Game Progress Route for Mass Effect features a recommended step-by-step progression path for the main campaign of the game, its goal is to provide players the important points of the game and to avoid any missing important aspects such as significant Locations, NPCs, Items.
For guides on quests, click here, if you want to check a detailed guide for each location, you may visit our Walkthrough page.
Keep in mind that Mass Effect is a game that have many branching paths, and some choices, may alter the course of the game. For example, after completing Citadel: Expose Saren, you can take on Feros, Noveria or Therum in any order you like. This Game Progress Route, follows one of many posibilities within the game.
Mass Effect Game Progress Route
- Speak to the Captain
- Head to the dig site
- Continue to Dig Site
- Investigate Research Camp.
Once you land on Eden Prime, take on the first Enemies you will find and keep moving forward. You will find Ashley Williams at the dig site, who will join your party.
Keep going while facing more Geth forces, until Nihlus tells you that he will be investigating a spaceport and wait for you there. Not too long after that, he will be killed by Saren.
Once you reach the starport after some more fighting with Geth and Husks, you will eventually find Nihlus' body. After some more Geth fighting, take the train and leave to the second platform.
When you regain control, you will have 5 minutes to disarm four explosives, once you do. Head to the final ramp to trigger a cutscene from the Prothean Beacon.
Once you recover consciousness, you will find yourself at the Med bay of the Normandy. Go talk to Joker at the hull of the ship to trigger another cutscene showing you the Citadel.
- Talk to Captain Anderson and Ambassador Udina
- Head to the Citadel Tower to meet the Council
- Search Garrus Vakarian
- Search Urdnot Wrex
- Rescue Tali'Zorah nar Rayya
- Expose Saren
Once you arrive at the Citadel, Ambassador Udina is at a meeting with the council. After he demands action by them, the Turian councilor cuts him off and remembers him that everything will be determined during the hearing and not before.
Head to the Citadel Tower and meet the Council to expose your case against Saren. You can receive both Citadel: Garrus and Citadel: Shadow Broker Missions from Udina and Anderson, respectively.
Head to Chora's Den to talk to Harkin, to learn the location of Garrus Vakarian. After talking with Harkin, head to Dr. Michel's Med Clinic. You will find that she's being attacked by some thugs. Defeat them and Garrus Vakarian will offer to join your party, before doing so, he tells you about a Human named Fist, who happens to work for Saren. Accept him. After doing so, he will recommend seeking help from a Krogan called Urdnot Wrex.
Head to C-Sec offices to find Urdnot Wrex, you can talk to him to recruit him to your side. Once that's done, head to Chora's Den, to deal with Fist. Once you enter the gentleman's club, you will find it empty, only occupied by Enemies, deal with them and head to the room in the back. You will find Fist alongside two Turrets.
Once defeated, he tells you a Quarian with information regarding Saren's treachery is about to be ambushed by two Turian Assassins. If you manage to help her, she introduces herself as Tali'Zohra nar Rayya and plays you an audio log that proves Saren's betrayal.
Head to the Human embassy and talk to Ambassador Udina, he will listen to the audio retrieved by Tali, and decide to head to the Citadel Tower once again. The audio proves to be an irrefutable proof by the Council that Saren was behind the attack on Eden Prime. This will lead to the council stripping Saren of his Spectre status, and after some debating, decide to make Commander Shepard the first Human spectre ever. After this, you can decide to let Tali join your party.
Leave the Citadel by taking the C-Sec Academy's elevator, and board the Normandy. You can now decide to travel to one of the three main plot worlds of the game. Feros, Noveria or Therum.
- Make your way through on the Mako
- Open the gates of the Industrial outpost
- Head to the Ruins
- Reach Liara T'Soni
- Rescue Liara T'Soni
- Leave Therum
You will land on Therum on the Mako, a versatile vehicle that has a powerful cannon and is ideal for traversin planets. Keep heading north and defeating any Geth opposing force that gets in your way.
Once you reach the industrial outpost, defeat the turrets, enter the building and activate the switch to open the gates. Get back on the Mako, and continue forward.
You will find more resistance, just take them from the Mako or get off it to fight whatever Geth come to face you. Once done, you will have to enter the gatehouse on your left to activate the switch that opens the second door. Head on the Mako again and keep going.
You will reach a narrow gap that can't fit the Mako, so you will have to leave it behind, enter and fight the remaining Geth. Approach the Ruins to trigger a cutscene, and fight the opposing Geth force. Enter the Ruins once the fight is over.
You will find a final wave of resistance, before meeting Liara T'Soni, your potential last squad member. She's trapped inside a prothean security device. Head down and use the terminal next to the mining laser to open a hole under Liara. Head into the newly created tunnel and head on the other side to finally meet Liara T'Soni.
