Mass Effect: Andromeda sees the residents of our Milky Way attempt to build a new home in the far-off reaches of the Andromeda galaxy. As Ryder, you take on the role of the Pathfinder—the tip of the spear in research, diplomacy, and exploration as a new colony is built. To help with that exploration, what could be more useful than an all-terrain rover?
Yes, driving returns in Andromeda, this time with a fancy new six-wheeled rover called the Nomad. This vehicle is key to exploring the many dangerous planetary surfaces and finding the resources you'll need to keep building new and better equipment. Let's break down everything the Nomad is capable of in this Mass Effect: Andromeda Nomad Guide.
The basic controls will obviously differ based on your gaming platform of choice, but driving will be pretty simple regardless, with acceleration, brakes, and steering controls working pretty much as you’d expect. The rover’s special functions include thrusters, which will let you hop over minor obstacles, and a real fuel injection boost, which as the name implies will give you a quick burst of high speed.
If you make it to a hill that’s a little too steep for standard driving to conquer, you can activate All-Terrain Mode at the press of a button. This will let you conquer those slippery hills with six-wheel drive, at the cost of slower overall speed. Luckily, a quick tap gets you back into the expedient Standard Mode.
Speed demons will be able to execute drifting turns by activating the hand brake at high speeds. You’ve also got headlights for when things get dark, and a quick extraction option for returning to the Tempest.
Quick Tip: You can customize the Nomad’s paint job from the loadout screen.
To quickly call down the Nomad, you’ll need to activate a forward station. On planets where the all-terrain vehicle is useful, you’ll be able to call it in from any available station.
Exploration and Survival
In addition to covering ground faster than you can on foot, you’ll have access to more substantial life support systems than your standard gear will allow while in the Nomad. That means you can survive longer excursions into more dangerous terrain, whether those dangers be radiation or other types of environmental hazards.
The Nomad isn’t invincible, though. Heading into dangerous areas will drain those life support systems, eventually knocking out the vehicle's shields and slowly damaging it. Hazards aren’t limited to environmental ones like heat and radiation, either. Enemies, whether they be herds of wild animals or gun-wielding sentient opponents, can also do damage to the Nomad.
Quick Tip: Though there aren’t any standard weapons on the Nomad, you can fight back the old-fashioned way—by running enemies over.
Shields will restore on their own, but to repair the Nomad, you’ll need to make your way to a forward station, which can fix the vehicle’s damage.
Mining is one of the Nomad’s most important functions, and one that ties directly into the crafting system. Resources are used to build new weapons and equipment, and the Nomad is key to uncovering the bulk of the resources you’ll need to manufacture new gear.
To harvest minerals, you’ll need to find a mining zone, which will appear on the map after activating a nearby forward station. Once you’re in the vicinity of some resources, you can use the mining computer to determine where the deposits are richest, and launch a mining drone to extract those minerals. Drones have to be kept some distance apart, so it’s important to maximize the effectiveness of each deployment by saving them for the biggest deposits. The mining computer will tell you the general amount of resources in the zone, so you can keep mining until it’s depleted.
Quick Tip: You can see what type of resources you’re likely to find on a planet by examining it on the galaxy map.
You can develop new upgrades for the Nomad from the R&D center aboard the Tempest or at many outposts. Other upgrades will also be available for purchase. Some of these upgrades include:
- Agility Mode - This gives you the option to disable the Nomad’s default stability assist, allowing more skilled drivers better control over the vehicle at the expense of traction.
- Defensive Fortification - This increases both the shield strength and basic defense by 25%.
- Emergency Shield Discharge - With this upgrade installed, when the Nomad’s shields are depleted it will launch a shockwave that sends nearby enemies flying.
- Improved Suspension - This upgrade will increase the Nomad’s top speed in normal driving mode.
- Vertical Thrust Upgrade - This option provides a 40% boost to the Nomad’s jump jets.
You can view Nomad paint jobs on the wiki here.
To learn more about characters, weapons, and skills in Mass Effect: Andromeda, visit the Mass Effect Wiki.
Dustin is a Missouri-based freelancer who enjoys long walks in digital woods. When he's not writing about geeky pastimes, he's producing videos on them. He and his wife bond best over tabletop role-playing.