Assault rifles are frequently the gun of choice in the Mass Effect series and for good reason, they are useful at practically any range, they’re easy to handle, and the ammo is fairly common. Whether you’re playing through the single-player campaign or going toe to toe with other players in multiplayer this is often the gun type you want.

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Admittedly assault rifles took a hit in Mass Effect Andromeda and were outclassed by sniper rifles or even melee builds, but they can still hold their own and will get you through the campaign well enough. Here are some suggestions on the best assault rifles you can get your hands on.

Updated on April 9th, 2021 by Juliet Childers: With the Mass Effect Legendary Edition remaster, there has been renewed fervor in the fanbase around all things Mass Effect. Despite its poor launch and now non-existent support from Bioware, fans have also revisited Andromeda. They have mostly admitted that the game is good, actually, and it has tight gunplay just like the original trilogy. So here is the definitive list of assault rifles for Andromeda, ranked.

15 M-8 Avenger

The M-8 Avenger is an assault rifle handed out to Andromeda Initiative security forces for their missions which means you have access to this gun right when you start the game. Apart from the convenience, it’s also one of the handful of assault rifles to have full auto, allowing you to pepper your enemies with bullets to make up for the weaker damage.

The other benefit is that you will get the schematics to upgrade this weapon every 10 levels. It’s not the most powerful weapon, but it is by far the most convenient while still remaining somewhat effective.


14 M-96 Mattock

The M-96 Mattock was a lot stronger in previous games and was nerfed quite a bit in Andromeda, but it can still be worth hanging onto. It’s a burst fire which means you’ll have to worry about accuracy a bit more, but it also prevents you from spraying ammo when ambushed.

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You get the M-96 Mattock as a drop or from the vendors fairly soon in the game and the schematics for upgrades will come as your level increases. The damage is better than the M-8 Avenger, but the lack of auto is something you’ll have to account for.

13 Thokin

The Thokin is the result of alien tech and comes with an interesting ability. Each bullet comes with a tracking feature that will drag the projectiles toward targets. Essentially this means if you are slightly off when shooting at your enemy the bullets will subtly migrate towards the target to ensure a hit.

This is a great weapon for those new to shooters or starting out as that slight drift can prevent wasting ammo while still learning the game and developing skills. It is still important to be fairly accurate though as the bullets won't travel very far and the ammo clip is small on this gun at 24 rounds.

12 L-89 Halberd

Andromeda L-89 Halberd

Created in an effort to improve upon the Maddock, the L-89 Halberd just doesn't hold up against other weapons available in the game. It does succeed in being a better Maddock, but that isn't saying much.

The semi-automatic weapon delivers around 2,600 damage in a clip. Even with augments, the Halberd doesn't offer enough in terms of damage, AoE, or elemental damage for it to be worth investing in much. It is nice for its reliability and added precision though -- especially since it is one of the first weapons you get.

11 Sweeper

Another weapon hailing from alien tech the Sweeper was seized from Remnants and repurposed for the Andromeda Initiative members. It’s a particle assault rifle that fires in three-shot bursts. It does greater damage than the weapons listed above and has a nice rate of fire.

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The main benefit of the Sweeper is that it doesn’t require a reload, instead it has an overheating mechanic. Players can use the gun in bursts to deal steady damage without overheating to keep firing longer, the downside is that the clip size is rather small so you’ll go through it faster.

10 Zalkin

Andromeda Zalkin

Kett weapons are very polarizing in that players love or hate their overall looks and designs. The Zalkin, sadly, is not one of the more well-loved options among alien weaponry.

The weapon fires in three-round bursts with about 2,800 damage per clip. That makes it a great choice for reliable and steady damage, but the gun just doesn't have much personality to it. That burst fire also isn't suitable for every playstyle.

9 M-37 Falcon

Though classified as an assault rifle in the game, it’s more accurate to describe it as a grenade launcher. This weapon fires miniature grenades that bounce off of surfaces before exploding or will explode upon impact with an enemy.

