Import a Mass Effect 2 Character
If you have played Mass Effect 2 you can import a character from there. It doesn’t matter what class the character was or what the character looked like as you can redo all that in Mass Effect 3, but the decisions you made in Mass Effect 2 and, if you played the original Mass Effect or if you had a certain bit of dlc, Mass Effect are going to influence small parts of the story in Mass Effect 3.
Alternatively you can go to http://www.masseffect2saves.com/ and download a mass effect 2 save file and follow their instructions on how to import it to Mass Effect 3. You can choose different backgrounds but the important part is the Paragon or Renegade score and the character level as well as their decisions. Once you imported your Mass Effect 3 character will start on the level of your Mass Effect 2 character.
Focus on Biotic Powers
Any class is very powerful in the single player in Mass Effect 3. In my future guides I will use the Adept, although the first two have been using a vanguard. The vanguard is the best class for most fights except boss fights.
You can level charge and nova up in a way that charge will be ready instantly after you have finished the nova animation. When you are leveling your powers look for the options that affect recharge time, weapon weight and area of effect in that order of priority. Focus on charge and nova before any other skill as they are the most important improvement to your gameplay. I have written a comprehensive guide to leveling your character here.
The adept has the double throw ability which is very powerful. It allows you to stay at a position and easily defend yourself. Alternate warp and throw on boss enemies because it will set off biotic explosions. Be sure to focus on maximize combo/biotic explosion damage when leveling those powers.
I am not sure what the armor is called, but in the shuttle bay of the Normandy there is a shop at which you can buy some armor for around 50 000 credits. I’m not sure whether I got it through getting the digital deluxe edition, but it gives a 30% bonus to power recharges. This upgrades the vanguard from powerful to be unbeatable.
Choose the Correct Teammates
Liara T’Soni has a power upgrade that reduces the teams power cool down by 10%. I believe it is in the Adept Mastery but I am sure it is the last upgrade. Also, it is important to look at the kind of skills that your teammates have to compliment your play style. For instance, I choose Liara T’Soni and EDI because Liara T’Soni has the power recharge bonus and stasis and EDI has a power that is effective against armor and she has overload which is very good against shields. I usually use overload as I am charging towards and enemy with a shield or turret which also gives you a biotic explosion which is almost guaranteed to kill that enemy or turret.
In a fast paced fight, which you are sure to be doing as a Vanguard, it helps if your teammates powers are always ready so be sure to upgrade them accordingly. The use of those powers depends on your line of sight, not your teammates so as long as you have a clear sight of an enemy you will hit them with the power regardless of where your teammate is.
Don’t Heedlessly Charge Into Anything
The Vanguard is very powerful. On my current setup, which I described above, it is almost impossible to die. However, you are still vulnerable to attacks that stagger you such as the missiles of an Atlas. In the time that it takes you to recover you will die if you are out in the open. Also be mindful of enemies that you can’t charge, of which there are a few. You will have to camp behind cover and take them out with other powers and weapons.
Barrel Roll Behind Cover
Even though there is only the tiniest delay between nova and the next charge if you are struggling with a particular area barrel roll behind cover after the nova. It is harder to hit you during a barrel roll and cover will protect you from everything, no matter how thin it is. You can also use this technique before you have all the possible upgrades that you can have.
Cover is very powerful in Mass Effect. This is the main way that you can beat the game on Insanity with the other classes, that is, you can pop in and out of cover and kill enemies the slow way. Watch out for flanking which happens quite often.
Line of sight is also powerful, especially against an Atlas. Basically, if there is cover between you and the guy in the Atlas or its guns it won’t be able to shoot you. You can kill Atlases by using the charge/nova combination but sometimes the Atlas can grab you and instant kill you. I found that if you charge, turn around and do the nova then you take very little to no damage from the Atlases close combat and usually escape the instant death animation. This technique also staggers and eventually kills other enemies near you which helps with the incoming damage.
You can find the first mission, which takes place on Mars, of my mission by mission guide for the singleplayer on the insanity difficulty here.