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Be wary: heavy spoilers abound.

Mass Effect 3

Is X squadmate in ME3?

  • All surviving squadmates make an appearance. Permanent squadmates are: Liara, James Vega, Ashley / Kaidan, Garrus, EDI and Tali. Tali becomes available mid-game, after Priority: The Citadel II is completed, when you meet with the quarians. The meeting doesn't trigger a mission. One more squadmate, Javik, is available through DLC From Ashes.


Is there DLC for Mass Effect 3?


Romance options in ME3?

  • Tali and Garrus are only romanceable if romanced previously in ME2. Virmire Survivor (Ashley / Kaidan) and Liara are available regardless. Existing romance with Thane, Miranda, Jack and Kelly can be continued when you meet them on the Citadel. Jacob puts you away. Two new homosexual LIs are available, Samantha Traynor for female and Steve Cortez for male. Kaidan is now also available for both genders.


When does Mass Effect 3 take place?

  • The events of Mass Effect 3 begin in September 2186. This is roughly 6 months after Arrival and ME2 events. According to Mac Walters, Shepard turned Normandy SR-2 over to the Alliance approximately at the same time.


How to get the Virmire Survivor back into my squad?

  • This is only possible after Priority: The Citadel II. In the final confrontation, you need the VS to side with you in order for them to survive. If you are on good terms with the VS (have been visiting them in the hospital with gifts, repeatedly refuted the accusations of working with Cerberus), they will side with you automatically. Otherwise, you have to pass a speech check (Charm / Intimidate) to convince them to side with you. If you don't, Shepard will shoot the VS down in order to get to Udina. If the VS lives through these events, you get a conversation on the elevator when returning to the Normandy, with a chance to recruit them back. Once again, if you're on good terms with the VS, they will automatically offer to join you. If you aren't, you need to pass a speech check (take a Charm dialogue option) to get them back.


Where do I get quest items for Citadel NPCs?

  • Some items are obtainable through planet scanning, some can be found on missions, and some can be bought in specific Citadel stores. If you miss an item on a mission, it will become available at Spectre Requisitions terminal for 1000 credits.


What do I keep when I import a ME3 character?

  • You keep everything you've obtained. This includes credits, weapons, mods, armor, medigel upgrades, and toy items. Only armor customization choices and Shadow Broker research don't carry over. You can also raise weapons to level X in the new game+.


Save import

Do DLC weapons / armor from ME2 carry over to ME3?

  • None of the weapons and armor carry over. Instead, they need to be found on missions and / or purchased in stores. On the plus side, ME3 has everything that existed for ME2. Weapons and armor which were only available through DLC or promotional codes, as well as Collectors' Ship weapons, are stock items in ME3, and can be found by anyone.


What exactly gets imported to ME3 from ME1/2? Do the DLC results get imported?

  • Most actions from ME1 or ME2 are carried over to ME3. Not all of them have significant consequences. Decisions made in DLCs are carried over, too. Some NPCs in ME3 will have different dialogues with you, or will only be available, if you've completed certain DLCs.


Will I be able to import my post-suicide mission progress into ME3?

  • Yes. Every save file after the suicide mission is separately eligible for import.


What happens if squadmate X was killed in the Suicide Mission?

  • That character will not be present in ME3, which means that this character won't be a war asset or a squadmate, and certain key plot events will play out differently.


How does X decision in previous games affect my ME3 game?

  • For most characters and events, this is covered on their respective pages at Mass Effect Wiki.


How do my skills transfer from ME2 to ME3?

  • Your character progression in ME3 starts up right where you left off in ME2. You keep your level, and skill points are allocated in accordance with your ME2 setup. It's advisable to reset your skill points in the ME2 save you're importing. If you choose to change your class upon import, you keep your level and skill points are not allocated automatically. Bonus powers don't carry over, and you'll need to earn them over the course of ME3.


How do I earn bonus powers?

  • Bonus powers are earned through dialogues with your squadmates, which happen at different points in the game. Talk to them often, check every squadmate after each mission or game phase. Each squadmate potentially offers two bonus powers. Virmire Survivors provide different sets of bonus powers.