While you are going to the top, you will face the final fight of the planet. A Krogan Battlemaster leading a group of Geth will ask you to hand over Liara. This only can end inf a fight, so it doesn't matter what you answer.
Once the fight is over, the crew boards the Normandy and leaves Therum.
- Reach Zhu's Hope
- Head to ExoGeni HQ
- Deal with Ethan Jeong
- Enter the Thorian's Lair
- Decide Shiala's fate
- See the fate of the colony.
Once you disembark on Feros, you will meet the locals, and immediately after, Geth will attack. Dispose of them, and head to the colony called Zhu's Hope. You will find Fai Dan and Arcelia Martinez arguing. Again, more Geth will interrupt the conversation, Arcelia points you towards the tower.
Head there and fight all the Geth on your way. Eventually, you will see a cutscene of a Geth Dropship leaving. Return to Fai Dan to tell him about the Geth extermination. Once you do, you can get some extra Assignments from him and other members of the Colony. These Assignments are measured to determine the probability of success of the colony at the end of the main Mission.
You will find an elevator past Fai Dan, take it. Face the Geth and get inside the Mako. Continue through the skyway while dealing with a wide variety of Geth along the way. Once you reach the end, you will be greeted by Ethan Jeond and Juliana Baynham, with a group of refugees. Juliana tells you about her missing daughter. Leave and get on the Mako again, head to the garage, dispatch the Geth and enter it.
You will face more enemy forces, head forward to emerge from a cavern, and you'll meet Lizbeth Baynham, Juliana's daughter. She tells you about what happened and gives you her ID badge, before going into hiding again.
Head to the door across the room, fight the Krogan and talk to the VI. Leave and return to the colony.
While trying to leave you will find a bunch of Geth. After descending you will find a console that you need to operate to open the shuttle bay door. You will find Lizbeth Baynham again. She gets in the Mako with you, head back to Zhu's Hope.
Once you reach the ExoGeni Bunker, Ethan Jeong confronts you about the colony. You can convince him that the colony is worth saving or just end up killing him. Now continue to Zhu's Hope.
You will find more Geth blocking access to Zhu's Hope. Defeat them and enter the colony. You learn that the colonists have gone insane, and you have to decide to save them or not, this again impacts the fate of the colony at the end of the Mission. You can equip the Anti-Thorian Gas Grenade Upgrade and use it to prevent killing them.
Keep going until you reach a crane, operate it to get access to the Thorian. You will meet the Thorian. You will have to destroy various nodes to hurt the creature, but in order to do so, you will have to go down 5 levels fighting various waves of Thorian Creeper and Asari clones.
Once all 5 levels have been cleared, you meet Shiala, a former follower of Matriarch Benezia that was given away by Saren to the Thorian. She gives you the cipher and you can decide to let her live or kill her. Once you do, you return automatically to the colony. The ExoGeni personnel and their reaction upon seeing you is based on the actions you have taken during the course of the Mission.
Once you arrive at Noveria, and after a short misunderstanding, you will meet Gianna Parasini, who tells you Matriarch Benezia is in Noveria. You will have to get your hands on a garage pass.
You can do it by completing Noveria: Smuggling or Noveria: Lorik Qui'in. Once you obtain it, you will be able to enter the Garage. Get on the Mako, head to Peak 15. You will have to fight some more Geth and take the elevator all the way up.
You will find a new Enemy type, the Rachni. Once you deal with them, take the elevator to fix Peak 15.
You will find the VI, activate it. To receive Noveria: Reconnect Landlines and Noveria: Reactor Repair. Emerge at the roof and kill the 5 Rachni, to then be able to reconnect the landlines, and head back to the VI. Then take the elevator left to the VI, you will face a small army of Geth defeat, head to the reactor and start it. Take the elevator back up to the VI.
Head down the tunnel, and fight the Rachni and take the tram to head to the Rift Station. There you will meet Captain Ventralis, you can head to the Hot Labs or explore the main level with him.
Whatever you choose to do, once complete, you will be able to enter the Secure Lab to fight Matriarch Benezia, arguably the hardest Boss in the game. After the fight, you will have to resolve the fate of the Rachni Queen, by either decide to let it live or kill it.
Once you land on Virmire, you will find a series of three gatehouses while facing numerous Geth forces. You will be able to deactivate the AA tower and raise the gates at the second Gatehouse. Do it and go past the third, after that, you will reach the Salarian Camp.
You will meet Captain Kirrahe and an important scene regarding Urdnot Wrex will play out, that could potentially lead to the Krogan's death. Once you are ready, talk to Captain Kirrahe, he will devise a plan but asks for one member of the squad to go alongside him for the assault. Whomever you send will be unavailable for the rest of the Mission on Virmire.
