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Insanity in Mass Effect 3

Insanity175 (75)

Offline Game Mode - These achievements require play in game modes that do not require a connection to any live services, such as Xbox Live.Single Player - These achievements can be obtained by a single player.Main Storyline - These achievements are gained automatically by progressing through the main game mode.Difficulty Specific - These achievements require that the game be played on a certain difficulty level. Finish the game on Insanity without changing difficulty after leaving Earth.

284,420 (152,690)
Achievement won on 10 Mar 12
TA Score for this game: 2,247
Posted on 10 March 12 at 17:55, Edited on 09 November 13 at 04:49
This solution has 138 positive votes and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Just finished my Insanity run. Want to help you guys out!

The instructions for getting this achievement are, not surprisingly, putting the difficulty on Insanity right away on Earth (or from the main menu) and not changing it during the course of the game.

With that spoilerific revelation out of the way, I would like to provide some tips (please note this is from a soldier POV, see the bottom of the guide for details):

1) I highly, highly recommend doing your Insanity run on a New Game+ with an imported ME3 character (your character from your initial run). This will allow you to be a significantly higher level (50-55ish depending on how many sidequests you did on your first run), with the resultant levelled skills. In addition, you can upgrade your guns to level 10 (instead of the max of 5 on your first playthrough). This will greatly increase your damage output as well as your power recharge rate (as level 10 weapons are _far_ superior and weigh much less than their basic variants). You will also have all your previous weapon upgrades, money and armor. You will also have a bonus power - I used Defense Matrix (to help with my reduced tank from not having Tech Armour). Fortification would also likely work well.

2) I played as a soldier and I consider this the best class for ME Insanity runs (in general). I know that many people prefer the Engineer and Tech Armour, but IMO what sets the soldier apart (in addition to better health/shields) is the Adrenaline Rush class ability (slow-mo mode). When fully upgraded, this gives you +75% damage, -25% damage taken and lets you line up shots. Combining this with cryo/disruptor/incendiary ammo (for barriers/shields/armor respectively) allows you to quickly take down the bars of any tough enemies you come across. On Insanity it helps immensely against Banshees, Phantoms, etc. Furthermore, when levelled for damage instead of radius, the frag grenades do tremendous amounts of damage. I picked the large Armour damage upgrade and they are very useful against Brutes/Banshees. Engineers have plenty of tank, but the increased gank of a soldier really helps you in arenas where you have a Banshee, Brute, three Marauders and a dozen Cannibals and need to thin out the enemies a bit so you have room to run away!

3) If you are using a soldier, I highly reccomend using the Vindicator battle rifle (upgrade it to level 10 as soon as you get the Normandy back). This gun, considered quite poor in ME2, is a beast on Insanity in ME3. When level 10, it is extremely accurate and quite powerful. Most importantly, because of the rapid burst, rarely will any of the three shots miss your target, making it very suitable for headshots. I reccomend the damage mod and your choice of the stabilizer/extra ammo mod. I personally used stabilizer just to make the aim even better. When (as mentioned above) combined with the appropriate ammo types it is very powerful (a full clip of incendiary ammo at level 10 can take most of a Brute's armor bar. Sadly, the Revenant does not seem to be the powerhouse it was (way too inaccurate - mabye this is different at level 10? Let me know!). I reccomend using the Carnifex as a backup, when loaded with the appropriate ammo it is extremely powerful (You can two-shot a Stasis-locked marauder with full shield with headshots). I avoided shotguns/sniper rifles as they reduced my regen rate for Adrenaline Rush too much for my liking (plus you really dont want to get too close to a lot of enemies on Insanity!).

If you have the 'From Ashes' DLC, the 'Particle Rifle' that you find will make the game much easier. It has unlimited ammo and, when upgraded, does tremendous damage. It is quite OP, and makes the Insanity run much easier, so I would highly recommend giving it a try.

4) For armour, I actually preferred to use the Cerberus armour. While you do not get as large a heath bonus, you get +10% weapon damage, and this helps a lot when combined with correct ammo type (see the trend?). I always prefer gank to tank and it appears to hold here as well.

5) Make sure you level up Liara and keep her with you. No exceptions. Warp is almost required to efficiently take down Banshees and similar tier enemies. Stasis is stupid OP in particular. When fully levelled, it will freeze _anything_ except for a Banshee/Brute/Ravager/Harvester. This is invaluable when dealing with Cerberus Phantoms/Nemesis. Stasis them, give them three bursts in the head with the Vindicator, and they are done. She can cast Warp/Stasis every few seconds if her unique tree is levelled up. Singularity is also useful of course, but since it only works on enemies without Barriers/Shields/Armour I found myself preferring to spend her cooldowns on Warp/Stasis.

6) For your other party member, take anyone who fits your play style. Early on I stuck with James since he has some extra abilites useful against Armour (grenades and carnage), and he can act as a damage sponge for a little while. I switched him up with Tali for all Geth missions as she can hack the Geth Primes and get them to faceroll all the minor Geth around them. If you have the DLC, Javik is excellent as well - his unique ability essentially DoTs/debuffs an enemy, and is very useful against Banshees (In case you did not get the point, I hate Banshees >.<).

7) Be _extremely_ careful around Ravagers (the mutant Rachni-Reapers). Their three-shot combo will kill you at full health/shields. Repeatedly warp them with Liara and move just enough our of cover to hit them without them being able to hit back. Pop their sacs for some extra damage (though this spawns the small spider-reapers. Your companions will usually kill them before they get to you, but watch out!).

8) Unlike ME1/2 where Insanity massively buffed every enemy by giving them armour/shields/barriers, no extra bars are given to enemies on Insanity. Thier default bars are longer, but there are no extra bars. They do do much more damage and are more aggressive though (Cerberus troopers will spam grenades like it is CoD: World at War and Cannibals will usually move forward pretty aggressively).

9) Be aware of special weapon placement (Blackhole/Hydra/Shredder). These weapons are extremely powerful and can help you kill the tough enemies instantly. Especially in the last fight around the missile trucks on Earth, there is a Hydra rocket launcher under the store counter next to the trucks, and if properly used, you can kill two Banshees, a Brute and a bunch of random trash, making your life a lot easier.

