Mass Effect 2: Optimal Mission Order

In BioWare's Mass Effect 2, Shepard has the freedom to tackle most missions in any order. What is the best order to follow?

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Prologue: joining cerberus, act 1: putting together your team, act 2 – part 1: finishing recruitment, act 2 – part 2: gaining loyalty, act 3: endgame.

For the most part, Mass Effect 2 is a linear RPG. However, the game does give you some freedom when it comes to mission order. Each act of the adventure has an abundance of quests to take on, and it doesn't matter which you do first or which you save for later.

RELATED: 10 Things We Wish We Knew Before Starting Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Yet, playing each mission in a specific order can improve a playthrough in various ways. For instance, if you complete quests in the optimal sequence, you lower the risk of losing characters by the end of the game. Plus, your narrative experience can be enhanced simply by doing certain missions at certain times. So, here is the order in which you should complete all of the main content.

During Mass Effect 2's prologue, you have no control over which missions you play . The sequence of events includes an attack on the Normandy, Shepard joining Cerberus, and a visit to Freedom's Progress.

The lack of freedom in the opening stages makes sense as the game slowly introduces you to its mechanics and sets up the story.

Mission Order:

  • Prologue: Save Joker
  • Prologue: Awakening
  • Freedom's Progress

Things start to open up once the prologue ends as the Illusive Man gives you multiple recruitment missions to do at your leisure . You also have a few other quests to keep you busy.

RELATED: Mass Effect 2: Every Squad Recruitment Mission, Ranked

Optimal Mission Order:

  • Normandy Crash Site – A few characters suggest that your first objective should be to head to Omega to meet the Professor. Although, it seems more appropriate to visit the wreckage of the original Normandy to say one last goodbye before getting into the game.
  • Dossier: The Veteran – Three of your future squadmates are on Omega, so that's where you should head next. Zaeed is near the entrance to the space station, and you're guaranteed to pass him upon entry. His dossier 'quest' is just a simple conversation. Thus, there's no need to ignore the veteran merc.
  • Dossier: The Professor – Picking up Mordin Solus early makes a lot of sense because, at that point, he's the most valuable person to have on the team as he can help deal with the Collector seeker swarms. Logically, Shepard wouldn't go for anyone else first besides Zaeed.
  • Dossier: Archangel – Recruiting Archangel is the last vital thing to do on Omega in the early stages. Therefore, you may as well find the vigilante after you've got Mordin.
  • Project Firewalker – This one can be done anytime before the Reaper IFF mission as it's not that important.
  • Dossier: The Thief – You’ll want to go to the Citadel at this point in the game. Like Zaeed, this mission is one conversation, which takes place right where you enter the station.
  • Citadel: The Council – It can be argued that you should do this quest earlier. After all, Shepard is likely excited to see Anderson for the first time in a while. Yet, during the assignment, Anderson and the Council share their concerns about you working for Cerberus. The line of questioning surrounding Shepard's new organization works better when you've actually done a few missions for them.
  • Kasumi: Stealing Memory – It's nice to complete this one soon after meeting Kasumi as the specifics and reasoning for the mission are fresh in your mind. Although, you can really do it anytime before the Reaper IFF
  • Dossier: The Convict – It doesn’t matter what order you do the Jack and Grunt dossier missions as long as they're completed after the other quests in this act.
  • Dossier: The Warlord – See above.
  • Horizon – This mission triggers after you recruit Mordin, Garrus, Jack, and Grunt.

After the Horizon quest, the Illusive Man points you toward three more people you should recruit. Plus, this is when loyalty missions start appearing, so make sure you're regularly talking to your teammates.

For the first part of this act, you can only do five quests before triggering the next Collector assignment.

  • Dossier: Tali – Story-wise, it makes sense for you to recruit Tali straight away in act 2 because of Shepard’s pre-existing relationship with the Quarian. What's more, she's arguably the best Mass Effect companion ever .
  • Dossier: The Justicar – Both the Justicar and Assassin dossier quests are initiated on Illium, so it's good to get them done one after another. It doesn't matter which mission you do first.
  • Dossier: The Assassin – See above.
  • Grunt: Rite of Passage – At this point, you’ve only got two quests left to complete before triggering the next Collector mission. Therefore, it's a good opportunity to do the two Loyalty missions on Tuchanka (Grunt and Mordin).
  • Mordin: Old Blood – See Above.
  • Collector Ship – Once you've completed five missions after Horizon, this critical quest will automatically begin.

You have plenty of freedom in the wake of the Collector Ship investigation as the game doesn't force you to start the next mission. In fact, you want to avoid initiating the Reaper IFF quest for quite some time .

RELATED: Mass Effect 2: Every Loyalty Mission, Ranked From Worst To Best

Instead, the second part of act 2 is about getting almost all of the loyalty missions done . And these quests are crucial because they help you keep everyone alive during the Suicide Mission .

  • Miranda: The Prodigal – The order in which you do most loyalty missions isn't important. However, besides Kasumi and Zaeed, Miranda or Jacob will likely ask for help first. Therefore it's logical that Shepard wouldn't leave the two Cerberus agents waiting too long.
  • Jacob: The Gift of Greatness – See Above.
  • Garrus: Eye for an Eye – Because of the close bond Shepard and Garrus share, the Commander would help the Turian before most others.
  • Thane: Sins of the Father – As Thane's search for his son takes place in the same area as the Garrus quest, aka the Citadel, you should do this right afterward.
  • Samara: The Ardat-Yakshi – It doesn't matter when you do Samara's quest as long as it's before the Reaper IFF.
  • Tali: Treason – When Tali tells you about her trial, she'll strongly encourage you to deal with it immediately. However, there's no actual timer on the mission, and it's better to save it until you've built up enough Paragon or Renegade points to get the quest's best ending.
  • Jack: Subject Zero – After Jack's mission, you’ll need to break up a fight between her and Miranda. To keep the loyalty of them both, you need to have a high enough percentage of Paragon or Renegade points. Even though it's based on percentage, it seems easier to keep them both happy in the later stage of the game. Also, you witness some of the awful things Cerberus has done during the quest, which from a narrative standpoint makes sense to do now that you're late in the game.
  • Overlord – This is another one that shows you more of the sick experiments Cerberus was doing. Once again it works better at this point just before Shepard's relationship with the organization starts to deteriorate.
  • Zaeed: The Price of Revenge – Zaeed's mission will be available for a long time, and this is pretty much your last chance to do it. You don't have to leave it this late, but as Paragon players need to pass a very high morality check to make Zaeed loyal, it's best to save it until now.

Act 3 serves as the endgame , and it doesn't allow much time for side content. So, make sure that you've done everything before starting these quests .

