Electronic Arts 14633195842 Video Games User Manual

MASS EFFECT TM 3 MANUAL
1 Control Scheme
2 Single Player
15Multiplayer
24Tips and Help
Control Scheme
Movement
Walk
Cover Turn
Camera
Navigation
Weapon Reload
Weapon Swap
Press: Use, Take Cover
Press Twice: Quick Vault
Hold: Storm
Melee
Shoot
Press: Mapped Power
Hold: Power Menu
Mission Computer
Quick Save
Tight Aim
Press: Mapped Power
Hold: Weapon Menu
Squad Attack
Squadmate 1 Move/Attack
Rally
Squadmate 2 Move/Attack
W/S/A/D
Left CTRL
Scroll wheel
Mouse
V
R
X
SPACEBAR
F
Left-click
Left SHIFT
ESC
F5
Right-click
Left SHIFT
Z
Q
C
E
1
Single Player
The Main Menu
The main menu contains the following items the first time you play.
XX New Game
XX Multiplayer
XX Downloadable Content
XX Exit Game
XX Extras
After you’ve started a game, this menu will also include the Resume and Load Game options.
Resume loads your most recently saved game.
New Game
Choose from four options when starting a new game:
Male
Start fresh with a new male character.
Female
Start fresh with a new female character.
Import ME2 Character Import Commander Shepard from Mass Effect TM 2, maintaining your old
character’s level as well as the decisions you made that impact
Mass Effect TM 3’s story.
Import ME3 Character Unlocks after completing Mass Effect TM 3. This allows you to start a new
game while keeping your Commander Shepard’s class, level, weapons,
and modifications intact.
Load Game
After starting a Mass Effect TM career, select LOAD GAME to continue your game, replay from an
earlier save point, or switch to another active career. Careers are created each time you start a new
game or import an old one. Within each career you will find:
Restart Mission
Restart your current mission.
Autosave
Resume your game from the latest checkpoint. Autosave is updated as
you progress through the game and cross checkpoints.
Saves/Quick Saves Numbered saves are created when you manually save the game.
You can also resume your game by selecting RESUME on the game’s opening screen. This will load
your most recently saved game.
Multiplayer
Select MULTIPLAYER to fight coop missions with up to three friends.
Please see the multiplayer section of this manual for additional instructions.
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Extras
The Extras menu contains the following:
Accomplishments
Options
Credits
Game Manual
View medals you’ve been awarded for accomplishing set goals.
Set gameplay, controls, graphics, sound, and online options.
Watch the game’s credits.
Read this manual!
Downloadable Content
Select DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT on the main menu to purchase new Mass Effect 3 content.
Starting a New Game
With the discovery of a network of ancient cosmic relays in the 21st century, humanity was thrust into
a universe teeming with alien life. At its heart lay the Citadel, the galactic capital for all space-faring
races. It had once been inhabited by a species known as the Protheans, who mysteriously vanished
50,000 years ago, leaving behind warnings of a godlike race of machines that had destroyed them.
This enemy had a name—the Reapers—and the warnings claimed they would return again to harvest
organic life in a never-ending cycle of destruction.
One soldier chose to heed those warnings. In 2183, Commander Shepard, captain of the Alliance
warship Normandy, destroyed the vanguard of the next Reaper invasion in a fierce battle for the
Citadel. But Shepard’s victory was only temporary. A vast Reaper armada remained, patiently waiting
in the voids of dark space to launch their next attack.
Two years later, Shepard was mortally wounded on a routine mission. Cerberus, a pro-human terrorist
organization, recovered and resurrected Shepard. Led by the shadowy Illusive Man, Cerberus
recognized that the Reapers would soon threaten humanity. Enlisting Shepard’s help, along with a
colorful crew of scientists, soldiers, and outlaws, the Normandy launched a suicide mission beyond
the fabled Omega 4 relay to once again confront the Reaper menace. Yet even this triumph was only
a delaying action in a much bigger war—a war that was about to engulf the entire Milky Way…
ME3 Experience Type
There are three ways to play Mass Effect 3. You must select one of the following options when
starting a new game, but you can also adjust combat difficulty and conversation mode in the options
menu after starting a game.
Action Mode
Role-Playing Mode
Story Mode
An experience that focuses on combat. Conversations play as
cutscenes automatically.
The core Mass Effect experience with full narrative choice and
challenging combat.
An experience that focuses on narrative. Combat helps tell the story but
does not offer a significant challenge.
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Character Creation
After selecting Commander Shepard’s gender and the Role-Playing or Story experience types, you
enter the Alliance Headquarters Active Duty Reactivation Protocol. From here, you can choose
between default options or customize the following:
XX First Name
XX Appearance
XX Military Class
XX Personal History
XX Service History
XX Combat Losses
Until you confirm your selections on the Review screen, you can return to the previous screens to
change Shepard’s characteristics.
Choosing the Action experience type jumps you straight into the game, skipping these screens. By
default, Shepard was born on Earth, was the sole survivor of a failed mission years ago, and takes
the default appearance.
Importing an ME2 Character
Importing Commander Shepard from Mass Effect 2 maintains your old character’s level as well as
the decisions you made that impact Mass Effect 3’s story.
If you have completed Mass Effect 2, your old career will be available to import after selecting
IMPORT ME2 CHARACTER.
The Mission Computer
The Mission Computer is the
in-game menu. To access the Mission
Computer, press ESC after gaining full
control of Commander Shepard in the
game. Select RESUME on the
bottom-right of the screen to exit
the Mission Computer and return to
the game.
