I get that the Mako (now the Nomad) was brought back because of the nostalgic good part of the original game.

Now comparing an all terrain buggy with wheels with a hover buggy: does not a hover car provide a much better form of transportation than an all terrain 6 wheeled buggy?

  • 3
    I guess the real explanation is either rule of cool or game mechanics. But if you want an in-world explanation, I'm guessing a hover vehicle uses a lot more energy, which means for a similar sized vehicle you're looking at shorter range and/or lesser cargo hauling capacity. Also you don't have the issues with landing on difficult terrain using a wheeled vehicle, because you're already on the ground. The jump jets/boosters also help it get around a lot more easily than a standard ground vehicle.
    – delinear
    Mar 28, 2017 at 10:49
  • 2
    A DLC of on a the previous ME (2 or 3, I don't remember) gave you control of a hover transportation mean. In my opinion it was really, really, less easy to pilot
    – Edelk
    Mar 28, 2017 at 11:57
  • 2
    @MSilvert It was two Mar 28, 2017 at 15:57
  • 1
    Also, no the car is better. It has friction and torque. The hover car has to use thrust to climb a mountain, or even to stay still on the side of a mountain.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 28, 2017 at 22:43
  • 1
    In terms of fault tolerance, a wheeled vehicle is superior to a hover vehicle. If the mass effect generator fails, the hover vehicle is stuck. If a single wheel fails, the wheeled vehicle is still maneuverable. Since its an exploration vehicle, durability and reliability is likely a very important factor.
    – Adwaenyth
    Apr 4, 2017 at 14:51

1 Answer 1


James Vega and Steve Cortez argue this point during a conversation in Mass Effect 3 (I transcribed this by hand):

JAMES: I've always loved the M-35 Mako. It's got heart, y'know?
STEVE: Aw, c'mon. The M-44 Hammerhead is vastly superior.
JAMES: Come on, that thing's made of tissue paper. At least the Mako can take a few hits.
STEVE: I'd hope so! That thing handles like a drunk rhino, no agility whatsoever!
JAMES: More like a bull. That can climb and climb for days.
STEVE: It only climbs because of its stupid, vertically aligned mass effect fields. Jump or stick, no speed, no lateral movement.
JAMES: Hey, with a cannon like that, who needs to move?

They both have valid points. The original Mako was notoriously difficult to maneuver without an inordinate amount of practice. Unlike the environments in Mass Effect: Andromeda, the planets of the original Mass Effect typically did not have roads. In some cases, there would be flatter areas of the planet that were easier to navigate, but these were infrequent enough that "navigation" typically consisted of pointing the vehicle in the right direction and hitting the gas, with occasional small detours if a mountain or cliff was too steep.

The Hammerhead was more maneuverable, but as James points out, it had very little tolerance for damage. Naturally, Mass Effect 2 chose to use the Hammerhead in flatter environments with more enemies shooting at the player, compared to the mountainous and relatively sterile environments of Mass Effect and the Mako.

The mention of "vertically aligned mass effect fields" is interesting, and suggests to me that the construction of the Mako is simpler than that of the Hammerhead. This may indicate that the Nomad was designed with limited engineering facilities, which were unable to produce something like the Hammerhead. But that's purely speculation on my part.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.