  • Reaper IFF – Completing this mission sets in motion the last stretch of the game.
  • Legion: A House Divided – After acquiring Legion from the IFF quest, you'll need to activate and talk to him multiple times to receive his loyalty mission. You may need to travel to a different part of the ship and come back to get him to talk to you again after the first conversation. For the best possible ending to the game, you'll want to help Legion as soon as you can.
  • Save The Ship – This short mission will start the next time you use the galaxy map after the Reaper IFF has finished installing.
  • The Suicide Mission – If you want to save everyone on the Normandy crew, you'll have to enter the Omega 4 relay almost immediately after the last quest. By using the relay, you'll initiate the Suicide Mission.
  • Lair Of The Shadow Broker – As it’s disconnected from the main story, you can do Lair of the Shadow Broker after the credits have rolled. Plus, if Legion survived the last quest, you get a rare chance to use him for what is arguably the best expansion in the series .
  • Arrival – Arrival is a great way to end Mass Effect 2 as it works as a bridge between the second and third games.

Next: Mass Effect Legendary Edition Complete Guide And Walkthrough

Mass Effect 2 Mission Order: optimal DLC, dossier, loyalty quest sequence

Just like its predecessor, Mass Effect 2 has an open-ended story that lets you tackle its various objectives in a relatively open-ended manner - and that means some people are inevitably going to be struck wondering what the best mission order for ME2 might look like. 

Just like our suggestions on the ME1 mission order , any list you’ll find from us or anyone else online is merely a suggestion - but there are definitely certain missions that work better than others in certain places within ME2’s story. On top of that, there’s also more DLC missions in this game than its predecessor, and slotting those into the story is… quite difficult, honestly.

On this page, we proffer our suggestion for the optimum sequence of story missions and events in Mass Effect 2. Simple!


Mass Effect 2 Mission Order: optimal order for recruitment, loyalty & DLC missions

The basic structure of Mass Effect 2 is pretty simple. It starts you off with a string of prologue missions where it’ll ferry you from event to event, including two story mission planets that have combat encounters and even an early mini boss battle of sorts. After that, you’ll get your ship - and this is where the game opens up.

From here on out, ME2 is broken into segments. You get your ship and a smattering of story ‘recruitment’ missions to build your team. After recruiting all the available team members, you will automatically go to the story planet of Horizon for a mandatory story interlude. After that, you’ll get more missions. After finishing five of those, you’ll have another mandatory story mission. From there, you can complete whatever you like to the end.

No missions are mandatory, but towards the end of the game taking on too many side missions & optional assignments after a time-sensitive story event can have a negative impact on the end of the game. This guide avoids that, but check out our Mass Effect 2 Suicide Mission & endings guide for more detailed information on how to avoid that. 

Below is our suggested mission order. While we've built in a few breaks where we suggest you tackle side missions and scan planets for resources, we also recommend you do this as often as you like throughout the game to break things up. The only exception is once you get the Reaper IFF - before doing that, you should complete absolutely everything you need to.

Remember that the mission order presented on this page is just a suggestion; deviate from it as much as you like.

Act 1 Mission Order: Cerberus and Building a Team

  • Prologue: Awakening & Freedom’s Progress: as mentioned above, for the first few hours of the game, things will play out in a linear fashion. Just complete all the missions until you get your ship.
  • Return to the Citadel: while you have pressing matters to deal with on Omega, first direct the Normandy back to the Citadel. Here you can meet with Anderson, announce your return, potentially get your Spectre status back, shop at stores including for some Normandy side quest items, complete a few other side quests.
  • Dossier: The Master Thief:  while on the Citadel, you should also immediately recruit Kasumi, if you've got access to her DLC.
  • Omega intro & side activities: once you've visited the Citadel, head to your originally suggested destination, Omega. Here you'll need to speak to Aria to learn more about the next few story missions, shop at stores, and generally get to know the area.
  • Dossier: The Veteran:  as soon as you land on Omega, you can and should also immediately recruit Zaeed, 
  • Dossier: The Professor: after speaking to Aria, you'll have all the info you need to undertake two different recruitment missions on Omega. Recruit the Professor first. 
  • Early DLC Adventures Firewalker & Crash Site: leave Omega and head out into space. There’s a few things you should do out here:
  • Normandy Crash Site: this is a short and simple DLC quest that was originally a pre-order bonus. It’s got decent rewards, and some nice ME1 fanservice.
  • Project Firewalker: this DLC will take you to several places and give you access to a vehicle that otherwise isn't used in the core ME2 story. It's worth getting this quest out of the way here, and early, as it has good rewards.
  • Kasumi's Loyalty Mission - Stealing Memory: this is Kasumi's loyalty mission, and we're making it the first of these missions we do primarily because it has some great rewards and resources, including the best SMG Mass Effect 2 has to offer. If your choice of character class relies on the SMG, do this mission now. Otherwise, you can bump it back to after recruiting Archangel. 
  • Dossier: Archangel: also on Omega, you can complete a mission to recruit the mysterious crusading mercenary Archangel. You can actually do this before or after the next step, but since you're already at Omega, it's easy to do it right after the previous recruitment mission.
  • Planet Scanning & Material Gathering break: a big part of ME2 is scanning planets and gathering materials. The amount of materials you have can impact ME3, as can the upgrades you've purchased for your ship. With Mordin in the science bay, you'll have your first unlocks available - so take some time to scan some planets and gather some resources. You're free to tackle any side missions you discover if you want, or you can save them for later.
  • Dossier: The Convict: your team currently lacks a dedicated Biotic - so to fill that mage-shaped hole in your ME2 squad, go recruit Jack next.
  • Dossier: The Warlord: next, go and grab Grunt, Mass Effect 2's Krogan squad member. After completing the mission, he doesn't automatically join your party - go and get him on the lower floors of the Normandy if you want to have him join the crew properly.
  • Horizon [automatic]: after all of the current batch of recruitment missions is complete, you'll be forced to tackle a mission on Horizon.

