Insanity achievement in Mass Effect 2

Insanity

Complete the game on the "Insanity" difficulty level without changing the setting

Insanity+0.1
11 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerDifficulty SpecificMissable

How to unlock the Insanity achievement

  • Seeker74Seeker74214,365
    10 Jun 2010 10 Jun 2010 15 May 2012
    168 20 36
    There may be some spoilers in here. This is meant to be a strategy guide. This is just my way of doing it, I’m certain there are others.

    Character Importing

    I suggest that you import an Infiltrator from a previously completed ME2 playthrough and select Dominate (you did play a Renegade at some point, right?) as your bonus power. You can change that pick once you get Mordin if you don’t like it, but I found it VERY useful to have in conjunction with the AI Hacking power. Another great bonus is that you keep all of your heavy weapons and many of your better weapons as well as most of your armor upgrades. This will save you money and resources in not having to upgrade to get them, though you still “get” a few weapons as part of the story even if you have them in the Armory.

    My Build (everything without a number is level 4)

    1 Heavy Disruptor Ammo
    2 Cryo Ammo 1
    3 Assassination Cloak
    4 Incinerate 3
    5 AI Hacking 2
    6 Agent
    7 Enhanced Dominate (bonus skill)

    I had one wasted point because I forgot to go back to my save game from the end of the previous play and reallocate my points.

    Tutorial and Freedom’s Progress
    All the enemies in both areas are synthetic, so having the Heavy Disruptor Ammo upgrade is very effective. If you did not do so during your first playthrough, you probably need to reload your last save from your import and redo your skills. For this, and the entire game, you need to make a judgment call about medi-gel. If you can solo the enemies then let your squad lie, late in the game you will not have all the gel you can carry and it becomes precious.

    Before You Go Recruit Mordin

    I suggest you visit the Citadel and Omega to get the upgrades you think you need. I would concentrate on Sniper Rifles, Medi Gel, Damage Protection, Tech Damage and Health. Get Kasumi on the Citadel and Zaeed on Omega while you are there. You won’t have enough money to buy all that stuff on your first stop, but if you do some missions on the Normandy and find the few planets you can visit successfully you should be able to buy everything you need. I cannot stress this enough, save before you go to any planet mission. Having to go back to a much earlier save because the auto save gets you stuck on a mission that you just can’t finish is annoying to say the least. I said “successfully” above, because there are two that I have not completed successfully on this difficulty. The Eclipse Smuggling Depot has two heavy mechs that will come after you at the same time; I find that impossible to survive when they don’t die as fast as you do, and the reward is based on saving things alone. The crashed freighter mission has infinite mechs that come way too fast (though if they stuck to the cargo manifest, “infinite” would not be the case). I almost finished that one; the light mechs got me on the way to the shuttle after I killed the heavy mech. Of course, not doing this mission rules out the two that follow it in the sequence but the third one once again is full of infinite mechs, and in the enclosed area it is hard to navigate and survive on a lower difficulty much less Insanity.

    Kasumi Loyalty

    Most of the bad guys don’t chase you down. The exceptions to this are the light mechs and Vanguards, they will come after you. I found that by cloaking and going into one of the containers in one of the later areas that I was able to get one of the Vanguards in a position to hit her around a corner and she was stuck. Generally, you need to shoot them fast when you see them, using cloak to maximize the damage. You do need to take the ship’s shields down once in order to progress, but at this difficulty by the time that happens Kasumi is ready to go when it comes back. I ran out of ammo for my heavy weapon, but the Viper Sniper Rifle (another good reason to import a previous finish) worked well with the time dilation thing allowing me to get off 4 shots into the gunship before I needed to get back into cover.

    Zaeed Loyalty

    If you want to end the game faster, go Paragon. You need the Heavy Ammo upgrade to fire the Cain twice. The hardest part here was the area near the end, make sure just after the Weapon Locker that you head directly to the right and have your squad follow you over there. If the bad guys come around the crates and flank you it is deadly. You can shoot, and be shot, through the gaps in the boxes. When the mech comes out, shoot it until it starts to come around toward you and then run across the room to the other side while it is behind the crates, using your cloak for the first few seconds.

    Mordin Recruitment

    I got through this mission this time quicker than ever before by being stealthier. Shooting the bad guys from above while one squad mate is on the ground works wonders in all situations, though sometimes you have to go down to get the last few. Incinerate is wondrous for killing Pyros, once they have no shields or armor, with one hit. Tactically Cloaking as an enemy comes up the stairs at you in the Eclipse vs. Blue Suns area makes them go back down. I found out the hard way that, in the last area, you need to go as far to the wall away from the ramps as you can when facing the bad guys for the second cure room. This allows you to shoot the heavy enemies without being immediately stormed by the ground level bad guys coming up the ramps right on top of you. In one case, a Krogan totally passed me by to go after my squad mate who had run down the opposite side ramp to the empty hallway I had previously cleared. Surprisingly my squad mate took him out solo with little problem.

    Back On The Ship

    It goes without saying that once you get Mordin, you should get all the upgrades to the Sniper Rifle, Tech Damage, Damage Protection, Health and Medi Gel that you can afford.

    Jack Recruitment

    This is pretty straight forward, take cover when you need to and use cloak to run away from enemies closing in on you. The last fight is not too bad if you realize you can take down the shield generators from across the room. Take down the center one, go left, and take down that one and the one across the room. Run back down to the middle, the soldiers don’t come chase you there. You can’t see the Warden’s health and such but even without a health meter you can shoot at anything you can see, and with the Viper Sniper (and maybe some missiles if needed) you are good to go.

    Garrus Recruitment

    This one is tough, you have to kill the bad guys fast and Jack’s Shockwave helps a lot. At the end, if Garrus health has just turned red before you go after Garm you can still win, but it is better if it is still yellow.

    Grunt Recruitment

    All I can say is Garrus and Zaeed make short work of everything with those Viper rifles. Until they start making mistakes that is, but thankfully the mistakes don’t start getting really bad until after the Krogan Berserkers. In most cases you can simply finish off the bad guys in the area solo and your squad comes back, there are lots of checkpoints like that throughout the area. At the end, you probably need to split your squad focus from yours in that they should concentrate on the krogan, they keep coming until Jedore is dead. The mech usually won't come up behind the barricade on your side. Move over behind one of the metal shields and watch out for Jedore to peek her head out. Launch a few missiles at her and they should seek her even when she ducks back down.

    It is about this point that any attempt to approach the Galaxy Map meets with “The Illusive Man wishes to speak with you.” You are railroaded into going to Horizon as soon as the 4th (non DLC) squad member is recruited. You can still buy upgrades with the resources you have at that moment.

    Horizon

    Buildings are a lifesaver, for you anyway since your squad continues to be stupid about their cover positions. As long as you stay in the middle window of the buildings in the first two areas, they will not come in after you. The area following the frozen people is a little more challenging; you need to take some risks. Your squad is going to die from their own stupidity at some point during this fight. Don’t even worry about Medi-gel, I’ll tell you how to get through this. As soon as the Collectors show up, head back into the building you likely just passed through. Go to the far end and peek around the balcony. From there you cannot snipe without poking your head out too far, but Incinerate has a much smaller line of sight requirement. You should see Harbinger at the far end, but he will likely be moving left and right without doing much else. If you stick your head out too far, you will know it. Incinerate him and any Collectors on this side of the building, if Harbinger does not take another host go through the building to the door and open it for a moment. This should encourage him to take a host, but you also get shot at. Go back to the balcony, and repeat this for the second wave. The first part of the last battle is very hard if you don’t use some strategy. Do not go down the stairs! Go as far to the right wall as you can and use your sniper rifle to zoom in pretty much straight ahead. You will see an alien backside sticking out there. Snipe it until you are down to a couple of bullets then use your squad mates’ powers on it until it is gone. Now, the door behind you should still be open. Go back to the previous area and get any ammo you may have not needed before. Back in the doorway, go all the way left. Zoom and look right, you should see the other Scion there. This one reacts if you hit him by moving a bit but he will not come after you. Once he is dead, the battle is over, no husks. Now go hack the terminal in the middle and get on with the next fight. This one is easier than you might think, cloak and make a beeline for the truck near the doors you came in. Hunker down over there and let your squad mates do their job. If all works out, you might have one Husk come your way. Now, once again it is time for patience. Harbinger will take over Collectors one by one, he will then either stay by the communication tower or go over to the stairs to the left and go back and forth much like his behavior earlier. You just need to spam Incinerate him every time he does this and he will eventually run out of hosts. His name won’t show, but if you target him in your sniper scope as you fire it will usually curve to hit him. When the dead come back to life the second time (your squad mate should say something like “There must be more”), get out of the truck. A Collector will land in there and you don’t want to be there when he does. If you can make it to the opposite end you can do the same thing again. “More coming” part 2 is the Praetorian. Nasty thing, but it will turn around if you cloak. So the strategy is to make sure that it never gets over your head. You can run to the left but the better option (since it is further from the thing’s start point) is back to the truck, make sure you use your cloak every chance you get to keep it away from you and add to the damage given.

