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Mass Effect 3 Legendary Edition

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Best Tali Builds

Matt Chard

This page will show you some of the best builds for your squad mate Tali’Zorah vas Normandy 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.

Tali’Zorah vas Normandy Overview

Tali’Zorah vas Normandy 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 Ship’s 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 at the beginning of Mass Effect 2 she becomes a part of the squad. You reunite with Tali in Mass Effect 3 when you help her during the war between the Quarians and the Geth.

When do you get Tali

Tali becomes available in the prologue during the Mission Priority: Mars.

Energy Drain Build

This build revolves around maxing out Tali’s Energy Drain, with the upgrades taken, it’ll shore up her questionable defense as well as drain shields, and set up Tech Bursts. We then max out her Combat Drone to get the Rockets upgrade, which is surprisingly useful to wear down enemies whilst the rest of the squad deals with them. Sabotage is maxed due to the Tech Vulnerability upgrade that boosts tech damage by 50%. Finally, we max out her passive skill line which boosts her Health, Shields, Power Recharge and Tech Damage.

Power Upgrade Path
Energy Drain Radius > Drain > Armor Boost
Sabotage Backfire > Recharge Speed > Tech Vulnerability
Combat Drone Shields & Damage > Shields & Damage > Rockets
Defense Drone Leave at Level 3
Quarian Machinist Recharge Speed > Tech Upgrade > Drone Specialist


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

Energy Drain

Energy Drain is a staple power for Tali, it’ll strip the shields off enemies and distribute them back to her, improving her staying power. We take the Radius upgrade to hit more enemies with each cast, the Drain upgrade to improve the shield restoration by 50%, and the armor boost to reduce damage by 40% for 10 seconds.


Sabotage will turn synthetics into allies, or overheat their weapons. The main reason for maxing this out is the final upgrade, Tech Vulnerability, this’ll increase all tech damage done to the target by 100% for 10 seconds.

Combat Drone

The Combat Drone had some upgrades with Mass Effect 3, now you can equip rockets to it! The drone will now stun targets, and when it’s fully upgraded, it’ll shoot rockets at the enemies which does a very respectable amount of damage to them in a 1.5-meter radius. Also, by upgrading to Rockets, it’ll change the AI of the drone to hover away from enemies rather than towards them, which gives it some survivability.

Defense Drone

The Defense Drone is worse than the Combat Drone in every way, and it’s only upgraded to level 3 because we can. Don’t waste your cooldown with this.

Quarian Machinist

Quarian Machinist is Tali’s passive skill line, by maxing this out, you’ll gain +30% Health and Shield bonuses, +30% Tech Damage and Duration, and a 50% recharge of your Drone Powers.

Best Outfit

In Mass Effect 3, each outfit gives squad mates different bonuses. For Tali, choose either her default Outfit that boosts Power Damage by 25% or her From Ashes Outfit for 25% Weapon Damage. The Power Damage is better for your Drone, The Weapon Damage is better if you’re equipping her with a shotgun.

Best Weapons

This section will talk about what weapons are best for this particular build. Because we don’t want Tali getting too close, the Geth Plasma Shotgun is perfect for her.

Heavy Pistol

Weapon Base Damage Clip Size Reserve Ammunition Capacity Rate of Fire Accuracy
Arc Pistol Medium 18 72 Low Medium High

The Arc Pistol can be found during the mission Priority: Geth Dreadnought: Tali will set it down for you to take. It is also purchasable from Elkoss Combine Arsenal Supplies post-mission if it was missed or not taken.

The Arc Pistol is a very versatile weapon which can be like a semi-automatic weapon with a respectable fire rate, or be charged, which can make it act like one of the heavier Pistols for more damage.


Weapon Base Damage Clip Size Reserve Ammunition Capacity Rate of Fire Accuracy
Geth Plasma Shotgun Very High 5 15 Low Very Low Medium

The Geth Plasma Shotgun is found during the mission Priority: Rannoch or acquired from the Elkoss Combine Arsenal Supplies Store which can be found in Presidium Commons at the Citadel.

Unlike other shotguns, Geth Plasma Shotgun makes the AI sit further back, which is great for Tali because her defense isn’t the greatest, even with Energy Drain. What makes the gun so good is it can provide high damage at a distance, which is unique for a shotgun.


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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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