It takes some getting used to but is a fun weapon to use with great damage. The reason it doesn’t rank higher is that some players will struggle to lob grenades effectively, the rate of fire is abysmal, and a clip size of six means you’ll be reloading a lot.

8 Sovoa

Andromeda Sovoa

The Sovoa might evoke memories of the Asari weapons from the original ME trilogy. It has a sleek design with lots of soft curves and a space white, grey, and blue color scheme. It's a semi-auto weapon and it comes from Multiplayer rewards only. Sad...

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The weapon shoots energy blasts and they not only do damage upon impact, but also do some AoE damage to the surrounding landing zone.  It's a big disappointment that the game locked this gun behind a gate because it would have been so fun in the campaign.

7 Cyclone

Andromeda Cyclone

This gun is similar to another on this list known as the "Revenant" in that it is not accurate. By sacrificing weapon accuracy, the player gains one of the highest rates of fire of any weapon in the whole game.

Like SMGs in Borderlands, the weapon shakes quite a bit at startup. The wind up isn't too taxing thanks to the gun's large clip size and the weapon only gets better with augments. Try out the Beam Emitter for maximum DPS against shielded enemies.

6 X5 Ghost

The X5 Ghost can be seen as an improved M-8 Avenger, it has full auto, better damage, great rate of fire, and a healthy clip of 75 bullets. It also sees a lot of potential with upgrades making it a worthwhile investment into mid-game.

An interesting feature of this gun is that the longer the weapon is fired the more accurate it becomes. This actually incentivizes you to take advantage of the full-auto as your aim will get better the longer you hold the trigger.

5 Sandstorm

Andromeda Sandstorm

Going for max damage on an assault rifle isn't not a viable choice if you know what I mean. This bad boy can really dish out that damage, too, on top of coming with a built-in scope. That means that, due to its semi-auto status, it might make a better sniper rifle than other rifles in the game.

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On average, the Sandstorm can deal around 7,000 damage points per single clip. Though other guns have other perks or features, that raw damage is enough for many players to opt for this weapon.

4 Soned

The Soned is a wicked-looking gun that was originally obtained from the Kett aliens. It’s a full-auto assault rifle that admittedly doesn’t do much damage per bullet, but with a great rate of fire and 120 bullets in the clip it won't matter after a few seconds of continuous fire.

It feels like a lite minigun which may or may not be a good thing depending on your playstyle. The only other reason it doesn’t rank higher is that the gun is rather heavy without any upgrades.

3 Revenant

The Revenant is the choice of warlords and the Andromeda Initiative was only able to obtain it through shady methods. The reason warlords prefer this weapon is that it’s a fully automatic assault rifle with excellent damage and a decent clip size.

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Admittedly the accuracy at its base level is rather low and why this doesn’t rank higher. If you’re willing to take the time to upgrade the Revenant to its full potential it gets a little better with accuracy, the max ammo capacity is massive and the damage becomes absurd on full auto.

2 P.A.W.

Another powerful weapon from the Remnant aliens, the P.A.W. is the weapon you want to have on you during long-drawn-out engagements as it never, ever runs out of ammo. It fires a continuous energy particle beam with pinpoint accuracy, if you are a fairly good marksman then this means you probably won't ever miss.

The downside to this weapon is that you do need good aim to use it effectively and it’s more for taking enemies down one at a time instead of spraying the group. You also have to keep an eye on overheating as the cooldown recovery takes forever.

1 N7 Valkyrie

Arguably the best assault rifle in this game is the N7 Valkyrie. It’s a two-shot burst adaptation of the M-8 Avenger that deals incredible damage and has great accuracy. This weapon seems built for the types of missions you’ll be running with a decent max ammo capacity, good rate of fire, and very low weight.

The only drawback is the clip size of 20, but with the high damage and a focus on headshots, you won't find yourself reloading that often. It should also be noted that at max capacity the damage of this weapon and its accuracy is absurd. This is absolutely something you can spend your resources on without regretting it.

Next: Mass Effect: 10 Things You’ll Only Know If You Read The Comics

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