    After your number of team members reaches 8, it is only a matter of time before you once again get sent to the Briefing Room without the ability to access the Galaxy Map. I recommend you do the research station and mining missions in Caleston Rift for the resources before starting recruitments. You can usually do 5 missions before you get sent to the Collector Ship if you already have Kasumi, Zaeed, Miranda, Jacob, Garrus, Grunt, Mordin and Jack (that’s 8) at this point.

    Tali Recruitment

    The first part is pretty straightforward. Take out the bad guys and head to the right into the ramp area. Be aware there are some Geth up top that will come down. If you take cover in the boxes at the bottom you can Incinerate them around the corner. Make your way up the ramp and head left at the top. Take out the Geth that appear in the distance and head that way. Carefully navigate the hallway ahead and definitely save after the walkie talkie conversation. In this next area, take out the Hunter and then proceed down the ramp. The Geth will spawn forever if you don’t. Take cover outside the room ahead and kill the Geth until you see more coming down the ramp. Cloak and run past them into the room, this stops the respawns and the Geth should stay outside the room for the most part. Don’t get the charges until you are ready for a nasty fight, definitely get the 3 medi gels in this room. After the fight, once again you face infinite troopers coming up so head out as fast as you can to avoid getting everyone killed including yourself. Once you get the Destroyer to come out (thankfully the flamethrower it wields does not come over the top of your cover), you are about done with that fight. Scope out the ramp to your right as you come in, this may be useful in a minute. Go get the other charge and ready yourself for another battle. From the balcony, it’s not too hard to finish this. After the weapon station it gets interesting. The drones are infinite, and there are two Primes here. Thankfully not at the same time. Once you get past the second one, make a run for the door. The drones don’t follow you (or your squad kills them before coming into the room after you). This next battle is time consuming but thankfully not infinite. Go right, there are fewer Geth up there. Once the Destroyer shows up you know you’re about done. Advance forward and take out the few Geth below you then unload on the Colossus with your heavy weapon from the balcony, there is a spot where the blue blasts hit the wall and you can fire with impunity.

    Miranda Loyalty

    The beginning is not too tough, if you brought someone with the Geth Rifle you’ll be glad you did. There’s not much ammo before the elevator, though. Not many problems with the next battle. Battle 3, go back around the corner and take cover there. You can take the mechs down fast as they round the corner. The next few fights are basic enough, and it really gets interesting when the Vanguards show up. Thankfully, you end up back in the bar so you can go after one of the recruits while you are here (they both end with you back on the ship). I recommend Samara if you already have Garrus and Zaeed for snipers.


    Samara Recruitment

    The introductory fight is simple enough, but it gets much more interesting soon after. Your squad will continue to make bad decisions and die, leaving you to either revive them or not. In most cases, the answer is not. The weapon locker at the bottom of the stairs remains accessible for a while, and since it refills your ammo when you use it you should go back to it when needed. Stay far from the mechs and Vanguards and use Dominate/AI Hacking freely to get additional help against your enemies. In the gunship battle, retreat to the room when the Fenris mechs come out and shoot the gunship from the doorway by aiming up. It will hit you less and your missiles can seek quite well. Final battle ahead, the boss lady is afraid of you so she won’t close in. I told my squad to target her and the battle ended swiftly, even after she ran upstairs.

    The Collector Ship

    After two optional missions, a loyalty and two recruitments it is time to go see what the Collectors are doing. Too bad you can’t pick a new weapon skill while you are here. Just make sure your squad targets one enemy at a time. The same Harbinger glitch exists here once you are past the platforms, but getting past that point is a bit of a challenge. The Praetorian is a headache, especially if you used all your gel on the platforms and you only have the two from that hallway shortly afterward. Target your sniper rifle and your squad on everything else besides the Praetorian so you have free reign of the entire area. It will Barrier itself many times, just keep chipping away at it. At the end, you can cloak and run to get past the husks if you need to in order to finish the mission with no ammo and no living squad members.

    Now that you are done with that part, you can do whatever you want. You need all the upgrades you can get to survive. That said, you should go get all the minerals you can, whenever you can. Scanning the planets as you go from system to system for assignments works well. I won’t list all the N7 assignments, just the ones that need notes.

    Crashing Ship

    You have to use cloak and cover wisely in order to get through this but you should have more than enough time left at the end to override the engine if you are fast enough. Ignore the Iridium in the last area, it is plentiful on many planets and it will likely just get you killed in the process.

    Samara Loyalty

    There is no combat involved here, so you might as well go after it. It should pop up once you get back from the Collector ship. You may need to talk to Hortfin, the thieves, the dancer and the bartender to progress depending on your Paragon score.

    Thane Recruitment

    Standard cover tactics, just keep in mind that there are many spawn points in each room, so don’t go too far in at one time. There are also many doorways that connect to where you might be behind cover allowing enemies to flank you if you don’t retreat back across the room. There are way too many times your squad will come back from the dead but you cannot save. Speaking of which, save right before you leap off the ledge onto the bridge below. The auto save in that area puts you at the bottom of the ledge with enemies closing in. The dark red area right before the bottom is not cover for long, but it gives you a few extra seconds to shoot missiles. You did pick the missile launcher, right? Put your back to the wall and fire at the mechs, the other bad guys won’t pop until you jump off. You should have one or two missiles left, save them (it will give you that many more toward your next mission) and target the Vanguards that pop up one at a time. Dominate may not always get them to attack their friends, but it will keep them out of the fight for a few seconds if nothing else. Snipe the rocket launchers from the two level boxes and save your gel, you can save your game once the rockets are down and your squad comes back. The single Vanguard that comes as “reinforcements” at the end is dealt with easily by Incinerate around the boxes. When she does come out to play, your squad can get her easily. They seem to have a problem attacking her until she moves away from the right wall.

    Garrus Loyalty

    Heavy Disruptor Ammo is a lifesaver here. The hardest battle, in the beginning, is the three mechs that come at you when you first enter. You might want to wait on bypassing the two circuit boards near the bridge controls until the enemies are all dead. Getting shot while doing that is annoying. Don’t be afraid to retreat a bit if the mechs or other enemies are coming too close. Past the window room, the mechs drop three at a time every time you take down a trio of them, so you only have a few seconds to get past that point before another set drops. Of course, if you go too far you will have two new problems. Don’t go past the Commander until you kill him, there will be an auto save at that point. Go down two tiers and trigger the heavies, then cloak and climb back up to where the Commander was. Thankfully, they can’t climb steps so it is just a matter of patience. The two mechs on the steps after are easily taken down from the side, through the support beams r just let your squad do it for you.

    Thane Loyalty

    No combat, just make sure to keep a close eye on the guy. If you don’t use the Paragon interrupt near the end, you get some interesting options.

    Grunt Loyalty

    I recommend a second shotgun toting squad member for this one. The Varren are a headache, the Klixen are not too tough as long as you make sure all 4 of them are in front of you each wave. Just keep Incinerating them and backing up, when the dragon comes back to drop off more get them all arranged so none are behind you. Going in circles for a while hitting them as fast as you can works well. For the Thresher Maw, you have to avoid the spit by making sure you are as far away from in front of it as possible. Missile launcher is useful here, but don’t fire more than 2 shots at once. The sniper rifle still does good damage, though zooming in is hard. The good news is the outer columns are permanent and don’t fall down when they get spit on. More than likely, you will end up surviving rather than killing it. The end is a bit unfair, a bunch of Krogan who like to come after you and a tiny area. I found that sometimes if you stay where you begin they don’t close in so fast.

    Mordin Loyalty

    Wide open area with plenty of cover. Doing Grunt’s loyalty first gets you Fortification, a wonderful power he likes to use all the time if you let him. It keeps him alive. Popping Pyros is fun, with Mordin’s Incinerate up to level 4 it becomes easy too. Near the door at the end, the enemies will come toward you which is unusual but they will not cross the last cement barricade. Inside, the first battle is not too hard, just make sure you take cover around to the left. Once you get to the multi level room, you need to realize that you can (and really should)use both levels. Fortification still keeps Grunt alive longer, but he is not so invincible in this battle as he seemed before. The Varren seem to suffer from vertical blindness, meaning the ones down below will not climb the ramp all the way unless you are standing at the top of it. This creates an opportunity to take down the Krogan first and then stand on the other side of the railing and Incinerate the Varren as they climb up to be parallel with you. You can also draw the Krogan up the ramp one at a time and use the upper level to keep distance between you.

