The Mass Effect 3 wiki last edited by bobafettjm on 04/20/14 10:22AM View full history

Overview

London during the Fall of Earth, the beginning of the Reaper invasion.

Mass Effect 3 is a third-person science-fiction action RPG developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on March 6, 2012 (with a Wii U version released on November 18, 2012).

The concluding chapter of the original Mass Effect trilogy, players regain control of Commander Shepard six months after the events of Mass Effect 2, as he (or she) tries to rally the civilizations of the galaxy to stop the invasion of a hyper-advanced machine race (the Reapers) and end their ancient cycle of destruction.

The game includes more refined combat (including new cover, movement, and melee mechanics) and new RPG elements (including advanced weapon modification items and branching of character powers), as well as online co-operative multiplayer (where four players battle through waves of enemies in 15 to 30-minute missions to level up persistent classes, buy new Reinforcement Packs, and assist in the results of the single-player campaign). The Xbox 360 version (along with including two avatar awards) also includes support for the Kinect, in which players can use the peripheral's built-in microphone to both give tactical orders to Shepard's squad and choose dialogue options by paraphrasing them.

Players can import completed game files from Mass Effect 2 (provided that Shepard survived the suicide mission), carrying with them Shepard's appearance, experience level, and many decisions made in that game (both major and minor, including decisions made in the original Mass Effect if the character was previously imported from that game to Mass Effect 2).

Gameplay

TODO: Basic Gameplay info here and differences from Mass Effect 2 here (please).

Armor (Shepard)

Shepard's armor is fully-customizable.

Each customizable armor sets and headpieces can be customized (only in bulk) from the Armor Customization screen by color (including both overtone and undertone), material (the shininess of the armor), color pattern (including an additional color), and light color. With the exception of full-body armor sets, Shepard's armor choice can add up to a total of 40% (without any head piece equipped) or 50% in bonuses to designated attributes.

Head Pieces

Shepard can choose whether or not to wear a helmet, visor, or other headpiece in his missions for a small bonus to a specific attribute. Some missions, however, require Shepard to wear a full-head helmet (to protect him from the vacuum of space or from toxic areas), often defaulting to the N7 Breather Helmet. Optionally, in the Options menu, players can toggle Shepard's headpiece so it does not show up during dialogue. Some pieces can be found throughout missions, but all can be found within Citadel stores.

  • N7 Helmet - Initially available. Adds +10% to health.
  • N7 Breather Helmet - Initially available. Adds +10% to health.
  • Archon Visor - Adds +10% to power recharge speed.
  • Capacitor Helmet - Adds +10% to shield regeneration speed.
  • Death Mask - Adds +10% to melee damage.
  • Delumcore Overlay - Adds +10% to weapon damage and +5% to headshot damage.
  • Kestrel Helmet - Adds +10% to ammo capacity.
  • Kuwashii Visor - Adds +10% to headshot damage and +5% to weapon damage.
  • Mnemonic Visor - Adds +5% to power recharge speed and +5% to power damage.
  • Recon Hood - Adds +10% to weapon damage.
  • Securitel Helmet - Adds +5% to health and +5% to shields.
  • Sentry Interface - Adds +10% to shields.
  • Umbra Visor - Adds +10% to power damage.

Customizable Armor Sets

Each customizable armor set come with a custom pieces for chest, shoulders, arms, and legs. Some components can be found in Citadel stores while other pieces must be found throughout missions.

  • N7 - All components initialliy available. Each component adds +10% to health.
  • Ariake Technologies - Each component adds +10% to melee damage.
  • Armax Arsenal - Each component adds +10% to ammo capacity.
  • Hahne-Kedar - Each component adds +10% to weapon damage.
  • Kassa Fabrication - Each component adds +10% to shield regeneration speed.
  • Rosenkov Materials - Each component adds +10% to power recharge speed.
  • Serrice Council - Each component adds +10% power damage.

Full-Body Armor Sets

Special non-customizable (in terms of both armor components and color) full-body armor that can be purchased in the Citadel for 50,000 Credits or the Normandy Procurement terminal (once the Citadel shops have been unlocked) for 55,000 Credits. All armor sets also replace the Head part and adds a total of +50-60% bonuses to specific attributes.

  • Blood Dragon - Futuristic knight armor for Earth's Urban Combat Championship (and previous cross-promotion for Dragon Age: Origins). Purchasable from Kanala Exports in the Citadel Presidium Commons. Adds +30% to power damage, +20% to shield capacity, and +10% to power recharge speed.

  • Cerberus - Special shock trooper armor for the Cerberus group. Purchasable from Elkoss Combine Arsenal Supplies in the Citadel Presidium Commons. Adds +20% to weapon damage, +20% to health, +10% to ammo capacity, and +10% to shield capacity.

  • Collector - Organic armor made by Cerberus made from salvaged Collector technology. Purchasable from Nos Astra Sporting Goods in the Citadel Presidium Commons. Adds +20% to shield regeneration speed, +20% to shield capacity, and +20% to health.

  • Inferno - Special red Cerberus armor with a dedicated VI to manage biotic amp and omni-tool power. Purchasable from Kassa Fabrication in the Citadel Presidium Commons. Adds +30% to power recharge speed and +30% to power damage.

  • Terminus Assault - Black high-performance armor with stylized red lights manufactured in the Terminus Systems. Purchasable from Batarian State Arms in the Citadel Holding Area. Adds +30% to shield capacity, +15% to melee damage, and +15% to ammo capacity.

The following armor sets cannot be bought in shops and must be unlocked through special criteria:

  • N7 Defender - Bulky black N7 armor (with N7 Helmet). Unlocked in the N7 Warfare Gear by pre-ordering Mass Effect 3 from certain retailers. Adds +20% to ammo capacity, +10% to weapon damage, +10% to health, and +10% to shield capacity.

  • Reckoner Knight - Blue knight armor for Earth's Urban Combat Championship and cross-promotion for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Unlocked by linking to an Origin account that played the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning demo. Adds +20% to melee damage, +10% to weapon damage, +10% to health, and +10% to shield capacity.
  • Cerberus Ajax Armor - An armor set that is unlocked by purchasing the Alternate Appearances 1 DLC. Adds +25% to ammo capacity, +25% to shield capacity, +10% to weapon damage, +10% to power damage, and +10% to shield regeneration speed.
  • Cerberus Nightmare Armor - An armor set that is unlocked by purchasing the Citadel DLC and achieving at least 10,000 points in the Armax Arsenal Arena. Adds +20% to ammo capacity, +20% to headshot damage, +20% to weapon damage, +10% to shield regeneration speed, and +10% to shield capacity.
  • Cerberus Shade Armor - An armor set that is unlocked by purchasing the Citadel DLC and achieving at least 10,000 points in the Armax Arsenal Arena. Adds +20% to shield capacity, +20% to shield regeneration speed, +10% to melee damage, +10% to ammo capacity, +10% to weapon damage, and +10% to power damage.
  • Cerberus Spirit Armor - An armor set that is unlocked by purchasing the Citadel DLC and achieving at least 10,000 points in the Armax Arsenal Arena. Adds +30% to power recharge speed, +30% to power damage, +10% to shield regeneration speed, and +10% to shield capacity.

Classes (Shepard)

New players to the game can choose from six different classes for Commander Shepard, each focusing on a different set of abilities for use in combat situations. These abilities are split into three categories:

  • Combat - Focused on weapon efficiency and physical fitness. Combat users primarily have the ability to use different ammo types for their weapons.

  • Biotic - Focused on special abilities using the character's bio-amp implants. Biotic users primarily have the ability to manipulate dark energy fields, which can cause direct damage and disarray to enemies.

  • Tech - Focused on special abilities using the character's omni-tool. Tech users primarily have the ability to throw elemental attacks at enemies.

Unlike the previous games in the franchise, class proficiencies do not restrict Shepard to any kind of weapon or armor. However, different classes have different weight capacity bonuses (high-Combat classes can carry heavier weapons with less burden on the cooldown timers of their active powers).

Soldier

Pure combat specialists who, through intense weapons training, can focus directly on their targets for lethal accuracy. They can also use various ammo types to cut through different defenses and can throw devastating frag grenades.

Passive Talent (Combat Mastery) - Grants Shepard bonuses for reputation, weapon damage, and weight capacity, as well as optional bonuses for power damage, power duration, squadmate weapon damage, and headshot damage.

Active Powers (Combat, One-Use):

  • Adrenaline Rush
  • Concussive Shot (Unlocked at Level 3)
  • Frag Grenade (Unlocked at Level 6)

Active Powers (Combat, Ammo Type):

  • Incendiary Ammo
  • Disruptor Ammo (Unlocked at Level 3)
  • Cryo Ammo (Unlocked at Level 6)

Infiltrator

Tech-savvy combat specialists with a stealthy mix of combat and technical expertise, including their exclusive ability to cloak themselves from both sight and radar detection. They can also throw sticky grenades while cloaked and are masterful snipers (as time slows down for a brief moment while looking through a scope of a Sniper Rifle).

Passive Talent (Operational Mastery) - Grants Shepard bonuses for reputation, weapon damage, weight capacity, and Sniper Rifle scope slowdown time, as well as optional bonuses for power damage, power duration, squadmate weapon damage, squadmate power damage, squadmate power force, damage with Sniper Rifles, and headshot damage.

Active Powers (Combat):

  • Disruptor Ammo
  • Cryo Ammo (Unlocked at Level 3)
  • Sticky Grenade (Unlocked at Level 3)

Active Powers (Tech):

  • Tactical Cloak
  • Incinerate (Unlocked at Level 6)
  • Sabotage (Unlocked at Level 6)

Vanguard

High-risk, high-reward combat specialists focused on close-range biotic skirmishes. Their Biotic Charges close the distance quickly while Nova transfers their biotic barrier into a close-ranged shockwave explosion.

Passive Talent (Assault Mastery) - Grants Shepard bonuses for reputation, weapon damage, power damage, and weight capacity, as well as optional bonuses for power force, squadmate power damage, squadmate weapon damage, and damage with Shotguns.

Active Powers (Combat):

  • Incendiary Ammo
  • Cryo Ammo (Unlocked at Level 3)

Active Powers (Biotic):

  • Biotic Charge
  • Shockwave (Unlocked at Level 3)
  • Pull (Unlocked at Level 6)
  • Nova (Unlocked at Level 6)

Sentinel

Specialists in both biotic and tech abilities who controls the battlefield for their squads. They have access to both Tech Armor, which gives them extra damage protection (which they can detonate to damage nearby enemies), and Lift Grenades, which makes groups of enemies float helplessly in the air.

Passive Talent (Offensive Mastery) - Grants Shepard bonuses for reputation, weapon damage, power damage, and weight capacity, as well as optional bonuses for power force, power duration, squadmate power damage, squadmate power force, and squadmate weapon damage. Optionally, you can give Shepard a 15% chance that one of every two power uses cause no cooldown.

