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The M-97 Viper is a sniper rifle in Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, and Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Mass Effect 2


Rapid-fire military sniper rifle. Incredibly accurate and deadly at long range, these weapons are popular amongst infiltrators and assassins. Very effective against armor; somewhat effective against shields and biotic barriers. Upgrades the Mantis Sniper Rifle.

Rosenkov Materials developed this deadly weapon in response to the rising prevalence of kinetic barriers. While kinetic barriers still offer some protection from this weapon, its sheer power and rapid rate of fire make it capable of quickly killing almost any target, regardless of its defenses.


The M-97 can be found during Thane's recruitment mission, near the service elevator that takes you to the bridge. The rifle is in a dead-end corridor, to the right of the elevator, when your back is against its door.

If missed, it can be also acquired later in the same mission, next to the Comm Terminal just before going to the roof. If the weapon is not picked up at any of these locations, it will be awarded at the end of the mission.

Squad Use

This weapon can be used by Garrus, Legion, Thane, and Zaeed. Squadmates deal 35% less damage than Shepard.

Player Notes

  • While the M-97 Viper does less damage per shot than the M-92 Mantis, it features automatic fire, a twelve round clip and a relatively large spare ammo capacity. These factors recommend against using the Viper for one-shot kills at higher difficulties; it is better suited to serving as a marksman rifle.
  • Similar to the M-100 Grenade Launcher, the Viper can actually fire much faster if the trigger is repeatedly pressed as opposed to held down.
  • Despite having automatic fire it's not a good idea to shoot this weapon "from the hip," because like all sniper rifles, the Viper suffers a huge accuracy penalty when firing non-scoped shots out of cover.
  • While not as efficient as the M-92 Mantis or M-98 Widow in the role of soft-target interdiction, the M-97 Viper can still kill lower ranked enemies with two or three shots to the head.
  • If you are able to maintain the full rate of fire on a target without exposing yourself to too much return damage, the Viper can actually out-damage most other weapons at range against armored targets, especially if landing headshots. This works especially well against large or slow targets like krogan, Scions, YMIR Mechs, and gunships where the loss of stability from fully automatic fire doesn't result in missed shots.
  • Squad members do not take advantage of the Viper's full rate of fire and will instead fire a few shots at about the same rate of fire as they fire the M-6 Carnifex before going back to cover.

Mass Effect 3


The Viper is a semi-automatic, rapid-fire sniper rifle manufactured by Rosenkov Materials. Rosenkov developed a patented automated-release system that assists with thermal-clip ejection, shortening the Viper's reload time. This rifle is popular with military snipers, who appreciate a long-range gun that can snap off multiple shots in the blink of an eye.



The M-97 Viper is found during the mission Priority: Palaven, on top of a crate in the center of the first base. It is also purchasable from Kassa Fabrication post-mission if it was missed.


Weapons are randomly rewarded through purchases of item packs. The M-97 Viper is categorized as uncommon.

Player Notes

  • The Viper has changed drastically compared to Mass Effect 2. It now fires much more slowly but has more damage per shot.
  • The Viper is the second-lightest sniper rifle in the game, after the M-29 Incisor.
  • The Viper is ideal for taking down groups of lightly-protected enemies because its semi-high fire rate, very fast reload, and reasonably large clip allow it to rapidly kill infantry with headshots, provided a character has modded it appropriately and has the right skillset. When upgraded appropriately it can still take down moderately protected enemies with 2-4 hits to the head, with the first hit to the head often causing enemies to flinch, making successive shots easier.
  • The Viper serves as a good middle ground between the M-13 Raptor and the M-92 Mantis, doing more damage than the former and firing faster than the latter.
  • The Viper suffers a substantially lower damage penalty for firing without the scope than other sniper rifles, making it more useful to a sniper who is frequently on the move.

