Mass Effect 2 Assignments - every side quest & how to trigger them

Mass Effect 2 is a far more streamlined game than its predecessor, but it still has aspirations of being a traditional, full-fat RPG - and that means there’s a bunch of side quests and optional missions which take the form of Assignments , just as they did in the previous game.

In ME2, assignments are generally a lot more simple and fall into two basic categories. First, there are missions that involve talking - to resolve a situation, to buy an item, etcetera. Second, there are missions where you’ll find an item during a story mission (such as a recruitment or loyalty quest) and must return it to the correct NPC. Finally, there are combat-focused side missions where you get into a scrap and fight your way through.

The entire game has been streamlined, meaning this guide isn’t quite as complicated as our ME1 assignments list - however, there’s still assignments here that can have consequences in Mass Effect 3 if undertaken - and the rewards are valuable in your main story quest, too - with credits and resources gained valuable for getting the best weapons & ship upgrades to survive the suicide mission .

This page lists every assignment in Mass Effect 2 , broken up into a few simple sections, based on where you are in the game and when the quests unlock:

  • Act 1 Assignments
  • DLC Side Quests & when to play them
  • Act 2 Assignments


Mass Effect 2 Assignments - Act 1 side quests

Here’s all of the assignments and side quests that can be triggered in ME2 in the first ‘act’ of the game - so after Freedom’s Progress and getting the Normandy, but before the next compulsory story mission on Horizon. First, the assignments on planets and major locations:

  • Normandy: FBA Couplings - talk to Ken and Gabby, the Normandy’s engineers, down on the engineering deck. They’ll ask for these. You can buy them cheaply from Kenn’s Salvage on Omega. Can result in unique ambient dialogue in ME3 if completed.
  • Normandy: Serrice Ice Brandy - talk to Chakwas on the Normandy Crew Quarters deck, in the med bay. You can buy the item you need in the various bars across the world; the Citadel’s Dark Star Lounge, Afterlife on Omega, and from shops on Tuchanka or Illium. You only need to buy it once.
  • Normandy: Special Ingredients - talk to Mess Sergeant Gardner on the Normandy Crew Quarters deck. Buy the item from Zakera Cafe on the Citadel.
  • Citadel: Crime in Progress - interrupt a conversation between a Quarian, Volus, & Human on the Citadel Wards, Level 26. Find the chit at Saronis Applications store nearby.
  • Citadel: Krogan Sushi - overhear two Krogan arguing on the Citadel Wards Level 27. Talk to the Turian groundskeeper inside the Dark Star Lounge club nearby. Either tell the Krogan the truth, or buy a fish from the Souvenirs store to give to them to lie.
  • Omega: Archangel: Datapad Recovered - pick up a datapad during the Archangel recruitment mission. Hand it over to Aria in Afterlife on Omega.
  • Omega: Batarian Bartender - downstairs in Afterlife, order a drink from the Batarian Bartender. Choose how to deal with him.
  • Omega: Struggling Quarian - speak to Kenn the Quarian at Kenn’s Salvage shop. Either pay his way, or help him another way.
  • Omega: The Patriarch - after completing one or both recruitment missions on Omega, talk to Grizz the Turian bodyguard of Aria, near her private booth. Find the Patriarch downstairs. The neutral route gets less rewards; go for Paragon or Renegade.
  • Omega: The Professor : Missing Assistant - automatically mentioned when you first meet Mordin during his recruitment mission. Daniel can be rescued in a side room in the second half of that mission.

These missions unlock at the same time, but at N7 missions, take place on random worlds typically discovered through Planet Scanning:

  • N7: Eclipse Smuggling Depot - either scan the planet Daratar in the Faryar system of the Hourglass Nebula, or get the quest off Aria after completing the Datapad & Patriarch quests on Omega. The credits you get at the end of the mission varies depending on how many crates survive.
  • N7: Lost Operative - scan the planet of Lorek in the Fathar system of the Omega Nebula, or get a message off Cerberus HQ after recruiting Archangel.
  • N7: MSV Estevanico - scan the planet of Zenthu, which is in the Ploitari system of the Hourglass Nebula.
  • N7: Abandoned Research Station then takes place on Jarrahe Station in the Eagle Nebula’s Strabo system.
  • N7: Hahne-Kedar Facility takes you to the planet Capek in the Haskins system of the Titan Nebula.


Mass Effect 2 DLC Side Quests & Assignments

There are DLC Missions that are technically side quests, but are significant. Unlike other side missions, we include these in our suggested ME2 mission order - so we suggest you consult that page if you’re struggling to decide when to do them. The other DLC missions not listed here - Kasumi & Zaeed's quests, as well as Lair of the Shadow Broker and Arrival - are considered main story quests. Again, to know when to do them, see the order guide.

  • Normandy Crash Site - you can do this any time after getting the Normandy. There’s no combat, but some decent rewards - so consider taking it on early.
  • Project Firewalker - this consists of a string of 5 missions; Geth Activity/Incursion, Prothean Ruin, Rosalie Lost, Artifact Collection, and Recover Research Data. You can do these whenever you want, and they’re completely safe to do in the early-game, with no regular combat.
  • Overlord - this DLC consists of 4 stages; Investigate Project Overlord, Atlas Station, Prometheus Station, and Vulcan Station. We suggest you save this string of missions for the second half of the game. 


