Cerberus is a human-survivalist paramilitary group led by the enigmatic Illusive Man. Cerberus' core belief is that humans deserve a greater role in the galactic community, and that the Systems Alliance is too hamstrung by law and public opinion to stand up effectively to the Citadel races. Any methods of advancing humanity's ascension are justified, including illegal or dangerous experimentation, terrorist activities, sabotage and assassination. Cerberus operatives accept that these methods are brutal, but believe history will vindicate them. Nevertheless, both the Systems Alliance and the Citadel Council have declared Cerberus to be a terrorist organization and will prosecute identified Cerberus agents accordingly.
Cerberus is divided into numerous independent cells which have no knowledge of their counterparts. This ensures that should one cell be compromised, the others would not be captured. Each cell is led by an operative who reports directly to the Illusive Man. Cerberus operates many kinds of cells, ranging from military to political to scientific, but all united under the common goal of advancing humanity. As of 2185, Cerberus consists of 150 operatives organized into three cells. The Illusive Man oversees all projects carried out by the cells personally; consequently, there are never more than a dozen projects active at one time. This degree of micro-management leaves the organization vulnerable should the Illusive Man ever be compromised, though he has been smart enough to avoid detection so far.
Communication throughout Cerberus sometimes takes the form of steganographic messages embedded within extranet broadcasts. These messages can range from troop movement orders to instructions to financiers to direct money into certain cells. This method of communication was recently compromised by the Systems Alliance. The Illusive Man can also afford quantum-entanglement communicators. One such device was installed within the Normandy SR-2 to give the Illusive Man a secure, direct means of communication with Commander Shepard.
Cerberus has wealthy sympathizers within the Alliance military-industrial complex, who contribute credits and resources to Cerberus, and trust the Illusive Man to make the right decisions. Cerberus also owns several front corporations which further fund and support their operations. Spending trends indicate that Cerberus has a reliable income running up to several billion credits per year.
Cerberus has operatives planted across Citadel space and the Terminus Systems who regularly report to the Illusive Man. Due to their widespread network, Cerberus effectively has access to almost every settled system, major trade stop, and colony in the galaxy. However, Cerberus has no knowledge of what goes on in uncharted systems and the Migrant Fleet, thus rendering the Illusive Man blind in those areas. Cerberus operatives usually work alone. If an operative is captured, depending on their usefulness, Cerberus might attempt a rescue or simply declare them to be expendable and abandon them to their captors.
Leader and Important Members
The Illusive Man is the elusive, secretive, and well informed leader of Cerberus. He has close-cropped silver-grey hair with "steely blue" eyes which appear to be prosthetic. The Illusive Man's real name and his life before Cerberus are both long forgotten. For years, the Illusive Man has been using Cerberus and his immense network of contacts to achieve his goal - that of making humanity ascendant above all other races. He is described as having the best and worst traits of humanity rolled into one man. The Illusive Man was a normal civilian with a job and a family until the discovery of alien life. Not long after the Battle of Shanxi, an e-mail circulated throughout the extranet calling for humanity to take its rightful place and assert its power to its new alien contacts. Alliance intelligence could not locate the originator of the e-mail, but referred to him as an "illusive man" in press releases to try and dismiss the human-centric diatribe. The name stuck, and the Illusive Man founded Cerberus, a human-centric splinter group. He was responsible for breaking Cerberus away from the Alliance military, and building up Cord-Hislop Aerospace as a cover for the organization's shadow operations. His justification is that, "If humanity is to survive, sacrifices must be made for the greater good. The Alliance doesn't understand this, Cerberus does." In terms of appearance, the Illusive Man is dressed in an impeccable futuristic-style suit, combined with the casual swagger of