Active Powers (Biotic):

  • Throw
  • Warp (Unlocked at Level 3)
  • Lift Grenade (Unlocked at Level 6)

Active Powers (Tech):

  • Tech Armor
  • Overload (Unlocked at Level 3)
  • Cryo Blast (Unlocked at Level 6)

Adept

Pure biotic specialists who are best at defeating enemies without firing a single shot. Along with biotic powers that throw people off their feet (Throw and Pull), Adepts can launch a mass effect field known as Singularity, which leaves enemies briefly helpless in orbit. They also have access to biotic grenade clusters, which split up into three (or five, depending on the mastery) grenades capable of sending enemies flying.

Passive Talent (Biotic Mastery) - Grants Shepard bonuses for power recharge speed, power duration, weapon damage, weight capacity, and power damage, as well as optional bonuses for reputation, squadmate power force, squadmate power damage, and power recharge speed quickly after detonating biotic combos.

Active Powers (Biotic):

  • Warp
  • Singularity
  • Throw (Unlocked at Level 3)
  • Pull (Unlocked at Level 3)
  • Shockwave (Unlocked at Level 6)
  • Cluster Grenade (Unlocked at Level 6)

Engineer

Pure technical specialists who are most effective at disabling or incapacitating enemy units. They can deploy both large, moving Combat Drones and small, stationery Sentry Turrets, both of which distract the enemy while harassing them with an array of attacks.

Passive Talent (Tech Mastery) - Grants Shepard bonuses for reputation, power damage, and weight capacity, as well as optional bonuses for power duration, squadmate power force, squadmate power damage, and the shields and damage of both Combat Drones and Sentry Turrets.

Active Powers (Tech):

  • Incinerate
  • Combat Drone
  • Overload (Unlocked at Level 3)
  • Sabotage (Unlocked at Level 3)
  • Cryo Blast (Unlocked at Level 6)
  • Sentry Turret (Unlocked at Level 6)

Along with the six active powers and one passive talent, Shepard can also upgrade his/her Fitness talent, which grants him/her bonuses to health, shield, and melee damage. Optionally, with certain high-level ranks, he/she can be more effective for a short period of time after killing an enemy with heavy melee (including bonuses to melee damage and/or power damage).

All classes also have access to First-Aid, which is a non-upgradable active power (with limited supply that can only be restored after the mission is complete or encountering medical kits) that restores the player's health guage while reviving fallen squadmates.

By conversing with their squadmates out of combat, players can also unlock bonus active powers (known as Bonus Powers, which consist of certain squadmates' active powers). Each squadmate carries two active powers, and Shepard can only carry one Bonus Power. (He/she can switch out powers, at a price, in the medical station on the Normandy).

Squad Roster

The base game includes eight AI companions that can join Shepard (two at a time) in all of his/her combat missions. Not all members can be chosen from in one save file, as some events (the mission on Virmire during the events of the original Mass Effect and the suicide mission during the events of Mass Effect 2) affects who lives and dies before the game begins. The fate of certain characters can also change mid-game.

During the prologue mission, Admiral David Anderson is Shepard's sole squad member.

During the Omega DLC, Aria T'Loak and Nyreen are Shepard's squad members.

James

James Vega

Member of the Systems Alliance Army, James Vega is an experienced human soldier, who attempted to protect civilians while stationed on a colony during an attack by Collectors. He later joins Commander Shepard after escorting him/her to an Alliance defense committee meeting (which began right before they were attacked by the invading Reapers). Despite his combat experience, he is uninformed with galactic politics and unfamiliar with the galaxy's seedy underbelly.

Weapons: Assault Rifles, Shotguns

Passive Talent (Arms Master) - Grants James bonuses for health, shield, and weapon damage, as well as optional bonuses for power damage, melee damage for Fortification, and squadmate health/shields.

Active Powers:

  • Incendiary Ammo
  • Frag Grenade
  • Carnage (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)
  • Fortification (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)

Kaidan

Kaidan Alenko

Commander of the Systems Alliance Army's 1st Special Operations Biotic Division, Major Kaidan Alenko is a human sentinel who previously served under Commander Shepard (as staff lieutenant) during the events of the first game. Although he is still cautious about Shepard's previous involvement with Cerberus, he can be persuaded to use his combat biotics in Shepard's missions. He is also a potential romance option for Shepard (either male or female).

(Kaiden is only available if he survived the mission on Virmire during the events of the original Mass Effect)

Weapons: Assault Rifles, Heavy Pistols

Passive Talent (Alliance Officer) - Grants Kaidan bonuses for health, shield, and power damage, as well as optional bonuses for weapon damage, squadmate tech/biotic damage, and squadmate shield recharge.

Active Powers:

  • Overload
  • Cryo Blast
  • Barrier (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)
  • Reave (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)

Ashley

Ashley Williams

Lieutenant Commander Ashley Williams is a veteran human soldier of the Systems Alliance Army who previously served under Commander Shepard (as gunnery chief) during the events of the first game. Although she is still cautious about Shepard's previous involvement with Cerberus, she can be persuaded to join Shepard's squad. She is also a potential romance option for Shepard (male only).

(Ashley is only available if she survived the mission on Virmire during the events of the original Mass Effect)

Weapons: Sniper Rifles, Assault Rifles

Passive Talent (Alliance Officer) - Grants Ashley bonuses for health, shield, and weapon damage, as well as optional bonuses for power damage, squadmate weapon damage, and damage with sniper rifles and assault rifles.

Active Powers:

  • Disruptive Ammo
  • Concussive Shot
  • Inferno Grenade (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)
  • Marksman (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)

Liara

Liara T'Soni

A young asari scientist and archeologist of Prothean ruins, Liara T'Soni previously joined Commander Shepard during the events of the first game (after being rescued by Shepard in some Prothean ruins), only to later become an information broker and later, by force, the replacement Shadow Broker. While using her mysterious Shadow Broker resources to aid Shepard out of combat, she can also use her pure biotics to aid Shepard in combat. She is also a potential romance option for Shepard (either male or female).

Weapons: Submachine Guns, Heavy Pistols

Passive Talent (Pure Biotic) - Grants Liara bonuses for health, shield, and power recharge speed, as well as optional bonuses for weapon damage, power force, power duration, recharge speed for Singularity, and squadmate power recharge speed.

Active Powers:

  • Singularity
  • Warp
  • Statis (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)
  • Warp Ammo (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)

Garrus

Garrus Vakarian

Formerly with Citadel Security Service's Investigation Division, Garrus Vakarian is a battle-hardened turian vigilante with a proficiency of rifles and an impatience for justice. After joining Commander Shepard's hunt for Saren Arterius, disrupted mercenary groups in Omega (with the identity "Archangel"), and surviving the suicide mission against the Collectors, Garrus became an expert in defense against the Reapers on the turian homeworld of Palaven. Now, with Palaven under seige, Garrus joins Shepard's elite squad once more. He is also a potential romance option for Shepard (female only), but only if the player imports a save file in which she previously romanced him.

(Garrus is only available if he survived the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2)

Weapons: Sniper Rifles, Assault Rifles

Passive Talent (Turian Rebel) - Grants Garrus bonuses for health, shield, weapon damage, and power damage, as well as optional bonuses for specific weapon damage and squadmate power damage.

Active Powers:

  • Concussive Shot
  • Overload
  • Proximity Mine (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)
  • Armor-Piercing Ammo (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)

EDI

EDI

EDI, short for Enhanced Defense Intelligence, is the artificial intelligence system of the Normandy SR-2. While created by Cerberus, EDI trusts the crew and successfully defects from Cerberus. During Commander Shepard's mission on Mars at the beginning of the game, he recovers a disabled Cerberus synthetic assassin, Eva Coré, for which EDI (during data extraction) seizes control of the body. While still being able to control the Normandy, EDI can use the body to aid Shepard in combat. While Shepard cannot romance her, she can be motivated to have a potential romance with the Normandy's pilot, Jeff "Joker" Moreau.

Weapons: Submachine Guns, Heavy Pistols

Passive Talent (Unshackled AI) - Grants EDI bonuses for health, shield, and power damage, as well as optional bonuses for weapon damage, tech power damage, power duration, shield charge delay, and squadmate tech power damage.

Active Powers:

  • Overload
  • Incinerate
  • Decoy (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)
  • Defense Matrix (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)

Tali

Tali'Zorah vas Neema

A quarian machinist and a member of the Migrant Fleet's Admiralty Board (if she was not previously exiled from the Fleet in Mass Effect 2), Tali'Zorah vas Neema is an expert on the geth, thanks to her experiences with Commander Shepard during both the hunt for Saren Arterius and the suicide mission against the Collectors. As Shepard tries to solve the dispute between the quarians and geth, Tali can bring her technical experience to his/her squad. She is also a potential romance option for Shepard (male only), but only if the player imports a save file in which he previously romanced her.

(Tali is only available if she survived the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2)

Weapons: Shotguns, Heavy Pistols

Passive Talent (Quarian Machinist) - Grants Tali bonuses for health, shield, and power recharge speed, as well as optional bonuses for weapon damage, tech power damage, power duration, and squadmate tech power recharge speed.

Active Powers:

  • Combat Drone
  • Sabotage
  • Defense Drone (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)
  • Energy Drain (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)

Javik

Javik

Javik is a prothean commander who remained in statis since the last Reaper invasion 50,000 years prior. The last of his kind, he can be awakened by Commander Shepard on Eden Prime, in which he can join Shepard in combat.

(Javik is only available if the player has downloaded the From Ashes DLC)

Weapons: Assault Rifles, Heavy Pistols

Passive Talent (Vengeful Ancient) - Grants Javik bonuses for health, shield, and power damage, as well as optional bonuses for weapon damage, squadmate shield recharge speed, and squadmate power effectiveness.

Active Powers:

  • Pull
  • Lift Grenade
  • Slam (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)
  • Dark Channel (unlockable as Bonus Power for Shepard)

Active Powers

Combat Powers

  • Adrenaline Rush - Temporarily increases both weapon and melee damage. In single-player, this also slows down time, allowing players to line up the perfect headshot. Special upgrades can increase the player's defense while the power is in effect or allow the player to use another active power while Adrenaline Rush is in effect.

  • Ballistic Blades (Multiplayer only) - Fires a salvo of blades from the user's omni-tool, inflicting massive bleed damage at close range. Special upgrades can increase the attack's spread or force the blades to explode after three seconds (removing the bleeding effect but doing quick, powerful damage).

  • Blade Armor (Multiplayer only) - Reinforces armor with a set of blades that increases damage resistance (in similar vein to Fortification, Barrier, Defense Matrix, and Tech Armor), increases melee damage, and damages enemies that melee the user at the cost of slower recharge speed for all powers. Special upgrades can increase the shield recharge rate while Blade Armor is active or decrease the slow recharge speed penalty.