Mass Effect 2 Assignments - Act 2 & 3 side quests

After a thrilling visit to the planet of Horizon where you meet an old friend and get a far better idea of the threats you’re facing, a bunch more major planets and systems open up in ME2 - bringing with them a wide range of additional side quests. 

First, there’s the quests that take place on the major story planets you can now visit, plus a few extra quests on previously visited worlds:

  • Citadel: Found Forged ID / Citadel: False Positives - this quest can have two names, depending on how you acquire it. Either find the Forged ID as loot during Garrus’ loyalty mission , or overhear chatter between two Asari on the Citadel later in the game. You’ll need to talk to Kalara Tomi and decide what to do, either giving her the ID (if you have it), or going to C-Sec Customs to resolve it verbally. You have more options if you get reinstated as a Spectre. 
  • Omega: Packages for Ish - after Horizon, a Salarian named Ish will appear near the entrance to Omega. He and his companion want you to pick up packages from the Citadel (from near Saronis Applications) and Illium (in Eternity) and deliver them to him.
  • Illium: A Troublemaker / Illium: Conrad Verner - only available if you completed the Citadel: The Fan assignment in ME1, and if you charmed or intimidated Conrad. If so, he’s back on Illium - an Asari outside Eternity gives you the assignment. Depending on the outcome, Conrad can show up in ME3.
  • Illium: Blue Rose of Illium - in the area with the shops, Charr the Krogan is reading out his poetry. Talk to the Asari merchant to start the quest. This has consequences in ME3.
  • Illium: Gianna Parasini - only appears when you import an ME1 save. She appears regardless of if you completed her side mission there or not. Meet Gianna near the entrance to Liara’s office. Drink the beer to get the quest.
  • Illium: Indentured Service - if Conrad Verner is present, you must complete his quest first. Then, there’ll be a Quarian and Asari in Eternity. Decide the Quarian’s fate.
  • Illium: Medical Scans - if they survived, this will be a character from ME1. Regardless, though, you’ll be approached near Illium’s tracking office.
  • Illium: The Assassin: Salarian Family Data - during Thane’s recruitment mission, pick up this datapad to start this mission, then return it to the Salarian in one of Ilium’s hallways. 
  • Illium: The Justicar: Smuggling Evidence - find this datapad during Samara’s recruitment mission. After the fighting is over, you’re returned to the port for a debrief. During this time, before the mission ends, hand the datapad to either Pitne For or Detective Anaya. Anaya gives less of a cash reward, but is the paragon option.
  • Illium: The Justicar: Stolen Goods Found - find the note during Samara’s recruitment mission and choose to upload it. That starts this mission. Back in the Illium hub, you’ll be approached about this.
  • Illium: The Prodigal: Lost Locket Found - when completing Miranda’s loyalty mission , find this locket as loot. Return it to an Asari back on the Illium hub.
  • Tuchanka: Combustion Manifold - talk to the Krogan mechanic, or find the manifold from an upside down vehicle during the mission. 
  • Tuchanka: Killing Pyjaks - talk to Ratch, the shopkeeper, to be challenged to this little tower defense mini-game. 
  • Tuchanka: Old Blood: Missing Scout - before going on Mordin’s loyalty mission , talk to the Chief Scout in the Krogan camp hub area. Rescue the Scout during the loyalty mission.

Beyond this, there are also a new series of N7 missions that unlock once you’ve completed the story mission on Horizon. Again, they’re mostly found through planet scanning:

  • N7: Abandoned Mine - first, you’ll need to buy the Star Charts from Baria Frontiers on Illium. Next, go to the Minos Wasteland cluster’s Fortis system and scan the planet Aequitas. 
  • N7: Anomalous Weather Detected - you’ll need the relevant Star Chat from Baria Frontiers on Illium. Then scan the planet Canalus in the Dirada system of the Pylos Nebula.
  • After completing that, an email will kick off N7: MSV Strontium Mule.
  • Another email then sends you to N7: Blue Suns Base
  • Finally, EDI will point you to N7: Javelin Missiles launched, though you can also trigger this early by just scanning its location (the moon Franklin in the Skepsis system of the Sigurd’s Cradle cluster).
  • This directly leads to the next quest, N7: Blood Pack Communications Relay. You can trigger that mission early by scanning its location - Tarith, in the Lusran system of the Crescent Nebula.
  • N7: Captured Mining Facility - scan the planet Helyme, which is in the Zelene system of the Crescent Nebula cluster.
  • N7: Endangered Research Station - this mission either unlocks after Horizon & completing Project Firewalker: Rosalie Lost, or after the Collector Ship story mission. Scan Taitus, a planet in the Talava system of the Caleston Rift cluster.
  • N7: Imminent Ship Crash - you’ll need another star chart from Baria Frontiers on Illium. The Broken Arrow is a ship found in the Nariph system of the Pylos Nebula, which is unlocked by a chart.
  • N7: Mining the Canyon - this mission either unlocks after Horizon & completing Project Firewalker: Rosalie Lost, or after the Collector Ship story mission. Scan Sinmara, a planet in the Solevig system of the Caleston Rift cluster.
  • N7: Quarian Crash Site - you’ll need a star chart from Baria Frontiers again. Once you have it, scan Gei Hinnom, which is in the Sheol system of the Hades Nexus cluster.