a charming billionaire; he also seems to possess unique patterns on his irises. It is currently unknown whether these grant him any additional abilities or are simply aesthetic. The Illusive Man believes that the political party Terra Firma has a part to play in humanity's ascension and even used an assassination in order to put the right man — Charles Saracino — in power. The Illusive Man's belief that biotics are the future of humanity led him to order the sabotage and detonation of Eldfell-Ashland Energy starships over human colonies, to ensure biotic children would be born. Somehow — likely through unsavory means — the Illusive Man claimed one of these biotic children as a baby and gave her to Paul Grayson to raise as his own daughter. A decade later he planted Cerberus operatives into the Ascension Project to take advantage of the Alliance's more sophisticated biotic research. He also has an interest in the quarians and their Migrant Fleet. The Illusive Man does not trust an alien species that effectively has the largest armada of ships in the galaxy. However, he is also greatly impressed by the quarians' technological expertise, namely their creation of the geth and their continued survival despite the odds stacked against them. This curiosity has led him to seek the transmission codes for the Migrant Fleet in order to spy on them. His long-term plans are ultimately unknown, but he has many different projects all factoring into helping humanity achieve its rightful place. Currently, it seems that his main focus is on the Reapers after their discovery, realizing the vast threat they pose on humanity. He appears to dedicate all his vast resources to stop them by any means necessary. The Illusive Man will return in Mass Effect 3 as a central antagonist. He plans to use information about a Prothean superweapon discovered on Mars to take control of the Reapers to make humanity the dominant race in the galaxy. His methods are far more direct than previously. This includes directly attacking targets both Alliance and otherwise. He has made attempts to instigate war between the turians and krogan by detonating a bomb on Tuchanka, orders an attack on the Citadel itself to assist Councilor Udina in taking control from the Council, and backs a project on Horizon known as Sanctuary led by Henry Lawson to study Reaper Indoctrination as well as Husks. During the Reaper invasion of Thessia, Shepard discovered a hidden Prothean Beacon containing crucial information to finishing the Crucible. But the Commander was not the only one, for the Illusive Man learned about it as well through the Mars archives. Once again appearing via hologram, the Illusive Man attempted to sway Shepard into realizing the benefits of controlling the Reapers rather than destroying them. He points out that if the Reapers wanted to destroy all organic life, they could have done so already. He claims to know their thinking but it is clear to Shepard that he's indoctrinated. With neither side being able to convince the other, the Illusive Man ordered Kai Leng to take the Prothean VI Vendetta. Ultimately, when Shepard was able to track down Cerberus Headquarters, the Illusive Man was absent for the Alliance assault. He tells Shepard that Cerberus will never be destroyed, claiming it to be an idea, not just an organization. Shepard re-encounters the Illusive Man onboard the Citadel orbiting Earth, showing signs of Reaper modifications across his face. Using these upgrades, the Illusive Man immobilizes both Shepard and Anderson and hijacks their motor functions, forcing Shepard to shoot Anderson in the gut. Though the Illusive Man insists that he can use the Crucible to control the Reapers, Anderson clearly sees that he's being indoctrinated. Up to this point, if Shepard has exclusively used high moral options throughout every conversation with the Illusive Man, Shepard can convince the Illusive Man to commit suicide. If not, the Illusive Man will prepare to execute the injured Anderson and must be shot by Shepard. With his last breath, the Illusive Man looks through the Citadel arms and remarks how beautiful Earth is. When Shepard comes face-to-face with the Catalyst, manifesting as the young boy who was killed at the beginning of the game, he explains that the Illusive Man was right about taking Control of the Reapers but also that he would have never been able to do this himself, as the Reapers were already controlling him. His final appearance is in the final decision at the Crucible, where he appears in a vision as the embodiment of the "Control" option.
