How to Defeat Banshees (Tips, Tricks, & Strategies)

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Next to Reapers, Banshees are some of the scariest alien creatures in Mass Effect 3. Biotics, mobility, and headshots will help Shepard defeat them.

Apart from the Reapers, one of the most terrifying and difficult enemies players will face in Mass Effect 3 are Banshees. The Banshees are asari with Ardat-Yakshi potential who have been imbued with Reaper tech. Banshees in Mass Effect 3 are powerful, with biotic abilities similar to those of the Vanguard character class, and the added ability to grab and instant-kill Shepard or squadmates if anyone on the team gets too close. Banshees often announce themselves by their haunting shrieks and can teleport directly to Shepard to attack at close range and grab them. They are even capable of shooing away some biotic projectiles with a wave of their hand.

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Related: Mass Effect 3: All Legendary Edition Changes & Differences

Players first encounter Banshees in Mass Effect 3 either during the Kallini Ardat-Yakshi Monastery mission or during the first few missions of the Leviathan DLC. Following that point, they become a frequent enemy type, usually leading Reaper forces. On higher difficulties, players will have to face more of them at once. Defeating Banshees in Mass Effect 3 gets easier if players focus on landing headshots, staying mobile, and detonating biotic powers to break through a Banshee’s Armor and Shields. Here are some tips for fighting Banshees and emerging victorious in Mass Effect 3.

Tactics for Fighting Banshees in Mass Effect 3

A Banshee attacks Shepard in Mass Effect 3

To successfully fight Banshees in Mass Effect 3, players will need to spec Shepard and their squadmates to ensure they can successfully break through a Banshee’s defenses. Banshees have a high Barrier and a very high Armor rating. Biotic powers can take down Barriers and some shields, and several tech and ammo powers can break through Armor. Banshees do not have health bars, so only abilities that break down Barrier and Armor layers will be necessary.

Players will want any of the following skills in their squad to take down Banshee Barriers:

  • Overload
  • Energy Drain
  • Reave
  • Dark Channel

To take down Armor, any fire powers, from Incendiary Ammo to Incinerate or Inferno Grenade, is especially useful. Reave also has the ability to penetrate Armor layers and is a good all-around power to have when dealing with Banshees. Shepard can learn this as a bonus power in Mass Effect 3, or they can bring Kaidan along to use it.

A Banshee attacks Samara's daughter at the Ardat-Yakshi monastery in Mass Effect 3

Biotics are going to be the most useful against Banshees, and combinations like Warp followed by Throw create powerful explosions that deal significant damage. Warp, followed by Reave, has a similar effect. A Vanguard’s Biotic Charge can also be useful, but only if players are quick enough to maneuver Shepard away from the Banshee before it can grab them, immediately following the blast. Some biotic abilities will not work, however, as they only affect Health and not Armor or Barriers. These include Stasis, Slam, Dominate, and Pull.

Because Banshees can teleport directly to Shepard and their squad, cornering them behind cover, they will need to stay mobile. The more players move, the less likely it will be that the Banshee’s teleportation catches them, and the less likely they are to be impaled by the Banshee’s instant-kill melee attack. Banshees are usually accompanied by other Reaper enemies, like Husks, Ravagers, Marauders, Brutes, or Cannibals, so players will need to look out for those as they keep moving and make sure not to run right into a secondary enemy’s attack range.

While fighting Banshee’s at range can seem safe, they also have a Warp-like ranged attack. One hit will take down Shepard’s shields. A second blast will remove all but one bar of health. Keeping mobile can help Shepard dodge some of these attacks, but they may need to use Medi-Gel frequently to avoid falling in combat.

The weakest point on a Banshee appears to be its head, so when using weapons, Shepard should keep aiming for the head to deal greater damage. While this is difficult to do when moving, it can prove useful while a Banshee’s teleportation ability recharges.

Players can practice fighting Banshees in Mass Effect 3 when they enter the second half of the Citadel DLC. Banshees are an optional enemy type at the Armax Arsenal Arena combat simulator, and Shepard can test various squadmate combinations and abilities against them to earn a few more credits.

Next: Mass Effect 3: How to Upgrade Weapons

Mass Effect Legendary Edition is available for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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