Mass Effect 3: How to Survive the Final Battle

Published on March 14th, 2012

Spoilers ahead…

The final push against the Reapers is surprisingly tough, even on normal difficulty, but the last major battle is a real kick in the nuts.

Players need to protect two different mobile missile trucks from a deluge of different Reaper-created abominations, but don’t worry as we’ve got your back. Here’s a wave by wave guide to that final push to help Shepard find her way to the Catalyst.

Mass Effect 3: How to Survive the Final Battle

Warp is great at eliminating the weaker enemies, allowing you to focus on the shielded variety.

Wave 1: As soon as you arrive at the location of the missile batteries, you’ll immediately bet beset upon by a squad originating from the front of the map, which consists of melee-centric Husks, Cannibals, and Marauders. The Husks and Cannibals are easy to dispense with, just use your biotic abilities, such as Warp and Singularity, to neutralise them before peppering their floating bodies. Marauders on the other hand are trickier as their shields make them immune to cheap attacks, so the best thing to do is take cover and shoot them with any weapon you have to hand; they only take a few slugs.

Wave 2: The second wave comes from the left hand side of the map and again involves Husks, Cannibals and Marauders. Use the tactics listed above.

Mass Effect 3: How to Survive the Final Battle

Ugly and very powerful. Keep Banshees at range and just keep firing.

Wave 3: Now this wave gets a bit more complicated due to the addition of two shrieking Banshees to accommodate the existing Husk, Cannibal and Marauder setup. Take out the Husks first, run to the back of the map and utilise your sniper rifle to take out the Banshees as they make their way quickly towards you. Due to the Banshee’s teleporting ability they’re much faster than their colleagues and you need to take them out quickly because up close they can take out your shields in a brief second and kill you in one hit. With our sniper rifle they only took 4 shots to take down, but you may need to use a shotgun when they get up close. Concentrate all of your squadmate’s powers on taking one Banshee out and then focus on the next. After that, mop up the rest of the enemies. It’s worth noting that if you’re having particular trouble there’s a Hydra rocket launcher in the room on the left hand-side of the map next to the first missile truck. We’d recommend saving this one-shot weapon for the final wave, but it’s worth remembering it’s there.

Once you’ve killed the third wave you’ll have a brief respite to look around and collect ammo and med-gel spread throughout the environment’s four different rooms along its four corners. When you’re ready to continue, simply head to the first missile truck and enjoy the cutscene.

Mass Effect 3: How to Survive the Final Battle

Brutes are slow and pretty dumb. Lead them on a merry chase, while taking pot-shots along the way.

Wave 4: Low and behold the first set of missiles didn’t work and now Reaper forces are really pissed off as you’ve alerted them to your presence, thanks to the cutscene exploits. Thanks BioWare! To make matters worth you now have five Brutes bearing down on you, front and back, as soon as you step away from the console. As soon as you’re granted control of Shepard again, run into the building to the right of the trucks with your squadmates to escape their inevitable melee attacks and take a deep breath as we’re going to go running! The Brutes are massive lumbering monstrosities who don’t have any long-range attacks, so in order to manage them affectively the best way to kill them efficiently is to run to one corner room, take a few shots with the sniper rifle, collect some ammo, run to the next room, take a few more shots and repeat. We found moving in an anti-clockwise direction from the starter room works best and don’t worry about your squadmates if they get downed – don’t use any medi-gel as they’ll just kill themselves again. You can try ordering them where to go, but the AI will usually find a way to get itself killed. Each Brute takes five sniper rifle shots to take down, and with Reaper fire constantly causing the environment to shake you’ll miss a few shots. If you do don’t worry, simple follow the ‘coral’ approach, concentrate all your fire on one Brute and then move onto the next one. It’s worth noting Brutes do have a charge attack, which allows them to cover a dozen or so yards very quickly, so it’s worth moving on as soon as they get too close. Also be careful of Brutes flanking your position, there’s only five of them but they won’t follow in one big conga line, sometimes they split up to give you a nasty surprise.

Once you take down the third of the five Brutes, a Harvester swoops down into the middle of the map. As soon as this happens you have a few seconds to take cover in one of the four corner rooms and take it out the flying artillery enemy using any powers and weapons you have. To kill a Harvester takes three sniper shots. Mix in some Singularity and Warp powers to go with that fire, and it should be taken out in a matter of seconds. The Harvester doesn’t have much armour, but her laser weaponry will take you out in just one or two shots, so get into cover and choose your moments to fire carefully. After The Harvester is down, simply return to the ‘Ring around the Missile Truck’ tactic as before and you’ll be on the final wave.

Mass Effect 3: How to Survive the Final Battle

Clear a path and then run like hell!

Wave 5: Moments after you take out the final Brute, all hell quickly breaks loose. Now you have two Banshees to take care of as well as half a dozen Marauders; all of whom spawn in the middle of the map. During the previous waves the Reaper on the horizon has gotten closer and closer, which allows Eve to target the giant cybernetic construct with the remaining missile truck’s arsenal, so you there’s no need to take down every enemy in this wave – just survive long enough for the Eve to sort out her calibrations. Now for this wave we retreated to the room to the left of the trucks again, picked up the Hydra missile launcher, which we noted earlier, and waited for one Banshee to get up close before firing vengefully in her surprised face. After that we hunkered down until we heard the audio cue to head to the firing mechanism on the final truck and the battle was complete. Following this method the final wave only took around sixty seconds to complete, so you just need to stay in cover, stay away from the teleporting Banshees and run like hell when Eve says you can activate the console.

Those five waves are the biggest challenge has to offer, with the battle overall lasting around twenty minutes, but if you follow our advice you shouldn’t die even once.


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    1. Posted by CP Matthew on March 16th, 2012, 17:44

      Thanks for posting this, it was a big help. The only thing I might add is to watch out for the reaper laser as you are running for the truck during the last wave. The first time I got to it, the laser took me out on the way to the console.

    2. Posted by Vettungen on March 24th, 2012, 04:21

      Omg…I’m at the last 2 banshees…and I already used that neat gun…the banshes run up to me take down my shields then the marauders gangbag me…I’m stuck…no cheats and this guide doesn’t help.


    3. Posted by Shmeeg on October 4th, 2012, 01:56

      Excellent walkthrough. Just the facts. Thanks!

    4. Posted by Susan Kim on October 8th, 2012, 14:27

      What worked for me: I positioned myself in the room to the left of the truck and used Biotic Charge to get me to the controls when the console becomes active. I’m not going to tell you how many tries it took #embarassing

    5. Posted by Peter Lamberton on April 6th, 2013, 22:44

      By far the easiest class to be in this final wave of this battle is an INFILTRATOR, basically keep cloaking, running and hiding. When you get the all clear to fire the last missile just cloak and run for the console. If you kept your cool down time to the fastest speed, you can basically have unlimited cloaking ability. Also I highly recommend you take in a fully maxed out Shep in powers and guns at level 60 to your Insanity run. Regardless of your squadmates it makes beating most missions a piece of cake on this setting.

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