Shotguns in Mass Effect 3 are extremely effective at close range. The best Shotgun mods improve accuracy, melee damage, and carrying weight.

To fight the more difficult Reaper enemies like Banshees and Harvesters that appear in Mass Effect 3, Shepard and their squad will need to get better equipment. 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. Shotguns are particularly deadly at close range, making them an ideal choice for classes like Soldier, Engineer, and Vanguard who tend to get up close with enemies. Players can make them significantly more powerful with upgrades and mods.

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Related: Mass Effect 2: Best Weapon Upgrades to Get First (& Why)

Each weapon in Mass Effect 3 supports two mods, though certain mods cannot be combined. Players can change their mods for any weapons before any mission and at Weapon Benches. While there are no objectively best mods for Shotguns, as every Shepard build and playstyle may require something different, players generally should consider using mods to improve Shotgun accuracy, damage output, weight, and melee damage. Here are some of the best mods for Shotguns in Mass Effect 3 and where to find them.

How to Choose Shotgun Mods in Mass Effect 3

Shepard uses an Assault Rifle in Mass Effect 3

Generally, the best Shotgun Mods in Mass Effect 3 will enhance accuracy, weapon and melee damage, and carry weight. The optimal mods to choose from include:

  • Shotgun Smart Choke: Increases accuracy by 30% or more.
  • Shotgun Omni-Blade: Adds a visible Omni-Blade to the Shotgun for 30% or more melee damage.
  • Shotgun High-Velocity Barrel: Increases damage by 15% or more, piercing damage by 50% or more, and ignores enemy defenses by 25% or more per shot.
  • Shotgun Ultralight Materials: Decreases weapon weight by 8% or more.

It is not possible to combine Shotgun Smart Choke and Ultralight Materials, so players will need to choose one or the other based on their combat situation and playstyle. Both the Omni-Blade and High-Velocity Barrel increase the weapon’s weight by 50%, so it may be best to choose one or the other to avoid becoming encumbered and receiving a power cooldown penalty. This will be especially important when building a Vanguard Shepard. While they are not quite as powerful, players can also swap these mods for the Blade Attachment and High-Caliber Barrel, which have similar benefits without the added weight. Some players may prefer not to have to reload as often with their Shotgun, so Shotgun Spare Thermal Clip could be useful in those situations, though most players don’t struggle with ammo issues until the final fight.

Shepard uses a Sniper Rifle in Mass Effect 3

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, finding or buying a second Shotgun Smart Choke will increase accuracy for any weapon on which it is equipped by 35% or more, and a third would increase that to 40%. It is also possible to increase damage output and lower carrying weight for any weapon by upgrading weapons 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. Other times, they will need to purchase the mod from vendors to receive the full mod upgrade. The missions and vendors where players can find the four best Shotgun mods in Mass Effect 3 appear below:

  • Shotgun Smart Choke: Tuchanka: Turian Platoon; Priority: Tuchanka; Priority: Geth Dreadnought; Batarian State Arms; Elkoss Combine Arsenal Supplies (2)
  • Shotgun Omni-Blade: Omega: Talon Territory; Omega: The Mines; Omega: The Assault on Afterlife; Harrot’s Emporium (3)
  • Shotgun High-Velocity Barrel: Omega: The Invasion of Omega; Omega: Talon TerritoryOmega: The Assault on Afterlife; Harrot’s Emporium (3)
  • Shotgun Ultralight Materials: Citadel Archives: Escape; Citadel Docks: Retake the Normandy; Achieve the highest score on Relay Defense at the Castle Arcade; Aegohr Munitions; Specter Requisitions (2)

Any time Shepard misses picking up a mod from a mission, it may also become available via the Specter Requisitions terminal at the Presidium Embassies on the Citadel.

Next: Mass Effect 3: How to Defeat Banshees (Tips, Tricks, & Strategies)

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is available for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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