Although there are a few different levels of gear rarity in Anthem, the one level of items that everyone's going to be gunning for is the Masterwork tier. In this Anthem Masterwork guide, we'll be going over everything there is to know about all 27 elite Masterwork weapons in the entire game, including how to get Masterwork weapons in Anthem.
But if you instead need help with any other areas of BioWare’s new open world shooter, you can head over to our main Anthem guide. Here you can find a complete beginner’s guide to the adventure around Bastion, as well as a complete story primer on the events leading up to the game.
Anthem Masterwork Update
BioWare recently made some changes to the Masterwork system in Anthem. Previously, weapons had a huge Weapon pool that inscriptions were pulled from. Now, there are smaller item specific pools, like an Assault Rifle pool. Every Masterwork has four inscriptions in different categories: Major Primary, Minor Primary, Major Secondary, Minor Secondary. Primary inscriptions are focused on damage and survivability, while Secondary inscriptions are based on utility. At max level (level 30), uncommon (white) and common (green) items will no longer drop. The problem is with these items in the drop table, players on Grandmaster, Grandmaster 2, and Grandmaster 3 difficulties could end up with loot they couldn't use. This only lowers the problem in front of the community, as rare (blue) and epic (purple) items will still drop and they're not useful for players aiming for Masterwork and Legendary items. Masterwork crafting requirements have been lower though, allowing players to roll their own new Masterworks. It previously required 25 masterwork embers to craft a new Masterwork; this has been lowered to 15 masterwork embers.
Weapon Level Rarity Types in Anthem
If you’ve been adventuring around Bastion, you’ll know that there are various color coded rarity types for gear items in BioWare’s game. Just below, we’ll provide you with a complete overview of all the levels of gear rarity in Anthem.
- Common - Light grey, you’re going to find common gear throughout nearly every mission you play in Anthem.
- Uncommon - Green, you’ll be earning uncommon gear for a good while during the early goings of Anthem, before you progress to higher levels.
- Rare - Blue, you’ll slowly start to earn rare items and weapons as you begin completing more Strongholds and late game story missions.
- Epic - Purple, you won’t be seeing epic weapons and other items for at least the first 7-8 hours of Anthem.
- Masterwork - Gold, Masterwork-tier, the most powerful and elite gear in Anthem.
Anthem Masterwork Weapons Explained
But there’s one final rarity tier that goes above and beyond all of these. The Masterwork tier is represented by the color gold, and it’s by far the rarest and most powerful item tier in Anthem. The deal big about Masterwork weapons in Anthem is that they have special bonuses, on top of amazing damage, accuracy, fire rate, and range values. If you look at the Masterwork marksman rifle just below for example, you can see that it has a 33% chance to deal electric damage on every hit, as well as a massive +125% damage bonus.
As the overall level of your Javelin exosuit is determined by the power of your weapons, Masterwork weapons give you a huge level boost. They’re always head and shoulders above other weapons in terms of power rating, so not only can you deal more damage in the field while using them, but they’ll also boost the base power of your Javelin.
How to Get Masterwork Weapons in Anthem
But how can you get your hands on some Masterwork weapons in Anthem? For starters, there are a zero weapon-specific quests in BioWare’s game. Unlike in Destiny 2, where there was recently a quest line that would guarantee you the Exotic Thunderlord weapon, no quests in Anthem revolve around you obtaining any Masterwork weapons.
However, players have reported a 100% drop rate of Masterwork weapons in one activity: Strongholds played on Grandmaster difficulty. This insane difficulty level is only unlocked once you’ve hit pilot level 30 in Anthem, and effectively reached the endgame activities of the game.
When you go to launch yourself into any activity in Anthem, you can select a Stronghold mission, such as the Tyrant Mine, from the overview screen of the world. After you’ve selected a Stronghold, you’ll see an option just beneath to select the difficulty level of the mission. You need to put this up to Grandmaster, which makes the entire mission incredibly difficulty for even the most powerful Anthem Javelins.