  • Bloodlust (Multiplayer only)

  • Carnage - Fires a single powerful projectile (using no ammo from the player's weapon) that stuns and deals high damages the target. Special upgrades can incapacitate enemies (similar to Concussive Shots) or increase damage to armor.

  • Concussive Shot - Fires a single high-powered round (using no ammo from the player's weapon) that knocks down and damages the target. Special upgrades can double the power's effectiveness against frozen targets, make the shot weaken organics (doubling damage towards them for 10 seconds), or give the shot the properties of the current active ammo type.

  • Devastator Mode (Multiplayer only

  • Flamer (Multiplayer only)

  • Fortification - Reinforces armor that increases damage resistance (in similar vein to Barrier, Blade Armor, Defense Matrix, and Tech Armor) at the cost of slower recharge speed for all powers. Activating it again disperses the armor reinforcement as a temporarily damage bonus for all melee attacks. Special upgrades can increase the damage and force of all powers while Fortification is active or improve the user's shield recharge rate while Fortification is active.

  • Marksman - Temporarily increases the firing rate and accuracy of all weapons. Special upgrades can also increase headshot damage.

  • Missile Launcher (Multiplayer only)

  • Shadow Strike (Multiplayer only)

Biotic Powers

  • Annihilation Field (Multiplayer only)

  • Barrier - Reinforces armor with a biotic field, increasing damage resistance (in similar vein to Blade Armor, Fortification, Defense Matrix, and Tech Armor) at the cost of slower recharge speed for all powers. Activating it again detonates the biotic field, causing nearby enemies to float helplessly in the air. Special upgrades can increase the damage and force of all powers while Barrier is active or improve the user's shield recharge rate while Barrier is active.

  • Biotic Charge - Charges the user into a target with quick speed and strength (knocking the enemy down and causing damage) while encased in a biotic barrier (making the user invulnerable to damage and restores the user's barrier power). Special upgrades can temporarily increase weapon damage after a Biotic Charge, temporarily increase power efficiency after a Biotic Charge, or give this power a chance that it does not require recharging.

  • Biotic Slash (Multiplayer only)

  • Biotic Sphere (Multiplayer only) - Creates a large biotic sphere at the user's feet, strengthening allies in the sphere while weakening enemies in the sphere. Special upgrades can quicken the delay for shield recharging while enemies are in the sphere or automatically apply the Warp effect to three enemies (at a time) that walk into the sphere.

  • Dark Channel - Hits a targeted enemy with a biotic field that damages the target over an extended period of time (transferring to a nearby second target if the first is killed while Dark Channel is in effect). Special upgrades can slow a target's movement while the power is in effect or increase the power's effectiveness to armor and barriers.

  • Dominate (Single-player only) - Unlocked as a Bonus Power for Shepard when completing the Leviathan DLC.

  • Flare (Single-player only) - Unlocked as a Bonus Power for Shepard when completing the Omega DLC.
  • Lash- Unlocked in Singleplayer by finishing the Omega DLC.

  • Nova - Causes the user's biotic barrier to explode in a close-ranged shockwave, inflicting damage while sending nearby enemies flying. Does not use up any recharge timer (at the cost of all barrier power). Special upgrades can reduce the amount of barrier power used (including one option that has a random chance of not using up ANY barrier power) or temporarily increase the recharge speed of all other powers after a Nova blast.

  • Phase Disruptor (Multiplayer only)

  • Pull - Fires a small mass effect field at the enemy, yanking the victim off the ground towards the user. Special upgrades can inflict damage on the victim, increase all damage towards the victim, launch two target-seeking projectiles instead of one, or increase the effectiveness of biotic detonations on the victim.

  • Reave - Surrounds a target with a biotic field that leeches off enemies, dealing damage over time while providing damage protection to the user (if the power is used against an organic enemy). Special upgrades can increase the power's damage against armor and barriers.

  • Shockwave - Sends a cascading shockwave in the intended direction, dealing damage while knocking enemies back. Special upgrades can increase the effectiveness of biotic detonations or temporarily suspend victims in the air.

  • Singularity - Creates a large mass effect sphere (similar to a black hole) that draws unprotected enemies into the field (causing them to float helpless in the air) while stopping protected enemies. Special upgrades can cause unprotected targets to take damage over time or force the field to detonate at the final second (causing damage to nearby units).

  • Slam - Lifts the target with a biotic field and slams the victim to the ground with high force. Special upgrades can increase the effectiveness of biotic detonations or further stun victims after a successful Slam.

  • Smash (Multiplayer only)

  • Statis - Causes an enemy to be temporarily locked in a mass effect field, stopping the victim in his/her tracks. Does not work against armored targets. Enemies break out of Statis after a short amount of time or after taking major damage. Consecutive Statis effects against the same victim cause the effect to wear off faster. Special upgrades can increase vulnerability to Statis targets, give the power a random chance to not require recharging, or to create a larger Statis "bubble" that traps enemies that move into it.

  • Throw - Uses a biotic blast to toss enemies away from the user (damaging victims that smack into objects). Special upgrades can increase the effectiveness of biotic detonations (including one option that immediately resets the recharge time after a successful detonation) or launch two target-seeking projectiles instead of one.

  • Warp - Spawns a mass effect field on a target that damages it over time and stops the victim's health regeneration process. Special upgrades can increase the effectiveness of biotic detonations, increase damage towards Warp targets, or weaken armored targets.

Tech Powers

  • Combat Drone - Spawns a synthetic combat drone that move towards nearby enemies, distracting them while dealing weak damage with electrical pulses. Disappears after its shields are destroyed or when the user is no longer in combat. Special upgrades can force the drone to explode when destroyed (causing damage to nearby units), cause the drone's electrical pulses to stun enemies, chain the drone's electrical pulses to multiple enemies, or give the drone the ability to fire long-range rockets.

  • Cryo Blast - Fires a high-explosive blast of ice that snap-freezes nearby unprotected enemies (restricting health regeneration and allowing them to be shattered easily) or chill nearby protected enemies (slowing their movement while weakening their armor). Special upgrades can increase the damage done to both frozen and chilled units.

  • Defense Drone - Deploys a small synthetic combat drone that stays close to the user, electrocuting nearby enemies. Disappears after a certain time duration or when the user is no longer in combat. Special upgrades can chain the drone's electrical pulses to multiple enemies or give the drone's electrical pulses the chance to knock down enemies.

  • Defense Matrix - Reinforces armor that increases damage resistance (in similar vein to Blade Armor, Fortification, Barrier, and Tech Armor) at the cost of slower recharge speed for all powers. Activating it again disperses the armor reinforcement while restoring shields. Special upgrades can increase the damage of all tech powers while Defense Matrix is active or improve the user's shield recharge rate while Defense Matrix is active.

  • Decoy - Deploys a nearby holographic copy of the user, mimicking the user's movement while remaining still and distracting enemies. Disappears after either a certain time duration or its shields are destroyed. Special upgrades can cause the decoy to electrocute nearby enemies or force the decoy to explode when its destroyed (causing damage to nearby units).

  • Electric Slash (Multiplayer only)

  • Energy Drain - Fires an energy pulse that steals shield, barrier, and synthetic power, restoring the user's shields (while damaging the enemy in the process). Special upgrades can grant the user an additional temporary armor bonus after the energy drain is in effect.

  • Overload - Fires an electrical pulse that overloads enemy electronics, dealing heavy damage to shields, barriers, and synthetic lifeforms. Special upgrades can chain a single Overload blast onto multiple enemies, or temporarily stun (with a "neural shock") weak organic enemies.

  • Hunter Mode (Multiplayer only) - Redirects the user's shields (reducing the capacity to half) to offensive systems, including the ability to see through smoke, increased movement speed, increased weapon damage, increased melee damage, increased power damage, and increased weapon accuracy. Special upgrades can increase the recharge speed of all other powers while Hunter Mode is active or increase weapon firing rate while Hunter Mode is active.

  • Incinerate - Fires a high-explosive blast of plasma that deals heavy damage to armor and health while giving the target a burning after-effect, slowing damaging the opponent over time while stopping health regeneration and making certain enemies panic. Special upgrades can further increase damage towards chilled and frozen opponents.

  • Geth Turret (Multiplayer only) - Deploys a static sentry turret (similar to the Sentry Turret power), distracting nearby enemies with powerful damage while repairing shields of nearby allies. Special upgrades can increase the turret's damage to enemy armor, equip the turret with a close-range flamethrower, or increase the shield repairing frequency.

  • Proximity Mine - Throws a proximity mine (which, unlike grenades, do not use ammo) that detonates when an enemy steps within range of it (or when shot at), causing a medium-damage, low-radius explosion. Special upgrades can cause enemies caught in the explosion to either have a temporary movement penalty or temporarily take more damage from all sources.

  • Sabotage - Fires a yellow electrical blast that either causes enemy weapons to overheat, leaving the wielders temporarily disarmed and damaged, or hacks synthetic lifeforms and turrets, allowing them to temporarily attack other enemy units. Special upgrades can force hacked synthetics to explode when destroyed (causing damage to nearby units), increase the movement speed and damage of hacked synthetics, or weaken overheated targets to tech power damage.

  • Sentry Turret - Deploys a static sentry turret like a grenade, distracting nearby enemies while dealing damage with its gun barrels. Disappears after its shields are destroyed or when the user is no longer in combat. Special upgrades can cause the turret's weapon to stun enemies, give the turret's weapon a special ammo type (either cryo ammo to freeze enemies or armor-piercing ammo to increase damage against armor), give the turret the ability to fire long-range rockets, or equip the turret with a close-range flamethrower.

  • Snap Freeze (Multiplayer only)

  • Submission Net (Multiplayer only) - Fires an electric net that entangles enemies, dealing damage while temporarily incapacitating unarmored targets. Special upgrades can increase damage to shields and barriers or can deal electric damage to enemies close to the affected target.

  • Supply Pylon (Multiplayer only)

  • Tactical Cloak - Allows the user to become invisible for a limited amount of time (or until the user either fires his/her weapon or uses another power). Special upgrades can increase the melee damage of cloaked users, increase sniper rifle damage of cloaked users, or allow the user to activate another power and still remain cloaked.

  • Tactical Scan (Multiplayer only)

  • Tech Armor - Deploys a special armor interface for the user that increases damage resistance (in similar vein to Blade Armor, Fortification, Barrier, and Defense Matrix) at the cost of slower recharge speed for all powers. Activating it again causes the armor to disperse in an explosive energy pulse, damaging nearby units. Special upgrades can increase the damage of either melee or other powers while the Tech Armor is active.

Ammo and Grenade Types

Primarily used by Combat classes, players can activate special ammo type powers that changes the properties of all shots fired (usually causing a damage increase against certain defenses). There are no penalties for using these ammo types (though switching between ammo types causes a recharge delay).

Special upgrades for all ammo types include a squad bonus (in which squadmates who currently do not equip an ammo type are granted the same ammo type at 50% effectiveness, increased ammo capacity (while the ammo type is in effect), and increased headshot damage (also while the ammo type is in effect).