NOTE: All controls listed in this manual
are based on the default control setting.
To change your controls, go to Options
under the Extras menu and select to
adjust the Keybinding.
Squad Screen
Select SQUAD on the Mission Computer to review the powers available to Commander Shepard and
squadmates. As you level up and gain points, you can spend them here to upgrade your powers.
Journal Menu
Go to the Journal menu to view your progress, review your mission’s objectives, and read codex
entries about the Mass Effect universe.
For more information on the Journal, see The Game Journal.
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Map Menu
The map is accessible on the Normandy or Citadel to help guide Shepard when not on a critical
mission. This option will be grayed out in the Mission Computer when in areas where a map is
not available.
Press V to access the map while playing.
Options Menu
Customize your Mass Effect 3 experience in the Options menu.
Gameplay
Narrative
Key Bindings
Mouse
Graphics
Sound
Online
Adjust difficulty, auto level-up, squadmate power use, autosaves, hints,
and action icons.
Adjust conversation mode, subtitles, and other options.
Adjust keyboard controls.
Adjust mouse controls.
Adjust video settings.
Adjust music, sound effect, and dialog settings.
Adjust online options.
Other Menus
There are four other options available on the Mission Computer.
Save
Load
Main Menu
Game Manual
Save your progress at your current position. This will be grayed out in areas
where saving the game is not possible.
Load a previously saved game.
Quit your current game and return to Mass Effect 3’s main menu.
Read this manual!
The Squad Screen
Select SQUAD on the Mission
Computer to review the powers
available to Commander Shepard and
squadmates. As you level up and gain
points, you can spend them here to
upgrade your powers.
Squadmate Powers
View the powers of the squadmates
currently active in your party by clicking
the arrows next to their portraits on the
bottom-left of the screen.
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Navigating Powers
Select an unlocked power and click EXPAND to start spending points in the power’s tree.
Your points are tallied on the top-right of the screen. Powers available for upgrade are in blue.
Grayed-out powers are locked until Shepard or the selected squadmate reaches a higher level.
Click AUTO LEVEL-UP to have powers automatically upgraded for you. Permanently set automatic
power upgrades by adjusting the Auto Level-Up setting in the Options/Gameplay menu off the
Mission Computer.
Purchasing and Evolving Powers
Upgrade a power by selecting the
leftmost icon and clicking UPGRADE
POWER. Everything to the right of the
leftmost icon (Rank 1) are upgrades
and can also be evolved with the points
tallied on the top-right of the screen.
The Rank 2 upgrade costs two points,
Rank 3 costs three, and so on. If you
have enough points, you can evolve
multiple upgrades at once.
Each upgrade must be evolved in order
from left to right, but at Rank 4, the
chain splits in two. From here, you can only choose one upgrade per rank, so review your options
carefully before locking in a choice. Undo your changes at any point before leaving the Squad screen by clicking UNDO UPGRADE.
Returning to the Mission Computer by clicking BACK twice locks in your choices.
Reputation Indicator
The bar on the left-hand side of the
main Squad screen shows Shepard’s
reputation. When the reputation bar
reaches certain thresholds, new dialog
options are unlocked.
As you choose Renegade (red) or
Paragon (blue) actions in dialog,
the reputation bar grows. You need
not stick to one or the other to earn
reputation points.
A Paragon Shepard tends to be
compassionate and heroic, and a Renegade Shepard tends toward calculated and ruthless behavior.
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The Game Journal
Select the Journal on the Mission
Computer to check your progress,
review your mission summary and
objectives, and learn about the
Mass Effect universe.
Mission Summary
Review your current objectives in the Mission Summary tab. Return to this screen when you have
forgotten what to do next.
Codex Entries
Review the galactic codex to learn about the Mass Effect universe, its people, places, technology,
and history.
Primary codex entries are narrated. Secondary codex entries are text-only.
The HUD
Shield Bar
Ammo Indicator
Health Bar
Squadmate
Status
The HUD, short for Heads-Up Display, is the collection of icons and status bars you see on the edges
of the screen as you play the game. In Mass Effect 3, there are five HUDs to keep an eye on.
Shield Bar
Monitor your shield level by checking the blue bar on the bottom of the screen. When this bar is full,
shields prevent the brunt of an attack from affecting your health. As attacks are absorbed by the
shield, it is reduced in strength. When the shield bar is depleted, incoming attacks affect your health
bar instead.
Shields take several seconds to recharge and regenerate. Any damage taken during this
recharge period stops the process. A shattered shield takes longer to regenerate than a partially
depleted shield.
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Health Bar
Health is represented by the red bar broken into five segments that’s tucked underneath the blue
shield bar on the bottom of the screen. When you are attacked while the shield bar is depleted, the rightmost red segment of the health bar
starts turning gray. Only First Aid can regenerate a fully depleted bar of health. A health segment that
is only partially reduced will regenerate on its own if you can get to cover and avoid further damage.
You die if you lose all five health segments!
Power Cooldown Indicator
Some powers require energy to use. The time it takes before you can use a power again is called
cooldown. Cooldown periods vary, depending on the power.
When cooldown is in effect, two red semicircles appear on either side of the targeting reticle at the
center of the screen. Cooldown time can be judged by the distance between the two semicircles.
When these come together and merge, cooldown is complete, and you can use powers again.
