mass effect 3 pistol

Chasing the dream of “The Perfect Loadout”

by erikab
Games and Gaming, Gaming Culture

I wish there was a magic formula for setting up the perfect loadout in any game, but there are far too many variables. Including what you like to do, and – in some sense – who you are as a person.

Do you enjoy the satisfaction of rushing right up to an enemy and pummeling them to the ground? Then you’re not going to be happy with a sniper rifle, no matter how good it is. Conversely, if you enjoy peering off the edge of a high ledge and picking enemies off one by one in a courtyard far below, you’re going to hate a shotgun, even if it is the best shotgun.

(Personally, I hate pistols. I would almost rather run up and beat someone with a pistol than try to shoot them with it.)

mass effect 3 mantis


If you play a game long enough, you eventually hit on The Perfect Loadout (For You). This is a moment of bliss, made sweeter by all the hours of trial and error which preceded it. There is nothing better than firing up a game, knowing that your character’s weaponry is all set up and equipped exactly the way you like it.

Don’t let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn’t be using.

The important thing – and I know it’s hard – is not to evangelize. A lot of people have told me the specific list of equipment I should use, without knowing or caring about how I like to play. But what’s perfect for one person is just not going to work for another.

Conversely, don’t accept what someone tells you as gospel. For example, my two favorite weapons in the Mass Effect series are the Mantis sniper rifle and the Claymore shotgun. They are a perfect combination… for me.

I’m a cautious player (you could say “cowardly” but I prefer the terms “prudent” or “judicious”) so I like the range that a sniper rifle affords. I’m also a patient player, so I don’t mind the slow reload cycle of the Mantis. (Actually, I find it profoundly satisfying.) And my Shepard is Soldier class, so the ludicrously high weight of the Claymore doesn’t affect her.

Different player, different Shepard? Different story.

smart pistol titanfall


Don’t let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn’t be using. But if a more experienced player offers a suggestion, it’s worth your trouble to try it out.

Due to my deeply-held personal belief that pistols are the worst, I hadn’t even tried the Smart Pistol in Titanfall until a fellow MeFightClubber talked it up in the Titanfall thread. I tested it out the next time I played, and to my surprise I found that it suited me quite well.

The Smart Pistol’s auto-targeting is a godsend to players (like myself) who frankly are just not very good at the game. Is it the fabled Perfect Loadout? I don’t know, but it’s getting closer. (I’m still terrible at the game. Just slightly less terrible than before.)


has written 2 FGEC articles.

ErikaB is a professional freelance writer who frankly should spend more time working and less time gaming. She also writes about video games at No Quarters Required.

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3 thoughts on “Chasing the dream of “The Perfect Loadout”

  1. Relentless (and easily-confused) old-skooler that I am, a profusion of loadout choices and weapons mods and all of that has always put me off in newer deathmatchy games, and always felt like it muddied things, never being able to know at a glance what your current adversary was wielding.

    The first time I haven’t felt that way — too much, or enough that it put me off, at least — is with Titanfall. I’m enjoying the hell out of choosing from the weapons that combine with different skill-thingies to best suit my playstyle or current level of alcohol consumption.

    • erikab says:

      I’m sure every other Titanfall player already knows this, but yesterday I discovered – quite by mistake, I assure you – that you can shoot a Pilot with an anti-Titan gun. The results were… impressive.

      I highly recommend trying it at least once, for players who haven’t already.

  2. Pingback: Guest post up at Full Glass, Empty Clip « No Quarters Required: A Video Game Blog

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