Mass Effect Wiki


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  • 1.1.1 Shepard's Background
  • 1.1.2 Squad Member Assignments
  • 1.2.1 General
  • 1.2.2 Second Visit
  • 1.2.3 Detainee Visit
  • 1.3.1 Feros
  • 1.3.2 Noveria
  • 1.3.3 Virmire
  • 1.4.1 Galaxy Collection Assignments
  • 1.4.2 Uncharted Space Assignments
  • 1.4.3 Morality-dependent Assignments
  • 1.5.1 Bring Down the Sky
  • 1.5.2 Pinnacle Station
  • 2.1 Normandy
  • 2.3 Citadel
  • 2.6 Tuchanka
  • 2.7.1 Project Firewalker
  • 2.7.2 Project Overlord
  • 2.7.3 Arrival

Assignments are the side missions of Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 . These have little to no bearing to the overarching narrative, but completing them may further understanding of the series' underlying workings.

There is a large variety of assignments to complete; this page is a list of them. Click on a specific assignment in the list to read its detailed walkthrough. For a list of missions broken up by cluster and system, see the Mass Effect System Guide .

Some assignments are listed more than once; this is intentional and is intended to make them simpler to find by listing them in all relevant contexts as they appear in the Journal .

For an alphabetical list of assignments, see Category:Assignments ; for locations, see Category:Assignment Locations .

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Review

25 May 2021

Mass Effect: Andromeda Review

20 March 2017

Mass Effect [ ]

Please Note: The assignment names as given here are intended to match those in the game; sometimes the game itself is inconsistent, in which case all of the variations are listed here ( e.g. Asari Diplomacy , Missing Person ).

Character-Specific Assignments [ ]

Shepard's background [ ].

These assignments relate to Shepard's pre-service history.

  • Citadel: Old, Unhappy, Far-Off Things (only available if Shepard has the Spacer background)
  • Citadel: Old Friends (only available if Shepard has the Earthborn background)
  • Citadel: I Remember Me (only available if Shepard has the Colonist background)

Squad Member Assignments [ ]

These assignments relate to the histories of your fellow crewmates.

  • Garrus: Find Dr. Saleon → Garrus: Dr. Saleon is Dead
  • Tali and the Geth → Tali's pilgrimage
  • Wrex: Family Armor

Citadel Assignments [ ]

General [ ].

These assignments are available during your first and all future visits to the Citadel.

  • Citadel: Asari Consort
  • Citadel: Doctor Michel → Citadel: Doctor Michel is Safe
  • Citadel: Homecoming
  • Citadel: Jahleed's Fears → Citadel: Jahleed's Secret → Citadel: Jahleed and Chorban | Citadel: Jahleed Returns Materials | Citadel: Jahleed Arrested | Citadel: Jahleed Set Free
  • Citadel: Presidium Prophet
  • Citadel: Reporter's Request
  • Citadel: Rita's Sister → Citadel: Rita's Sister and Chellick → Citadel: Rita's Sister is Safe
  • Citadel: Scan the Keepers
  • Citadel: Schells the Gambler → Citadel: Schells' Scanner Given Away | Citadel: Schells has his Data
  • Citadel: Signal Tracking
  • Citadel: The Fan
  • Citadel: Xeltan's Complaint → Citadel: Xeltan Convinced
  • Missing Person → UNC: Privateers

Second Visit [ ]

These assignments are available after completing one of the major missions (Noveria, Feros or rescuing Liara).

  • Citadel: Family Matter
  • Citadel: Planting a Bug
  • Citadel: Snap Inspection
  • Citadel: The Fourth Estate

Detainee Visit [ ]

These assignments are only available during your detention at the Citadel.

  • Citadel: Our Own Worst Enemy
  • Citadel: Negotiator's Request

Charted Planet Assignments [ ]

These assignments are specific to their relative planet.

  • Feros: Data Recovery
  • Feros: Geth in the Tunnels
  • Feros: Power Cells
  • Feros: Varren Meat
  • Feros: Water Restoration

Noveria [ ]

  • Noveria: Espionage
  • Noveria: Smuggling

Virmire [ ]

  • Virmire: Assisting Kirrahe's Team → Virmire: Kirrahe's team | Virmire: Captain Kirrahe is Dead
  • Virmire: Wrex and the Genophage → Virmire: Wrex is Convinced

Galaxy-Wide Assignments [ ]

These assignments span the entirety of Citadel-controlled space. Assignments prefixed with the UNC indicator represent assignments that take place on uncharted planets.

Galaxy Collection Assignments [ ]

These assignments involve traveling across Citadel space and finding numerous hidden collectibles.

  • UNC: Prothean Data Discs → UNC: Collection Complete
  • UNC: Turian Insignias → UNC: Collection Complete
  • UNC: Valuable Minerals → UNC: Survey is Complete
  • UNC: Locate Signs of Battle → UNC: Entire Collection is Found
  • UNC: Asari Writings → UNC: Collection Complete

Uncharted Space Assignments [ ]

Morality-dependent assignments [ ].

  • UNC: Besieged Base
  • UNC: The Negotiation

Downloadable Content [ ]

Bring down the sky [ ].