  • Armor-Piercing Ammo - Increased weapon damage against health and armor. Grants the ability to penetrate light cover. Decreases the effectiveness of armored targets.

  • Cryo Ammo - Weapons can snap-freeze unprotected enemies (restricting health regeneration and allowing them to be shattered easily) or chill protected enemies (slowing their movement while weakening their armor).

  • Disruptor Ammo - Increased weapon damage against shields and barriers (with minor increased damage against health). Random chance to stun targets.

  • Incendiary Ammo - Increased weapon damage against health and armor. Ignites most enemies, causing further damage while sometimes causing the ignited enemy to panic.

  • Warp Ammo - Increased weapon damage against barriers (with minor increased damage against health and armor). Weakens the armor of grounded units. Further increases damage of targets lifted by biotic power.

Grenades make a return from the original Mass Effect, this time as active power types with finite capacity (that can be found around the battlefield). Unlike the original game, in which all grenades are generic sticky grenades that are thrown like a discus, grenades behave more like traditional modern grenades with special properties.

All grenades do not have any recharge times and can be used at any time. Special upgrades for all grenade types include increasing the grenade capacity, increasing the grenade's damage, and increasing the grenade's impact radius.

  • Cluster Grenade - Low-damage, medium-radius cluster of biotic explosives that sends enemies flying with great force. Special upgrades can increase the amount of explosives in a single cluster or increase damage to already-lifted targets.

  • Frag Grenade - Medium-damage (high-damage in Multiplayer), high-radius explosives that detonates immediately after hitting an enemy. Special upgrades can increase damage to armor, increase damage to shields, or temporarily cause post-explosive damage to organics.

  • Inferno Grenade - Medium-radius explosives that does no impact damage, but temporary damages enemies with incendiary shrapnel. Special upgrades can increase damage to armor or increase the amount of shrapnel.

  • Lift Grenade - Low-damage (high-damage in Multiplayer), medium-radius biotic explosives that can make weak enemies float helplessly in the air for a short time. Special upgrades can increase the lift's duration or slam floating targets to the ground as the lift wears off, temporarily stunning them further.

  • Sticky Grenade - High-damage, low-radius explosives that sticks to surfaces and enemies. Special upgrades can increase damage to armor or give the grenade proximity mine properties (in which it can delay its explosion until either 15 seconds elapses or an enemy approaches it).

  • Arc Grenade (Multiplayer only) - Low-damage, very high-radius explosives that stuns and electrocutes enemies with an electromagnetic pulse. Special upgrades can add continuous damage, increase damage to armor, or increase damage to shields and barriers.

  • Homing Grenade (Multiplayer only) - High-damage, low-radius explosives that track down the nearest enemy, exploding on impact. Special upgrades can add fire damage to the explosion, increase damage to armor, reduce the weapon effectiveness of armored targets, and cause the grenade to split into two, homing into two separate targets for 60% damage each.

  • Multi-Frag Grenade (Multiplayer only) - Low-damage, medium-radius cluster of explosives that detonates immediately after hitting an enemy. Special upgrades can increase the amount of explosives in a single cluster.

Weapons

Futuristic weaponry still play a key role in firefights. Mass Effect 3 combines the large number of weapons, upgradable weapon statistics, and weapon modifications from the original Mass Effect with the "thermal cooling" ammunition system of Mass Effect 2. Weapons are split up into the following categories: Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles, Heavy Pistols, Shotguns, and Submachine Guns.

In the predecessor games, the player's class determines what guns they are able to use. While this still holds true to single-player squadmates, Commander Shepard (as well as multiplayer characters) can hold, at most, one of each category of weapon (no matter which class or experience level he/she is). However, weapons now have a Weight attribute. Players carrying a heavy payload of weapons have a penalty to the recharge time of the player's active powers (up to double the standard recharge time). Conversely, players carrying a light weapon load have a recharge time bonus to their active powers (up to half the standard recharge time).

In single-player, weapons (other than the starting weapons) and weapon modifications must be bought or collected throughout the game. In multiplayer, however, they can only be found in Reinforcement Packs (in which certain weapons and mods can only be found in more expensive packs).

NOTE: In the list of weapons, Common/Uncommon/Rare/Ultra-Rare designate each weapon's multiplayer rarities.

Sniper Rifles

  • M-92 Mantis (Common) - Starting weapon in both single-player and multiplayer. Powerful single-shot sniper rifle.
  • M-97 Viper (Uncommon) - A semi-automatic sniper rifle.
  • M-13 Raptor (Uncommon) - An Alliance redesign of a Turian rifle, the M-13 Raptor is a semi-automatic sniper rifle, sacrificing damage for a higher rate of fire, higher ammo capacity, and lower recoil.
  • M-29 Incisor (Uncommon) - The sole burst-fire sniper rifle of the game, the M-29 Incisor fires weak three-round bursts
  • M-98 Widow (Rare) - An Alliance redesign of a Geth bolt-action sniper rifle, the M-98 Widow is a heavy sniper rifle that sacrifices ammo capacity and rate of fire for higher damage and the ability to shoot through thin cover.
  • Krysae Sniper Rifle (Rare) - Available in single-player after purchasing the Firefight Pack DLC, and unlockable in multiplayer after downloading the Rebellion Pack DLC.
  • Kishock Harpoon Gun (Rare, Multiplayer Only) - Unlockable after downloading the Reinforcement Pack DLC.
  • Black Widow (Ultra-Rare) - An upgraded version of the M-98 Widow, dealing slightly less damage while increasing the rate of fire, turning it into a semi-automatic rifle.
  • Javelin (Ultra-Rare) - A special Geth bolt-action sniper rifle that is similar to the M-98 Widow, but sacrifices some damage for the ability to spot targets both cloaked and through smoke screens.
  • N7 Valiant (Ultra-Rare) - Available in single-player by playing the Collector's Edition and unlockable in multiplayer via Commendation Pack rewards, the N7 Valiant is a semi-automatic sniper rifle (with the N7 insignia and color scheme) that deals more damage than the M-97 Viper but has lower rate-of-fire and ammo capacity.
  • M-90 Indra (Ultra-Rare) - Available in single-player as a PC-exclusive promotional giveaway by Alienware (which also can be unlocked by purchasing the Firefight Pack DLC) and unlockable in multiplayer sometime after April 2012, the M-90 Indra is the game's only fully-automatic sniper rifle.

Weapon Modifications

  • Spare Thermal Clip (Common) - Increases the maximum capacity of spare thermal clips for this weapon.
  • Enhanced Scope (Uncommon) - Increases the weapon's accuracy while highlighting targets through smoke screens.
  • Extended Barrel (Uncommon) - Increases the weapon's damage.
  • Piercing Mod (Uncommon) - Increases the penetrating power of the shots fired with the weapon, allowing the weapon to fire through thin cover.
  • Concentration Mod - Available only in single-player. Temporarily slows down time when the user looks down the scope, granting more damage during this time. Changes the color of the weapon's lights.

Assault Rifles

  • M-8 Avenger (Common) - Starting weapon in both single-player and multiplayer. Lightweight, versatile, and balanced fully-automatic assault rifle.
  • M-15 Vindicator (Uncommon) - Lightweight and accurate battle rifle that fires in three-round bursts.
  • M-96 Mattock (Uncommon) - Accurate semi-automatic rifle.
  • Phaeston (Uncommon) - Turian fully-automatic assault rifle which sacrifices damage for lower recoil and higher rate of fire.
  • M-76 Revenant (Rare) - Light machine gun that sacrifices accuracy and recoil for rate of fire and ammo capacity.
  • M-37 Falcon (Rare) - Assault rifle that fires 25mm mini-grenades.
  • Geth Pulse Rifle (Rare) - Geth fully-automatic assault rifle which sacrifices damage for very high rate of fire and ammo capacity.
  • Cerberus Harrier (Rare) - Available in single-player after purchasing the Firefight Pack DLC, and unlockable in multiplayer after downloading the Rebellion Pack DLC.
  • M-55 Argus (Rare) - Available in single-player as a pre-order bonus (which can also be unlocked by playing the Leviathan DLC) and unlockable in multiplayer after September 21, 2012, the M-55 Argus is a heavy rifle that fires inaccurate (but powerful) three-round bursts.
  • Striker Assault Rifle (Rare) - Unlockable after downloading the Reinforcement Pack and Groundside Resistance DLCs.
  • N7 Typhoon (Rare, Multiplayer Only) - Unlockable after downloading the Earth DLC.
  • M-99 Saber (Ultra-Rare) - A very powerful semi-automatic rifle (despite being slower to fire, more difficult to maintain, and heavier than the M-96 Mattock).
  • Collector Assault Rifle - Available only in multiplayer as a pre-order bonus for certain merchandise and the Retaliation DLC, the Collector Assault Rifle is a fully-automatic assault rifle sacrificing weight (due to the organic components built on top of it) for accuracy.
  • N7 Valkyrie - Available only in single-player as a pre-order bonus, the N7 Valkyrie is a assault rifle (with the N7 insignia and color scheme) that fires accurate two-round bursts.
  • Chakram Launcher - Available only in single-player by watching the video at the end of the demo for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning in its entirety or playing the Omega DLC, the Chakram Launcher is a semi-automatic rifle that can be charged for higher damage.
  • Particle Rifle - Available only in single-player after completing the "From Ashes" DLC, the Particle Rifle is a low-damage fully-automatic Prothean assault rifle that trades the "thermal cooling" ammunition for the original Mass Effect's cooldown system.
  • Adas Anti-Synthetic Rifle - Available only in single-player after purchasing the Firefight Pack DLC.

Weapon Modifications

  • Magazine Upgrade (Common) - Increases the amount of shots that can be fired with the weapon before reloading.
  • Precision Scope (Common) - Adds a 4x optical scope for an enhanced zoom and increased accuracy.
  • Stability Dampener (Common) - Reduces the weapon's kickback effect.
  • Extended Barrel (Uncommon) - Increases the weapon's damage.
  • Piercing Mod (Uncommon) - Increases the penetrating power of the shots fired with the weapon, allowing the weapon to fire through thin cover.
  • Omni-Blade (Rare) - Available in single-player after playing the Leviathan DLC, and unlockable in multiplayer after downloading the Earth DLC. Adds an omni-bayonet on the weapon, increasing the weapon's melee damage.

Submachine Guns

  • M-4 Shuriken (Common) - Starting weapon in both single-player and multiplayer.
  • M-12 Locust (Uncommon)
  • M-9 Tempest (Uncommon)
  • M-25 Hornet (Rare)
  • Geth Plasma SMG (Rare) - Available in single-player after purchasing the Firefight Pack DLC, and unlockable in multiplayer after downloading the Resurgence Pack DLC.
  • N7 Hurricane (Ultra-Rare) - Available in single-player by playing the Collector's Edition and unlockable in multiplayer via Commendation Pack rewards, the N7 Hurricane has the highest rate of fire of all SMGs.
  • Blood Pack Punisher (Singleplayer Only) - Available only in single-player after purchasing the Firefight Pack DLC.

