[Top 3] Mass Effect 3 Best Shotguns And How To Get Them

Shotgun blowing away the opposition.
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​[Top 3] Mass Effect 3 Best Shotguns And How To Get Them

When you’re staring down the barrel of a shotgun with an angry Krogan rushing toward  you at horrifying speed, the last thing you want to be thinking about is, ‘Is this gonna work’? Which is why today we’re going to take a look at the best shotguns in Mass Effect 3. These are the ones you want by your side when it all hits the fan, which in Mass Effect seems to be about every five or so minutes.

I went through every  shotguns in the game, and evaluated them based on how many shots it took to kill an enemy, how reliable that gun is, and how vulnerable it left me. Now that you know my rating system and we got the boring stuff out of the way let’s take a look at the best shotguns in Mass Effect 3, and in what scenarios you should use each one.

3. M-300 Claymore (Best for one-shotting anything in your way)

Many people consider the Claymore to be the best shotgun in the game because of how crazy powerful it is, and boy is it that! The M-300 Claymore deals more damage than even the M-98 Widow sniper rifle from up close. The gun will blow away anything in its way, but it also has some considerable drawbacks as well, which keep it from that top spot on the list.

The Claymore’s biggest problem is that it requires a reload after every shot, and that reload time is crazy long! So long in fact that most players who run this gun in their loadout use an exploit in which you can actually cancel the animation about halfway through. To do this, wait for  a clicking noise, allowing you to get back in the fight around the same amount of time it takes to reload the M-11 Wraith.

The shotgun is also a big boy, with an incredibly large carrying weight that will cripple almost any power user. The Claymore is great for destroying enemies in one shot, but leaves you incredibly vulnerable to follow-up attacks, which could result in some frustrating deaths for players. 

What the Claymore Excels In:

  • Destroying whatever you aim at, no matter if they have shields, armor, or biotic protection
  • Killing high-health enemies in a single shot

How To Get the M-300 Claymore:

  • The Claymore is found during the mission Attican Traverse: Krogan Team, inside the first building
  • If missed, you can purchase it from Cipritine Armory after you complete that mission

Claymore details:

  • The gun is most likely named after the Scottish sword which required great strength and two hands to wield
  • In Mass Effect 2, besides Shepard only Krogans could wield the Claymore, as it’s stated that any humans wielding the gun would have their arms broken upon the incredible kickback when shot
  • Because of this, the Claymore in Mass Effect 3 is adjusted to allow other races to use the gun

2. Geth Plasma Shotgun (Best for charging up your gun for huge damage)

The Geth Plasma Shotgun was designed by the Bioware team to be an “unshotgun”, or a shotgun with close-range capabilities that can be used just as well from farther away. Because of this choice, the Geth’s version of a shotgun has the ability to be fired in low damage, quick shots, or be charged up for higher damage shots that consume more ammo.

This gun is favored by Infiltrator class players looking for something to compliment their tactical cloak’s damage multiplier, as the gun can be charged while cloaked. Of the shotguns on this list I would say that this one is the most unique since it does have long range capabilities, although I do think it’s at its best when charged and shot from close-up. Frankly this is a great choice for anyone and I recommend that players try it at least once to see if it fits their playstyle.

What the Geth Plasma Shotgun Excels In:

  • Long-range capabilities on a shotgun that also holds its own from up close? What’s not to love

  • Infiltrator class players looking to maximize damage from the Tactical Cloak power

How To Get the Geth Plasma Shotgun: 

  • The Shotgun is available during the mission Priority: Rannoch, on top of a crate.

  • If missed it is available for purchase from Elkoss Combine Arsenal Supplies

Geth Plasma Shotgun details:

  • The gun was first available in Mass Effect 2, via the Firepower Pack DLC, but became part of the base release in the third game

1. M-11 Wraith (Best for versatility)

Here we are, at the end of the list. The M-11 Wraith takes the crown for its versatility as a shotgun, allowing for players to deliver big damage without worrying about being left vulnerable. . This thing absolutely decimates enemies up close, and is a great secondary weapon to pull out when things get a little hairy. 

The M-11 Wraith is best utilized by players who want a ground-shakingly powerful shotgun without having to say goodbye to incorporating powers into their playstyle, which I believe is extremely valuable. The Wraith also has a very quick reload time, something that many shotguns in Mass Effect 3 struggle with.

The Wraith’s two biggest problems is that it has a relatively slow rate-of-fire and is, by nature of being a shotgun, inaccurate. A remedy that I found makes this gun truly special is to activate the Marksman power before pulling out the Wraith, since it will increase firing speed as well as decrease the spread of each shot.

What the M-11 Wraith Excels In: 

  • Rushing at a squad of enemies
  • Players willing to sacrifice ammo for stopping power
  • Allowing for players to still use powers

How To Get the Wraith:

  • The M-11 wraith can be found at the Spectre Requisitions terminal and costs 250,000 credits

Wraith details:

  • The Wraith is primarily carried by pirates, slavers, and mercenaries in the Mass Effect universe, and is banned within Citadel space


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A lifetime gamer afraid of feeling left out from being able to talk about all the most hyped and acclaimed games. Catch me chillin' in Novigrad with my girl Triss or defending Earth from the Reapers!
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