10) Be aware of cutscene-running. In two specific areas (that I know of) there are infinite?/lots of spawns until you activate a console. The first in on Tuchanka where you are activating the Thresher Maw hammers - Brutes will constantly spawn. Since they are slow, just run past them and hit the two switches to get the cutscene/checkpoint. The huge amount of crap everywhere stops them from charging after you. Another spot is (again) the final missile trucks on Earth - once the second truck is good to go, just hit Adrenaline Rush (or Tech Armor :) ) and blitz the console to get the cutscene.

I'll update this over the next few days with other thinks I think of.

Comment Updates:

According to many people in the comments below, Infiltrator can work very well on Insanity, even on a first playthrough. I have no experience with this class, but there are several independent tip collections in the comments below. Take a look if you prefer being a cloaky sniper.

According to some other people, Vanguard can work quite well too. Again, see comments.


If people can offer specific tips for Engineers/Adepts/Vanguards/Sentinels etc, please put them in the comments and I will annotate this solution. If there is anything else you think I should add, or any reason you think there an error in the above, please tell me in the comments.
Soto928 Nice guide. Did you use any specific bonus power?
Posted by Soto928 on 10 Mar 12 at 18:12
Humpyrton I was able to get warp ammo for my sentinal, i forget how, i believe it was after talking to liara and having her come to my cabin to show me something. Then it was available to buy in the medbay, this has made insanity that much if only they had a grenade throw back option.
Posted by Humpyrton on 10 Mar 12 at 19:16
Strahd Z I'm rolling through on insanity, 1st time through and it's super easy with stealth/sniper.
Posted by Strahd Z on 11 Mar 12 at 00:47
Chimaera36 @Sideburns - wow, you must have had a fun trip through the game without warp. I can't imagine how much longer it must have taken to kill Banshees, etc

@Strahd - great to hear. I unfortunately have no experience with Infiltrators and this is reflected in the tip guide (don't want to give tips on anything I have not done). Glad to hear that it is working out for you though!
Posted by Chimaera36 on 11 Mar 12 at 02:47
Jerseydude i changed the diffculty while still on earth will that affect the achievement cause it says, without changing the diffculty After leaving earth
Posted by Jerseydude on 11 Mar 12 at 03:45
Chimaera36 @Jersey: As the exact achievement text states, you should not have a problem as long as you were on Insanity before leaving Earth and did not change it past that point (any changes you do on Earth would likely be fine). Although if you are as paranoid about difficulty achievements as I am, you might want to redo Earth solely on Insanity (provided you are not too far ofc).
Posted by Chimaera36 on 11 Mar 12 at 05:07
Jerseydude @Chimaera36 thanks yeah right as gameplay started i changed it to insanity thanks again anyway, how hard was the last battle where you had to defend the missiles, on normal alone i got killed 5 times can't even imagine how many times this time
Posted by Jerseydude on 11 Mar 12 at 06:14
Strahd Z I'm rolling through on insanity, 1st time through and it's super easy with stealth/sniper.
Posted by Strahd Z on 11 Mar 12 at 16:17
Chimaera36 @Jersey: I managed it on my first, only because I saved the hydra for the Banshees that come from the left. The problem is that the last survival section is not enemy-based but time based. I learned this going through on Narrative for other endings and killed 8 Banshees, 20 Brutes etc. You just need to survive for X minutes with infinite enemies. As long as you have all the medi-gel upgrades there is enough scattered arount to keep rezzing your party to distract the Banshees long enough for the update. Then run as fast as you can to the console and hit it to trigger the checkpoint (Adrenaline rush helps immensely here).
Posted by Chimaera36 on 11 Mar 12 at 17:17
KillTheft Ty A big help in my opinion for the infiltrator class is two main things, firstly use the armor piercing ammo gained from talking to Garrus when he arrives on the Normandy or soon after and upgrade that a small amount (~3) as well as disrupter ammo. As well us Tali and a solider class (Ashley or James with their +25% damage armor) upgrade Tali's recon attack drone so that it can take damage. A smaller and more obvious hint is to not spend any money until you can buy the black widow and upgrade as it is a one shot head shot with damage mod and use the scope which slows down enemies. Upgrade your invisibility to full (W/ bonus sniper damage not the power one for the final part because it really helps with all bosses) and be sure to stick to cover. You posses sabotage so you can get turrets to kill as many people as possible which really helps. I found it easy only died maybe 20 times (Not a lot for insanity) but i tended to not be able to do some sidequests as they were to cq at the time so it is a bit of a gets better as you increase you level class.
Posted by KillTheft Ty on 11 Mar 12 at 19:49
Almighty Allah Some suggestions I can give for vanguard. First off put as many points as you can into Nova because this will help immensely if you are swarmed. The vanguard also gets cyro and incindiary ammo as well. You can also later get armor piercing ammo later on in the upgrade bay. I then suggest using two weapons. The first one is an assault rifle and then use a shotgun. I suggest the claymore and then upgrade it as much as you can. After this when you use biotic charge there is a slight slo motion scene and you are right in your enemies face and this is where the shotgun comes in handy. Then just lay into them. Never use biotic charge where there are a lot of enemies around as it will put you in danger. Only use it when there are few enemies left, it is also a great way to get around the map without actually walking or running to places. Shockwave helps to stagger enemies giving you easy shots. You also get pull which makes enemies sitting ducks. So really all you need to focus on is is using your biotic powers and from cover and shooting when needed.
Posted by Almighty Allah on 11 Mar 12 at 23:13
Ryet69 I'll put up my Sentinel build soon, gonna start Insanity tonight or tomorrow!
Posted by Ryet69 on 12 Mar 12 at 01:20
spxyu02 Guys, any advice on the showdown with Kai Ling in the Illusive Man's office? Playing as a soldier w/ sniper + AR, squadmates Liara & EDI. Right when he spawns I can dodge him and then fire him into submission about half the time, but then I die 90% of the time on the next sequence as even though there are only 4 soldiers that drop down, he rushes me after I kill 2 of them, so I either kill the soldiers and die by Kai Ling's sword or evade/shoot Kai Ling and die from the remaining soldiers. Seriously about to throw the controller through the TV. >:o
Posted by spxyu02 on 12 Mar 12 at 03:27
BLAZERMAN2122 @soto928 I'm not sure what he used but I'm using the slam bonus and its doing pretty good after using Liara's warp or singularity
Posted by BLAZERMAN2122 on 12 Mar 12 at 03:39
NmE Se7enx i was the third one to win this and let me tell you the stealth infiltrator build is absolutely amazing i didnt even have to do insane on new game + it was so easy with the stealth infiltrator i highly suggest it.
Posted by NmE Se7enx on 12 Mar 12 at 04:54
Tydrax Currently progressing at a steady pace trough Insanity aswell on my Infiltrator, its my first playtrough (With an imported save) and its going great, expecting a clear later this week!
Posted by Tydrax on 12 Mar 12 at 11:52
aNotteeObject ok i played the game on insanity my first playthrough with an imported adapt and found it to be pretty easy my only deaths were at the end of the game. Some of things that really helped me is corner shooting it in mass effect 2 and it helped me beat number 2 easy as well you can shoot through corner on the right side same with powers so you can still hide behind wall with out having to go into cover mode also biotic combos are very useful max out warp and throw right off the bat and keep your weight below 200% cause warp takes a bit to throw out but use it first and then trow instantly afterwards and it'll cause a biotic explosion that most of the time will kill small enemies in one hit or leave them with 2 bars or less brutes go down in 4 combos hits taking on 5 or 6 at a times is no problem at all banshee are pretty easy as well just stay away from them energy drain works on they're barriers as well and fills yours if they hit you with warp geth primes are the hardest just keep distance and corner shoot them with the combos and they'll go do make friends with tali again and get energy drain and max it out it will drain most enemies sheilds and barriers instantly and refill yours completely and off coarse max out fitness and biotic training try to do recharge speed and power damage the best you can i never even used a gun so i didn't focus on weapon damage at all this difficulty wasn't that much off a problem at all with all off these tips i didn't die much until the end of the game so i hope these tips help you
Posted by aNotteeObject on 12 Mar 12 at 17:53
Hyperglide Agreed with OP about Infiltrator being a good 2nd class. I did an ME3 import with my first character who was an infiltrator. Sniping with the Black Widow X (purchased on first playthrough from the Spectre Office for 250000 credits and then fully upgraded) is extremely powerful. You can headshot kill most enemies in one hit and because with this class scoped vision is slowed significantly as a free passive perk for this class it makes sniping easy. Combine this with Disrupter Ammo you can take down most enemies in one hit. Also Incinerate is an extremely useful tech for taking down armor and barriers. It's very powerful at full level and makes taking down Banshees and Brutes a lot easier.
Posted by Hyperglide on 12 Mar 12 at 20:47
Sly Strategist It's not long enough... +1 from me!
Posted by Sly Strategist on 13 Mar 12 at 00:07
spxyu02 Finally beat Kai Leng, checked out a youtube vid and just had to have more faith in my guns. Energy Drain works well too in a pinch to drain him and supplement your own shields, but mostly I just had to focus fire on him, doesn't take long to turn him away with a lvl "X" gun and disruptor ammo, just use cover to avoid the other baddies.
Posted by spxyu02 on 13 Mar 12 at 14:06
AppleSpider With Vanguard, it is a 3 combo. First, max out charge (obviously) to give you the bonus shields after charging. Next, max fitness and focus on melee. Equipment should focus on melee or power recharge. Also add the melee attachment to your shotty (I prefer the geth shotty maxed out, which is max damage, but also much more accurate and weighs less than the claymore). If you must have a secondary weapon, take a really light heavy pistol or SMG. The goal is to have your recharge maxed for speed.

