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Mass Effect Wiki

The Venom Shotgun is a shotgun in Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Mass Effect 3[]


The Venom shotgun was developed by the salarian Special Tasks Group to meet the unpredictable needs of those stationed in hostile areas. The double barrel fires ammunition that detonates on impact, while a third barrel below can be charged to fire a round of microgrenades. Given the covert nature of most STG assignments, the Venom was designed to force an exit strategy and was issued to teams whose primary objective was to extract compromised undercover operatives. The shotgun is now issued to frontline soldiers in the war against the Reapers.



Available after downloading the Mass Effect 3: Groundside Resistance Pack.[1]

In Legendary Edition it is available from the Aegohr Munitions terminal in the Presidium Commons for a base amount of 7,000 credits.


Weapons are randomly rewarded through purchases of item packs. The Venom Shotgun is categorized as ultra-rare and requires Mass Effect 3: Reckoning to be installed.[2]

Player Notes[]

  • The Venom is basically a grenade launcher with a charged shot feature.
    • Uncharged - fires one explosive round on a shallow trajectory that detonates on impact.
    • Charged - fires a high damage explosive round on a shallow trajectory that separates into bomblets on impact, which in turn detonate on contact with an enemy or after a very short delay if an enemy is not hit directly.
  • Releasing a shot before reaching maximum charge fires only an uncharged shot, there is no benefit gained from a partial charge.
  • Because the Venom Shotgun fires explosive rounds, ammo powers and weapon mods that enhance penetration or reduce enemy armor serve no purpose. It likewise is incapable of dealing bonus damage to enemy heads or weak points.
  • The Venom's main disadvantage is its weight. Even after upgrading the Venom to level X, it remains heavier than many other shotguns such as the M-11 Wraith. You may not want to have other weapons equipped to enjoy the bonus to power recharge speed.
  • The Venom's other major disadvantage is a lack of accuracy at range. While some shots will fly almost perfectly towards the crosshair, others will deviate quite a bit. Large, slow targets such as Atlases and Brutes can still be easily hit at long range, but for moving targets or those with small or narrow profiles such as Banshees and Phantoms, it's better to be close to the target and also to aim at the feet to avoid wasting ammunition.
    • The Venom is one of only three shotguns whose accuracy can be improved by aiming down sights (zooming), along with the Graal Spike Thrower and N7 Crusader.
    • Despite the fact that it only fires one projectile at a time, its accuracy can be further improved by equipping the Shotgun Smart Choke mod. However, like all shotguns, clinging to cover does not improve accuracy.
  • Charged shots can be used to bombard groups of targets at range, or attempt trick shots exploiting walls and ceilings to rain bomblets against enemies that took cover. You can also flush targets out of cover by firing it to the side of where they're hiding, and letting the spread do the work.
  • Much like other weapons that fire explosive projectiles, the Venom is a very effective solution to enemy Phantoms. Well-placed shots can stagger them and Phantoms can't evade their damage with their acrobatics.
  • Charged shots can blow enemy bodies into scraps to prevent Cannibals from consuming them and restoring their armor. This effect even works on Kai Leng, though his body will still be intact for his final cutscene.
  • Uncharged shots with the Venom have a high chance to trigger the effects of Incendiary Ammo and Disruptor Ammo but a very low chance to trigger Cryo Ammo (also applies to the equivalent ammo bonuses in multiplayer). Fully charged shots trigger Cryo effects more often, indicating there is likely a chance per bomblet to do so.
  • Because the Venom really doesn't need any mods beyond the Shotgun High Caliber Barrel to be effective against any target, there is a lot of freedom with the second slot for mods such as blade attachments for increased melee damage.

