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I'm looking for some guidance here before I decide that he Mass Effect trilogy is not worth playing because of the poor combat system.

I love playing a sniper build in most games, so I went infiltrator in this game. I've maxed out sniper rifles, some points in pistols, and a few elsewhere.

Despite this, whenever I pull out my sniper rifle and start aiming, it is clear that Commander Shepherd has been drinking on the job, and HEAVILY. How is it that I have maxed my points in sniper (foregoing much needed armor points due to the clunky "automatic hide" system that constantly gets my killed) and yet the accuracy is pitiful. For a gun that only has one or two shots, I feel like I should be able to make them count.

Is this not a viable build in this game? What am I doing wrong?

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    Have you read the Sniper Guide on Wikia? One further thing that that article doesn't mention is weapon mods such as the Kinetic Rail/Coil that also increase weapon stability. – JonK Sep 21 '14 at 8:48
  • Yep, I've read the guide and I have tried zooming in. I have a 24" monitor and I get about 2" of sway just sitting there zoomed in. – Origin Sep 21 '14 at 8:55
  • Is the sway constant or does it settle after a few seconds of being zoomed in? Are you crouching when zoomed? Are you taking fire (which decreases your stability)? Do you have stability enhancing mods installed in your SR? Which rifle are you using (the Spectre one is the best if you have access to it)? Do you use the Assassination ability at all? – JonK Sep 21 '14 at 9:05
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    In case you don't already know this, the Mass Effect 2 and 3 combat engines are very very different from 1. Where 1 is an RPG with shooting happening to be in it, 2 is a shooter with a bit of RPG. And 3 is a really good shooter with a pretty good chunk of RPG. So even if you give up on 1 because of sniping, don't give up on the rest – Eben Sep 21 '14 at 9:29
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    I'm confused now - you say you're early on in the game but that you have the Sniper skill maxed? Sniper sway is a problem early on, but maxing the skill should greatly reduce it. – JonK Sep 21 '14 at 9:41
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As someone who played an infiltrator in Mass Effect 1 (for the whole series actually) I found one way to offset this issue on PC was to adjust the mouse sensitivity when sniping. In my case, I own a gaming mouse that can alter it's DPI (effectively sensitivity) by pressing a button on the mouse. By setting it to a lower DPI (less movement in game to real mouse movement) I had better luck stabilizing the sniper rifle when lining up shots.

If you are on PC you could use either a mouse with DPI switching buttons (most gaming mice have them these days) or use AutoHotkey to set up a key/button to change your sensitivity. If you're on console you're probably out of luck regarding this solution.

Additionally, weapon mods and the more advanced snipers you acquire later in game eventually make the swaying almost nonexistent. Crouching and the Assassination ability also help quite a bit once you put levels into Assassination.

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