Mass Effect 2
A battle rifle favored by assassins and elite mercenaries that fires in highly accurate five [sic]-round bursts and can be pulsed for rapid fire. Deadly at any range, and effective against armor, shields, and biotic barriers. Upgrades the Avenger Assault Rifle.
- The Vindicator is an excellent weapon for dealing large amounts of damage via headshots, making it one of the best choices when fighting the Collectors (who have large heads). If sufficiently modded, three rounds to the head can take down a Collector.
- The game calls the Vindicator a battle rifle. In real life, battle rifles are commonly used as designated marksmen rifles to cover mid range battles (300-600 meters), between the range of assault rifles and sniper rifles. The game reflects this by making the Vindicator more a mid-range weapon. It was not designed for "spray-and-pray" combat. Thus the weapon is more suited to players who prefer to kill enemies with headshots at medium range.
- This weapon makes battles quite perilous on higher difficulty levels. It pairs nicely with the M-22 Eviscerator shotgun, which picks up the slack at close range and helps to conserve the Vindicator's limited ammo reserve.
- The Vindicator has superior accuracy and stopping power when compared to the M-8 Avenger. Its burst-fire mode removes the issue of recoil, but this factor also makes the Vindicator less effective in close quarters battle. This is especially true when fighting large numbers of enemies, making protracted firefights particularly perilous to the player.
- The main weakness of the Vindicator is its low thermal clip capacity (only 24 rounds, compared to the 40 round clips in the M-8 Avenger). Another handicap is the player can carry only 105 rounds worth of spare thermal clips, while the M-8 allows for a max of 440 rounds. This limitation can become deadly when fighting enemies who don't drop ammo, such as husks, animals like varren and klixen, as well as extremely durable enemies, such as krogan.
- The Vindicator's rate of fire is much higher when the player pulses the trigger. Firing the weapon in this manner greatly increases its damage rate.
- To compensate for the low ammo reserve, the player must strive for accuracy and attempt to deliver a high percentage of headshots. Additionally the player should make use of all their weapons, favoring sniper rifles at long range and shotguns at close range. Consequently, the Vindicator is at its best in the hands of a Soldier, since the Soldier's Adrenaline Rush ability maximizes both accuracy and damage potential. The Soldier may supplement the Vindicator's limited ammo by making use of both sniper rifles and shotguns.
- This is usually the best weapon for any teammate that can use assault rifles as they are very accurate with it and deal high damage even with the 45% decrease. The low ammo doesn't affect teammates. It's good for teammates who are providing suppressive fire. Despite the issues associated with burst-fire, they still fire frequently.
- The Targeting VI upgrade is not as critical on this weapon as on the other rifles, as it is already very accurate. The Vindicator's crosshair is displayed as the narrowest possible with the interface. However, it does improve grouping over range, and allows the player to successfully land all three rounds more often, reducing ammo expenditure.
- If the number of rounds left in the current clip is four or five, the next shot fired will be a burst of all remaining rounds, instead of the usual three.
- The M-96 Mattock makes the Vindicator slightly obsolete; it has a much higher fire rate and fulfills the same role of tactical mid-to-long range combat. The Vindicator is still a good gun considering that its lower rate of fire makes it easier to make shots count- as opposed to spamming the trigger, which wastes ammo.
Mass Effect 3
- Squad members and Shepard in cutscenes fire the weapon in fully-automatic or semi-automatic mode, while Shepard can only fire the Vindicator in bursts in actual combat.
- The appearance is based on the alternate assault rifle in Mass Effect.
- Like the Mattock and Avenger, the Vindicator's integrated scope was removed off from its model in Mass Effect 3, likely to avoid looking redundant if the player adds a scope mod. In game, this does not affect its (unmodded) accuracy.
- If Samara's recruitment mission is completed and the M-27 Scimitar isn't obtained at any of the three places you can find it, an M-15 Vindicator will be given as a reward after talking with Samara in the police station. The M-15 Vindicator will not be shown to the mission summary.
- It is possible to see the word "Auto" on the side of the rifle (best seen if using either power or weapon wheel to change camera angle). This may indicate that the Vindicator was supposed to be an automatic assault rifle or that it would have multiple fire modes, which would explain the error above.
- Even though the rounds are usually depicted as firing out of the bottom barrel, (the top one was depicted as a scope in Mass Effect 2, but is slightly different in Mass Effect 3) an extended barrel is added to the top one.