Medal of Valor achievement in Mass Effect

Medal of Valor

Complete 1 Mass Effect playthrough on the Insanity difficulty setting. Do not change the setting.

Medal of Valor0
16 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerDifficulty SpecificMultiple Playthroughs Required

How to unlock the Medal of Valor achievement

  • AristorothAristoroth108,450
    13 Aug 2008 10 Sep 2009
    85 11 11
    I haven’t actually tried starting out with a level 50 character and then changing the difficulty so I don’t know if that works and if you can get the achievement that way. However I started the game on insanity with a level 1 soldier and completed the game fairly easily.

    I will be giving instructions on what I think is the best way to complete it on insanity. Follow my instructions and if you still can’t complete insanity then follow my instructions on an easier difficulty and then start the game with that character already at a high level and change the difficulty to insanity.

    General Tips
    • Grenades are very useful early on in the game. The first press of the back button with throw the grenade and the second will detonate it. A nice trick is when you get into a fire fight to throw a grenade on the ground where the enemies will have to go to get to you. Then you can concentrate on firing and if they try to ran at you – detonate the grenade.
    • Don’t pick Alenko or Garrus to be your teammates.
    • Make sure to have the Krogan as one of your teammates.
    • Go down one path, paragon or renegade and make it always the first to be upgraded.
    • Beware the Krogan. They are by far the most toughest and feared enemy in the game.
    • Don’t bother trying to upgrade all the weapons all the way. There will not be enough skill points. Concentrate on one weapon (I suggest assault rife). It is however alright to upgrade the weapons just until you get their first abilities. i.e. Marksmen for the pistol.
    • Every time you return to your ship sell everything you don’t need. The sooner you can afford spectre class weaponry the better.
    • Save often.

    1. Choosing a character class
    I choose to be a soldier with the extra ability of singularity (It doesn't really matter what extra ability you choose and I don’t actually upgrade singularity till late in the game but it can be quite useful once levelled up). I’ve played through the game being each of the main types; solider, biotic and engineer. Engineer was by far the hardest. I found hardcore with the engineer (I’d even given him an assault rifle) harder then insanity. But I found that solider was by far the best. The solider has the most health and health regen. The shields that the other two get become obsolete when you get armour half way through the game that gives you as much shields as an engineer.

    2. Citadel and first planet
    Do as much of the citadel side quests as possible before moving on. With this you will be able to level up your paragon or renegade and also get a bit of money before moving out.

    When choosing a story planet DO NOT CHOOSE NOVERIA! It has the hardest boss in the game and it would be much better to go to that planet last. The best first choice planet would either be the one where you get your final squad member or Feros.

    3. Levelling
    You’re probably wondering what to upgrade first. Go for renegade or paragon first and keep that fully upgraded. Then go for marksmen or overkill. Then go for adrenaline and unity. From this point on the main goal is to get immunity as high as possible. Singularity can wait as it is pretty weak at a low level.

    4. Making Insanity easy – part 1
    After you have done the two planets not involving the asari boss (planet Noveria) return to the citadel. You should have enough by this point (if you followed the selling tip) to buy the spectre class assault rifle. If you do not complete some citadel quests or go to some random planets until you do have enough. Once you have this weapon you will be half way to making the game easy.

    5. Making insanity easy – part 2
    At level 20 you should unlock the solar system on the galaxy map. Go straight there once you unlock it and go to luna (earth’s moon). When you complete the mission on the moon you will be asked to choose and speciality. Choose the one with immunity. Once you have upgraded to immunity specialization you will be unbeatable. You activate immunity and by the time it wears off it has already buffered again and is ready to use again.

    Well done! You’ve competed the hardest part of the game. Know it’s just a case of walking through the game to finish it.

    Guide not helping? View 15 more guides for this achievement.

    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    Fully CompletedYou can use a new game plus as long as you change the difficulty at the start of the game.
    Posted by Fully Completed on 19 Jun 16 at 15:01
    Led Droppingsi would suggest using a new game plus I used a soldier and if you have ashley and wrex in your party all of you will have immunity which pretty much makes your party unstoppable i blew thru paladin mode.
    Posted by Led Droppings on 21 Sep 18 at 16:28
    Posted by JimmieWorld on 13 Jul 21 at 21:25
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    48 2 8
    This achievement is fairly easy. I got it in about 5-6 hours and only died three times. I used a level 59 Soldier with Predator H IX armor and Master Spectre X weapons.

