Mass Effect: Andromeda’s deep research and development system, in combination with the cumbersome UI, makes weapon customization hard to parse at first. But if you ignore crafting, enemies become annoying damage sponges that soak up ammo reserves in no time. However, as is the case for any good PC game, a reliable shotgun solves these problems. Here’s how to make a powerful boomstick to call friend throughout your frontier adventures in deep space.
First, head to a research and development station to see what’s currently available to you. Your character level unlocks new blueprints at 25 and 30. We’ll be using the Kett’s tech against them. Click their research branch, head to shotguns, and research as many tiers of the Dhan Shotgun as you can. You’ll need to be level 20 for Tier IV and level 30 for Tier V.
Instead of the typical pellet scattershot most shotguns have, the Dhan fires a single projectile in a light arc. It’s essentially a semi-auto crossbow, meaning once you get a feel for the projectile’s arc, it’s extremely effective at both close and mid-range. I’m talking one-or-two-hits-and-dead effective. It’s especially useful against a certain high-level Kett enemy with a rotating weak point.
Don’t fret spending research and resources on building a lesser Dhan if you can’t research all of them yet. Unless you’re mainlining the entire game, chances are you have ample money and minerals to spare and the 1000+ damage from a Dhan I is already more than enough. Other stat changes between the tiers are minimal and you can always deconstruct old weapons to get a handful of resources back.
To craft the Dhan I, you’ll need the following crafting materials:
- 30 Kett alloy
- 28 scale fibers
- 60 nickel
- 10 vanadium
You can find every material you'll need at vendors or out in the field. If you’ve done any mining, exploration, or side-questing, you’ll likely have more than enough of every resource. Vanadium might be an issue since it’s rarer than the rest. Check vendors everywhere you go if you’re short and it’ll pop up sooner than later.
Augmentations and mods
Whenever you craft a weapon, you get a chance to apply two augmentations that grant unique stat and behavior bonuses. For this particular shotgun build, I recommend the Double Mod Extension, which you can purchase from the Nexus general goods merchant for 2400 credits. The two extra mod slots are definitely worth the price.
The other augmentation should focus on damage buffs, but feel free to experiment—just be sure to save first. It’s possible to make some real duds. I recommend playing it safe with the Aerial Performance Optimizer. It grants a +35% Weapon Damage buff when hovering.
Once you’ve tinkered, craft the shotgun and name it something really dumb. This is key.
Now to equip weapon mods. These items slot into weapons for further stat bonuses. Normally, you get two slots for mods, but thanks to the Double Mod Extension augmentation, we get four to play with. This is a great place to experiment and dial-in a Dhan that suits your playstyle—mods can be swapped out whenever you like.
Mods can be picked up off enemy corpses, found in containers, or purchased from vendors. Chances are, a bunch of them are already rattling around in your space knapsack and you'll have plenty of shotgun mods to choose from. If not, head to the Nexus and check with vendors. Most common or uncommon mods won’t break the bank.
A Shotgun Barrel is a must since it gives a damage boost, but if it’s a common the buff comes at the penalty of accuracy. That's fine. Mods are easy to swap out and we’ll be right next to the enemies most of the time. And with the Dhan, it’s easy to find a sweet spot and take out dudes from afar once you’ve got a good feel for the arc of the projectile.
The Shotgun Quick Receiver is a good bet too, upping your penetration damage. That’s the damage you do to armored enemies, so bringing that up 50% is an easy win. Make those yellow folks yell.
For the other mod slots, slap in whatever else you like. Damage buffs are an easy go-to, but whatever supports your build or playstyle should work fine. If you can find mods with reload speed buffs, pop one in. If not, we can get those buffs through specific character builds.
Supporting character specs
With a max clip size of two, you’ll be reloading the Dhan often, but most normal enemies will go down in one or two hits anyway. I got into an easy rhythm of taking out an enemy, reloading, and repeating. Pair it with fully upgraded shotgun stats in the Combat tree, choosing the top branch for big reload speed and damage buffs.
I’d also recommend fully upgrading the Charge Biotic power, choosing the top branch for a +15% gun damage buff. Vanguard is a good combat profile if you’re more interested in supporting gunplay with biotic powers since it boosts your melee damage, shield strength, and biotic recharge. Soldier gives weapons a baseline damage buff and stacks the buff for every enemy killed within a “short time.” With the crowds of enemies Andromeda throws at you in later on, stacking the damage buff is simple stuff.
Supplementary stats from profiles and armor sets also feed into how powerful your weapons and powers are, so keep that in mind too. Otherwise, your shotgun—the best companion in Andromeda—is good to go. I don’t recommend romancing it though. Not a great kisser.