    Abandoned Mine

    The Husks funnel themselves quite well here. At the end, use a gun on the bombs. A missile launcher will just curve toward the Husks.

    Blood Pack Communications

    Just be careful of the Klixen backing you into a corner.

    Captured Mining Facility

    Big enough area to find lots of cover, and even if you open the bridge before the last battle they won’t use it.

    Blood Pack Base

    The top area looking down is the best place to shoot from. The cliffs in the next area are great for knocking enemies off to their deaths. In the room, taking down the Krogan is a priority. The ramp at the door seems to be a glitch point of some sort, the enemies won’t come follow you over there.

    Archeological Dig Site

    Mostly standard, though the second room inside seems to have a weird glitch as far as the squad members. I found that one of them likes to sit in the hallway and not join the battle, I finally got him to join in after most of the bad guys were dead. Somehow, after they were dead there were no bad guys at the other end of the room. Perhaps my squad mate, who somehow came in from a whole other direction than the door behind me, took them down before he died.

    Jacob Loyalty

    Heavy Disruptor ammo is a must and the Sniper Headshot bonus helps a lot too. Near the end, the heavy mech won’t show until after you pass the big steel block so you can take your time killing the others. It will chase you, so you can have your choice of cover by retreating back the way you came.

    Strontium Mule

    The room with the ramps is hard to do head on, instead use the area right at the top of the first ramp to shoot up to the top of the second one around the corner with Incinerate. At the bridge door, there is a glitch I accidentally discovered. If you back out of the bypass screen it still unlocks the door. You can take down all the bad guys from the bridge except for the two heavies.

    Javelin Launch

    I found this one to be impossible to complete in the time allowed, too many enemies. The reward seems to only be XP and money anyway.

    Blue Suns Base
    Pretty standard, the heavy mechs are a bit of a pain. The blue Suns afterward are worse in some ways.

    Jack Loyalty

    The room after the Varren presents another opportunity to attack those who cannot see you. The far left wall lets you pick off the bad guys in the window room with Incinerate. In the next hallway, if you send your squad to the end to draw out the Varren you fill find that the poor things cannot climb stairs. You can take them down easily if you stay on the steps. In the last room, if you stay in cover in the center, the Krogan don’t close in right away and when they do it is one at a time.

    EDIT: IF YOU DO ALL LOYALTY AND OPTIONAL MISSIONS BEFORE GOING TO THE IFF, LEGION SHOULD OFFER YOU HIS LOYALTY MISSION BEFORE THE POST IFF ENCOUNTER AND YOU SHOULD NOT LOSE ANY CREW.

    Reaper IFF

    I choose Thane and Garrus, and don’t forget to change to the Cain weapon. Having Geth Pulse Rifle and Locust SMG (you and Thane) is useful. Make sure Armor Piercing Ammo (everything seems to have armor) and Shredder Ammo (great for husks) are activated on squad weapons upon landing along with Cryo Ammo on Shepard’s weapons for the most effective damage. Dominate works a bit like Neural Shock on these guys, Warp is nice and Concussive Shot is great. Don’t use the Cain on the Scions as tempting as it may be, it will be vastly more helpful later. Due to the fact that this ship is very long, you can backpedal until your heart is content pretty much everywhere. The hallway between the two work logs is not too tough, though your squad likes to take cover behind the explosives making it hard shoot the crates without damaging your squad. Thankfully there is more than enough ammo scattered around in here, the entire ship in fact, that you should never run out even if you have to backtrack to get one.. Past the first sniper encounter, save the crate for the Scion. It is also a good idea to save between waves and go back to the area behind you where the power cells were, there is 6-7 ammo there that should last you the whole battle in this area. The Husks chased me all the way to the entry door. The explosive crates that were still there became useful all of the sudden, and then the Scion was not too far away. Retreating back up the stairs in the next couple of areas is useful, especially if you post your guys at the railings but be careful of the Scions. Backpedaling in this area takes a bit more looking where you are going but it still works, the Scions are usually closer to you when then Husks are down but taking them on 3 to one is preferable. Sometimes, they cannot go up the stairs which makes it easier. This is not the case in the third area with two Scions, there are ramps which they have no issue navigating. I (with a dead squad) had to run all the way back to the top of the stairs in the previous area, the Scions got to the top of the other side about the time the Husks were dead and were quickly dispatched with only minor damage to me. After the Husks finally stop spawning, the end is near. The Scions are mostly backpedaling away, if you don’t get too close to them you don’t have to fight Husks at the same time. As you may have found out with Jack, Shockwave detonates explosives so if there are any left stay away from them. In case you need me to say it, save before entering the final room. If you took my advice, your Cain should be at about 145. More than enough for one shot, if you time it right you can end the mission as soon as the cut scene is completed. Switch to it before you open the door. The difficulty makes no difference. Like the crates or destructible objects in the other missions, the core is an object not an enemy that can be made harder. You may think you missed at first, but if you walk forward it should end the mission. Three very useful upgrades now await your research, also I recommend you save Legion from the wishes of the Cerberus crew. You don’t really need 50K in money, though the Renegade points are nice.

    Anomalous Weather

    Get Legion (who gets the Geth Pulse Rifle, seems fitting) and Tali and let’s go Geth hunting. Sometimes they hack the last enemy in an area, but it goes pretty smooth until the end. The mission does allow a save in the middle. The Destroyer is well named, I suggest a bit of a retreat when it shows up. Its flamethrower does penetrate cover unlike the one in Tali’s mission.

    Legion Loyalty

    Sometimes this will pop up right after you activate him, sometimes not. It will pop after the Weather mission is complete if not earlier. Once again, Tali is the best choice. She also has the most interesting dialogue during the mission. Don’t forget to get the Missile Launcher back for this one, Cain does not do much for you here. Don’t forget to activate your Heavy Disruptor Ammo. Strategy here is a bit different on Insanity with everything coming with shield already, you can’t just hack them before they notice you. I suggest going after the Hunters first, and not disrupting the streams just gets you in a bad area for cover in most cases. Your squad won’t stand on a stream while it is green, so get them as close as you can to cover before you step on one. You’re going to need both turrets in the hallway, far one then near one works best as long as you are not taking cover where the shells explode. The door closes behind you after that, I found that lesson out the hard way when I tried to retreat from the next server room. You may need to use some heavy weapons here, but save some for the end. In the room with the research terminal, you can open the door and let your squad in and then let them do all the work. In the room with the code on the ramps, trigger it at the top and let the enemies come to you. The door is available for a quick retreat, if need be to recharge yourself. In the next room, watch where you click. It is far too easy to trigger a turret while trying to take cover or something. Almost done, hope you have some heavy ammo you will need it. There’s not good place to take cover from the last enemies in the final room. You can get out once the Prime is down without taking out all the enemies if you are running short on time.

    Consequences From The IFF

    I tried to run back to Tuchanka to see what I missed and this triggered. Since there are no battles here, the difficulty setting makes no difference. Just be warned that you can die if you move too fast near the Engineering section.

    Tali Loyalty

    You should have time for one mission before you go to Omega 4. Bringing Legion along is great fun, as you might expect. Unfortunately, aside from the humor value in taking him through the first part Grunt is more useful. He has a Geth Pulse Rifle too and his armor power is wonderful. Don’t leave the ship without group Disruptor Ammo, if you need to redo your skills just think that you’re not going to use the Element Zero for anything else a this point and you may as well pick up Squad Warp Ammo for your bonus while you are at it. I figure an increase in damage from 3 guns is preferable to a bit more increase from just one gun. Put Disruptor Ammo on all your weapons and both your squad mates’ weapons too, you never know when it may be necessary to switch. You may need to refresh the ammo every once in a while, sometimes when they die they lose it and if you die they certainly will lose it on the reload. The lab battles are pretty straightforward, the stairs battle requires a bit more strategy. Put yourself and one of your squad members on the railing around the corner from the stairs. Keep Grunt’s armor up and don’t overlook the usefulness of the Combat Drone, the Geth like it better than you as far as a target. Final area, powerful enemies in a tiny room. Make sure your squad members are using shiny blue weapons and proceed. It is surprisingly easy, just make sure you leave the Prime until the end and you likely won’t lose anyone. It does not seem to move at all from the spot it starts in as long as the other Geth are alive. You may lose the conversation for lack of Renegade points, but if you choose to tell Legion to stop you have enough points to apologize to him and get his loyalty back.


