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Codex ME - Upgrades

Weapons in the Mass Effect universe are micro-scaled mass accelerators, using mass-reducing fields and magnetic force to propel miniature slugs to lethal speeds. Nearly every gun on the battlefield is laden with features, from targeting auto-assists to projectile shavers that can generate thousands of rounds of ammunition from a small, internal block of metal.

Mass Effect Edit

In Mass Effect, to generate ammunition a weapon shaves a projectile the size of a sand grain from a dense block of metal contained within the weapon's body. The projectile is launched at supersonic velocities by decreasing its mass in a mass effect field. Thousands of these tiny rounds can be produced from a single ammunition block. Ammunition is never a concern because of this, but managing the weapon's internal heat is; if a weapon is fired too rapidly, heat will build up inside of the weapon and it will overheat, forcing the operator to stop firing long enough for the weapon to disperse that heat buildup.

Weapon Attributes Edit

  • Damage - The amount of Damage inflicted on a targets Shields first, and then Health minus their Damage Protection (%) on a successful hit.
  • Shots before Overheat - The number of rounds a weapon may fire before before being disabled due to overheating.
  • Accuracy Rating - Keep in mind each weapon has a unique HUD circle. Accuracy controls the size of the HUD circle and time to stabilize after zooming. Increasing accuracy shrinks the HUD circle and minimizes expansion. Each Weapon's HUD has 2 expansion sizes, triggered when moving or by rapid fire. Crouching effectively doubles the base accuracy of a weapon.

Weapons also have a level (I through X) which denote their overall quality. Higher level weapons inflict more damage, maintain greater accuracy, and can fire for longer time periods before overheating than lower level weapons.

Weapon Types Edit

Weapons in Mass Effect fall into five categories:

Upgrades Edit

Nearly all weapons can be upgraded with one modification to the weapon itself and one modification to its ammunition. Some high-grade weapons can accept two upgrades to the weapon itself. Weapons from Geth Armory do not accept upgrades to the weapon or its ammunition. Upgrades to weapons have various effects, such as increasing damage or stability, but often have negative effects as well, such as reducing shots before overheating. Upgrades to ammo also have effects, such as poisoning or burning targets, but sometimes have negative effects, such as a slower rate of fire or greater heat generation.

Mass Effect 2 Edit

See also: Thermal Clips

In Mass Effect 2, personal weapons have undergone a massive shift. It was discovered that, in an age of kinetic barriers, most firefights were won by the side who could put the most rounds downrange the fastest. As such, detachable heat sinks, known as thermal clips, were adopted first by the geth, and shortly thereafter by organic arms manufacturers. Ammunition may never be a concern with modern arms, but the availability of thermal clips is; weapons without thermal clips have nowhere to disperse their heat and are incapable of firing. Luckily, thermal clips litter modern battlefields, and can be obtained from fallen enemies or found around the environment.

The HUD element, in the lower left corner of the screen, shows how much ammunition the player has in their equipped weapon. The number on the left (the one which decreases along with the nearby bar) shows how many shots you can fire before you need to reload. The other number, on the right, shows how many shots are available from your backup clips. The player can manually "reload" a thermal clip at any time, or Shepard will automatically do so when the current clip becomes saturated with heat.

Weapon Types Edit

Weapons in Mass Effect 2 fall into six categories:

Upgrades Edit

Upgrades in Mass Effect 2 are not weapon-specific modifications. Instead, the player obtains upgrades through research which apply across an entire weapon type. For example, an Assault Rifle Damage upgrade will boost the damage output of all assault rifles that the player owns, not just a specific model.

Ammo Powers Edit

Another fundamental change from Mass Effect is how ammo types for weapons can be modified. Previously, a given weapon could be upgraded to use Cryo Rounds to freeze enemies or Proton Rounds to cut through their shields. In Mass Effect 2, ammo is modified through the use of different powers which can be applied at any time. These powers include:

Mass Effect 3 Edit

The Weapons system in Mass Effect 3 is expanded by incorporating systems from Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. Mass Effect's large number of weapons and modifications were added to the game, while still maintaining Mass Effect 2's easy selection system. This improved Mass Effect 2's lack of variety (generally, you had only 2-3 weapons for each type, except for Heavy Weapons, unless you had purchased downloadable content or loaded mods) while keeping its fast weapon selection intact by keeping weapon selection at the beginning of a level, and letting them switch between different types through the mission. Heavy Weapons, however, were removed from the player's carriable inventory. Now heavy weapons can only be found as pickups during a mission.

In Mass Effect, Shepard's class determined what weapons s/he could use effectively, while in Mass Effect 2 it determined which s/he could carry. In Mass Effect 3, any class can carry whichever and however many weapon types they want, subject to a weight limit. Exceeding weight decreases power recharge speed; conversely going far under weight speeds it up. This allows players to customize their builds heavily: a power-dependent class like the Adept or Engineer can use light SMGs and Pistols to lower their cooldown rate and use powers as their primary attack method. The Soldier can carry all five weapon types at once without exceeding carry weight, but only if properly spec'd to do so; an Infiltrator playing a "New Game Plus" can do so only if all specimens are lightweight and fully upgraded to level X.

Weapon Levels have been brought back from Mass Effect. Weapons can be upgraded to Level V on a first playthrough; creating a New Game Plus will allow additional upgrades to Level X. Weapons can be upgraded at a terminal in the Shuttle Bay, four levels on a first playthrough and two on a second; finding the weapon in-game during missions in New Game Plus adds the remaining three levels.

Note: This will happen even if you missed the weapon during your first playthrough; it will enter your inventory at Lv.III.

Weapons included in the Firefight Pack and Groundside Resistance Pack can be upgraded to Level X immediately (not on {PS3}). Upgrades decrease weapon weight and increase reserve ammo capacity, damage and accuracy.

Weapon Types Edit

Weapons in Mass Effect 3 are in the following categories:

Weapon Mods Edit

Weapon Mods in Mass Effect 3 are in the following categories:

Ammo Powers Edit

Ammo powers in Mass Effect 3 are in the following categories:

See Also Edit

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