Act 2 Mission Order: Old Friends & Loyalties

  • Dossier: Tali: she's been off your team for too long - is it really the Normandy without her aboard? Go get Tali. If Kal’Reegar survives, it’ll make Tali’s later loyalty mission easier.
  • Visiting Illium: for a nice change of scenery, head to Illium, the next hub planet and home to another recruit. Catch up with Liara, but do not take her up on the offer to help her with the Shadow Broker after completing her short side quest. We'll save that for later. There's other side quests you can do on Illium also, plus new shops and so on.
  • OPTIONAL // Lair of the Shadow Broker (Give Liara Intel):  we don't really like this mission in this position, but you've got two choices - do it here to get significant rewards for the rest of the game, or save it for the post-game where it fits best for story. The choice is yours. If you do it here, Liara becomes an easy source of free upgrades and resources, with new ones added every time you complete a main story quest.
  • Dossier: The Assassin: complete this mission to recruit Thane. There’s a cool ME1 callback here if you did a certain side quest.
  • Dossier: The Justicar: a straightforward quest with no major consequences down the line. It gets you Samara.
  • Scanning, Materials & Upgrades break: while you can do side quests whenever you like, this is another ideal period to take a load off and do any side content, scanning planets, and purchasing any upgrades you can afford. Major story events are coming, so it’s good to be prepared.
  • Visiting Tuchanka: you heard a lot about the Krogan homeworld of Tuchanka in the first Mass Effect, but now you can experience it. There’s all the normal hub world distractions here, plus a chance to reunite with a friend if they survived ME1. 
  • Mordin’s Loyalty Mission - Old Blood: while on Tuchanka, undertake Mordin’s loyalty quest. This is a quest whose repercussions will echo loudly in ME3 , so consider your choices carefully.
  • Grunt’s Loyalty Mission - Rite of Passage: While you’re on Tuchanka, also undertake Grunt’s loyalty mission. Be sure to bring another squadmate with a high damage output on this one, like Zaeed. You only have to survive the battle for 5 minutes, but if you successfully kill the beast you’ll get an even better reward. 
  • Collector Vessel [automatic]: like Horizon, this is a generally story-advancing mission that’ll trigger automatically after you’ve logged five missions post-Horizon. You’ll also be able to pick a weapon specialization here. 

Act 3 Mission Order: Loyalties Secured 

  • Jacob’s Loyalty Mission - The Gift of Greatness: this is a straightforward mission.
  • Miranda’s Loyalty Mission - The Prodigal: another straightforward mission, with choices that will be minorly referenced in ME3.
  • Garrus’ Loyalty Mission - Eye for an Eye: help Garrus get his revenge.
  • Thane’s Loyalty Mission - Sins of the Father: you must stay close to your target and get the information you ended at the end. 
  • Samara’s Loyalty Mission - The Ardat-Yakshi: you must successfully lure Morinth and not lose her in order to obtain loyalty.
  • To get the best ending of this mission, both Kal’Reegar and Veetor must have survived the earlier Tali missions & be present.
  • Jack’s Loyalty Mission - Subject Zero: after completing this simple mission, Jack and Miranda will have a fight. You must resolve it with a Paragon or Renegade dialogue option to keep both of them loyal; taking a side revokes one character’s loyalty.
  • Zaeed’s Loyalty Mission - The Price of Revenge: at the end of the mission, you must make a choice between Zaeed’s wishes and innocent lives. Renegade Shepard can easily side with Zaeed and get his loyalty; Paragon Shepard must pass a difficult check to talk him down and keep him loyal.
  • Project Overlord: this DLC is a multi-mission series and brings back the vehicle from the Firewalker DLC. It also has minor repercussions in ME3, depending on the coices you make.
  • The Point of No Return: at this point, you should have one story mission on your plate - the Reaper IFF. Once you tackle this mission, it’s a rollercoaster ride to the end - so make sure you have all character loyalties, Normandy upgrades, have completed side missions, and done everything you want to do on hub planets. Treat starting the Reaper IFF Mission as ME2's point of no return .

ME2 Ending & Postgame

  • IMPORTANT NOTE:  after acquiring the Reaper IFF, you can only trigger two specific missions without incurring negative consequences - Legion's Loyalty Mission and Tali's Loyalty Mission. If you take on ANY OTHER MISSION, some of Normandy's crew will die during the Suicide Mission. Do not travel to any other location other than those two missions, not even to scan planets . 
  • Tali’s Loyalty Mission - Treason: as well as being a mission you can fail, the outcome has major repercussions in ME3. If you didn't do this mission earlier, you can now do it here and take Legion along for the ride, resulting in some very unique dialogue. To get the best ending of this mission, both Kal’Reegar and Veetor must have survived the earlier Tali missions & be present.
  • Legion’s Loyalty Mission - A House Divided: complete this loyalty mission. At the end, Tali and Legion will end up in conflict. As with Jack and Miranda, use the Paragon or Renegade dialogue option to end the argument without losing either’s loyalty.
  • The Suicide Mission: after some story events that begin the next time you access the Galaxy Map, you’ll finally undertake the ME2 finale. Head through the Omega 4 Relay - and brush up on how to get the best ending with our ME2 Suicide Mission walkthrough . After the game is over, load up your completed game to tackle two DLC missions best experienced post-game.
  • Lair of the Shadow Broker / Give Liara Intel: go back to Illium and finally talk to Liara about starting this mission. While this DLC mission will be on your galaxy map from early on and you'll have to actively avoid starting it on your earlier visit to Illium, it works best as a coda to ME2 in our opinion. It’s arguably the best mission in the game; enjoy it! 
  • Arrival: this DLC was the last released for ME2, and basically is a little mini prologue to Mass Effect 3. It actually becomes available any time after Horizon, but it totally fits best into the story if you do it here, at the very end of ME2. After it’s complete, save - and move on to ME3 - which we also have an ME3 mission order guide for, too!

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Forum : Mass Effect 2 Optimal Mission Order

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At first I found it difficult to complete all missions Mass Effect 2 Missions and at the same time finding a good sequence for the overall Mass Effect story. That is why I put together my own order. I have based the order of the mission on how I think they do most justice toe the overall Mass Effect story. I want to make clear once again it is my own order.

I want to mention that there are spoilers.

And please try not to pay attention to my writing if there are errors, English is my second language.

Mandatory Missions [ | ]

Normandy SR-1. Following this the character creation process will begin.

Lazarus Project. You’ll be introduced to the game’s updated combat mechanics.

Freedom’s Progress. At the conclusion you will make a decision regarding a quarian named Veetor. The Paragon option can potentially help you greatly in a much later mission. Something to consider.

Normandy SR-2. You’ll be introduced to your new Normandy and your new crew. Dr. Chakwas and Mess Sergeant Gardener on the Crew Deck and Ken and Gabby on the Engineering Deck all have little side missions for you.

My Mission Order [ | ]

First talk to Kelly Chambers, your new Yeoman, and make it a habit to talk to her after every mission. You’ll have some opportunities to flirt with her (either gender). Do it enough and eventually you can go on a small date with her. This has two benefits. The first is that she will offer to feed your fish for you (assuming you’ve bought some). The second is that this date helps secure her appearance in ME3. Dating her does not grant the Paramour achievement and does not interfere with any active romances. Feel free to date her and romance anyone else you want.

Citadel - Visit the Citadel

Immediately upon arrival you can recruit Kasumi.

Take a cab to the Presidium to meet Anderson and maybe get your Spectre status back. Visit the stores to get some upgrades. Use Charm/Intimidate to get a discount. There are a few other side missions you complete here as well. Meet your old reporter “friend” Miss Al-Jilani. Either punch her (Renegade Interrupt) or use Charm/Intimidate. Also complete Dr. Chakwas and Gardener’s side missions.

