Mass Effect 3 achievements

Mass Effect 3

4.6 from 9946 votes

There are a maximum of 68 Mass Effect 3 achievements (50 without DLC) worth 2,274 (1,550)

116,191 tracked gamers have this game, 13,062 have completed it (11.24%)

Achievement Details

Insanity in Mass Effect 3

Insanity182 (75)

Finish the game on Insanity without changing difficulty after leaving Earth.

  • Unlocked by 19,765 tracked gamers (17% - TA Ratio = 2.42) 116,191  

Achievement Guide for Insanity

315,370 (163,350)
Achievement won on 10 Mar 12
TA Score for this game: 2,274
Posted on 10 March 12 at 17:55, Edited on 09 November 13 at 04:49
This solution has 154 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.
There are 73 comments relating to this Solution | Please log in to comment on this solution.
There are 11 other Solutions for this achievement
Do you have a question about this achievement? Please post it in the Mass Effect 3 Forum