Best Shotgun Build

Best Shotgun Build - Mass Effect: Andromeda (MEA)

By zanuffas
Last updated:

This post covers the best Shotgun build in Mass Effect Andromeda. It is a weapon of the weapon types available in the game that is very effective at close range. The fire rate is mostly very slow with small clips, but the damage output is considerably large.

Shotgun Build

The main key of this build is the Shotgun weapon. We want to be close and personal for maximum effectiveness and easily hit enemies. To close the gap we will be using a biotic Charge that allows us to jump right into enemies face. Follow up with the release of multiple shots from the shotgun.

best shotgun build combat mass effect andromeda

The good thing, compared to other weapon builds, is that Charge also let's detonate various combos. For example, if your companion freezes or electrifies the enemy, you can exploit this for additional combo damage

After this, due to Annihilation you will decrease the enemy's defenses and deal enormous damage with your shotgun. Overall, Ryder will be deadly at close range, sometimes taking out normal enemies in one shot.

The build has been tested on Insanity difficulty

Skills allocation

This section covers how skill points should be allocated for the end game on the Shotgun build

Check this post on how to reset Ryder skill points and start using this build

Combat Skills

shotgun build combat skills mass effect andromeda

Power name Upgrades Choices Description
turbocharge mass effect andromedaTurbocharge
  1. Duration
  2. Damage & Force
  3. Supercharge
One of the main abilities that allow almost any weapon to become overpowered. It boosts weapon clip capacity, fire rate, and damage.
combat fitness mass effect andromedaCombat Fitness
  1. Regeneration
  2. Heavy Lifting
  3. Hold the Line
Provides various stat boosts - max health, shields, weight capacity, weapon damage, etc. The level 6 upgrade, is especially good as it gives 200 damage resistance when HP is low.
combat tools mass effect andromedaCombat Tools
  1. Hover
  2. Any
  3. Aerial Combat
The skill is not exceptionally important early on. However, it improves aerial combat, allowing Ryder to hover for longer. This unlocks some better angles to take out enemies behind the cover.
shotguns skill icon mass effect andromedaShotguns
  1. Weight
  2. Clip Size
  3. Damage & Force
Improves shotguns' weapon damage, accuracy, and stability.

There is another option that I would like to recommend.

Biotic Skills

shotgun build biotic skills mass effect andromeda

Power name Upgrades Choices Description
charge mass effect andromedaCharge
  1. Damage & Force
  2. Weapons & Melee
  3. Bastion
This skill will allow you to cover large distances and appear near the enemy. You can then easily follow up with multiple shotgun shots. Moreover, for 3 seconds weapon damage is buffed and damage resistance is increased after using Charge.
annihilation mass effect andromedaAnnihilation
  1. Radius
  2. Damage Attractor
  3. Draining Field
The main goal of this ability is to weaken enemies by increasing the damage they do by 20%. Moreover, with Draining Field, every killed enemy restores 30% of the shields
barrier mass effect 3Barrier
  1. Unyielding Barrier
  2. Biotic Alacrity
  3. Saving Barrier
Provides improvements to shields and gives instant shield restore when health is low
offensive biotics mass effect andromedaOffensive Biotics
  1. Alacrity
  2. Exploitation
  3. Biotic Warrior
The ability gives bonus biotic power damage and recharge speed. Moreover, it will weaken enemies when a biotic effect is active (Annihilation) and gives bonus damage after each biotic skill use.
containment mass effect andromedaContainment
  1. Radius
  2. Shield Detonation
  3. Event Horizon
This ability is a low priority. It gives bonus duration and effect radius for biotic skills.


You will need to spend 232 skill points in the combat skill tree to unlock the level 6 Soldier profile
Profile Description
soldier profile icon mass effect andromedaSoldier For this build our goal is to get the highest boost of weapon damage, accuracy, and clip size.

Skills Progression

This section covers detailed ability progression for the best Shotgun Build. This is just a suggested progression, feel free to adjust it based on your needs.

