Mass Effect Wiki
Mass Effect Wiki

The Acolyte is a heavy pistol in Mass Effect 3.


Designed for the asari resistance, the Acolyte's barrels fire advanced ammunition similar to that of an impact-triggered resonant warp bomb, which has a devastating effect on shields and biotic barriers. The specialized nature of the warp field means it does not pierce armor as effectively, but the shooter's biotics are expected to make up for this shortcoming.



The Acolyte is available after downloading the Mass Effect 3: Groundside Resistance Pack.

In the Legendary Edition it is available from the Nos Astra Sporting Goods terminal in the Presidium Commons for a base amount of 10,000 credits.


Weapons are randomly rewarded through purchases of item packs. The Acolyte is categorized as rare and requires the Mass Effect 3: Earth DLC pack.

Player Notes[]

  • The Acolyte is unique in that it not only fires charged shots, but only charged shots; it is impossible to snap off a quick round or effectively stick to low cover with this weapon. The trigger must be held for about 1 second and then released to fire.
  • The standout feature of the Acolyte is its massive 500% damage bonus against shields and barriers. This makes it especially effective for classes that have few shield-stripping abilities at range. Additionally, despite its description, the Acolyte suffers no damage penalty when used against armor. [1]
  • The Acolyte launches an explosive projectile which can be bounced off walls and has a noticeable downward arc in its trajectory. The weapon is effectively a "flare gun" specialized for destroying shields and barriers. The projectile can also detonate in the air when passing in very close proximity to targets.
    • As with all weapons that fire explosive munitions, the Acolyte's projectiles can never penetrate objects or deal bonus damage to enemy heads or weak points.
    • Like most weapons that fire special or explosive projectile munitions as opposed to standard bullets, the Acolyte is able to bypass the shield gate protections of enemies, meaning that a single shot can not only completely destroy any shield or barrier protecting an enemy but if damage is left over, that damage can apply to the health or armor bar underneath.
    • The bouncing feature of this weapon can enable it to hit Guardians and CAT6 Heavies behind their shields; aiming at their feet is often able to bounce the shot such that the resulting splash damage gets past their shields as well. Aiming at their eye-slits can also work.
    • The proximity detonation on the Acolyte is larger after the first bounce. Careful aim can thus allow you to strip the shields from a larger crowd of enemies.[2]
  • Most light infantry targets hit by the Acolyte will be momentarily staggered. Uniquely, there is also a chance for targets hit to suffer more severe stuns where they will double over for a few seconds or even spasm violently. These are more or less identical to the "electrocutions" caused by tech powers like Overload, Energy Drain, Sabotage, and Disruptor Ammo (see those pages' notes for more details).
  • The weapon is surprisingly effective against most lighter enemies even when just shooting at their red health bar, and like most weapons that fire explosive or unconventional rounds, the Acolyte suffers no damage penalty against enemy armor.
    • The Acolyte is devastating to Phantoms as it not only efficiently removes their barriers, but Phantoms are not able to dodge or block its explosive rounds.
  • The Acolyte will usually trigger any secondary effects of ammo powers (or the equivalent ammo bonuses in multiplayer) such as Power Combo-priming and freezing with a single shot.
  • Because the Acolyte is already one of the lightest weapons in the game, the Pistol Ultralight Materials mod won't save all that much weight, though it is useful for compensating for the weight increase from equipping the Pistol Heavy Barrel mod.
  • The bodies of most infantry enemies killed by the Acolyte disintegrate without leaving a corpse.

  • Squadmates do not normally fire charged shots with any weapon, but as the Acolyte only fires charged shots, this weapon is an exception and squadmates can fire it. They are fine at landing hits but will never display intelligent targeting such as leading or attempting ricochets. The Acolyte can be a useful backup weapon for squadmates if going up against heavily shielded targets, and the extremely high bonus damage against shielding largely makes the 40% squadmate weapon damage penalty irrelevant; however, squadmates tend to expose themselves out of cover longer to charge and fire the Acolyte.
  • Like a few other weapons that fire non-traditional rounds (e.g. the M-37 Falcon), the Acolyte is not practical for destroying certain mission-sensitive objects like the latches on power control boxes.
  • If equipped for the last part of Priority: Mars, the final confrontation with Dr. Eva becomes effectively unbeatable due to the charge time required with each shot. This scene has since been patched to allow the player to change weapons, but you must IMMEDIATELY switch to another gun that will down her reliably instead of the Acolyte if you have it equipped.

  • With Phasic Rounds, the Acolyte is capable of stripping even the toughest shields or barriers with a single clip's worth of shots.
  • Since the Acolyte is very light, cooldown-conscious classes can take this weapon to help them strip shields and barriers easily. This is particularly useful for biotic and melee classes that need shield-stripping and other utility like extra power damage or melee damage without adding much extra weight.
  • The Acolyte is an extremely effective weapon for all the volus classes. The projectiles can be launched over low cover or around corners, compensating for the volus classes' inability to use cover and their lack of anti-shield/barrier powers. It is also effective when using the volus classes' "melee" cloaking ability, as weapon usage does not break the volus cloak.
  • Due to its charge-to-fire mechanics, the player is capable of maintaining the Acolyte's charge while activating Flamer. The Acolyte's charged shot can also be released at any time during the active use of Flamer.