Weapon Modifications

  • Heat Sink (Common) - Some shots fired by this weapon do not take up any of the thermal clip.
  • Magazine Upgrade (Common) - Increases the amount of shots that can be fired with the weapon before reloading.
  • Scope (Common) - Adds a 2x scope for an enhanced zoom and increased accuracy.
  • High Caliber Barrel (Uncommon) - Increases the weapon's damage. Cannot be equipped alongside High-Velocity Barrel.
  • Ultralight Materials (Uncommon) - Reduces the weapon's weight. Cannot be equipped alongside Recoil System.
  • High-Velocity Barrel (Rare) - Available in single-player after playing the Leviathan DLC, and unlockable in multiplayer after downloading the Earth DLC. Increases the penetrating power of the shots fired with the weapon, allowing the weapon to fire through thin cover. Cannot be equipped alongside High Caliber Barrel.
  • Recoil System (Rare) - Available in single-player after playing the Leviathan DLC, and unlockable in multiplayer after downloading the Earth DLC. Reduces the weapon's kickback effect. Cannot be equipped alongside Ultralight Materials.

Shotguns

  • M-23 Katana (Common) - Starting weapon in both single-player and multiplayer.
  • M-22 Eviscerator (Uncommon)
  • M-27 Scimitar (Uncommon)
  • M-300 Claymore (Rare)
  • Disciple (Rare)
  • Graal Spike Thrower (Rare)
  • Geth Plasma Shotgun (Rare)
  • Reegar Combine (Rare) - Available in single-player after purchasing the Firefight Pack DLC, and unlockable in multiplayer after downloading the Rebellion Pack DLC.
  • N7 Piranha (Rare, Multiplayer Only) - Unlockable after downloading the Earth DLC.
  • M-11 Wraith (Ultra-Rare)
  • N7 Crusader (Ultra-Rare) - Available in single-player by playing the Collector's Edition and unlockable in multiplayer via Commendation Pack rewards, the N7 Crusader fires a single high-precision slug (instead of a spray of pellets) that is capable of shooting through thin materials.
  • AT-12 Raider - Available only in single-player as a PC-exclusive pre-order bonus for Origin (which can also be unlocked for any platform by playing the Leviathan DLC).

Weapon Modifications

  • Blade Attachment (Common) - Increases the standard melee damage while the weapon's equipped.
  • High Caliber Barrel (Common) - Increases the weapon's damage.
  • Smart Choke (Common) - Reduces bullet spread to increase the weapon's accuracy.
  • Spare Thermal Clip (Uncommon) - Increases the maximum capacity of spare thermal clips for this weapon.
  • Shredder Mod (Uncommon) - Increases the penetrating power of the shots fired with the weapon, allowing the weapon to fire through thin cover.

Heavy Pistols

  • M-3 Predator (Common) - Starting weapon in both single-player and multiplayer.
  • M-5 Phalanx (Uncommon)
  • M-6 Carnifex (Rare)
  • Arc Pistol (Rare)
  • Acolyte (Rare, Multiplayer Only) - Unlockable after downloading the Earth DLC.
  • M-77 Paladin (Ultra-Rare)
  • M-358 Talon (Ultra-Rare)
  • Scorpion (Ultra-Rare)
  • N7 Eagle (Ultra-Rare) - Available in single-player by playing the Collector's Edition and unlockable in multiplayer via Commendation Pack rewards, the N7 Eagle is a fully-automatic heavy pistol (with the N7 insignia and color scheme).

Weapon Modifications

  • High Caliber Barrel (Common) - Increases the weapon's damage. Cannot be equipped alongside Cranial Trauma System.
  • Magazine Upgrade (Common) - Increases the amount of shots that can be fired with the weapon before reloading. Cannot be equipped alongside Ultralight Materials.
  • Scope (Common) - Adds a 2x scope for an enhanced zoom and increased accuracy.
  • Melee Stunner (Uncommon) - Increases the standard melee damage while the weapon's equipped.
  • Piercing Mod (Uncommon) - Increases the penetrating power of the shots fired with the weapon, allowing the weapon to fire through thin cover.
  • Cranial Trauma System (Rare) - Available in single-player after playing the Leviathan DLC, and unlockable in multiplayer after downloading the Earth DLC. Increases the weapon's damage on headshots.
  • Ultralight Materials (Rare) - Available in single-player after playing the Leviathan DLC, and unlockable in multiplayer after downloading the Earth DLC. Reduces the weapon's weight.

Heavy Weapons

Heavy weapons make a return in Mass Effect 3. However, they are no longer equipped at the armory or stored in the player's inventory. Instead, they can be picked up in certain single-player missions and are thrown away after either switching to another weapon (in which it can be picked up again later) or using up all of its ammo. Despite this, these weapons are extremely powerful (and sometimes necessary).

  • Reaper Blackstar - Found during Priority: Palaven, Leviathan DLC and Tuchanka: Turian Platoon.
  • M-451 Firestorm - Flamethrower found during the mission Attican Traverse: Krogan Team. Holding down the fire button increases the damage rate.
  • Geth Combat Software - Handheld energy weapon "software" used during Rannoch: Geth Fighter Squadrons.
  • Geth Spitfire - Geth Minigun found during Rannoch: Admiral Koris and Priority: Rannoch.
  • Sync Laser - Laser pointer used during Priority: Rannoch for orbital bombardment.
  • M-560 Hydra - Missile launcher found during Priority: Thessia. Fires a barrage of homing missiles.
  • M-920 Cain - Missile launcher found during Priority: Earth. Fires a high-payload missile.

In multiplayer, each player has access to the Cobra Missile Launcher in their inventory, which fires an accurate missile that destroys all enemies in a large radius. Missile supply is very limited, as players can only carry two (or more, if players find special upgrades in booster packs) per match and can only find them in Reinforcement Packs.

Cooperative Multiplayer

Four of the playable races in the Galaxy At War mode.

Mass Effect 3 features a four-player cooperative multiplayer mode that directly integrates with the single-player campaign. As an elite squad of N7 operatives, players infiltrate key positions in the galaxy and hold out against waves of either Cerberus, Geth, Reaper, or Collector (as of October 9, 2012) forces. Along the way, they must perform certain objectives, such as eliminating key enemy personnel and hacking enemy equipment.

Players earn currency which allows them to buy special "Reinforcement Packs", containing special cards that unlock character slots, armor customization options, equipment, item slots, weapons, and weapon modifications. By leveling up their character classes, as well as obtaining high-level equipment, squads have a better chance of finishing high-difficulty missions.

All versions require an Origin account to access this mode. On the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Mass Effect 3, this mode is only accessible after the activation of an "online pass" DLC, which is both found in new copies of the game and downloadable on the Xbox Live Marketplace (for 800 msp) and PlayStation Network (for $9.99).

Gameplay

The goal in each multiplayer mission is to team up with up to three allies and exterminate ten waves of enemies (which gradually get more difficult with the addition of tougher enemies) while achieving special objectives. These objectives activate every third, sixth, and tenth wave and consist of one of the following (at random):

  • Within five minutes, players must hack four randomly-placed beacons in a particular order. They do this by directly interacting with each device (a slow process that makes the hacker defenseless) until the hacker's progress meter fills up completely. If the hack process is stopped abruptly, the progress meter is reset. While multiple players can hack the same device at the same time, it does not speed up the process in any way. (Though it can be used to counter griefing, as people can pretend to hack the device only to stop at the last second)

  • Within five minutes, players must upload data from a randomly-placed terminal by activating it and then standing near it for a certain amount of time. When more players stand near the terminal, the upload process becomes faster.

  • Within a short amount of time, players must eliminate five specific enemies in a particular order. Successfully eliminating the enemy adds time to the countdown timer.

  • Within a short amount of time, players must retrieve two high priority packages and transport them to a designated extraction zone. Players carrying the packages cannot sprint, evade, or use certain powers. Added in the Rebellion Pack DLC.

  • Within a short amount of time, players must activate and escort a Combat Drone to a designated extraction zone. When more players stand near the drone, its speed increases. The drone occasionally replenishes nearby player shields and attacks nearby enemies with missiles or electric shocks. Added in the Earth DLC.

If the team fails the objective by letting the countdown timer hit zero, the mission fails and the game is over immediately. Succeeding each objective grants both bonus experience and Credits. After the tenth wave, the team have two minutes to retreat to the evacuation zone and defend their position against never-ending swarms of enemies.

Races and Classes

The base multiplayer release of Mass Effect 3 allow players to choose between seven races, each with their own unique abilities, evasion manuevers, and class restrictions:

  • Human - Available in both male and female variants in three different visual armor types (dependent on class). 500 base health, 500 base shield/barrier strength. Evades with combat rolls (similar to Commander Shepard in the single-player campaign). Passive Talents: Fitness, Alliance Training (upgrades to weapon damage, power damage, and weight capacity, as well as optional upgrades to power effectiveness and headshot damage). For Phoenix defectors, their passive talents are Fitness and Phoenix Operative (upgrades to weapon damage, power damage, and weight capacity, as well as optional upgrades to power effectiveness, headshot damage, and weight capacity for Heavy Pistols and Shotguns).

  • Asari - 500 base health, 500 base barrier strength (600 for Asari Justicars). Can quickly slide in any direction (at the cost of part of their biotic barriers). Heavy melee unleashed a large biotic pulse that deals damage to all enemies around the user. Passive Talents: Fitness, Asari Justicar (upgrades to weapon damage, power damage, and weight capacity, as well as optional upgrades to power effectiveness, headshot damage, and weight capacity for Heavy Pistols).

  • Drell - 500 base health, 250 base barrier strength. Can perform acrobatic flips for fast manuevers. Passive Talents: Fitness, Drell Assassin (upgrades to weapon damage, power damage, and weight capacity, as well as optional upgrades to power effectiveness, headshot damage, and weight capacity for Heavy Pistols).

  • Turian - 500 base health, 750 base shield strength. Can only evade by switching between cover. Passive Talents: Fitness, Turian Veteran (upgrades to weapon damage, weapon stability, and weight capacity, as well as optional upgrades to power effectiveness, headshot damage, and weight capacity for Assault Rifles).

  • Krogan - 750 base health (1000 for Krogan Battlemasters), 1000 base shield/barrier strength. Cannot evade at all. Heavy melee lets the user make a charge at the enemy, sending the target flying. Passive Talents: Rage (upgrades to health, shield, and melee damage, as well as the special ability to send the user into a frenzy, increasing melee damage and damage reduction, if the user performs three melee kills within 30 seconds), Krogan Berserker (upgrades to weapon damage, power damage, and weight capacity, as well as optional upgrades to power effectiveness, headshot damage, and weight capacity for Shotguns).

