Even if you’ve never played Mass Effect before, you’ve probably heard about it – the characters, the incredible sci-fi universe it’s set in, the fact that 14 years after its initial release it remains beloved by fans. If you’re thinking about starting your first playthrough, we’ve got five tips that will help you get the most out of your Mass Effect Legendary Edition experience.
It may be tempting to skip right to the third game to see the conclusion – but this trilogy is very much about the journey from game to game. Tip one is to start at the beginning. The Legendary Edition brings many improvements to the first game, including updates to aiming, squad controls, cameras, and visual enhancements like a full world-building pass (including environmental art, VFX, and relighting). So, Mass Effect has never looked or played better. But the biggest reason to start with the first game? This is where your story – and your Shepard – begins. The decisions you make from the very beginning will chart your course through the entire trilogy.
Tip two: get to know your squadmates. These are the people who will have your back on every mission, so you’ll need to know their strengths and weaknesses if you want to complete each one successfully. As you get to know the characters, you’ll also discover which combinations will give you the best in-mission banter. That may not seem important to you now but trust me, you won’t want to miss some of these conversations. Finally, many of your squadmates are romanceable, and you may want to explore those relationships, so spend some time working and talking with them to make the most of your playthrough.
The third tip is a big one, decide who your Shepard is and what they stand for. Yes, you’ll make some big decisions before you even start playing about who you’re going to play – you’ll choose where your Shepard comes from, what they’ve gone through, and of course what they look like. And those choices will affect your story to be sure, but not quite as much as the conversations you have and the actions you take. Your Shepard may generally choose to take the high road making more thoughtful and altruistic choices as a Paragon. Or perhaps yours is more hot-tempered and intimidating choosing the Renegade morality options. Maybe your Shepard is somewhere in between, regardless, try to stay true to who they are and who you want them to be.
Your next tip is to understand your “playstyle” and focus on the Classes and specializations that will make your Shepard truly formidable in battle. I love nothing better than to run face-first into the thick of any battle, so Vanguard was an obvious choice for me. Biotic Charge quickly became my favorite method of taking out the enemies. Prefer to take careful shots from a safe distance? You might want to start as the more tech-savvy Infiltrator. There are many options to choose from, and specializations will help you get the most out of each one.
The final tip is to avoid treating the trilogy like a race. Instead, see it as a road trip. Take some time to explore the Milky Way galaxy, its planets, and inhabitants. There are several reasons for this; the most pragmatic is you’ll need to do some resource gathering at different points in the trilogy if you want to acquire XP, funds, and certain upgrades. But understanding how the many worlds and species that inhabit them fit together in the Mass Effect universe will also make your playthrough so much richer.
Hopefully, these tips will make your first playthrough one you’ll never forget!