Omega - Visit Omega

Immediately upon arrival you can recruit Zaeed. Speak to Aria to learn where to find the Professor and Archangel. Visit the shops and use Charm/Intimidate to get discounts. You can complete Ken and Gabby’s side mission here. Help the quarian deal with his debt to Harrot the Elcor in any way you see fit.

Recruit the Professor (Mordin) - Complete the mission to recruit Mordin.

Mineral Scanning/Side Missions With Mordin on your team the Tech Lab is now open. You can research upgrades for your weapons, armor and the Normandy. Speak to your squadmates about upgrades to get some for the Normandy. All research projects require mineral resources to complete. You get these from scanning planets. Talk to Miranda to get the Mineral Scanner upgrade to make it easier. Focus only on planets that are Rich in mineral resources. Send probes down only for large deposits of minerals. Don’t waste probes on the small ones.

Take this opportunity to do some planet scanning. You’ll need plenty of resources for your upgrades. And if you have the patience, try to have at least 100,000 of each resource in your inventory before you begin the Suicide Mission. This will have an impact on ME3.

While scanning planets you may encounter some anomalies. These unlock side missions on uncharted worlds. None of these have an impact on the overall game or in ME3 so feel free to complete as many or as few of them as you wish. A few of these missions offer some upgrades while others just offer money and experience.

Firewalker / Normandy SR1

If you have the Firewalker and/or Normandy Crash Site DLCs this would be a good opportunity to do them. They’re easy and offer good money and experience rewards.

Kasumi’s Loyalty Mission

Any non-Soldier players will definitely want to complete this mission early on. Doing so unlocks the Locust, the best SMG in the game. Sometimes I even like to complete it before recruiting Mordin. The mission’s final decision impacts some dialogue in ME3 but ultimately it does not matter which you choose.

Recruit Archangel (Garrus)

Complete the mission to recruit Garrus. During this mission you may find a datapad Aria would be very interested in. Give it to her after the mission is complete for a reward.

Recruit the Convict (Jack)

Complete this mission to recruit Jack.

Recruit the Warlord (Grunt)

After this mission is complete remember to head down to the cargo hold to officially recruit Grunt.

Horizon (Mandatory)

Automatically triggers after you finish all the current dossiers.

Back on the Normandy

Following Horizon your squadmates will start giving you their Loyalty Missions. Keep talking to all of them to unlock them. There is no time limit on any of them so it doesn’t matter what order you finish them all in.

Recruit Tali

Complete the mission to recruit Tali. Try to get the quarian Kal’Reegar out of this alive. Either use the Paragon Interrupt to convince him to stand down or destroy the Colossus as quickly as possible. This can help in a later mission.

Illium is a new hub with lots of new shops, missions and side missions. Speak to Liara for information regarding Samara and Thane. Offer to help Liara and complete her side mission. If you have Lair of the Shadow Broker downloaded you’ll likely see a dialogue option to begin the mission. DO NOT PICK IT YET!!! I think this mission best fits after the Suicide Mission. Plus there have been reports of glitches if you pick this option before getting info about Samara and Thane.

Depending on your choices in ME1 you may meet some familiar faces from Noveria and Feros and a mysterious asari messenger. Speak to them and help them. For your Noveria friend be sure to pick the Charm/Intimidate options with the merchant before completing the mission or you may miss out on the store’s discount.

In the bar you may find everyone’s favorite idiot fanboy, Conrad Verner. Agree to help him and use Charm/Intimidate options at every opportunity. Be sure to talk to the asari bartender when you get the chance as well.

Recruit the Justicar (Samara)

Complete this mission to recruit Samara.

Recruit the Assassin (Thane)

Complete this mission to recruit Thane. During this mission you may find a datapad a salarian back in the Illium hub area is looking for. Recover it and return it for some extra experience and credits. You get some interesting dialogue during this mission if you’ve dealt with Nassana Dantius in ME1.

Tuchanka - Head to Tuchanka

Tuchanka is the krogan homeworld Mordin and Grunt’s Loyalty Missions can be completed here. Before heading out speak to the merchant Ratch and complete his little minigame to get a discount at his store. It may be best to complete Mordin and Grunt’s missions in one go without leaving the planet.

Mordin’s Loyalty Mission

Complete this mission to earn Mordin’s loyalty. The final decision of this mission will play a major role in ME3.

Grunt’s Loyalty Mission

Complete this mission to earn Grunt’s loyalty. For the battle against the thresher maw you simply need to survive five minutes against it. However the reward will be greater if you kill it. After the mission speak to “the Lord High Researcher” for a discount at his store.

Collector Vessel (Mandatory)

Automatically starts after completing five missions after Horizon. During this mission you can receive some weapon training in Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles or Shotguns. If your class cannot use any of these weapons then picking one of these will unlock these weapons for use with that class. If a class can use a particular weapon they instead unlock a very powerful version of it. For example, an Infiltrator can use Sniper Rifles but not Assault Rifles or Shotguns. Picking AR or Shotguns unlocks the ability to use them. Picking Sniper Rifles unlocks the Widow, the game’s most powerful Sniper Rifle.

Miranda’s Loyalty Mission

Complete this mission to earn Miranda’s loyalty. In the last area where the final boss fight is check a crate near the exit. You will find a locket there that an asari in the Illium hub area is looking for.

Jacob’s Loyalty Mission

Complete this mission to earn Jacob’s loyalty.

Garrus’s Loyalty Mission

Complete this mission to earn Garrus’s loyalty.

Thane’s Loyalty Mission

Complete this mission to earn Thane’s loyalty. Warning, this mission can be failed. If you don’t have your Spectre status anymore, be sure to use all the Renegade Interrupts during the interrogation to get the information you need. When following your target do not lose sight of him for too long and be sure to keep Thane informed. Failing to do so will end the mission in failure.

Jack’s Loyalty Mission

Complete this mission to earn Jack’s loyalty. After this mission is complete Miranda and Jack will get into a fight. Be sure to use Charm/Intimidate to end the fight peacefully. If you do not you will lose either Jack or Miranda’s loyalty.

Samara’s Loyalty Mission

Complete this mission to earn Samara’s loyalty. Warning, this mission can be failed. When you’ve lured Morinth out DO NOT pick the “Family” or “Justicar” dialogue options. If you use all three Charm/Intimidate options when you are alone with Morinth you will have a choice of either helping Samara kill Morinth or help Morinth kill Samara. In the former Samara will become loyal and in the latter Morinth will take Samara’s place and be loyal.

Tali’s Loyalty Mission

Complete this mission to earn Tali’s loyalty. Warning, this mission can be failed. The outcome of this mission will have a big impact on ME3. During the first part of the trial be sure to take the two Charm/Intimidate options. During the trial’s second half at the conclusion of the mission you’ll have several possible outcomes.

You can present the evidence, preventing Tali’s exile but you’ll lose her loyalty. You can refrain from presenting the evidence, resulting in Tali’s exile but you’ll secure her loyalty. Neither of these outcomes is preferable.