Eva Coré is a doctor and recent addition to the science team studying the Prothean Archive on Mars. Eva Coré arrives one week prior to the Reaper invasion of Earth. After fleeing Earth, Shepard is ordered by Admiral Hackett to head to Mars to retrieve intel from Liara T'Soni and the team studying the Prothean Archives before humanity loses control of the Sol system. After landing Shepard and crew discover that Cerberus has landed and has commandeered the site. Considering it would have taken nothing less than a battalion to take the facility, both team members and Liara conclude there must have been a mole. After fighting their way through the facility and reaching the Security terminal, the team discovers that Dr. Eva was a Cerberus infiltrator, who initiated the disposal of the Mars' research team. She takes charge of the Cerberus ground troops at Mars and begins to download and erase the Prothean data in the archives. When discovered by Ashley/Kaidan, she manages to break free and leads the team on a chase through the station. As she was about to escape, James Vega, who had been ordered back to the shuttle by Shepard when they met up with Liara, crashes the Normandy's shuttle into hers and she is initially believed dead. As the team begins to pick themselves up, with Ashley/Kaidan picking up Liara, she emerges from the crash and ensuing inferno, revealing that she was not human, but a gynoid infiltration unit controlled by the Illusive Man. Ashley/Kaidan attempt to take care of the unit, but end up being grabbed by the helmet and after contacting the Illusive Man for orders, she attempts to kill them. After critically wounding the squadmate, the droid turns on Shepard, who pulls their pistol and takes down the drone. If Shepard does not shoot down Eva before she reaches them, Shepard will be knocked to the ground. Before they can counter-attack, Eva will generate an omni-blade and stab Shepard in the face, resulting in an instant fatality. Shepard takes the drone aboard the shuttle and deposits it in the AI Core room on Deck Three of the Normandy for study. After rescuing Primarch Victus from Menae, EDI will take control of the body for her own use. As she explained, while analyzing the drone for data on the Prothean device, she accidentally triggered a backup power source and CPU. Eva violently resisted EDI and caused a fire in her AI core before being subdued. While browsing video files in the Cerberus base, Shepard discovers that Eva was made to be a successor to EDI, but rather than being able to think for herself, Eva would be designed to be intensely loyal to Cerberus.
Kai Leng is an assassin working for the human-survivalist organization Cerberus. Leng was formerly a lieutenant and N7 marine in the Systems Alliance known for having anti-alien attitudes. He is described as being Earth-born with features that show his dominant Chinese heritage. Leng's prowess in combat and xenophobic nature drew the attention of the Illusive Man, and Cerberus helped liberate Leng from prison. The Illusive Man used Leng as his best wet-work operative and assassin for over a decade, realising he was not only ruthless but discreet and methodical. Leng became the Illusive Man's most trusted agent, working as an infiltrator and assassin. His cybernetic modifications appear to include Cerberus's Phantom-class implants. In Mass Effect 3, Kai Leng is amongst the forces that Cerberus sends against Commander Shepard. Like Cerberus Phantoms, he is equipped with a palm device that projects a kinetic barrier, a projectile weapon in his right gauntlet, a tactical cloak and a sword for close-range combat. Leng, along with a sizable contingent of Cerberus forces, were deployed during Councilor Udina's attempted coup against the Citadel Council. He was close to assassinating the Salarian councilor when Shepard and either Major Kirrahe or Thane Krios interfered. After a brief skirmish, Leng managed to escape after stabbing Krios/Kirrahe. If both Thane and the major had previously died, Leng will successfully assassinate the councilor. In a race to get to the Council, Leng disabled Shepard's X3M, but ultimately failed his mission and was forced to retreat as C-Sec began to regroup. As he escaped, Leng reported his failure to the Illusive Man and promised to never let Shepard get the better of him again. It's revealed that Leng released a VI into the Citadel mainframe that erased all footage of himself. Bailey presumes that Leng didn't believe that Udina's plan would succeed. Leng re-encountered Shepard on Thessia while being invaded by the Reapers, in a race to get data on the final Crucible piece from a hidden Prothean Beacon. Again, Leng is unable to stop Shepard, so he instructs his gunship to level the temple. The floor caves in, leaving Shepard alive but unable to act as he claims the data. Samantha Traynor was able to track Leng to Horizon, where Henry Lawson was conducting experiments on refugees. At the same time, ex-Cerberus operative Miranda Lawson was there, looking for her sister. The Illusive Man reminded Leng to get the data but to kill Miranda only if she got in the way. Leng wounded Miranda when she confronted him, but otherwise left her alone. He managed to complete his primary objective, but was unaware that Miranda had tagged him so Shepard could strike back at Cerberus. Shepard's final confrontation with Leng takes place during the Alliance raid on Cronos Station, when the assassin (along with a small squad consisting of seven Assault Troopers, two Phantoms, and a Nemesis) confronts the Commander on the observation deck of the station. Despite Leng's lethal skills, he's unable to overwhelm Shepard. With his shielding depleted, he soon succumbs to attacks from Shepard's squad. However, despite his heavy wounds, Leng retrieves his blade and silently approaches Shepard to kill the Commander from behind. At the critical moment, Shepard detects him and counters his attack. The Commander can either break Leng's sword while stabbing him with an omni-blade, or dodge the attack and stab him with the omni-blade. With either outcome, Shepard ends the life of Cerberus' greatest assassin.
