Mass Effect 3 Walkthrough

14 February 2012
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Our Mass Effect 3 walkthrough will guide you through the beginning to ending moments of gameplay with strategy tips for this action-RPG on the Xbox 360, PS3, PC & Wii U.

The Earth is burning. Attacking the planet are a race of terrifying machines called Reapers who came from the Dark Space between galaxies and have now begun destroying the human race that killed their vanguard Sovereign years before. As Commander Shepard, an Alliance Marine, your only hope for saving mankind is to rally all the civilizations of the galaxy together and launch a final mission to take back Earth; before the Reapers use it as a beachhead to destroy all organic life in the known galaxy.

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    Table of Contents

    Index of Mass Effect 3 Guides:

    Mass Effect 3 Walkthrough

    Mass Effect 3 is an Action / Role-Playing Game / Third-Person Shooter hybrid set in a Science Fiction universe. Mass Effect 3 is the third game in the popular Mass Effect series, and is rumored to be the final chapter. In this latest game in the series players continue the adventures of Commander Shepard using character customization to make their male or female Shepard their own. Other features include: the ability to import past decisions from both Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2 into Mass Effect 3 to affect the story’s outcome (although it’s not required as you can manually set it at the start of the game as well and jump right into the story), customization of your weapons, improved mobility and melee combat, many returning characters to join your squad of team mates (if they weren’t killed off in previous imported games), and a better cover system to let you really get into the action.

    Let’s join Commander Shepard in the struggle against the Reapers in the conclusion to the Mass Effect Trilogy.

    It’s possible not everyone will survive. As an ancient alien race, known only as Reapers, has launched an all-out invasion in the Milky Way Galaxy leaving nothing but a trail of destruction in their wake. Earth has been taken, the galaxy is on the verge of total annihilation, and you are the only one who can stop the Reaper threat once and for all. The price of failure is extinction. You are Commander Shepard, a character that you can forge in your own male/female image. You determine how events will play out, which planets to explore, and whom to form alliances with as you unite the races of the galaxy into a force big enough to eliminate the Reapers.

    How you wage this war is completely up to you: go into combat with guns blazing or use cover to plan a more tactical assault. Utilize your squad to full effect (voice-commands support for Microsoft’s Kinect sensor included on the Xbox 360 version) or take a lone wolf approach and be stealthy about your actions. Rain death from a distance or go head-to-head with enemies using devastating melee attacks. Mass Effect 3 will react to each decision you make as you play through a truly unique experience of your own creation. In this epic conclusion of the Mass Effect Trilogy, the fate of the galaxy is in your hands!

    Key Game Features:

    • A Rich, Branching Storyline – Experience a sci-fi epic with multiple endings determined by your choices and actions throughout the game.
    • Massive in Scope – Battle on many worlds across the galaxy as you unite the ultimate force to take back the Earth before it’s too late.
    • Large-scale and Intelligent Enemies – Battle enormous enemies and take on a smarter type of foe that will consistently challenge your best combat tactics and put you on the edge of your seat.
    • Unlock a Customizable Arsenal – Tailor each weapon with devastating upgrades including scopes, grips, barrels and dozens of other unique attachments. Each weapon boasts its own powerful impact and visual flair.
    • Unleash Death from Afar or Go Toe-to-Toe – Customize your soldier and squad to engage the enemy on your terms. A huge variety of weapons, abilities and equipment allow you to combat the enemy in your preferred style of play.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Mass Effect 3: From Ashes story DLC

    Why should I download the From Ashes story DLC before playing Mass Effect 3? And how do I access the mission and squad mate?

    Available from March 6, 2012, From Ashes is downloadable content for Mass Effect 3 that gives you access to:

    • A new extra mission. An adventure on Eden Prime where you unearth lost secrets from the past. — This new mission can be accessed from the galaxy map after you visit the citadel for the first time. You will know you have the content, as you will get an email in your private terminal as a priority request from Eden Prime. The mission is about 35 minutes long.
    • A new bonus squad member. Recruit the Prothean squad member in From Ashes who’s been in stasis for 50,000 long years. — Once you complete the mission, the Prothean will return to the Normandy as a fully usable squad mate.
    • A new Prothean weapon. Wield the Plasma Rifle in battle once you have completed the mission on Eden Prime.
    • An alternate appearance for every squad mate. Note: These alternate appearances are in addition to the ones already advertised in the Collector’s Edition.

    How do I get Mass Effect 3: From Ashes?

    From Ashes comes with the Collector’s Edition of Mass Effect 3 at no extra cost, and can be purchased for $10 via Origin and the Playstation Store, or for 800 Microsoft Points from the Xbox Live Marketplace.

