that’s been completed, four more Dossiers will become available, with Dossier: Tali needing to be completed before she is available.

Energy Drain Build

This build revolves around maxing out Tali’s Energy Drain to help the squad take down enemy shields whilst replenishing her own. Combining that with her ability to send in an Explosive Drone, she makes a very strong squad mate. Finally, we max out her passive skill line Quarian Machinist which increase her Health as well as her Weapon Damage and Power Duration.

Power Evolution Squad Points
Combat Drone Explosive Drone 10
Energy Drain Area Drain 10
AI Hacking
Quarian Machinist Quarian Mechanic 10


This section will go into more detail on why the Powers are chosen for this particular build.

Combat Drone

At higher difficulties, the Combat Drone doesn’t stay alive long enough to use it as a distraction. For this reason alone, we spec into the Explosive Drone evolution as it has a wide radius, and decent damage.

Energy Drain

Energy Drain is Tali’s best Power, and should be your focus whenever you’re using her Powers. It’s similar to Overload where it’ll strip the enemies shields, but it’ll also replenish hers at the same time, giving her some much-needed survivability. We chose the Area Drain upgrade to hit as many enemies as we possibly can with it, and a lot of enemies in Mass Effect 2 like to be clustered, so this makes perfect sense.

Quarian Machinist

Quarian Machinist is Tali’s passive skill line which’ll increase her Health, Weapon Damage, and Power Duration. We chose the Quarian Mechanic evolution to get the extra Weapon Damage as we’re not using AI Hacking or the Attack Drone in this build which is the only things to benefit from the increased duration .

Best Weapons

This section will talk about what weapons are best for this particular build.

Heavy Pistol

Weapon Base Damage Accuracy Recoil Fire Mode Fire Rate Clip Size
M-5 Phalanx 109 High High Semi-Automatic 80 RPM 6

The M-5 Phalanx was originally added as DLC in the original Mass Effect 2, in the Legendary Edition, it can be purchased from Ratch, who resides on Tuchanka.

What makes the M-5 Phalanx so effective, is that it’s highly accurate due to its built in laser, and it hits like a truck with 109 base damage. Tali should really be using a shotgun, but if you need a Heavy Pistol, this is it.


Weapon Base Damage Accuracy Recoil Fire Mode Fire Rate Clip Size
Geth Plasma Shotgun Instant shot - 156.50 (250.38), Fully charged - 347.77 (556.4) Moderate Moderate Semi-Automatic 174 RPM 5

The Geth Plasma Shotgun originally a DLC weapon in the base game can be purchased in Omega in the Legendary Edition.

Although it isn’t the best Shotgun in the game, it works better for squad mates due to the way they use their weapons in the game. With Shotguns they tend to fire from a distance, which is why the Geth Plasma Shotgun is taken. If you’ll micro-manage Tali, you can opt for a better shotgun.


Weapon Base Damage Accuracy Recoil Fire Mode Fire Rate Clip Size
M-22 Eviscerator 36.8 Low Moderate Semi-Automatic 48 RPM 3

The M-22 Eviscerator was originally added as DLC, in the Legendary Edition, it can be researched as soon as you’ve recruited Mordin in the mission Dossier: The Professor.

The M-22 Eviscerator is a fantastic weapon, though it does less damage than the M-300 Claymore, it has more ammo, and does more damage at range, making it perfect for Tali.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Electronic Arts
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, XB One
  • Genre
    Action RPG, Third-person shooter
  • Guide Release
    14 May 2021
  • Last Updated
    7 September 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Paul Williams

Share this free guide:

The guide for Mass Effect 2 Legendary Edition features all there is to see and do including a walkthrough containing coverage of all the main campaign Missions, Assignments, as well as a detailed breakdown of all the important choices, class builds and much more!

  • A complete walkthrough for the entire campaign, including all recruitment and loyalty missions, as well as details on weapons, resources and research projects found during each mission.
  • Every Assignment covered.
  • Updated media and formatting for the Legendary Edition.
  • In-depth look at the major choices in Mass Effect 2 and consequences - both short and long term - of each.
  • Full details on all possible Romances.
  • In-depth Class builds for Shepard with a focus on Insanity difficulty strategies.
  • Details on every Power.
  • Builds for all squadmates.
  • Trophy/Achievement guide, including embeded walkthrough links.

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