    Through The Omega 4 Relay: Endgame

    Here you go, the end of the game. I suggest you make sure you get all the upgrades you can and check your powers and armor (If you did Arrival before you got to the IFF you should have enough for two Cain shots if you equip the armor piece that gives a Heavy Weapon ammo bonus.). If you pick your teams well once you get to the station, it won’t be your name added to the dead at the end.

    But before you get that far, you have the Oculus to deal with. You can set up your ammo powers and such in the doorway before the thing enters. Tactical Cloak does not work against it. Be careful of firing too many shots of your missile launcher, if it is leaving you won’t hit it as it goes and those shots will be wasted and sometimes your shots might also hit the big metal boxes in the room. There are some power cell crates in here, but they are hard to get to and it will go away if you are just avoiding it. When the thing comes back it seems harder to avoid this time. If you start with heavy weapon ammo, use it before you dash for the nearby box, for some reason grabbing the (infinite box of) power cells near your starting spot removes any ammo you have. Don’t try to go after the other crate,there is no reason to and the thing likes to come back in that side after it leaves. Just make sure you picked snipers for your squad and take it down when it is shooting them.

    After the landing, make sure you assign the best choices. Tali is better in the tunnel than either on your team or doing nothing. Garrus, Miranda or Jacob are best for the second team. You’re going to be glad for autosaves very soon. Grunt and Legion (both with nice shield boosts and unique weapons) work well for your personal team.

    Don’t hesitate to use medi gel and heavy weapons. You get to pick a new heavy weapon and all your ammo and gel are replenished between most sections.

    The path to the first button gives you a great spot to shoot from, and the button is unguarded. It autosaves after every button (but not immediately if there are enemies around) and hitting one resets the cooling meter as well, so that is helpful. The second one is deceivingly easy to get to. The third one is not that bad and the fourth on is unguarded. The fifth one is exceedingly hard to get to in time without a bit of a risk. You can use the Cain to take out the first group of enemies and then you have another group once you get to the heat exchanger. It saps your shields so look out for that, and the next three were not that hard. The last two are right next to each other and the eighth one I pushed in the middle of a battle to end the section before it was too late. Job well done mostly, nobody on my squad died but I somehow lost Chambers (among others listed by Chakwas). She was not romantic to me, maybe that made a difference.

    Pick your Asari or Jack for this next part and same choices as before as far as the other teams. Mordin tends to die if he is left on the station, so he is good for an escort out for your crew. No time limit here, just a small area to fight in. The part with the Husks and other stuff is the hardest, too many things shooting at you at the same time. The next area is not that much better, the Husks are bad enough but the Scion constantly firing is hard to survive. After that, the bad guys all come in small groups. One more section completed. Survivors have arrived at the ship. Gotta leave Grunt behind at this point for maximum survival odds, so replace him with Thane (it’s good to have the sniper rifle option and his Warp is invaluable).

    The platform battle is a lot more manageable than the one on the Collector Ship. If you don’t move from the platform you arrive on it goes very smoothly. Don’t worry about the Scions, they won’t attack you so far away. You can take down the one on the right with sniper fire and Incinerate and make a good start on the left one before it starts moving. It should be down much health when it does and is easily taken down. On to the end of the game.

    Collect the ammo in the area and count your medi gels, you don’t get a break here though your dead squad members do come back to life. Push the button on the platform and away you go.

    I was able to snipe two tubes with my rifle, on the same arm, before it closed. I missed the second time around but got the other tube on the third time. Hope you have your Cain ready, it’s time to end this. One shot from the Cain (you have to hit him) takes down his armor 25-50% depending on if his stomach is showing or not when it goes off. Not a lot, it helps at least that much. Now you just have to survive Collectors shooting at you while you shoot the big eye (the stomach may damage it more but the big eye is an easier target). There are cover spots on the sides, you just have to make sure you don’t end up on the one that gets toppled. You might not want to move from the center at all, other than jumping the wall when the thing moves to the left. I suggest loading the auto save created as this battle begins and switching to the Widow if you still have the Viper equipped, it cuts down the risk to you a lot. With the Cain, it took about 14 shots from the Widow and a few from my pistol to take down this bad guy in about 10 minutes.

    Enjoy your hard earned achievement.!

    Guide not helping? View 10 more guides for this achievement.

    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    LLboxedI didn't read the whole solution as it was a bit too long for my taste BUT I did this with a new Infiltrator + Dominance. It's a real live saver and is working great in combination with AI hacking.

    Good luck!
    Posted by LLboxed on 23 Sep 15 at 08:13
    EthigyInfiltrator is the way to go, sniping plus the cloak is a very effective approach.
    Posted by Ethigy on 25 Feb 20 at 06:13
    Eds Killerbox 7I've always preferred sentinel for all my playthroughs....I really enjoy it. I'm about half way on the legendary edition ME2 insanity play, tho completed it on 360. Just wanted to say I've found the hardest part so far was Jedore. I had a ton of rockets, but they would lock on to anyone but her! Whether her head was poking out or not, rockets would go miles out the way to hit the mech....or krogan. So I finished the mech off, killed a couple krogan...and sniped her till she dropped. (Sniper rifle learnt on collector ship from previous playthrough). I died plenty here! This is an awesome guide...great to see so much time and care put in for others..+10
    Posted by Eds Killerbox 7 on 27 May at 18:05
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  • XXXXX ECUTIONERXXXXX ECUTIONER104,893
    31 Mar 2010 31 Mar 2010
    45 7 11
    Your Character:
    I found insanity to be easiest with the infiltrator. The cloak and sniper rifle are great for the tough enemies, and incinerate is also very usefull as quite a few enemies have armor.
    For your bonus power use either warp ammo or armor piercing ammo. I used AP ammo and is was quite useful for the scions and heavy mechs.
    At the disabled collector ship take the Widow.

    Your Team:
    ALWAYS take Miranda. Her powers allow her to take down any type of enemy defense.
    When fighting Eclipse or Blue Suns bring along Garrus for the extra overload.
    When fighting Collectors, bring Thane for the extra warp.

    For Garrus and Thane always set them to the Mantis sniper rifle. This prevents them from just standing out of cover trying to shoot everything and dieing. With the Mantis they peak out of cover to shoot one shot then get back in, thus preventing them from dieing as often.

    Useful Glitches:
    1. Experience point glitch: When you go to purchase the final level for any power (the one worth 4 points) press X and A at the same time. This clears the points you have used while also purchasing the skill. It is most useful when you have 10 unused skill points as it allows you to max all of your powers. This also works with your teamates.

    2. Double Hack/Bypass: Once you have completed the hack/bypass and before the screen closes, start mashing A as fast as you can. Sometimes this will open the hack/bypass up again and you can get twice the money.

    Upgrades:
    Get every upgrade you can, especially the heavy weapon ammo. If you get all of these (there is six in total) and use the ordnace packs, you will get 2 shots from Cain. This helps a lot with the final battle against the reaper.

    Tough Spots:
    1. Horizon - 2 Scions: You can kill both scions before you even enter the room. After opening the door go as far right as you can with out going through the door. You should be able to see part of one of the scions. Use your sniper rifle to aim your teammates powers and shoot it a couple of times.
    If you go all the way to the left you should be able to see the tail of the other one. Using your teammates powers on this one causes it to turn, so if your fast you can get a few headshots on it.

    2. Collector ship - Ambush: Make sure to bring Thane and Miranda. As the first platform comes in use a warp and incinerate on one collector, and warp and shoot the other. The final one will turn into harbinger. Wait for the warps to recharge and hit harbinger with both. Once his barrier is down just use incinerate and keep shooting. If harbinger launches a black hole thing at you try to move in cover, or just pop out of cover and get out of its way. After about two or three platforms of collectors have arrived, they will stop coming until one of the scions is dead. Bring down both of there health and kill them both as quickly as you can. The final platform is the same as the others, just 3 collectors.

    3. Collector Ship - Praetorian: Send your teammates to the bottom of the right ramp and take a few shots at the praetorian. Shoot the husks as soon as you see them. After the husk will come two collectors, kill these as quickly as possible with the sniper rifle. After the collectors will come two more husks. Once all these are dead, send your teammates over by the two locked doors so that the praetorian wont kill them. Just spam powers at it until it is dead, and dodge around the ramps avoiding its lasers. Also try to avoid using cloak as this makes it target your teammates.

    4. Reaper IFF Core: Pull out Cain before entering the final door. As soon as the cutscene is over shoot Cain at the core and you should be able to destroy it before it closes.

    5. Final battle against reaper: Make sure to get all of the heavy weapon ammo upgrades (6 in total) and use ordnance packs for your armor. Use the Cain and you should have 200% for it. Simply shoot the reaper twice with Cain then switch to your sniper rifle and shoot it once. It should die.

    Useful Links:
    1. Upgrade Guide: http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Upgrade_guide

    2. Planet Guide (for scanning minerals): http://mycheats.1up.com/view/section/3170362/28364/mass_effe...
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    GfrimmOk, so if I import my soldier from a previous playthrough, it's insanely impossible. i'm at the part where you have to recruit garrus, and there is this fucking flamethrower guy right in my face, and then I can't shut the doors fast enough before garrus dies...
    given up, sadly
    Posted by Gfrimm on 11 Dec 15 at 20:05
    RomanAroundI reached that exact same roadblock with my imported ME2 level 30 infiltrator. Those damn shutters! I stopped that play through and started up a new insanity one with an import of my level 58 Mass Effect 1 character, and the game has been much more manageable, as the enemies go back to scaling with you - whereas if you import your ME2 character for insane every enemy is level 30, yet you lose all of your upgrades - thus making the game feel near impossible.

    So I'd recommend giving that a try. I'm now up to the Collector Ship on insanity.
    Posted by RomanAround on 27 Jul 16 at 06:46
    EthigyGreat solution, the warp ammo for the bonus power worked wonders!
    Posted by Ethigy on 25 Feb 20 at 06:14
  • ThemedesThemedes210,339
    07 Feb 2010 08 Feb 2010 08 Feb 2010
    37 13 9
    Tip: I Played as a Sentinel with Warp Ammo (dont know if warp ammo is the best choice... :) here but it seemed to help!)

    Max out these abilities

    Shield ability and go for -> Raider
    Warp -> Heavy warp
    Warp Ammo -> Squad Warp Ammo
    Rest in Overload

    Team mates i used constantly were:

    Miranda: Max warp and overload
    Mordin: Max Incinerate and Neural Shock

    Hardest bits:

    Freedom's Progress Mission - First Wave of Scions

    After many hours trying to do this i finally found the only option is to run around in circles around all the crates in the middle trying to avoid the scions as best as possible, whilst simply doing spray and prey on the husks while constantly refilling my sheild using the Y button. Once all husks are gone simply hide in a corner and warp the hell out of the scions from a distance - if you dont target them when u aim at them that is the "safe zone" where they tend not to attack you and u can aim warp etc at them and still make it hit.

    Freedom's Progress Mission - Prothean

    Try to trap in the middle in between boxes/crates - it glitched and couldnt hit me or my team mates while i sat back and warped it. Keep re-trying until it seems to stop moving OR simply go into cover by a large square or rectangular object and move around it slowly in cover whilst it "attempts" to hit u and let your team mates finish it off

    Collector Ship Platforms - See above!

    Collector Ship - Prothean

    I put my team mates by the cover looking across the gap - hid at the top overlooking them, and waited for the prothean to approach me and did a circular swoop of the area:

    1. Hide up top - kill the 2 husks and concentrate on boss, make you team mates concentrate on the boss too.
    2. Go right to the right hand side ramp and into cover when it is going up the ramp the other side.
    3. Once it is in your spot in 1. sprint and put on sheild and run to the tall square structure on the far left in front of the the cover and hide behind that.
    4. Once it begins to come to you again from the other side - run up the ramp to the original hiding spot - dont attempt to hit it too much from here as it usually is too late by then.
    5. Repeat.

    This took me several goes and yes it may or may not be the best tactic but it worked for me.

    Reaper IFF - Scions

    Just hide your team mates miles back from the action (yet husks do respawn - but i did this and managed to let the scions get to a spot where the husks didnt respawn and just took them down from across the way with warp and incinerate and used the "sweet spot" where your not targetting them but can still aim warp etc at them.

    Reaper IFF - Boss

    Run in circular motion whilst spraying and preying - ignore your teammates they suck and usually die instantly - but revive them as much as poss to distract attention from you. Once the thing opens using a heavy weapon on it until you begin to get swarmed or before - then run around again. This bit was pure luck from me i think.

    Miranda - Loyalty mission boss

    Head to the left and hide behind the boxes put miranda and mordin into cover and concentrate on the 3--4 in front of u whilst being weary of the vanguard coming up from behind u.

    Tali - Treason

    The only bit which got me was before you see tali's father's recording at the top of the stairs - the damn geth hunters would swarm you up the top of the stairs. I put miranda / tali into the right hand side looking across the room and not downstairs - i hid by the top of the stairs on the left and just let rip with warp and my geth assault rifle. Again this was pure luck as usually 3 geth hunters come up the stairs - 1 right away and 2 after 3-4 kills of normal geth. On this occasion only 2 come and was able to get the 2nd.
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    i5centThere is not a single enemy in the game reference to as a Prothean during combat.
    Posted by i5cent on 18 Oct 10 at 23:47
    Owlowiscious@i5cent: He meant the "Protean". It's the big motherfucker with the laser eyes who groundpounds you.
    Posted by Owlowiscious on 29 Jan 11 at 23:42
    MugenKairo@Owlowiscious: I think you mean 'Praetorian'?
    Solution still has Freedoms Progress instead of Horizon. Other than that, some good tips here.
    Posted by MugenKairo on 07 Dec 11 at 09:19
  • AvengerrAvengerr120,148
    11 Mar 2010 11 Mar 2010 29 Jan 2011
    42 27 12
    NOTE: if you are going to give this a negative vote, at least state why. Others have and i have changed the solution accordingly and know what not to do for future solutions. Insight as to what I'm doing wrong is welcomed, but please don't just downvote for no reason. Thanks.

    *** I assume at this point you have completed the game at a lower difficulty. Because if you have not, I recommend that you do. You will get a good feel on how to play the game and also know more or less what to expect on the Insanity difficulty. 90% of gamers WILL NOT attempt a first playthrough of the game on the highest difficulty. The 10% that do have a serious knack to doing so. There will be spoilers in here, because they are necessary***

    Most things have already been covered, but I'll go through the things I did to beat this. I started an import level 60 ME1 profile, as a soldier. (You start at level 5, and you get 50K of each resource and extra credits as well.) I chose Warp Ammo as my bonus power and eventually upgraded to squad Warp Ammo. This was highly effective through the whole game, as Warp Ammo is effective against everything (except shields). I also obtained the Widow Sniper, fully upgraded.

    1. Most importantly, after every battle/conversation (no matter how small), SAVE. Trust me, sometimes there are no autosaves, so manual is the way to go. I also created a separate save file before I start any mission. I save aboard the Normandy, start a mission, and save there too. (So two separate saves). This way, if I picked the wrong allies or the wrong heavy weapon, etc, or if I just die too much and want to save that mission for later, I can do so.

    2. Ally powers - Go to the options menu, and turn off the ability to use them freely. This can become highly annoying, as they like to use powers on enemies that do not need it, and when you go to use their powers manually you discover that you have to wait for them to recharge.

    3. Pause to use powers. This way, you can actually select each target for the power manually without having the power miss. Even if an enemy is behind a wall, they can still be hit by an ally power if the targeting reticle is red. Saved/helped me many, many times.

    4. In regards to allies, Miranda is the best one to bring anywhere, because she has both warp (Barriers/Armour/Health), and Overload (Shields). Most of the time, I ran around with Miranda/Garrus, Miranda/Thane, or Miranda/Mordin. Thane and Garrus more so than Mordin. (Garrus has Overload - upgraded to Area Overload, Thane has Warp - upgraded to Heavy Warp (DO THIS)).

    5. IMO, the hardest portion of the game is the beginning up until you complete Horizon. Horizon was very difficult (for me). I brought Miranda and Mordin, because the Collectors do not use Shields, and I had not unlocked Thane at that point.
    Whenever husks appear, take them out first, because they will force you out of cover. They are very easy to kill, even though they are armoured. I used Warp and Incinerate many times on them - plus the warp ammo was very effective. Also, if an Abomination appears, take it out FIRST. Those buggers like to explode.
    The hardest part in the entirety of the Horizon mission is the Praetorian. Don't worry though, once you come to battle it, it is the only enemy there. The trick to this is to set your allies in cover along the outside of the map, and manually use their powers on the Praetorian. In doing so, run constantly around the centre area, taking cover frequently and firing at the Praetorian when possible. Your allies will constantly shoot at it, but since important enemies only focus on you, it will not directly attack them. However, when it does it's "Ground Pound + Explosion + restore barriers" - that can harm and usually kills your allies in one go. But, if you stay in the centre area with your allies on the outside, you will not have to worry about it. Just make sure that YOU don't get to close to it, or you will get killed easily. (This method also works for the Praetorian on the Collector Ship. Just run up and down the ramp in a circle with your allies as far away from you as possible)

    6. Heavy Weapons - I usually ran around with the Collector Beam after I got it, but in the beginning I used the Blackstorm. It was highly effective against Blood Pack enemies (namely the vorcha). However if you do not have that weapon, the grenade launcher should suffice. Once you have the materials to create the Avalanche, do so. The Avalanche is VERY useful. Against blood pack enemies, it will perma-freeze them once their armour is gone (and after 2 shots it usually is). Then you can just run around killing vorcha-sicles without having to worry about enemy fire. Also, bring the Avalanche on Tali's recruitment mission. Once you take the shields down on the Colossus, the Avalanche will destroy it in less than 10 seconds. No exaggeration. Also, 'charging' the Avalanche doesn't appear to do anything damage-wise. It may increase the area of the attack, but the damage remains the same. So just pull the trigger as fast as possible.
    As per the recent DLC, I tried the Arc Projector on Legion's loyalty quest. Very effective against Geth and Mechs. If there are a bunch in a group it will arc between them and damage them all. The only downside is that it doesn't carry much ammo.

