The M-98 Widow is a sniper rifle in Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, and Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Mass Effect 2

Description

Accurate and deadly anti-material [sic] rifle. Effective against armor, shields, and biotic barriers. Upgrades the M-97 Viper Sniper Rifle.

Weighing in at 39 kilograms, the Widow Anti-Material Rifle is primarily used by sniper teams in assault missions against armored vehicles or krogan. While kinetic barriers offer effective protection on vehicles, the kind generated by conventional military field generators are far too weak against the Widow.

The Widow was never designed to be carried and fired by a human. Although this modified model can be carried, no ordinary human could fire it without shattering an arm.

Acquisition

The Widow is acquired as one of three possible weapons on the Collector Ship mission for Soldiers and Infiltrators. This allows Shepard to use the weapon.

Conversing with Legion about upgrades will make the weapon available for research. Only Legion can use this Widow.

This weapon is exclusive to either Infiltrator/Soldier Shepard or Legion. No other character(s) may choose to use it.

Squad Usage

Legion is the only squad member who can use the M-98 Widow. Legion deals 43% less damage than Shepard.

Player Notes

  • The Widow is capable of one-shot kills of many enemy types at any range. Doing this reliably on higher difficulties usually requires a clean headshot and as many damage modifiers as possible. On higher difficulties only the weakest enemy types can be one-shotted unless the damage is boosted to its absolute maximum possible levels by using powers, ammo powers, armor pieces, and upgrades.
  • The Widow is a direct upgrade of the Mantis sniper rifle as it deals more damage per shot and has a higher spare ammo capacity.
  • With all damage bonuses and upgrades the Widow is devastating when combined with the Soldier's Heightened Adrenaline Rush. With a headshot, the Widow can apply 1600 damage to armor, and around 1200 to shields and health. If used in Heightened Adrenaline Rush with Tungsten Ammo, it can deal 1900 damage to armored foes, which, on any mode except for Hardcore and Insanity, is enough to take out many armored opponents with one headshot. Inferno Ammo also generates comparable damage.
  • Despite the Widow's impressive one-shot, one-kill potential, it loses a great deal of its killing power punching through a shield or barrier. If you're going up against a multitude of enemies protected by shields and barriers, make sure to prepare accordingly by using Disruptor or Warp Ammo to compensate. Alternatively, you can simply use another weapon or power to deplete the shield/barrier in order to ensure a kill shot.
  • An ammo power's buff to the total damage of a single shot will be calculated based only on the first protection layer hit by the shot. Even in a case where an enemy has just a tiny amount of shields remaining, a Widow shot will do more total damage to the target with Disruptor Ammo active than with Incendiary Ammo active, even if any leftover damage from the shot applies to the health or armor underneath the shields.

Mass Effect 3

Description

Several research firms spent a considerable fortune trying to redesign the Widow sniper rifle. Their goal was to retain the geth weapon's considerable firepower while reducing its recoil, so that the gun could be fired without breaking a nonsynthetic's arm. After much trial and error, one company finally produced a usable model rolled out to the galactic market.

Acquisition

Singleplayer

The M-98 is found during Priority: Thessia on the ledge with the asari sniper. It is purchasable from Kassa Fabrication post-mission if it was missed.

Multiplayer

Weapons are randomly rewarded through purchases of item packs. The M-98 Widow is categorized as rare.

Player Notes

Singleplayer
  • The M-98 Widow is a viciously powerful sniper rifle capable of killing most unprotected enemies in a single shot at any range, regardless of which body-part is targeted. It is ideal for situations where breaking cover to fire for more than two seconds can be fatal. Its inherent ability allows it to penetrate thin cover or barriers and pierce multiple enemies in a single shot if lined up correctly.[1]
  • As a single shot rifle with a low rate of fire, it must be reloaded after each shot before reacquiring your target, so make each shot count or risk being overrun by enemies
  • Adrenaline Rush, Operational Mastery, and the Sniper Rifle Concentration Mod allow the Widow to hit moving targets with ease due to their time-dilation effect.
  • Animation-cancelling reduces reload time by approximately 50%.
  • Ammunition for the unmodified Widow is even more scant than the M-92 Mantis. Equipping a Sniper Rifle Spare Thermal Clip Mod and/or taking Ammo Capacity rank evolutions that increase capacity such as Incendiary Ammo, Disruptor Ammo etc. at Rank 5 is recommended until the Widow can be fully upgraded, though this only lessens the problem.
  • The Sniper Rifle Extended Barrel, Sniper Rifle Piercing Mod, and/or Sniper Rifle High-Velocity Barrel are recommended to make sure that the player maximizes damage with each shot.

