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Mass Effect 3 Guide: Best Weapons, Armour, Mods & Locations

Adam Barnes

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Want help picking the right Mass Effect 3 weapon for you, where to find the strongest armour or the best weapon mods? Then you’ll need this Mass Effect 3 guide.

Published on Mar 20, 2012

Knowing which weapon is best for you is perhaps the most important element of Mass Effect, but with Mass Effect 3 you’ll now have far greater breadth of choice between the armour and mods you equip too.

So to help you make the decision on which equipment is best for your Shepard, we’ve run down all of Mass Effect 3’s weapons, armour and mods and pinpointed at what point in the game you can find them.

Weapons

Pistols

Arc Pistol
Best feature:
Damage, accuracy
Location: During the mission ‘Priority: Perseus Veil’ Tali will unlock a doorway for you then point of this weapon on the ground nearby.
Details: The Arc Pistol is a powerful weapon, but can also be charged to deal even more damage. It’s particularly useful against geth.

M-358 Talon
Best feature:
Accuracy, damage
Location: During the mission ‘Priority: Citadel’ you’ll encounter a malfunctioning door. After bypassing this, activate a terminal to earn some credits and unlock a door in the previous room. 
Details: The M-358 Talon is best used at close-range. It has a slow fire rate, but its heavy-gauge shotgun pellets are dangerous up close.

M3 Predator
Best feature:
Accuracy, lightweight
Location: Starting weapon
Details: Since this is your basic starting weapon, it’s understandably not the greatest weapon you’ll have. Useful on all fronts, but there are better pistols.

M-5 Carnifex
Best feature:
Accuracy
Location: During the mission ‘Arrae: Ex-Cerberus Scientists’, you’ll have to make your way to the rooftops. After climbing the ladder, be sure to collect this pistol nearby.
Details: This pistol isn’t as powerful as the Paladin, but it is much more accurate and has a few extra bullets per clip.

M-5 Phalanx
Best feature:
Lightweight, clip capacity
Location: During the mission ‘Priority: Tuchanka’, after riding the Krogan transport unit you’ll fight some Cannibals and head up some stairs. Just before turning right at the top of the stairs is this pistol.
Details: The M-5 Phalanx is a fairly basic weapon, and doesn’t really excel in any area.

M-77 Paladin
Best feature:
Damage, accuracy
Location: Bought from the Spectre Requisitions store.
Details: The Paladin is the most powerful pistol you can get, and it’s pretty accurate too. Though it’s got a slow fire rate and minimal clip capacity, it’s still worth picking up.

N7 Eagle
Best feature:
Fire rate, clip capacity
Location: Given with Collector’s Edition
Details: This fully automatic pistol is the weakest pistol of the lot, but this is made up by its impressive speed and high clip capacity. If you prefer gunning down enemies in a hail of bullets rather than one, powerful shot, then this it the weapon for you.

Scorpion
Best feature:
Damage 
Location: During the mission ‘Priority: Sur’Kesh’ you’ll have to attack a containment pod that Cerberus troops are trying to destroy. Once the area is secure, search a room in the far section of the floor to find this pistol.
Details: The Scorpion is a unique weapon in that its projectiles are actually explosive, blowing up on contact or turning into a proximity mine if hitting a surface instead.

Shotguns

Disciple
Beat feature:
Damage, knockback
Location: During the mission ‘Lesuss: Ardat-Yakshi Monastery’ after encountering a set of Cannibals near a barrier engine. Once the area is safe, collect the Disciple from the ground.
Details: The Disciple isn’t the strongest shotgun available, but its unique knockback ability makes it an important tool to have. If shotguns aren’t your primary weapon, this is a perfect accompaniment.

Geth Plasma Shotgun
Best feature:
Accuracy, range
Location: During the mission ‘Priority: Rannoch’ you will cross a walkway and encounter a group of Geth unreachable on the left-hand balcony. Once safe, follow the walkway to it’s far end to spot the Geth Plasma Shotgun.
Details: By far one of the better shotguns, the Geth Plasma Shotgun combines added range (for a shotgun, at least) with an electricity/plasma ammunition system that depletes shields effectively.

Graal Spike Thrower
Best feature:
Damage 
Location: During the mission ‘Priority: Tuchanka’ you will take a transport. After you step out, don’t talk to the Krogans. Collect this shotgun near the krogan guard by the railing.
Details: This is the most powerful of the shotguns, firing large bolts into your enemies and eviscerating them. It’s slow to fire, obviously, but its damage is unparalleled. It can be charged for additional damage too.