  • Salarian - 500 base health, 600 base shield strength. Evades with combat rolls and quick sidesteps. Passive Talents: Fitness, Salarian Operative (upgrades to weapon damage, power damage, and weight capacity, as well as optional upgrades to power effectiveness, headshot damage, and weight capacity for Sniper Rifles).

  • Quarian - 500 base health, 600 base shield strength. Evades with combat rolls and quick sidesteps. Passive Talents: Fitness, Quarian Defender (upgrades to weapon damage, power damage, and weight capacity, as well as optional upgrades to power effectiveness, headshot damage, and weight capacity for Submachine Guns).

  • Batarian - 750 base health, 750 base shield strength. Cannot evade at all. Passive Talents: Fitness, Batarian Enforcer (upgrades to weapon damage, power damage, ammo capacity, and weight capacity, as well as optional upgrades to headshot damage and weight of both Shotguns and Sniper Rifles).

  • Geth - 250 base health, 750 base shield strength. Evades with combat rolls and quick sidesteps. Heavy melee unleashes a series of tech pulses that damages enemies around the user at the cost of shields. Passive Talents: Networked AI (upgrades to weapon damage (especially Geth weapons), power damage, and weight capacity, as well as optional upgrades for headshot damage and weight of both Assault Rifles and Sniper Rifles), Advanced Hardware (upgrades to health, shields, melee damage, shield regeneration, and melee damage, as well as optional upgrades for a temporary melee damage increase and/or temporary power damage increase after killing an enemy with heavy melee).

  • Vorcha - 750 base health, 250 base shield strength. Evades with combat dives and quick sidesteps. Passive Talents: Fitness, Vorcha Resilience (upgrades to weapon damage, power damage, and weight capacity, as well as optional upgrades for headshot damage and weight capacity for Shotguns and Assault Rifles).

  • Volus

Players can create one customizable character for each character slot (which consists of a certain race, including each human genders, and a certain class). From the start, players are limited to the two human slots for all classes, each with minimal armor customization. Players can unlock new character slots (per race per class) and cosmetic customization options (for each character slot) by unlocking special character cards inside Reinforcement Packs (determined by rarity). Unlocking character cards also grant bonus experience points for the entire class.

Adept

  • Human (Common) - Active Powers: Singularity, Warp, Shockwave.
  • Drell (Uncommon) - Active Powers: Reave, Pull, Cluster Grenade.
  • Asari (Rare) - Active Powers: Statis, Warp, Throw.
  • Asari Justicar (Rare) - Added in the Resurgence Pack DLC. Active Powers: Biotic Sphere, Reave, Pull.
  • Human Project Phoenix (Rare) - Added in the Rebellion Pack DLC. Active Powers: Singularity, Lash, Smash.
  • Human N7 Fury (Rare) - Added in the Earth DLC. Active Powers: Throw, Annihilation Field, Dark Channel.
  • Batarian Slasher (Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Warp, Cluster Grenade, Lash.
  • Krogan Shaman (Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Barrier, Shockwave, Warp.
  • Volus (Ultra Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Stasis, Biotic Orbs, Shield Boost.
  • Awakened Collector (Ultra Rare) - Added in the Reckoning DLC. Active Powers: Dark Sphere, Seeker Swarm, Dark Channel.

Soldier

  • Human (Common) - Active Powers: Adrenaline Rush, Concussive Shot, Frag Grenade.
  • Turian (Uncommon) - Active Powers: Marksman, Concussive Shot, Proximity Mine.
  • Krogan (Rare) - Active Powers: Carnage, Fortification, Inferno Grenade.
  • Batarian (Rare) - Added in the Resurgence Pack DLC. Active Powers: Ballistic Blades, Blade Armor, Inferno Grenade.
  • Vorcha (Rare) - Added in the Rebellion Pack DLC. Active Powers: Bloodlust, Flamer, Carnage.
  • Human N7 Destroyer (Rare) - Added in the Earth DLC. Active Powers: Multi-Frag Grenade, Hawk Missile Launcher, Devastator Mode.
  • Geth Trooper (Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Hunter Mode, Flamer, Fortification.
  • Quarian Marksman (Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Marksman, Tactical Scan, Sabotage.
  • Turian Havoc (Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Cryo Blast, Havoc Strike, Stimulant Pack.
  • Geth Juggernaut (Rare) - Added in the Reckoning DLC. Active Powers: Hex Shield, Siege Pulse, Geth Turret.
  • Human Battlefield 3 - Non-customizable Human (male) class based on the "Soldier of Fire" from the Battlefield 3 promotions. Unlocked automatically (formerly by signing in to Mass Effect 3 with an Origin account linked to a Battlefield 3 Online Pass). Not available in the PlayStation 3 or Wii U versions. Active Powers: Adrenaline Rush, Carnage, Frag Grenade.

Engineer

  • Human (Common) - Active Powers: Overload, Incinerate, Combat Drone.
  • Salarian (Uncommon) - Active Powers: Incinerate, Energy Drain, Decoy.
  • Quarian (Rare) - Active Powers: Incinerate, Cryo Blast, Sentry Turret.
  • Geth (Rare) - Added in the Resurgence Pack DLC. Active Powers: Geth Turret, Hunter Mode, Overload.
  • Quarian Male (Rare) - Added in the Rebellion Pack DLC. Active Powers: Incinerate, Tactical Scan, Arc Grenade.
  • Human N7 Demolisher (Rare) - Added in the Earth DLC. Active Powers: Homing Grenade, Arc Grenade, Supply Pylon.
  • Turian Saboteur (Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Sabotage, Sentry Turret, Homing Grenade.
  • Vorcha Hunter (Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Bloodlust, Incinerate, Submission Net.
  • Human Talon Mercenary (Rare) - Added in the Reckoning DLC. Active Powers: Cain Trip Mine, Concussive Arrows, Armor-Piercing Arrows.
  • Volus (Ultra Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Proximity Mine, Shield Boost, Recon Mine.

Sentinel

  • Human (Common) - Active Powers: Throw, Warp, Tech Armor.
  • Turian (Uncommon) - Active Powers: Warp, Overload, Tech Armor.
  • Krogan (Rare) - Active Powers: Incinerate, Lift Grenade, Tech Armor.
  • Batarian (Rare) - Added in the Resurgence Pack DLC. Active Powers: Blade Armor, Shockwave, Submission Net.
  • Vorcha (Rare) - Added in the Rebellion Pack DLC. Active Powers: Bloodlust, Flamer, Cluster Grenade.
  • Human N7 Paladin (Rare) - Added in the Earth DLC. Active Powers: Snap Freeze, Incinerate, Energy Drain.
  • Asari Valkyrie (Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Tech Armor, Annihilation Field, Warp.
  • Volus Mercenary (Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Decoy, Combat Drone, Shield Boost.
  • Krogan Warlord (Rare) - Added in the Reckoning DLC. Active Powers: Tech Armor, Biotic Hammer, Electric Hammer.

Infiltrator

  • Human (Common) - Active Powers: Sticky Grenade, Tactical Cloak, Cryo Blast.
  • Quarian (Uncommon) - Active Powers: Sticky Grenade, Tactical Cloak, Sabotage.
  • Salarian (Rare) - Active Powers: Energy Drain, Tactical Cloak, Proximity Mine.
  • Geth (Rare) - Added in the Resurgence Pack DLC. Active Powers: Tactical Cloak, Hunter Mode, Proximity Mine.
  • Quarian Male (Rare) - Added in the Rebellion Pack DLC. Active Powers: Tactical Scan, Tactical Cloak, Arc Grenade.
  • Human N7 Shadow (Rare) - Added in the Earth DLC. Active Powers: Tactical Cloak, Shadow Strike, Electric Slash.
  • Asari Huntress (Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Tactical Cloak, Dark Channel, Warp.
  • Drell Assassin (Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Tactical Cloak, Homing Grenade, Recon Mine.
  • Turian Ghost (Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Overload, Tactical Cloak, Stimulant Pack.
  • Alliance Infiltration Unit (Rare) - Added in the Reckoning DLC. Active Powers: Tactical Cloak, Repair Matrix, Snap Freeze.

Vanguard

  • Human (Common) - Active Powers: Biotic Charge, Shockwave, Nova.
  • Asari (Uncommon) - Active Powers: Biotic Charge, Statis, Lift Grenade.
  • Drell (Rare) - Active Powers: Biotic Charge, Pull, Cluster Grenade.
  • Krogan Battlemaster (Rare) - Added in the Resurgence Pack DLC. Active Powers: Biotic Charge, Carnage, Barrier.
  • Human Project Phoenix (Rare) - Added in the Rebellion Pack DLC. Active Powers: Biotic Charge, Lash, Smash.
  • Human N7 Slayer (Rare) - Added in the Earth DLC. Active Powers: Phase Disruptor, Biotic Charge, Biotic Slash.
  • Batarian Brawler (Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Biotic Charge, Lash, Blade Armor.
  • Volus Protector (Ultra Rare) - Added in the Retaliation DLC. Active Powers: Biotic Charge, Biotic Orbs, Shield Boost.
  • Turian Cabal (Rare) - Added in the Reckoning DLC. Active Powers: Poison Strike, Nightshade Blades, Biotic Focus.

The experience point system is tied to the classes themselves (rather than each individual character), starting at level 1 (with one skill point automatically assigned to the first active power) and ending at level 20. After reaching level 20 with a single class, players can promote that class, resetting the level back down to 1 while granting bonuses for the Galaxy At War system and the N7 ranking. (Unlocked races and armor customization options are still kept)

Equipment

In multiplayer mode, equipment are single-use items found inside most Reinforcement Packs that are split into three categories:

  • Bonuses - Special single-use armor and weapon modifications that can be assigned to the individual player prior to starting the match. Players can assign one bonus at a time in each category: Ammo (which grants one of the five ammo type powers to all of the player's weapons), Weapon (which grants a damage bonus for one weapon type), and Armor (which grants a bonus to either shield, movement speed, power damage, or power recharge speed). Each bonus comes in three levels of strength (increasing their effectiveness), with level 1 bonuses appearing in Common-oriented booster packs and level 3 bonuses appearing in Rare-oriented booster packs. Once the player downloads the Resurgence Pack DLC, he/she can find a new Weapon Bonus (which grants a damage bonus for melee attacks) and new Armor Bonuses (which grants a bonus to either power duration, shield recharge speed, weapon stability, or headshot damage).

  • Supplies - Special in-game inventory items that can be activated in-game to quell desperate situations. Consists of the Cobra Missile Launcher (in which the player switches to a powerful one-shot missile launcher that can destroy all enemies in a large radius), Thermal Clip Pack (automatically refilling the player's thermal clips and grenade supply), Ops Survival Pack (automatically refilling the player's health and shields), and Medi-Gel (automatically reviving the player if he/she is incapacitated). Players can carry up to two (more if he/she finds a Supply Upgrade) of each supply.

  • Supply Upgrades - Rare cards that automatically adds one to the capacity of a random supply, allowing the player to use more of that supply in one match.