    General tips:
    Immunity is your friend. It makes you practically invincible for a short amount of time which can be very helpfull for certain levels. Adrenaline Rush is also very useful for re-unlocking immunity/weapon perks.
    Put as many points as you can into Fitness, armor, and Soldier/Shock Trooper/Commando. For weapons assault rifles are the best general purpose weapon available but the shotgun is very useful for certain enemies. The sniper rifle is useful in a few areas but is much less effective than at the lower difficulties. Pistols should only be leveled to unlock shotgun.
    For party members I used Ashley/Wrex most of the time except for Therum and Ilos where I used Tali for her electronics skill.
    Now, on to the guide...

    Eden Prime:
    You don't need to set your difficulty to Isanity until just before activating the beacon so this level doesn't need any further help.

    Here you'll notice that a LOT of enemies use immunity. Their health bar will turn white and they'll take almost no damage. Just wait behind cover for it to go back to red and continue destroying them. Don't bother with the assignments unless you're trying to level up and are a 58 or lower. Ditto for the UNC missions.

    Therum (Liara's World):
    Just drive all the way to the narrow gap in the rocks. Don't bother trying to fight the enemies. Run over the armatures and colossus to keep them from shooting you. When you get to the cutscene with the armature. Stand behind the box but not up against it and shoot the stalkers as they hop onto it. This is really the only part I used the sniper rifle with. Just use it to shoot the armature and duck back away from the edges of the box. The mine shouldn't pose any trouble at all.

    Talk to Opold, get his package and turn it over to Anoleis to quickly get into the garage. When driving to Peak 15 DO NOT get out of the Mako to engage the Geth. I found this out the hard way when my squad opened fire on the Mako and destroyed it while I was dealing with the Geth. I ended up walking to Peak 15 which took about 15 minutes. A glitch? Sure. But its not the first time it has happened to me...
    The rachni are not that difficult aside from their poison. Use any poison resitance upgrades to your armor if you have them to reduce this. Aside from them there's only some more Geth and (possibly) some human mercs to deal with.
    I hear a lot of people say Benezia is the hardest part of the game though I personally didn't have any trouble with her at all. At the first, run around the room taking out her asari/geth minions. Make sure to keep your distance from Benezia or she will hit you with biotics. After the cutscene activate immunity and overkill and have your squad do the same or similar and rip into her. She should go down before either wear off but if not just use adrenaline rush and repeat. Then deal with the few asari commandoes that come out and your done.

    The majority of this level is just blowing up more Geth and shouldn't pose any problem. Its not until you go back to Zhu's Hope that there's any real difficulty. The thorian creepers have a ridiculous amount of health (almost like a continuos immunity) and the assault rifle isn't much use as you will usually get overwhelmed. For the creepers therefore I equipped my squad with shotguns with scram rails and high explosive rounds X. Just keep moving and blowing them away trying to aim them over rails, ledges, etc. If any get too close while your cooling breifly run up to them and melee them while they're prepping their poison and backpeddle again. The asari clones will usually knock you down with biotics at the first but aren't really a threat. Keep at it and you'll get through without too much trouble. (Note: there is a small chance you may blow a creeper/colonist into the container things in Zhu's Hope where they'll get stuck and you'll have to load the game. So watch where you launch people :))

    At the first just drive until you literally hit the first locked gate to get as far as possible from the Geth Colossus there. Clear out both gates and drive to the STG camp. For the base use the shotgun/explosive rounds on the krogans and Geth destroyers/juggernauts and assault rifle on everything else. Saren is no problem at all here; just use overkill and he should go down in seconds.

    The only real advice I have here is that when you get to the top of the waterslide/aqueduct WAIT until your shields are totally full (takes about ten minutes or so). You also seem to take less damage when following the water. You should just be able to make it.

    Battle of the Citadel:
    Again, use the shotgun/high explosive on the krogans/geth detroyers/geth juggernauts and assault rifle for everything else. When you get to the open space with the turrets ignore the turrets and just run for the end shooting any Geth that get in the way. The turrets generally ignore you if you don't shoot them.
    Finally for Saren. He is by far (for me) the most annoying part of the game but quite doable. Just use immunity/overkill/adrenaline rush and keep behind cover especially when he uses his red ball flurry. Any upgrades such as frictionless materials that reduce heat generation definately help here but aren't necessary. Just keep shooting and Saren should go down pretty easily.
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    WhyattThrashA note on thorian creepers with their insane health bar: Using the "thorian gas" grenade seems to kill them instantly.
    Posted by WhyattThrash on 22 Dec 13 at 01:23
    KF BIMB10/10
    Posted by KF BIMB on 21 Jun 15 at 01:00
    NegativeCreep08On Therum you can actually jam the mako through the gap where it isn't supposed to fit. Makes the next section easy and the armature won't even try and attack you
    Posted by NegativeCreep08 on 14 Oct 15 at 22:31
  • HurballHurball467,318
    06 Mar 2011 06 Mar 2011 27 May 2016
    39 0 1
    If you're looking at how best to get this achievement, you'll have completed Hardcore mode already, and played through the entire campaign a few times already, so you should be as familiar as you can be with the game, how it works, how best to play it, etc.