M-11 Wraith
Best feature:
Lightweight, damage
Location: Bought from Spectre Requisitions
Details: Holding fewer shots per clip than the Eviscerator, the M-11 Wraith is a much higher damage shotgun perfect for quick, close-range combat.

M-22 Eviscerator
Best feature:
Damage
Location: During the mission ‘Grissom Academy: Investigation’, you’ll head through a classroom with a set of red couches. The shotgun is on one of the couches.
Details: With a closer spread of fire, the M-22 Eviscerator deals damage better over range than its competitors. Though it’s not as damaging as the Wraith, it is still quite powerful and has a few extra bullets per clip.

M-23 Katana
Best feature:
Damage
Location: Given to you at the beginning of the mission ‘Priority: Mars’
Details: The Katana is a fairly basic shotgun. Its damage is it’s greatest feature, but even that is outclassed by others of its type. A decent starter for close-range combat.

M-27 Scimitar
Best feature:
Fire rate, clip capacity
Location: During the mission ‘Priority: Palaven’ once you reach the Turian command base, make sure you collect the loot in the area before speaking to the Turian CO. The shotgun is located further out from the camp, near a tower barricade.
Details: The Scimitar is the fastest firing shotgun available, making up for its lack of power with a fire rate that just won’t stop.

M-300 Claymore
Best feature:
Damage
Location: During the mission ‘Attican Traverse: Krogan Team’ you’ll head to the Aralahk Camp and be told to locate the missing scouts. Search the structure on the left for the shotgun.
Details: Of all the traditional shotguns, the M-300 is the most powerful one you can find. Its intense damage will decimate anyone up close, but takes a little too long to reload.

N7 Crusader
Best feature:
Accuracy, damage
Location: Given with Collector’s Edition
Details: Though it might not look it from the stats, the N7 Crusader is fairly accurate shotgun. This means you need your shot to hit, and if you don’t you might as well as goodnight.

Submachine Guns

M-12 Locust
Best feature:
Accuracy
Location: During ‘Priority: Horizon’ you’ll fight through a lab area. Before you exit the area, though, look for the shotgun on the desks along the right-hand hall.
Details: SMGs aren’t known for their accuracy, but if that’s a fact that puts you off them then this could be the one for you. It’s not as powerful as the others, or as fast firing, but it does mean the majority of your bullets will hit their target.

M-25 Hornet
Best feature:
Range, fire rate
Location: During the 'Priority: The Citadel' you'll fight through the C-Sec lobby and take the elevator. Look for the weapon on the dead body of the officer after the elevator.
Details: This is a three-shot burst fire SMG, limiting its overall fire rate for three super-fast bullets. This has a side-effect of increasing its accuracy and range – great for all distances.

M-4 Shuriken
Best feature:
Fire rate, clip capacity
Location: During ‘Priority: Mars’ you’ll approach a terminal to unlock access to the roof. Before using this however, look for the SMG in the nearby security room.
Details: This SMG has a six-round burst fire system and a super high capacity. Of course this means there’s less in the way of damage and accuracy, however.

M-9 Tempest
Best feature:
Capacity, accuracy
Location: During the ‘Tuchanka: Turian Platoon’ mission, you’ll encounter a set of husks. As you head further on from this battle, look for a ladder for the weapon.
Details: The Tempest has a comparatively large damage range, but its accuracy can be a little difficult to handle. Up close its deadly, since it’s fully automatic, but over range you’ll likely miss all your targets.

N7 Hurricane
Best feature:
Fire rate, capacity
Location: Given with Collector’s Edition
Details: The damage dealt by the Hurricane is one of the highest among the SMGs, but its accuracy over distance and automatic fire rate is what makes the weapon so useful.

Assault Rifles

Geth Pulse Rifle
Best feature:
Fire rate, clip capacity
Location: During the mission ‘Priority: Perseus’ you’ll fight a geth Rocket Trooper in a room with proximity mines. After this battle continue through the dreadnought, keeping an eye out for this rifle on a shelf on the right.
Details: What the Geth Pulse Rifle lacks in power it makes up for in an unstoppable stream of bullets. Helped by the high clip capacity, this is a rifle for those who appreciate faster rifles.

M-8 Avenger
Best feature:
Clip capacity, fire rate
Location: Given during the mission ‘Prologue: Earth’.
Details: Since the Avenger is the first assault rifle you can get, it is understandably the most average one around. Upgrade as soon as you can.

M-15 Vindicator
Best feature:
Range, accuracy
Location: During the mission
Details: The Vindicator is pretty much your basic assault rifle, but with three-shot burst fire it manages to stay accurate while powerful over range.

