[Top 10] Mass Effect 3 Best Weapons That Wreck Hard!

Mass Effect 3 Best Weapons
You're gonna want to have your best gun ready to take down that thing.

Being the third game in the series, Mass Effect 3 grandfathered in a lot of weapons from the first two games, and also added a whole bunch of new ones with unique features and capabilities.

Mass Effect 3 has such an incredibly large selection of weapons in fact, that things can get a little confusing, especially to those who haven’t played the first 2 games. Many of my friends who casually played the game just stuck to the guns they thought were coolest, or ones they thought fit their version of Shepard the best, which made me realize that so many players completely gloss over the huge selection of weapons in the game and miss out on some really fun ones, which is a real shame. 

With that in mind I thought that I would lend some of my expertise and let you guys know what I think are the top 10 Mass Effect 3 weapons that absolutely wreck hard!

10. M-6 Carnifex Heavy Pistol

This ain't your grandma's pistol.

Pistols in Mass Effect are usually considered last-ditch options for when your back is against the wall, but the M-6 Carnifex is not your ordinary pistol. Boasting base damage above many of the rifles (you heard that right)in the game, the Carnifex is the most powerful pistol in the game, and can even be upgraded to serve as a pseudo sniper in the right hands. The heavy pistol is so powerful that across the second and third Mass Effect games you can see advertising featuring a charging Krogan and the caption “Don’t you wish Carnifex was at your side?”. I know I sure was when my Shepard got himself into trouble!

What the M-6 Carnifex excels at:

  • Highly accurate pistol that deals insane damage in a small package
  • Long range option if you aren’t running a sniper rifle
  • High Headshot damage multiplier

M-6 Carnifex details:

  • Carnifex means “butcher” in latin
  • The Gun was first featured in Mass Effect 2, and has been included in every game since

9.  Black Widow Sniper Rifle

The Black Widow makes sniping a breeze.

The Black Widow Sniper is most players go to pick if they need something done from long-range, and for good reason. The gun is the ultimate sniper,  being more powerful than any other semi-automatic sniper rifle, as well as  boasting a much higher rate of fire than any of the bolt-action rifles.  

The Black Widow is introduced in the Mass Effect universe to rectify the faults of its predecessor, the M-98 Widow, and boy does it! 

In Mass Effect 3, DPS takes a back seat to being able to land successive headshots quickly, which the Black Widow is able to do because of it’s 3-5 round magazine. If you ever wanted to feel like a sniping god, then the Black Widow is the only  option, as far as I’m concerned.

What the Black Widow excels at:

  • Capable of one shot headshot kills

  • Flexibility to fire multiple rounds without reloading sacrificing much damage

  • Effective against shields and armor

Black Widow details:

  • Can be purchased from the Spectre Requisitions terminal for 250,000 credits
  • Beware of the gun’s heavy weight which affects power cooldowns

8. Mattock Assault Rifle

A gun that just never gets old, no matter how much you use it.

Considered to be the best assault rifle in Mass Effect 3 by many, the Mattock is a hybrid rifle that contains the power of a sniper rifle and the rate of fire of an assault rifle. The gun boasts incredible accuracy, and I found in my playthroughs that if you equip the Assault Rifle Precision scope that the gun becomes versatile enough to lean on as a primary weapon as well. The gun is semi-automatic, but those with quick trigger-fingers will find little problem rapidly shredding enemy health bars with some well-placed shots. And if that doesn’t sell you on it, the gun is available from pretty early on and at a low price, for all of you Scrooges out there.

The one drawback, however, is that because the Mattock is designed for mid to far range, players can find themselves overwhelmed by large groups of enemies up close. To rectify this I recommend players equip a SMG of some sort, preferably one with a high rate of fire, to even out your loadout and cover your weaknesses.

What the Mattock excels at:

  • Mid to long range battles where you can pick the enemy apart from distance
  • Rewarding quick trigger fingers and accuracy
  • Headshot hunting players looking for a break from lugging the ol’ sniper around

Mattock details:

  • The gun was first introduced in Mass Effect 2 
  • The Mattock is balanced by the fact that it has a small 15-round magazine, meaning you have to make every shot count.