    With the Insanity difficulty, the difficulty gets ramped up a few notches from Hardcore, but susprisingly isn't as hard as you'd expect. The main thing you'll notice is how much health all the enemies seem to have, especially the Thorian Creepers. Killing becomes more of a feat of endurance, and thus survivability.

    If you plan to start from scratch, check out some of the great guides to doing so. I advise against it - starting with an old character in the high 50s will help you steamroller your way through the campaign in around 5-6 hours without the need to struggle through sidequests to level up, and in even unlocking this difficulty (and the ally achievements) you should be near enough level 60.

    I used a few simple tactics to minimise time, and efficiency in missions, to get right through as quickly as possible, and did this in 4h 58m. I died twice in total, and never in the boss battles - and believe me, I'm not great at this game at all!

    Save often, and on numerous slots. If you do happen to die, or mess up somehow, it'll save you time and effort. Naturally, you can't save whilst there are enemies present, but there are a few tricks to this that'll come in handy.

    -If the save option in the menu is greyed out, and there are no enemies around or on your radar, wait a few seconds before trying again. Your allies will holster their weapons when it's safe to do so.

    -If you're in the Mako and enemies are on the radar but not nearby, then get out of it! Your radar on foot is minimal compared to the Mako's, and chances are the red dots will disappear, allowing you to save. This is particularly useful on Virmire and Noveria.

    I took my level 58 soldier (who hadn't done the bonus specialisation mission due to laziness), and maxed out everything except handguns, snipers, and shotguns. I used the assault rifle you can buy in the Normandy, with two frictionless materials and plutonium ammunition. This means you'll poison the enemies, and the gun will never overheat, so you can keep your finger on the trigger throughout battles... If you're not playing as a soldier - don't worry. Your teammates will be doing most of the work anyway, and as long as you can deal damage and stay alive you'll be fine. Armour wise, I had decent heavy armour on everyone. Not the best (because I couldn't find it anywhere...), but it worked just fine, so if you can't find any Colossus armour, don't worry.

    For squadmates, it's by far the best to take Wrex and Ashley, and max out shotguns and armour abilities. Ignore other weapons completely and use the points you'll save in health etc. I'll explain this in the next section.

    Some people seem to want balanced squads in this playthrough, but to be honest you really don't need any technical abilities whatsoever. You have no need to decrypt anything at any point. Biotic abilties can help, I guess, but at the expense of a shotgun... which I'm sure is a better option.

    Double Shotgun Tactic
    Informatively titled, this is the one tactic that made this playthough an absolute breeze. Equip both of your squadmates with the HMWSG X shotgun you buy on the Normandy, with two Scram Rail Xs and High Explosive Rounds X. These guns are absurd, and whilst they don't do a huge amount of damage over time, they fire enemies up into the air, against walls, etc, which stops them attacking you! Geth Armatures are the only things that'll be unaffected, but in the rare battles with them find cover, popping out to chip away at their health bit by bit.

    With this tactic, you're free to keep up a stream of bullets whilst your allies act as crowd control. Use invulnerability as often as possible, and adrenaline rush if you need to use it sooner than that. It's as simple as that really. Overkill too if you want, but I couldn't be bothered most of the time and it didn't affect things really. Keep an eye on what guns your allies are using too - they have a weird habit of changing to a handgun after some cutscenes, which really won't help saving the galaxy.

    A quick note with this tactic - the game seems to get confused sometimes with the enemies flying through the air so often, and occasionally they'll get stuck in walls or in uncreachable areas, stopping you progressing. This happened to me in Chora's Den right at the start, where I had to reload the autosave when an enemy appeared on my radar but in a wall somewhere, meaning I couldn't kill him. It happened again in the Thorian's Lair, but a reload of a save did the trick again. Weird, but only slightly annoying in the grand scheme of things.

    The Mako
    Possibly the hardest bits of the game will take place in the Mako. As other guides have said, your best bet is to plough straight through your enemies. Try to run over Armatures and Colossi - this'll stop them shooting you, and go straight to the destination.

    If the Mako starts taking a lot of damage, try to get away from enemies and jump out, using the save trick mentioned above. Then, reload your game. The Mako will be back to full shields, and you can continue your journey. There wasn't a point in the entire game that I couldn't stop the Mako in a peaceful site somewhere en-route to wherever, since the Geth tend to be spread out in batches.

