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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.


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.



Nemeses are armed with a M-13 Raptor sniper rifle with a laser sight, although in practice their weapon operates more like the M-98 Widow or M-92 Mantis in terms of rate of fire and damage. Nemeses are extremely accurate and do a very large amount of damage, able to instant-kill players on higher difficulty settings if player shields are down or shield/health gates are on cooldown.


Nemeses are primarily protected by shields, and they also rarely leave cover. They will target enemies at range, peeking out of cover only long enough to aim and snap off a shot, which takes them less time the higher the difficulty. Because they lack any form of short-range offense, they frequently run to a new spot after taking a shot or if approached, sometimes even using rocket-propelled boots to escape to higher or lower ground. They can perform combat rolls to dodge gunfire or projectile powers like Warp or Incinerate.


  • Nemeses are one of the more dangerous enemies in the game, especially on high difficulties where they can snap off accurate shots in a very short amount of time (so fast that they can fire almost without coming to a stop at all). The best initial advice when fighting them is simply not to underestimate them, despite their unimposing presence and tendency to hang back out of sight.
  • If targeted by the laser, a quick sideways dodge is almost guaranteed to cause the shot to miss.
  • When Nemeses lean out to attempt a shot the laser glare is also accompanied by a distinctive electronic buzzing sound. If you are in cover or can't see a Nemesis, the sound can still alert you to their presence and that they recently attempted a shot. Nemeses have a limited rate of fire (though the time they take between shot attempts decreases with difficulty) so use this information to time your attacks or movement. Sometimes a Nemesis will attempt to line up a shot and you will hear and see the laser attempting to home in but no shot is actually fired; this still seems to count as a "shot attempt" in terms of giving you a window before the Nemesis tries again.
  • Attacking a Nemesis at close range is an alternative to 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 her.
    • 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 other enemies.
    • However, do not get baited. Particularly in the later rounds of multiplayer matches, Nemeses are prone to pair up with Phantoms, for whom they serve as effective lures.
  • 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.
  • Though they rarely advance on you beyond a certain distance, preferring to box you in and snipe you if you leave cover, if Nemeses are the last enemies on the map they can charge at you if you stay in one spot for too long. While they can use their rifles without warning at close range to strip your shields, they have no melee attacks and are easily stunned by even light melees.
  • In single-player, squadmates do not benefit from shield or health gates as Shepard does (and as most enemies do on higher difficulties). As such, they are especially vulnerable to Nemesis fire, with Liara in particular being prone to getting one-shotted.

Weapons and Powers[]

  • It is possible to counter-snipe a Nemesis during the time it takes for her to aim, but the glare from the laser can sometimes make targeting difficult.
    • An 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. Weapons, gear, or mods that can see through terrain are ideal for enabling this.
  • When moving around out of cover, Nemeses are deceptively fast and make erratic, unpredictable changes of direction, making them extremely difficult to shoot with precision. Weapons that fire explosive projectiles with a proximity airburst feature like the M-37 Falcon, Striker Assault Rifle, or Krysae Sniper Rifle can be effective, as well as the Adas Anti-Synthetic Rifle with its homing shots.
  • Tech classes can also use Overload while she's aiming, as it will activate instantly, stagger her, and deplete her shields. Other instant powers with no projectile are effective for this, such as Energy Drain or Stasis.
  • Stasis with the Bubble evolution can be particularly effective against a Nemesis as the effect can penetrate thin cover to disable her even while she is hiding; while this may not provide line of sight to finish her off, this can still create the opportunity to pop out from cover to relocate or deal with other threats without fear of being nailed.
  • Lash with the Shield Penetration evolution can be used to hit and yank a Nemesis from out behind cover if it is angled high enough that it arcs straight downwards.
  • Decoy can draw fire fairly effectively from a Nemesis, though the Decoy must usually be closer in proximity to it than Shepard or any other allied target, and the Nemesis must have clear line of sight to the projection. Nemeses also seem to have trouble hitting a Decoy accurately. Combat Drones and Sentry Turrets can also distract a Nemesis.

Class Specific[]

  • 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 a Nemesis out with a Tactical Cloak/Energy Drain/heavy melee combination.
  • An effective tactic as a Vanguard is to use a Charge to quickly close the distance to Nemeses, taking advantage of their lack of close range threat to finish them with close range fire or melees. On harder difficulties using Nova should negate most of their shields and stun any other 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 on lower difficulties. Disruptor Ammo can stun her even while her shields are still up, and is also the best ammo power for taking down said shields. Frag Grenades, especially when evolved for shield damage, are excellent for smoking a Nemesis out of cover and staggering her. Concussive Shot is similarly useful, staggering the Nemesis or throwing her to the ground, depending on her protection status.
  • As an Engineer, deploying Combat Drones or Sentry Turrets behind Nemeses' cover positions is an excellent tactic. As Nemeses rarely shoot at close-range targets, drones and turrets can often attack them with impunity for quite a while. Strangely, the stunning effects don't seem to affect a Nemesis while she is actually crouched and clinging to cover. Regardless, Nemesis AI makes them try to relocate when an enemy gets close to them, so drones can make them voluntarily leave cover. Nemeses out of cover can be stunned repeatedly by drone attacks.


  • 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.


  1. The Art of the Mass Effect Universe