Ammo Indicator
Weapons use heat-sink technology to enable rapid, devastating firepower. When a clip’s worth of heat
accumulates in the sink, it is ejected from the weapon. Running out of heat sinks is effectively the
same as running out of ammo. Keep track of your heat-sink inventory on the bottom-left of the screen. The bottom number indicates
how many shots the current heat sink has left, and the top number shows you the total number of
shots the entire inventory of heat sinks has left. When a weapon runs out of sinks, “No Ammo” will
display just below the targeting reticle, and you’ll have to find new cylinders for the weapon or switch
to an already-loaded weapon.
Squadmate Status
There are two portraits of Shepard’s current squadmates below the shield bar on the bottom of the
screen. The icon beside each portrait shows the last power the squadmate used and its current
cooldown status. A squadmate’s portrait flashes red when they take damage, and if they become incapacitated, the
portrait fades to gray.
Basic Controls
This chapter covers basic combat controls and is intended for players new to the Mass Effect series.
Movement
Move using the following keys: W
A
D
S
Forward
Left
Right
Backward
Camera Control
Move the mouse to look around.
Tight Aim
Right-click to accurately aim your weapon.
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Fire and Reload
To fire a weapon, left-click. To reload, press R.
Switch Weapons
Switch to the previous weapon held by pressing X.
Weapon Menu
To bring up the Weapon Menu, press and hold left SHIFT. Use this interface, which appears at the
bottom of the screen below the Power Menu, to choose a weapon from Shepard’s inventory.
The game pauses while the Weapon Menu is open.
Powers
For instructions on how to use powers, please see Powers in the single-player section.
Melee
To perform a basic melee attack, press F while standing close to an enemy.
To perform a heavy melee attack, press and hold F while standing close to an enemy. Each character
class has a unique heavy melee.
To do melee combos, press F repeatedly while standing close to an enemy.
Storm
To run, press and hold SPACEBAR while moving forward.
Evade
To dodge attacks and projectiles or to get out of cover quickly, move and press SPACEBAR.
Cover Use
Use cover objects to hold out against tough enemies. Using cover is essential when playing on harder
difficulty levels.
Accuracy is improved when leaning out of cover to fire. Heavy recoil is also reduced.
Taking Cover
There are three ways to enter cover.
XX Move against cover and press SPACEBAR.
XX Roll forward into cover by pressing SPACEBAR while moving.
XX Storm/run into cover by holding SPACEBAR.
Zoom Fire
Pop out of cover to fire accurately by pressing and holding right-click to zoom and then left-click
to fire. While zoomed, a superior targeting reticle appears on-screen.
Peek Fire
Fire over cover without standing up by left-clicking.
Swat Turn
Move from one cover spot to adjacent cover on the left or right by holding A or D and
pressing SPACEBAR.
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Ninety-Degree Cover Turn
Round a corner in cover by standing at the edge of a cover-object and clicking the mouse wheel.
Vault
Vault over low cover by holding W and pressing SPACEBAR.
Alternatively, quick-vault by tapping SPACEBAR twice while approaching low cover. This can also be
done while storming to hurdle over cover.
Cover Slip
Storm forward out of cover by holding A while standing at the edge of cover and then pressing and
holding SPACEBAR.
Cover Kill
Instantly kill enemies standing on the other side of a shared piece of low cover by moving across from
them and pressing and holding F.
Standing Melee
Attack enemies around the edges of cover by standing at the edge and pressing F.
Squad Commands
This chapter provides instructions on
how to control your squadmates.
Move
Point your targeting reticle and press Q
or E to order a squadmate to a position.
Use Power
Point the targeting reticle at an enemy
and press Q or E to order a squadmate
to attack the target with their respective
default power. Any squadmate power
mapped to hotkeys 1 through 8 work the same way. See Power Mapping for more information on changing how these powers are mapped.
Fire on Target
Point the targeting reticle at an enemy and press Z to order both squadmates to open fire on
the opponent.
Rally Squad
Press C to rally squadmates to your current position.
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Powers
Power Menu
To bring up the Power Menu, press and hold left SHIFT. This interface, which appears at the
bottom of the screen above the Weapon Menu, allows you to select a specific power for Shepard
and two squadmates. The game pauses while the Power Menu is open, allowing you to target enemies. Once you’ve
chosen a target, click a power, and then release left SHIFT to deploy the effect. You can queue up
one power for Shepard and one for each squadmate while the Power Menu is open.
You can queue up one power for Shepard and one for each squadmate while the Power Menu
is open.
Power Mapping
Powers can be mapped to hotkeys by dragging and dropping them to the eight numbered keys seen
at the top-left of the screen when the Powers Menu is open. By default, Shepard’s first three powers are mapped to 1, 2, and 3. Squadmate powers can also be
mapped to any of the eight hotkeys. Their default powers are also mapped to Q and E, respectively.
Power Combos
Power combos require a source power and a detonator power. Source powers generally leave a
lasting effect on an enemy (Pull, Cryo Blast, Reave, etc.). Detonator powers generally deal high
damage or force (Carnage, Incinerate, Warp, etc.). Most powers can be a source, a detonator, or
both, so explore the many combinations.
Power combos come in four types:
Biotic Combos
Electric Combos
Flame Combos
Cryo Combos
Trigger these by combining more than one biotic effect, such as lifting an
enemy with Pull before striking them with Warp. Biotic combos result in
an explosion that blasts not just the target, but also the area around
the target.
Trigger these by combining an electrical effect with a detonator, such as
electrocuting an enemy with Overload before striking them with
Concussive Shot. Electric combos result in bonus damage to shields and
a chance to stun undefended enemies.