7. M-25 Hornet

A long range SMG that holds it's own up close? I think I'm in love.

If you don’t have access to the pre-order bonus N7 Hurricane SMG, or you are just looking for a more reliable long-range option in that category, the Cerberus-issued M-25 Hornet is the weapon for you. 

The Hornets strengths are this; Outstanding damage rate, incredible range  for a submachine gun, and how incredibly light it is. These three strengths make it a solid pick, and if modified correctly to maximize it’s range capabilities, the Hornet can easily replace an assault rifle as your primary weapon. The Hornet may not be as flashy as the N7 Hurricane, but it beats it in terms of versatility… and hey, at least you didn’t have to pay to use it!

What the M-25 Hornet excels at: 

  • Being a light, versatile, option at the SMG category
  • Being a rare primary option at the SMG spot
  • Solid close up as well as from behind cover at range

M-25 Hornet Details:

  • The M-25 is the primary weapon wielded by Cerberus enemies throughout the game

6. M-11 Wraith

The M-11 Wraith is a high-damage, low ammo capacity shotgun that packs one heck of a punch.  The Wraith is the ultimate “quick-draw” weapon since you can easily switch to it and blow away an enemy before switching back to your primary weapon.

Oftentimes the M-11 Wraith and M-300 Claymore get pitted against each other because of their inverse relationship; the Claymore deals more damage but can only fire a single shot before reloading while the Wraith does less damage but possesses a larger magazine. 

I think that the Wraith edges out the Claymore slightly based on vulnerability, and that the Wraith allows for a larger margin of error when using it. Don’t fret, though, even though the Wraith isn’t the most powerful shotgun in the game, it still one-shots most enemies from close-range.

What the M-11 Wraith excels at:

  • Very high damage shotgun that will literally blow away the competition
  • Ultimate “quick-draw” weapon in Mass Effect
  • Perfect for pushing an entrenched enemy or for dealing massive damage to a high-health opponent

M-11 Wraith details: 

  • The M-11 wraith can be found at the Spectre Requisitions terminal and costs 250,000 credits
  • In universe, the M-11 Wraith is banned within Citadel Space

5. N7 Hurricane

A SMG worth it's price tag and then some.

While most weapon types have several guns fighting for the top spot, the N7 Hurricane stands alone as the absolute best SMG in Mass Effect 3. Unfortunately the gun was a collector’s edition bonus weapon, and so many players missed out on this fantastic SMG… Thanks once again EA!

The N7 Hurricane fires fast, like the fastest SMG in the game fast, and it only gets better from there. It also hits like a truck, making it an absolute monster in a close-range exchange. This is a bit of a double edged sword, however, since the gun eats up ammo quickly and you can dry up way faster than you would expect to. 

It’s probably a good idea to invest in a large magazine for the N7 Hurricane, as well as to equip SMG Heat Sink so that it doesn’t overheat as quickly. At the end of the day the N7 Hurricane’s crazy damage output and rate of fire more than make up for its shortcomings, and pairing it with a more efficient primary weapon will allow you to enjoy this gun in all its glory without worrying about running out of bullets.

What the N7 Hurricane excels at:

  • Decimating anyone unlucky enough to get close to you
  • Pushing enemy squads with reckless abandon

N7 Hurricane details:

  • The N7 Hurricane is part of the N7 Collector’s Edition Pack and so you will need to have that to use the SMG
  • The N7 Hurricane has not only the fastest fire rate in the SMG category, but the highest rate of fire of any gun in the game

4. Particle Rifle

A throwback gun to the OG Mass Effect.

The Particle Rifle is a DLC weapon unlocked after completing the mission Priority: Eden Prime in the From Ashes DLC. Unfortunately another pay-to-use gun, but at least this time you get access to a Prothean crewmate and another mission too. But back to the Particle Rifle, which if you don’t know about it, is the most unique weapon in Mass Effect 3! 