In addition, players can rarely find a "Reset Powers" card which they can use to reset the power distribution of one character slot (retaining all of the class's experience points). Players can carry a maximum of three "Reset Powers" options at one time.

Reinforcement Packs

Players earn currency (known as Credits) in-game (by successfully completing special objectives) which allows them to buy special Reinforcement Packs, containing special cards that unlock character slots, equipment, item slots, weapons, and weapon modifications. For certain packs, players can also use real currency instead. (Microsoft Points for the Xbox 360 version, BioWare Points for the PC version, and standard currency for the PlayStation 3 version)

Earning character cards for character slots players have already unlocked instead grants additional armor customization options (as well as additional experience points). Earning weapon cards for weapons players have already unlocked instead upgrades the weapon's level. Earning weapon modification cards for weapon modifications players have already unlocked instead upgrades the weapon modification's level.

Standard Packs

  • Recruit Pack - Costs 5,000 Credits. Includes five random cards with a small chance that one of the cards is Uncommon.

  • Veteran Pack - Costs 20,000 Credits (or $0.99 USD). Includes five random cards with the guarantee that one of the cards is Uncommon or better.

  • Spectre Pack - Costs 60,000 Credits (or $1.99 USD). Includes five random cards with the guarantee that one of the cards is Rare or better.

Promotional and Special Packs

  • Starter Pack - Available for free for all new Mass Effect 3 players. One time use.

  • Battlefield 3 Pack - Rewarded to those who sign in to Mass Effect 3 with an Origin account linked to a Battlefield 3 Online Pass. Contains the Battlefield 3 character slot for the Soldier. One time use.

  • Premium Collectible Pack - Rewarded to those who purchased the Series 2 Mass Effect action figure 4-pack from the BioWare store when it was available. One time use.

  • Collector Rifle Pack - Rewarded to those who purchased certain Razer PC gear, a pre-order of The Art of the Mass Effect Universe (at Barnes and Noble), the digital version of The Art of the Mass Effect Universe, or the entire Mass Effect: Invasion series from the Dark Horse digital store (by March 21, 2012). Contains the Collector Rifle. One time use.

  • Recruitment Reward Pack - Rewarded to those who participated in the Mass Effect 3 Facebook Recruitment Program. One time use.

  • Victory Pack - Rewarded for all after a Weekend Operation when the Community Requirement is met. One time use.

  • Victory Pack (Operation Resurgence, requires the Resurgence Pack DLC) - Rewarded after Operation Resurgence for those who completed the operation's Individual Requirement. Includes either the Asari Justicar, Batarian Soldier, Geth Engineer, Batarian Sentinel, Geth Infiltrator, or Krogan Battlemaster.

  • Commendation Pack - Rewarded after a Weekend Operation for those who completed the operation's Individual Requirement. Contains either the N7 Hurricane, N7 Eagle, N7 Crusader, or N7 Valiant. One time use.

  • Equipment Pack - Costs 20,000 Credits (or $0.99 USD). Includes five random equipment and supply items. Limited time offer.

  • Premium Veteran Pack - Costs 33,000 Credits (or $1.49 USD). Includes five random items or characters, with the guarantee that two of the cards are Uncommon or better. Limited time offer.

  • Jumbo Equipment Pack - Costs 33,000 Credits (or $1.49 USD). Includes ten random equipment and supply items. Limited time offer.

  • Premium Spectre Pack - Costs 99,000 Credits (or $2.99 USD). Includes five random items or characters, with the guarantee that two of the cards are Rare or better. Increased chance for Ultra-Rare cards.

  • Resurgence Pack (requires the Resurgence Pack DLC) - Costs 99,000 Credits (or $2.99 USD). Includes five random items or characters, with the guarantee that one of the cards is either a Asari Justicar, Batarian Soldier, Geth Engineer, Batarian Sentinel, Geth Infiltrator, Krogan Battlemaster, Kishock Harpoon Gun, Striker Assault Rifle, or Geth Plasma SMG.

Weekend Operations

Since March 16, 2012, Bioware has been doing weekly community events for the Xbox 360 and PC versions of Mass Effect 3 dubbed N7 Bounty Weekends. Starting on May 11, 2012, these events have been extended to the PlayStation 3 version. For every other weekend (formerly every weekend) between 5:00 P.M. PST. on Friday and 5:00 A.M. PST. on Monday (or 5:00 P.M. PST. on Sunday), players can participate in both community and individual goals (which can grant them bonus booster packs after the operation is over). Certain weekends also contain game bonuses.

  • Operation GOLIATH (March 15, 2012 - March 19, 2012) - Community Requirement: Kill one million Reaper Brutes overall, on both platforms (Status: Success). Individual Requirement: Complete a match (with successful extraction) on Silver difficulty against Reapers. Xbox 360 and PC only.

  • Operation FORTRESS (March 23, 2012 - March 26, 2012) - 25% bonus to experience point gain. Reapers are weakened with less Brutes on the field. Xbox 360 and PC only.

  • Operation RAPTOR (March 30, 2012 - April 2, 2012) - 10% bonus to experience point gain. Community Requirement: Promote 150,000 character classes overall, on both platforms (Status: Success). Individual Requirement: Promote two character classes. Xbox 360 and PC only.

  • Operation BEACHHEAD (April 5, 2012 - April 10, 2012) - 25% bonus to experience point gain. Xbox 360 and PC only.

  • Operation RESURGENCE (April 13, 2012 - April 15, 2012) - 10% bonus to experience point gain when playing on Firebase: Condor and Firebase: Hydra. Individual Requirement (gives a special Victory Pack, no Commendation Pack): Play a match with the Resurgence Pack DLC installed. Xbox 360 and PC only.

  • Operation EXORCIST (April 27, 2012 - April 29, 2012) - Community Requirement: Kill one million Cerberus Phantoms overall, on both platforms (Status: Success). Individual Requirement: Complete a match (with successful extraction) on Gold difficulty. Xbox 360 and PC only.

  • Operation SILENCER (May 11, 2012 - May 14, 2012) - Community Requirement: Kill three million Reaper Banshees overall, on all three platforms (Status: Failure). Individual Requirement: Complete a match (with a successful FULL extraction) on Gold difficulty.

  • Operation SHIELDWALL (May 25, 2012 - May 27, 2012) - Reapers are strengthened with more Banshees on the field. Community Requirement: Promote 50,000 character classes overall, on all three platforms. (Status: Success) Individual Requirement: Promote three character classes.

  • Operation MASTIFF (June 8, 2012 - June 10, 2012) - Community Requirement: Complete 100,000 retrieval missions. (Status: Success) Individual Requirement: Complete a match (with successful extraction) on Silver difficulty with one squad member as either the Vorcha, Human Phoenix, or Quarian Male.

  • Operation SAVAGE (June 22, 2012 - June 24, 2012) - Community Requirement: Kill seven million trooper-level enemies (Cerberus Assault Trooper, Husks, Cannibals, and Geth Troopers) (Status: Success). Individual Requirement: Complete a match (with successful extraction) with the squad consisting of a combination of Krogan, Vorcha, or Batarian classes.

  • Operation BROADSIDE (July 13, 2012 - July 15, 2012) - Community Requirement: Complete 400,000 matches (with successful extraction) against Reapers. (Status: Failure). Individual Requirement: Complete a match (with a successful extraction) against Reapers on Gold difficulty.

  • Operation OVERWATCH (July 27, 2012 - July 30, 2012) - The countdown timer for the extraction wave is extended by 30 seconds. Community Requirement: Extract 800,000 players. (Status: Success) Individual Requirement: Complete a match (with a successful extraction) with one player as any of the N7 classes.

  • Operation OLYMPUS (August 10, 2012 - August 12, 2012) - Community Requirement: Complete wave 10 on 200,000 Bronze missions, 175,000 Silver missions, and 70,000 Gold missions. (Status: Success) Individual Requirement: Complete a match (with a successful FULL extraction) on Firebase London.

  • Operation ALLOY (August 24, 2012 - August 26, 2012) - Community Requirement: Promote 50,000 character classes overall. (Status: Success) Individual Requirement: Promote two character classes.

  • Operation VIGILANCE (September 7, 2012 - September 9, 2012) - Community Requirement: Complete 250,000 "escort" objectives. (Status: Failure) Individual Requirement: Complete up to (and including) wave 10 without anyone in the squad using a consumable.

  • Operation PATRIOT (September 21, 2012 - September 23, 2012) - The speed of the Escort Drones have been reduced. Community Requirement: Kill 600,000 Atlas Mechs. Individual Requirement: Complete a 2-4 player match (with a successful FULL extraction) with all squad members as the same race (excluding humans).

Cross-Promotions

Crossover promotional image with Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

To promote both Mass Effect 3 and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, another action RPG published by Electronic Arts, both games have exclusive content that can be unlocked by playing the demo of the other game:

  • Reckoner Knight Armor - Special non-customizable armor (which boosts helath, shields, weapon damage, and melee damage) for Shepard in Mass Effect 3 that can be unlocked by linking to an Origin account that has played the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning demo.
  • Chakram Launcher - A chargeable semi-automatic rifle for Mass Effect 3 (single-player campaign only) that can be unlocked by linking to an Origin account that has watched the end video, shown at the end of the Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning demo, in its entirety.
  • Omniblade Daggers - Daggers resembling the omni-tool blades for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning that can be unlocked by linking to an Origin account that has played the Mass Effect 3 demo.

To promote both Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3, a modern military first-person shooter published by Electronic Arts, both games have exclusive content cross-promoting each-other:

  • Battlefield 3 Soldier - A multiplayer character slot for the Soldier class featuring a non-customizable armor based on the "Soldier of Fire" promotional image for Battlefield 3 that can be unlocked in Mass Effect 3 by linking to an Origin account that is tied to a Battlefield 3 Online Pass. Can now be unlocked after a balance change, by buying packs with either in game credits, or real money.
  • Early Demo Multiplayer Access - By linking to an Origin account that is tied to a Battlefield 3 Online Pass, players who downloaded the Mass Effect 3 demo before a certain date got early access to its multiplayer component.
  • Mass Effect 3 Dog Tags - Two right-side bloody dog tags for Battlefield 3 multiplayer (one resembling the Mass Effect 3 logo and one resembling the N7 insignia) that can be unlocked by activating the Limited Edition Online Pass.

Collector's Edition

The Collector's Edition comes, much like the previous editions, in a tin case with unique box art. This year the tin case will have male Commander Shepard printed on one side, while the female counterpart will be printed on the other.

Features :

Collector's Edition
  • 70-page hardbound art book featuring hundreds of unique and gorgeous illustrations from the BioWare development team.
  • Limited edition Mass Effect comic by Dark Horse Comics.
  • Premium fabric N7 patch.
  • 4x6 lithographic print.
  • Digital soundtrack.
  • A collection of forum and social badges, avatars, and perks.
  • Normandy prop for the Xbox LIVE Avatar. (Available on Xbox 360 version only.)