Trigger these by combining a flame effect with a lethal detonator, such
as igniting an enemy with Incinerate before finishing them off with
Carnage. Flame combos result in bonus damage to armor and a chance
to light undefended enemies on fire.
Trigger these by combining a freeze effect with a lethal detonator, such as
freezing an enemy with Cryo Ammo before finishing them off with Biotic
Charge. Cryo combos freeze undefended enemies and will chill the rest.
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Weapons, Mods, and Armor
Switch Weapons
Switch to the previous weapon held by
pressing X.
Weapon Selection Screen
Gain access to the weapon selection
screen when starting a new mission,
when picking up a new weapon, or
when Shepard uses a workbench. Use
this screen to customize the weapons
that Shepard and squadmates carry
into battle.
Weapon Slots
Review the available weapon slots on the left side of the weapon selection screen. You can apply one
weapon to each slot on the currently selected character’s back.
Squadmates can carry one weapon of each type. The slot number indicates how many weapons are
available. Grayed-out slots indicate that you cannot equip additional weapons. Recently acquired
weapons are marked “New.”
Weapon Switching
Modify a character’s loadout by cycling between Shepard and squadmates by clicking the arrows next
to the portraits on the bottom-left of the string. Review the weapons available by clicking a slot and clicking through the inventory on the top-right of
the screen. Assign a weapon to a slot by clicking ACCEPT.
Weapon Weight
Monitor the weight bar on the left side of the screen to see how much a character is carrying.
Overburden Shepard or a squadmate, and the character’s power cooldown rate slows down.
Weapon Stats
Click the question mark icon to the right of the weapon name to toggle between the weapon’s stats
and description. Use the orange markers on the stats bars to compare the selected weapon with the one currently
equipped. The green bar shows the mod bonus.
Modding Weapons
Click MODIFY at the bottom of the weapon selection screen to mod weapons. Weapon mods can only be accessed via the weapon selection screen when starting a mission or
when accessing it from a workbench. It cannot be accessed when finding a new weapon.
Mod Slots
Each weapon has two mod slots and five unique mods. Any mod can be placed in either slot.
Each mod impacts the stats and gameplay of the weapon, so choose carefully.
Stats
Check the green extensions on the stats bar to see how and how much the modification improves
the weapon.
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Armor Selection
Access the armor selection screen by using the weapon locker in Normandy’s cargo bay or in
Shepard’s cabin.
Use this screen to choose between unique armor sets or to build armor out of pieces found
on missions.
Armor Customization
Customize Shepard’s armor by combining up to five pieces of armor. Each piece has a specific effect that adds to Shepard’s overall combat effectiveness. This customized
armor can be tinted or patterned. Unique armor sets cannot be tinted and patterned.
Armor Stats
Check the orange markers on the armor stats bars for comparisons between the selected and
equipped armor pieces. This will help you craft a powerful custom set.
Galaxy Map
Access the Galaxy Map through the central console on Normandy’s CIC on the second deck. The
map shows the Normandy’s current galactic location and is used to fly the ship to your next mission.
Explore star systems to discover new planets, asteroids, derelict starships, and other locations.
Galaxy View
Fly between systems in Galaxy View
by moving the mouse. Select your
destination and left-click to enter
the system. To return to Galaxy View from a system,
enter a mass relay. The Normandy uses
the mass relay’s energy to travel, so no
fuel is expended.
As you discover new missions and new
territory, flags appear below the system
names. For more details on these
missions, return to the game, go to the
Mission Computer, and review your mission objectives in the game’s Journal.
System View
Fly the Normandy across a system by
holding left-click and aiming the mouse.
To enter a planet or station’s orbit, click
ENTER ORBIT.
The Normandy enters a system via
Cluster or Galaxy View, usually by mass
relay. Locations marked by green flags
are part of your mission’s objective.
Land (or dock) the Normandy to begin a
mission. Other locations can be explored
to gather data.
Traveling at less than FTL, the Normandy uses no fuel while flying inside a system.
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Cluster View
Fly the Normandy through a cluster by
holding left-click and aiming the mouse.
To enter a system, click
ENTER SYSTEM.
The Normandy enters Cluster View
when flying outside a system’s
green border. Cluster View operates much like
System View, except that the
Normandy is flying at FTL and uses
fuel. Be sure to fill up at a fuel depot
before using Cluster View. The Normandy’s fuel gauge accounts for the return trip, so if you run out of fuel, the Normandy will
automatically return to a system that has a mass relay. Dipping into your emergency fuel supply
costs credits.
Mass Relays
Mass relays are used as the primary means of traversing the galaxy. When in a system with a mass
relay, hold left-click to move the Normandy in and then click PLOT MASS RELAY JUMP. This opens
Galaxy View, where you can jump the Normandy to other systems.
Fuel Depots
Visit a fuel depot to refuel before going on FTL missions where no support is available. Reapers destroy depots as they conquer systems and clusters, so be careful before embarking
on a search-and-rescue mission. Salvage fuel from destroyed depots in conquered systems if you
get stranded.
Scanning
The Normandy’s stealth drive allows for infiltration of systems that have been conquered by the
Reapers. When inside a conquered system, scan for notable objects within range such as salvage,
artifacts, or survivors. A percentage in the corner of the screen shows what percentage of objects has been recovered in
the system.
Right-click to use the Normandy’s scanner, but be wary of alerting nearby Reapers.
