The combat in Mass Effect is a cover shooter experience, and you’ll spend most combat encounters swapping between your weapons and abilities to keep the enemy back. With a good degree of combat in the game, you’re bound to take plenty of damage, and the healing in Mass Effect is fairly simple, but you want to make sure you optimize how much health you get back.
To perform a heal for you and your party members, all you have to do is hit the ‘V’ button if you’re playing with a mouse and keyboard. When you’re using a controller, you can click the Y button for the Xbox controller and the Triangle button for a PlayStation. But the healing only works if you’ve taken damage. Whenever you heal, it heals everyone in the party, and it uses Medi-gel, your healing resource.
You can only hold a certain amount of Medi-gel in your inventory before it’s automatically converted into Omni-gel when you pick it up. You can increase your maximum Medi-gel size as you play the game and purchase them from merchants you encounter. It’s worth your time to explore every location to find these merchants and purchase these Medi-gel upgrades.
Whenever you use Medi-gel and heal, it uses the First-Aid skill. The higher a character’s First-Aid skill, the more health you receive. The ability runs through the party to find the character with the highest First-Aid skill and uses that number. If you’re in a party with Kaidan and Garrus, and Garrus’ First-Aid skill is higher, the game will factor in how much health everyone receives based on that skill. You’re better off picking a single character to have this skill rather than spreading it out as you play the game, especially when you create a dedicated team.
The healing mechanic changes later on in Mass Effect 2 and 3.