Multiplayer
  • The Widow is one of three sniper rifles in multiplayer capable of armor piercing without the aid of Armor-Piercing ammo consumables or the use of a Sniper Rifle Piercing Mod. It has a native 50cm penetration rate, which is enough to pierce most thin cover. With the piercing mod added on the Widow, the penetration distance gets even larger, but that won't increase the damage done to enemies after passing through objects.[2]
  • The Widow cripples players who want to use powers frequently. Even if a player is using a level X on its own with weight-reduction evolutions and without a second weapon, it is still heavy. Soldiers that do not rely on their powers may find the Widow more useful. Other classes and races may have weight problems with it and should be mindful of the extra cooldown time on powers and abilities.
  • Ammunition for the Widow, even at level X, is still even more scant than the M-92 Mantis, and using a Sniper Rifle Spare Thermal Clip mod will benefit the Widow greatly. It can be combined with the Sniper Rifle High-Velocity Barrel to maintain damage and penetration without losing out on ammunition, but it isn't as effective as having two anti-armor/cover penetration mods.
  • The Widow is not considered a geth weapon for the purposes of Networked AI's geth weapon damage bonus.
  • Shot for shot, the Widow will do more damage than the N7 Valiant, M-92 Mantis, Black Widow, Kishock Harpoon Gun, and Krysae Sniper Rifle, but has the obvious disadvantage of having to reload after each shot. Because of the nature of this weapon, it is deadlier than the mentioned weapons, and hits immediately, unlike the Krysae or Kishock, but will do less damage than the Javelin and Kishock. It is very effective against infantry that are lined up, or armored units like Brutes or Dragoons, but reload time needs to be taken into consideration. The reload time can be reduced through reload cancelling, though this still takes several seconds.
  • Adrenaline Rush will drastically improve the effectiveness of the Widow through the 50-70% damage bonus it receives. You can get at least 2 shots off upon activation, or 4 with reload cancelling, which can shred through armor. Tactical Cloak is not as effective in terms of duration, but it gains a bigger damage bonus (up to 80%) for the next shot.
  • Because of the damage of the Widow, aiming for the head is not necessary for taking down unshielded foes on lower difficulties.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Description

A heavy and formidable single-shot sniper rifle originally designed for the use against armored vehicles. The Widows acquired by the Andromeda Initiative have been modified for the additional portability-the original model was nearly unusable by organic lifeforms.

Features

The Widow's only known post-launch balance update is its multiplayer weight, decreased from 65 to 50 (starting values). Despite being a Patch 1.08 change, it is not reflected in the Mass Effect: Andromeda APEX HQ app.

Strategies

  • In Mass Effect: Andromeda, the Widow is essentially outdated, as the Isharay is better in almost every way. The only noteworthy advantage of the Widow to the Isharay is that the Widow doesn't have to be researched.

Stats

Singleplayer
Rank Damage Rate of Fire Max Clip Size Max Ammo Accuracy Weight
I 495 60 1 16 65 65
II 530 60 1 16 70 61
III 565 60 1 17 73 58
IV 600 60 1 17 75 54
V 635 60 1 18 76 51
VI 670 60 1 18 78 47
VII 705 60 1 19 79 43
VIII 740 60 1 19 80 40
IX 775 60 1 20 81 36
X 810 60 1 20 81 33

Multiplayer
Rank Damage Rate of Fire Max Clip Size Max Ammo Accuracy Weight
I 1040 60 1 16 65 50
II 1070 60 1 16 70 48
III 1100 60 1 17 73 46
IV 1130 60 1 17 75 44
V 1159 60 1 18 76 42
VI 1189 60 1 18 78 40
VII 1219 60 1 19 79 38
VIII 1249 60 1 19 80 34
IX 1279 60 1 20 81 31
X 1309 60 1 20 81 28

Development

Rank Rd icon milkyway orange.png Blueprint Unlocked Omni-gel canister icon.PNG Omni-Gel Canister Copper icon.PNG Copper Cadmium icon.PNG Cadmium Element zero icon.PNG Element Zero 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

Trivia

  • In both the Mass Effect 2 research project and the Mass Effect 3 in-game description, the rifle is referred to as being of geth origin, yet Legion is the only unit seen wielding it. In addition, during the mission Rannoch: Geth Fighter Squadrons, one of the geth memories from the original geth uprising shows a unit picking up the M-98 Widow; when Shepard remarks that it "looks a lot like the sniper rifle Legion used to carry," Legion replies that it is "an efficient model." It also appears visually distinct from other geth weapons, notably the Javelin, and while its presence during the conflict implies that it may be of quarian design, the exact origins of the rifle are unknown. [3]
  • The rifle is referred to as an "Anti-Material Rifle", which appears to be a misspelling of the term Anti-Materiel Rifle, which is the designation given to large-caliber rifles designed to be used against military equipment (or "matériel"), as opposed to enemy soldiers (or "personnel").
  • In Mass Effect 2, a Widow can be seen leaning against a railing on board the derelict Reaper ship, and can be scanned for a sniper rifle damage upgrade.
  • In Mass Effect 3, the M-98 Widow is roughly tied with the Javelin (in multiplayer the Javelin has been changed to deal more damage) and the M-300 Claymore as the highest damage-per-shot non-heavy weapon in the game; the relative ranking of the guns depends on effective-ranges, upgrade-modifications, power-evolutions and type of target.
  • The Black Widow is an Alliance variant of the M-98 Widow.
  • Just below the Model # is the text NCC 1701A, which is the hull registry number for the second USS Enterprise, which was first seen in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda doesn't use the M-98 designation that prior Mass Effect games use for this sniper rifle.

References

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