M-37 Falcon
Best feature:
Damage
Location: During the ‘Priority: Cerberus Headquarters’ mission you’ll fight a pair of Atlas mechs. After this battle, head across the destroyed hangar doors and look for the Falcon on the ground.
Details: Rather than firing bullets, the M-37 Falcon fires small grenades. This makes it more accurate than most grenade launchers, but lacks the overall punch.

M-76 Revenant
Best feature:
Capacity, fire rate
Location: During the mission ‘Priority: Citadel’ you’ll head through the C-Sec lobby. Keep an eye out for a room filled with look, including the assault rifle.
Details: Another assault rifle with high fire rate but low damage. This one isn’t quite as high-end as others, however, so takes a hit on accuracy for no payoff.

M-96 Mattock
Best feature:
Accuracy, range
Location: During the mission ‘Grissom Academy: Investigation’, you’ll head through a classroom with a set of red couches. The Mattock rifle is on one of the couches, in the same room as the Eviscerator shotgun.
Details: The Mattock is a rifle better suited to those who like shooting from a distance, with a semi-automatic set up.

M-99 Saber
Best feature:
Accuracy, damage
Location: During the mission ‘Priority: Horizon’, you’ll need to unlock a set of pods through the Pod Status console. After this, head back to the start of the main hall and check inside the pod on the left. Here is the M-99 Saber. 
Details: The Saber is a more powerful version of the Mattock, and the closest assault rifle to a sniper rifle.

Phaeston
Best feature:
Clip capacity, fire rate
Location: During the mission ‘Tuchanka: Turian Platoon’, during the encounters with the Harvester you'll pass through narrow halls and demolished pathways. Look for a dead Turian and the rifle next to him.
Details: The best thing about the Phaeston is its ability to fire a lot of shots while maintain its accuracy and lack of kickback. A great rifle.

Sniper Rifles

Black Widow
Best feature:
Damage 
Location: Bought from Spectre Requistions
Details: The Black Widow is a powerful sniper rifle, and though it is heavy it more than makes up for this with its firepower.

Javelin
Best feature:
Damage, accuracy
Location: During the mission ‘Rannoch: Admiral Koris’, after landing on the planet look near the wreckage for this rifle.
Details: Easily the most powerful sniper rifle, this geth rifle bursts through enemies with a beam of light. A lot of fun.

M-13 Raptor
Best feature:
Fire rate, clip capactiy
Location: During the mission ‘Priority: Sur’Kesh’, you’ll be directed to the Skorpion SMG. After defeating the second wave of Cerberus troops, check near the elevator they came from for a newly placed sniper rifle.
Details: This is a hybrid between an assault rifle and a sniper rifle, creating a fast firing weapon with a high clip count, but at the loss of higher damage.

M-29 Incisor
Best feature:
Fire rate, damage
Location: During the mission ‘Tuchanka: Bomb’, early on after landing into artillery fire, look for the sniper rifle on the left.
Details: By firing three bullets per shot, the Incisor is a little difficult to control but deals a considerable damage for its fire rate.

M-92 Mantis
Best feature:
Damage
Location: During the mission ‘Priority: Mars’, early on you’ll head down a ladder – look for the sniper rifle nearby.
Details: This sniper rifle is the most powerful in the game, and if you don’t mind the single shot mechanic then this will likely be the one to use permanently.

M-97 Viper
Best feature:
Fire rate
Location: During the mission ‘Priority: Palaven’ you’ll come to the Turian Command Camp. The sniper rifle can be found in the centre of the camp.
Details: The high fire rate of this semi-automatic means it can get a few shots off at once, but the poor damage makes it not worth using.

M-98 Widow
Best feature:
Damage
Location: During the mission ‘Priority: Thessia’, 
Details: As powerful as the geth Javelin, this sniper rifle can drop pretty much any enemy with its single shot set up.

Weapon Mods

Assault Rifle Extended Barrel
Level 1 effect: 15% increased damage
Level 5 effect: 25% increased damage
First location: Priority: Sur’Kesh – early on, before approaching the elevator

Assault Rifle Magazine Upgrade
Level 1 effect:
40% extra rounds per magazine
Level 5 effect: 80% extra rounds per magazine
First location: Priority: Palaven, in the centre of the airfield battlefield.

Assault Rifle Piercing Mod
Level 1 effect:
Ignores 25% armour defense, 0.50 metre object penetration
Level 5 effect: ignores 65% armour defense, 1.10 metre object penetration
First location: Priority: Palaven, found at the Turian Command Camp.

Assault Rifle Precision Scope
Level 1 effect:
15% increased accuracy
Level 5 effect: 35% increased accuracy
First location: Priority: Perseus Veil, at the Central Core before setting the geth unit free.

