|This article is about ammo upgrades in Mass Effect. For ammo powers in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, see Weapons. For Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer ammo bonuses, see Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer/Character Customization/Equipment. For upgrades generally, see Upgrades.|
Ammunition Upgrades are specifically designed to enhance the effectiveness of your weapons' ammunition.
- See also: Weapon Upgrades
Legendary Edition: In Mass Effect Legendary Edition ammunition upgrades drop throughout the whole game, whereas in the original Mass Effect many lower types of upgrade cease dropping at higher player levels. Merchants sell them as well.
Below is a list of ammo upgrades available:
- 1 Anti-Organic Ammunition
- 2 Anti-Armor / Synthetic Ammunition
- 3 Incendiary Ammunition
- 4 Cold Ammunition
- 5 Explosive Ammunition
- 6 High Impact Ammunition
- 7 Shield Piercing Ammunition
- 8 Toxic Ammunition
- 9 Anti-Biotic / Tech Ammunition
- 10 Cut Ammunition
Anti-Organic Ammunition provides a heavy damage bonus versus organic enemies with no downsides. While it isn't the most useful mod, it's not a bad choice early on, or paired with other upgrades in multi-slotted weapons. These types of ammunition are highly suited to dealing with rachni and Thorian Creepers.
Designed to shred flesh and other organic matter, these rounds are particularly effective against living targets. They are likely similar in construction to hollow point rounds.
|Damage vs Organics:||+15%||+20%||+25%||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
Designed to shear apart on impact for maximum damage, these rounds are particularly effective against living targets.
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Anti-Armor / Synthetic Ammunition
This type of ammunition is derived from tungsten. This extremely dense, heavy metal is about 1.7 times heavier than lead, and far more difficult to deform than steel. It is excellent for use in armor-piercing type ammunition. Because of tungsten's great properties and strength, it is very useful for piercing deep into synthetic, metallic targets.
Tungsten ammunition deals out extra damage against synthetics, mainly the geth. Many players use this ammunition as a staple in assault rifles and shotguns when fighting geth. High-grade tungsten ammo used in powerful sniper rifles, preferably in conjunction with the Assassination ability, can create a lethal "anti-armor" capability. This can be deadly against Geth Armatures when the Mako's cannon is not available. Even at level 60, when level 7 mods have long since stopped dropping, Tungsten VII will provide better damage against synthetic enemies than any level X ammo mod, so it's a good idea to save any Tungsten mods you find and keep them through the endgame.
Armor Piercing Rounds
Specifically designed to puncture metal, these rounds are particularly effective against synthetic targets.
|Damage vs Synthetics:||+15%||+20%||+25%||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
Tungsten rounds are typically smaller projectiles fired at higher speeds to increase penetrating power.
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Incendiary rounds consist of a thermite paste which clings to, and burns through, nearly any known substance.
|Damage/Second For 5 Seconds:||-||-||-||10||12||14||16||-||-||-|
|Target Accuracy Penalty:||-||-||-||-10%||-12%||-14%||-16%||-||-||-|
Inferno rounds are incredibly powerful rounds that can melt or burn through virtually all known substances. This damages enemies and weakens their accuracy.
|Damage/Second For 5 Seconds:||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||15||18||21|
|Target Accuracy Penalty:||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-20%||-24%||-28%|
Note: Incendiary and Inferno rounds can stop the health regeneration of krogan enemies. Note: This damage over time does not stack, only duration is refreshed with each shot.
Cooling lasers collapse ammunition into small Bose-Einstein condensate - a mass of super-cooled subatomic particles - capable of snap-freezing impacted objects.
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Snowblind Rounds inflict massive damage and destabilize enemies, reducing their accuracy. More advanced upgrades do more damage.
|Rate of Fire Penalty:||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-40%||-40%||-40%|
|Target Accuracy Reduction:||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-20%||-24%||-28%|
Note: Using Snowblind Rounds allows shotguns, pistols, and assault rifles to be fired forever because they won't overheat. However, the incredibly slow firing speed of Snowblind means that a Spectre X Pistol with two Rail Extension VII (highest possible DPS from weapon mods) does only 10 more damage per second than a Spectre X with no mods at all, a less than 5% increase. Therefore, once you begin to collect high-level Kinetic Coils and Frictionless Materials or have Spectre weapons available, it's best to manage heat with those and switch to Inferno or Tungsten/Shredder rounds.