  • On harder multiplayer difficulties, enemies' increased health makes this weapon markedly less effective, with lightly protected enemies often requiring 2 hits to the head to bring down. Still, when used properly, it can take down light enemies more efficiently than the single-shot M-92 Mantis.
  • The Viper's main weakness is its poor performance against heavily protected enemies. It's mediocre against armor and well-shielded enemies, and, in order to be effective against heavy enemies many shots must be fired, causing a user to expose themselves for longer durations than they would with other sniper rifles.
  • Probably the most efficient method of using the Viper is with a Salarian Infiltrator. With the character's passive class power maximized for weapon and headshot damage, and the Sniper Rifle Extended Barrel mod attached, a consistent and accurate player can pop heads off basic trooper enemies very quickly even on Silver difficulty. They can also easily dispatch shielded troops such as Marauders and Centurions by removing their shields with a maximum-damage Energy Drain followed by a timely Viper headshot.
  • An update on June 21 has drastically increased the performance of the Viper with better damage and lowered weight. At level X it now deals the same damage per round as the N7 Valiant I as well as having the same weight as M-90 Indra X, making it the lightest sniper rifle in the game after being fully upgraded. Since it is of uncommon rarity, this is very easy to achieve.
  • The weight improvement makes the Viper an excellent choice for power-reliant classes like Engineers or Adepts who still want to be able to use a sniper rifle. A Viper X can be used as a substitute for a scoped M-6 Carnifex, with a 10x zoom instead of 2x, making powers more effective over a long range. The Viper's status as an uncommon as opposed to a rare makes it much easier to level than the Carnifex, as well.
  • Even on harder difficulties, any character which utilizes Overload can make great use of this rifle, or any sniper rifle in particular. Once shields are gone, a Viper X can easily kill many of the infantry class enemies, such as: Assault Troopers, Centurions, Geth Troopers, Geth Rocket Troopers, Cannibals and Husks with one well-placed shot to the head. Even if it doesn't kill the target instantly, the next will. Armor-piercing ammo consumables or piercing mods increase the effectiveness against armored targets drastically, putting it on par against organic targets.
  • In particular, Asari Adepts do very well when using the Viper as their sole weapon. With Stasis, you can consistently perform headshots on multiple weak targets and still have Biotic Explosions to fall back on for heavy units. Cryo Rounds can be used to further halt a target's advance once Stasis wears off.
  • The Viper's semi-automatic fire makes it a good no-scope weapon. It can be a good complement to melee-based classes like the Talon Mercenary Engineer, who, fully upgraded, can usually take out or severely wound enemies at close range with the Omni-Bow. Used in this manner, the Viper can easily mop up stronger enemies, while giving the player the option to hit more distant targets after clearing out the immediate area.

Mass Effect: Andromeda


The Viper is a rapid-fire rifle popular with military snipers who appreciated a long-range gun that could snap off multiple shots in a short period. Rosenkov Materials sold a considerable number of Vipers to the Initiative at a discount in return for undisclosed favors from Initiative founder Jien Garson.


The multiplayer S variant gained substantial boosts to damage, rate of fire, and max ammo in the very last multiplayer update. Its reload time can also decrease to 2.4 seconds as it ranks up, rather than a flat 2.5 seconds on all ranks.



Rank Damage Rate of Fire Max Clip Size Max Ammo Accuracy Weight
I 249 90 3 24 70 50
II 268 90 3 25 75 47
III 288 90 3 25 78 44
IV 307 90 3 26 81 42
V 326 90 3 27 82 39
VI 346 90 3 27 84 36
VII 365 90 3 28 85 33
VIII 385 90 3 29 86 31
IX 404 90 3 29 87 28
X 423 90 3 30 88 25

Multiplayer I-X
Rank Damage Rate of Fire Max Clip Size Max Ammo Accuracy Weight
I 321 90 3 24 70 50
II 333 90 3 25 75 47
III 345 90 3 25 78 44
IV 356 90 3 26 81 42
V 368 90 3 27 82 39
VI 380 90 3 27 84 36
VII 392 90 3 28 85 33
VIII 403 90 3 29 86 31
IX 415 90 3 29 87 28
X 427 90 3 30 88 25

Multiplayer S
Rank Damage Rate of Fire Max Clip Size Max Ammo Accuracy Weight
I 650 90 3 30 70 50
II 664 90 3 31 75 47
III 677 90 3 31 78 44
IV 691 91 3 32 81 42
V 704 91 3 33 82 39
VI 718 91 3 33 84 36
VII 731 92 3 34 85 33
VIII 745 92 3 35 86 31
IX 758 92 3 35 87 28
X 780 93 3 38 88 25


Rank Rd icon milkyway orange.png Blueprint Unlocked Omni-gel canister icon.PNG Omni-Gel Canister Iron icon.PNG Iron Nickel icon.PNG Nickel Vanadium icon.PNG Vanadium MEA Augmentation Slot For Tables.png Augmentation Slots
I Level 1 20 80 40 10 0
II Level 6 20 90 40 10 2
III Level 11 20 100 50 10 2
IV Level 21 30 110 50 10 2
V Level 31 30 130 60 20 2
VI Level 41 30 140 70 20 2
VII Level 51 30 145 70 20 2
VIII Level 61 40 150 70 20 2
IX Level 71 40 155 70 20 2
X Level 81 40 160 80 20 2
Total N/A 300 1260 600 160 N/A


  • While the M-97 looks nearly identical to the alternate sniper rifle from Mass Effect, the barrel shroud's holes pass horizontally instead of vertically.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda doesn't use the M-97 designation that prior Mass Effect games use for this sniper rifle.