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Mass Effect: How to Drive the Mako

Mass Effect Should You Disable The Makos Improved Handling 1

In Mass Effect, Shepard and their squad will spend a lot of time driving the Mako to explore planets. Here’s how to use its new handling and controls.

The Mako is the preferred way to get around most of the planets in the galaxy in Mass Effect, and its controls and handling received something of a facelift in Mass Effect Legendary Edition. The Mako is an armored vehicle used for land travel. It comes equipped with a cannon and machine gun that can make fighting larger enemies, particularly Geth Armatures, Geth Turrets, and the Geth Colossus, less dangerous. It is also particularly useful for climbing over mountainous landscapes in Mass Effect, as Shepard and their squad are unable to get over these barriers any other way. The Mako can even be used as indestructible cover or a weapon in itself, as driving over the Geth and other enemies is an option.

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Related: Mass Effect Legendary Edition: How to Defeat Husks (Tips, Tricks, & Strategies)

Driving the Mako is a little easier in Mass Effect Legendary Edition, as the vehicle has a little more weight and is less sensitive when trying to turn. While there are still some quirks to handling, and while it is still possible to flip over and fall into a lake of lava, players are likely to have a better time keeping their tank under control. Here’s how to drive the Mako in Mass Effect.

How to Control the Mako in Mass Effect

How Mass Effect's Mako Controls Are Better (But Still Awful)

To drive the Mako in Mass Effect, players will use the same movement controls they use when moving as Shepard. On console, players will use the left analog stick, and, on PC, they will use the WASD keys. They can also use the right analog stick or mouse to change directions while moving forward. Because the Mako still makes wide turns, when near an edge, players may be better served by reversing rather than trying to turn around.

The Mako comes equipped with a heavy cannon and a machine gun. The cannon can only fire one shot at a time, and the machine gun can overheat, so it is best not to continually fire. Typically, on console, the same buttons used to fire Shepard’s guns (R2 or RT) will fire the Mako’s machine gun. On PC, the left mouse button controls this mechanic. To fire the cannon on console, use R1 or RS, and on PC, right-click. Players also have the option to zoom in to make more accurate shots.

While aboard the Mako, players can hit the boosters to accelerate for a short time. This is especially useful to flip back over or get unstuck from the landscape. On console, the control for the boosters is L1 or LB, and on PC, the control is the Shift key. They can also use the jump jets to spring into the air. This helps dodge some fire and clear obstacles. On console, this is controlled using the X or A buttons, and the Spacebar on PC. Finally, to hop out of the Mako and fight or continue forward on foot, on console, players will need to use the Circle button, B button, or Q key.

Mass Effect Mako in the snow on Noveria

It is important for players to note they will receive more XP from kills made outside the Mako than those made using the Mako’s artillery. It may be a good idea to soften and take down the shields of large enemies using the Mako’s guns, then hop out to finish making the kill to earn the maximum amount of XP. The Mako itself can be used for cover in these instances, as it will never completely break down or lead to a critical mission failure while Shepard is outside it.

When the Mako takes too much damage, it must be repaired using omni-gel to avoid a critical mission failure. Depending on Shepard’s squad, a high Electronics score translates to a larger portion of the hull that gets repaired. Tali, Garrus, and Liara can all have the Electronics skill, ensuring Shepard will almost never be without. Shepard may need to convert some gear to omni-gel early to make sure they can repair the Mako as often as needed.

On the PC version of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, players can choose to revert to the original Mako controls and disable the improved handling. This option is available in Settings under Controls > Mako Camera-Relative Steering. It is not clear if or when this feature will be added to consoles, but it is possible the option may appear in an update later.


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

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