For the very best outcome to this mission you MUST pick the final Charm/Intimidate option or the “Rally the Crowd” option. Please note that “Rally the Crowd” will only work if Veetor and Kal’Reegar are both alive and present at the trial.

Zaeed’s Loyalty Mission

Complete this mission to earn Zaeed’s loyalty. Warning, this mission can be failed. This mission has two routes, the Paragon route and the Renegade route. The Renegade route will always secure Zaeed’s loyalty. If you take the Paragon route you must pass a very high Charm check to secure Zaeed’s loyalty.

Overlord (DLC)

This mission has several parts and it will take time to complete. You will fight a lot of geth so plan your party accordingly. The mission’s final decision will have an impact on ME3.

Endgame Preparations

You are approaching the Point-of-No-Return. Before you proceed ask yourself the following questions.

If the answer to all of these questions is “Yes” then proceed. If the answer to any of these questions is “No” then wait and make any preparations you need before continuing.

Care for an extra save, especially if you want to romance Tali. There is a bug that causes Tali not to be romanced after the IFF and Legion’s Loyalty Mission.

IFF Mission game’s unofficial Point-of-No-Return, especially if you want everyone to get out of the Suicide Mission alive. During this mission you will also meet your final (potential) squadmate. You’ll be fighting a lot of husks during this mission.

You’ll get to decide what to do with Legion. You can sell it to Cerberus for some credits or you can activate it and recruit it. If you recruit it be sure to immediately talk to it again to unlock its Loyalty Mission. If Legion doesn’t give it to you move to another deck and come back. Do not access the galaxy map until you get the mission.

Legion’s Loyalty Mission

Complete this mission to secure Legion’s loyalty. This mission’s final decision will have a big impact on ME3.

After the mission is complete Tali and Legion will get into a fight. You MUST use Charm/Intimidate here to end the fight. Failure to do so will have a negative impact on ME3.

Access the galaxy map and the next mission will automatically start. For this mission you’ll be controlling Joker. Follow’s EDI’s directions and move quickly and carefully.

Once the mission is finished and you are in control of Shepard again head immediately for the Omega-4 Relay. It is time to begin the Suicide Mission.

The Suicide Mission

Once you reach the Collector Base you’ll need to make several decisions which will influence who may or may not survive the Suicide Mission.

Whenever Shepard’s squad splits into two teams always pick either Miranda, Jacob or Garrus to lead the other team.

When choosing a tech expert pick either Tali, Legion or Kasumi.

When choosing the Escort pick Mordin (otherwise he will die even when he is loyal)

When choosing a biotic expert pick Samara/Morinth or Jack.

When it is time to pick your final squad to take with you to the final battle choose from Miranda, Tali, Jack or Kasumi. I always pick Miranda and Tali. NEVER take Grunt, Zaeed or Garrus. Leaving these three behind to help hold the line greatly increases the odds of everyone else surviving.

As a reminder, whoever you pick for a task must be loyal to do it successfully. This lineup has never failed me.

The final decision for this mission has an impact on ME3.

Lair of the Shadow Broker (DLC)

Head to Illium and speak to Liara to start this mission. Liara will join your squad for the second half of this mission. Remember to allocate her power points when you get her. This DLC has a much greater impact if you romanced Liara in ME1. Be sure to invite Liara up to your cabin after the mission is complete.

Completing this DLC has an impact on ME3 and unlocks some useful resources and interesting/amusing info in ME2. I prefer to complete this mission after the Suicide Mission because I think it helps sets the stage for ME3.

Arrival (DLC)

This mission becomes available after Horizon if you have the DLC downloaded and installed. Admiral Hackett will contact you with this mission. For most of this mission Shepard will be fighting alone so prepare yourself.

This DLC sets the stage perfectly for ME3. This mission should be the absolute last thing you do before moving on to ME3. What I like to do is download this DLC and keep it on a flash drive. I only plug it in when I am ready to do the mission. That way I can get Hackett’s message and complete the mission all in one go. It feels awkward to get this mission and let it sit for so long given its nature.

That should be everything. Happy gaming!

Mass Effect Legendary Edition mission order guide

The best mission order to get the most out of the remastered Mass Effect Trilogy, here's how to play Mass Effect Legendary Edition

mass effect 2 mission in order

Jen Rothery

Published: Dec 5, 2022

Looking for the best Mass Effect mission order for your Legendary Edition playthrough? In each game there are several main quests which take place on different planets, and these can be done in any order you like. Eventually, you unlock a clearly signposted final mission which serves as the ‘point of no return’. After this, you’re no longer able to complete other quests, meaning you might be locked out of the best endings if you haven’t been thorough enough in your questing.

Making sure you’ve completed all the quests you need before embarking on the final mission is essential, but when it comes to playing through the main game prior to this point, you can either decide for yourself which planets to visit first, or you can consult the wisdom of seasoned players who have put together recommended mission order lists for each game.

This includes recommendations on which crewmates to take with you on missions where they have unique voice lines, information on small changes that might arise if you fulfil prerequisites before a mission, and even advice to help the games’ narrative ‘flow’ better. We’ve also got tips on when to play Mass Effect DLC missions. Here’s our recommended Mass Effect Legendary Edition mission order list.

Mass Effect 1 mission order

Mass effect 2 mission order, mass effect 3 mission order.

Ashley, Wrex, and Garrus posing in the Normandy in Mass Effect Legendary Edition

The recommended Mass Effect 1 mission order is:

  • Feros/Noveria

We recommend you head to Therum first to grab Liara. If you leave her recruitment until after Feros and Noveria, she suffers from the length of her imprisonment, and will initially treat you and your squad as hallucinations. Leave Therum until after Virmire, and she will be in a significantly worse condition when you arrive. This also prevents her from becoming a Mass Effect Legendary Edition romance option in the first game, as there isn’t enough time to get friendly with her.

If you want to see her alternate scenes, we recommend leaving her until last on a second playthrough. Poor Liara.

Whether you complete Feros or Noveria first is really up to you, although Noveria is easier, and Feros has a particularly tricky charm/intimidate check. The companions you bring are also up to you, though we recommend bringing Liara and Wrex to Noveria – Wrex has a lot to say, and Liara should be there for plot reasons.

You can complete the Bring Down the Sky Mass Effect 1 DLC as soon as you leave the Citadel for the first time – complete this whenever you feel like it.

The Virmire mission is the point of no return , so make sure you’ve completed as many side missions as possible, particularly Wrex’s Family Armor quest. Many of the side quests are referenced in later games, but if you’re skipping some, make sure to complete the UNC Rogue VI mission. You should also purchase the Elkoss Combine license at some point as this is useful in ME3.

The Illusive Man in Mass Effect

The recommended Mass Effect 2 mission order is as follows. First, we will cover the recruitment missions. Some characters have unique dialogue in these missions, so to hear the most unique content, you should make sure you’re able to take them with you.