High Explosive Rounds
Designed to detonate on impact, high explosive rounds have one major drawback: a massive increase in weapon overheating. Please note that using Carnage will not result in weapon overheating, as using the ability creates no weapon heat.
Using High Explosive Rounds
- Pistols: Two Frictionless Materials are recommended as they can increase the number of shots before overheating.
- Assault Rifles: Two Frictionless Materials are almost required to get any use out of HE rounds. Overkill really shines here.
- Shotguns: If you use the "Carnage" ability no weapon heat will be generated. This is also true if you equip HE rounds and you use the carnage ability. The high projectile count of each shotgun blast causes a stacking weapon force effect, quite often leading to weaker enemies being catastrophically hurled into the air by the shot; often resulting in enemies being tossed off ledges or killed by being thrown into nearby structures.
- Sniper Rifles: Adding on Rail Extension VII's or Scram Rails can essentially turn a sniper rifle into a mass accelerator cannon. This loadout has an advantage over Shredder/Tungsten loadouts because it can not only kill opponents behind cover with ease, it can kill several opponents if they are in close proximity to your target.
High Impact Ammunition
Hammerhead ammunition, also called squash projectiles, is designed to flatten on impact, increasing the amount of physical force transferred to the target.
Sledgehammer Rounds hit with incredible force, often knocking opponents completely off their feet. They are great for attacking a charging target, because the force of the rounds hitting the target can knock them to the ground. This makes them perfect for shotguns.
Sledgehammer Rounds are also coated with polonium to induce radiation sickness in targets, as well as preventing enemy regeneration. The tradeoff is they increase weapon overheating. On two or three slotted weapons, combine with a Heat Sink.
|Heat Absorption Penalty:||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-20%||-20%||-20%|
Shield Piercing Ammunition
Instead of projectiles, upgraded weapons release charged particle bolts that can bypass kinetic barrier shields. However, the actual damage done to the target is typically less than what's done by a standard round.
Instead of projectiles, upgraded weapons release energized protons capable of bypassing kinetic barrier shields. However, the actual damage inflicted on the target is typically less than that of a standard round.
Toxic damage does not increase the direct damage to the target; instead, it adds a toxin which prevents healing. For example, if a weapon has 40% toxic damage, a shot dealing 200 damage would add 80 points of toxin to the target, and any healing done to the target would first have to "heal through" the toxin before doing any "actual" healing. In practice, there are very few enemies in the game with healing powers (except when playing on Insanity), making this ammo type less useful than others. Note that the damage over time effect in this ammo is separate from (and in addition to) the toxin effect.
|Damage/Second For 5 Seconds:||5||6||7||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
This upgrade stamps a minuscule amount of radioactive polonium into every round fired, effectively poisoning enemy targets. It also prevents enemy regeneration.
|Damage/Second For 5 Seconds:||-||-||-||5||6||7||8||-||-||-|
Note: This damage over time does not stack, only duration is refreshed with each shot.
Anti-Biotic / Tech Ammunition
These rounds are stamped with a minuscule amount of radioactive material, inducing low levels of radiation sickness in targets. This sickness makes it more difficult for biotic or tech abilities to be deployed.
|Target Cooldown Penalty:||-15%||-18%||-21%||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
Note: Unlike Damping Radioactive Rounds does not immediately put target's talents on cooldown, but merely slows their recharge after use. It makes this already situational ammunition even less useful.
The following ammo upgrades were cut before release and can only be acquired through PC Cheats.
Harpoon rounds are built of material that condenses on impact to penetrate armor, then shreds into shrapnel in the softer medium of flesh. They are widely considered unethical.
|Damage/sec for 5 sec:||10||10||10||10||11||12||13||14||15||16|
|Target DP Penalty:||-10%||-10%||-10%||-10%||-11%||-12%||-13%||-14%||-15%||-16%|