  • X57: Bring Down the Sky
  • X57: Avoid the Blasting Caps
  • X57: Missing Engineers

Pinnacle Station [ ]

  • Pinnacle Station: Combat Missions
  • Pinnacle Station: Convoy
  • Pinnacle Station: Vidinos

Note: Pinnacle Station content is not available in Legendary Edition.

Mass Effect 2 [ ]

Note: The assignment names as listed here are intended to match those in the game; sometimes the game itself is inconsistent, in which case all of the variations are listed here ( e.g. Citadel: Found Forged ID , Citadel: False Positives ).

Normandy [ ]

  • Normandy: FBA Couplings
  • Normandy: Serrice Ice Brandy
  • Normandy: Special Ingredients
  • Omega: Archangel: Datapad Recovered
  • Omega: Batarian Bartender
  • Omega: Packages for Ish
  • Omega: Struggling Quarian
  • Omega: The Patriarch
  • Omega: The Professor: Missing Assistant

Citadel [ ]

  • Citadel: Crime in Progress
  • Citadel: False Positives
  • Citadel: Found Forged ID → Citadel: False Positives
  • Citadel: Krogan Sushi
  • Illium: A Troublemaker  →  Illium: Conrad Verner
  • Illium: Blue Rose of Illium
  • Illium: Conrad Verner
  • Illium: Gianna Parasini
  • Illium: Indentured Service
  • Illium: Medical Scans
  • Illium: The Assassin: Salarian Family Data
  • Illium: The Justicar: Smuggling Evidence
  • Illium: The Justicar: Stolen Goods Found
  • Illium: The Prodigal: Lost Locket Found

Tuchanka [ ]

  • Tuchanka: Combustion Manifold
  • Tuchanka: Killing Pyjaks
  • Tuchanka: Old Blood: Missing Scout

Downloadable content [ ]

  • Normandy Crash Site

Project Firewalker [ ]

  • Project Firewalker: Geth Activity (Labelled Project Firewalker: Geth Incursion on the Galaxy Map )
  • Project Firewalker: Prothean Site (Labelled Project Firewalker: Prothean Ruin on the Galaxy Map )
  • Project Firewalker: Rosalie Lost
  • Project Firewalker: Survey Sites Located (Labelled Project Firewalker: Artifact Collection on the Galaxy Map )
  • Project Firewalker: Volcano Station (Labelled Project Firewalker: Recover Research Data on the Galaxy Map )

Project Overlord [ ]

  • Overlord (Labelled Investigate Project Overlord on the Galaxy Map )
  • Overlord: Atlas Station
  • Overlord: Prometheus Station
  • Overlord: Vulcan Station

Arrival [ ]

  • Arrival (Labelled Rescue Dr. Kenson on the Galaxy Map )
  • 2 Romance (Mass Effect: Andromeda)

Mass Effect 2: 10 Best Assignments For Learning Lore About The Universe

These are the best Mass Effect 2 assignments to tackle if you want to learn more about the lore.

Mass Effect 2 takes the story of the first Mass Effect title and turns it on its head. Instead of being a sanctioned branch of the galactic government, Shepard is now a member of an independent organization working outside the law. They've also been dead for a few years before Cerberus has managed to revive them — so it's no surprise if they need an update on galactic happenings.

RELATED: Mass Effect: Best Assignments For Learning Lore About The Universe

There are plenty of assignments in Mass Effect 2 that don't relate to the main story but allow players to become reacquainted with their favorite science-fiction dystopia. These are the ones players should prioritize if that strikes their fancy.

10 N7: Anomalous Weather Detected

In N7: Anomalous Weather Detected, Shepard scans Canalus, a planet in the Dirada System of the Pylos Nebula, to find that there is significant Geth activity on its surface.

RELATED: Things Only Pro Players Know You Can Do In Mass Effect Legendary Edition

They haven't gone away since Saren's demise and seem to still be working for the Reapers, though their goals are unclear at best. A giant device they've set up on the planet is causing erratic weather, so Shepard must fight through the Geth in heavy fog in an attempt to deactivate it and return Canalus back to normal.

9 Omega: Struggling Quarian

On Omega, a seedy space station where criminals, gangs, mercenaries, and more gather, Shepard meets a young man named Kenn and gets the opportunity to learn more about Quarians who are on their pilgrimage. In the first game, Tali describes her pilgrimage to Shepard but it's limited to optional dialogue. In Omega: Struggling Quarian, Kenn is attempting to leave the station but is struggling to deal with a powerful local merchant.

8 Illium: Medical Scans

In the mission Illium: Medical Scans, Shepard must deal with the ramifications of the previous game. Fans who played through the first Mass Effect will remember a mission on Feros in which a colony was being mind-controlled by a Thorian. Now, the colonists are struggling to retain their rights. A corporation, Baria Frontiers, has been performing invasive medical tests on them — something they inadvertently agreed to when trying to get treatment after the incident. The mind boggles at how future corporations might try to take advantage of citizens who go through extraterrestrial events like this.

7 Citadel: Crime In Progress

This assignment allows players to get a glimpse of how Quarians are discriminated against by other races. It's hard not to draw parallels between this and real-world social dynamics.