Mass Effect 2 recruitment order:

  • Dossier the Veteran
  • Dossier the Master Thief
  • Dossier the Professor – Zaeed and Kasumi have extra dialogue
  • Dossier the Warlord – Mordin has unique dialogue here
  • Dossier Archangel – Grunt and Zaeed have substantial unique dialogue
  • Dossier the Convict – Miranda and Grunt have unique dialogue, as does Garrus
  • Dossier Tali
  • Dossier the Assassin – Garrus has unique dialogue
  • Dossier the Justicar – Thane has some unique dialogue

We recommend doing Horizon at any point after getting Garrus, and bringing Miranda.

Miranda, one of the romantic options in Mass Effect

Mass Effect 2 loyalty mission order:

  • Mordin – Garrus and Tali both have unique dialogue here
  • Grunt – there is no unique dialogue, but you may want Mordin for the story
  • Jacob – Mordin has unique dialogue here
  • Thane – Tali and Garrus both have unique dialogue
  • Kasumi – this mission has unique dialogue depending on how far you’ve progressed through the game
  • Miranda – Jack has some unique dialogue, but it’s a little uncomfortable bringing her
  • Jack – Miranda has unique dialogue. Leaving this mission until later helps her plotline flow better, too
  • Tali – Legion has a lot of unique dialogue; leave until after Reaper IFF – see below
  • Legion – same as above

Collector Ship automatically triggers five missions after Horizon. The other missions – Firewalker, Project Overlord, and Normandy Crash Site – can be completed whenever you feel like breaking up the chain of loyalty missions. For plot reasons, Overlord works well later in the game, before Tali’s loyalty mission.

Reaper IFF is the point of no return , after which a timer begins. You have enough time to complete two more missions before incurring major losses, which should be Tali’s loyalty mission, and then Legion’s loyalty mission, so you can experience their full dialogue. After this, hurry over to the suicide mission, if you know what’s good for you.

Note that your choices during Tali and Legion’s loyalty missions contribute to a pivotal conversation check in ME3. Preventing Tali’s exile without incriminating her father helps you pass this check, as does destroying the geth heretics at the end of Legion’s mission. However, you can pass the check having only fulfilled one of these criteria, as long as you defuse the argument that follows the loyalty missions, and  save Admiral Koris during a mission on Rannoch in ME3. Also, bear in mind that in order to even attempt  the aforementioned pivotal check, there are additional criteria you must fulfil in ME3.

Wondering when to play the ME2 DLC? We recommend saving Lair of the Shadow Broker and Arrival until after the final mission. This way, you can unlock all of Legion’s conversations, also allowing you to get the appropriate response from Liara if you romanced her in the first game and someone else in ME2. Feel free to play LotSB earlier, though, if you miss her.

Four Mass Effect squadmates, Javik, James, EDI, and Kaidan

Our recommended Mass Effect 3 mission order is as follows – this guide presumes that all your squadmates survive ME2. You can swap a few of these around depending on how you feel you should prioritise – we’ll signpost the most important missions to complete before moving on. Every companion has unique dialogue in each mission, but we’ll mention the ones that we recommend for plot or utility reasons.

  • Priority: Earth
  • Priority: Mars
  • Priority: Citadel I
  • From Ashes Mass Effect 3 DLC – Priority: Eden Prime – to recruit a new squadmate
  • Priority: Palaven – James, Garrus, and Liara are good companions here
  • N7: Cerberus Lab
  • Priority: Sur’Kesh – Garrus and Liara
  • Grissom Academy: Emergency Evacuation – Garrus and EDI. This must be completed before Priority: Citadel II

At this point, we recommend you head to the Citadel and talk to everyone, so you don’t miss out – particularly Thane, Liara, Kelly, Miranda, and Jondum Bau.

  • Citadel: Hanar Diplomat
  • Aria: Blood Pack/Blue Suns/Eclipse
  • Tuchanka: Turian Platoon – bring Garrus. Be sure to do this mission before Priority Thessia
  • Tuchanka: Bomb – after this unlocks, there’s a time limit; complete three other missions first and it will fail
  • Attican Traverse: Krogan Team – Javik and Garrus
  • N7: Cerberus Attack
  • N7: Cerberus Abductions
  • N7: Communication Hub

Complete all Citadel side quests before moving on.

Javik, a Mass Effect companion

  • Priority: Tuchanka – Javik and Liara
  • Priority: The Citadel II – Javik and Garrus. After the mission is over, be sure to warn Miranda about Kai Leng.
  • Citadel: Volus Ambassador
  • Citadel: Batarian Codes
  • Mesana: Distress Signal/ Ardat-Yakshi Monastery – Liara
  • Arrae: Ex-Cerberus Scientists – Kaidan/Ashley and EDI
  • N7: Cerberus Fighter Base

You can now start a ME3 romance by talking to your squadmates.

  • Omega Mass Effect 3 DLC: Citadel: Aria T’Loak
  • Priority: Perseus Veil
  • Priority: Geth Dreadnought – bring Garrus if you romanced him. If you’re romancing Tali, start your relationship before this mission; if you are romancing her but had a different partner in ME1, bring your ME1 love interest to this mission
  • N7: Fuel Reactors
  • Rannoch: Admiral Koris – Tali and EDI. You must do this mission before Priority Rannoch
  • Rannoch: Geth Fighter Squadrons – Tali

We recommend visiting the Citadel again at this point.

  • Priority: Rannoch – to pass the final conversation check, both Tali and Legion must be alive and loyal, Tali must not have been exiled, and you must have passed the check during their ME2 argument. You must have completed Geth Fighter Squadrons, saved Koris, and have four bars of Reputation
  • Priority: Citadel III . Finish any Citadel side missions after this
  • Priority : Thessia – Javik and Liara
  • Priority: Horizon. For the best outcome, you must have spoken to Miranda three times, warned her about Kai Leng, and given her Alliance resources
  • Leviathan Mass Effect 4 DLC: Citadel: Dr. Bryson
  • Mahavid – bring your love interest
  • Despoina – bring your love interest
  • Citadel Mass Effect 3 DLC – Citadel: Shore Leave – leaving it till last means everyone can attend the party
  • Silver Coast Casino Infiltration – bring your love interest, Wrex, or Javik.
  • Citadel Archives: Escape – EDI and Wrex
  • Citadel Docks: Retake the Normandy – Wrex and Ashley or Kaidan
  • Citadel: Party
  • Priority: Cerberus Headquarters – this is the point of no return

And there you go – time to make a new Shepard with our Mass Effect face codes guide and start the whole thing all over again, maybe this time with some Mass Effect Legendary Edition mods  to change up your game.

Jen Rothery When Jen isn't dominating in Dota 2 , she’s looking for clues about new Genshin Impact characters, working on her aim in Valorant , or waving her sword around the tavern in MMOs like New World . Formerly our Deputy Guides Editor, she can now be found at IGN.

