In BioWare’s Mass Effect, life for humanity changes drastically after the discovery of Element Zero (“eezo”). It’s “a rare material that, when subjected to an electrical current, releases dark energy which can be manipulated into a mass effect field, raising or lowering the mass of all objects within that field.” Sure, its most important use is in powering FTL (faster than light) drives in spaceships, but the most fun use is in biotics, which is essentially a branch of gravity-based space magic.

All manner of aliens, humans included, develop eezo nodules throughout their nervous systems when exposed to eezo in utero, which can be further enhanced by years of training and implants to amplify the nodules. Some races have more of a natural affinity than others, but a “Biotic” — as they’re called — can actively tap into dark energy to manipulate mass effect fields, allowing for various forms of telekinesis, low-level teleportation or flying, but also the creation of small gravitational vortices, energy barriers, and all manner of matter manipulation, including ripping things apart at the molecular level.

Many Biotics find their way onto your squad across the four Mass Effect games, and the player can actively pursue their own path as a Biotic should they see fit. But across the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, here is the definitive ranking of the 12 most powerful Biotics Mass Effect has ever seen.


Jacob is a more close-quarters soldier than a powerful Biotic.
Jacob is a more close-quarters soldier than a powerful Biotic.

12. Jacob Taylor

Very little is known about the extent of this Cerberus operative’s biotic abilities, mainly because he’s positioned more as a weapons expert and soldier than anything else. Taylor starts out as part of your squad in Mass Effect 2, and you have the option of assisting him in a side mission during Mass Effect 3. As far as squadmates go, he’s a fairly minor character and almost never does anything overly impressive. In combat, he has access to abilities like Barrier and Pull, both of which are fairly basic and seem to only serve as complementing his more traditional combat-focused abilities.

Kaidan cooking up some biotics.
Kaidan cooking up some biotics.

11. Kaidan Alenko

Kaidan is a human Biotic wired with L2 implants, which actually cause neurological damage to the user. For Kaidan, that means he gets infrequent migraines. Though billed as an incredibly powerful Biotic (for a human at least), he still pales in comparison to many others. The vast majority of players choose to sacrifice Kaidan over Ashley Williams during the Mass Effect mission on Virmire, so he’s oft forgotten. In a noteworthy part of his backstory, Kaidan accidentally killed a Turian commander with a biotic kick during a training exercise. Other than that, the best he can tell us is about “throwing things around” with his biotics as a child; but that’s something anybody on this list could say.

Peebee is more focused on science and exploration than anything else.
Peebee is more focused on science and exploration than anything else.

10 Pelessaria “Peebee” B’Sayle

Peebee’s official in-game role is “Rogue Academic,” and while her status as an inquisitive, science-minded Asari archaeologist somewhat neatly copies that of Liara, Peebee has nowhere near the biotic pedigree that her spiritual predecessor does. She’s young for an Asari, only around 100 years old, and her father is actually an Elcor, which is kind of terrifying. Known as something of a “biotic destabilizer” in combat, Peebee’s skills in biotics seem to be only about average for an Asari and more focused on harassing the enemy as opposed to displays of raw power.

9. Thane Krios

Thane is a Drell assassin who relies much more on sharpshooting, acrobatics, and stealth than he does his biotic abilities, but in one particular game trailer, he’s seen using Pull Field to suspend three enemies in the air at once. Though not as naturally skilled as the Asari, the Drell find themselves biologically suited to using biotics. You can see Thane seamlessly incorporate his various skills in the above clip from Mass Effect 3 in which he valiantly fends off the assassin Kai Leng despite being incapacitated by a terminal illness at the time.

8. Urdnot Wrex

Wrex is one of the very last Krogan Battlemasters, which are some of the few biotic users in the entire Krogan race who blend powerful biotics with advanced (oftentimes heavy) weaponry. Though full of the bloodlust and rage typical of Krogans, Wrex was known for his shrewd diplomacy as well. He’s more likely to headbutt enemies to death than anything else, but when he needs to, he boasts some powerful biotic powers as well. The thing is, as he’s learned in his at least 700 years of life, he doesn’t even need to use biotics to kick some ass (case in point: the above video).

7. Miranda Lawson

Miranda Lawson was genetically engineered to be as close to perfection as possible, and her potent biotic powers are only one small part of that. Early on in Mass Effect 2, she boasts, “I can crush a mech with my biotics or shoot its head off at 100 yards. Take your pick.” Her skills are the result of years of disciplined training with natural, engineered aptitude. Despite the fact that she volunteers to create the biotic barrier field necessary to survive a section of the “Suicide Mission” at the end of the game, her powers can’t quite cut it, resulting in her death if she is indeed picked for the task. So she’s better than most but far from the best.