The formula is simple. You want to charge and get the charge reset as fast as possible. Since shotty is your main weapon, you'll want to use melee as much as possible (plus the recharge happens at regular speed while the 'world' slows down for your heavy melee). When you get the hang of it, you'll be jumping around in a constant state of charge and melee and can take out an army without losing health (because you get a bonus 50% shield after each charge).

Use the following for a small group: Charge (the shielded/heavy enemy, like a marauder in reaper enemy groups), heavy melee the shielded enemy (they should be gone), and since you have the bonus shields, nova to knock the little guys off their feet. While nova'ing, turn to find another enemy, because you should be able to charge again before the nova is fully executed, and charge the next person.
If you are in a large group, you want to divide and conquer and avoid the nova's, since the loss of the shields can be long enough for you to be taken out with the insanity level attacks that'll be hitting you. Charge between the divided 'groups' so the enemies have to take that second to turn before firing on you. That can mean life or death.

In 'big' boss-like combat, never take out the little guys around you. Stick to cover and focus on close combat with the boss, and use charge on the 'little guys' to get out of stuck corners or if you get too close or run out of shields (again, that shield bonus should be abused).
Posted by AppleSpider on 13 Mar 12 at 20:28
Anno Mundi I played both ME2 and ME3 as a Sentinel and it was easy both times.

Sentinel has Tech Armor which already gives you a boost but he also has Overload and Warp, which means you are effective against ALL types of enemies.

I mainly spammed throw and overload. If you keep throwing enemies, they can't get near you - simple.

Liara and Tali/EDI were my squad mate choices. If you level Liara up right, you can use Singularity whenever you want, if you throw an enemy that i already in a singularity bubble - it kills them out right 9 times out of 10.