You and your team will be sneaking on the base, you will find 2 watchtowers before reaching Saren's base. After the second one, you will receive a notificacion via comm about some Geth flyers arriving at the scene. Captain Kirrahe's fate depends on you taking them down.
Once defeated, head across the bridge. Grab the crate on the left and hack the wall safe on the right. Now you are presented with two options to enter the base:
- The door on the upper level to the right of the bridge.
- A path down through the base's underworks that can be accessed to the left of the bridge.
Whichever way yo choose ends the same, just changes the amount of Enemies to face. Once you reach the interior you will learn a lot about Sovereign, Saren's flagship. After you leave the base, you will have one tough choice ahead of you.
You won't have access to both Ashley Williams or Kaidan Alenko as one will go to the AA Tower and the other one will be planting the bomb. A short while after, your squad mate at the tower will state that they are being pinned down. After you face a Geth unit led by a Krogan Warlord, you will receive a call from whoever is at the bombing site, talking about the Geth being deployed at the zone are increasing in numbers.
You can only save one, Kaidan Alenko or Ashley Williams. Once you decide, the other path will be blocked and whoever you didn't save will die at the end of the Mission.
Before escaping, you will be confronted by Saren on his Hovercraft. You will have to take him on before escaping Virmire. Once you deal enough damage to the Turian, a cutscene interrupts you and you will be leaving Virmire for good.
Travel to Ilos, if you pursued succesfully a romantic relantionship, you will be traeated to cutscene where your love interest visits your chambers. Once you land on the planet, face the Geth welcoming you. Once they are down, continue until the end of the trench, climb the ramps to head deeper into the complex. You will eventually reach a threshold where you can proceed further or follow the left path.
You can snipe your Enemies from there, once done, drop into the courtyard, turn left and take the elevator up. you will find more Enemies, take them down and take another elevator.
You will find more Geth here, once all of them are defeated, head to the T-shaped ramp at the back of the room until you reach the security console. Activate it to disable the lock on the archive well. You will receive a message regarding the Reapers. Now head back to the plaza, get on the mako and use it to reach the "creepy underground bunker" as one of your squadmates put it.
Halfway through you will find some Enemies, defeat them, and once that's done, keep going. Eventually, the mako will be trapped by a forcefield and you will be forced to exit the vehicle and continue on foot.
You will meet Vigil, a Prothean Virtual Intelligence. You learn that Saren was there before. Vigil can tell you a lot about the Protheans and their eventual fall against the Reapers, the Citadel and Sovereign. Once you finish talking with him, he gives you a file that temporarily grants you full access to the Citadel and its resources. Then leave to the Citadel.
Citadel Final Visit
Leave Vigil and get back into the Mako. The forcefields are no more. Take the left path to face a lot of Geth forces. After a few fights, you will be interrupted by a cutscene showing Sovereign's arrival on the Citadel.
Once you regain control, you will have 40 seconds to get to the conduit and use it. Don't fight, go along zigzagging following the small river to evade as much fire as possible. Enter attempt to enter the conduit on foot, because it will result in an instant death.
You will find yourself in the Citadel. There will be some Husks to fight, when you are done with them, speak to Avina. The VI tells you about what Saren is doing and that the Citadel Council has already been evacuated. Head to the elevator to go to the top.
The elevator will be damaged, so you will exit it and must use the exhaust plain of the Citadel Tower. Keep moving forward to face some Geth. and after them a Krogan Warlord leading a Geth unit. Once you are done with all the fighting, head to where you saw a Geth Dropship.
You will find more Enemies here, and after that some Turrets. Once destroyed, head down the ramp and proceed to the suothern end of the plain, this leads to the Council Chambers.
Once there, and after dealing with a small Geth opposing force, head to the master control terminal to trigger a cutscene. Saren shows up and strikes a conversation with you, talking about how you should join the Reapers. If you managed to convince Saren on Virmire, he he says that it was because he couldn't stop thinking about what Commander Shepard said. Sovereign sensed Saren's hesitation, so it decided to install implants on Saren. If you convinced him on Virmire, and manage to do so again, he commits suicide. If not, you will face him again in a similar fight as the one on Virmire.
Head to the control terminal to upload the file prreviously provided by Vigil. Once that's done, you will have to make the final decision of the game. Save the Council (Paragon) or let the Council die (Renegade), this decision has a huge impact on the game's ending.
Regardless of your choice, you will face a new Saren Arterius, sporting a Husk-like look and completely controlled by Sovereign. After he is dispatched, you will be treated to the end scene, based mostly on your previous choice but also on the alignment you chose to play the game as (Paragon or Renegade)