Reapers
Reapers lurk on the outskirts of conquered systems and are alerted to the Normandy’s position if the
scanning pulse is used too frequently or in close proximity to their location. If a Reaper becomes aware of the Normandy, it gives chase. Escape through a mass relay to survive
this encounter. If you want to return to the system, wait until you have first completed a mission.
Search and Rescue
Scanning a planet can turn up distress signals. To begin a search-and-rescue mission, launch a probe
into the planet’s orbit to find the survivors, and then go to that location to rescue them.
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Multiplayer
Galaxy at War
To the right of the multiplayer menu options is the Galaxy at War, which shows the status of the
Alliance’s five theaters of war. Monitor each theater’s readiness rating to effectively defend the Milky
Way from Reaper invasion.
Theaters of War
The galaxy map displays five theaters of war. Help defend these fronts as the Reapers invade the
Milky Way.
XX Terminus Systems
XX Attican Traverse
XX Earth Systems Alliance Space
XX Inner Council Space
XX Outer Council Space
Reaper Invasion Status
Each theater of war has one of four alerts, known as readiness ratings. Use these ratings to evaluate
which theater most needs your team’s help in countering the Reaper invasion.
Red
Critical: Immediate action required to counter the Reaper invasion.
Orange
Urgent: Action required to counter the Reaper threat.
Yellow
Serious: Help needed, but current forces are holding the Reapers off.
Green
Stable but at Risk: Battle lines are holding.
The more waves completed in a mission, the more you improve the readiness ratings of these war
fronts. Often, a squad must run multiple countermissions to improve a theater’s invasion status.
Neglect a green or yellow theater for too long, and the Reapers will start taking it back.
Firebases
Each theater of war has one or more conflict zones, which are also known as firebases.
To defend a theater, you must choose a corresponding firebase when joining or creating a match. Do
this by changing the mission’s location.
Setting the location to “unknown” will give each player’s character an experience bonus of +10% and
will improve the readiness rating of all theaters by up to +5%. Choosing a specific firebase improves
the readiness rating of its theater by +15% and improves the rating of all other theaters by +2%.
Enemies
Invading forces are made up of Reapers, Cerberus, and Geth.
If you wish to defend a territory against a specific hostile force, choose an enemy type when joining or
creating a mission.
Setting the enemy to “unknown” generates an enemy at random and awards your character a +15%
experience bonus.
Challenges
Choose from bronze, silver, and gold challenges when joining or creating a mission.
Bronze challenges are intended for beginners, silver for intermediate players, and gold is for experts.
The harder the difficulty setting, the more credits and experience your character earns.
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The Multiplayer Menu
Access the multiplayer menu by selecting MULTIPLAYER from the game’s main menu.
Quick Match
Connect to an existing multiplayer lobby or game in progress. Be sure to have your character set
before selecting QUICK MATCH.
Create New Match
Create a match with specific mission settings.
Character
Customize your character’s appearance and upgrade powers, weapons, and mission equipment.
Leaderboards
Review your N7 Rating to see how you rank against your friends, your country, and the global
Mass Effect multiplayer community.
Store
Select STORE to purchase reinforcement packs to upgrade your character and enhance your
multiplayer experience. Reinforcements can be purchased with credits or with BioWare Points. Accumulate credits by
completing objectives during multiplayer sessions.
Joining or Creating a Game
Customize up to four game options.
XX Public/Private Match
XX Location
XX Enemy
XX Challenge
Team
Set a mission to public or private when creating a custom game. You cannot choose a private mission
when choosing QUICK MATCH from the multiplayer menu.
Private: Only invited players may join. Public: Any player may join. The match will often be populated by players choosing Quick Match.
Location
Each theater of war has one or more conflict zones, which are also known as firebases.
To defend a theater, you must choose a corresponding firebase when joining or creating a match. Do
this by changing the mission’s location.
Setting the location to “unknown” will give each player’s character an experience bonus of +10% and
will improve the readiness rating of all theaters by up to +5%. Choosing a specific firebase improves
the readiness rating of its theater by +15% and improves the rating of all other theaters by +2%.
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Enemy
Invading forces are made up of Reapers, Cerberus, and Geth.
If you wish to defend a territory against a specific hostile force, choose an enemy type when joining or
creating a mission.
Setting the enemy to “unknown” generates an enemy at random and awards your character a +15%
experience bonus.
Challenge
Choose from bronze, silver, and gold challenges when joining or creating a mission.
Bronze challenges are intended for beginners, silver for intermediate players, and gold is for experts.
The harder the difficulty setting, the more credits and experience your character earns.
Host Migration
If a hosting player leaves a game, a new host is selected from the squad, and the mission restarts
from the beginning of the current wave.
The Missions
Multiplayer missions, or matches, are broken into 10 waves of enemies (plus one bonus wave) that
increase in difficulty as they hit your position.
Mission Objectives
During a mission, the team must complete specified objectives to proceed to the next wave.
Complete these objectives within the allotted time to avoid failing the mission. Objectives occur on
waves 3, 6, and 10.
There are three types of mission objectives:
Assassination
Hacking
Devices
Take out a number of targeted enemies before time runs out.
Capture and hold a point in order to hack critical data before time runs out.
Enable or disable key devices in sequence before time runs out.
Medals
Squads and combatants can earn medals for coordinated efforts and individual actions. Points
derived from earning medals add to the team’s experience and to the mission’s score.
Extraction Points
After a mission’s tenth wave, the
team must rally to an extraction point.
Mission bonuses are based on the
number of teammates alive by the
time the Alliance shuttle reaches the
extraction point to retrieve the team.