Order Skill Description
1 shotguns skill icon mass effect andromedaShotguns Lv 4 We unlock Turbocharge, which requires 9 skill points in combat, which we get by taking Shotguns
2 turbocharge mass effect andromedaTurbocharge Lv 3
3 offensive biotics mass effect andromedaOffensive Biotics Lv 4 To unlock the biotic skill for the build, we spend 9 skill points in Offensive Biotics. We take Annihilation Lv 5, as without it, the ability has no use for the build.
4 charge mass effect andromedaCharge Lv 3
5 annihilation mass effect andromedaAnnihilation Lv 5
6 turbocharge mass effect andromedaTurbocharge Lv 6 Maximizes effectiveness while the ability is active with a shotgun weapon
7 charge mass effect andromedaCharge Lv 6 Get the Bastion upgrade, as it will greatly improve the survivability of the build
8 annihilation mass effect andromedaAnnihilation Lv 6 Unlock the Draining Field for shield restoration after each kill
9 shotguns skill icon mass effect andromedaShotguns Lv 6 MAximizing these skills will be valuable as you get more damage protection, HP, HP regeneration, and shields. Moreover, with these allocations, we will unlock the level 3 Soldier profile.
10 combat fitness mass effect andromedaCombat Fitness Lv 6
11 offensive biotics mass effect andromedaOffensiev Biotics Lv 6 Maximizes biotic damage, moreover, we increase the damage that enemies take from various sources
12 barrier mass effect 3Barrier Lv 6 Increases defensive stats and gives instant shield restore when HP is low
13 containment mass effect andromedaContainment Lv 6 Gives a boost to the radius of biotic skills
14 combat tools mass effect andromedaCombat Tools Lv 6 Improves aerial combat

Now, we are done with the base of the build. However, you still need to pump the combat skills to get the Soldier profile to the maximum of level 6 for huge bonuses to weapon damage.


This section will cover playing the best Shotgun build in Mass Effect Andromeda.

Charge skill

The build is very close to what a Vanguard should be (and it was in the Original Trilogy), where you use shotgun heavily. The problem with this weapon category is that it works at close range, and may be good in medium with some weapon variations.

shotgun build charge skill mass effect andromeda

However, Charge allows getting up close to the enemy and easily releasing a volley of pellets at them. This makes combat much easier and you do not need to risk your health/shields. Ryder is invincible during the Charge animation

Another aspect of Charge is that it instantly restores shields to 100% (with Bastion upgrade). So if you are close to dying and the skill is not under the cooldown, find the nearest enemy and lunge into them

shotgun build charge restore shield skill mass effect andromeda

This creates opportunities for extremely aggressive gameplay, where you do not need to sacrifice your tempo and always be on the offense.

Main Combat rotation

Here we come to the key part of this build. Generally, I use this build very aggressively - shotguns work the best when in close range. Here is simple logic that I use:

  1. Before combat activate Annihilation (I sometimes forget this)
  2. Find the protected enemy, like Pariah, Sharpshooter, or any other "leader-type". I suggest avoiding strong armored ones, like Fiends, and leaving them last.
  3. Use Charge to get close to them and activate Turbocharge.
  4. Start shooting, you should be able to take out normal enemies with 1-3 shots
  5. Be aware of the battlefield and use Charge to move to the next enemy/group of enemies.
  6. Continue with your shotgun

Overall this makes for very exciting close-quarter combat.


The build is powerful on its own especially once you get augmentations on your Shotgun. Genreally, any companions work. Check the squad builds recommendations. However, one companion shines the most.

cora skills mass effect andromeda

Core has a Shield Boost skill that restores shields and HP. This is especially useful once you get Bio-Converter and don't want to die fast. Moreover, she also has freezing bullets once you maximize Asari Commando, they make the combat much easier.


This section will cover what equipment you should be using with Shotgun Build.


Name Mods Augmentations
n7 piranha mass effect andromedaN7 Piranha
  • Shotgun Barrel
  • Shotgun Receiver
dhan mass effect andromedaDhan
  • Shotgun Barrel
  • Shotgun Receiver

Melee Weapons

Name Augmentations Description
asari sword mass effect andromedaAsari Sword Even though you may not use melee weapons, their bonuses from augmentations always apply. Due to this, we want to maximize weapon damage with 5 slots.


Armor piece Stats Augmentation options
kett helmet mass effect andromedaKett Helmet +3%-12% Combat Power Damage
+1%-10% Weapon Damage
maverick armor mass effect andromedaMaverick Chest +3%-12% Weapon Headshot/Weak Point Bonus
+3%-15% Weapon Spare Ammo
+5%-20% Weapon Damage 
kett legs mass effect andromedaKett Legs +3%-12% Combat Power Damage
+1%-10% Weapon Damage 
kett arms mass effect andromedaKett Arms +3%-12% Combat Power Damage
+1%-10% Weapon Damage 

Fusion Mods

Name Description
fusion mod of adrenaline mass effect andromedaFusion Mod of Adrenaline You can try out this fusion mod, which provides instant skill recharge after killing an enemy. The thing is that the Shotgun build mostly relies on the weapon and not skills. So if you fight a strong single enemy, a few seconds should not change much. However, you can always skip it if you do not prefer this mechanic.


Thank you for reading this post on the best Shotgun build in Mass Effect Andromeda. I covered recommended abilities and their progression, best equipment, and tactics.

Feel free to leave a comment below!


Post author zanuffas avatar zanuffas
Gamestegy Founder. I have been writing game guides and builds for 4 years. I like to push myself to create something wonderful for the readers!