Screen Rant

Mass effect 2: best mission order.

Players can complete missions in a specific order in Mass Effect 2 to give Shepard and their team the best chances of survival and success.

The galaxy can be a massive, sometimes overwhelming place, and exploring it in Mass Effect 2 can be an overwhelming undertaking. Securing squadmate loyalty is a major focus of Mass Effect 2 , particularly prior to the endgame Suicide Mission, where characters' survival depends on the player's choices. With 12 total squadmates, including DLC characters, players will need to make time and plan to complete 12 loyalty missions. Many loyalty missions rely on Shepard's Paragon or Renegade score, which is based on the player's moral choices during the game. It will be in a player's best interest to save the loyalty missions that require demanding Paragon/Renegade checks until they near the end of the main story. With Mass Effect: Legendary Edition launching later this year , returning fans and newcomers alike may find themselves wondering when to complete the various main story and side missions for optimal results.

Related:  Mass Effect 2: How to Unlock The Secret Bonus Power

While there is no single right way to explore and complete missions in Mass Effect 2 , fans generally agree that there are some missions best saved for late-game to ensure the player has as many options and available outcomes as possible when it counts. Additionally, there are times in the game where a main mission will cut in and cannot be skipped or put off, or where a player will cross a point of no return. At these times, having a plan can position players for success. Here's an optimal way to complete missions in Mass Effect 2 .

Optimal Mission Order for Mass Effect 2

The optimal mission order for Mass Effect 2 ensures players can earn enough Paragon or Renegade points to access all possible Charm/Intimidate conversation options and outcomes and keep and maintain squad loyalty. Ultimately, the goal is to keep everyone alive during the Suicide Mission . It also ensures Shepard can gain access to key areas, like the Tech Lab aboard the Normandy, or find important weapons and upgrades.

Depending on Shepard's class and the selected difficulty setting, different mission orders may produce more desirable outcomes. Generally, however, fans point to this structure as having the most advantages for the greatest number of play styles.

Players should remember to scan planets in the systems they visit for resources any time they enter a new location. In doing so, they may discover anomalies. These are optional side missions that award credits, resources, experience, and sometimes upgrades, but none have any effect on the main story or the outcome of Mass Effect 3 . Players are free to complete these whenever and wherever they wish.

The Prologue is mandatory, and players will not have a choice about what to do or where to go until it has been completed and Shepard is aboard the Normandy SR-2.

  • Prologue: Save Joker
  • Prologue: Awakening (following character creation)
  • Freedom's Progress
  • Normandy SR-2 -  Meet the new Crew, get comfortable with the ship, and pick up side missions from Sergeant Gardener, Dr. Chakwas, and engineers Ken and Gabby.

There are two ways to approach the start of Act One. Players can either start on the Citadel or Omega. Both are hubs with good weapons, armor, and upgrades to purchase, and players can recruit squadmates, including the DLC characters , at each location. Ultimately, players will find there are more missions on Omega than the Citadel, but the order of these can be switched at any time.

  • Dossier: The Veteran (Zaeed) - Players will immediately find Zaeed upon leaving the Normandy SR-2 and finding out Aria wants to speak with them.
  • Omega: Aria T'Loak -  Players can unlock an optional side mission, Omega: The Patriarch , by talking to Grizz. They can also find the Serrice Ice Brandy at the Afterlife bar for Dr. Chakwas. In the Market District, they will find the FBA Couplings at Kenn's Salvage.
  • Dossier: The Professor (Mordin) - Unlocks the Tech Lab on the Normandy and allows players to begin making upgrades to weapons, armor, and the ship. Players should speak to every squadmate about Normandy Upgrades and make all Ship Upgrades prior to the run to the Collector base.
  • Dossier: Archangel (Garrus) - Make sure to bring the datapad info back to Aria for a reward.
  • Investigate the Normandy Crash Site
  • Project Firewalker -  There are 5 separate assignments to this mission. Players can start with Project Firewalker: Rosalie Lost here and choose whether to complete the rest now or later in the game.
  • Dossier: The Thief (Kasumi) -  Players will find Kasumi immediately upon arrival at the Citadel. After this, they should head to the Presidium to meet with Anderson. They can find special ingredients for Sergeant Gardener and Serrice Ice Brandy for Dr. Chakwas at shops in the Wards.
  • Kasumi: Stealing Memory
  • Dossier: The Warlord (Grunt)
  • Dossier: The Convict (Jack)
  • Horizon -  Horizon is a mandatory mission that will trigger as soon as players complete the final dossier in this set. The four dossier missions (excluding Zaeed and Kasumi) are not optional.

Following the Horizon mission, players should begin speaking to their squadmates each time they disembark and then return to the Normandy. Yeoman Chambers will let Shepard know a specific squadmate wants to talk to them, which lets players know the loyalty mission has triggered. Players only get five missions between Horizon and the Collector Ship , so it is best to prioritize loyalty or recruitment missions. It's important to note that smaller fetch quests, including planet scanning for resources and Liara's quests on Illium, should not trigger the Collector Ship and are safe to complete. Investigating anomalies do count toward the five missions, however.

Players only need to complete two of the remaining dossier missions, so they can skip recruiting Tali, Samara, or Thane if they prefer.

  • Dossier: Tali (Tali) - Players should try to keep Kal'Reeger alive by convincing him to stand down.
  • Dossier: The Justicar (Samara) - Prior to this mission, players should make sure to find Liara and speak to her, as she has information about both Samara and Thane. Shepard can choose to help Liara with a few optional missions but should not choose the dialogue option to begin Lair of the Shadow Broker yet.
  • Dossier: The Assassin (Thane) - Bring the datapad found on this mission back to the frazzled salarian for a reward.
  • Grunt: Rite of Passage 
  • Mordin: Old Blood
  • Collector Ship -  The Collector Ship is a mandatory mission that will trigger five missions, including anomaly investigation missions, following Horizon .

During Act Three, players should take their time to finish all loyalty missions and any side missions they want to do before the endgame. They should not start the Reaper IFF mission until they have completed everything else, as this starts a timer that only allows room for completion of Legion's loyalty mission if players wish to save all members of the Normandy SR-2 crew. Players should save Lair of the Shadowbroker and Arrival until after the Suicide Mission for the most seamless transition to Mass Effect 3 .

Players should note that it is possible to fail Thane's, Samara's, Tali's, and Zaeed's loyalty mission. They will need to follow their teammates' instructions and sometimes will need to pass a demanding Paragon/Renegade check to succeed and secure loyalty.