During the events of Mass Effect, Commander Shepard discovers that Cerberus has conducted horrific experiments intended to create super soldiers, including experiments on rachni and Thorian Creepers. They accidentally unleashed rachni on Listening Posts Alpha and Theta when their experimental subjects -- shipped from Noveria -- escaped from Depot Sigma-23. Cerberus also deliberately destroyed a settlement on Chasca by turning the colonial pioneer team there into Husks. A traumatised marine named Corporal Toombs also claimed that in one of their most devastating experiments, Cerberus lured thresher maws to the colony on Akuze, resulting in the notorious massacre, later capturing Toombs -- one of the only survivors -- to conduct brutal tests. Things came to a head when Commander Shepard, investigating the disappearance of a group of marines under Rear Admiral Kahoku, found that Cerberus had lured them to a thresher maw nest using a distress beacon (similar to the "experiment" they allegedly conducted on Akuze). After being informed of the marines' fate, Kahoku bought information from the Shadow Broker and asked Shepard to track Cerberus down. During his investigation, Kahoku came to conclusion that Cerberus was in fact a rogue black ops group that broke away from the Alliance. However, soon after he had managed to contact Commander Shepard with this information, Kahoku was captured and killed by Cerberus. Shepard finds Kahoku's body in a Cerberus facility on Binthu. Shepard then headed to Nepheron to launch an assault on Cerberus' main base. In Mass Effect 2, Shepard has to work with Cerberus to stop a terrifying threat to the galaxy: the Collectors. One location in Mass Effect 2 is a major Cerberus station in the Horse Head Nebula. Cerberus, headed by the Illusive Man, is responsible for bringing Shepard back from the dead after a devastating attack destroys the original Normandy. Miranda Lawson and Jacob Taylor are both members of Cerberus, as are the crew of the Normandy SR-2. Cerberus constructs the Normandy SR-2 and allows Commander Shepard to command it. When asked how Cerberus could obtain the schematics and data necessary to reconstruct a highly advanced, classified Alliance ship, the AI EDI reports that information is blocked (meaning she cannot reveal it to Shepard). However, after EDI's integration with the Normandy, the blocks are removed, revealing that Cerberus initially persuaded and backed the Alliance in co-developing the Normandy SR-1 with the turians, allowing humans to observe turian technologies and warship design practices. After its construction, Cerberus retained the schematics, purchased parts from thousands of suppliers and had it assembled by one of their cells at a remote location in the Voyager cluster. It is revealed later in the game that before Cerberus infiltrated the Ascension Project, they had a facility called Teltin on Pragia to research biotic potential in humans. They did horrific tests on children kidnapped from poor families on Earth, the colonies or bought from batarian slavers, all so that they wouldn't have to experiment on their prized subject, known only as Subject Zero. However, the Teltin facility went behind the Illusive Man's back in their work. Their research soon ended when a group of test subjects started a riot. The surviving subjects were given mild amnesic treatments and sent to the Alliance, passed off as survivors of slaver attacks, while the facility staff were forcibly retired. Cerberus also runs Project Overlord, an ambitious undertaking to not only understand the geth, but to find a way to manipulate them through their religious fervor similarly to Saren's methods. Administered on the planet Aite and run by Dr. Gavin Archer, Project Overlord was on the cusp of a breakthrough when the entire facility inexplicably went dark. Sent by the Illusive Man to salvage the situation, Shepard discovers that Archer had hooked his brother David, an autistic savant, into a VI interface to interact with the geth. The over-stimulation drove David insane and caused him to take control of the base, unleashing geth and Cerberus' own security mechs on the staff. Cerberus has maintained ties with Aria T'Loak since the events of Mass Effect: Retribution. By the time of Mass Effect: Invasion, the organization has established several research bases on the other side of the Omega 4 Relay and is using Omega as a supply hub for its convoys. During the events of Invasion, it is revealed that Cerberus' experiments with Reaper technology have produced creatures