But if you can take down the final boss of a Stronghold, while playing on Grandmaster difficulty, you’re guaranteed to obtain a Masterwork weapon as a reward. So far, this is the only certain method we’ve found of obtaining Masterwork-tier weapons in Anthem, as aside from this, you’ll merely have to hope to obtain them through random drops after you complete other missions in the game.
How to Unlock Strongholds in Anthem
At launch, there are three Strongholds in Anthem: Tyrant Mine, The Temple of Scar, and a third, unknown Stronghold. You unlock Strongholds by simply playing through the chronological story missions of Anthem, involving Owen, Haluk, Faye, and other key characters for the game.
We’d estimate that you should unlock the first Stronghold, Tyrant Mine, after around 4 hours of playing Anthem. However, the additional two Strongholds for BioWare's game won't unlock until you've completed the main campaign for the game, which we'd estimate can take around 15 hours in total to beat.
List of Masterwork Weapons in Anthem
Previously, we highlighted the Thunderbolt of Yvenia Masterwork marksman rifle, the bonus ability that it had of dealing electrical damage to enemies. Just below, we’ll round up all the individual Masterwork weapons that we’ve seen so far while playing Anthem, highlighting the one main ability that each one boasts.
- Artinia’s Gambit - Light machine gun, when reloading detonates a combo explosion in the immediate area.
- Avenging Herald - Heavy pistol, hovering increases weapon damage by 200%.
- Balm of Gavinicus - Grenade launcher, detonate mines manually, hitting two enemies restores 25% armor.
- Close Encounter - Heavy pistol, dashing increases weapon damage by 75% for 10 seconds.
- Elemental Rage - Assault rifle, hitting elite enemies increases all elemental damage by 5% for 10 seconds, stack to 20.
- Cycle of Pain - Light machine gun, weak point hits increase weapon rate of fire by 10% for 10 seconds, stack to 10.
- Death from Above - Marksman’s rifle, while hovering, increases weak point damage by 65%.
- Fist of Stral - Autocannon, hitting enemies increases weapon damage by 10% for 5 seconds, stacks to 10.
- Divine Vengeance - Assault rifle, four shot burst, every third weak point hit causes large fire explosions.
- Endless Siege - Autocannon, base magazine size is increased by 100% and base damage is increased by 100%.
- Glorious Result - Heavy pistol, hitting two enemy weak points quickly increases all weapon damage by 150% for 5 seconds.
- Insult and Injury - Grenade launcher, grenades bounce before exploding, defeating an enemy clears harmful status effects and boost effect resistance by 75% for 10 seconds.
- Papa Pump - Shotgun, reloading increases force and delivers bonus damage of 150% for 5 seconds, stacks to 2.
- Ralner’s Blaze - Assault rifle, ignites the target while on a five hit streak.
- Radiant Fortress - Shotgun, hitting 8 shots in a single burst recharges shields by 35%.
- Renewed Courage - Light machine gun, last shot reduces recoil by 50% for the next 20 seconds, stack to 2.
- Retaliation of Garretus - Machine pistol, when Javelin health declines, weapon damage increases by 125% for 10 seconds.
- Rolling Carnage - Shotgun, dashing increases weapon damage by 50% for 20 seconds, stacks to 3.
- Sentinel’s Vengeance - Grenade launcher, grenades stick to enemies, detonates an area acid effect on a small hit streak.
- Siege Breaker - Sniper rifle, combination assault and sniper rifle, on a three hit streak, shots freeze the target.
- Soothing Tooth - Marksman’s rifle, hitting an enemy reduces weapon recoil.
- The Last Stand - Autocannon, when Javelin health declines, all weapon damage increases by 75% for 10 seconds.
- Thunderbolt of Yvenia - Light machine gun, has a 33% chance to deal large electrical damage.
- Trust of Tarsis - Sniper rifle, ammunition explodes on contact, hitting weak points on enemies under a status effect will set off a combo.
- Unending Battle - Machine pistol, hitting an elite or higher enemy at point-blank range increases weapon and melee damage by 110% for 5 seconds.
- Vassa’s Surprise - Machine pistol, on a melee hit, gain 25% ammo in the magazine.
- Wyvern Blitz - Sniper rifle, hovering while firing increases weak point damage by 40%.