Did the Leng battle without dying, and I died once on the last area of the game where you have to "survive". Sentinel is the best way to go imo.
Posted by Anno Mundi on 13 Mar 12 at 22:27
Anno Mundi I should also mention, if you only carry an assault rifle - your power recharge speed will be 200% meaning you can spam powers very quickly.
Posted by Anno Mundi on 13 Mar 12 at 22:28
Maethor So basically, what you are all saying is that every class has it easy. Sweet. Can anyone tell me if you can switch your class when you do an ME3 import? As in, I want to play through normal as a vanguard and then switch to infiltrator on insanity with the same character. Does that work?
Posted by Maethor on 15 Mar 12 at 16:14
Boylin @Maethor: No, if you import an ME3 character you have to keep the same class, all you can change is looks and bonus power.
Posted by Boylin on 15 Mar 12 at 22:27
BlinkFandangoII I'm using Sentinel and I'm almost done with my Insanity run. I prefer Sentinel since they can use all types of guns and have some good powers. Always keep Liara with you, her Singularity power is awesome and her Warp works well with yours to destroy armor/barrier quickly. I also started with Garrus since his overload plus mine took down most shields early on in the game before I could get mine leveled up (I uploaded my character from ME2 and played on Insanity in my first run). I switched to Javik, the Prothean, later on since he does a lot of damage with his gun and his grenades plus yours makes 14, which is useful when you get overwhelmed. You know your teammates are good when you kill Brutes and Atlas' too fast to get the achievements (I'm still working on the Atlas one, had to reload a part with three Brutes around 5 or 6 times to get the Brute one). I focused on using my Assault Rifle most of the time, switching to the pistol that shoots grenades if I ran out of ammo, if I was still running low I would hang back and snipe. Shotguns and SMGs are for emergencies only, Shotguns can be good up close, but on Insane you never want to be close so I barely ever use it, SMGs have a lot of ammo, but aren't very powerful, so only use those to get distant enemies when you're out of ammo. SMGs are also good to take out the weaker enemies, so you can keep you better weapons for the tougher enemies. I never had to tough of a time against Banshees, just keep running backwards and spamming Warp, but Geth Primes were the bane of my existence (especially the part with three of them), just focus on one at a time and slowly you'll take them down. Just my 2 cents, I probably repeated a lot of what was already said, just thought some Sentinel input might help.
Posted by BlinkFandangoII on 16 Mar 12 at 02:08
BaitMasterJeff Sentinel with cyro blast works very well on the brutes. The Spike Thrower seemed to work best on Banshees. Tali's Combat Drone is invaluable against every enemy.
Posted by BaitMasterJeff on 16 Mar 12 at 13:18
spasticmonkey2 Just a suggestion for people who don't like burst-firing weapons - I've found with my soldier that the Mattock (found in the Grissom Academy side mission) upgraded to level 10 is light, powerful and accurate, and is semi-automatic (single-fire). Using it with Adrenaline Rush makes it easy to get headshots/do a lot of damage to larger enemies such as the Atlas, Banshees and Geth Primes when coupled with ammo powers.
Posted by spasticmonkey2 on 16 Mar 12 at 13:27
CPM1376 I just finished this as a Soldier class (1st play through). It was challenging, and I was having a lot of trouble with defending the missile launcher. I found this breakdown for dealing with the 5 waves.
Nothing Earth Shattering there, but it helped me so I wanted to post it.
Posted by CPM1376 on 16 Mar 12 at 17:13
AWE5OMEPO55UM Does anyone remember if the game saves between each wave?
Posted by AWE5OMEPO55UM on 16 Mar 12 at 20:36
Foxfire49 In my experience for your teammates I would use Garrus/ EDI for all missions that you can except for the very last mission...Garrus and EDI both have overload, EDI also has incinerate and decoy. While Garrus has concussive shot. Also you can equip the Falcon to Garrus and he is just deadly with that. For the last mission again just what I did but I would recommend Garrus/Ashley or Garrus/James...equip both with the Falcon and they just dominate brutes with a barrage of Garrus overload/ concussive shot come in handy as well as James carnage and frag grenades.
Posted by Foxfire49 on 16 Mar 12 at 22:32
BIG NME @AWESOMEPO55UM - Are referring to the cutscene-running areas?

I am using the M-55 Argus X. (On my second run through, I'm just leveling up add-ons and weapons) Same concept of the Vindicator, kicks a little more but its got great power. I kept the extra ammo add-on, and switched the second with what mission that I was going to. Hope this helps.
Posted by BIG NME on 16 Mar 12 at 23:34
AWE5OMEPO55UM No, in the corner of the screen it says saving. I was wondering if when you are defending the missiles from wave after wave, if the game autosaves between. That way if shepard dies in the last wave, I don't have to replay 15 minutes.
Posted by AWE5OMEPO55UM on 17 Mar 12 at 04:30
AWE5OMEPO55UM It does save between waves, for anyone else that is wondering. I followed this guide, and I feel that Liara is the key to success. Her stasis and singularity are incredible, combined with the Carnifex and Vindicator. I used the stability and damage mods on the AR, and damage and ammo capacity mods for the pistol. I didn't carry any other weapons, so my soldier class could spam concussion shot. I used it to keep enemies on the ground. Plus, it's a good alternative to bullets on weaker guys. I didn't use the Cerberus armor. I instead used different pieces that raised my weapon damage and head shot damage. I mainly stuck with warp ammo as my extra power, but I could have used the incendiary just as well. I used James the majority of the time. He was the bullet sponge/decoy, while Liara and I did all the work. I then found out how useful Garrus can be with his overload and a Black Widow in his hands. I beat Kai Leng in one try(with EDI), and defended the base in one try. Big ups to Chimaera36 and everyone who posted on this. You all helped tremendously.
Posted by AWE5OMEPO55UM on 17 Mar 12 at 15:05
Tony Dawg Here is my 2 cents. I beat Insanity in 2-3 days.
I imported my ME3 character and was a vanguard. I fully evolved biotic charge, alliance mastery, and fitness.
I also took advantage of my ammo powers. I fully evolved incendiary ammo, and cryo, but made sure that it was squad cryo. (I'll explain in a sec)
My bonus power was energy drain. You have no idea how many times that saved my ass. Banshee? Energy Drain. Phantom? Energy Drain. etc.
Unlike everyone else though, I never used Nova. My reasoning was that why would you want to sacrifice your barrier and get close to the enemy in the first place? I also never used Shockwave. Never saw the benefit.
My mapped powers were Y - Charge, LB- Energy Drain, RB- Double Pull
Weapons were Vindicator X and Wraith X, which gave me 200% recharge.
Squad: Liara & ...really anyone.
Before every mission I made sure to activate Squad Cryo, and then Incendiary ammo.
Then it was basically situational from there on out. 2 Banshees? Energy Drain and Vindicator. Husks/Cannibals? Singularity & Charge(w/ Wraith).
Double Pull was rarely used, but it was also usually Singularity & Double Pull.
The only time I had a lot of trouble was the last Kai Lang battle. Eventually I found that Stasis & Energy Drain & Vindicator solved that problem.
Finally, use cover, access the situation before engaging, and kick some major ass. Armor wise, it doesn't matter.
Posted by Tony Dawg on 17 Mar 12 at 16:51
Exia Of War Infiltrator + Black Widow X and it feels like I'm playing on Narrative. Six shot an Atlas, lmfao.
Posted by Exia Of War on 18 Mar 12 at 02:55
Readytk Playing with a vanguard, basic weoponry, not actually that difficult, done most missions easily, just about to go to horizon, embrace cover and biotic/tech explosions, other than that Insanity is pretty easy.
Posted by Readytk on 18 Mar 12 at 21:34
Drachen77 I'm a little nervous about my Insanity run. I changed the difficulty in the shuttle on Mars. I never stepped out of the shuttle, did it as soon as I got control of the team. I only read achievement description, should have read guide first. Does anyone know if I am going to have a problem?
Posted by Drachen77 on 19 Mar 12 at 05:18
Almighty Allah I think you were suppose to do it while you were still on earth. If I were you I would go back and change it on earth again.
Posted by Almighty Allah on 19 Mar 12 at 08:37
Dr Eldarion I just finished my insanity run with an infiltrator, and once I got the hang of the class, it was a piece of cake. I actually had an easier time on insanity with the infiltrator than I did on normal with a vanguard. I didn't die once during the entire final section of the game! Being able to just "disappear" and run all the way across the field is invaluable.
Posted by Dr Eldarion on 19 Mar 12 at 17:27
Sashamorning Just finished my Insanity run with a soldier... one tip is the Particle Rifle available in the DLC. HUGE difference. I went through most of the run with the Vindicator, but couldn't seem to beat Kai Ling. I went back and changed my weapon... the Particle Beam really slices through everything. Also, since it has unlimited ammo, when you get to the end with the missle trucks, you don't have to scrounge for more in the middle of the fight. Upgrade it to level 10 and add incendiary ammo, and it burns through everything.