Assault Rifle Stability Damper
Level 1 effect:
30% weapon stability 
Level 5 effect: 70% weapon stability
First location: Priority: Rannoch, at the Reaper Base when following a walkway to its end.

Pistol High-Caliber Barrel
Level 1 effect:
15% increased damage
Level 5 effect: 25% increased damage
First location: Priority: Sur’Kesh, once inside the lab after passing through a Cerberus-created hole in the wall.

Pistol Magazine Upgrade
Level 1 effect:
40% extra rounds per magazine
Level 5 effect: 80% extra rounds per magazine
First location: Priority: Palaven, found at the Turian Command Camp

Pistol Melee Stunner
Level 1 effect:
15% increased melee damage
Level 5 effect: 25% increased melee damage
First location: Priority: Tuchanka, after taking a shuttle and before speaking to the Krogan guard.

Pistol Piercing Mod
Level 1 effect:
Ignores 25% armour defense, 0.50 metre object penetration
Level 5 effect: ignores 65% armour defense, 1.10 metre object penetration
First location: Priority: Palaven, found at the Turian Command Camp.

Pistol Scope
Level 1 effect:
15% increased accuracy
Level 5 effect: 35% increased accuracy
First location: Priority: Sur’Kesh, on level 4 after clearing the pod.

Shotgun Blade Attachment
Level 1 effect:
15% increased melee damage
Level 5 effect: 25% increased melee damage
First location: Priority: Horizon, in the experimentation chambers just before leaving the lab area.

Shotgun High-Caliber Barrel
Level 1 effect:
15% increased damage
Level 5 effect: 25% increased damage
First location: Priority: Thessia, in the right-side of the courtyard where Asari snipers open fire.

Shotgun Smart Choke
Level 1 effect:
30% increased accuracy
Level 5 effect: 50% increased accuracy
First location: Tuchanka: Turian Platoon, during the fight with the Harvester you’ll drop down. Look for the crate nearby.

Shotgun Shredder Mod
Level 1 effect:
Ignores 25% armour defense, 0.25 metre object penetration
Level 5 effect: ignores 65% armour defense, 0.65 metre object penetration
First location: Priority: Mars towards the end of the mission at the Archive Docking Station.

Shotgun Spare Thermal Clip
Level 1 effect:
50% spare shot capacity
Level 5 effect: 90% spare shot capacity
First location: Priority: Sur’Kesh, at the end of the first level in the base, after leaping over a small gap.

Sniper Rifle Concentration Mod
Level 1 effect:
5% damage increase, 25% perception speed
Level 5 effect: 15% damage increase, 35% perception speed
First location: Priority: Thessia, in the sniper’s perch where the asari snipers were hit by a rocket.

Sniper Rifle Enhanced Scope
Level 1 effect:
15% increased accuracy and highlights enemies through smoke
Level 5 effect: 35% increased accuracy and highlights enemies through smoke
First location: Priority: Palaven, after clearing the camp, search the structure to the left of where you entered.

Sniper Rifle Extended Barrel
Level 1 effect:
15% increased damage
Level 5 effect: 25% increased damage
First location: Tuchanka: Turian Platoon, during the many encounters with the Harvester you’ll drop down some rubble. On the left there.

Sniper Rifle Piercing Mod
Level 1 effect:
Ignores 25% armour defense, 0.75 metre object penetration
Level 5 effect: ignores 65% armour defense, 1.35 metre object penetration
First location: Priority: The Citadel, when inside the C-Sec building and before the Executor’s office near a desk on the far right.

Sniper Rifle Spare Thermal Clip
Level 1 effect:
50% spare shot capacity
Level 5 effect: 90% spare shot capacity
First location: Priority: Palaven, when you’re told to locate General Victus this will be near a group of stranded Turian soldiers.

SMG Heat Sink
Level 1 effect:
25% chance of not using a clip
Level 5 effect: 45% chance of not using a clip
First location: Priority: Thessia, in front of the asari temple.

SMG High-Caliber Barrel
Level 1 effect:
15% increased damage
Level 5 effect: 25% increased damage
First location: Attican Traverse: Krogan Team, inside a structure near Urdnot Dagg.

SMG Magazine Upgrade
Level 1 effect:
40% increased rounds per magazine
Level 5 effect: 80% increased rounds per magazine
First location: Tuchanka: Turian Platoon, early on located inside a pile of rubble left of the starting area.

SMG Scope
Level 1 effect:
15% increased accuracy
Level 5 effect: 35% increased accuracy
First location: Priority: Mars, after ambushing the Cerberus troops on the other side of a glass window from a darkened room.