    • If you have the Collectors Edition of Mass Effect 3 (PS3, X360, or PC Boxed Version), there will be a code you can redeem to download the DLC.
    • If you purchased the Digital Deluxe version of Mass Effect 3, Origin will detect this and automatically download the content.
    • You can purchase the DLC through the Playstation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, or through the Origin client.

    How to import your Mass Effect 2 save file to Mass Effect 3?

    This is automatically done at the start of the game via a prompt screen. To import your Commander Shepard into Mass Effect 3, you must have completed the game in your Mass Effect 2 save file (where Shepard survives the ending) in order to import it into Mass Effect 3. — PC gamers need not worry, Origin can import Steam version save files.

    Ideally you’ve played the entire Mass Effect series, since Mass Effect 3 cannot import a save file from Mass Effect 1. Otherwise if no save file is found, Mass Effect 3 will prompt you to select choices from Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 when you create a new game.

    If you’ve saved your Xbox 360 version of the endgame Mass Effect 2 save file in the Cloud, then you cannot import that save directly into Mass Effect 3. Instead you should copy that file back onto your Xbox 360 hard drive where it originated and then try importing again. — A last resort effort might make it possible to not have all your past work be in vain, it’s to reload a non-original save game near the end of Mass Effect 2 and then “re-finish” the game to populate a new endgame save. Unfortunately Electronic Arts have said they cannot guarantee that this will work with certainty.

    How to get extra Readiness Rating & Weapons from iOS Mass Effect games into Mass Effect 3?

    Currently there are two iOS games that support this option. They will be released during the Mass Effect 3 launch week.

    In the Mass Effect 3: Infiltrator: (on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad)

    In the game be sure to gather intel by checking dead enemies to see if they dropped Intel, which can be (traded for credits or) uploaded to boost your Galactic Readiness Rating in Mass Effect 3.
    Mass Effect 3: Infiltrator will also let players to unlock exclusive weapons for use in Mass Effect 3, while it’s unknown what these weapons could be, they are most likely unlocked by finishing the game to the end.

    In the Mass Effect 3 Datapad: (iPad-only)

    The Galaxy At War section allows players to earn Readiness Rating in Mass Effect 3 by playing the fleet appointment game. The player must be signed into the same Origin account on both their iOS device and the system they are playing on (Xbox 360, PS3, PC). An active internet connection is required to access Galaxy At War. (In addition to readiness rating players will also earn credits for completing missions. Credits can be used to purchase upgrades.)

    What are the minimum system requirements for Mass Effect 3 on PC?

    OS – Windows XP SP3 / Vista SP1 / Windows 7
    CPU – 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent AMD CPU
    RAM – 1 GB for Windows XP / 2 GB for Vista or Windows 7
    Disc Drive – 1x speed
    Hard Drive – 2.5 GB of free space
    GPU – 256 MB with Pixel Shader 3.0 support. Supported chipsets: Nvidia 7900 or better; ATI X1800 or better. Please note that Nvidia GeForce 9300, 8500, and 8300 are below minimum system requirements, as are AMD/ATI Radeon HD3200, HD3300, and HD4350.
    Sound – DirectX 9.0c compatible
    DirectX – DirectX 9.0c

    What are the recommended system requirements for Mass Effect 3 on PC?

    OS – Windows XP SP3 / Vista SP1 / Windows 7
    CPU – 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent AMD CPU
    RAM – 2 GB for Windows XP / 4 GB for Vista or Windows 7
    Disc Drive – 1x speed
    Hard Drive – 2.5 GB of free space
    Video – AMD/ATI Radeon HD4850 512 MB or greater / Nvidia GeForce 9800GT 512 MB or greater
    Sound – DirectX 9.0c compatible

    Do you need to have played Mass Effect 1 and 2 to enjoy Mass Effect 3?

    Not at all. Mass Effect 3 works great as a stand alone story for new players not familiar with the franchise, or those that may have missed one of the previous titles. However, those that have played Mass Effect 1 and 2 will find a continuation of the storyline and characters.

    What character classes can I play as?

    All six classes from the full game are included:

    1. Soldier,
    2. Vanguard,
    3. Sentinel,
    4. Engineer,
    5. Infiltrator,
    6. Adept.

    Can I customize my character?

    Yes. Players will be able to create a male or female Shepard (also affectionately called FemShep), customize their appearance, and level up their character’s abilities and powers.

    Can I make my Shepard look like the one I made in Mass Effect 2?

    Yes. You can customize Shepard for Mass Effect 3, and can input the code from your previous game’s customization if desired. During single-player setup, choose Custom Appearance and then Code. You’ll need to enter the code just as it appears in the previous video game.