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In his culture, Javik is the living embodiment of vengeance, and he's got the biotic prowess to back that up.
In his culture, Javik is the living embodiment of vengeance, and he's got the biotic prowess to back that up.

6. Javik

After 50,000 years in cryogenic stasis, the sole surviving Prothean rises to the occasion to fight at your side in Mass Effect 3, calling himself the “Avatar of Vengeance” — yeah, that’s kind of terrifying. Javik is a soldier through and through, vowing revenge upon the Reapers with an imperialist attitude and a strange accent. He’s a relic from an impossibly ancient former age in which his biotics were colored with a green light as opposed to the blue-indigo hues so common in Mass Effect. With them, he absolutely wrecks enemies by tossing them around like rag dolls.

Liara is one of the most beloved – and powerful – characters, who was in each game in the original trilogy.
Liara is one of the most beloved – and powerful – characters, who was in each game in the original trilogy.

5. Liara T’Soni

Liara is a fan-favorite Asari companion who’s one of the most helpful and practical squadmates in both Mass Effect 1 and 3. Though she’s only 106 years old at the start of the series, Liara’s combat training is entirely invested in her biotics. As a pureblood Asari, her potential is formidable, something that’s only enhanced by her pedigree: Her mother is Matriarch Benezia, a renowned biotic powerhouse who’s at least 700 years old. She’s a scholar and later an information broker, but that doesn’t dampen how capable she is as a Biotic warrior.

4. Cora Harper

Cora is the resident Biotic badass in Andromeda; she might even be the most powerful Biotic user in that galaxy. She boasts being able to “warp a steel girder with [her] mind” and the fact that she was able to rip a mech to shreds at a fairly young age. While still in the Milky Way, she ran with Asari Commandos for a time — which means she’s on par with some of the most powerful Biotics in that galaxy, fighters that even Liara was afraid of. “When your biotics are honed into huntress-grade weapons,” Cora says, “people can be weird about it.” It was her unique biotic potential that ultimately got her such a high-ranking position in the Andromeda Initiative while earning her few friends. She was never fully accepted by the Asari because she’s human and never welcomed by humans either because of her power. Despite all of that, in one of the most impressive biotic feats in the whole series (featured above), she teams up with Sarissa to create a biotic barrier large enough and powerful enough to repel ship-to-ship missiles.

Morinth looms over her mother, Samara, in a biotic duel to the death.
Morinth looms over her mother, Samara, in a biotic duel to the death.

3. Morinth

Morinth is an Ardat-Yakshi, a name which translates to “Demon of the Night Winds” that is given to Asari who have a specific genetic abnormality. It’s a trait that causes them to dominate the minds of their lovers, resulting in the death of every sexual partner and increased power for the Ardat-Yakshi. The trait is exceedingly rare and only occurs in pureblood Asari. Being Samara’s daughter, Morinth naturally has a great deal of biotic potential, but coupled with hundreds of years of using her “gifts” to increase her powers makes her incredibly dangerous. In-game, it’s said that she’s nearly as powerful as her mother — but not quite.

2. Jack (Subject Zero)

Jack, aka Subject Zero, has a lengthy rap sheet (piracy, kidnapping, vandalism, and murder) and anger problems. When you encounter her, she’s in cryogenic stasis in a prison, which says something serious: She’s basically the most powerful human Biotic ever. She was targeted by human advancement group Cerberus as a baby for her biotic potential and was subsequently tortured and experimented on for years to unleash that potential. Eventually, a riot led to her escape, and years of violence and crime followed — but in working with Shepard to save the galaxy for the greater good, a great deal of survivor’s guilt surfaces, and a real hero emerges. In Mass Effect 3, she’s seen teaching wayward Biotic students not unlike what she once was. Remember how Kaidan has L2 implants? Hers are L5, which is a roundabout way of saying that she could mop the floor with most of the Biotic users on this list.

1. Samara

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Imagine alien space samurais who abandon all relationships and possessions, but they have space magic, and they travel the galaxy following a strict moral code of ethics that renders them unable to really make empathetic decisions of any kind. Now imagine that they have centuries to hone in on that ludicrous power. That’s essentially the definition of the Asari-only order of Justicar, and Samara is one of the greatest to ever exist. Justicars follow a code of 5,000 “sutras” that dictate their choices, focusing on righteous justice with little room for mercy or compassion. Samara demonstrates a number of biotic feats other companions could never even dream of, including being the optimal choice for a part of the final mission in Mass Effect 2 in which a squadmate has to maintain a large barrier while the crew traverses a lengthy platform. She can also basically fly using her biotics, which sort of makes her a superhero, right?

Photos via Mandy Alenko