Unique to the Particle Rifle is that because of it being a Prothean weapon, it does not use thermal clips as ammunition, and instead uses a cooldown system like the weapons from the original Mass Effect game, making it both unique and valuable. The weapon operates by firing a beam at the enemy which gives increases in damage after about 2-3 seconds of firing. If used correctly, this is a weapon that will never need to be reloaded and can pick apart swarms of enemies with ease.

What the Particle Rifle excels at:

  • Wiping out swarms of low health enemies and staggering shielded ones
  • Revealing invisible enemies
  • Consistent firing without ever needing to reload

Particle Rifle details:

  • The Particle rifle has no recoil and is perfectly accurate, though it does have a finite range
  • Extremely useful against Guardians, as it will stagger them in the same way a concussive shot might
  • It is the Best weapon to give your AI squadmates since they

3. M-358 Talon Heavy Pistol

A bite-sized shotty with range.


I’ll give you a second to pick your jaw off the floor after seeing a pistol this high up the list but this thing is no ordinary pistol. The Talon is basically a handheld shotgun firing essentially buckshot instead of bullets at enemies.

Where the Talon goes from an interesting gimmick to a force to be reckoned with, though, is that when you zoom in and aim down your scope, the spread of the pellets drastically lessens, making for a more powerful and accurate shot. Even on the highest difficulties a headshot with the Talon is almost always  a one shot kill, with the gun also dealing a 50% bonus damage to shields and barriers.

What the M-358 Talon excels at:

  • Close to mid range combat as a pistol or shotgun
  • Headhunting players looking to take down enemies with ease will love this sidearm

M-358 Talon details: 

  • The Talon is used by Cerberus Guardians
  • The Talon is found in the mission “Priority: Citadel II” in a locked room and if missed will not be available for purchase anywhere in the game. So don’t miss it!

2. Krysae Sniper Rifle

The second sniper rifle on this list, the Krysae is basically a sniper rifle that shoots rockets. It seems the team at Bioware wanted to give players a little incentive to buy the Firefight Pack DLC because this thing is absolutely nuts. 

A Turian anti-material rifle designed to take down reaper threats, the sniper fires projectiles that have an area of effect explosion that deals massive damage to enemies. This weapon is best used to clear out clumps of enemies at a time, and can make the game a cakewalk even on higher difficulties. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, I recommend giving it to a squadmate who can use it, like fellow Turian Garrus, as it can be bonkers to watch him clear a room with this thing with all of his powers and multipliers 

A quick heads up, though.  There is no headshot multiplier, so don’t bother aiming for it, and there is a delay between when you fire your shot and when it reaches the target. I guess they figured they needed to at least try and balance this thing or else the game would just be boring.

What the Krysae excels at:

  • Clearing waves of enemies in a single shot
  • Dealing massive damage from far away
  • Crowd Control
  • Basically everything

Krysae details: 

  • The Krysae is only available from purchasing the Firefight Pack DLC
  • The sniper has a 2x and 10x zoom

1.Cobra Missile Launcher

Playing life on easy mode.

The Cobra missile launcher is so powerful that it is only available in the multiplayer mode without the use of mods. This is probably for the best because this thing is ridiculous, with maximum damage and accuracy stats.

The Cobra is only limited by the launcher rounds that you are given, but don’t worry because you don’t need many to decimate the opposition. The Launcher operates by firing a missile directly at the target that is powerful enough to destroy it on impact, and it’s explosion will wipe out anything around it as well. I have a feeling if Commander Shepard had this thing, the reaper threat would have been over about an hour into the game.

What the Cobra excels at:

  • Striking fear into your enemies
  • Showing people that you have no mercy and no limits
  • Wiping out large groups of enemies with no fuss or even effort, really

Cobra details: 

  • The Cobra can kill any enemy in the game with one shot
  • You can get capacity upgrades for the cobra by purchasing item packs in Multiplayer
  • The game will give you significantly less XP for killing enemies with the Cobra… obviously


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A lifetime gamer afraid of feeling left out from being able to talk about all the most hyped and acclaimed games. Catch me chillin' in Novigrad with my girl Triss or defending Earth from the Reapers!
Gamer Since: 1999
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Super Hot
Top 3 Favorite Games:Assassin's Creed 2 , Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine , Dead Space 2

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