Is Mass Effect Andromeda's Companion App Worth the Download?

EA released a companion app for Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer. I'll tell you what parts are useful & what parts are fluff.

Alongside the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, EA released a companion app for the multiplayer mode called Mass Effect: Andromeda Apex HQ. This app allows you to customize your multiplayer characters by changing their loadout and applying skill points. It also allows you to view leaderboards and other various, non-gameplay related features.

If you do not have PS+ or Xbox Live Gold, then this app will be of no use to you as you will not be able to access the multiplayer and thus utilize the app. However, even if you don't plan on playing the multiplayer this app will still potentially be of interest thanks to the Apex Missions.

Apex Missions & Strike Teams

Apex Missions are generic missions that you send teams on to earn rewards. These work very similar to the assassin missions that started in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and continued into future entries. There are specific Apex Missions which you can either send a team to complete in the background or that you can participate in using your multiplayer characters. However, the app obviously does not allow you to play the game.

Mass Effect: Andromeda, strike teamsIt's actually pretty cool that you can play some of the Apex missions.

Other than that, the only noteworthy part of Apex missions is its rewards. If your Strike Team successfully completes their missions, then your single player character will be rewarded with credits, crafting materials, or even potentially weapons/gear (presuming you have the necessary perk). This makes Apex missions useful; thus, making the Apex HQ app useful.

Moreover, you can use "Team Funds", which are also earned from the Apex missions, to either buy loot packs for your multiplayer campaign or to buy modifiers that increase Apex mission success rates.

Of particular note is that you can send strike teams on missions while you are away from the game. Are you busy at the dinner table? Watching your kid's soccer game? Writing an article about the Mass Effect Andromeda Apex HQ app? Well, you can send strike teams out during any of those times with a few screen taps!

Mass Effect: Andromeda, time, statsI put in 300 hours into ME3 MP, so I am 'glad' it is easily viewable now.  

Sadly, the app does not let you really do much while you are playing the game -- multiplayer or single player -- which felt odd. For instance, in the single player, the only way to send out strike teams is by going to your ship, or the Nexus. Both of these are usually out of your way diversions that take several minutes to reach. Using the app while the game was open would make it exponentially more useful -- it could cut down on one of the more monotonous tasks in the game.

This also extends to the app's other basic functions, however. As you are unable to learn new skills or change loadouts while the game is turned on. At least you can still look at the leaderboards, right? 

Mass Effect: Andromeda, error screenYou'll be seeing this way too often. 

Verdict

Most of the features in this app are not particularly useful or noteworthy. Changing your loadout or leveling up your characters is not useful unless you are actively playing the game. And I have never understood the point in viewing leaderboards, much more needing to carry it around with you.

That being said, the Apex HQ app makes Apex missions much more palatable. It ensures that you can easily keep missions going around the clock, even when you do not get the chance to boot up the game. Or in my case, know that booting up the game will probably result in wasted hours of my day that should have been writing about companion apps.

As such, I would say the app is as useful to you as you find the rewards from the Apex missions to be. That is to say that if you think the rewards are great, then this app is a must have. If you couldn’t give a crap about the rewards and find it annoying to check in on the app every few hours, then don’t bother. There is nothing to see here.

Published Mar. 30th 2017

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