I know it's DLC, but I'd still throw that it in there.
Posted by Sashamorning on 20 Mar 12 at 12:36
AppleSpider @Tony Dawg: "Unlike everyone else though, I never used Nova. My reasoning was that why would you want to sacrifice your barrier and get close to the enemy in the first place?"

Charge pretty much puts you in close with the enemy and is your primary power. The reason you sacrifice your barrier is because on a successful charge, you regain your barrier (level 6 charge choice).
This is why they say that vanguards "play in the red." You lose your barrier constantly, only to replenish it on the charge RIGHT after the nova.
Of course, you need a really light weapon loadout (I had just a shotgun, nothing else. Melee is good enough if you need it) to charge as much and as quickly as possible.
Posted by AppleSpider on 20 Mar 12 at 16:34
schematics If anyone is having trouble with the Reaper on Rannoch. It took me many tries. Ben then I tried something different. I went to the right. It aimed and fired there. I only had to move one roll to the left and it missed. When I did this I got it in one try.
Posted by schematics on 22 Mar 12 at 00:49
BobWings Thank you for putting up a soldier guide for insanity! Seems like every other guide is catered for another class. Great work, extremely helpful! I did many of the same things on my first run and that worked well.
Posted by BobWings on 23 Mar 12 at 17:40
wolfzero01 I'm currently playing as an Engineer, love having maxed out combat drones, turrets & hacking cerberus turrets, any idea which lvl X assault rifle is the best to use?
Posted by wolfzero01 on 25 Mar 12 at 16:32
I Hooplehead Really excellent guide with great advice. Well done.
Posted by I Hooplehead on 26 Mar 12 at 05:43
Azrael Djerun I can confirm that adept is a good choice for insanity.
Like Sarcastra I checked the difficulty a few times....especially after encountering brutes.
With warp and throw they die in an instant. In the last battle I killed all 6 brutes before the harvester showed up.
If you have enough space to evade banshees can't harm you as well.
I took James und Garrus to the final battle because of the extra health and power dmg.
Liara could be a good choice too but I think she has too less health and dies too quickly.
Posted by Azrael Djerun on 27 Mar 12 at 08:56
AmagiciaNamdGob Haven’t heard anyone mention in any guide yet but the ENERGY DRAIN ability is great! Using it on shielded enemies will either remove most if not all of their shields (of course not on mechs and banshee's etc.) even on insane. It also restores the players own shield (partially) . I found this helps allot for fighting Cerberus enemies. Just thought i would point that out. Great guide!
Posted by AmagiciaNamdGob on 27 Mar 12 at 18:06
i R4GE QUIT i engineer for me was actually really easy the only problems was at the end , i always took liara for singularity and warp, then alternated with james and garrus, i think i died more times to cerbarus then i did with every other enemy combined so it really was quite easy now if u couldnt pause the game on the power wheel and look around to see where the enemies are it would have been 100x harder
Posted by i R4GE QUIT i on 01 Apr 12 at 15:54
ardlive I found this easier than expected, using a level 30 Sentinel imported from ME2.

Sentinels are great because they can set up and detonate so many tech and biotic combos, for massive damage! My usual squadmates were:
Liara and Garrus/Tali for Cerberus missions
Tali and EDI for Geth missions
Liara and James for reaper missions

