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Mass Effect Wiki

The M-15 Vindicator Battle Rifle is an assault rifle in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3.

Mass Effect 2


A battle rifle favored by assassins and elite mercenaries that fires in highly accurate five [sic]-round bursts and can be pulsed for rapid fire. Deadly at any range, and effective against armor, shields, and biotic barriers. Upgrades the Avenger Assault Rifle.

Manufactured by Elanus Risk Control Services for the Blue Suns mercenary group, the Vindicator is quickly gaining popularity in the Terminus Systems.


The M-15 Vindicator is found on a couch in the room where Shepard meets Archangel on Omega.

Squad Use

This weapon can be used by Garrus, Grunt, Legion, Samara/Morinth, and Zaeed. Squadmates deal 45% less damage with the Vindicator than if wielded by Shepard.

Player Notes

  • The Vindicator has superior accuracy and stopping power when compared to the M-8 Avenger. Its burst-fire mode removes the issue of recoil, but this factor also makes the Vindicator less effective at close quarters or against large numbers of enemies.
  • The game calls the Vindicator a battle rifle. In real life, battle rifles are commonly used as designated marksman rifles to cover mid ranges (300-600 meters), between the range of assault rifles and sniper rifles. The game reflects this by making the Vindicator more of a mid-range weapon. It was not designed for "spray-and-pray" combat.
  • The main weakness of the Vindicator is its low thermal clip capacity (only 24 rounds, compared to the 40 round clips in the M-8 Avenger). It can carry only 105 rounds worth of spare thermal clips, while the M-8 allows for up to 440 rounds. This limitation can become crippling when fighting enemies that don't drop ammo such as husks, varren and klixen, as well as extremely durable enemies or hard targets, such as krogan or YMIR Mechs.
  • The Vindicator's rate of fire is much higher when the player repeatedly pulls the trigger as opposed to holding it down.
  • To compensate for the low ammo reserve, the player must strive for accuracy and attempt to deliver a high percentage of headshots. Additionally the player should make use of all their weapons, favoring sniper rifles at long range and shotguns at close range. Consequently, the Vindicator is at its best in the hands of a Soldier, since in addition to having access to the other weapon types, the Soldier's Adrenaline Rush maximizes the accuracy and damage of every available round.
  • This is usually the best weapon for any teammate that can use assault rifles as they are very accurate with it, fire frequently, and deal high damage even with the 45% decrease in damage squadmates suffer. They are also unaffected by the low ammunition capacity.
  • The Targeting VI upgrade is not as critical on this weapon as on the other rifles, as it is already very accurate. The Vindicator's crosshair is displayed as the narrowest possible with the interface. However, it does improve grouping over range, and allows the player to successfully land all three rounds more often, reducing ammo expenditure.
  • If the number of rounds left in the current clip is four or five, the next shot fired will be a burst of all remaining rounds, instead of the usual three.
  • The M-96 Mattock makes the Vindicator somewhat obsolete; it has a much higher fire rate and fulfills the same role of tactical mid-to-long range combat. This is especially true for the Soldier class as the Mattock works particularly well during Adrenaline Rush.

Mass Effect 3


A battle rifle that fires in three-round bursts. Favored by assassins and elite mercenaries, and deadly at any range. Manufactured by Elanus Risk Control Services for the Blue Suns mercenary group, the Vindicator is popular in the Terminus Systems.



The M-15 Vindicator can be found during the mission Priority: Mars, in a weapons locker after the tram ride. It is also purchasable from Kassa Fabrication post-mission if it was missed.


Weapons are randomly rewarded through purchases of item packs. The M-15 Vindicator is categorized as uncommon.

Player Notes

  • The Vindicator is a semi-automatic weapon; one three-round burst is fired per trigger pull, the trigger can't be held to continuously fire.
  • The Vindicator packs a good punch and has better-than-average accuracy, making it a good hybrid between the M-96 Mattock and the M-8 Avenger.
  • Clip capacity is lower than the M-8 Avenger and Phaeston, meaning you should take a slightly more conservative approach with ammunition.
  • It also has considerable recoil when shooting while on the move, however, while in cover, it is stable enough to land consistent, precise shots. This is complemented by using an Assault Rifle Precision Scope, which allows consistent headshots.
  • The main weakness of the Vindicator is its burst fire, which makes it perform poorly in close quarters; thus, it is a poor choice of weapon for a Vanguard. Conversely, its low weight, high accuracy, low recoil, and decent damage make it a fair choice should a Vanguard find themselves at a range; because of this, it can be a very useful replacement for the heavier M-96 Mattock in a range-concerned Vanguard's inventory.
  • A suggested weapon mod for this rifle is a Assault Rifle Stability Damper. The Vindicator can have almost the same degree of accuracy it had in Mass Effect 2, with higher level Assault Rifle Stability Dampers.
  • The Vindicator is a good choice for an Infiltrator, as it is very light when upgraded, and when in cover, can land consistent headshots on an enemy. When combined with headshot bonuses from the passive class power Operational Mastery and ammo powers, the Vindicator can do significant damage to an enemy.
  • The Vindicator can be fairly effective in tandem with Marksman if Shepard has it as a bonus power. Maximizing the rate of fire bonuses actually works to increase accuracy as well, as the three shots in the burst all fire before the muzzle has jumped as far.

  • The Vindicator deals respectable damage despite its light weight, making it ideal for power dependent classes that want a bit more punch and better accuracy than the M-8 Avenger offers.
  • The recoil can be drastically reduced (but not eliminated) by playing as a Cabal Vanguard, Turian Sentinel , or Turian Soldier and evolving Turian Veteran to increase stability. This makes the vindicator far better than the Avenger at medium and long range.
  • An Assault Rifle Piercing Mod would make the Vindicator very effective against enemy armor, as well as address a drawback with all assault rifles - the inability to penetrate shields or plating. Armor-Piercing Rounds or Drill Rounds can also be used to accomplish this, however ammo consumables only lasts one mission and have varying statistics. The benefit to using ammo is that it doesn't take up a mod slot. If using the ammo option, consider adding an Assault Rifle Stability Damper or an Assault Rifle Magazine Upgrade mod.


  • Squad members and Shepard in cutscenes fire the weapon in fully-automatic or semi-automatic mode, while Shepard can only fire the Vindicator in bursts in actual combat.
  • The appearance is based on the alternate assault rifle in Mass Effect.
  • Like the Mattock and Avenger, the Vindicator's integrated scope was removed off from its model in Mass Effect 3, likely to avoid looking redundant if the player adds a scope mod. In game, this does not affect its (unmodded) accuracy.
  • If Samara's recruitment mission is completed and the M-27 Scimitar isn't obtained at any of the three places you can find it, an M-15 Vindicator will be given as a reward after talking with Samara in the police station. The M-15 Vindicator will not be shown to the mission summary.
  • It is possible to see the word "Auto" on the side of the rifle (best seen if using either power or weapon wheel to change camera angle). This may indicate that the Vindicator was supposed to be an automatic assault rifle or that it would have multiple fire modes, which would explain the error above.
  • Even though the rounds are usually depicted as firing out of the bottom barrel, (the top one was depicted as a scope in Mass Effect 2, but is slightly different in Mass Effect 3) an extended barrel is added to the top one.