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Banshees. They rapidly teleport to cover distance quickly and take you out with an instant-kill attack (with no chance of revival) if you let them get to close. Even at longer distances they have a large area of effect blast and biotic attack. What are some good strategies for vanquishing these voracious vixens of violent verve?

Edit: I should mention that I usually play Human Engineer, so tactics specific to that class would be helpful.

Edit 2: These are all excellent suggestions, thanks to everyone that contributed. Verily, I shall now vaunt my victory over these vesuvian vermin!

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+1 for Alliteration! – Fluttershy Mar 9 '12 at 16:07
Something of note: Banshees do NOT GET HEADSHOT DAMAGE. Don't try to pour lead into her face. According to Bioware, that's by design. Chest shots have equal damage and is easier to shoot. Makes sniping a hell-of-a lot easier too :) – user24104 Apr 18 '12 at 17:58
+1 for alliteration too :D – Adam Arold Jul 22 '12 at 12:33
@peter: The 10/4/2012 patch added a 40% damage bonus to headshots on a banshee (and other similar enemies). – Mufasa Oct 1 '12 at 19:44
They can even cloak themselves to become invisible. Is there no end to the horror! – Aditya M P Oct 8 '12 at 17:56

13 Answers 13

up vote 10 down vote accepted

My strategy for the Banshee is fairly class agnostic.

First, try to wipe out everything else that you can, so that you're down to just the Banshees left. This can be tricky, but they tend to move more slowly at first than other enemies, so if you put some distance between you and them, the other enemies will rush you and you can focus your fire on them.

Mostly my strategy is to run. I run like hell. The Banshee's really only got a couple of attacks. First, don't let them get close to you, and second, keep enough distance that you can rapidly turn a corner if they throw their warp projectile at you. Then it's just a matter of wearing them down. The heavily armored, so use whatever anti-armor gear/powers you've got on them. Their barrier recharges relatively quickly, but it's pretty weak by comparison.

Getting hit by their attacks not only does a ton of damage, it also causes you to take some damage over time. Prioritize getting enough ground and cover between you and them to block their ranged attack when it comes. If they start teleporting, just start running.

I try to train the Banshees myself, and keep my squadmates alive and focusing fire on them one at a time. My squadmates really couldn't tank the Banshee worth a damn - they tended to go down quickly if it focused on them. If they go down, do a couple of laps of your arena to get some distance, and you should be able to spare enough time to get them back up again. Having maxed out medi-gel so you can just instant-revive them and/or recover your own health is a plus.

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As an Infiltrator, I found dealing with these things a pain (in general, and to my ears, as that screeching gets old fast). However, I was able to find a combination that seemed to deal with them effectively enough, which may or may not work for you depending on your chosen character class.

First, I beefed up Warp Ammo, opting for the Damage-based options for power tiers four and six (for tier five, I went for the ammo bonus since I hate running out of thermal clips). With an appropriately upgraded rifle, this gave my sniper shots enough umph to make sizable dents in both the banshee's barrier and armour.

I then fully upgraded Incinerate, opting for the damage, burning damage, and armour damage options in tiers four through six, respectively. Since the banshee's base "health" is just armour, the 50% damage bonus offered by the last tier was particularly handy.

With powers taken care of, down on the battlefield it became a matter of alternating between sniper rifle rounds to the head and blasts of Incinerate. The timing of the shots was just long enough for Incinerate to recharge in my case, and so long as I was careful to reload the sniper rifle manually when necessary (due to the Incinerate interrupt), I could pretty seamlessly switch between the two.

In the event that the banshee got too close before I could bring it down, I simply let my squad members distract it while I relocated to new cover. Infiltrators get a little benefit from Tactical Cloak here too, since in addition to helping relocate relatively undetected, it can also increase sniper rifle damage.

Admittedly this strategy was a little problematic toward the very end of the game due to the sheer number of enemies, but in general it kept me alive without too much difficulty.

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Shotguns are your friend.

They are difficult to hit at long range, but once up close they are fairly trivial (just don't get impaled).

Since they also act as a support caster, they will sometimes create a barrier for allies. Knocking down this barrier causes them to stand still and scream for a while. This is your chance for a quick kill as they won't do anything else.

Finally, when they are charging up their nova attack, they will just stand there. Of course, the nova is deadly if they actually get it off, try a sniper rifle.