    When importing a previous Shepard, you’ll be given the option to alter the appearance of Shepard, and you will be able to change class (i.e. Soldier to Adept) as well. Note: Some Mass Effect 2 saves will not be able to import the face-file of your Shepard. You will then need to re-create the appearance when importing the file.

    What are the differences between the “Action, “Role-Playing”, or “Story” select settings?

    Mass Effect 3 gives players the ability to tailor the play experience to their choosing. To that end you get three choices to play the game:

    • Action Experience. Jump right into the action as the iconic Commander Shepard. Combat difficulty is adjustable. Conversations play as cutscenes.
    • Role Playing Experience. The traditional Mass Effect experience. Customize your character and choose dialog responses. Combat difficulty is adjustable.
    • Story Experience. Customize your character. Experience and control the interactive story without difficult combat.

    When will Mass Effect 3 be released in my country?

    * APAC Release on Tue 06 Mar, 00:01 KST for:
    Hong Kong (HK)
    India (IN)
    Korea (KR)
    Singapore (SG)
    Taiwan (TW)
    Thailand (TH)

    * Russian Release on Tue 06 Mar, 12:01 MSK.

    * North American Release on Tue 06 Mar, 00:01 EST/EDT for:
    Brazil (BR)
    Canada (CA)
    Mexico (MX)
    United States (US)

    * Australia Release on Thu 08 Mar, 00:01 EST/EDT.

    * European Release 1 on Thu 08 Mar, 00:01 CET/CEST for:
    Belgium (BE)
    Denmark (DK)
    Finland (FI)
    France (FR)
    Germany (DE)
    Netherlands (NL)
    Norway (NO)
    Spain (ES)
    Sweden (SE)

    * New Zealand Release on Fri 09 Mar, 00:01 NZST/NZDT.

    * Rest of Europe and all other countries Release on Fri 09 Mar, 00:01 GMT/BST including:
    Ireland (IE)
    Italy (IT)
    Poland (PL)
    Portugal (PO)
    South Africa (ZA)
    United Kingdom (GB)
    All other countries unlock with EU2

    Prologue: Earth – Reaper Invasion

    Mass Effect 3 Reapers Attack Earth

    In 2157, humanity discovered it was not alone in the universe.

    Thirty years later, they found a peaceful place among dozens of galactic species. But this idyllic future is overshadowed by a dark past: Reapers, a sentient race of machines responsible for cleansing the galaxy of all organic life every 50,000 years, are about to return. The leaders of the galaxy are paralyzed by indecision, unable to accept the legend of the Reapers as fact. But one soldier has seen the legend come to life.

    And now, the fate of the galaxy depends on him. The Reapers have invaded Earth and Shepard leaves to speak to the Council to help stop the Reaper threat.

    Good to see Ashley Williams will return to your crew in Mass Effect 3.

    As you can tell this Mass Effect 3 walkthrough will be played with a mix between Paragon (good) and Renegade (evil) actions.

    Chapter 1: Mars – Prothean Archives

    The Normandy has been sent to Mars to locate Prothean data, but the Archives are not responding. Investigate the dig site to find the data. You’ll soon be faced with Cerberus forces sent by the Illusive Man.

    Tip: From your Mission Computer, choose Squad to reach the Powers Level-Up Progress menu, where you can exchange collected Points for Upgrades. Be sure to start out by using your Level-Up Points to upgrade Shepard’s abilities (especially strength at first) to the maximum.

    Mass Effect 3 Walkthrough for Part 2 of “Mars”.

    Here the in-game control instructions continue and you need to learn how to perform a Quick-Kill on a Cerberus Trooper.

    Personal notes from S. Esparza about the Prothean discovery reads: We haven’t been able to decipher much — if any — of the language yet, but the visual documentation gives us some idea as to what they were studying. Namely, us. They seemed particularly interested in early humanity’s evolutionary process, judging by the way they organized their files and highlighted specific occasions. It seems a bit fantastic to write this, but everything indicates that they seemed to be trying to chart the curve of humanity’s intellectual progression.

    Mass Effect 3 Walkthrough for Part 3 of “Mars”.

    Research notes from J. Tasmen read: The last location seems to have run dry, but judging from the communications system layout and the backup power supplies equipped by the first Prothean research base we discovered, we think a secondary base may be located deeper underground. We’re going to need permission from the Powers That Be to excavate further, but considering the recent renewal in enthusiasm for the work we’re doing here, I don’t think clearance will be an issue.

    Hint: Choosing the right squad to complement Shepard’s strengths and weaknesses is key. Experiment with squad configurations.

