Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer General Tips

The multiplayer component of Mass Effect 3 has surprised a lot of people with its overall quality and entertainment value, myself included. I was skeptical of how they would make what started out as an RPG into a multiplayer experience, but Bioware has managed to create a unique and enjoyable cooperative third-person shooter with a substantial amount of depth. I will be writing several detail-oriented guides for specific builds and playstyles for my favorite classes in the future, but to start out, here are some general tips for beginners that any player playing any class should keep in mind:

Start playing on bronze

So you just beat the single-player game on hardcore or insanity. That’s cool. No one is doubting your badassery. The problem about thinking you should start off your multiplayer career by jumping into a gold or platinum game though is that your character is going to be at level 1 with no abilities, and more importantly in some cases, you’re not going to have the good weapons unlocked. The higher difficulties of this game are designed with level 20 characters with high level weapons in mind. The lowest difficulty level, bronze, is an excellent place to start. It still provides an ample amount of challenge for new players while also serving as a way to get them accustomed to how the game works, mainly throwing only the basic types of each enemy at you instead of the upgraded elite units and bosses, which the later waves of gold difficulty are almost exclusively comprised of. Cut your teeth on bronze, wait until you’re cruising through it with a character that’s at least level 15, then try your hand at silver.

Something else important to know is that Bioware didn’t really think things through when designing their quickmatching search function. If you don’t change any of the parameters, the difficulty filter will be set to “any difficulty,” meaning that a lot of brand new players tend to get automatched into gold/platinum games without having any idea what’s in store for them. Set the difficulty to bronze when searching for matches and you’ll have a lot more fun.

Buy packs appropriate for the difficulty you’re playing on

The way you acquire items in multiplayer is by buying packs in the in-game store with credits you earn from completing the objective waves (waves 3, 6, and 10) in missions. The amount of credits you get will vary slightly depending on how fast you complete the objectives in these waves, but the main deciding factor for how many credits you can expect to get per game is what difficulty you’re playing on. Bronze gives ~15,000, silver gives ~30,000, gold gives ~70,000, and platinum gives ~130,000. There are 5 different kind of packs in the store, each which cost different amounts of credits. Each pack you buy gives you 5 random items, be they weapons, weapon mods, new characters, or gear bonuses. Different items have different rarities, and only the more expensive packs will drop the rarest items. The different packs and their costs are recruit packs for 5,000, veteran packs for 20,000, jumbo equipment packs for 33,000, spectre packs for 60,000, and premium spectre packs for 99,000. Recruit packs tend to only give you the most basic common items. Veteran packs guarantee that you’ll get at least one “uncommon” rarity-level item. These items have silver outlines around their picture. Spectre packs can give you multiple uncommon items with one “rare” item as well. Rare items have gold outlines around them. Premium spectre packs can include uncommon items but also give 2 guaranteed rare items. Jumbo equipment packs contain no weapons, upgrades, or characters, but only consumable items such as medi-gel, rockets, ammo powers, weapon amps, etc.

While it seems tempting to save up your credits and buy nothing but premium spectre packs from the get-go, this isn’t a cost-efficient way to build your inventory when playing on the lower difficulties. It’s a general rule of thumb to mainly buy whichever pack correlates in cost with the amount of credits you’re earning per round of the difficulty you’re playing on. So when starting off on bronze, you can buy 3 recruit packs after every single game you complete. This is a great way to quickly upgrade and max out the level of the basic weapons, the Avenger, Predator, Katana, Shuriken, and Mantis (note: weapons go to level X in multiplayer instead of V like in single-player). Once your basic weapons are approaching max level, chances are you’re pretty comfortable with the bronze difficulty and have at least a few characters at or near level 20. This is a good indicator of when it might be a good time to try moving up to silver. Once you’re mainly playing on silver, start buying veteran packs and upgrading your uncommons in the same way you upgraded your basic items with recruit packs. Feel free to save up 2 games and buy spectre packs as well to start getting some rares.

Once silver is a cakewalk, you feel like you’ve mastered most of the classes, and you have a decent amount of weapons accumulated, take the plunge and move up to gold. This is the highest jump in difficulty in my opinion, but the rewards are worth it. Once you’re playing gold exclusively, it’s actually best to save your credits up and buy only premium spectre packs. You make a little less credits per gold game than a PSP costs, but the fact that you get 2 rare items for 99,000 credits instead of 120,000 makes it worth it to save up. Same deal with platinum, only you’ll be able to buy a PSP after every game, sometimes even 2 since you’re making a 30,000 credit surplus every game. Finally, if you consumable equipment supply is getting low, i.e. you’re running out of missiles or medi-gel, consider taking a break from buying your current pack of choice and buying some jumbo equipment packs. These aren’t too expensive at 33,000 credits and are a great way to stockpile those consumables so you don’t run out.

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