RELATED: Mass Effect Original VS. Legendary Editions: Character Differences

In Citadel: Crime In Progress, Shepard discovers a Volus and a Quarian arguing in the marketplace. When they approach the pair, they find a C-Sec officer trying to mediate — the Volus swears that the Quarian has stolen his credit chip, leaving Shepard to puzzle out the case.

6 Tuchanka: Old Blood: Missing Scout

Mordin Solus is a new recruit to Shepard's team during Mass Effect 2. As a Salarian and part of his government's Special Tasks Group (STG), he was involved in research on the genophage. During Mordin's loyalty mission, one Krogan is found in a holding cell. When Shepard tells him it is safe to leave, he insists that he can't since he might be able to help them find a cure for the genophage. Seeing how desperately Krogan want to cure their disease and what they'll personally give up for even a shot in the dark can make for a truly heartbreaking encounter.

5 N7: Abandoned Research Station

When Shepard investigates the remains of a wrecked merchant freighter, it leads them to a space station in the Strabo system of the Eagle Nebula. Upon investigating it further, they discover that the virtual intelligence (VI) went rogue, killing the humans before they could deactivate it. While this is definitely a fun parallel to 2001: A Space Odyssey, it also displays the risks of working with this advanced machinery. The Quarians, who were driven to near-extinction by their own advanced technology, the Geth, should be a cautionary tale for the rest of the universe.

4 Illium: Indentured Service

Mass Effect lore may mostly paint Batarians — and other notoriously "evil" races — as the slave traders of the galaxy, but Illium: Indentured Service shows how the practice is not limited to this world's seedy underbelly.

RELATED: Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Things Missing From The Character Creator

Asari, a generally well-respected species, can be slave brokers too, as demonstrated in this assignment. A Quarian with an Asari slave owner asks Shepard to help her by getting a corporation called Synthetic Insights to buy her service contract.

3 Omega: The Professor: Missing Assistant

When Shepard is recruiting Mordin Solus for their team, he'll note that his assistant, Daniel, has disappeared — naturally, they'll be asked to look for him. Though Omega is framed in a negative light by the games, it is also home to many civilians who simply have no better place to go. David is working with Solus to stop an outbreak of plague on board, and Shepard must convince the skeptical Batarians of this.

In the assignment Arrival, Shepard is sent by Admiral Hackett to investigate a missing undercover operative, Dr. Amanda Kenson. He says that she claims to have evidence of the upcoming Reaper attack, but was kidnapped by Batarian locals. When the player reaches her, it becomes clear that she may have found the evidence but was subsequently indoctrinated by the Reaper relics. Shepard must fight against her and attempt to save the local Batarians from destruction . It is another harrowing case of the indoctrination that Shepard has seen throughout the games and proves that it can happen to even the strongest minds the galaxy has to offer.

1 N7: Blue Suns Base

N7: Blue Suns Base is one of many examples where Shepard must take on the galaxy's varied mercenary groups. These quests introduce the groups to the player and demonstrate what their individual goals are. Now an employee of Cerberus and not a government official, Shepard must interact much more often with less-than-reputable organizations. In this particular assignment, the mercenary group known as the "the Blue Suns" has been using a distress beacon to lure ships in before killing and robbing them.

NEXT: Mass Effect Races Ranked By How Dangerous They Are

Key Choices and Consequences

This page of IGN's Mass Effect Legendary Edition wiki guide covers all the key choices you can make in all three games, including what their effects and consequences are across the trilogy.

One of the hallmarks of the Mass Effect Trilogy is its ability to let you make choices for Shepard during conversations, story moments and gameplay, with effects ranging for very minor to far-reaching across the galaxy. These pages document the most notable choices and consequences across all three games.

If you want to go to the Choices page for each game (where we also list the Moderate Choices), click one of the links below.

  • Mass Effect 1 Choices and Consequences
  • Mass Effect 2 Choices and Consequences
  • Mass Effect 3 Choices and Consequences

Major Mass Effect Trilogy Choices and Consequences

Below, we'll list all of the major choices and consequences you make across the Mass Effect Trilogy, arranged roughly chronologically. The choices for each decision are listed first, followed by the consequences of each within a Spoiler Box.

To jump to a specific section of this page, click one of the links below.

Major Mass Effect 1 Choices and Consequences

Major mass effect 2 choices and consequences, major mass effect 3 choices and consequences, recruiting garrus.

ME1 Key Choice - Recruit Garrus.png

It's entirely possible to complete the "Citadel: Expose Saren" Mission without meeting Garrus Vakarian at the Med Clinic (however this requires meeting and recruiting Urdnot Wrex). If that's the case, he'll be waiting for you outside the central C-Sec elevator after you've exposed Saren and been made a Spectre. From here you can decide if you want to recruit him:

Recruit Garrus

Ignore garrus, recruiting wrex.

ME1 Key Choice - Recruit Wrex.png

It's entirely possible to complete the "Citadel: Expose Saren" Mission without meeting Urdnot Wrex at C-Sec (however this requires meeting and recruiting Garrus Vakarian). If that's the case, he'll be waiting for you outside the central C-Sec elevator after you've exposed Saren and been made a Spectre. From here you can decide if you want to recruit him:

Recruit Wrex

Ignore wrex, find liara t'soni.

