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For other uses of the term "widow", see Widow (disambiguation).

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

Single-player

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 and requires no multiplayer expansion packs.

Player Notes

General
  • The Widow is one of the heaviest weapons, weighing as much as the Black Widow, N7 Crusader, and M-300 Claymore. It is also one of most damaging single-shot weapons in the game, though it is surpassed in both weight and damage by the Javelin.
    • The Widow is capable of killing most unprotected foot soldiers in one hit on any difficulty without needing a headshot.
    • There is almost no reason to pick the Widow over the Javelin if both are available unless the marginally lighter weight of the Widow actually makes a significant difference. The only other reason would be if you aren't yet used to the Javelin's delayed shot.
  • The Widow has a slow reload time that can be cut nearly in half by reload cancelling. A power that automatically reloads the weapon such as Adrenaline Rush can also be handy.
  • The Widow has a smaller ammunition reserve than even the M-92 Mantis, making the Sniper Rifle Spare Thermal Clip very useful, especially when the weapon is low level.
  • Like several other weapons, the Widow can penetrate objects by default. Its shot has an innate 50cm penetration, enough to pass through thin walls, Guardian handheld shields, and enemy armor plating.
  • The Widow's high damage shot makes it effective by default against armored targets even without equipping any anti-armor mods or weakening targets' armor. However, this same property does mean it is more hampered by enemy shield gates, especially on higher difficulties.
    • High-level Disruptor Ammo (single-player) or Disruptor Rounds/Phasic Rounds (multiplayer) greatly mitigates issues against enemy shields or barriers and even allows the Widow to ignore shield gates, thus making it possible to one-shot shielded or barrier-protected infantry, especially with headshots. This can make the Widow capable of handling any foe.
    • The other option for dealing with shielded targets is of course through the use of powers. Overload is usually capable of completely stripping the shields or barriers from infantry targets, and if it does, the Black Widow can easily finish the job with a follow-up shot, especially since most targets will be momentarily stunned.
  • Unscoping between shots is often a useful technique to help with resetting your aim more quickly.

Single-player
  • The Widow is a good sniper rifle choice for squadmates like Ashley and Garrus, though the Javelin's superior damage and terrain penetration make it more effective, particularly in view of the squadmate tendency to attempt shots against targets obscured by cover.
  • A Soldier with a weight capacity of 100 can carry a level 10 Widow without a penalty to power recharge times if it's modded with level 5 Sniper Rifle Ultralight Materials.
  • Aside from equipping the Sniper Rifle Spare Thermal Clip, the Widow's low ammunition reserve can be supplemented in a few other ways:
    • Taking the Ammo Capacity rank evolutions of the various ammo powers is recommended at least until the Widow can be fully upgraded; while this does sacrifice a powerful headshot damage bonus, the Widow is usually more than powerful enough to afford the tradeoff.
    • By making certain choices at the Intel Terminal, up to 15% extra ammunition capacity is possible with permanent increases. The Armor Modkit, Weapon Upgrade Kit, and Intact Reaper Weapon can each add an additional 5% to ammo capacity.
    • Also consider wearing armor that increases your spare ammo capacity.

Multiplayer
  • With Phasic Rounds III and other damage bonuses such as from Tactical Cloak, the Widow can kill most infantry enemies with a single headshot while still having more than enough punch to be effective against heavy armored targets. However, the Javelin is usually a superior choice in view of its higher damage, penetration, and enhanced scope.
  • Even a more power-dependent class can carry the Widow and still use powers at a decent rate if weight is reduced with Sniper Rifle Ultralight Materials and a Power Efficiency Module is equipped.

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 Blueprint Unlocked Omni-gel canister icon Omni-Gel Canister Copper icon Copper Cadmium icon Cadmium Element zero icon Element Zero MEA Augmentation Slot For Tables 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. [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.
  • 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 in the Star Trek universe, 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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