    A note about the Krogan. They're easily the most difficult enemy in the game, but if you stick to the gameplan they're not too bad. Keep invulnerability up, and stick close to your allies. They take a few shots to get launched into the air, and usually take a few downings before they'll die. There was a point on the Citadel at the end with five or six of these at once, which I somehow scraped through. If you stick by your teammates and keep the bullets flowing, you'll be okay.

    The Playthrough
    For the record, I was an evil b*****d throughout this, to speed things up. Being good seems to take a little longer. Holding the analogue stick to the bottom right and hammering X repeatedly gets you through the dialogue with gusto! Unfortunately, the cutscenes are unskippable, and I'll be seeing that vision from the beacon in my sleep soon, I've seen it so many times.

    Eden Prime
    Put your difficulty to casual and blast right through. Before clicking on the beacon, change the difficulty to Insanity. If it's not there, you haven't played through Hardcore yet...

    Your first taste of just how much health the enemies have. Ignore all side quests, just nail through the quests. The enemies should pose no problems; send your allies roaming around the rooms and watch your opponents fly everywhere whilst gunning them down slowly.

    Liara's Dig Site
    Use the Mako tactics listed earlier. Ignore enemies, drive over as many as you feel like. Once you get on foot it's relatively simple. Go slowly where necessary, remember to keep using invulnerability. The mini-boss battle at the end shouldn't cause any problems either.

    Get inside, speak to the Hanar merchant, agree to smuggle for him, grab the package from the dock, then give it to the administrator to get the garage pass with no fighting required. Usual tactics for the Mako section. Once you get to the Rift Station and deal with the Rachni (which aren't difficult at all) go to the medlab, agree to make a cure, then head to the Quarantine Labs to do so. Back to the doctor, and he'll give you a pass to the Maintenance Bay, cutting out even more fighting and letting you straight to Benezia.

    Some say she's the hardest boss in the game, but I wouldn't worry too much. At the start of the battle head right and run to the corner there - this'll stop Benezia attacking you. Hang around this corner as much as possible in the first section and it'll be easy. For the second part use invulnerability straight off, then hang around your teammates, who should be launching various Asari soldiers into the air. Focus on Benezia, then her minions, and with any luck this'll be done with in no time.

    Once you clear out the tower at the start and talk to Fei Dan, ignore any side quests and get in the elevator to the skyway. Ignore everything in the Mako, including the outpost the game wants you to stop at, except on the way back where you're forced to. I didn't bother saving any survivors (too much hastle messing with grenades). You'll notice how absurd the Creepers' healthbars are, and it's simply a matter of patience killing them. The shotguns come into their own in this section. The boss is more of the same. Go slowly, saving where you can, and grind your way around the Thorian's limbs. Kill the Asari first, since their biotic powers mess up your rythym! You've ruined the colony, well done. Move on.

    The Mako section can be difficult, and I needed to save and reload a few times to keep the shields fully intact. Otherwise, same rules as usual apply. Once at the camp, make sure you don't stupidly kill Wrex (now is a good time to be careful with dialogue selection!), and make sure Kaidan goes off with the doomed Salarian team. It's business as usual again from here. Once Ashley stays to arm the bomb, choose a new squadmate you like (I chose Liara for her biotics), but don't bother giving them the shotgun if they're untrained for it. When prompted, leave Kaidan to die. Ashley has the great shotgun in any case! For Saren, keep your fire on him, and shoot the fuel tanks he likes to hover over. He's probably the easiest boss in the game.

    No enemies - no problems. I punched the reporter for much lols.

    Substantial numbers of Geth Destroyers and Juggernauts can be problematic, as can the Armatures at the start. Go slowly, use invulnerabilty, and chip away from cover. The Mako section should be easy after Virmire's.

    The hardest normal battles of the game. Go slowly but methodically down the long corridors. For the open area with the dropship sprint to the turret you can activate, then retreat back safefy while it's health slowly goes down. The area with Geth turrets can be tricky, but doesn't require any special tactics.

    For the final battle, go hide behind the concrete pillar (without this brilliant piece of architecture this battle would be near-impossible), and use overkill on him. Keep an eye on your health and use invulnerability (as usual!), and he'll go down with relative ease considering he's the last boss. Halfway through he regenerates his shields and speeds up a bit, but the battle strategy is no different to before.

    And there you have it! The galaxy has been saved on the hardest difficulty going, thanks to one man and his shotgun-weilding gang. Any questions, post them in the comments and I'll get back to you. And if I've forgotten anything, let me know. This is all from memory y'know...!
    Showing only comment.
    Ragescreamer889Your guide is very thorough. I will be using it after my hardcore run. Just a typo comment, in your 2x shotgun section, you forgot to add the H to MWSG X shotgun.
    Posted by Ragescreamer889 on 17 Apr 14 at 06:18
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