The tech armour has become rubbish though - I barely used it.
Posted by ardlive on 04 Apr 12 at 14:32
Daemonhunter 7 My tactics for Vanguard: Stay back and use biotic charge only to regain shields at close range. Biotic combos are most useful.
For Infiltrator: Cloak and move to a long range flanking position. From there try to snipe as many enemies as possible. You can also cloak to get objectives without being shot. It's very useful for "skipping" several encounters.
Posted by Daemonhunter 7 on 07 Apr 12 at 11:15
Jhhardage Few tips after doing this on a soldier and engineer:
Make good use of the pause function! One of the handiest tools you'll get to use.
Squadmates (I used Liara and Edi exclusively in both runs) with scorpions make Kai Leng super easy. Keep them focsed on him and the scorpion's grenade rounds will keep him at bay. Micro manage abilities to take care the enemies that drop in. Kill as many as you can before Leng starts moving around again. If they are still up, refocus the squad onto him and finish them off on your own or with micromanaged squadmate abilities. I'm sure the Falcon assault rifle can be used in place of the scorpion if you want to use other members.
Stasis upgraded to bubble as a bonus power (second one you can get from talking to Liara) can be very useful. Stasis bubble can hit enemies behind some cover and make guardians drop their shields. Excellent way to control enemies with shields/barriers.
Decoys, drones and turrets are good distractions and can force enemies out of cover.
Posted by Jhhardage on 10 Apr 12 at 03:00
x SWISSchris x Some tips from my own soldier insanity run through:
- New Game plus, started on about level 55, Insanity all the way.
- Cerberus Armour
- Soldier (inferno/disruptor ammo and the awesome time dilation ability)
- Vindicator X with stability and extra damage mods
- M-97 Viper X with scope and extra damage mods (very light rifle)
- For big fire fights (Cerberus base / London) where you need a ton of ammo I also took an SMG (locust I think), otherwise just the two bigger guns to keep weight down and your cool down times low. you can be in slow mo (with its massive damage boost) nearly all the time.
- Liara (warp / stasis)
- Garrus (overload / armour piercing) / Tali (sabotage on geth primes works a treat / combat drones) / Javik (Dark channel on unprotected organics is a beast) depending on whether you'll be facing Armour / Synthetics / Organics respectively

Make good use of the "pause" view for selecting targets etc. (as Jhhardage said above - I completely agree! Helps to stop you from getting swarmed by enemies you weren't aware of!)

Died only a handful of times throughout, once on the Javik mission when I was getting used to how the enemies acted on insanity, once on the Cerberus base thanks to a phantom that snuck up on me, and once later to a banshee with its one hit kill. Kai Leng was not difficult at all.
Posted by x SWISSchris x on 11 Apr 12 at 09:59
SIX min WHISTLE Just a few notes from my Vanguard run. The class is much more viable on Insanity than it was in ME2, partially because this Insanity felt much easier overall. Note that this was with an imported ME3 character starting at level 55ish, and that beating the game once before going for this achievement is a good idea. I recommend finding as many of the N7 armor pieces as you can in your first game, that way you can customize your bonuses to your play style instead of relying on the pre-made suits. Same goes for weapons, that way you can figure out what you like, and know how stuff effects various enemies before you attempt Insanity.

-You can't really rely on Charge like you normally do on lower difficulties. I still recommend upgrading it to give you a 100% shield recharge when used, and it can still get you out of rough situations, but think before you charge. On major bonus is when you have to defend a location, then hit a switch to advance like the final missile defense. Just stay as far away as possible and focus on survival instead of kills. When it's time to leave, charge the enemy closest to the goal and just run the rest of the way.

-Stick with your favorite shotgun. Add whatever mods fit your style best and upgrade all the way. I recommend using something with at least a few shots per clip. I used the Disciple myself, as it hold 4 shots and is pretty accurate.

-Carry a second weapon that has range. I personally don't really like the assault rifles so I used a sniper instead. Even with two heavier weapons, I was still able to have around 160% power recharge speed. It doesn't really matter if it's super powerful or anything, just that it has distance. High total ammo capacity is nice too. You'll want/need something besides a shotgun for Banshees.

-Keep some kind of ammo power going all the time. Cyro and Incendiary should be enough for most situations. I upgraded Cryo to Squad Cryo. Enemies being slowed, or frozen entirely helps keep the heat off of you.

-Don't bother with Nova unless you are sure it's safe. It's not about 90% of the time. Shockwave can be decent for basic human Husks.

-Experiment with your bonus power, you can change it for 5000 credits in the Normandy's medical bay. If you have the Javik DLC, his Dark Channel is nice because it lasts a long time, is fire and forget, and jumps to a new enemy if the target dies. I also tried Energy Drain, and Stasis upgraded to Bubble. Anything can be OK aside from powers like Fortification that greatly reduce your Recharge Speed.

-Chose squad members to make up for your weaknesses. You also want at least 2 people between you and your squad that can take down Shields, Armor, and Barriers quickly. I mostly stuck with EDI for Chain Overload, and alternated between Garrus for back up Overload or Liara for Stasis Bubble. Tali is also a great choice for any Geth missions, because she can Sabotage normal, Rocket, and Prime Geth so they will fight for and not shoot at you. Most of the Reaper related mission have a lot of Marauders so Overload is good. Vega seems to do well in these missions too because of his high health and Fortification. Also, most people seem to miss that their costume also changes their armor bonus, so keep it in mind.

-Be careful of Ravagers and especially Banshees. Everything is dangerous to a degree, but most stuff is pretty simple once you get it down. Ravagers need to be slowly taken down from cover, while getting rid of the little Swarmers before they get to you. If a Banshee is charging at you, just run away. If they catch up to you they WILL instantly kill you, same goes for your squad. Just snipe them from afar while your squad distracts them and hits it with powers. Don't get hit by the few Harvesters throughout the game either.

-Cerberus enemies aren't that bad overall. Be careful of Combat Engineers and their turrets. Take down Phantoms quick, Stasis is a good idea to have as an option once they show up. It's also pretty easy to get an Atlus stuck at an angle that it can't hit you, otherwise stay in cover and their pretty easy, though I don't think it's possible to break their window and hijack it on Insanity. If it is, it's very difficult. You can still drive the ones you find without a pilot though.

-Keep at least 3 or 4 saves, and don't only rely on Quick Save. I never really ran out of ammo, but you don't want to lose a lot of time because you get stuck on a fight

-Mission-wise, just do the bare minimum unless you are going for extra challenge, or the achievement for doing all missions, or you want certain story outcomes. Bear in mind that rushing through can cause you to miss or lose party members, especially Tali. It isn't possible to loose EDI, Liara, Vega, and I think Garrus, as long as he lived through your ME2 game. Kaiden/Ashley can die during the Citadel invasion, but it's easy to avoid. Tali can die quite easily if you side with the Geth and don't stop the war, especially if you don't do all of the Quarian missions or didn't handle her and Legion well in ME2.