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Mission Summary
The mission summary showcases individual and team medals. The success of the squad as a whole
determines the experience and credits earned, but individual accomplishments are also valuable.
Multiplayer Lobby
The multiplayer lobby is where you wait
for your team to assemble before going
on a mission. This chapter reviews the options you
can adjust while waiting for a match
to start.
Mission Settings
Review the data on the top-left of the
screen to see the mission’s location,
the enemy you will be fighting, and the
challenge level.
If you’ve created the mission, select MISSION SETTINGS to change these options before the
match starts.
Roster Details
On the right side of the screen is a list of players currently waiting for the match to start. This list gives
a quick overview of each player’s class and class-level. Review a player’s N7 Rating to get a general sense of how experienced they are. Review the Roster
Details to get a breakdown of each player-character’s powers, weapons, mods, and equipment. You
can also vote to kick a player from the lobby on this screen.
N7 Rating
The N7 rating for your character and other players is seen to the right of the N7 logo.
Your N7 rating is the accumulated character-levels you’ve earned for each class of character. The
only way to push your N7 rating past 120 is by promoting your squads. (A rating of 120 represents all
classes maximized to level 20.)
Ready
Select READY when you’re ready to start a match. The mission begins when all players in the lobby
are ready.
Powers
Select POWERS to unlock and evolve powers. A “Level Up” indicator appears when you have
collected enough points to spend on powers.
See sections Navigating Powers and Purchasing and Evolving Powers in the single-player section for
instructions on navigating this screen and unlocking/evolving powers.
Weapons
Select WEAPONS to change your character’s inventory of weapons.
See Weapons, Mods, and Armor in the single-player section for instructions on how to use and
customize weapons.
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Appearance
Select APPEARANCE to customize the appearance of your character.
Equipment
Select EQUIPMENT to review the supplies you’ve acquired. You can also apply ammo, weapon, and
armor bonuses on this screen.
Store
Select STORE to purchase reinforcement packs to upgrade your character and enhance your
multiplayer experience. Reinforcements can be purchased with credits or with BioWare Points. Accumulate credits by
completing objectives during multiplayer sessions.
Change Character
Select CHARACTER to change characters. You can choose between various species within each of
the six classes of characters.
See Character Screen for more details.
Invite Friends
Select INVITE FRIENDS to invite players you’ve added to your friends list or have recently
played against.
Player Chat
Talk to other players using voice chat. A microphone icon next to a player’s name indicates their voice
chat is enabled.
Exit Lobby
Select EXIT LOBBY to return to the multiplayer menu and the Galaxy at War.
Character Screen
Use the Character screen to change character class, unlock class kits, and promote characters.
The first time you launch the multiplayer game, you are jumped to this screen to choose your initial
character class.
Classes
View all available classes and their unlocked kits on the Character screen.
Select a new class to see its open kits and available actions. Each class’s level is displayed, and that
level applies to all kits associated with the class.
Kits
Kits are used to adjust the appearance, gameplay style, and powers of a class. Unlock unique kits by
purchasing reinforcement packs from the store.
Unlocked kits that haven’t been deployed are marked NEW. Deployed kits that have unspent talent points are marked LEVEL UP. Locked kits are marked LOCKED.
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Promoting a Class
When a class reaches level 20, the player may choose to promote and send the class to their
single-player Galaxy at War.
Promoting a class to the Galaxy at War resets its level to 1 but also increases the player’s N7
leaderboard score by 10. Only your character’s level is reset. Weapons, mods, and consumables
are kept.
Reinforcement Packs
Reinforcement packs contain weapons, mods, kit trainers, and equipment.
Buy reinforcement packs to build your collection of gear.
Weapons
Purchase reinforcement packs to find weapon-unlocks for all classes and characters. Purchase
additional packs to upgrade your weapon level to a maximum of 10. Reinforced weapons are lighter, deal more damage, and have greater heat capacity.
Mods
Mod reinforcements can be used by any character that has a weapon of a matching mod-type. Mods
can be used to upgrade your mod-level to a maximum of 5. Find these mods in reinforcement packs.
Training Kits
Use training kits to grant a one-time experience boost that increases a character class’s master level.
Find training kits in reinforcement packs.
Equipment
Before a mission starts, select an empty equipment slot and choose a single-use item from a
character’s inventory. There are three types of equipment—ammo, armor, and weapon upgrades--that boost your character
for a single mission.
Supplies
Every character carries these standard supplies into a mission:
Cobra Missile Launcher
Take out hardened targets with this one-shot missile launcher.
Thermal Clip Pack
Refill your thermal clips and grenade supply during a mission.
Medi-Gel
Revive yourself when incapacitated in combat.
Ops Survival Pack
Fully restore health and shields.
A character can bring a limited number of supplies on a mission, but capacity upgrades are available
(see the next section).
Capacity Upgrades
Increase the number of supply items your character can carry into a mission by collecting
capacity upgrades.
Respec
Spend respec items to reset a character’s talent points in the Powers screen.
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Basic Controls
This chapter covers basic combat controls and is intended for players new to the Mass Effect series.
Movement
Move using the following keys: W
A
D
S
Forward
Left
Right
Backward
Camera Control
Move the mouse to look around.
Tight Aim
Right-click to accurately aim your weapon.
Fire and Reload
To fire a weapon, left-click. To reload, press R.
Switch Weapons
Switch to the previous weapon held by pressing X.
Powers
For instructions on how to use powers, please review Powers in the single-player section.
