Purchase Game

Mass Effect 3 Legendary Edition

Best Engineer Builds

By
Matt Chard

This page will show you some of the best Engineer builds in Mass Effect 3. Here, you’ll find details on the best abilities to pick, the best weapons to equip, and you’ll find what armor works best for the build. Finally, you’ll have builds included for the squad mates that accompany this build.

Engineer Overview

Engineers are the Tech specialists of the class pool, they’re the most efficient class at disabling the tougher enemies in the game. With access to both Overload and Incinerate, they can deal with both shielded and armored enemies with ease. Furthermore, they have access to Sabotage which can deal with Synthetic enemies. On top of all that, they can use a Turret and/or a Combat drone to distract the tougher foes whilst you take them down. Whatever issues arise, an Engineer can deal with it.

Overload and Incinerate Build

This build revolves around chaining Overload and Incinerate for Tech Bursts, which can kill entire squads of clustered enemies. For tougher enemies like Brutes, you can combo Sabotage with Incinerate to create a Tech Burst then follow it up with Overload to create a fire explosion which should finish them off.

Power Upgrade Path
Overload Damage > Neural Shock > Shield Damage
Incinerate Damage > Burning Damage > Armor Damage
Sabotage Backfire > Explosive Hack > Tech Vulnerability
Cryo Blast Leave at Level 3
Combat Drone Shields & Damage > Shields & Damage > Chain Lightning
Sentry Turret Shields & Damage > Armor-Piercing Ammo > Flamethrower
Fitness Durability > Barrier Recharge > Fitness Expert
Tech Mastery Damage > Damage and Capacity > Power Mastery
Bonus Power: Fortification Durability > Power Synergy > Power Recharge

Powers

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

Overload

Overload is a power which takes down shields and barriers. It deals respectable damage to synthetic targets and overheats weapons, which will give you time to finish them off or heal up. As great as that is, the primary reason we use it in this build, is to use it in conjunction with Sabotage and/or Incinerate for the fire explosions and Tech Bursts.

Incinerate

Incinerate is a Tech power that can deal fire damage to enemies and weakens the armor of enemies, which makes it great against armored targets like the Atlas, also, it can stop enemies regenerating their health. Furthermore, it can be used in conjunction with Sabotage and Overload for very potent Tech Bursts.

Sabotage

Sabotage is taken to use against synthetic enemies, and in Mass Effect 3, there are a lot. This power will allow you to hack unprotected synthetics like husks, and have them turn on the allies. The upgrade paths chosen in this build, are less for control, and more about damage, and Tech Burst primers. Backfire will increase your damage by 30% to enemies when their weapons overheat, especially useful against the Geth, Explosive Hack will make synthetics explode dealing 350 damage in a 4-meter radius, and Tech Vulnerabiltiy will increase all your tech power damage by 100%, thus making Incinerate and Overload hit for major damage. Finally, the best part about Sabotage is its ability to hack enemy turrets, which can turn the tide in battle.

Cryo Blast

Cryo Blast is a great power, and even better for some builds, unfortunately this build went a different direction, so it’s best leaving at level 3.

Combat Drone

Combat Drone is a unique power for Engineer, it basically allows you to have a ‘pet’ on the field. On Insanity difficulty its damage leaves a lot to be desired, but it can be useful for distracting enemies for a short period of time, allowing you to reposition or quickly take the enemy out.

Sentry Turret

Similar to the Combat Drone, the Sentry Turret is another power exclusive to Engineer, and you can use it similarly, as a distraction. With the Flamethrower upgrade, it can also add a decent amount of damage, providing it doesn’t get destroyed straight away. At worst, you can use it as a distraction tool, or to enemies to reposition.

Fitness

Maxing out the Fitness line will give you some much-needed survivability, increasing your Health and Shield bonus up to 50%, whilst decreasing your shield-recharge delay by 15%.

Tech Mastery

Tech Mastery will allow you to maximize your offensive output by increasing the damage you deal with your Tech Powers. The last upgrade is particularly important for this build because it’ll increase your Powers by an extra 25%.

Bonus Power: Fortification

Fortification is mainly taken for its Power Synergy upgrade path, increasing your power damage by 30% whilst under its effect. Also, you’ll get a small damage protection buff from it. Other good powers to take is, Defense Matrix or Armor-Piercing Ammo.

Best Weapons

This section will talk about what weapons are best for this particular build. This build relies mainly on using your powers, so you’ll want to keep your weight as low as possible. Doing this will keep your cooldowns low, allowing you to use powers more often.

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 as it has lowish weight compared to its damage output, equip with Ultralight Materials to bring the weight down even more, and equip it with a Pistol Scope to give you a decent, lightweight pseudo Sniper Rifle.

Or

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.

Once again, this weapon is picked purely for its low weight, but make no mistake, it’s no slouch. As the Carnifex is like a lightweight Sniper, the Talon is like a lightweight shotgun. Equip an Ultralight Materials mod, with a Pistol Scope, and you have another strong lightweight weapon that doesn’t interfere with your power usage.

Or

Submachine Gun

Weapon Base Damage Clip Size Reserve Ammunition Capacity Rate of Fire Accuracy
M-9 Tempest Very Low 50 350 Very High Very Fast Medium

The M-9 Tempest can also be found during the Mission Tuchanka: Turian Platoon, early in the mission, next to some Turian bodies after killing the first group of Husks.

This is a great SMG that can compete with some Assault Rifles, this weapon has a high rate of fire, it’s relatively accurate, and it has low weight.

Best Armor

Armor Location Stats
Cerberus Spirit Armor Score over 9999 points in the Armax Arsenal Combat Arena +30% Power Recharge Speed, +30% Power Damage, +10% Shield Regen Speed, +10% Shields

This set gives you everything you need from an armor set. The only negative is it’s acquired from doing the Armax Arsenal Combat Arena scoring 9999 points in it. The Inferno Armor set is a good substitute, and can be purchased from Kassa Fabrication in the Citadel.

Best Squadmates

As an Engineer, you’ll be combining your power to create a lot of Tech bursts, so it’s best to take squad mates that complement this play style, take Kaiden who can help with Overload, and has access to Cryo Blast which can help with more Tech Bursts, and bring Liara along for her crowd control abilities. If you let Kaiden die (RIP), EDI can be a good substitute.

Liara Build

Power Upgrade Path
Singularity Duration > Recharge Speed > Detonate
Stasis Stasis Strength > Recharge Speed > Vulnerability
Warp Ammo Damage > Ammo Capacity > Damage
Warp Damage > Expose > Pierce
Pure Biotic Recharge Speed > Duration & Force > Singularity Recharge

Kaiden Build

Power Upgrade Path
Reave Duration > Recharge Speed > Damage & Duration
Overload Leave at Level 3
Cryo Blast Duration > Cryo Explosion > Frozen Vulnerability
Barrier Barrier Strength > Power Synergy > Barrier Strength
Alliance Officer Durability > Tech Damage > Squad Bonus (Tech)

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Electronic Arts
  • Platforms
    PC, Wii U, PS3, 360
  • Genre
    Action RPG, Third-person shooter
  • Guide Release
    22 March 2012
  • Last Updated
    11 June 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Andrew Mills, Claire Farnworth

Share this free guide:

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.

Get a Gamer Guides Premium account: