Mass Effect Andromeda: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Survival

Whether your friends call you Ryder or you're a newcomer to the Andromeda Galaxy, our tips will start you on the right foot.


Even if you logged thousands of hours exploring the planets and wooing the races of the original Mass Effect trilogy, Mass Effect Andromeda shakes up BioWare's formula in enough ways to throw off veterans. Or, this might be your first Mass Effect game. Either way, this guide makes an excellent starting point.

The tips, tricks, and strategies you'll find here will serve you best during the beginning of your quest to colonize planets and trick out your Ryder character with all the best gear and skills. If you want more detailed information on a particular topic, click the link in its section to view a comprehensive guide.

Level Up Physical Stats First

Even if your Scott or Sara Ryder doesn't plan to get up close and personal during combat, it behooves you to prioritize increasing physical stats. Think of them as a catch-all: Not only will you do more damage, your shields will get a boost and your shot accuracy improves. Even late into the game, when you find yourself wondering what to upgrade, give thought to dropping more points into physical stats. Don't sweat mistakes: you can always respec later.

Help Your Helping Hands

Your allies are good for more than story arcs and romance. Ryder depends on his or her allies to harness their strengths. Ignoring their stats and focusing all your time and energy on your main character will make later parts of the game an uphill struggle.

Research, Develop, and Craft

Crafting enables you to make gear that augments your party's abilities. You'll craft in two phases: research and development. Research entails unlocking blueprints that expand the weapons, armor, and other items you can construct in the second phase: development, carried out in the Development menu. If you want to make something but don't have the option, highlight it and press Square on PS4 or X on Xbox One and PC to find out what ingredients it requires.

Scanning Planets and Anomaly

Scanning offers another method of researching. As you cruise through the galaxy, you'll get the option to scan planets individually. That coughs up a small amount of research points, though. Set your sights on various anomalies you'll come across as you travel solar systems.

Gather Materials for More Crafting

Once you land on a planet, keep your eyes peeled for rocks that look out of place; you can mine them for materials. However, you'll net even more materials by hopping in your Nomad and enabling the mining computer, which guides you to larger deposits. Deposits contain variable amounts of elements. As you drive, keep your mining computer up and watch the graphs to see when you draw close to an element you want. Then dispatch a drone to harvest it.

Upgrade Your Nomad

Some merchants sell upgrade parts for your Nomad vehicles. There are ways to boost its suspension, defensive capabilities, and more. Some of the materials you need for certain upgrades can also be put toward more valuable upgrades, so you're better off leaving Nomad mods for later.

Access AVP Pods

Throughout the game, you'll be able to unlock AVP pods that earn you resources after certain intervals of time pass. Seek out Commerce pods; they deposit 500 credits into your account every 45 minutes. Go exploring, do a mission or three, and before you know it you'll be swimming in cash to spend on weapons and gear.

Once you're happy with the credits to your name, it's time to diversify your AVP portfolio. Switch to Science pods that boost your minerals. More Science pods increasing your minerals means less time spent searching them out on planets.

Make sure to hyper-jump over to our Mass Effect Andromeda guide for more walkthroughs and tips.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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