During multiplayer games of Mass Effect 3, sometimes the commander over the radio will declare an assassination as the next objection. I understand the goal is to kill the designated target, but there are some other details that are a bit fuzzy.

  • Is there any logic behind what's designated as the target? As in, is there a sequential order or a prioritization of "tougher" enemies?
  • Is there a time limit to manage when killing the target?
  • Is there a chance the target will escape the map? If there is, are there consistent exit points on maps?
  • Are there ever multiple assassination targets assigned at a time?
  • Does it matter which team member takes down the target?
  • Is it possible for the target to be killed without direct action taken by the players? That is, can the game "accidentally" kill the target? If so, is this considered to be a successful completion of the objective?

Sorry for the blast of questions! I know there's some cool guy out there that knows the answers.

3 Answers 3


Every 3rd, 6th, and 10th wave is a "goal-oriented" wave rather than simply a "survive" wave.

There are three possible goals (Hold point, cap objectives, kill priority targets).

To answer your questions:

There is no perceivable logic to the target picking. The first target generally picks a strong enemy, such as a Banshee, Atlas, or Geth Prime if there is one in the spawn wave, but this is not guaranteed, especially on lower difficulties.

After this first target, the game seems to pick randomly from enemies that are far from the active players. Since the strong enemies are both likely to be nearby the players (because they take longer to kill) or have just been killed (if they were the target), it is likely that the later targets are less powerful enemies. I've even had a husk be the important target, once.


  • There is a time limit, displayed in the top right corner, that varies with wave number and challenge difficulty (bronze, silver, gold). This resets on each kill, and, if it reaches zero, will end the mission, same as if all squadmates flatline.
  • Targets will not leave the map. In some cases, the picked targets are still in the process of entering the map.
  • only one target at a time.
  • it does not matter how you kill the target, or who kills the target.
  • Does it pick the "biggest" baddies? I've never seen it pick Atlases or Banshees but I usually play on Bronze difficulty.
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 21:01
  • @BenBrocka - ask Dave McClelland next time you see him in chat. Me and him were having a devil of a time trying to take down Atlas and Banshee targets on some Silver Challenges we were running. Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 21:02

Generally tough targets will be selected as targets; most often mid-range toughness (centurions, Marauders, Geth Pyros) on Bronze diffuculty, but they can be Atlases or Banshees or Geth Primes on Silver/Gold difficulty. Basically it can be any enemy spawned at the start of the round, but it seems skewed toward selecting tougher baddies.

The time limit you see in the top right of the screen (usually a minute or two) is your time limit to kill that specific target. Never let it run out or you fail the mission. The clock starts over each kill.

Targets do not "escape", unless you count the time limit. No target ever leaves the map, you have to kill every enemy in multiplayer for a wave to end (except for little things like Swarmers).

There will always be a single assassination target at a time. IIRC, you always get 4.

Targets don't commit suicide or anything, someone has to kill the target. There's no way for the target to die without it being credited as a successful kill.

  • 2
    This is wrong. Any enemy that prevents the round from ending by being alive can be a target. (only things like Turrets or Swarmers are precluded) Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 21:03
  • @RavenDreamer updated
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 21:22
  • Depending on the wave, it will always target the most powerful of enemies from the spawn pool during that wave as your first target, and will move down a "tier" on the next target, if that top tier enemy for that wave is no longer available. For example, the Cerberus tiers go from Atlas - Phantom - Nemesis - Guardian - Centurion - Trooper. 10th wave VIPs will include all of them in the pool. 6th wave VIPs will only target Nemesis and below, while 3rd wave VIPs will have Centurions and below. Bronze will only spawn one top tier enemy (Atlas, Banshee, Prime) whilst Silver and Gold will spawn them at least 4 times during Wave 10.
  • The initial target has a set time limit, and killing them will net you additional time, rather than another static time limit. Killing the final target ends the timer and you can clear out the rest of the wave.
  • The targets will never flee the map.
  • Targets are given one at a time, always totaling 4 targets per wave.
  • No, you must make the kill yourselves, either by outright terminating them, or other means like backfire damage from Sabotage (but the source of the backfire is still from your team)

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