Home / Mass Effect / Mass Effect 3: Best Builds by the Numbers – Volus Adept and Engineer

Mass Effect 3: Best Builds by the Numbers – Volus Adept and Engineer


I find that people either love or hate this little ball of asthma … I, personally, think it’s hilarious to play as 4 volus characters in a match :) But as far as their builds, a lot of people misunderstand how to use them.  The Volus is made for pure support, so spec-ing for damage or hoping for the top score in a Gold/Platinum match doesn’t make much sense.  Here’s the breakdown for the new Volus classes:

Volus Adept

NOTE: I will re-do the Volus Adept build because apparently the orbs don’t actually increase your recharge speed in-game like they’re supposed to (damn you, Bioware!).

Best Build 0/6/6/6/6

Q:  How should I spec and use my orbs?

A:  Spec them for recharge speed, never fire your orbs unless as a defensive measure, rely on weapon damage.

Here’s why – you’re looking at 675 points for the maximum damage per orb if you spec everything else out for damage.  It takes almost 2000 points to kill a single baseline enemy (Geth Trooper, Assault Trooper, Cannibal) on Gold.  So if you shoot off all your orbs, it will barely take out one baseline enemy.

If you spec for recharge speed, you can get a 15% bonus for each orb active (10% base, +5% at Rank 5) and 4 total orbs (Rank 6), bringing your recharge speed bonus up to 60%.  That increases your survivability because it lets you spam Shield Boost every second.  This also allows you to equip something heavy and murderous like the Harrier X, which still allows you to spam Shield Boost every couple seconds.  Then, you can focus on doing weapon damage since you won’t be dead :)  My personal fav as always is to equip the Piranha X.

Q:  How should I spec Shield Boost?

A: Focus on immediate Shield Restore rather than Restore over time.

Let’s face it – you’re a Volus.  Any healing effect that is applied over seconds doesn’t do too much good for you, since your max health and shields are barely high enough to survive one and a half seconds of Assault Trooper fire.  This applies now to your teammates as well, now that shieldgate has been removed for both enemies AND players.  So, you want to focus on the initial Shield Restore.

If you spec Shield Boost for recharge speed and initial shield restore and spec Volus Training at Rank 5 to increase Shield Boost by 30%, you can restore over 900 points of shield to yourself and nearby teammates.  Add the orbs, and you can do that every second.  This is especially handy during escort or hack objectives.

Q:  Why no stasis?

A:  Because you’re spamming Shield Boost and you don’t need it.

Stasis is great if you’re fighting lower level enemies, but with the new charging Dragoons and the grenade spamming Geth Bombers, it’s become less useful.  Besides, now that you’re restoring your shields every second, you can take the time to shoot a moving target!

Volus Engineer

Best Build 6/5/6/5/4

Q:  What’s more important, Proximity Mine or Recon Mine?

A:  They both essentially do the same thing – boost damage against enemies and explode.  Use them together!

Here’s why – alone, the PM gives you a 20% damage to enemy bonus and the RM gives you 25%.  Together, they give you a 45% bonus to damage to enemies.  This includes both weapon damage AND power damage, so the damage from the mines themselves also get a bonus.  Basically, the best way to use these combos is to fire a RM into a chokepoint, fire a PM at enemies already in the RM radius so that the bonuses stack, then shoot.

You don’t need to worry about recharge speed on the RM, assuming you use it for the weapon damage bonus rather than the explosion damage.  You shouldn’t need to blow up the RM unless enemies are threatening to overrun you, then you can use the RM to stagger enemies.  Yes, the RM does a lot of damage in one blast, but the added bonus you get from weapon damage for having the RM active  in terms of DPS is higher than blowing up the RM all the time.

Recon Mine Bonus Recharge DPS
1050 1522.5 6.37 239.01099
Piranha X DPS With Prox and Recon Mine Active Added DPS
1075.81 1559.9245 484.1145

Q:  How should I spec Shield Boost?

A:  Focus on initial shield restore, just like the Adept Volus.

With Shield Boost at Rank 5 and Volus Training at Rank 5 spec’d for initial shield restore and recharge speed, you should have 884 shields restored with the initial boost, more than enough to restore all of your shields.  The recharge speed will be around 3 seconds.

That’s it for the new Volus characters – let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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  1. Thankyou very much :) I will respec my adept too get rid of stasis and stick ot on rank 6 of training for weight. I had it on rank 3 stasis for phantoms, using my gpsmg to get rid of barriers, stasis and detonate with an orb. I also took the 3 orbs option with expose, it helps my team take bigger enemies down very quickly with the 45% dam, with the gpsmg equipped with the armour piercing mod i can solo brutes/ravagers/dragoons and scions. I agree its primarily a support class though and these are the best builds for gold/platinum. People should take full advantage of the cloak, it may not add any effects but it will give you enough time to either run or think.

  2. I’d go with expose on the orbs. 15% increased damage stacking three times is just too good to pass up. Yes, the orbs have a long recharge, but as long as there’s a counter or something to hide behind, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If all else fails, cloak and roll away. Yes, roll. There is no running on Irune.

  3. It’s weird, I specced the Adept exactly as you said, and even while using a light weapon for 200% recharge speed and the 4 Orbs active, my Shield Boost’s CD takes around 3 secs. It’s supposed to be around 1 second, right?

      • Hopefully BioWare will add a patch fix for that. =/

        But even without that, Volus are the best support class I’ve ever seen. I always wanted a “healer” class in ME3 Multiplayer (as Krogans are pretty much the game’s “tanks”), and I’m glad they added it. Plus they’re my favourite race in the game (I always wanted that BioWare would add a Volus squadmate).

        I can’t wait to see the upcoming Volus Mercenary Sentinel and Volus Protector Vanguard that will be released in a few weeks. Heck, maybe in the next expansion they add playable Elcor and Hanar, lol.

        Anyway, great guide you got there. =D

      • The orbs may affect the recharge but perhaps you can not get a faster power recharge than 3 seconds. I know that when you reset the cloak on an infiltrator, the fastest recharge time you can possibly get at the moment is 3 seconds.

  4. I tested the Volus Engineer build with Shield Boost Level 6 (Protection) instead of Fitness Level 4 (Durability) and got way better results. After all, 50% more shields plus 50% damage reduction is way too good.

  5. Never seen anyone banned for missile glitching? Ohohoho, that’s funny. Keep using it guys, I dare you. The people I report for using it must be disappearing from the game for OTHER reasons…

    • The only reason I’ve ever seen anyone banned for missile glitching is when someone reports them to bioware. I have a ton of friends who missile glitch in private matches and they are all fine.

  6. For the volus engineer wouldn’t shield boosts rank 6 protection be better than volus training rank 5 shield boost? Restores more initial, more per second, and damage reduction for 6 seconds to overlap the recast

    • Yes but at the sacrifice of a faster recharge speed. The damage reduction doesn’t do very much if you’re playing gold/platinum – what you really need is to constantly boost your shields.

  7. Maybe I’m missing something, but what recharge sacrifice? Volus Training’s rank 5 “Shield Boost” = +30% shields restored. Shield Boost’s rank 6 “Protection” = +50% shields restored and damage reduction. Neither has recharge. At least in the description.

    • Oh sorry I thought you were talking about Shield Boost Rank 5, not Volus Training vs. Shield Boost. I think recharge speed is more important than shields restored (Shield Boost Rank 5). Because the Volus’s shields are so low, you don’t really need the Rank 6 evolution as well. If you want to be altruistic and consider your teammates with more shields, go for it :) But you have to sacrifice other things which aren’t ideal.

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