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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.

Note: 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

Mass Effect: Andromeda

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. [1]
  • 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

  1. https://web.archive.org/web/20160731151623/https://forum.bioware.com/topic/321223-me3-staff-please-answer-is-the-m-98-widow-a-geth-weapon-or-not/page-2
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