    7. Collector Ship - most people believe that this is the hardest part of the entire game. I disagree. I only died 3 times, once was legitimate, once was because I did something stupid, and the other was because the game decided to vault me over cover when I didn't want to... Anyways, the only difficult part is the platforms. I took Thane and Miranda for this mission. Once I reached the platforms, on the platform you start on, I took cover directly in the middle, and sent my allies to the low walls a few feet in front of that. I did not need to move through the entire battle.
    Instead of using 1 ally power on one enemy, and then the other's power on ANOTHER enemy, use both at the same time on 1 Collector. I managed to take down 2 before one Harbingered. Once a Harbinger appears, take it down IMMEDIATELY. It will try to flank you. (A tip, when it fires it's black missile thing that explodes you out of cover, it is possible to dodge by quickly sliding sideways in your cover once it gets close to you. It will fly over your shoulder and do nothing).
    Once the Harbinger is gone, focus on Collectors one at a time. Don't worry about the Scion until you have either whittled the Collectors down to next to nothing or destroyed them outright. When I did this mission, the Scion never even hit me with the Shockwave. It got Thane once, and killed him once, but that was the only ally death I had.
    - however, if you see that a Collector has no barrier or low barrier, dont use both ally attacks on it - it's not needed. (Again, I stress that Warp Ammo is the best bonus power to pick)
    After this, the mission is a piece of cake.

    8. Reaper IFF - I brought Zaeed (Inferno Grenade ftw) and Thane. I also brought the Cain. The Cain will destroy the Reaper Core in 1 shot.
    So, you fight large amounts of husks in this mission. Once you see some appear, back up as much as you can while using the Inferno Grenade and Warp as much as possible. There are usually 5 waves of husks on each "enemy encounter area" on the ship, sometimes including 1-2 Scions. Worry about those last. Again, as soon as you see husks, start firing while running back. Don't stay in cover because they don't fire weapons so there is no point. This mission was really about spamming bullets and Inferno Grenades for me. Also, there is enough Heavy Weapon ammo in the mission to put the Cain over 100. Make sure you get it all, and DONT use the Cain until the end.
    Once you reach the core, DO NOT FIRE THE CAIN right away - the core will close within 5 seconds of entering the room. Run around in a large circle across the platforms, firing at husks at the same time. (I used the Eviscerator shotgun). Revive your allies when they die (they WILL die, trust me) to use them as a distraction. As soon as you see the core open again, whip out the Cain, charge and fire. Mission Complete.

    9. Final Boss. This was amazingly easy. Again, I brought Miranda and Thane with me, with the Collector Particle Beam. There aren't really any specific strategies to this mission... But throughout it, kill the Harbingers LAST, and kill the Collectors first. This saves time essentially because you dont have to worry about Harbinger ASSUMING CONTROL of any other Collectors. However, if one gets dangerously close to you, take it out.
    Once you reach the T-800, just attack the weak spots as much as possible (Both eyes, and the chest area) When a Harbinger appears, kill it immediately because they like to flank, and they can do it easily on those platforms. Now, I had the Widow, so firing at the weak spots with that beast did a fair bit of damage. Also headshotting Collectors and Harbingers was effective.


    Alright, in summation (if you want to do what I did) - take Warp Ammo, upgrade to Squad Warp Ammo so allies do more damage. TAKE THE WIDOW SNIPER and upgrade it as much as possible (particularly headshot damage). Very, VERY effective against Collectors and shielded enemies.
    Bring the correct heavy weapons to do the job - I mostly used the Particle Beam, but the Avalanche and sometimes the Blackstorm/Grenade launcher was effective. Use the Arc Projector (if you have it) against Mechs and Geth, otherwise spam Overload.
    Follow the tips above, and you should be fine!

    Good luck!

    EDIT: Also, if you have any questions about a particular part of the game, feel free to message me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can ;)
  • kael7kael7316,002
    10 Feb 2010 11 Feb 2010 08 Oct 2010
    21 10 0
    The best way to get this achievement is to think tactically. Do not expect to go into a fight, and come out without a scratch. To avoid frustration, pay attention to detail - on everything - and save as often as possible. Done with a fight? Save!

    Best class to use is either soldier or sentinal. I chose soldier for the variation in weapons, and it was easier to pick squadmates. Unless it was their loyalty mission, I used mainly three others: Miranda, Thane, & Garrus. Once I could pick a specialty bonus from my squad, I chose Slam - just so nice to have any extra ability like that.

    Read the mission briefs. I doubled up on my biotics as much as possible. If it said Geth, Garrus/Miranda for Overload; while if it hinted at anything else, Miranda/Thane. Almost all targets have at least armor, while some have a combo of shields/armor or barrier/armor and bosses having both, plus health - using them right makes it easier. Turn off the auto use of their powers. It makes no sense when they use Overload on armor, and control them as much as possible. When the music picks up, you should automatically start thinking there are bad guys ahead. Cover, cover, cover!!!

    There is no shame on giving ground if you start to get overwhelmed on melee. Back it up, reset your position and go. There are some fights were staying in one covered position makes you vulnerable. If you see them walking toward you, it's easier to light off Adrenaline Rush (Soldier) and reset your position, than standing there trying to gun/biotic them down.

    For the suicide mission, make sure everyone is loyal, do as many side missions as possible, and get your upgrades - it was a lot easier than other parts of the game because of this.

    Again, this playthrough can be rough if you do not pay attention to your enemies, allies, and surroundings. If you are having a problem - stop, rethink your tactic, and adjust. I did this as my first playthrough, and finished all achievements save two - but it was so satisfying, and a lot more fun because it felt as if I really accomplished something.

    If you leave negative feedback, please explain why so I can adjust this. Thank you.
  • ChucklestyleChucklestyle1,007,267
    26 Feb 2012 27 Feb 2012
    10 1 2
    There are a lot of good solutions above mine, I suggest reading them all for pointers before proceeding. Having just finished my playthrough, I'm leaving some notes here that might help as far as my approach.

    1. Character: Imported soldier from ME1 playthrough. Previous ME2 playthrough completed to allow for selection of bonus talent. Adrenaline boost was my bread and butter, along with warp (eventually squad warp) ammo as the bonus talent. Warp ammo is the most generally useful of all the ammo boosts, and applying it to your entire squad each mission allows for a bit less micromanagement.

    2. Squad: Loyalty missions aside, I went with Miranda and Garrus whenever possible, with slight changeups based on mission content for specific talents. Mainly though, I was looking for Miranda's allaround useful Warp (go with Heavy Warp when you fill it up) and Overload (same) to punch through barriers and shields, and a secondary character with a sniper rifle available. Alternately, getting Tali early on for AI drone can help to distract strong enemies (Krogan, Harbinger, etc).

    3. Combat pointers (long): most combat will have to be compartmentalized and micromanaged. Here are some tricks that kept me alive and able to deal with most situations:
    -Only fire on a target with your firearm when using Adrenaline Burst. Some battles, this was the only way I was able to get through them without having to risk exposure to get ammo.
    -Use squad orders to your adavantage. I can't stress this one enough. Your squadmates are stupid and will get murdered quickly. At each recognized battle point, order them to cover. Your sniper with warp ammo will do good damage to whatever he hits, and will duck back behind cover quickly.
    -Use squadmates powers efficiently. Their powers can hit anything that brings up a lifebar when you aim at it. Use this to your advantage by keeping them safe behind cover and targeting enemies strategically to use Warp/etc. If you're low on ammo, you can even fight battles this way to conserve. As long as your crosshair is red and the lifebar is displayed, your sqadmates' power will hit, regardless of whether or not they themselves have line of sight. Use your own sniper rifle and scope in to target enemies at a farther range, then have your squadmates' powers mapped to the d-pad to use them.
    -Long range is your friend, especially when dealing with Geth and the Collectors. When things rush you or get around your cover, and they will, adrenaline burst and a full rifle clip in the head will take care of most of them. There will be some difficult battles occasionally with Krogan or Geth Hunters or Primes. AI drone works fantastic to distract these, allowing you a few extra Adrenaline Boost to take them down.
    -Plan your cover for yourself and your teammates wisely. Only come out to fire if your shields are full, and drop back down when your shields go down, even if you still have Adrenaline Boost time left.