    On the next page we continue the walkthrough with Chapter 2: The Citadel.


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  • About the author

    Ferry Groenendijk By Ferry Groenendijk: He is the founder and editor of Video Games Blogger. He loved gaming from the moment he got a Nintendo with Super Mario Bros. on his 8th birthday. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and at Google+.

    • Sounds like a glitch Hayk. Are you sure you completed the mission successfully? Remember to keep the collective good in mind above one person.

    • Courtney_comfort

      It was a good ending but I would like it better if Shepherd lives. I was surprised how upset I was at the end, it feels like my best friend died.

    • Dennis_perry

      Shep isn’t/didn’t get took over by the reapers, they wanted him to ‘change’ the game. His buddy Miranda installed a ‘chip’ to defend against reaper indoctrination, the illusive man didn’t want shep to be part of his control gig either and Miranda decided that the IM was getting a bit ‘stranger’ during her stint with the normandy, so she knew it were the best laid plan to add control to the controller. She’s not an engineered/advanced evolutionary human..with a few ‘other genes’ tossed in, for nothing ;] Poor ol Shep got some interesting abeit naughty upgrades via the reapers as well, all set in motion by Miranda when the time was designated. She didn’t fully understand why, being mildly indoctrinated herself, but her mind, luckily, was a steel trap and her good ol dad kept her on her toes with handy distractions from the reaper pull, ie. maternity,(she was barren tho), Also, She was Shep’s god mother once removed and other ‘stuff’ :P. Anyway, the story ends with holes in the reality of all in contact with aliens machines made up of toxic by-products of a past so anchient, no one could know the actual dangers of association with that bunch. They in turn have no ‘connection’ with organics, or any other species of beings to date. They are beyond the veil, as we all know, but cannot understand. Shep had to face that in the ending to take advantage of what the reapers really wanted, after a ‘forever’ logic loop, according to our comprehension of it all. We and all other beings, no matter what stripe, were not ever in the equation, only the reapers via the child entity(a reaper symbiot?). None of the choices given Shep in the end, were choices at all, they were decisions by the reaper vs the catalyst, which drafted Sheppard to do what the ‘others’ didn’t/couldn’t have the/any conceptual grasp on. They were/are incapable of organic decision, an alien concept to them, so alien, the only physical communication they could have with Sheppard was to insist their utter supremacy…. Over the terrible massive chunks of time, eventually a realization danced at the “others” collective concience,probably brought on by the geth control attempts. The reapers wanted to be/learn/absorb the human/organic trait of intuition, some thing,total chaos,but based on logic of events, computed, they as a race could never have on their own, as logic dictates, machines can be broken, leaving organics one step ahead in the so called evolutionary chain. So in the end, the reapers chose chaos, to help them understand, as they know, but never faced their own demise. For a race that lives forever, some quick thinking was.. in order. lol

    • mbourgon

      5000 readiness without doing the extra BS?  I’d love to know how, as I have every planet scanned, every quest done, almost every spectre request approved, and I’m at an effective around 3500.

    • Daniel

      “You don’t have to play Galaxy At War multiplayer to get the best single-player endings.” This is BS, I wanna see someone set a guide on how to do so, cuz i really tried, I mean I saved everyone that I could think off and i got 7k something war assets at 50% readiness it was 3.7. In order to US ALL be able to get the perfect ending there should we 10k of war assets in the game, and well I REALLY doubt I missed 3k war assets. Sure I spared some by letting the Dr. get into the Normandy and asking Kaidan (Yes, Kaiden) go back to the ship as well, but I really doubt all that put together you can get 3k war assets from nowhere. And I DID scan the galaxies, I had 2 of them that were empty and I searched in the internet just to see if I was missing something, and no one else got something I didnt.
        Meh, I guess all i wanted was an happy ending with my romance choise and EDI stil alive.


    • You’re correct. BioWare was wrong. I’ve never seen them give out this kind of advice before. I’ve updated the endings section to explain it is needed.

    • You’re right Daniel. Sorry about the confusion, but BioWare gave the wrong info on their official forums. I’ve now corrected it to say you always have to play multiplayer to get the perfect ending.

      Personally I think BioWare didn’t know themselves what the real ending was supposed to be, so maybe in their eyes it was right. I guess we’ll have to wait for that happy ending via the upcoming “Extended Cut” that has the new and improved ending.

    • I have 5595 war assets and 100% galaxy at war…. I didn’t get any special ending after going the destroy route. BioWare is a liar. Waste of my time to do all that multiplayer for NOTHING

    • Excellent guide ! Thanks

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