Weapons, mods and armor

How to I level up weapons past level V?

Weapons can only be leveled past level V in a "new game+". Start a new game and import an ME3 character you've beaten the game with.


Where do I find X weapon?

  • Read that weapon's article on Mass Effect Wiki. It will contain the location of the weapon.


Where do I find X armor?

  • Armor pieces are found on the missions, some can be bought in Citadel stores. Full-body armor suits are available in Citadel stores.


What happens if I don't pick up certain item when on a mission?

  • Most of the items you miss become available in one of the stores at the Citadel, and at the shop terminal on the Normandy. Some armor pieces don't appear at a store if missed, and still need to be picked up. In the new game+, weapons you already have won't appear at the store, which means you need to physically find them to level them up to level X.


How to save...

Miranda

  • You need to talk to her every time she requests to see you (three times total), and pick "I trust you" response when she asks to provide her with military resources.


Grunt

  • If Grunt stays behind to cover Shepard's retreat, he'll only survive if his loyalty was acquired in ME2.


Virmire Survivor (Kaidan / Ashley)

  • Be on good terms with them, or take a Charm / Intimidate dialogue option in the confrontation.


Tali

  • Tali will only die if you fail to save quarians from eradication. To keep her, establish peace between the factions, or choose the quarians over the geth.


Mordin

  • Mordin can only be saved under the worst possible scenario for the krogan: Wrex died on Virmire, Maelon's data was destroyed in ME2 which leads to Eve's death, and the cure is being successfully sabotaged.


Thane

  • You can't.


Anderson

  • You can't.


Legion

  • You can't.


Kelly Chambers

  • Talk her into changing her identity before the Citadel gets assailed, and forgive her for sending reports to the Illusive Man if this dialogue comes up.


Major Kirrahe

  • You need Thane to die in his place.


Conrad Verner

  • Get Jenna out of Chora's Den in ME1.


War assets, Galactic Readiness and the ending

How is Effective Military Score (EMS) calculated?

  • It's your Galactic Readiness times the war asset score. For example, if you have 5000 worth of war assets and 50% Galactic Readiness, your EMS is 2500.


Do I need to play multiplayer to get the best ending?

  • Not anymore. The Extended Cut DLC had lowered EMS requirements for the outcomes that were previously unattainable without multiplayer or tweaking, making all outcomes available through single player alone. Furthermore, the Leviathan DLC can provide a significant bonus of points (620 in total), and the Omega DLC can net you 405 extra points, making it even easier to get the maximum required EMS.


How much EMS is needed for the best possible ending?

  • Technically, you only need 2800 for the "best" ending, as far as Earth and the Galaxy is concerned. If you choose the "Destruction" ending, and if you manage to amass 3100 EMS points, you will get a few additional cadres of Shepard breathing after the ending. If Anderson is shot by TIM, this number may be higher. Without the Extended Cut DLC, these cadres require 4000 and 5000 EMS respectively, which is unattainable without bonus DLC, multiplayer, or tweaking.


How much war asset score / EMS can be obtained by playing single player only?

  • It depends on your choices in all three games. A chain of average "Paragon" completionist playthroughs will typically result in roughly 7000 total points by the end of ME3, which means roughly 3500 EMS with 50% Galactic Readiness.


Is there a way to increase Galactic Readiness without playing multiplayer?

  • Three ways. First is to play an iOS game Mass Effect: Infiltrator. Second is to use Mass Effect: Datapad iOS app. Finally, you can use a save editor or tinker your Coalesced.bin file to increase value of war assets, which lets you disregard Galactic Readiness altogether.


Is there a way to get both quarian and geth fleets as war assets?


Multiplayer

Is X weapon available in ME3 single / multi player?

  • Most weapons available in single player can be obtained in multiplayer as well. The weapons you get in single player don't carry over to your multiplayer profile.


What does the "Promote" button do?

  • It resets this character's level, increases your N7 rating by 10, and permanently adds 75 war asset points in single player under "Spec Ops" tab. It doesn't reset this character's appearance options, nor does it affect your weapons and mods.

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