called Adjutants. The Adjutants break free from the labs and take over Cerberus' research bases, then use transport ships to escape and attack Omega. The Illusive Man sends General Oleg Petrovsky and Colonel Raymond Ashe aboard the starship Elbrus to aid Aria's defense of Omega. Although this is undertaken ostensibly to eliminate the Adjutant threat, Cerberus has other plans. While Petrovsky and Aria see to defending Omega from more Adjutant ships, Ashe is kept in chains on the station, having earned Aria's dislike for arrogantly ordering her own men around. Ashe kills his guards and contacts the Illusive Man to inform him that the real battle for Omega is ready to begin. While the Elbrus went beyond the Omega 4 Relay to Avernus Station to contain the Adjutants, Ashe made use of the Cerberus reinforcements to conquer Omega, taking advantage of the gang war being waged in Aria's absence. Aria eventually fights her way back to Omega and unites the station's factions against Cerberus. Realizing that she could hold out against the invasion indefinitely, General Petrovsky takes the station itself hostage. Aria is forced to choose between continuing to fight and letting Omega be destroyed by a Cerberus fleet, or exiling herself and surrendering the station. She chooses the latter and leaves, vowing to return. Omega is secured shortly thereafter by Petrovsky's forces, a major victory for Cerberus. Cerberus appears in Mass Effect 3, and is seeking to kill Commander Shepard. The organization has apparently allied itself with the Reapers, with at least some of its members being indoctrinated. Their ultimate goal, however, is to discover a way to control the Reapers and use their power to gain humanity's dominance in the galaxy. With news of Cerberus' meddling with Reaper technology - including processing on their own personnel - surfaced, some members of Cerberus left the organization to aid Shepard in the fight against the Reapers. After Kai Leng steals a Prothean VI on Thessia containing key information needed to complete the Crucible, both Shepard and Admiral Hackett agree that Cerberus must be defeated before taking on the Reapers. Therefore, the Fifth Fleet assault Cerberus headquarters, dealing a decisive blow to the organization, though the Illusive Man escaped. He was later killed on the Citadel orbiting Earth, thus ending the possibility of Cerberus ever rising again. Despite the Illusive Man's control over Cerberus, one Cerberus cell was reportedly conducting kidnappings on Benning, which Cerberus then denied and said it was a rogue cell.
Cerberus ground forces are formed from personnel - be they unsuspecting volunteers, refugees or abductees - who are deemed physically suitable. These personnel are put through an "integration" process - a combination of Reaper-inspired indoctrination, implantation or other conditioning - and become the various troop variants. While indoctrination is involved, and they are physically mutated into a husk-like state, the integration does not reduce them to the feral behavior that Reaper husks exhibit. Instead, Cerberus troops retain enough skills to perform their roles and maintain complete loyalty to Cerberus' cause. Cerberus deploys the following forces against Commander Shepard:
Assault Troopers are standard Cerberus soldiers encountered in Mass Effect 3. Fearless, disciplined and unrelenting, Cerberus Assault Troopers are the backbone of the Illusive Man's army. Assault Troopers are armed with a M-25 Hornet submachine guns, as well as electrified batons for melee attacks. They can throw powerful (but slow to detonate) Frag Grenades to kill enemies or flush them out of cover. Assault Troopers have moderate health and no shields. They frequently take cover and also use combat rolls to evade conventional or power attacks. Assault Troopers are the cannon-fodder enemies of the Cerberus faction. They lack shields, meaning any combination of attacks can stagger or kill them relatively easily. If melee-attacking an Assault Trooper, hit it quickly before it can charge its baton and strike back. If you think that an Assault Trooper will hit you with its baton before you will, try and do a light melee-attack. The attack will always stagger the Trooper, making him an easy target to kill with a Heavy Melee attack Assault Troopers can be troublesome in numbers, when simultaneous volleys of their weapons fire can overwhelm the player. When focusing on more powerful enemies on the battlefield, don't neglect to mop up nearby Assault Troopers before they group up.