SMG Ultralight Materials
Level 1 effect:
50% weapon reduction
Level 5 effect: 90% weapon reduction
First location: Priority: Mars, after Liara unlocks the next area in the rubble.

Armour

Arms

Ariake Technologies Gauntlets
Effect:
10% melee damage
Location: Planet Mars

Armax Arsenal Gauntlets
Effect:
5% weapon damage, 10% carrying capacity
Location: Planet Tuchanka

Hahne-Kedar Gauntlets
Effect:
10% weapon damage
Location: Hanar Citadel Store

Kassa Fabrication Gauntlets
Effect:
10% shield boost
Location: Planet Rannoch

N7 Gauntlets
Effect:
10% health bonus
Location: Starting equipment

Rosenkov Materials Gauntlets
Effect:
10% recharge speed
Location: Planet Tuchanka

Serrice Council Gauntlets
Effect:
10% power damage
Location: Asari Citadel Store

Full Body Armour Sets

Blood Dragon Armor
Effect:
20% shield boost, 30% power damage, 10% recharge speed
Location: Hanar Citadel Store

Cerberus Armor
Effect:
20% health bonus, 20% shield boost, 20% shield regeneration boost
Location: Volus Citadel Store

Collector Armor
Effect:
20% health boost, 20% shield boost, 20% shield regeneration boost
Location: Asari Citadel Store

Inferno Armor
Effect:
30% power damage, 30% recharge speed
Location: Human Citadel Store

Terminus Armor
Effect:
30% shield boost, 15% ammo capacity, 15% melee damage
Location: Batarian Citadel Store

Helmets

Archon Visor
Effect:
10% recharge speed
Location: Planet Sur’Kesh

Capacitor Helmet
Effect:
10% shield regen
Location: Planet Benning

Death Mask
Effect:
10% melee damage
Location: Planet Tuchanka

Delumcore Overlay
Effect:
10% weapon damage, 5% carrying capacity
Location: Kronos Station

Kestrel Helmet
Effect:
10% ammo capacity
Location: Batarian Citadel Store

Kuwashii Visor
Effect:
5% weapon damage, 10% carrying capacity
Location: Salarian Citadel Store

Mnemonic Visor
Effect:
5% power damage, 5% recharge speed
Location: Grissom Academy

N7 Helmet
Effect:
10% health
Location: Starting equipment

Recon Hood
Effect:
10% weapon damage
Location: Citadel

Securitel Helmet
Effect:
5% health boost, 5% shield boost
Location: Citadel

Sentry Interface
Effect:
10% shield
Location: Planet Sur’Kesh

Umbra Visor
Effect:
10% power
Location: Thessia

Legs

Ariake Technologies Greaves
Effect: 10% melee damage
Location: Planet Ontarom

Armax Arsenal Greaves
Effect:
10% ammo capacity
Location: Planet Sur’Kesh

Hahne-Kedar Greaves
Effect:
10% weapon damage
Location: Planet Menae

Kassa Fabrication Greaves
Effect:
10% shield power
Location: Planet Gellix

N7 Greaves
Effect:
10% health bonus
Location: Starting equipment

Rosenkov Materials Greaves
Effect:
10% recharge speed
Location: Citadel Specter Requisitions

Serrice Council Greaves
Effect:
10% power damage
Location: Asari Citadel Store

 

Shoulders

Ariake Technologies Shoulder Guards
Effect: 10% melee damage
Location: Planet Utukku

 

Armax Arsenal Shoulder Guards
Effect:
5% weapon damage, 10% carrying capacity
Location: Planet Menae

Hahne-Kedar Shoulder Guards
Effect:
10% weapon damage
Location: Volus Citadel Store

Kassa Fabrication Shoulder Guards
Effect:
10% shield bonus
Location: Turian Citadel Store

N7 Shoulder Guards
Effect:
10% health bonus
Location: Starting equipment

Rosenkov Materials Shoulder Guards
Effect:
10% recharge speed
Location: Citadel

Serrice Council Shoulder Guards
Effect:
10% power damage
Location: Planet Lesuss

Torso

Ariake Technologies Chestplate
Effect:
10% melee damage
Location: Human Citadel Store

Hahne-Kedar Chestplate
Effect:
10% weapon damage
Location: Planet Tuchanka

Kassa Fabrication Chestplate
Effect:
10% shield regen
Location: Planet Mars

N7 Chestplate
Effect:
10% health
Location: Starting equipment

Rosenkov Materials Chestplate
Effect:
10% power recharge
Location: Planet Cyone

Serrice Council Chestplate
Effect:
10% power damage
Location: Grissom Academy

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