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Mass Effect 3 Legendary Edition

Best Kaidan Builds

Matt Chard

This page will show you some of the best builds for your squad mate Kaidan Alenko in Mass Effect 3 Legendary Edition. Here, you’ll find details on the best abilities to pick, the best weapons to equip, and the best Outfit to wear.

Kaidan Alenko Overview

Kaidan Alenko is a human Sentinel who served in the Systems Alliance as a Marine. Because of his exposure to Element Zero in utero, he is wired with L2 biotics which are known to cause severe neurological damage, fortunately for him, he only gets severe migraines from them. He was then enrolled in the Biotic Acclimation and Temperance Training due to his training, but an unfortunate incident caused him to break the neck of Commander Vyrnnus which caused the program to be shut down. During the mission on Virmire in Mass Effect 1, either he or Ashley Williams will die, depending on Shepards choices. Provided he survived Virmire, he continues to serve aboard the Normandy to help Shepard with his mission.

When do you get Kaidan

Kaidan becomes available during the Mission Priority: Mars, and then fully playable in Act II.

Overload and Reave Build

This build revolves around maxing out Kaidan’s Overload and Reave, making him an excellent squad mate to bring as he can strip shields, as well as dealing high damage with Reave, which also boosts his survivability. We then max out Cryo Blast due to its fast cooldown times, and its ability to weaken some of the toughest enemies in the game. Finally, we max out Alliance Officer to increase his Weapon and Power damage whilst also boosting the squads power damage.

Power Upgrade Path
Reave Radius > Recharge Speed > Damage & Duration
Overload Chain Overload > Recharge Speed > Chain Overload
Cryo Blast Radius > Cryo Explosion > Frozen Vulnerability
Barrier Leave at Level 3
Alliance Officer Weapon Damage > Tech Damage > Squad Bonus


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


Overload is one of the main reasons you bring Kaidan along. Overload is the best power to use when you want to take down enemies who have shields, which in Mass Effect 3, by taking the Chain Overload passives, you can hit up to two additional enemies with one cast.


Reave is a very strong power that drains the enemies health and disrupts their resistances, whilst increasing his damage protection while this power is in effect. On top of that, it does 70 damage a second for four seconds. It’s also great at detonating biotic combos.

Cryo Blast

Although Cryo Blast doesn’t deal any damage, it either freezes unprotected enemies or it slows them down it they do have some. Combined with its fast cooldowns, it makes it a very strong crowd control power. Also, it reduces the enemy’s armor protection. This power synergizes well with Incinerate for some powerful combos.


Barrier is a great defensive tool but because Kaidan has access to Reave, that is more than enough to keep him alive. You could max this out over Cryo Blast if you’d like even more survivability.

Alliance Officer

Alliance Officer is Kaidan’s passive skill line, at the final upgrade you’ll receive +20% Weapon Damage, and +30% Tech Damage. We choose the Squad Tech and Power upgrade to receive an extra 10% Power/Tech damage for the entire squad.

Best Outfit

In Mass Effect 3, each outfit gives squad mates different bonuses. For Kaidan, keep his default Outfit equipped, as it increases Power Recharge Speed by +25%.

Best Weapons

This section will talk about what weapons are best for this particular build. This build relies mainly on using your powers although you’ll still want a good weapon for backup.

Heavy Pistol

Weapon Base Damage Clip Size Reserve Ammunition Capacity Rate of Fire Accuracy
M-6 Carnifex Medium 6 30 Low Very Low High

The M-6 Carnifex is obtained during the Mission Arrae: Ex-Cerberus Scientists on a pipe in the tunnel immediately after leaving the scientists, it can also be purchased at Kassa Fabrication in the Citadel if you missed it.

The M-6 Carnifex is a pretty strong weapon, and when equipped with a Pistol Scope, you’ll get a decent, budget Sniper Rifle.


Weapon Base Damage Clip Size Reserve Ammunition Capacity Rate of Fire Accuracy
M-358 Talon Medium 4 24 Low Medium High

The M-358 Talon can be obtained during the Mission Priority: The Citadel II inside a locked room. The door control is found in the nearby room used to bypass a malfunctioning door. It is not purchasable from a shop if missed during the mission.

Normally you’d pick this weapon due to its low weight. As weight doesn’t effect squadmates, you may want a better gun, but make no mistake, it’s still a great weapon.

Assault Rifle

Weapon Base Damage Clip Size Reserve Ammunition Capacity Rate of Fire Accuracy
Cerberus Harrier Medium 20 80 Medium Low Very High

The Cerberus Harrier is a modified M-96 Mattock, which can be purchased from the Spectre Requisitions terminal in the Citadel Embassies for 150,000 credits. It’s arguably the strongest Assault Rifle in the game, and it fits Kaidan perfectly.

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Weapon Weight doesnt seem to affect squad members

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Thanks for letting me know kronozord, I'll change that straight away.

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User profile pic

Weapon Weight doesnt seem to affect squad members

User profile pic

Thanks for letting me know kronozord, I'll change that straight away.

Back to top
Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Electronic Arts
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS3, Wii U, XB 360
  • Genre
    Action RPG, Third-person shooter
  • Guide Release
    14 May 2021
  • Last Updated
    15 June 2022
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Andrew Mills, Claire Farnworth

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For years, a lone soldier has told tales of the Reapers, of their return, of these sentient machines reaching out across the vastness of space, to harvest all sentient life. But the warnings were all for nothing. Until now. The Reapers have at last come to Earth and these warnings can no longer be ignored. You are Commander Shepard, the first human spectre and elite soldier of the Alliance, tasked with uniting the galaxy in the fight to stop the Reapers destroying everything you hold dear. In your hands lies the fate of the entire Milky Way but luckily, this time, you are no longer alone.

  • All side missions completed containing the included DLC.
  • Find every single weapon mod tucked away in the game.
  • In-depth look at the major choices and consequences of each.
  • Full details on all possible Romances.
  • Class builds to get the most out of your chosen class.
  • All Biotic Combos and Tech Bursts explained.
  • Details on every Power.
  • Builds for all squad mates.
  • Trophy/Achievement guide.

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