The Atlas is a large Cerberus mech encountered in Mass Effect 3. While they tower over any human, they have a weak point in the cockpit where the driver sits. If the driver is killed before the Atlas mech is destroyed, Commander Shepard can gain control of it and use it as a vehicle. The Atlas is equipped with a powerful rocket launcher and a rapid-firing mass accelerator cannon. At close-range, it can pick up enemies with its claw and instantly incapacitate them. The Atlas possesses extremely durable shields and armor, and can shoot smoke grenades. The Atlas is slow and makes for a large target, but should not be underestimated. When attacking the Atlas from the front, take cover immediately and watch for when it moves its rocket launcher arm to fire. Under no circumstances should an Atlas be attacked at melee range; the Atlas can easily grab the player for an instant kill. Sustained weapons fire and powers should eventually destroy an Atlas provided the player can attack from a safe distance and in cover. In Single Player, the Atlas' cockpit window can be shattered after its shields have been taken down. This requires a considerable amount of sustained fire, but breaking the window will leave the pilot vulnerable to attack. In some instances, this will leave the Atlas intact and able to be piloted by the player. An even faster way to destroy the Atlas is to shoot at the engine located in the rear of the Mech. Have squadmates distract the mech to easily engage the engine.
Centurions are a class of Cerberus soldiers encountered in Mass Effect 3. Centurions are equipped with modified M-96 Mattock assault rifles that can shoot smoke grenades. Like standard Assault Troopers, they are also equipped with Frag Grenades and electrified batons for melee attacks. The melee from a Centurion hits much harder than their Assault Trooper counterparts. Centurions have moderate health and are protected by shields that they can regenerate over time, though how fast depends on the difficulty. They can also roll out of the way of incoming fire or powers. Centurions are not too different from Assault Troopers. Their shields make them more durable, but no special tactics are required to take those down. The player's main concern should be the smoke grenades a Centurion will often fire. These cause no damage, but obscure the Centurion and anything else behind the smoke so thoroughly that it breaks the player's targeting reticule. Be alert when moving through the smoke, as enemies will continue to fire through it, and the positions and numbers of enemies on the other side can change dramatically. A high level (4 or above) Overload or Energy Drain is very effective against Centurions. One Overload will instantly take down the Centurions' shields and briefly stun them, leaving them open to follow up attacks. If you do not have Overload or Energy Drain, then a fast firing, but powerful weapon such as the Carnifex, Phalanx, or the Viper can quickly rip through its shields and kill the Centurion.
Combat Engineers are a class of Cerberus soldiers introduced in Mass Effect 3. Despite being a support class, engineers draw a lot of ire from front-line combatants. Combat Engineers are armed with a M-5 Phalanx Heavy Pistol, but their primary means of offense is deploying a powerful stationary Turret. Combat Engineers have shields for extra protection. Engineers can also repair the armor of their Turrets and Atlas mechs if they become damaged. After taking down a Combat Engineer's shields, shooting and destroying the stored Turret worn on his back will critically damage, or kill him. If Sabotage is available, any Turret the Combat Engineer has deployed can be hacked and turned against him. There is a small window of time while the Combat Engineer is putting down a turret that a player can kill him and take down the Turret at the same time. If this is missed the turret is activated like normal. If you have the M-98 Widow, if you aim for the centre of an Engineer's chest, the piercing factor of the shot can destroy the turret on the back if the Engineer is setting one up. The Widow itself will either inflict critical wounds, or outright kill the Engineer instantly. It's best to take out Engineers quickly as several engineers can with ample time can cause problems. If they can deploy multiple turrets, they will near-instantly down you.
Guardians are a class of Cerberus soldiers encountered in Mass Effect 3. "Human tanks," is how Cerberus soldiers describe the Guardian. Guardians are armed with the M-358 Talon pistol. They can also use their shields as an effective melee weapon if they get close enough. Guardians also carry electrical batons, much like the Centurions and Assault Troopers, but only use these when their shields are gone. Guardians are distinguished by the nearly impenetrable shields they carry. Few weapons and powers can stagger them. There is a tiny lid open high in the center of the shield. A skillful sniper shot can go through the hole and will count as a headshot. This is required for the Mail Slot Achievement. Such a shot can also be achieved with a M-96 Mattock assault rifle, although not reliably, or with other accurate weapons such as most heavy pistols, though it will not necessarily be an instant kill. Guardians rely on their shields for protection; without them, Guardians are as vulnerable to attacks as Assault Troopers. Hitting a Guardian with certain powers can cause it to stagger and momentarily hold the shield away from its body. Powers that knock the Guardian off its feet force it to drop its shield on the ground, after which it can be easily finished off. If a Guardian cannot be rid of its shield, the fastest way to finish it off is to attack it from behind, rendering the shield useless. Since such a maneuver can be difficult, however, the alternative is to focus fire on the shield's "mail slot". Sustained assault rifle fire may be only minimally effective, but a sniper rifle round through the mail slot can kill a Guardian in one hit.