-Once you're at the very end, fighting the final boss known as Marauder Shields, make sure you only shoot him in the head. If you miss or hit somewhere else he won't get stunned and will kill you quickly. Once you defeat him, you're home free and can let the Catalyst crap all over the series and ruin your day.
Posted by SIX min WHISTLE on 16 Apr 12 at 07:01
SuddenThunder @ SIX min WHISTLE, I didnt know changing squadmates costumes changed their stats. Will have to pay attention next time. Also couldnt agree with your last sentence more. Just finished it for the first time a couple of hours ago. Another disapointed gamer.
Posted by SuddenThunder on 20 Apr 12 at 07:25
SirLugash Just wanted to add something about the boss fight with Kai Leng (sorry if this was pointed out already).
It is pretty easy if you know what you have to do.
And that is to not focus on Kai Leng actually.
There will be 3 waves of enemies, from what I remember the first one being Assault Troopers, second Nemesis and AT and third Phantom and AT.
I played as Sentinel and it was pretty easy:
AT: Singularity (Liara) plus Throw, with super fast cooldown you can take them out in secons.
Nemesis: Overload (EDI), Singularity (Liara) followed by Throw.
Phantom: Stasis (Liara) followed by Throw or Warp.
The only difficult part is if he's charging at you, but some Overload and Tech Armor detonation / melee will keep him at distance.

As I said, when the waves of enemies are deployed, focus on them and only target Leng if you got the time for it, otherwise leave him be.
You won't be able to kill him anyways.
Just as all enemies of wave 3 are taken care off, focus on Leng as only now you can finish him off.
Posted by SirLugash on 27 Apr 12 at 20:46
LessrOf2Weevils I'm about half way through my insanity run with my infiltrator and finding this WAY easier than ME or ME2. Definitely go with the ME3+ character. Now that you carry your weapon and armour upgrades over (I'm pretty sure ME and ME2 didn't let you do this) and then keep upgrading weapons to level 10, this is a snap.

Always taking Liara and Garrus with me: Garrus for the guns & overload, and Liara for the singularity/warp combo which is devastating and particularly effective for crowd control. Just keep to cover (and order your squad mates to do the same) and pick your shots.
Posted by LessrOf2Weevils on 29 Apr 12 at 17:41
zhoban Does it matter what choices I pick? I'm usually a Paragon but I would be fine with being Renegade for a playthrough if it will help me. Also, should I do the sidequests or should I play like it's the first Mass Effect and only do the main missions?
Posted by zhoban on 06 May 12 at 05:32
zhoban Nevermind, I beat it. I was still a Paragon during my Insanity playthrough and I never did any of the side quests. The squad members I used were Garrus and Liara unless I was forced to use someone else which I would take Liara with me. The only hard parts for me were the three Geth Primes on Rannoch and the final boss. Also the part of the Cerberus Headquarters where after dying and hitting Resume Liara decided to spawn without a weapon and have two arms come out of one side. My Level 60 Soldier used a Particle Rifle X and Carnifex Pistol X, Garrus used a Black Widow X and Falcon X, Liara used a Scorpion X and a Locust X. Always make sure you have Incendiary Ammo on, it makes the game insanely easy.
Posted by zhoban on 10 May 12 at 14:27
Thief44 your guide was very helpfull up vote for you my good man :)
Posted by Thief44 on 28 May 12 at 09:38
HellCreeper666 ...very nice guide, thank you :)
Posted by HellCreeper666 on 05 Jun 12 at 18:24
polishdude96 I found this out today when I finished the game on insanity after downloading the extended cut DLC, if you pick the fourth option (aka shooting the star child), the game will not count you as finishing. After picking this option and both insanity achievenments not unlocking, I played the end mission again, this time picking the sythesis ending, and both achievenments unlocked.
Posted by polishdude96 on 03 Jul 12 at 23:11
BOOMKINGSTON93 I just wanted to throw in my own advice here first of all soldiers are the best classes for insanity. If u dont mind spending a lil $ get the Leviathan dlc and firepower dlc they help immensely. I used the synthetic rifle from the firepower dlc, it does little explosions that destroy shields and does splash damage. Combine that with the soldiers incinerary ammo with the lvl 6 upgrade that causes the mini explosions i was able to take out a atlas in about a clip of ammo. The blood punisher smg is good too because it has alot of kick for a smg. Its about as good as an assault rifle with half the weight. Also when you fire it after every 20 rounds i believe it fires a armor piercing round so that + incinerary ammo destroys brutes and banshees which are the biggest problems. This dlc cost 160msp if im not mistaken. (SPOILER ALERT)And get the Leviathan dlc because when you beat it you get the dominate ability. With this you can mind control enemies. The most powerful thing it can control is a brute. At just lvl 3 it mind controls for a long time and makes the controlee attack nearby enemies. And even if you dont want it to do that dominate will make the eneimy non hostile towards you so you can just blast away at whatever enemy you mind control. so if you dont mind spending just 560 msp (thats about 7 dollars) i totally advise getting these dlc it makes insanity 100% easier
P.S. if you go to you can buy Microsoft points in smaller intervals
I really hope the information helps anyone
Posted by BOOMKINGSTON93 on 03 Sep 12 at 07:42
BOOMKINGSTON93 I just wanted to throw in my own advice here first of all soldiers are the best classes for insanity. If u dont mind spending a lil $ get the Leviathan dlc and firepower dlc they help immensely. I used the synthetic rifle from the firepower dlc, it does little explosions that destroy shields and does splash damage. Combine that with the soldiers incinerary ammo with the lvl 6 upgrade that causes the mini explosions i was able to take out a atlas in about a clip of ammo. The blood punisher smg is good too because it has alot of kick for a smg. Its about as good as an assault rifle with half the weight. Also when you fire it after every 20 rounds i believe it fires a armor piercing round so that + incinerary ammo destroys brutes and banshees which are the biggest problems. This dlc cost 160msp if im not mistaken. (SPOILER ALERT)And get the Leviathan dlc because when you beat it you get the dominate ability. With this you can mind control enemies. The most powerful thing it can control is a brute. At just lvl 3 it mind controls for a long time and makes the controlee attack nearby enemies. And even if you dont want it to do that dominate will make the eneimy non hostile towards you so you can just blast away at whatever enemy you mind control. so if you dont mind spending just 560 msp (thats about 7 dollars) i totally advise getting these dlc it makes insanity 100% easier
P.S. if you go to you can buy Microsoft points in smaller intervals
I really hope the information helps anyone
Posted by BOOMKINGSTON93 on 03 Sep 12 at 08:09
Zymotic I died nearly 100 times during my Adept playthrough. You can take a lot of the lower enemies out quickly, but Banshee's are extremely difficult and time consuming. Grenades are an instant kill if they're anywhere near your radius, which means you have the option of dying by grenade or moving out of cover and taking the risk of getting killed by gun fire.