  • Charged shots split into five bomblets on impact.
  • The Venom's charged shots deal viciously high damage even on Insanity difficulty with the proper loadout: over 6x the damage of an uncharged shot if all of the bomblets detonate on the same target. Additionally, the explosive multi-projectile nature of the munitions circumvents enemy shield gates. At level X, with the Shotgun High Caliber Barrel mod equipped and the right ammo power active, a single charged shot from the Venom that hits its mark can instantly kill tough enemies like Brutes and Phantoms, and three to four charged shots can easily take down Atlases, Geth Primes, Adjutants, Harvesters and Banshees. The area damage of charged shots is also devastating to tightly packed groups of weaker enemies.
  • With a weight capacity of fifty combined with a level 5 Shotgun Ultralight Materials mod, a level X Venom can be carried with no penalty to cooldown times. A second weapon can usually still be carried with little or no penalty as long as it is a light pistol or SMG also with ultralight mods. Power-heavy classes can thus use the Venom as a primary weapon if they are able to rely more on their powers and squadmates for dealing with common enemies and use charged Venom shots to take out more difficult foes.
  • Squadmates will only fire uncharged shots when armed with this weapon, and they don't fire it rapidly, making it a poor choice for them overall.

  • Charged shots separate into three bomblets on impact.
  • The charged shots of the Venom in multiplayer deal far less damage than the shots of the single-player version of the weapon: only about 1.5x the damage of an uncharged shot if all the bomblets land on the same target. While powerful, they are most useful to give the weapon extra spread damage and the ability to hit enemies at indirect angles with the bomblets.
  • The Venom's low spare ammo count is more of a problem in multiplayer as enemies don't drop clips. The Shotgun Spare Thermal Clip is recommended to enhance the Venom's capacity, or you'll need to visit ammo caches or use Thermal Clip Packs often.
  • Be aware of the stagger effect Venom shots have on your teammates as this can significantly disrupt the aim of snipers and other accuracy-dependent classes.

Mass Effect: Andromeda[]


This powerful semi-automatic shotgun fires explosive rounds and-after a short charging period-unleashes clusters of microgrenades that rebound off obstacles. The salarian Special Tasks Group designed the Venom for missions into hostile territory and extraction operations.


The Venom is unable to use a Shotgun Receiver Mod.

Like all grenade-launching weapons, the Venom does not have a Concussive variant.

The weapon only has one documented update in multiplayer: damage increase, and the initial grenade now explodes on contact while its fragments travel faster and longer before exploding.


There are only four Mods for shotguns. The Venom can't use a Shotgun Receiver Mod, so there is no point in adding a Double Mod Extension augmentation to the Venom to add 2 extra mod slots.


Rank Damage Rate of Fire Max Clip Size Max Ammo Accuracy Weight
I 233 80 5 25 25 45
II 248 80 5 26 27 43
III 263 80 5 26 28 40
IV 278 80 5 27 29 38
V 293 80 5 28 29 35
VI 309 80 5 28 30 33
VII 324 80 5 29 30 30
VIII 339 80 5 30 31 28
IX 354 80 5 30 31 25
X 369 80 5 31 31 23

Rank Damage Rate of Fire Max Clip Size Max Ammo Accuracy Weight
I 352 80 5 25 25 45
II 360 80 5 26 27 43
III 368 80 5 26 28 40
IV 375 80 5 27 29 38
V 383 80 5 28 29 35
VI 391 80 5 28 30 33
VII 399 80 5 29 30 30
VIII 407 80 5 30 31 28
IX 415 80 5 30 31 25
X 422 80 5 31 31 23


Rank Rd icon milkyway orange Research Cost Omni-gel canister icon Omni-Gel Canister Beryllium icon Beryllium Cadmium icon Cadmium Vanadium icon Vanadium MEA Augmentation Slot For Tables Augmentation Slots
I 125 20 100 50 10 0
II 140 30 110 50 10 3
III 155 30 130 60 20 3
IV 170 30 140 70 20 3
V 185 40 160 80 20 3
VI 200 40 170 80 20 3
VII 215 40 180 80 20 3
VIII 230 40 190 90 20 3
IX 245 50 190 90 20 3
X 260 50 200 100 20 3
Total 1925 370 1570 750 180 N/A