How to be successful as an Infiltrator.
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What an infiltrator is:
An infiltrator utilizes tech abilities as well as weapon powers in conjunction with Sniper rifles and medium range pistols to remove enemies from afar. Infiltrators truly speak to the slow-moving, strategic individual that finds pleasure in watching heads explode.
How to maximize the infiltrator's weapon effectiveness:
As with most of Mass Effect 2, upgrades and seeking out those upgrades can determine the outcome of any one encounter out on the field. Acquiring and researching upgrades can become the single-most important criteria to effectively using any class in Mass Effect 2. This is particularly true with the infiltrator and upgrades that affect sniper rifle damage, heavy pistol damage, sub-machine gun damage, sniper rifle headshot damage, and especially any ammo reserve upgrades that are available should be sought out with fervor as they are critical to success.
The second way, in conjunction with upgrades, is to maximize your ability tree by specializing in abilities such as Incinerate, Tactical Cloak, and the infiltrator's class skill. If available, a loyalty power such as Geth Shield Boost should be used and upgraded as much as possible as well. Infiltrators are notoriously weak in the defensive department and often when under heavy fire will be forced to retreat. Abilities such as Geth Shield Boost enable prolonged exposure to the battle which in turn enables more damage to be dealt. Finally, ammo powers should be focused on only when possible, as they are effective even at their lowest levels. Cryo ammo and Disruptor ammo are valuable assets and a requirement to be successful against all enemies.
How to set up abilities and utilize them on the field:
First you should focus on Operative, Tactical Cloak, and Incinerate early on in the game while you acquire all of the upgrades for weapons and armor. After which you can start depositing skill points into the less important skills such as disruptor and cryo ammo, and even AI Hacking if there are any left over.
The benefit of an infiltrator is its ability to stay far from combat, or entrench themselves at a distance, allowing you to never have to leave your vantage point. Seek out the highest, and/or furthest, location in the battle that gives you a clear view of the field. This will enable the use of Incinerate on enemies without shields/biotic barriers without interference from the environment, and it will enable precise removal of enemies with your rifle.
The Operative ability allows for increased health and time slow-down when aiming through the scope of your rifle. This is an essential ability, allowing for precision when firing upon your target. The greatest benefit of this ability is that it resets each time you zoom out. That is, as soon as you have ejected your thermal clip, it is ready to go for the next brain-squishing shot.
Tactical Cloak is simply an ability to be used when moving from point A to point B strategically. I stress strategically, as while this ability may grant you invisibility it is not a save-all in the midst of a close-quarter firefight that has eliminated your shields, because all shield regeneration and health regeneration is halted post-ability usage... a dangerous thing if your cloak runs out before you are safely behind cover, or if there are enemies that can sight in on you from every direction. So utilize this ability when you want to increase weapon damage briefly, and when you need a way to access a vantage point quickly and undetected. Usually when cover is scarce and enemies are abundant.
I mentioned that a loyalty ability such as Geth Shield Boost should be selected if possible, as it is the perfect ability to be used in situations where Tactical Cloak is simply too much of a high-risk ability (as it is not intended to be). When you find yourself without shields or are surrounded by the enemy, using the Geth Shield Boost will automatically replenish shields and increase their strength, giving you the necessary time to escape to a reasonable distance and engage your Tactical Cloak if necessary. No player is perfect, so a backup ability like this is almost always a solid decision and it is my personal favorite for the infiltrator class.
Finally, the two ammo powers must be constantly updated on the field depending on the enemy you are fighting. Do not rely on your base weapon ammo when you can do multiple times the damage to a synthetic with disruptor ammo, and the same goes for using cryo ammo on organic enemies. Try to make it a point of eliminating all of one type of enemy with a specific ammo power and then move onto the next when there is a mixture of synthetic and organic enemies on the field.
Last, but not least, how to maximize damage output of your Infiltrator's weapons:
Now that you understand the uses and benefits of the abilities they will all come together in your usage of them on the field. After upgrades have been invested in, you should also have access to a particular piece of headgear that increases the damage output of your weapons when a head shot is successfully executed: Use it.
Head shots are going to be the infiltrator's bread and butter. When ever possible, even if it does not seem as though it will matter, perform a head shot. It is not only satisfying, but it greatly increases the damage of each shot and as an infiltrator you need to maximize the damage output of every bullet you have.
Shields are more of an annoyance than an obstacle when playing as an infiltrator. I suggested upgrading sub machine guns as much as possible for this reason: when faced with a shield of biotic barrier, simply equip this weapon and deplete their shields in a few well-placed bursts. This is absolutely necessary since you are trying to maximize the effectiveness of your sniper rifle. Your rifle is simply wasted on enemies that have any shield and/or biotic barrier.
The Operative ability in conjunction with the correct ammo power and the usage of Tactical Cloak frequently, as well as a steady, unrelenting execution of head shots will result in a sure-fire way to be successful in any situation across the Mass Effect 2 universe. As long as you utilize your cover when necessary and never stop aiming for the head you will be a successful infiltrator.
I hope you enjoy your play-through as an infiltrator, and always remember that there is no single-most effective way to play this particular class. This is merely one of the ways that I find most effective when playing as this class and I am sure you will discover the same before long.
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