Updated Title Publisher
Updated Title Publisher
Updated Title
Published Title Score Editor's Choice
Published Title Score

Mass Effect 3 Legendary Edition

Best Soldier Builds

Matt Chard

This page will show you some of the best Soldier 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.

Soldier Overview

Soldiers are the combat specialists of the class pool, they’re efficient in all weapon types, and have access to all the special ammo types. Their unique Power is Adrenaline Rush, this’ll slow down time, and increase the damage you deal to enemies whilst it’s activated. And if that wasn’t enough for you, they have access to Frag Grenades which can help with crowd control alongside Concussive Shot.

Explosive Burst Build

This build revolves around the evolution upgrade of Incendiary Ammo, Explosive Burst. This can deal major amounts of damage when used with a high fire rate weapon to trigger its effect explained below. We then take Concussive Shot, and take the evolution upgrade, so it can prime and detonate its own Tech Bursts, this is the only power in the game capable of doing that.

Power Upgrade Path
Incendiary Ammo Damage > Ammo Capacity > Explosive Burst
Cryo Ammo Leave at level 3
Disruptor Ammo Damage > Ammo Capacity > Damage
Adrenaline Rush Dilation & Damage > Duration > Shield Boost (Defensive) or Power Use (Offensive)
Concussive Shot Force & Damage > Recharge Speed > Amplification
Frag Grenade Damage > Max Grenades > Shield Overload
Fitness Durability > Shield Recharge > Fitness Expert
Combat Mastery Damage > Headshots > Weapon Master
Bonus Power: Marksman Firing Rate > Duration > Accuracy & Firing Rate


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

Incendiary Ammo

Incendiary Ammo is the bread and butter of this build. By taking the final upgrade path, Explosive Burst, and using it with a high fire rate weapon, it’ll decimate anything it comes into contact with. Explosive Burst ignites enemies with an intermittent explosion that covers the radius of 2.50 meters for 100 damage. By using a high fire rate weapon, you’ll get increased chance of this effect happening.

Cryo Ammo

Cryo Ammo is more of a crowd control power, and can be used to great effect in some builds. For this build though, it’s not really needed, but it’s still nice to have.

Disruptor Ammo

Disruptor Ammo is great to use against shielded enemies like Centurions to strip them of their shields. Also, it can be used for Tech Bursts if you shoot an enemy with them and follow it up with either a Concussive Shot or a Frag Grenade.

Adrenaline Rush

Adrenaline Rush isn’t the go-to power like it was in Mass Effect 2. In Mass Effect 3, it rightly got a huge nerf, but now it’s not worth building your class around it. Saying that, it still has some useful traits like, increasing your weapon damage for 25% or increasing shield strength by 50% whilst it’s activated.

Concussive Shot

Concussive Shot is the next big part of this build, whilst Adrenaline Rush got nerfed, Concussive Shot got buffed. It does more damage, and with its Recharge Speed upgrade, it can be fired more often. The biggest upgrade it received was the ability to be used as a Tech Burst primer and detonator via the Amplification upgrade, making it the only power in the game to prime and detonate.

Frag Grenades

Frag Grenades are nothing special on their own, but they can be useful when used in conjunction with your Incendiary Ammo, they’ll create a fire explosion that’ll hit more enemies,then the explosion will transform into several smaller fireballs similar to the Inferno Grenade. On top of that, they can be great against either high shielded enemies, or high armor enemies depending on their last upgrade path. This build chose the Shield Overload upgrade, but if you’re having more trouble with armored enemies, you can switch over to the Armor-Piercing upgrade.


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%.

Combat Mastery

Combat Mastery will allow you to maximize your offensive output by increasing the damage you deal with weapons. The last upgrade is particularly important for this build because it’ll increase your Ammo Powers by 40%.

Bonus Power: Marksman

Marksman is a great buff to supplement the Soldiers arsenal, and more importantly, this build. You can get it by talking to Ashley throughout the game. The main purpose of taking this as your Bonus Power is to increase your fire rate even more (up to a possible 50%) allowing Explosive Burst more opportunities to trigger its effect. The only downside to this power is it can’t be used inside Adrenaline Rush.

Best Weapons

This section will talk about what weapons are best for this particular build. This build relies on having your Ammo Powers available as often as possible, for this reason, you should only take one gun to keep the overall Power Recharge Cooldown as near to 200% as possible.

Assault Rifle

Weapon Base Damage Clip Size Reserve Ammunition Capacity Rate of Fire Accuracy
M-76 Revenant Low 60 16 Medium High Low

The M-76 Revenant is obtained in the C-Sec locker room’s bathroom during the Mission Priority: Citadel.

With this build you’ll want to be focusing on weapons with high fire rate, so you can trigger the effect of Explosive Burst, for this reason, we’ve gone with the M-76 Revenant. It has a high fire rate, huge clip size with plenty in reserve.


Weapon Base Damage Clip Size Reserve Ammunition Capacity Rate of Fire Accuracy
Phaeston Low 50 300 Very High Very Fast Low

The Phaeston can be obtained during the Mission Tuchanka: Turian Platoon next to a dead Turian, early in the mission.

Once again, this weapon is picked purely for its rate of fire, It’s very similar to the M76-Revenant in all ways other than its stats are a little lower. The bonus for this weapon is you can acquire it earlier.

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, once again a high rate of fire plays its part in choosing it. Choosing this over the Assault Rifles will be you receiving lower weight which will affect your cooldowns at the cost of a little damage.

Best Armor

Armor Location Stats
Recon Hood (Head) Found during the Mission Priority: Citadel, Sold at Kanala Exports, Presidium Commons +10% Weapon Damage
Hahne-Kedar (Chest) Found during the Mission Mission Tuchanka: Turian Platoon, Sold by Cipritine, Presidium Commons Armory +10% Weapon Damage
Hahne-Kedar (Shoulders) Sold at Elkoss Combine Arsenal Supplies, Presidium Common after the Mission Priority Rannoch +10% Weapon Damage
Hahne-Kedar (Arms) Sold at Kanala Exports, Presidium Commons after the Mission Citadel: Hanar Diplomat +10% Weapon Damage
Hahne-Kedar (Legs) Found during the Mission Priority: Palaven, Sold by Batarian State Arms +10% Weapon Damage

This set will give you +50% Weapon Damage increasing your overall damage. If you don’t want to hunt down individual pieces, you could use the Cerberus Nightmare Armor set acquired from doing the Armax Arsenal Combat Arena or the Armax Arsenal Armor acquired from the Mission N -7 Cerberus Attack (arms) and the rest at the store.

Best Squadmates

As a Soldier, damage will be through the roof, but you’ll need help with enemy shields and barriers. For this reason, take EDI and bring Liara along for her crowd control abilities.

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

EDI Build

Power Upgrade Path
Incinerate Damage > Recharge Speed > Armor Damage
Overload Chain Overload> Recharge Speed > Shield Damage
Decoy Leave at Level 3
Defense Matrix Shield Bonus > Power Synergy > Power Recharge
Unshackled AI Power Damage > Tech Damage > Shield Recharge
No Comments
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

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: