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.
Player Notes Edit
- The Particle Rifle does not use thermal clips. Instead, it uses a cooldown system like the weapons of the original Mass Effect. It cannot run out of ammunition as a result, giving this assault rifle a significant advantage over the other assault rifles. Players may want to treat this weapon as a weaker Collector Particle Beam with a smaller, but regenerating ammo pool.
- The Particle Rifle's beam has a finite range, after which no damage will occur. This balances out the beam's perfect accuracy at long range against other, more traditional rifles.
- Due to its continuous fire, Particle Rifle is perfect for killing low-health enemies (e.g. Swarmers and their gestation pods) and exposing invisible enemies.
- The Particle Rifle's initial Damage-Per-Second (DPS) is very low, but goes up dramatically after about three seconds of continuous fire - this consumes about 30-40% of the unmodded Rifle's energy (30-40 units out of a total reserve pool of 100 units), and any breaks in fire prior to or following the warm-up will reset the beam. This property makes it well-suited for long, sustained fire against targets and can do very high amounts of damage in a short time as long as the beam remains on-target. 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. Using active powers will interrupt the charge, however, as well as depleting ammo reserve. This strategy is best used with a Assault Rifle Magazine Upgrade mod.
- 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 perfectly accurate and has no recoil at all. This makes any accuracy and stability bonuses, upgrades, mods, useless for this weapon. The most useful mod is Assault Rifle Magazine Upgrade, which extends the magazine size beyond 100. This mod drastically increase the time you can use the sustained, high-damage beam, allowing you to tear through multiple enemies or hardened ones quickly.
- Equipping squadmates with the Particle Rifle makes it easy to focus-fire enemies. The AI also ignores smoke grenades (and sometimes even solid obstacles) so your companions will pinpoint enemies you can't see.
- When used with Incendiary Ammo, the Particle Rifle is very effective at quickly killing enemies with health or armor. A fully-upgraded Particle Rifle with Incendiary Ammo, combined with the Assault Rifle Extended Barrel and Assault Rifle Magazine Upgrade mods (giving a maximum clip size of 180), will decimate most enemies even on Insanity. However, the rifle will not perform as well against enemies with strong shields or barriers, such as the Banshee. If Incendiary Ammo is upgraded to have the Explosive Burst bonus, the Particle Rifle's high "fire rate" will result in an incredible amount of explosions - several per second, enough to easily destroy most enemies on lower difficulties with only a second or two of sustained fire.
- The Particle Rifle's biggest drawback is unique to it: if its ammo counter reaches zero, it initiates a reload animation in which it vents excess heat, followed by additional downtime before the rifle's ammo pool begins to refill. This downtime will be aborted if the player takes just about any action, such as using powers, switching weapons or entering/exiting cover; after doing any of those things, Shepard must complete the entire reloading animation from scratch. Potential countermeasures include:
- Using shorter bursts and never fully depleting your ammo pool. However, this will keep the gun from "warming up", and the more powerful secondary firing mode will never engage. Still viable with Incendiary Ammo equipped, however, since the stacking Damage-Over-Time (DoT) and (if upgraded correctly) Explosive Burst should allow the rifle to deal sufficient damage.
- Using Adrenaline Rush or Marksman powers. This will not reset the ammo to full, but it will bypass the downtime, with the rifle beginning to recharge immediately.
- 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.
- The Particle Rifle is useful against Guardians because it staggers them and causes them to move their shields, similar to Concussive Shot.