The Nemesis is a type of Cerberus unit encountered in Mass Effect 3. They can be recognized by their minimal armor and red targeting lasers. Nemeses are armed with a M-13 Raptor sniper rifle with a laser sight. Nemeses are primarily protected by shields, but also rarely leave cover. They will target enemies at range, peeking out of cover only long enough to aim and fire a shot. Because they lack any form of short range offense, and their targeting laser gives away their position, they frequently run to a new position after a few shots to avoid attack; even using rocket propelled boots to escape to higher ground. If approached in melee, they will attempt to run and find cover further away. Nemeses lean out cover and aim for about one second before firing their sniper rifle. It is possible to counter-snipe a Nemesis during the time it takes for her to aim, but the glare from the laser might make it hard to target her. A Nemesis sniper shot taken at relatively full shields will only destroy a character's shields, never reduce health. If targeted by the laser, a quick sideways dodge is almost guaranteed to cause the shot to miss. Attacking a Nemesis at close range is more viable than counter-sniping, since the Nemesis never fires her sniper rifle while close to an enemy and has no other offensive options. The Nemesis will attempt to retreat to a position further away from the player to properly utilize her sniper rifle, but sustained attacks should keep her off balance long enough to dispatch.
The Phantom is a type of Cerberus unit encountered in Mass Effect 3. Foes and allies alike have described the Cerberus Phantom as "Goddamn ninjas on speed!" with various levels of admiration or dismay. Phantoms are deadly in melee combat. A Phantom's most feared weapon is its ability to kill its target in melee without any chance of getting revived. They also possess a powerful semi-automatic projectile-based weapon, shot from the palm of their right gauntlet. While they are protected by biotic barriers, Phantoms rely on their agility to evade enemy fire. They can quickly sidestep, roll, or leap away from attacks, disorienting the player. If endangered, Phantoms will also activate cloaks and take cover for a short period. They can recharge their barriers and their health over time. Phantoms are almost as, if not more dangerous than Atlas mechs in terms of the damage they can inflict. The safest way to deal with them is from a generous distance. While they possess a ranged weapon, they only employ it while relatively close. At longer ranges, they attempt to take cover or activate their cloak instead. Phantoms can instantly kill a character in melee, but only if their target is in range. Moving away denies them their instant-kill attack, but they can still kill you with sword and gauntlet shots. If you want to leave her close range, fire any projectile power with a travel time, such as Warp, Singularity, Throw, Incinerate or Cryo Blast. The Phantom will attempt to dodge the attack, which delays her attacks for about two seconds. You can use this opportunity to run away. Since the Phantom is able to dodge most projectile powers, it not recommended to use these powers with the intention of damaging the Phantom. It has also been noticed that Phantom can use warp to replenish it's barrier. However, if you have a very fast cooldown, you could spam warp and other powers and damage it as the Phantom will not dodge the second or the third attack.
Turrets are portable installations that are carried and deployed by Cerberus Combat Engineers. Turrets shoot a rapid volley of bullets after targeting an enemy. Turrets are protected by heavy shields and armor. Turrets can be turned against other enemies by using Sabotage, this can be incredibly useful since it will shred any nearby targets within a second. It might be beneficial to the player to keep a turret alive just for its damage output. This is made even more useful when you consider that Engineers tend to plop them down behind their lines and/or in the middle of their forces. Shortly after being destroyed, the remains of a Turret will explode, causing heavy damage to any nearby enemies. This can be used to clear out clusters of weaker targets like Assault Troopers easily. Turrets fire at a viciously fast rate, and are very capable of downing even the strongest shields and health in moments due to their sheer fire rate. However, it suffers from a cooldown period, which can be used by players to counter-attack and destroy the turret, or sabotage it. Turrets also take a significant amount of time to rotate towards a new enemy; a possible method is to flank a turret and damage it as it turns around to face the player.
The Legion Assassin is an enemy that Shepard will encounter if the Commander sold Legion to Cerberus in 2185. Once Shepard reaches the high security lab in the Center of center of Cerberus' Headquarters, it will come down a ladder and attack. It is armed with a M-13 Raptor sniper rifle. It has low health and shields.