Melee
To perform a basic melee attack, press F while standing close to an enemy.
To perform a heavy melee attack, press and hold F while standing close to an enemy. Each character
class has a unique heavy melee.
To do melee combos, press F repeatedly while standing close to an enemy.
Storm
To run, press and hold SPACEBAR while moving forward.
Evade
To dodge attacks and projectiles or to get out of cover quickly, move and press SPACEBAR.
Cover Use
Use cover objects to hold out against
tough enemies. Using cover is essential
when playing on harder difficulty levels.
Accuracy is improved when leaning
out of cover to fire. Heavy recoil is
also reduced.
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Taking Cover
There are three ways to enter cover.
XX Move against cover and press SPACEBAR.
XX Roll forward into cover by pressing SPACEBAR while moving.
XX Storm/run into cover by holding SPACEBAR.
Zoom Fire
Pop out of cover to fire accurately by pressing and holding right-click to zoom and then left-click to fire. While zoomed, a superior targeting reticle appears on-screen.
Peek Fire
Fire over cover without standing up by left-clicking.
Swat Turn
Move from one cover spot to adjacent cover on the left or right by holding A or D and
pressing SPACEBAR.
Ninety-Degree Cover Turn
Round a corner in cover by standing at the edge of a cover-object and clicking the mouse wheel.
Vault
Vault over low cover by holding W and pressing SPACEBAR.
Alternatively, quick-vault by tapping SPACEBAR twice while approaching low cover. This can also be
done while storming to hurdle over cover.
Cover Slip
Storm forward out of cover by holding W while standing at the edge of cover and then pressing and
holding SPACEBAR.
Cover Kill
Instantly kill enemies standing on the other side of a shared piece of low cover by moving across from
them and pressing and holding F.
Standing Melee
Attack enemies around the edges of cover by standing at the edge and pressing F.
The HUD
Shield Bar
Ammo Indicator
Health Bar
The HUD, short for Heads-Up Display, is the collection of icons and status bars you see on the edges
of the screen as you play the game.
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Shield Bar
Monitor your shield level by checking the blue bar on the bottom of the screen. When this bar is full,
shields prevent the brunt of an attack from affecting your health. As attacks are absorbed by the
shield, it is reduced in strength. When the shield bar is depleted, incoming attacks affect your health
bar instead.
Shields take several seconds to recharge and regenerate. Any damage taken during this
recharge period stops the process. A shattered shield takes longer to regenerate than a partially
depleted shield.
Health Bar
Health is represented by the red bar broken into five segments that’s tucked underneath the blue
shield bar on the bottom of the screen.
When you are attacked while the shield bar is depleted, the rightmost red segment of the health bar
starts turning gray. Only First Aid can regenerate a fully depleted bar of health. A health segment that
is only partially reduced will regenerate on its own if you can get to cover and avoid further damage.
You die if you lose all five health segments!
Power Cooldown Indicator
Some powers require energy to use. The time it takes before you can use a power again is called
cooldown. Cooldown periods vary, depending on the power.
When cooldown is in effect, two red semicircles appear on either side of the targeting reticle at the
center of the screen. Cooldown time can be judged by the distance between the two semicircles.
When these come together and merge, cooldown is complete, and you can use powers again.
Ammo Indicator
Weapons use heat-sink technology to enable rapid, devastating firepower. When a clip’s worth of heat
accumulates in the sink, it is ejected from the weapon. Running out of heat sinks is effectively the
same as running out of ammo.
Keep track of you heat-sink inventory on the bottom-left of the screen. The bottom number indicates
how many shots the current heat sink has left, and the top number shows you the total number of
shots the entire inventory of heat sinks has left. When a weapon runs out of sinks, “No Ammo” will
display just below the targeting reticle, and you’ll have to find new cylinders for the weapon or switch
to an already-loaded weapon.
Supplies
The current number of supplies you are carrying are shown on the left side of the screen.
Press 5 to use cobra rocket launchers.
Press 6 to use ops survival packs.
Press 7 to use medi-gel
Press 8 to use thermal clip packs.
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Tips and Help
Combat Tips
Combat tips from Mass Effect 3’s gameplay team.
Cerberus Defense
Combat Rolls
Headshots
Heavy Melee
Higher Ground
Barrier Engine
Suppress Shields
Squad Bonus
Squad Configuration
Cerberus uses mobile defenses. Find and destroy the portable generators
that power their shield pylons and cover nodes.
Use combat rolls to get quickly in and out of cover.
Headshots inflict superior damage on most targets.
Heavy melee is an effective attack against unarmored or
unshielded enemies.
Watch out for opponents on higher ground! Elevated enemies can shoot
you even in cover.
Reaper troops protect themselves by deploying barrier generators called
Barrier Engines. Target these first.
Keep firing and unleashing powers to prevent enemy shields
from regenerating.
Squadmates do more damage when ordered to attack a specific target.
Choosing the right squad to complement Shepard’s strengths and
weaknesses is key. Experiment with squad configurations.
Enemy Tips
Enemy tips from Mass Effect 3’s gameplay team.
Atlas
Banshee
Brute
Cannibal
Centurion
Engineer
Geth Hunter
Geth Prime
Geth Pyro
Guardian
The Atlas is a hulking death machine with powerful armor, shields, and
weapons. Shatter the canopy to expose the pilot.
Stop a Banshee when she becomes charged by damaging her while she uses
biotic jumps to close in.
Don’t let a Brute get close! Brutes are vicious opponents that can instantly
kill you.
