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Mass Effect Wiki
Disambiguous This article is about the weapon in Mass Effect 3. For the heavy weapon in Mass Effect 2, see Collector Particle Beam.

The Particle Rifle is an assault rifle in Mass Effect 3.


After the Reapers obliterated the Prothean Empire's warships, the Prothean resistance was forced to develop weapons that did not rely on intact supply lines. The Prothean Particle Rifle is a stripped-down, powerful assault rifle modified to fire without thermal clips or specialized ammunition. Alliance scientists agree that it appears to share some principles with the Collectors' particle beam weapon, although this gun requires a temporary cool-down period if it overheats. An amalgam of two different eras of technology, the particle rifle is still a deadly, efficient weapon.



The Particle Rifle is obtained after completion of the DLC mission Priority: Eden Prime.


Weapons are randomly rewarded through purchases of item packs. The Particle Rifle is categorized as ultra-rare and requires the Mass Effect 3: Rebellion Pack.

Player Notes[]

  • The Particle Rifle does not use thermal clips. Instead, it uses a self-cooling system like the weapons in the original Mass Effect, and it cannot permanently run out of ammunition.
  • The Particle Rifle is perfectly accurate and has no recoil at all. This makes any bonuses, upgrades, or mods that affect those attributes irrelevant for this weapon.
  • The Particle Rifle's beam has moderate but finite range after which the beam simply "ends". This balances out the beam's perfect accuracy at long range against other, more traditional rifles.
  • The Particle Rifle is one of the heaviest assault rifles, and it needs to be fired in long bursts to be effective. For these reasons, classes that rely strongly on powers should generally avoid the weapon.
  • The Particle Rifle is best used with an Assault Rifle Magazine Upgrade mod for extra firing time, and either the Assault Rifle Extended Barrel or the Assault Rifle Piercing Mod/Assault Rifle High-Velocity Barrel.
  • Despite not shooting bullets, this weapon has a headshot damage multiplier.
  • Damage Ramp-up: The Particle Rifle's initial damage is very low, but goes up dramatically (quadruples) after about 2-2.5 seconds of continuous fire, giving it the highest damage-per-second (DPS) of any assault rifle as long as continuous fire can be maintained. Taking most actions will cancel the damage ramp-up and the fully charged beam, and of course depleting the ammo reserve will as well.
    • Pre-charging the weapon behind obstacles can be useful on higher difficulties, where you might get killed while your weapon is charging to full power.
    • The damage ramp-up period consumes about 30% of the unmodded Rifle's energy (about 30 units out of a total reserve pool of 100 units). This makes the Assault Rifle Magazine Upgrade mod especially useful, extending the magazine capacity as high as 180, greatly increasing the amount of time you can fire the fully charged beam.
    • When the beam reaches full power after sustained fire it becomes visibly thicker and also much brighter. The intensity of the glow from the weapon can actually obscure your vision significantly.
    • Taking damage from enemy attacks that can stagger you will also cancel the beam and reset its level of charge. Enemy attacks you must combat roll to avoid will also cancel your beam. This makes fighting enemies such as Banshees and Geth Rocket Troopers difficult with this weapon unless you have something drawing their fire for you.
    • Certain powers will not interrupt firing, such as Adrenaline Rush, Marksman, Tactical Cloak, and Defense Matrix. Using First Aid will interrupt firing.
    • Ammo (energy) consumption doubles after the beam reaches full power.
    • The fire rate increases from using Marksman do work on the Particle Rifle though any accuracy bonuses don't really benefit it. Also, the faster rate of fire does increase the rate of ammo consumption for the weapon but does not decrease the amount of time it takes for the weapon to reach full charge, meaning the base magazine of 100 can be nearly depleted by the time the beam charges with Marksman active.
  • The Particle Rifle is fairly good at triggering the secondary effects of ammo powers/ammo bonuses such as freezing, stunning, and priming enemies for Power Combos thanks to its extreme rate of fire. Incendiary enhancements make the weapon useful for revealing invisible enemies.
  • Enemies killed by the rifle will light up in green "flames", the same color as the particle beam, as they topple to the ground and disintegrate. This serves to destroy the corpse of a fallen enemy to deny a Cannibal any buffs from devouring fallen comrades.
  • The Particle Rifle is a hitscan weapon, meaning it hits the target instantaneously. The beam "lagging" behind after the actual shot deals no damage whatsoever and is just a visual effect connecting the weapon's barrel and the target point. While it may be counterintuitive, the player must ignore the position of the beam and track moving targets with the crosshair precisely to hit them consistently. This also means the player can hit moving enemies in multiplayer reliably regardless of latency.
  • Much like the Reegar Carbine, the Particle Rifle's high rate of fire tends to cause infantry enemies to immediately dodge to escape the beam. Be ready to continually adjust your aim on smaller targets.
  • The Particle Rifle is useful against Guardians and CAT6 Heavies because it staggers them and causes them to move their shields, similar to Concussive Shot. Its high accuracy also makes hitting them in exposed locations such as their feet or the eye slits in their shields very doable.
  • Due to its continuous fire and recharging clip, the Particle Rifle works well for killing multiple low-health enemies like Swarmers or scanning for invisible enemies.

  • When used with Incendiary Ammo, the Particle Rifle is very effective at quickly killing enemies with health or armor. If Incendiary Ammo is upgraded to have the Explosive Burst bonus, the Particle Rifle's high damage "tick rate" will result in several "bursts" per second, enough to easily destroy most enemies on lower difficulties with only a second or two of sustained fire, even at low charge. The burn over time also makes it useful for revealing invisible enemies. Explosive Burst and Incendiary Ammo generally are ineffective against barriers and shields, however.
  • Because of the limit to the Particle Rifle's maximum range, squadmates actively using this weapon will get closer to the enemy than they would with other assault rifles.
    • Equipping squadmates with it can make it easy to pinpoint enemies, especially since the AI ignores smoke grenades and even solid obstacles.
    • James Vega can be especially effective with the Particle Rifle with his Incendiary Ammo and natural toughness allowing him to resist return fire well.
    • Unfortunately, no squad member fires the Particle Rifle for sustained bursts of more than a few seconds. On the plus side, this means they never overheat the weapon, but they also don't take full advantage of the fully-charged beam. However, they actually gain the fully charged damage bonus from continuous fire in half the time it takes for the player, somewhat compensating for this.
    • Squadmates don't track moving targets perfectly, so they will do much more damage to slow or stationary targets with the Particle Rifle.

  • Drill or Armor-Piercing Rounds do not suffer a damage penalty for piercing targets or terrain as long as no weapon mod that suffers a piercing penalty is equipped on the weapon. Using penetrating rounds, especially Level 3 Drill Rounds, can increase the damage output of the Particle Rifle several fold by allowing it to strike multiple lined up enemies at once, which it can do with perfect accuracy and stability up to its maximum range.
  • In multiplayer, the magazine capacity of the Particle Rifle increases as the weapon levels, from 100 at Level 1 to 125 at Level 10.
  • The fact that this weapon never runs out of ammunition is more and more useful at higher difficulties where ammunition refills become progressively more scarce and ammo expenditure increases.
  • Because all geth units are capable of stunning the player, they should be kept at range to allow you to keep up the damage multiplier after the Particle Rifle charges up.
  • The Particle Rifle is very deadly when equipped while using Devastator Mode on the N7 Destroyer Soldier. With the ammo capacity increase evolution chosen, Devastator Mode provides a potential 115% increase in magazine size with the Assault Rifle Magazine Upgrade V Mod, allowing the weapon to be fired in overcharge mode for a significant amount of time. You also cannot be staggered, meaning you can keep firing the overcharge beam even while being attacked by strong enemies.
    • With Devastator Mode and Assault Rifle Magazine Upgrade V, the capacity maxes out at 268 with a Level X Particle Rifle.
  • It can also be a very good choice for a Geth Juggernaut Soldier with its inherent slow movement speed because it eliminates the need to replenish ammo at an ammo box, and it can be alternated with Siege Pulses at range or heavy melee while the Particle Rifle recharges. Like the N7 Destroyer Soldier, the Juggernaut is also very resistant to stun, making it easier to keep firing.
    • This weapon is also effective with the Awakened Collector Adept, because its passive ability, Vengeful Ancient, has an evolution that can increase the damage of weapons of Prothean or Collector design.