Disambiguous This article is about the Cerberus unit in Mass Effect 3. For the class specialization in Mass Effect, see Nemesis.

The Nemesis is a Cerberus unit encountered in Mass Effect 3. They wield sniper rifles, and can be recognized by their minimal armor and red targeting lasers.

Description Edit

The nemesis is a Cerberus sniper specialist. Customized implants allow the nemesis to withstand the crippling kickback of the M-98 Widow antimateriel [sic] rifle, turning a redoubtable opponent into a force capable of inflicting instant death. A suite of high-tech scanning equipment makes the sniper adept at maintaining cover, meaning a nemesis is usually spotted only after opening fire--assuming the target survives the first round.

Because of self-destruct mechanisms that activate upon the sniper's death, the Alliance has never retrieved an example of nemesis augmentation technology. This fact, combined with Cerberus forces' penchant for suicide when faced with capture, has made scientific study of their implants impossible.

Capabilities Edit


Nemeses are armed with a M-13 Raptor sniper rifle with a laser sight. Note, however, that it is much closer to the M-98 Widow or M-92 Mantis in terms of rate of fire and damage. Nemeses do a surprisingly large amount of damage, being able to instant-kill on Insanity.


Nemeses are primarily protected by shields, but also rarely leave cover. They will target enemies at range, peeking out of cover only long enough to aim and fire a shot. Because they lack any form of short range offense, and their targeting laser gives away their position, they frequently run to a new position after a few shots to avoid attack; even using rocket propelled boots to escape to higher ground. If approached in close-range, they will attempt to run and find cover further away. They will occasionally perform combat rolls to dodge gunfire or projectile powers like Warp or Incinerate.

Tactics Edit

  • Be aware: though the character model and supplementary material dictate that Nemeses use a Raptor sniper rifle, they do not use it like one. Instead of long-range suppression with a hail of small-calibre rounds, as the Raptor is typically used, in the hands of a Nemesis it will strip shields completely with one shot. If shields are depleted a single shot will critically injure you. Any damage taken after that will incapacitate you. Vorcha are just as vulnerable, due to the nature of the "shield gate" aspect of your health and shields. Upon receiving a hit to your health, if you are hit again by another Nemesis before your health and shields recover you will still be incapacitated as if you had been critically injured.
  • Nemeses lean out of cover and aim for about one second before firing their sniper rifle. It is possible to counter-snipe a Nemesis during the time it takes for her to aim, but the glare from the laser makes targeting difficult. Tech classes can also use Overload while she's aiming, as it will activate instantly as well as stagger her.
  • If targeted by the laser, a quick sideways dodge is almost guaranteed to cause the shot to miss.
  • Attacking a Nemesis at close range is more viable than counter-sniping, since the Nemesis never fires her sniper rifle while close to an enemy and has no other offensive options. The Nemesis will attempt to retreat to a position further away from the player to properly utilize her sniper rifle, but sustained attacks should keep her off balance long enough to dispatch.
  • Another effective tactic is to snipe the Nemesis while she is in cover, either from a flanking or elevated position, or using a piercing weapon to shoot through her cover. She will often spend fairly long periods hiding behind cover, making it relatively easy to line up a headshot with a sniper rifle.
  • It can also be easy to go up to their cover and perform a grab on them, but be careful not to expose yourself to gunfire from other enemies especially those that can instantly kill you.
  • Particularly in the later rounds of multiplayer matches, Nemeses are prone to pair up with Phantoms. Because the Nemesis has no close range attacks, and is best dealt with by melee attacks or a shotgun blast, she serves as a very effective lure for the Phantom. Keep this in mind when watching Nemeses move around the battlefield; if they remain in one corner for an extended period, they are likely being used as bait by a nearby Phantom.
  • The M-98 Widow or M-92 Mantis, with the appropriate weapon upgrades and/or temporary buffs, can kill Nemeses in one headshot, even on higher difficulties.
  • They are less likely to dodge a power via combat roll if they are staggered first with gunfire, are at close range, or are focused on another target.
  • Particularly in areas such as the later stages of Omega, Nemesis like to stay in groups of two to three. If the player has low health, if the Nemesis are not dealt with quickly, this group can easily kill you since Nemesis do a lot of damage. Multiple Nemesis can also prove fatal to characters like the Volus Engineer.
  • When Nemeses are the last enemies on the map, they will charge at you if you stay in one spot for too long. While they can use their sniper without warning to strip your shields, inversely it also makes them vulnerable to a spot of close quarters crossfire. They only become a genuine threat like this when the difficulty is set to platinum, as they then gain the ability to attack faster than you can regenerate shielding, otherwise its a death sentence for them.

Class/Character specific tactics

  • The best method of counter-sniping is to use the Tactical Cloak as an Infiltrator. This gives you enough time to line up a shot on the Nemesis, even when in cover, as sometimes the head is partially exposed. A Salarian Infiltrator can easily take Nemesis out with a Tactical Cloak/Energy Drain/heavy melee combination, even on Gold difficulty.
  • An effective tactic as a Vanguard is to use a Charge to quickly close the distance and leave them helpless due to their lack of close-range offense. Then finish them with shotgun blasts and/or heavy melees. On harder difficulties using Nova will negate most of their shields, leaving them open to heavy melee, as well as disorient nearby enemies.
  • As a Soldier, usage of Adrenaline Rush and a powerful sniper rifle can kill a Nemesis instantly if the shot hits the head. The various ammo powers see great use here, Cryo Ammo can slow or freeze the Nemesis long enough for an instant kill or at least severe damage, Incendiary Ammo can cause her to panic and if she evades incoming fire and powers, she'll still take damage, and Disruptor Ammo can stun her, giving time to evade her attack or shoot her down. Frag Grenades, when designed for shield damage, can work wonders against a Nemesis and potentially anyone around her. Concussive Shot is similarly useful, staggering the Nemesis or throwing her to the ground, depending on her protection.

Trivia Edit

  • Early iterations of the Nemesis were male. The sex change was made in order to make her silhouette more distinct from other Cerberus enemies. The red lens light was also added so she would stand out at a distance.[1]
  • In Greek mythology, Nemesis is the name of the goddess of revenge, who also goes by the name Rhamnousia or Rhamnusia. Nemesis is also a word in the English language, meaning something or someone that cannot be bested or overcome.

References Edit

  1. The Art of the Mass Effect Universe
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