Cannibals form armored plating by reclaiming fallen Cannibals and Husks.
Shooting these plates deals no damage to the Cannibal until they are blown off.
Centurions deploy smoke screens to conceal their movement. See through this
by equipping a sniper rifle with certain scope mods.
Pick off engineers before they set up armored turrets or repair a
damaged Atlas.
A cloaked Geth Hunter moves through the field virtually undetected, allowing
them to flank with powerful plasma-shotguns. Take out their shields to disable
their cloaking ability.
Use Sabotage on a Geth Prime to hack its drones and turrets.
Geth Pyros have flamethrowers that burn enemies at close range. Target their
fuel tanks and use Overload and Sabotage.
Guardian shields block powers, shots, and melee. To kill a Guardian, stagger
them with Throw or Concussive Shot or use Pull to tear away their shields.
Flanking them also works.
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Marauder
Nemesis
Phantom
Ravager
Marauders buff Husks and Cannibals by giving them armored plating. Take out
the Marauder first.
The Nemesis is a nimble opponent armed with a powerful sniper rifle. Take
cover when you spot red laser sights honing in on your position.
Destroy a Phantom’s sword to remove its melee abilities. Phantoms are agile
combatants, so keep pressure on them.
When a Ravager’s sac breaks, Swarmers are released. Swarmers are weak,
but a group of them can kill or keep shields from regenerating.
Powers Tips
Power tips from Mass Effect 3’s gameplay team.
Armor Piercing
Use hard-hitting weapons against armored opponents. Incendiary and armor-piercing ammo
also help.
Barriers & Shields
Shields and barriers protect against health damage. Shields appear as blue, and barriers are purple.
Heal
Shepard’s current health bar will regenerate, but already-depleted segments can only be restored by
using First Aid from the Power Menu.
Passive Powers
The last two power upgrades in a tree are passive skills that improve combat, weight capacity, and
Paragon and Renegade bonuses.
Power Combos
Power combos require a source power and a detonator power. Source powers generally leave a
lasting effect on an enemy (Pull, Cryo Blast, Reave, etc.). Detonator powers generally deal high
damage or force (Carnage, Incinerate, Warp, etc.). Most powers can be a source, a detonator, or
both, so explore the many combinations.
Power combos come in four types:
Biotic Combos
Electric Combos
Flame Combos
Cryo Combos
Trigger these by combining more than one biotic effect, such as lifting an enemy
with Pull before striking them with Warp. Biotic combos result in an explosion
that blasts not just the target, but also the area around the target.
Trigger these by combining an electrical effect with a detonator, such as
electrocuting an enemy with Overload before striking them with Concussive
Shot. Electric combos result in bonus damage to shields and a chance to stun
undefended enemies.
Trigger these by combining a flame effect with a lethal detonator, such as
igniting an enemy with Incinerate before finishing them off with Carnage. Flame
combos result in bonus damage to armor and a chance to light undefended
enemies on fire.
Trigger these by combining a freeze effect with a lethal detonator, such as
freezing an enemy with Cryo Ammo before finishing them off with Biotic Charge.
Cryo combos freeze undefended enemies and will chill the rest.
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Revive
Use the First Aid power to resuscitate a fallen squadmate from a distance. This consumes medi-gel.
Move to your comrade to resuscitate them without using medi-gel.
Strategy: Barriers & Shields
Use rapid-fire weapons and Disruptor Ammo to bring down shields and barriers. Stop shields from
regenerating by decimating them with Overload, Shield Drain, or Disruptor Ammo.
Strategy: Cerberus
Target Cerberus generators with Overload or Sabotage to cripple their defenses. If you take a
Cerberus position, repair the shields to use them yourself.
Strategy: Geth
Geth rely heavily on their shields and are therefore vulnerable to Overload, Shield Drain, Sabotage,
and Disruptor Ammo.
Weight Capacity
Carrying too many weapons will increase cooldown, effectively slowing down how often you can
use powers.
Weapon Tips
Weapon tips from Mass Effect 3’s gameplay team.
Armor Piercing
Barriers & Shields
Cover Piercing
Firing from Cover
Use hard-hitting weapons against armored opponents. Incendiary and
armor-piercing ammo also helps.
Shields and barriers protect against health damage. Shields appear as
blue, and barriers are purple.
The Widow, Black Widow, and Javelin weapons can fire through enemies
and light cover. Mod other weapons, like the Mattock and Claymore, to
apply this devastating effect.
Weapons are more accurate when fired from cover.
Firing Ranges
Overheating
Reducing Recoil
Thermal Clips
Weapon Balance
Weapon Mods
Weight Capacity
Test out your weapons on the Citadel’s firing range, located by the
Spectre offices.
Weapons have thermal clips to prevent overheating. Clips use a universal
design, so retrieve compatible clips from combat areas and fallen enemies.
Powerful weapons recoil and are difficult to aim. Fire from cover and apply
certain mods to steady your hand.
Spent thermal clips are ejected to cool weapons. Run out of clips, and you
can’t fire.
It’s good practice to equip one slow, heavy weapon and one rapid-firing
weapon to deal with different defenses.
Powerful weapons tend to have decreased thermal-clip capacities. Mod
your weapon to improve its efficiency.
Carrying too many weapons will increase cooldown, effectively slowing
down how often you can use powers.
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Help
NEED HELP?
Access help articles for this game or connect to personalized service by visiting
help.ea.com/en/mass-effect. Whether online, in community forums, through chat, on the phone, or in your social network,
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