    4. Upgrades: your mileage may vary, but I did all recruitment and loyalty missions to get all upgrades. Due to this and the XP boost, I ended up at level 30 a couple of missions before hitting the Omega 4 relay. I paid special attention to assault rifle upgrades, sniper upgrades, shield upgrades, and tech upgrades, and went out of my way to probe for resources if one of these was available. I'm sure a "speedrun" style would be possible with no loyalty missions etc, but as you level up the upgrades will be quite useful for dealing with the scaling enemies.

    Again, there are a lot of great guides above, I just felt I could list some pointers that I learned to get me through. Good luck!
  • DMGunner83DMGunner83253,622
    08 Jan 2011 09 Jan 2011 11 Jan 2011
    10 4 1
    After reading the numerous posts and forums regarding how to get complete on insanity I thought I would share my experiences to maybe help some other people.

    I started my second playthrough with an imported me1 lv60 soldier after completing on normal. I continued to be a soldier and I would recommend taking squad warp ammo as the bonus power as it made a real difference in most fights(especially collectors). I also invested all my points in incendary ammo(for husks, varren and loki mechs), disruptor ammo(for geth) warp ammo(everything else). I also took heightened adrenalin rush as these provided me with enough firepower to go through the game.

    I would recommend getting the Geth Pulse Rifle from Tali recruitment as soon as you can- not the most accurate but rate of fire was immense and 480 ammo when full. I also took the cain with me on most missions in case of emergencies!

    I think the most difficult parts have been covered to death (horizon/colectors ship). Reaper IFF can be ran through and cain destroys core in 10 seconds! Just run for the vents and ignore collectors where possible on last mission and shoot husks in the hips(they snap in 2 and dont get up!)

    I would opt to save the workers on Zaeeds mission as this will get the 6th heavy weopon ammo upgrade which coupled with DLC cerberus armour allows 2 shots for the cain- takes 60% off last boss.

    For Allies Mirnada is good for early missions but is less useful toward the end. Garrus/Thane dependent what enemy but as soon as you get legion with his upgraded sniper rife drop Miranda and take Thane aswell.

    I completed every mission in game apart from saving the bloody quarian from the varren. With all current DLC all upgrades can be brought I found without trying to glitch every hack for double credits.

    When all of my squad reached level 30 and all loyalty missions complete I went to the shadow brokers teminal for aadvanced trainign and redistributed squad points as in most you coul max out 3 of 4 paths of powers.

    I dont claim not to have died much in my game but every point is achievable- I just learnt fom my mistakes and if that failed just whipped the cain out! And I can confirm checking your difficulty periodicaly that its still on insane doesnt affect you getting the achievement.
  • fsbk366fsbk36646,782
    31 Dec 2012 02 Jan 2013
    3 1 0
    Lots of very good info already here. I just wanted to add that I did it with a Sentinel, and that worked well for me.

    Sentinel gives you access to Heavy Warp, Heavy Overload, Tech Armor, and Throw. I could one shot all shields, barriers, and armors on normal mobs. Dependency on ammo is minimal.

    I cannot count how many times Tech Armor kept me alive, especially earlier in the game when unity does not replenish shields.

    I only put one point in Throw to get use of the ability. This really helped slow things down that were trying to get to me. The real benefit with Throw is on husks. With Throw's very short cooldown, non-armored husks are quickly one-shot. Alternate squad power (to remove armor) and throw to clear a large group of husks with little problem.

    I ran almost exclusively with Miranda and Mordin. I tried to keep them hidden in the back as often as I could since they seam to love dying. Since nearly every mob has armor, it helped to have all 3 squad members who could one shot most armor bars. I turned off squad power usage so I could control the mob priority.

    One last tip, move slowly into new areas. There are unseen trigger lines that will spawn mobs/bosses. If you just rush into new rooms, hallways, stairs, etc...you could spawn lots of enemies all at once. The Reaper IFF mission comes to mind.
  • Kato RyozoKato Ryozo230,254
    13 Feb 2010 30 Sep 2010 30 Sep 2010
    4 2 2
    *Spoiler on Characters and enemies*

    Like the Previous Two Solutions to beating the game on Insanity difficulty. I Had an Imported ME1 character that was Level 60, and I had that Character as a Soldier, cause Adrenaline Rush was very helpful. AS far as my team usually went by was Garrus, Miranda, and or Grunt. Miranda is the best over all party member, because all of her abilities and party buffs. Garrus for being a distance fighter, while Grunt being a Close Range player. and If you are worried about Grunt running of and dying, then Thane is another good choice. Distance between your enemy and you means all in the difference in the world. Enemies you particularly have to keep a close eye on are Harbingers, Batorians, Geth Primes, and Abominations. When You are doing a Insanity playthrough, Ignoring Side missions and loyalty missions would be safer for you. But not if you are a low level. You can skip all the side missions if you imported a level 30 Mass Effect 2 character. And another good tip for this Achievement, which also applies to beating a game on its hardest difficulty and that is two things, you will die a bunch, and to be Patient. Good Luck! And Kick Some Reaper Butt!

    And for a In depth Expose on a more explained guide:

    This may sound obvious, considering that you need to beat the game at least once before you can unlock Insanity Difficulty, but I recommend that you play the whole game on Normal Difficulty. Take the opportunity to experiment with squad members and their abilities, and find the most useful squad for the way you play.

    Make sure that you recruit every possible team member and complete every single one of their loyalty missions. By earning the loyalty of a squad member you are able to teach yourself one of their unique moves as well as earning an achievement.

    You may be the sort of person that does not care about achievements, but these achievements are important if you want to stand a chance at beating the game on Insanity.

    Playing through the entire game also gives you the chance to become aware of what challenges you will face and help in choosing the ideal squad for each mission.
    Start from scratch

    I know this will sound stupid, but resist all temptations you have to import your completed Mass Effect 2 character into your new Insanity play through; it will only hold you back. You see, once you finish the game you can then import your Commander Shepard and continue using him/her in a new game. While all of your experience is carried over, none of your purchased weapons/ship upgrades/armor upgrades carry over, which will leave you at a strong disadvantage.

    The Solider is an ideal class for your Insanity Play through

    Enemy strength is linked to your own experience level, so even a fully maxed-out character may find that without the best weapon upgrades, the higher level enemies will pulverize you. Likewise, if you start at experience level 1 the enemies will be relatively weak and easy to kill.

    When picking a new character I would recommend the Soldier Class, simply because their adrenaline rush ability is so useful as it slows down time and dramatically boosts damage. When coupled with the sniper riffle you can easily pick off even the strongest of enemies with a few well placed shots.

    The Soldier also has Disruptor rounds, which are particularly effective at breaking down Shields and damaging synthetic enemies.

    Once you start a new character, the game will scan your achievements and reward you with the special abilities of the characters you have made loyal. Unfortunately you can only use one of these abilities at a time – I would recommend something that boosts your defensive abilities, such as Legion’s Shield Boost.
    Be Methodical

    When playing missions, make sure to scan every possible item, hack every PDA and Safe, and pick up every resource you can find. As well as giving you more money to purchase upgrades and materials to manufacture upgrades, every mission has hidden weapon and armor upgrades that will significantly boost your performance, as well as the performance of the squad.
    If you have the downloadable extra characters you should complete their loyalty missions as well

    If you have the downloadable characters you should complete their loyalty missions as well

    This also means recruiting every squad member, and completing every loyalty mission. I know you have already done it once, but if you skip out on one mission you can potentially miss that one vital upgrade that would make the difference between dominating your enemy and cowering from a laser beam enema.
    Spend Spend Spend!

    Make sure to scour the shops on each of the hub worlds: Illium, The Citadel, Omega, and Tuchanka, and buy as many upgrades as you can afford. Once you have cleared a shop out of their inventory it would be worth returning after completing a few missions as every now and then they get new stock in.

    It is also worth noting that the shop keepers on The Citadel and Omega can be persuaded to offer you a discount, so long as you are charismatic enough.

