Designed for asari resistance, the Acolyte's barrels fire advanced ammunition similar to that of an impact-triggered resonant warp bomb, which has a devastating effect on shields and biotic barriers. The specialized nature of the warp field means it does not pierce armor as effectively, but the shooter's biotics are expected to make up for this shortcoming.
The Acolyte launches a projectile similar to a grenade, which can be bounced off walls and has a noticeable downward arc in its trajectory. This weapon is effectively a sort of anti-shield flare gun.
The proximity detonation on the Acolyte is larger after the first bounce. Careful aim can thus allow you to strip the shields from a larger crowd of enemies.
The Acolyte does 500% damage against shields and barriers. This may make it a good choice for classes that have no shield-stripping abilities. Additionally, despite its description, the Acolyte suffers no damage penalty when used against armor.
Targets hit by the Acolyte will become momentarily stunned as though hit with electric powers such as Overload.
The weapon is surprisingly effective against geth units even after they have become unprotected.
With Phasic Rounds, the Acolyte is capable of stripping the shields or barrier of most enemies in one or two shots.
Since the Acolyte is very light, cooldown-conscious classes can take this weapon to help them strip shields and barriers easily. This is particularly useful for biotic and melee classes that need more versatility without sacrificing their full potential.
Another reason to use the Ultralight Materials mod would be if you wanted to use the Pistol Heavy Barrel mod for its damage bonus on a power dependent character. The 50% weight increase from the Heavy Barrel mod is balanced out by the Ultralight Materials mod 50% weight decrease.
Care should be taken against geth, since their stunning attacks can hinder your ability to fire.
The Acolyte's shots have a very wide explosion radius compared to other explosive firing weapons. This makes it good at dealing with groups of enemies, and, when used with priming Ammo Bonuses, very good at setting up multiple enemies for power detonations.
The Acolyte is an extremely effective weapon for the all volus classes. The projectiles can be launched over low cover or around corners, compensating for the volus classes' inability to use cover and their lack of anti-shield/barrier powers. It is also effective when using the volus classes' "melee" cloaking ability, as weapon usage does not break the volus cloak.
Due to its charge-to-fire mechanics, the player is capable of maintaining the Acolyte's charge while activating Flamer. The Acolyte's charged shot can also be released at any time during the active use of Flamer.
The Acolyte can be used effectively against Guardians by aiming slightly over their heads. The shot will then detonate behind the Guardian.