In-game content:

  • N7 Arsenal Pack – Added firepower with a N7 sniper rifle, shotgun, SMG, and pistol.
  • Robotic Dog – A sidekick in the form of a robot dog, looking much like the FENRIS mechs in Mass Effect 2.
  • Squadmate Alternate Outfit Pack – New appearances for squad members Liara, Ashley, Kaidan and James.
  • N7 Hoodie - A casual off-duty outfit for Shepard to wear aboard the Normandy.
  • From Ashes - An additional downloadable pack. Contains a new mission, outfits for all squad members, new weapon and squad member.

Plot

[Plot contained in this section is limited to main plot points that all players must experience.]

It all begins on Earth.

Mass Effect 3 begins on earth with Shepard being grounded. He reunites with Captain Anderson and Ashley or Kaidan, and he also meets his new squad member - James Vega. It isn't long before the Reapers are sighted and they begin attacking earth. Escaping the chaos, Shepard parts ways with Anderson, who stays to fight on Earth, and seeks to unite the races to defeat the Reapers and take Earth back.

On the Normandy, Shepard is contacted by Admiral Hackett and is told to investigate an alliance facility on Mars which has been used for research on stopping the Reapers. Shepard realizes that Cerberus is involved and is attacking the research facility. Plans to build a weapon of unknown power, called the Crucible, are found at the facility, and most of the information is salvaged. Shepard also rescues an old friend/party member Liara T'soni, and finds that the Illusive Man still wishes to control the Reapers. He warns Shepard not to interfere with his plans. Shepard then travels to the Citadel to request aid for earth from the council. The council denies any aid due to Reaper forces invading their own systems, and requests that Shepard must first help them all while the Crucible is being worked on.

[At this point, Shepard undertakes various missions to gain support from the different races in the galaxy.]

The Turian planet of Palaven is under attack, and Shepard is asked to go and retrieve a Turian primarch on the neighboring moon. It is here that he/she can meet up with Garrus if he survived Mass Effect 2. After meeting General Corinthus, Shepard learns that Primarch Fedorian is dead, but his successor is still alive - Primarch Victus. After rescuing Primarch Victus, he tells Shepard that in order to help repel the Reaper forces on Palaven and gain more support for Earth, the Krogan have to join the Turian's fight on their planet.

Characters certainly make a return from previous games, but only if they've survived up until this point.

Shepard can then decide to gain the aid of the Krogan and retrieve a female Krogan from Sur'Kesh. The female Krogan is said to be able to help Wrex (or his brother) end the genophage, and he will not direct Krogan reinforcements to Palaven until it happens. On Sur'Kesh, Shepard finds Mordin, rescues the female, and tasks Mordin with finding a way to end the Genophage on Tuchanka. On Tuchanka, Shepard and Wrex (or his brother) can end the genophage and destroy their first Reaper by baiting a large Thresher Maw into fighting it. Unfortunately, Mordin dies during the Genophage process no matter which actions are taken.

After Shepard gains the trust of the Turians and Krogans, he/she makes a return to the Citadel to meet with the Salarian counselor, but Cerberus attacks the Citadel with help from Udina. The coup was led by a new Cerberus adversary named Kai Leng, and its purpose is to eliminate the remaining council members and take control of the Citadel. Shepard ruins Udina and Cerberus' plans and saves the Citadel.

With the Citadel saved, Shepard is tasked with reaching out to the Quarians for aid as well. It is learned that a Geth Dreadnought ship was found transmitting a Reaper signal while the Quarians mounted a full-scale assault to take back their homeworld. If she survived, Tali is reintroduced and accompanies Shepard on his mission to remove Reaper involvement with the Geth by disabling the signal. Shepard is successful in disabling the signal, finds Legion, and the Quarians destroy the Geth Dreadnought. Shepard then travels to Rannoch, the Quarian homeworld, and disables the Reaper stationed there.

[Shepard's mission to gain support ends here.]

Around this time, the Crucible is nearing completion, but it is missing a vital component only referred to as the 'Catalyst'. The Asari councilor informs Shepard that information regarding the Catalyst is contained in a Prothean artifact located on Thessia. The last mission to gain council aid involves the Asari homeworld of Thessia. While Shepard does not manage to help save Thessia from Reaper attacks, he finds that the Crucible needs a Catalyst in order to successfully destroy the Reapers. Just before acquiring the information, Kai Leng and Cerberus attack and steal the information from Shepard. Admiral Hackett and Shepard launch an attack on the Cerberus and the Illusive Man's headquarters, and find that the Catalyst was in front of them all along - The Citadel.

Cerberus is at it again.

Unforunately, the Reapers found out that knowledge of the Catalyst was discovered, and the Citadel was closed and moved beside Earth in order to prevent the Crucible from being used. It's at this point that Shepard combines all united forces and coordinates an attack to retake the Citadel and combine it with the Crucible to destroy the Reapers. Due to the closure of the Citadel, the allied forces find that they must reopen it by using a beam being ejected to earth from the Citadel.

At this point, Shepard and Hammer team make a final assault toward the beam, but the majority of the squad is wiped out when Harbinger intervenes and Shepard is hit by a blast. Staggering, Shepard manages to reach the beam, and finds that Anderson had done so as well. When they find a control panel, they are interrupted by the Illusive Man who's still bent on finding ways to control the Reapers and stop Shepard from destroying them. Eventually, the Illusive Man is defeated, but Anderson dies and Shepard loses consciousness just before being informed that the Crucible did not fire.

Shepard awakens and is greeted by an artificial intelligence who refers to himself as the Catalyst. The Catalyst informs Shepard that he is the entity controlling the Reapers, and that their purpose is to preserve organic life by exterminating the most advanced forms of life at the end of every cycle. He explains that it is necessary as organic life is always opposed by the synthetic life that they create and are doomed to be destroyed by their own creations.

The Catalyst also explains that life is not wasted, but merely harvested and used to create more reapers and less capable, primitive organic lifeforms are spared for the start of the new cycle. The Catalyst then admits that since Shepard proved that the cycle could not continue as it has by building the Crucible, a new plan has to be made. He offers Shepard one of three choices: Destroy the Reapers as well as all Synthetic life, Control the Reapers, or create a Synergy between organics and synthetics. The synergy would create a new form of life, new DNA, that is based on Shepard's current form - being both synthetic and organic. Each choice is color-coded with the colors: red, blue and green (respectively).

Regardless of choice, the mass relays are all destroyed, the Reapers leave Earth, and the Normandy crash-lands on an alien planet. Depending on Effective Military Strength (EMS), Earth can be destroyed, heavily damaged, or saved and some of the Normandy crew can be seen exiting the Normandy after it crash lands. If the 'destroy' ending is chosen, and the EMS is high enough, it's revealed that Shepard survived.

A post-credits sequence shows a man (stargazer) and a child looking up at the stars. The child asks if the story was really true, and the man confirms it but tells the child that some of the details may have been lost in time. He also states that it all happened a long time ago. The child inquires about going and seeing the stars for himself, and the man describes the galaxy as a billion stars, containing many worlds, and are all inhabited by different races and cultures. The child then asks the man to tell him another story about 'the Shepard'.

DLC Packs

From Ashes

At Eden Prime, Shepard, Liara and another squadmate found the last Prothean. Javik is a new squadmate when buying this dlc. It is avalible through the Collector's Edition or online.

Extended Cut

The ending of Mass Effect 3 was harshly received by a vocal segment of the game's fanbase. Common complaints regarding the ending reference a sudden, sharp decline in the level of narrative coherence, the introduction of the Catalyst as a character in the hologram form of the little boy whose death haunts Shepard over the course of the game, and an almost complete lack of player agency. The ending also does not take into account many of the choices that players made over the course of the trilogy; rather, it forces the player to choose between one of three possible solutions to the Reaper threat (Destroy, Control, Synthesis), the availability of which are dependent on the player's Galactic Readiness rating.

Bioware addressed the criticism by announcing that they would produce a downloadable update entitled "Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut." Released on June 26, 2012, the free update adds material to all three endings in order to clarify at least some of the confusion and ambiguity. The player is also given new dialogue options during the meeting with the Catalyst to learn more about its motivations and history. The Extended Cut also offers a new, fourth ending, in which, at the player's choice, Commander Shepard can reject the Catalyst and the use of the Crucible. There is otherwise no new playable content included in the update, as the adjustments to the endings are all cinematic in nature.

Leviathan

Shepard was greeted by Dr. Garret Bryson to find legends and rumors about the Reapers. Shepard was told that a Reaper-killer is on the loose. Shepard found the trackings of the Leviathan on 2181 Desponia. Shepard talked with the Leviathan and learned that the Reapers were copies of the Leviathans. The Leviathans agreed to help Shepard but only for their race. Released in August 28, 2012.

Omega

At the Citadel, Aria was saying that Omega was stolen by Oleg Petrovsky. Shepard goes to Omega and met a Talon named Nyreen Kandros. Released in November 2012.

Citadel

At the Citadel, Shepard needed a long deserved break with old squadmates. It was interupted that a gang led by a Shepard clone wanted the real Shepard dead. Released in March 5, 2013.

Wii U Version

The Wii U version of Mass Effect 3, entitled Mass Effect 3: Special Edition and ported by Tantalus Media, was released as a launch title for the system and includes previously released DLC packs, including the Extended Cut and From Ashes. In addition, the Wii U version features a new UI with fully customizable hot keys on the touch screen that allow the player quick access to eight power-slots via buttons placed on the sides of the screen. These hot keys can be linked to any of Shepard's powers, or those of the squad mates, and allow for use without having to enter the radial menu to select the commands.

The screen also features a permanent map display that allows the player to select a squadmate and issue orders by drawing a path. The game also supports Off-TV Play, allowing players to play the whole game on the GamePad screen without the TV.

Similar to the PS3 version of Mass Effect 2, recaps of the first two Mass Effect games will be included via the updated Genesis 2.0 interactive comic by Dark Horse, letting players experience the story of the previous titles and make key decisions that affect their Mass Effect 3 storylines.

Xbox 360 Game Installation

The installation greatly decreases loading times, and requires a total of 14.6 GB between two discs.

Disc one requires 7.6 GB, and disc two requires 7.0 GB. Disc swaps are still required even after installation for verification purposes.

PC System Requirements

MinimumRecommended
  • OS: Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1, Win 7
  • Processor: 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (equivalent AMD CPU)
  • RAM: 1GB for XP / 2GB RAM for Vista/Win 7
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA 7900 or better; ATI X1800 or better.
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
  • DirectX: 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 9.8 GB of free space
  • OS: Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1, Win 7
  • Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (equivalent AMD CPU)
  • RAM: 2GB for XP / 4GB RAM for Vista/Win 7
  • Graphics card: AMD/ATI Radeon HD 4850 512 MB or greater, NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT 512 MB or greater
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
  • DirectX: 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 9.8 GB of free space

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