    Upgrades that should take priority include: Medi-gel Capacity, Damage Resistance and the upgrades for your weapon of choice.

    Between missions unwind by exploring the galaxy, and scan planets for vital resources. Scanning Planets has been dramatically sped up thanks to a recent patch, so now there is no excuse for not mining planets for resources. By flying to unexplored sectors of space you can scan planets for minerals and elements that are vital in upgrade creation. A pro tip to avoid wasting your time is to only scan planets with moderate or high levels of resources.
    Use Your Points Wisely

    Prioritize spending your experience points on skills you really need. One of the best skills to max out first is the skill that dictates the health and damage stats. If you have followed my advice and picked a Solider, I would advise not spending any points on the Cryo Ammo, simply because it is not that useful.

    Ignore useless abilities!

    Focus on increasing your health, improving the Adrenaline Rush, making your Disruptor Ammo stronger, and improving the Shield Boost ability. Those will be your go-to skills.

    The same goes for squad members; do not rely on auto point spend to save time, it will be the death of you. Pick the skills that you feel are most useful for each squad mate and do not waste a single point on useless skills.
    Carefully Select Your Squad

    Armed with the knowledge of what awaits you, you should be able to choose the ideal squad mate for every mission. However, as you have to recruit most of your team, not everyone will be available to you from the start. Your initial team of Miranda and Jacob will be perfectly fine for the earlier missions, but Jacob in particular quickly displays his weaknesses.

    If you recruit everyone you will be able to handle every possible situation

    When presented with the choice on where to start, head to the Krogan recruitment mission, as Grunt is the most powerful member of your team. He is armed with incendiary ammo, which burns through armor and flesh. When teamed with Miranda who has the Overload ability, which destroys shields and machinery, and Warp power, which damages Biotic Barriers, you team can cover pretty much any combat situation.

    Remember which squad members worked out well for you in your first play through, and try using them again.
    Be Patient, Be Prepared

    There is only really one noticeable difficulty spike on Insanity, the section in which you board the deserted Collector Vessel. Before accepting the mission make sure you have completed as many missions as possible, and purchased every upgrade you can. As most enemies will have either Armour or Biotic Barriers, a team consisting of Grunt and Miranda is pretty useful.

    Get used to getting into this position...

    When facing off against Harbinger and the Scions, your best bet is to activate the Soldier’s Adrenaline boost ability and pelt them with Sniper Riffle rounds to the head. The Scions should take no more than 4 shots using this tactic.

    Armed with the Soldier’s Shield Boost bonus, you will have a much easier time. Remember to stay in cover and make sure that your team does the same; when popping out of cover be prepared to activate your Shield Boost, as you will likely get shot to ribbons. The added protection of the Shield Boost should give you enough time to fire off a few well placed shots and take your foes down one at a time.

    So there you have it, everything you need to get through the toughest challenge Mass Effect 2 has to offer. If you have any of your own pro tips to contribute, be sure to post Below
  • Ryuukishi634Ryuukishi634560,162
    30 Jul 2010 16 Aug 2010 16 Aug 2010
    3 2 1
    There's a lot of advice here already, and much of it comes down to what personally works for you and your playstyle, but I'll share a few things that helped me with an Engineer Insanity playthrough.

    Squadmates: Miranda is mandatory for every mission. With Warp, Overload, 15% squad weapon damage bonus, and decent survivability, no one else touches her. The other squadmate is somewhat situational. In general, teammates with sniper rifles are very valuable and teammates with shotguns will just rush the enemies and get themselves killed (Grunt is an exception because of his exceptionally high health). Biotic squadmates are generally not very helpful since practically every single enemy will have shielding, armor, or both-- with the exception of biotics with the Warp ability. This makes Thane a good choice, especially on missions with Collectors. Other generally good choices are Grunt for his very high survivability and Squad Incendiary Ammo for missions with vorcha or krogan enemies, and Zaeed for his Squad Disruptor Ammo, sniper rifle skill, and very high damage output. Legion, Garrus, and Mordin can also be valuable in certain circumstances, but when in doubt, Zaeed, Grunt, and Thane are your go-to guys for the third squad member.

    Bonus power: I personally feel that ammo powers are the way to go since the others tend to be quite situational. Squad Armor Piercing Ammo and Squad Warp Ammo are both good choices. A lot of people recommend the various defensive powers but I feel that as long as you use cover effectively, extra damage is a lot more valuable than extra survivability.

    Kasumi: Do Kasumi's loyalty mission as soon as possible if you are any class except Soldier or possibly Vanguard. The Locust SMG and extra Tech Damage upgrade are incredibly valuable, especially in the very early game. The Locust is by far the best SMG for Shepard and practically makes assault rifles redundant. Squadmates will do more damage with the Tempest however.

    Weapons training: In my mind, the sniper rifle is definitely the way to go. Being able to hang way back and hurt enemies from afar is an incredibly valuable thing on Insanity. Assault rifles are much less valuable since the Locust SMG was added to the game, and the shotgun is just a poor choice on Insanity because 99% of the time, you're going to want to stay in cover as far away from the enemies as possible.

    Heavy weapon: I didn't use heavy weapons a ton, but I've found that the Arc Projector is generally the most useful, especially against tightly packed groups of mercs. The Avalanche is helpful against husks, and definitely bring the Cain for the final boss fight.

    Infinite respawns: This is a misperception about the game that I have seen repeated many times. The truth is, except for a small number of special cases (final boss, end of Tali's recruitment, Quarian crash site N7 mission), ME2's enemies do not respawn infinitely. If you are a class that has Incinerate or Warp, it is a valid strategy to find a good cover spot, pick off the enemies one by one, and just wait for them to stop coming (the krogans in Grunt's recruitment and the mercs at the very end of Zaeed's loyalty mission are examples where this works). This strategy may be problematic for soldiers because of ammo limitations, but an Engineer or Sentinel can pick off a dozen enemies in a row just spamming Overload and Incinerate/Warp.

    Loyalty missions: Definitely do Zaeed's mission because his Inferno Grenade is very useful against groups of organic enemies. Do Kasumi's for the Locust SMG. And be sure to do either Jack or Samara's mission, because you need one of them to prevent one of the members of your main squad being killed. Other than that, only do them if you feel like it. The final body count doesn't matter as long as you have who you need to defeat the final boss.

    Class: I've only played through Insanity with an Engineer, and I found it to be a very fun, flexible, and powerful class to play. Infiltrator also seems like a great choice since you can use sniper rifles from the beginning of the game and you still have Incinerate, which for my money is the single most useful offensive power in the game. Biotic powers are generally less useful on Insanity since they're ineffective on shielded or armored enemies, and since the Soldier has no protection-stripping powers and is completely dependent on weapons, I feel like lack of ammo would become a big issue.

    Good luck! Remember that Freedom's Progress is about as tough as anything else on Insanity, so if you can beat that mission, you've got a fighting chance against anything else the game can throw at you.
  • MaxoplataMaxoplata284,661
    30 Jan 2010 27 Jan 2010 29 Jan 2010
    15 19 0
    My #1 tip for playing on Insanity would be to manual save often. Keep auto save on just in case you forget. But after every battle when the option to save is available, make sure you do it. That way you don't need to restart an entire mission every time you die, you can just restart the battle you were killed in.

    Also, pay attention to what gun you are using. Don't use a gun that is effective against shields and biotic barriers but weak against armor against an enemy who has armor and vice versa (you would be surprised how often it happens in the heat of battles when every enemy isn't the same).

    Lastly, use your directional pad. Make sure to use left and right to point your teammates into cover when in battle. They tend to get themselves killed A LOT faster by shooting out in the open if you don't. And use up on the d-pad to have your teammates concentrate their fire on a certain enemy. This will make the enemies go down a lot faster by focusing on taking them down one at a time instead of you doing that while your teammates scatter their fire between all of the enemies.

    My personal strategy was to make sure I did a lot of the side missions to level up and gain upgrades to make my character more powerful. Most of the side missions are not nearly as tough as the main story missions and leveling/upgrading will make the main story missions MUCH easier. Also, my preferred crew was Miranda and Mordin with their Overload, Warp and Incineration abilities maxed out and set to cover a wider area to hit multiple enemies. Those abilities can be used on enemies with barriers and amor and hitting them with those abilities when you first see them will severely weaken them before they can get close to you at all. For which of your teammates abilities to take, I chose Jacob's Barrier ability and I keep a barrier on me 100% of the time in battle. And lastly, for the weapon training you get to choose on the Collector ship, I chose the assault rifle training. You might not like it at first, but once you get used to it, it does large amounts of damage to all types of enemies at all distances with good accuracy (and that's even before upgrades).
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