Overload is one of the most effective biotic powers in Mass Effect 3 multiplayer and singleplayer. You can use it to damage shields and barriers, but it is even more effective at stunning enemies for a short period of time allowing you to kill them with guns.
Leveling Overload Effectively
You don’t have a choice for the first three ranks. These buffs offer improvements to recharge speed and damage.
The fourth rank offers a choice between increasing the damage by 30% (only really 10% because of other buffs) or hitting another target within 8 meters but reduce damage by 60%. This latter is more powerful since it offers 30% more damage than the damage buff in the long run if you are facing multiple enemies which is usually the case.
The fifth rank lets you decide between incapacitating weak organic enemies and a 25% power recharge time reduction. I think they mean 35% because a 25% decrease wouldn’t have an effect because of an earlier buff. Anyway, overload is already very effective against synthetic targets so to make it effective against organic targets I highly suggest going for the top buff. Against Cerberus and the Reapers this buff is very powerful because it lets you keep large groups of enemies at bay almost indefinitely.
The last ranks offers you a buff that increases damage by 15% and makes overload jump to an extra enemy. The other option is to increase the effectiveness of overload against shields and barriers. Again the jump to another target offers a stronger buff to the power than the individual damage buff. I always choose area and number of targets affected over any other buff.
If you want to focus overload on damaging boss enemies as much as possible you should go with the other rank buffs, so the 30% damage, 25% power recharge time reduction and 100% more damage against barriers and shields. This will let you take off Banshees barriers and Atlases shields in very little time, but render overload almost useless in any other situation where an enemy has no shield or barrier. I prefer my powers to be effective against everything rather than specialize them.
Overload Combat Tactics
I use overload to be as aggressive as possible. I use it on groups of enemies to stagger 3 enemies. Whilst they can’t defend themselves I use a heavy pistol to kill them. This is a very effective combat strategy as it lets you be much more aggressive than normal. You still maintain effectiveness against barriers and shields but you can also use overload to damage health and armor of any target.
If you chose a build to damage shields as much as possible you will have to play a support role. Stick with your team and take down shields and barriers when you see one. A team that uses a vanguard as a slayer, a drell adept for biotic explosions in combination with the vanguard and a support engineer that uses overload can be very effective.
Tech bursts are overloads equivalent of biotic explosions. I haven’t found out too much about it but from what I can tell is that during the time that enemies are lit up blue some other powers can trigger a tech burst. I am not sure which powers can, if you know be sure to leave a comment. I will update this guide as soon as I find out.