Shepard will need to purchase weapon upgrades in Mass Effect 3. Upgrades are labeled by Roman numerals and improve a gun’s base stats before mods.
When facing Reapers and other enemies augmented by Reaper tech like Marauders, Cannibals, and Banshees in Mass Effect 3, Shepard and their squad will need the best available weapons. Mass Effect 3 changes the weapons system somewhat, providing something of a cross between the Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 systems. Shepard can find or purchase and add mods to their weapons, similar to Mass Effect, but they will also need to purchase upgrades for their base weapons to improve its stats, similar to Mass Effect 2. While modding can be done ahead of any mission and at any Weapon Bench in Mass Effect 3, purchasing upgrades can only be done between missions in the Normandy Shuttle Bay.
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On a player’s first run of Mass Effect 3, they will be able to upgrade each weapon they find or purchase to level five (V). On subsequent playthroughs, it is possible to increase a weapon’s level further, like in the original Mass Effect game, up to level 10 (X). Weapon upgrades improve the gun’s stats, usually augmenting weight, ammo capacity, and damage dealt, prior to the bonus stat boosts provided by weapon mods. The upgrade system in Mass Effect 3 is easily missed if players aren’t careful. It can also become expensive very quickly, as each upgrade for a specific gun will cost an increasing amount of credits. Here’s how to upgrade weapons in Mass Effect 3 before adding weapon mods.
How to Find and Use the Weapon Upgrade Table in Mass Effect 3
Shepard can find the weapon upgrade table in Mass Effect 3 by using the elevator on the Normandy and going down to Deck 5, the Shuttle Bay. Typically, this is where they will find Steve Cortez when he is not tinkering with the shuttle. At the long console near the door, players will find, in order, the weapon modding table, weapon upgrade table, procurement terminal, and armor locker. This can be easily missed, so players should make sure to check things out when they first board the Normandy and familiarize themselves with the interfaces.
The weapon upgrade table operates a lot like the typical shop terminals in Mass Effect 3. Shepard will need to find the weapon they want to upgrade, then purchase the upgrade to boost base stats. The cost starts fairly low at around 1,000 credits, then increases to 10,000 for the fifth and final available upgrade. In New Game+, upgrades can be purchased up to Level 10, which costs about 35,000 credits. Upgrading a weapon to level 10 rewards the Gunsmith Achievement.
It is not possible to know the exact changes to weight, ammo capacity, and damage dealt any particular weapon will receive with an upgrade, but players should see the new stats when they look at their loadout prior to any mission. These upgrades can help keep carrying weight low to bolster power recharge for builds that rely on tech and biotic abilities. Adding weapon mods can make further changes, and can improve accuracy and fire rate of weapons as well to create the perfect loadout.
If they are running low on credits, players should choose to purchase upgrades for Shepard’s primary weapon and the primary weapon for any squadmates they tend to bring with them frequently. They should also avoid fully upgrading any weapon until late in the game, as they are likely to swap weapons when they find or purchase better options. The Alliance provides funding for every Mass Effect 3 mission Shepard successfully completes. It is also possible to win quite a few credits on the strip, particularly at the Casino and Armax Arsenal Arena, in the Citadel DLC.
Next: Mass Effect 3: Best SMG Weapons Mods (& How to Get Them)
Mass Effect Legendary Edition is available for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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