Adept is also a very boring class over time. It was cool at first, but pressing the same few buttons over and over, and using the same few powers gets boring. Half the powers are restricted by distance, so you either get right on top of your enemy and risk dying, or you stay back and use the same 2-3 combo on everybody.
Posted by Zymotic on 14 Sep 12 at 03:14
Pa1ppi I play as infiltrator and insanity feels way too easy. Just poppin headshots with black widow X
Posted by Pa1ppi on 29 Sep 12 at 17:36
CovetousCash64 There is also an infinite spawn sequence during Tuchanka: Turian Platoon. Right at the end of the level, just before you find Victus there is a spot with a brute. After you kill the brute, there is an infinite spawn of marauders and cannibals until you move forward far enough to find Victus and/or destroy the nearby harvester. I'm not sure which it is.
Posted by CovetousCash64 on 26 Dec 12 at 23:19
xDOT COMx Changed the difficulty as soon as I got control of the game to insanity but it didn't pop in end. Are some of the DLC missoin required? On the Accomplishment panel I only see 14/27 done. What am I missing.
Posted by xDOT COMx on 19 May 13 at 18:57
Lil Miss Cherry I'm stuck on the three geth primes on rannoch. Talk and liara die pretty much instantly and I'm wasting all my medi-gel on them..i'm a level 60 adept with particle rifle just can't seem to do any damage at all. Managed to kill one of them once about 20 deaths ago, its getting a little frustrating
Posted by Lil Miss Cherry on 18 Jul 13 at 11:58
ii Empty Magz Check the next solution down, this one makes it way too complicated.
Posted by ii Empty Magz on 03 Nov 13 at 03:44
Patcho NL If you're playing with infiltrator make sure to use tactical cloak very often at the end of the game, where you have to shoot some kind of crazy rocket at the reaper destoyer.
Posted by Patcho NL on 27 Apr at 21:35
SiRFaPaLoT420 I have beat the game with every class on insanity. It's pretty easy if you can play the class right.

The best are:

Adept/Sentinel: Just Warp+Throw will kill almost anything. I prefer Warp over stasis because this works on bosses. So Warp, Throw, Liara Warp, Throw, Kaiden Reave, Throw, Profit. Also for bonus power pick energy drain, and you can make a techburst, biotic bomb in a split second with energy drain, liara warp, throw.

Vanguard: Use like adept, except use Charge/Nova to detonate warp. That's why this is called a NovaGuard.

Engineer: Weakest for insanity imo but doable with energy drain + Incinerate. Having energy drain on the other classes make them better than the engineer, because energy drain is like a broken overload.

Soldier: There are 3 ways to build this. The easy obvious way is energy drain, concussive shot or carnage, and frag grenade. Basically energy drain to stun, use a sniper then tech burst with concussive shot. Predator pistol on backup will let you keep 200% power recharge. Pistol works really well with concussive shot. Just knock small enemies down and shoot them. Use Garrus armor pierce ammo for the sniper, and incendiary or cryo for the pistol.

The second build is an adrenaline rush build. Use a Claymore. You just shoot, adrenaline rush which automatically reloads the claymore, then shoot again. 2 Claymore shots in a microsecond. It's a double barrel shotgun. I believe this works with a widow too, but Claymore is better. This is common and OP in multiplayer. Use frag grenade to reload cancel if AR is not available.

Last way to build soldier is Carnage frag. Just use carnage and throw a frage to make fire explosion. Works well, but harder to pull off than the 2 combos above.

Infiltrator: Build cloak to have bonus power. Use energy drain. Basically cloak, energy drain, headshot. Works will with sniper rifles or shotguns.

IMO the best classes for campaign mode are Adept, Sentinel, Soldier in that order. Vanguard and Infiltrator could be good, but I hate time dilation (bullet time) because I used to play a lot of ME3 multiplayer. This is the easiest ME game in the series. Don't get too hung up on the story and other people complaining. I <3 this game.
Posted by SiRFaPaLoT420 on 30 Jun at 00:20
justinman114 I just want to add a few tips I picked up myself on my insanity run that I am almost done with. I too play Soldier, and I use Warp Ammo as my bonus power. It is by far the best ammo upgrade in the game. My little trick is to give my partners Cryo Ammo. If you spec it to your liking and use the "give ammo to squadmates at 50% effectiveness" option, it is beast. Activate the Cryo ammo so your partners equip it, then switch to Warp ammo for yourself. You will notice enemies freezing quite often, which paired with Liara's Singularity and Warp makes for a nice frosty explosion! I mainly use Javik or Kaidan for my second mate, and have them use the Particle rifle (it rapes). I prefer Tali's skills over those guys, but she is too weak on Insanity. She is useful on Geth levels though. The only skills I use that are my own are Adrenaline Rush and Warp Ammo. I find the others almost useless.

Also, I prefer the Mattock over the Vindicator, and I am currently using the Black Widow, but in the past I have also used the Geth Shotgun. Both of those are only used if I really need them.
Posted by justinman114 on 09 Sep at 00:26
A Big Radroach I've looked over ever my forum and page and I'm the only one who's had this problem -_-
I slaved my ass off trying to beat the game on Insanity and get Unwavering at the same time.
Finally get to the very end. Beat the game.
The achievements unlock, I get zero Gamerscore for them both. I get the picture of the achievements if I look into the game's achievements but I still need to unlock 2 achievements. Which are the ones I just unlocked. I hate Mass Effect for it now.
Posted by A Big Radroach on 11 Oct at 20:43
o DEEVIUS o If you have the free Reckoning pack then the best weapon by far is the M7 Lancer - the most powerful and accurate assault rifle and infinite ammo.
Posted by o DEEVIUS o on 30 Oct at 21:07