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I find the cloak and run strategy for Infiltrators to be very useful in fighting both banshees and brutes – CaulynDarr Mar 9 '12 at 17:07
Fully charging the geth shotgun and unloading at short range works well. – Christopher Apr 1 '12 at 7:55

I found a tactic with the Adept class that works a treat. Assign your bonus power to Overload which will take out their barrier in one or two hits. Then use warp to take out their shields. I back up these powers with James (grenades and incendiary ammo) and Garrus (proximity mine and armor piercing ammo).

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Bit of a late answer but I have trouble with them on multiplayer from time to time. Banshees always grab me straight away, without any melee attack first. The best solution is always keep your distance and use a power to remove shields while shooting the head. The best character will probably depend on your playing style but I only use 2 on gold;

  1. Turian Ghost Infiltrator - Chain Overload - Cerberus Harrier - Assault Rifle Amp IV
  2. Destroyer Soldier - +15% Rate of fire - Cerberus Harrier - Assault Rifle Amp IV

The increased fire rate on the destroyer is a god send and you will really see the difference, also the infiltrator is great: decloak, overload then fire like crazy.

I use other equipment packs also to increase damage, either warp ammo so they can't recharge shields, or cryo ammo to freeze and slow enemies down.

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One thing I've noticed is that they seem to be fairly weak at close range, as long as you don't go all the way into melee. At this range, she won't charge around or fire her projectile attack. Instead, she will just walk slowly towards you and occasionally use her area blast.

The strategy I've been using so far with my Vanguard on Insanity is to first try to isolate the Banshee, and then keep doing Charge, quickly step back out of melee range to avoid her instant kill attack, then keep shooting from close range until Charge is ready again.

While it's fairly easy to see when she's about to do her area blast, I usually ignore it. It has so far only done enough damage to drop my barrier, which I can quickly get back up again with another Charge.

Make sure you have some room behind you to maneuver so you don't end up trapped in a corner, and she should die after a few rotations.

During the later levels I found Liara and Kaidan's Warp + Reave combo to be extremely effective for dropping armored targets like Banshees, Brutes and Ravagers quickly. Combined with Energy Drain as Shepard's bonus power, that squad setup works really well against Reaper forces in general, as it has plenty of powers for dealing Armor/Shields/Barriers, lots of ways to set up biotic combos, plus Liara's Singularity and Stasis for crowd control.

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As a Vanguard i find this is a quite annoying and seemingly glitchy fight at times. I employ the charge roll shoot charge combo on her (would love to do nova but there is no way to tell when shell grab you and bite your head off). One thing though ive noticed that is increasingly annoying is that ill charge and sometimes the force has no effect on her (glitch) and she basically just pulls you out of the charge and still bites your head off. I understand the technique is to discourage players from simply meleeing and side stepping but in the case of a vanguard they need to make the force (knockback) a little more effective against the banshee because otherwise instead of being about skill, timing and map placement its just a matter of luck that you dont get swiped out of your charge.

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My tactics were to be bait for both banshees and then to press s to move away from them. When you are doing this, the banshees just use teleport most of the time and rarely biotics, also they can not hang you up on their hands because you are pretty far away from them.

When they have done a lot of teleports, they cease them for a time. During this process I constantly shoot them with sticky bombs and when one of their barriers collapses, I shoot only that one.

I spent almost 3 hours finding out this solutiom.

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in multiplayer using an asari adept i can drop a banshee in less than 30 seconds with this combo: warp, shoot, throw (biotic detonation). Try to stay around the edge of her melee bubble attack. Special note: The banshee will create a barrier bubble around her that will block all biotic attacks. Time Your Shots and fight from cover to avoid other enemies.

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I played as an Infiltrator. Using Incinerate works well. Also, if you max out the Black Widow Sniper Rifle from the Spectre Requisitions, it takes three to six shots and they are dead. The first shot removes their barrier. The Black Widow is also highly effective against Brutes, Marauders and Cerberus troops, including ATLAS troops.

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Towards the end (when you're back on earth) you'll face 3 banshees. Kill one, shoot a few othersand run to the truck. Good luck, it's a really tough battle.

I hope this helps some of you guys, regardless it's what happened to work for me.

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actually that fight is quite easy as you can manipulate the reaper beam to take out the banshees for you :P – l I Apr 18 '12 at 18:05

Well if you're a solider with the battlefield 3 Character then the best thing to do would be to use carnage but then again you want to have some powerful weapons and upgrades to take it out effectively.. Like Warp rounds. I hear those work against barrier shields. Use an Assault Rifle with a scope and just keep plucking her head.. I have found that effective as well. Don't toss Grenades at it, those don't work at all, period. I have thrown thousands of them with no effect.

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Try using the falcon and scorpion combo they both have explosive rounds and they will drop anything. Just did it with an engineer easily.

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