I've been playing through Mass Effect 1 (ME) on the higher difficulties for achievements, and I keep running into sniper enemies who 1-shot me.

Any hints to surviving and/or killing the snipers before they kill me?

  • Snipers is one of the reasons I stopped playing ME1... Commented Jul 21, 2010 at 14:47

3 Answers 3


Surviving: look for red 'sniper lining up shot' beams targeting you or close to you and then quickly duck into cover.

I don't think there's anything else you can do. IIRC you can survive one shot if you have fairly powerful armour.

  • 1
    Does the tracer beam always appear? I feel as if sometimes I step out from cover and am immediately annihilated, with no warm-up period. Commented Jul 21, 2010 at 14:43
  • I'm fairly sure they do, even on Insanity difficulty level. However I have seen snipers start lining up a shot at one of your team but then shoot you instead if you step out of cover at the wrong moment. I guess if snipers were flanking you enough the red beams wouldn't be so obvious but I don't remember any battles like that.
    – Rup
    Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 9:30
  • I think the red tracer beams represent when the sniper is using the "Assassination" skill, and that will really fry you. You should be able to survive normal sniper shots.
    – sykora
    Commented Apr 12, 2011 at 16:17
  • @sykora You might be right. I think they use red beams too frequently for that, though - I think it's every sniper shot.
    – Rup
    Commented Apr 12, 2011 at 16:24

Since it hasn't been emphatically mentioned in any answer or the details of the question I'd like to point out that you can equip higher grade armor and you can equip upgrades to the armor. Having your strongest armor and upgrade configuration equipped will help defend you from one shots.

How to equip higher grade armor (Xbox 360):

  1. While your in a mission press 'Start'
  2. Select 'Equipment'
  3. Scroll left or right through the equipment menu until you are on armor.
  4. Scroll up and down through the armor you've picked up. Pick the strongest one for your class. (Armor is class specific.)
  5. Press 'A' to equip the selected armor. How to equip upgrades (Xbox 360):

  6. With armor selected (See 'How to equip higher grade armor' above) press 'X'

  7. Scroll up and down through the armor upgrades you've picked up.
  8. Press 'A' to confirm your selection.

Side note: I favor the 'Medical' armor upgrade in most cases.


In addition to Rup's answer, it's worth mentioning that snipers will often wait to pick you off once your shields have been taken down by other enemies (or so it seems). If there are snipers around it's worth being extra careful about taking cover when your shields are low.

Also, I find rockets one-shot me a fair bit. Especially when they've shot at me without me noticing as I duck into cover. The rocket reaches my cover as I step back out and BAM.

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