In Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer mode, you and three other people have to try to survive against several waves of enemies. While personal skill does factor into how well you and your team performs, your weapons and how they synergize with the skill tree of your favorite class can be just as important, if not more so. Unfortunately, this is where microtransactions enter the game, as weapons and characters can only be unlocked through the opening of various loot boxes. This means that if you want to have even the slightest chance of getting something like a Black Widow sniper rifle, you are either going to have to grind out some games to get some in-game currency or pay with real money.
Fortunately, there are ways to optimize the process, although a lot of it still depends on how kind Mass Effect: Andromeda's RNG system—and perhaps more importantly, matchmaking system—is feeling on that day. Of course, it doesn't really help that you don't get to see what comes in which pack, so it would be rather helpful to know what exactly to aim for first.
"If they were any more common, you'd be throwing dirt"
- M-8 Avenger - Standard fully automatic assault rifle
- Viper - Standard semi automatic sniper rifle
- Charger - Standard full-auto SMG
- M-23 Katana - Standard shotgun
- M-3 Predator - Standard pistol
"Interesting, but not for everyone"
- Widow - Single shot sniper rifle capable of instantly killing smaller enemies on lower difficulties. Decent against larger enemies from afar although you may get swarmed.
- Incisor - Burst fire sniper rifle that functions more like an assault rifle than anything else—use against smaller enemies.
- Raptor - Automatic sniper rifle, questionable usefulness.
- Cyclone - An automatic assault rifle that skimps on accuracy in exchange for sheer rate and volume of fire.
- M-96 Mattock - Semi-automatic assault rifle that is extremely useful with no outstanding positives or negatives other than not excelling in any particular scenario.
- Zalkin - Semi-automatic assault rifle that can be charged up to fire a burst of stronger projectiles. It's like the Mattock, but even more versatile.
- Carnifex - Slow firing pistol that does plenty of damage, but it is best left untouched unless you really want to have a low-weight build .
- M-5 Phalanx - It's like the starting pistol but marginally better.
- Disciple - Better than the starting shotgun in every way possible
"If they were any better, you'd have to pay real money for them"
- M-90 Indra - Another automatic sniper rifle but with better stats.
- Isharay - If you like the Widow, then you'll like the Isharay too. A single shot rifle that is best used on larger targets while your teammates are nearby (unless you can cloak).
- Lanat - Semi-automatic, but you can charge the projectiles for more damage. Effectively a poor man's Black Widow and should be used as such.
- Shadow - Giant laser that overheats instead of having to reload, use accordingly.
- Vanquisher - Semi-auto sniper rifle that hits particularly hard. Another poor man's Black Widow.
- M-37 Falcon - Grenade launcher that is powerful and fun to use, but its projectiles are not hitscan, so certain enemies may be hard to hit.
- L-89 Halberd - Semi-auto assault rifle, an improved version of the Mattock in every aspect.
- Revenant - Automatic assault rifle that's great for close to mid range encounters, but it is decidedly inaccurate.
- Sandstorm - Semi-auto assault rifle; see Halberd
- Sweeper - Burst fire assault rifle that requires no reloading, but it can overheat.
- Thokin - Projectiles have slight tracking capability. It functions like a comparatively weak version of the Needler from Halo.
- Equalizer - Shotgun that can overheat, but at least you don't have to reload.
- M-25 Hornet - Burst fire SMG, for when you want to use an assault rifle, but they're too heavy for your build.
- Scorpion - Pistol that fires sticky grenades that are reasonably effective against every enemy type. Fun for the whole family.
- Sidewinder - Relatively fast firing pistol for those who want to pretend that they're a space cowboy with a six shooter on their hip.
- Talon - Shotgun in pistol form.
- Hesh - Semi-automatic shotgun, as well-rounded as a shotgun can be.
- Scattershot - Relatively long range shotgun, though there are better options if you actually want to fight at long range. It can overheat instead of requiring a reload.
- Venom - Shotgun that fires explosive pellets. Exceptionally long range and useful for most non-power spammy builds.
"Open your wallet please"
- Black Widow - One of the best sniper rifles in the game, combining high damage with a semi-automatic rate of fire, though the magazine size leaves much to be desired.
- Naladen - It's like the Black Widow, but everything that you shoot explodes.
- N7 Valiant - A semi-automatic sniper rifle that is great for telling other people how close you were to getting better sniper rifles.
- P.A.W. - It's a laser but in assault rifle form.
- Soned - A minigun that is trying to pretend to be an assault rifle.
- N7 Valkyrie - Burst fire assault rifle with no exceptional strengths or weaknesses.
- N7 Eagle - One of the heaviest hitting pistols in the game but not much else.
- N7 Hurricane - One of the best SMGs in the game, though that's not really saying much.
- Rozerad - An SMG that fires faster the longer you hold down the trigger. Excellent for situations where you may as well be touching the enemy.
- Ushior - A pistol that is trying its hardest to be a sniper rifle and should be used as such. Best at mid-short range.
- N7 Crusader - Semi-auto shotgun with no particularly noteworthy characteristics aside from possessing fair range.
- Dhan - Semi-auto shotgun that fires slugs (in other words, a single projectile). More of a mid range weapon than anything else.
- N7 Piranha - Automatic shotgun for scenarios where you are touching an enemy and want to eviscerate it.
Cost vs. TimeNaturally, everyone wants Ultra-rare weapons, though the exceptionally high cost of the packs that are associated with them prohibits most people from getting them within a couple of days or even weeks. As Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer menu suggests, you should really commit yourself to Bronze difficulty missions until you reach level 10, and even then, you may want to stay at Bronze difficulty until you get a suitably powerful gun that you like, even if you are planning to have a build that revolves around your abilities.
That being said, if you can fully complete a Silver-tier mission, which should be your default difficulty once you have the right weapons and are decently leveled up, you will get at least 20,000 credits for some 20 minutes of playtime, so it's not too impossible to get Expert packs, which cost 50,000 credits each. APEX missions in particular can be profitable, especially since you can see what kind of enemy you are fighting beforehand—Outlaws are the most desirable, given their relative ease. Five Silver completions, and you get a chance at an Ultra-Rare or two chances at something that can remain reasonably competitive at Gold. Is it grindy, especially once you consider how there are almost 100 unlockable characters, weapons, and mods, and you can receive duplicates of everything that you already unlocked? Yes, but at least you don't necessarily have to spend real money to get everything.
What loadout are you working on in Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer? What do you think of its take on loot boxes? Let us know in the comments below!