ME1 Key Choice - Find Liara T'Soni.png

One of your early Missions is to search for Liara T'Soni in the Artemis Tau cluster. Her reaction to you can differ greatly depending on whether you complete more than one Mission World before going after her.

Find Liara After One or Fewer Mission Worlds

Find liara after feros and noveria, find liara after virmire, feros: fate of the colony.

ME1 Key Choice - Fate of Feros Colony.png

During this important Mission, you'll have the opportunity to complete side-quests, use Charm / Intimidate to convince Fai Dan, and use special gas grenades to help ensure the survival of the colony. The fate of the colony is then decided by a survival check based on whether you did these actions.

Save the Colony

Shut down the colony, noveria: the rachni queen.

ME1 Key Choice - Fate of the Rachni Queen.png

At the very end of the Noveria Mission line, you'll have an encounter with the Rachni Queen, and must choose whether to spare her and let her escape, or kill her with acid.

Spare the Rachni Queen

Kill the rachni queen, x57: bring down the sky.

ME1 Key Choice - Bring Down the Sky.png

The DLC Mission Bring Down the Sky has an important decision at the end, where you must choose between saving the hostages and let Balak go, or sacrifice them so you can attack Balak.

Save the Hostages

Attack balak, virmire: wrex and the genophage.

ME1 Key Choice - Wrex and the Genophage.png

Early into the Mission on Virmire, you'll learn that Saren has found a cure for the Genophage in this lab, and Wrex is furious that it'll be destroyed. You'll have to confront him at the beach to find a resolution.

To convince Wrex to stand down, you'll need to have 8 Charm points or have completed the "Wrex: Family Armor" Assignment in order to open up the requisite options to save him. Otherwise, you can shoot him yourself, order Ashley to shoot him if you told her to "Stay Alert" earlier, or can't find a resolution that will result in Ashley killing him herself.

Virmire: Kaidan and Ashley

ME1 Key Choice - Kaidan and Ashley.png

Towards the end of Virmire, you'll be forced to choose to rescue either Kaidan or Ashley, who will be at the bomb site and the AA tower (who is where depends on who you assigned to Kirrahe's team before the assault).


Saren conversation on virmire.

ME1 Key Choice - Saren Conversation on Virmire.png

At the end of the Virmire Mission, you'll get into an extended conversation with Saren over his allyship with Sovereign. Towards the end you'll have an Investigate option on the left side: this marks when the important final choice with Saren will appear.

If you pick "It's already happened!" or "You are indoctrinated", you'll open up Persuasion options that will have an effect later in the game.

Final Saren Conversation

ME1 Key Choice - Final Saren Conversation.png

In your last conversation with Saren, you'll have the option to convince him to resist the Reaper implants. This requires a full 12 points into either your Charm or Intimidate stat, but if you picked the Charm / Intimidate option back on Virmire, you'll only need 9 points. If you can't, you'll have to pick "This is pointless".

Charm / Intimidate

"this is pointless", the destiny ascension.

ME1 Key Choice - The Destiny Ascension.png

During this Mission, after encountering Saren you'll have to choose whether or not to order the Alliance Fleet to save the Destiny Ascension, or ignore it to focus on Sovereign.

Save the Destiny Ascension

Focus on sovereign, the human councilor.

ME1 Key Choice - The Human Councilor.png

Through your actions in the final Mission, you'll be able to choose the Human Councilor who will join/lead the Citadel Council, between Udina and Anderson.

Vido Escapes Zaeed Choice

ME2 Key Choice - Vido Escapes Zaeed Choice.png

During Zaeed: The Price of Revenge, you'll be forced to either help some factory workers escape the exploding facility, or ignore them and go after Vido. If you chose the former Paragon option, Vido will escape and Zaeed will get himself trapped under some debris. There are three possible outcomes here.

"You brought this on yourself"

"i'm leaving you here".

This option is only available after Shepard has survived the Suicide Mission with Zaeed and at least two other Squad Mates.

Any other option

Normandy upgrades.

ME2 Key Choice - Normandy Updates.png

One of the earliest ways you can affect the way the Suicide Mission plays out is to purchase three specific upgrades for the Normandy to bolster its defenses and firepower. Not purchasing one will guarantee a profoundly negative effect during a Suicide Mission scene that tests that attribute of the Normandy.

Silaris Armor Tech

The Silaris Armor Tech is unlocked by asking Jacob about Normandy upgrades, and costs 15,000 Palladium.

Thanix Cannon

The Thanix Cannon is acquired by talking to Garrus about Normandy upgrades, and costs 15,000 Platinum.

Cyclonic Shield Tech

The Cyclonic Shield tech can be unlocked by talking to Tali about Normandy upgrades, and costs 15,000 Platinum.

Awakening the Tank-Bred Krogan

ME2 Key Choice - Awakening the Tank-Bred Krogan.png

After you complete the Mission "Dossier: The Warlord", you'll wind up back on the Normandy with Dr. Okeer's tank-bred Krogan in lieu of the doctor. At this point, you have the choice to open the tank or keep it sealed.

Open the Tank

Keep it sealed, miranda: the prodigal.

ME2 Key Choice - The Prodigal V2.png

In the second half of Mass Effect 2, you can acquire Miranda's Loyalty Mission, The Prodigal. Completing or Ignoring this Mission will have a direct effect on Mass Effect 3.

