Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer mode debuts in a new trailer from BioWare, showing off some 4-player cooperative gameplay. Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer iterates on what was initially introduced in Mass Effect 3, which is a class-based, squad-based "Horde" style mode. Gameplay involves fighting waves of enemies of varying difficulty, earning XP and Credits, and then building characters stronger through weapon, mods, and ability upgrades.
As with Mass Effect 3, players will pick a unique species and class combination, like, for example, a Krogan Soldier or a Human Engineer, prior to a match. After picking a character, players can then equip them with a weapon to help against the specific enemy-type they will be facing. BioWare says that over 40 weapons will be available at launch with no class restrictions, though players will almost certainly have to unlock them to use them. Weapons can also be modded or boosters like Cryo Ammo can be used to give players additional tactical power.
Rewards upon a match's completion break down into XP and Credits. All rewards are shared evenly between a squad, so cooperation takes priority over competition. XP goes into the individual character that was used in a match, and leveling that character leads to new or more powerful abilities. Credits can be spent to acquire new gear that can be used by all characters. While the announcement doesn't detail how Credits are used specifically, BioWare's said that Mass Effect: Andromeda uses a similar card pack system to Mass Effect 3. For instance, digital content in the Digital Editions of Mass Effect: Andromeda are shown to include various packs and boosters.
The action within Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer should be familiar to Mass Effect fans. It's cover-based third-person shooting is similar to previous games. In multiplayer, players won't have as broad access to all of the powers and abilities as in single-player, though. Each class-species combination will have a limited arsenal at their disposal, which is why cooperation with other players is so important to survival. Using tools and abilities strategically both to protect teammates and to defeat the enemy is the key to victory.
Many have been curious regarding how Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer will tie into the single-player mode, and BioWare has provided some additional details regarding that. In single-player mode, fans will be able to send out APEX Strike Teams on "Strike Team Missions" for the Andromeda Initiative, likely to recover resources. These likely take a certain amount of time to complete, so instead of waiting, players can execute the Strike Team Mission themselves. Players will be pushed into a multiplayer match where winning will mean the mission completes successfully.
Unfortunately, players will have to wait until Mass Effect: Andromeda launches to try out the multiplayer for themselves, as the only planned test was canceled by BioWare. It's likely very similar in structure to Mass Effect 3's multiplayer, though, so spare some time to increase Galaxy Readiness in preparation instead.
Mass Effect: Andromeda launches on March 21 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.