If Shepard is to defeat the Reapers in Mass Effect 3, they will need to make sure to upgrade weapons for themselves and their squad. Mass Effect: Legendary Edition removes class restrictions on weapons, meaning players have access to more options than ever. In Mass Effect 3, all weapons have mods that can be purchased or found during missions. These weapons mods improve or increase a weapon’s stability, accuracy, magazine rounds, and damage output. Heavy Pistols are one of the most versatile weapon types in the entire Mass Effect series, particularly in builds with heavy reliance on tech or biotic abilities. They tend to be lightweight and accurate, dealing significant damage despite their small size.
Each weapon in Mass Effect 3 supports two mods, though certain mods cannot be combined. The best Heavy Pistol mods will depend somewhat on playstyle and Shepard’s class build. Because Heavy Pistols can gain significant damage output from purchasing upgrades in the Normandy Shuttle Bay, Shepard may want to prioritize improving accuracy or improving headshot and power damage output. Alternatively, depending on player preference, it may be better to choose upgrades that improve Armor and Barrier penetration, ammo carrying capacity, or melee damage. Here are some of the best mods for Heavy Pistols in Mass Effect 3 and where to go to find them.
Generally, the best Heavy Pistol Mods in Mass Effect 3 will enhance accuracy, headshot damage, and power damage. The optimal mods to choose from include:
- Pistol Scope: Increases zoom to 2x; Increases accuracy by 15% or more while moving and while taking damage
- Pistol Cranial Trauma System: Increases headshot damage but 20% or more
- Pistol Power Magnifier: Increases power damage from tech or biotic abilities by 15% or more
Players will not be able to combine Pistol Scope and Pistol Power Magnifier, so they will need to choose one or the other based on their combat situation and needs. Some players may wish to lower the carrying weight of Heavy Pistols further, either to add an extra weapon to their loadout or to further increase their power cooldown bonus. In that case, Pistol Ultralight Materials may be a good option. Additionally, if players are finding they run out of ammo quickly with their Heavy Pistol, they may want to invest in the Pistol Magazine Upgrade. Finally, for classes that enjoy fighting at close range and using melee attacks, players should consider the Pistol Melee Stunner that adds damage when using a gun to melee-attack an enemy.
Every mod can be found or purchased up to five times. Each time Shepard obtains a duplicate of the mod, it will increase the mod’s level and effectiveness. For example, a second Pistol Cranial Trauma System mod will increase headshot damage on any weapon on which the mod is equipped by 25%, and a third by 30%. It is also possible to increase damage output and lower carrying weight for any weapon by upgrading it at the upgrade terminal in the Normandy Shuttle Bay. This can make a mod’s power extend further than it otherwise would on a lower-level weapon.
Typically, Shepard will come across certain mods during Mass Effect 3 missions. The Pistol Scope, for example, can be found during Priority: Sur’Kesh, Tuchanka: Bomb, and Priority: Horizon. Three duplicates of the mod can also be purchased at Aegohr Munitions and Nos Astra Sporting Goods, two of the vendors on the Citadel. Some mods are specific to the Mass Effect 3 DLC missions. For example, the Pistol Power Magnifier is available via the Citadel DLC and will be found during Citadel Wards: Ambush, in the Claw game at the Castle Arcade, and in Citadel Arena: Unusual Scores. It will also be available to purchase from Nos Astra Sporting Goods and the Specter Requisitions terminal.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition is available for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.