Completed The Prodigal

Ignored the prodigal, jack vs miranda.

ME2 Key Choice - Jack VS Miranda.png

After you complete Miranda: The Prodigal and Jack: Subject Zero (their Loyalty Missions), when you next return to the Normandy you'll have to settle a big argument between the two. Successfully calming both of them down requires passing a very high Persuasion Check.

"Back off, Miranda" / "Too back, Jack"

Maelon's data.

ME2 Key Choice - Maelon's Data.png

At the end of Mordin's Loyalty Mission Old Blood, you'll be faced with the choice of either destroying Maelon's research data, or holding on to it. This will have a direct effect on a character in Mass Effect 3.

Spare the Data

Destroy the data, samara: the ardat-yakshi.

ME2 Key Choice - Samara, The Ardat-Yakshi.png

Samara's Loyalty Mission is one of the few where it's possible to fail it, and is the only one where failure can occur at two different points. These are when you enter the club to attract Morinth's interest, and when talking to Morinth herself at the club table. If you fail to complete four club activities, or choose the wrong questions and responses at the club table, Morinth will leave.

Morinth Leaves

Morinth doesn't leave, samara vs morinth.

ME2 Key Choice - Samara VS Morinth.png

At the end of Samara's Loyalty Mission, Samara: The Ardat-Yakshi, you meet up with Morinth in her apartment, and Morinth will seduce you. If you can pass the extremely high Persuasion check and avoid "Can't... think...", you'll resist her, and will now be able to choose between Samara or Morinth in the final confrontation, rather than siding with Samara automatically.

Kill Morinth

Kill samara, thane: sins of the father.

ME2 Key Choice - Thane, Sins of the Father.png

Thane's Loyalty Mission is yet another that can be completed with him being Disloyal to you. Towards the end of the Mission you'll be in some upper catwalks, and must periodically inform Thane of the position of a Turian politician named Talid. You'll have a limited amount of time to do so.

Keep Track of Talid

Lose track of talid, tali: treason.

ME2 Key Choice - Tali, Treason.png

Tali's Loyalty Mission is one that you can complete but have Tali come out Disloyal to you anyway. It all depends on what you pick at the end of Tali's trial, and what you choose won't just affect Tali's Loyalty, but Mass Effect 3 as well.

Charm / Intimidate / Rally the Crowd

"we have no evidence", "yes. here is the evidence", fate of the geth sniper.

ME2 Key Choice - Fate of the Geth Sniper.png

After you complete the Reaper IFF mission at the Derelict Reaper, you'll have escaped with the shell of a Geth Sniper who shows familiarity with Shepard. Once you're back on the Normandy, you can go to the AI Core to decide whether activate the Geth to talk with it first, or sell it to Cerberus.

Activate the Geth Sniper

Sell the geth sniper, tali vs legion.

ME2 Key Choice - Tali VS Legion.png

After you complete both the Tali:Treason and Legion: A House Divided Loyalty Missions, when you next board the Normandy you'll find them in a big argument. As with Jack and Miranda, you'll need to pass a very high Persuasion check so you can pick a Charm / Intimidate option that settles both parties without making them Disloyal.

"Back off, Tali" / "Legion, stop transmitting"

Fate of the crew.

ME2 Key Choice - Fate of the Crew.png

After you complete the Reaper IFF Mission on the derelict Reaper, where you pick up Legion, the Collectors eventually will show up and steal the Normandy's crew (this happens after you complete four non-DLC Missions and/or Assignments, or run out of of them, whichever happens first).

Once the crew is taken, the amount of Missions and Assignments you complete before starting the Suicide Mission directly impacts the fate of the Normandy's crew.

Delay of 1-3 Missions and/or Assignments

Delay of 4 or more missions and/or assignments, fate of the collector base.

ME2 Key Choice - Fate of the Collector Base.png

The very last decision you'll make at the end of Mass Effect 2's storyline will be to decide what to do with the Collector Base. You can choose to either destroy it, or save it. This may have a direct effect on Mass Effect 3.

Destroy the Collector Base

Save the collector base, suicide mission choices.

Tartarus Debris Field slice6.png

The Suicide Mission is easily the most important Mission in Mass Effect 2: the way you prepare for it and the Loyalties of your team will have a huge effect on how the mission will go. On top of that, specific choices and calls you make during the Mission can also major effects on the Squad and Mass Effect 3, sometimes regardless of how well you prepared beforehand.

  • For a full breakdown on what effects your decisions will have, visit the How the Suicide Mission Works page of the Mass Effect 2 guide.
  • To see how specific Squad Mate deaths will affect Mass Effect 3, visit the Suicide Mission Deaths Consequences section of Mass Effect 2's Choices and Consequences page.

Virmire Survivor on Mars

ME3 Key Choice - Virmire Survivor on Mars.png

While on Mars, the first full Mission of the game, you'll be accompanied by your Virmire Survivor, who'll be either Kaidan or Ashley. Your choices here will have an effect on what they think of you later in the game, which will be very important.

Paragon Choices

Renegade choices, illusive man conversations.

