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Shotgun Guide

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Shotguns fire a number of pellets per shot giving them high burst damage, which can quickly eliminate enemies. As a result, they are excellent tools for overwhelming enemies when advancing through a fight. Because they are limited by their fire rate and heat capacity they are not quite as versatile as assault rifles, sometimes requiring staggering or time to cool in between shots.

You should not be afraid of charging in with a shotgun (especially if moving into the flank of an enemy), as they can let you dispatch a few enemies even before you take cover. It can also be helpful to use cover or crowd control abilities, or block other enemies with objects, to control engagement and alleviate the issues of the slow fire rate. The multiple projectile spread is also useful against flyers and melee enemies.

Aggressive ApproachEdit

Charging into the enemy with close-range, offensive shotgunning is fairly simple, once you understand how to deal with their heat issues. The usual approach is by cycling through firing and waiting in cover - pop up, use biotics, run in and shoot, take cover. As enemies can appear very quickly, it is preferable to have firepower that is consistently available. This allows you to hit enemies at least once each, in order to give out vital knockback and ammo debuffs.

In terms of configuration, if preventing overheats is the aim, heat reduction mods must be used as only sniper rifles have less shots. A recommended combination is the HMW shotgun, with one Frictionless Materials X and one Scram Rail X with Inferno Rounds / Sledgehammer Rounds. When using this setup with Inferno Rounds, your shotgun will never overheat (unless an opponent uses Sabotage).

Burst-fire approachEdit

This approach concerns larger burst damage rather than sustained fire, but overheats the weapon leading to a long time in between shots. In some respects, with the use of High Explosive Rounds (HE rounds), the shotgun turns into an heavy support weapon rather than a personal firearm. Considered another way, it is an auxiliary Carnage power with a quicker reload. Note as the HE rounds overheats the shotgun in one shot no matter what, it requires a cautious and defensive approach. This involves waiting behind cover, taking advantage of it to dissipate heat. Shepard can then pop out occasionally in order to ambush an enemy and knock them out in one shot. This is best used to subdue a single heavyweight enemy, such as charging krogan or a Geth Destroyer. Due to the increased weapon force, even in the worst case scenario they will fall over, leaving them open to a melee attack or two to finish them.

This style is recommended on higher difficulties, where enemies are difficult to eliminate and take multiple shots to kill using conventional weapons. As well as this, it is best used when cover is available and the use of cover mandatory due to dangerous amounts of damage from enemy fire, or alternatively when little time is spent in the open. However, it may be best suited to the Soldier class, which has additional weapons to switch to in a pinch. While melee is available, the Vanguard (or other classes, with bonus Talent) may be made vulnerable to other weaker enemies during the overheat cooldown as they are left with only a pistol for backup. This may happen if their powers are recharging, for example.

With respect to the weapon build, instead of maxing out shots fired, the focus is on damage per shot. Heap it on. Heap on some more. And then keep heaping on lots of it. A recommended setup is an HMWSG, combined with two Rail Extension VII weapon upgrades (which does around 5-9% more damage than a Scram Rail) and the aforementioned HE rounds. This configuration maximizes damage per shot, and combined with Carnage, is capable of taking out most anything in one hit.

Note that due to the HE rounds upgrade, heat damping upgrades have negligible effect. Thus despite increasing heat more, the Rail Extension upgrade provides a better overall damage increase than the Scram Rail. The expected time between shots is around 4.2 seconds.

Sniping with a ShotgunEdit

After committing many points into Shotgun and Spectre Training ability, the player will be able snipe the enemy with a shotgun by using the zoom in option. Players should take their time, stay behind cover, and make sure that the target in question is not hiding, covering, or running away. It is recommended to stay crouched, zoomed in, equip weapon with good accuracy and let the shotgun cool down after every shot by ducking back into cover.

SmallMLogo Mass Effect Guides SmallMLogo
Completion WalkthroughMoralityExperienceSystemsMakoCodex
Achievements CompletionistRich AchievementParty Member Achievements
Scholar AchievementWeapon and Ability Achievements
Classes AdeptEngineerInfiltratorSentinelSoldierVanguard
Weapons Assault RiflesPistolsShotgunsSniper Rifles
Other PC TweaksMerchants

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