ME3 Key Choice - Illusive Man Conversations.png

Starting with Priority: Mars, you'll have four conversations with The Illusive Man about his intentions and the state of the Galaxy. Which choices you have in the first three will have a very major effect on how the fourth one will play out. It all depends on if you can pick every Charm / Intimidate option in these conversations, INCLUDING the ones hidden under Investigate options.

Used all Charm / Intimidate Options

Did not use all charm / intimidate options, war assets and ems.

ME3 Key Choice - War Assets and EMS.png

After Priority: Mars, Shepard will be able to amass War Assets by completing Missions, Assignments, and helping the citizens of the Milky Way. These increase your Effective Military Strength, or EMS, and this number will have a profound effect on the game's finale.

Less than 1,600 EMS

1,600 - 2,099 ems, 2,100 - 2,599 ems, 2,600 - 3,099 ems, 3,100 ems or higher, grissom academy.

ME3 Key Choice - Grissom Academy.png

After Priority: Palaven, you'll be given the Grissom Academy: Emergency Evacuation Mission. While other early Missions will also expire if you don't complete them before Priority: The Citadel 2, this particular Mission has stronger consequences if you let that happen.

Mission Completed

Mission ignored, priority: tuchanka.

ME3 Key Choice - Tuchanka.png

In the finale of the Krogan storyline, you'll learn before the final Mission that the Shroud was in fact sabotaged by the Dalatrass to ensure that any Genophage cure wouldn't work. While in a vehicle convoy to the Shoud, you'll have the opportunity to bring this up to the STG Doctor (either Maelon or Wiks) and the Krogan Leaders with you in the vehicle.

This particular choice will have a direct bearing on how the end of the Mission will go, and determines the fate of the Krogan. The effects of NOT warning the Krogan leaders specifically will depend on if Wrex and/or Eve are dead.

Warn Them of Sabotage

Don't warn them - wrex and/or eve are alive, don't warn them - wrex and eve are both dead, conversations with miranda.

ME3 Key Choice - Conversations With Miranda.png

Throughout Mass Effect 3 you'll have three conversations with Miranda on the Citadel, provided she survived Mass Effect 2. While the first conversation is inconsequential, the second and third have requirements that you MUST meet in order to have her live through her storyline.

  • The first is with your second conversation with her after Priority: The Citadel 2, and requires you to have either read Kai Leng's dossier at your Private Terminal beforehand so you can warn her about him, OR kept her Loyal in Mass Effect 2.
  • The second is in your third conversation, where you must give her access to Alliance resources.
  • If you Romanced Miranda, a third requirement is to not break up with her in the third conversation.

Requirements Met

Requirements not met, fate of the virmire survivor.

ME3 Key Choice - Fate of the Virmire Survivor.png

At the end of the Cerberus coup during Priority: The Citadel 2, your choices regarding the Virmire Surivor will come into play. Each effort you made to build or erode their trust will have contributed to a points total, and the number of points will determine how this confrontation will go.

In particular, having a very high or very low amount of points will result in an automatic outcome. If you're somewhere in the middle, meanwhile, you'll have to pass a Persuasion Check to sway them. Here's how these can go:

High Amount of Points / Pass the Persuasion Check

Low amount of points / fail the persuasion check, kallini: ardat-yakshi monastery.

ME3 Key Choice - Ardat-Yakshi Monastery.png

After Priority: Citadel II you'll receive this Mission, which ends with you escaping the destroyed Ardat-Yakshi Monastery with Falere, Samara's daughter. If Samara survived Mass Effect 2, she'll be present as well, which can alter how this scene transpires.

Samara is Alive

Samara is dead, rannoch: geth fighter squadrons.

ME3 Key Choice - Geth Fighter Squadrons.png

After the Geth Dreadnought Mission, you'll pick up this Mission after the debriefing. Whether you complete this before Priority: Rannoch or not will have a profound effect on your options at the end of that Mission.

Priority: Rannoch

ME3 Key Choice - Rannoch.png

At the end of Priority: Rannoch, you'll have to try and conclude the war between the Geth and Quarians to complete the Mission. There are three possible outcomes, however one of them is locked behind a high Reputation check and specific Quarian / Geth-related decisions in Mass Effect 2 and 3.

Allow the Upload

Let the geth die, persuasion: rally the fleet / warn the fleet, henry lawson interrupt.

ME3 Key Choice - Henry Lawson Interrupt.png

At the end of Priority: Horizon, you'll have a climactic standoff with Henry Lawson, who is holding his daughter Oriana captive. There is a very specific situation where you can get Miranda killed even if you met every requirement in the Conversations with Miranda.

The situation described here is when you pick "I just want Oriana", which you'll be forced to choose if you don't have enough Reputation to clear the Persuasion Check. When you pick this option, you'll get a Renegade Interrupt as Oriana struggles to get free.

Pull the Interrupt

Ignore the interrupt, crucible choice.

ME3 Key Choice - Crucible Choice (Alternate).png

At the very end of the game, you'll make the last decision of the Mass Effect Trilogy: how to deal with the Reapers. You can have up to three options here, and the availability and effects of each will be determined by your Effective Military Strength, or EMS. The exact details for how to access these and affect their variants are detailed above in the "War Assets and EMS" section.

Up Next: Romance Options and Guides

Top guide sections.

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  • Complete Mass Effect Trilogy Walkthrough

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