  • Miranda: The Prodigal -  While back on Illium, players can finish any smaller missions they may have missed, including Liara's requests.
  • Jacob: The Gift of Greatness
  • Garrus: Eye for an Eye
  • Thane: Sins of the Father
  • Jack: Subject Zero -  Following this mission, Jack and Miranda will fight. Shepard needs to use the Charm/Intimidate dialogue option to break up the fight. Choosing sides will result in the loss of loyalty from one of the two women.
  • Samara: The Ardat-Yakshi
  • Tali: Treason
  • Zaeed: The Price of Revenge
  • Overlord DLC

At this point, players need to be certain they have met the following conditions:

  • All squadmates loyal
  • Researched Normandy armor, weapons, and shields upgrades (from Jacob, Garrus, and Tali respectively)
  • Completed all desired side missions
  • Purchased all desired equipment
  • Exhausted all dialogue options with squadmates
  • Made all desired weapons/armor upgrades

They can then proceed to the endgame.

Once players retrieve the Reaper IFF, they can only access the Galaxy Map once before the Collectors attack the Normandy. Following this attack, if they complete other missions ahead of going through the Omega-4 relay, they will lose crew members.

  • Reaper IFF -  Following this mission, players must decide what to do with Legion. They can either sell it or activate and recruit it. If they choose to recruit it, they will need to talk to it twice to unlock its loyalty mission.
  • Legion: A House Divided -  Following this mission, Legion and Tali will fight. Shepard needs to use the Charm/Intimidate dialogue option to break up the argument. Choosing sides will result in the loss of loyalty from the unsupported squadmate.
  • Collector Attack -  This small mission is mandatory. Players will control Joker and will need to follow EDI's instructions.
  • The Suicide Mission (Stop The Collectors & Collector Base )
  • Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC
  • Arrival DLC

It's important to note not every player will want to complete the main story of Mass Effect 2  the same way, and there is no wrong way to order missions. For example, if a player intends to romance Garrus Vakarian , they may enjoy the story more if they can start with  Dossier: Archangel , even ahead of Dossier: The Professor . As another example, if players have a strong moral direction for their Shepard, once they hear about a dire situation, such as Thane's son's assassination attempt or Tali's hearing, they may choose to complete those missions sooner, as their Shepard might choose to act fast despite possible ramifications. Ultimately, players can shift missions around to make the most sense for their story and desired outcomes.

Next:  Mass Effect 2: How to Recruit Morinth

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition launches May 14 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, with forward compatibility on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

Full Walkthrough Roadmap

This section of IGN's Mass Effect 2 wiki guide details the Full Walkthrough Roadmap , which will help you complete each and every Mission in the game for a 100% run. The IGN Walkthrough for Mass Effect 2 provides individual sections for the main Mission Walkthrough , Side Quests , and DLC, giving guides, tips and advice for players tackling them at any point in the game.

However, we have also accommodated for players who want to have a step-by-step walkthrough of the entire game for a perfect 100% run. To do this we have included a box at the bottom of every page telling you what you should do next. Several factors were used to determine the order these appear in, including story context, opportunities for unique dialogue, and conserving Fuel (since Fuel costs Credits, and those are in limited supply in Mass Effect 2).

With that out of the way, here is our complete, Full Walkthrough Roadmap to 100% Mass Effect 2. Dossier, Loyalty and Mandatory Missions, as well as the major DLC, are bolded, while shopping, Firewalker and N7 Assignments are not.

Assemble a Team: Part 1

Assemble a team: part 2, loyalty missions.

  • The Suicide Mission

Save Joker slice2.png

A month after the defeat of Sovereign in Mass Effect 1, Shepard and the crew of the Normandy scour the galaxy for the last remaining Geth holdouts. But life is about to take a sharp turn for Shepard, as they meet Cerburus and learn of agents of the Reapers who are terrorizing humanity before they even arrive...

  • Prologue - Save Joker
  • Prologue - Awakening
  • Freedoms Progress
  • Exploring the Normandy

Mordin Profile.png

In order to take down The Collectors, Shepard must go through the Omega-4 Relay to strike the Collectors at their base, effectively a suicide mission. In order to have a chance at being successful, the Illusive Man instructs Shepard to travel the galaxy and assemble an elite team to get the job done.

  • The Citadel - The Council and Shopping
  • Omega Shopping
  • Zaeed - The Price of Revenge
  • Project Firewalker: Rosalie Lost
  • Kasumi - Stealing Memory
  • Dossier - The Warlord
  • N7 - Wrecked Merchant Freighter
  • N7 - Abandoned Research Station
  • N7 - Hahne-Kedar Facility
  • Dossier - Archangel
  • Dossier - The Professor
  • Dossier - The Convict

Tali Profile.png

After a reunion in the colony of Horizon , the Illusive Man forwards Shepard three more dossiers to complete Shepard's team of ever-talented specialists to prepare for taking on the Collectors.

  • N7 - Captured Mining Facility
  • N7 - Blood Pack Communications Relay
  • N7 - Blood Pack Base
  • Dossier - Tali
  • Illium - Shopping and Side Quests
  • Dossier - The Assassin
  • Collector Ship
  • Dossier - The Justicar

Eye for an Eye slice1.png

In addition to assembling their team, Shepard must also tend to the personal and mental needs of the crew; old ghosts emerge from their past, and Shepard needs their team at their best to have a chance at defeating the Collectors.

  • Miranda - The Prodigal
  • Tuchanka - Shopping and Side Quests
  • Grunt - Rite of Passage
  • Mordin - Old Blood
  • Project Firewalker: Volcano Station
  • N7 - Endangered Research Station
  • N7 - Mining the Canyon
  • Project Firewalker: Prothean Site
  • N7 - Quarian Crash Site
  • N7 - Imminent Ship Crash
  • N7 - Anomalous Weather Detected
  • N7 - Abandoned Mine
  • Jacob - The Gift of Greatness
  • N7 - Archaeological Dig Site
  • N7 - MSV Strontium Mule
  • N7 - Lost Operative
  • Normandy Crash Site
  • Samara - The Ardat-Yakshi
  • Afterlife Side Quests
  • Lair of the Shadow Broker
  • N7 - Eclipse Smuggling Depot
  • N7 - MSV Estevanico
  • N7 - Blue Suns Base
  • N7 - Javelin Missiles Launched
  • Jack - Subject Zero
  • Garrus - Eye for an Eye
  • Thane - Sins of the Father

Tartarus Debris Field slice6.png

With the team assembled, Shepard boards an incredibly dangerous craft to recover a device that could help them pass through the Omega-4 Relay. But a tragic turn of events causes the situation to become even more dire, and Shepard must finally make the jump to the Collector's base of operations...

  • The Reaper IFF
  • Tali - Treason
  • Legion - A House Divided
  • Jokers Jump
  • Project Firewalker: Survey Sites Located
  • Project Firewalker: Geth Activity
  • Preparing Your Profile for Mass Effect 3

Up Next: Prologue

Top guide sections.

  • Legendary Edition Changes
  • Tips and Tricks
  • How-To Guides

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Mass Effect Legendary Edition mission order guide

Marc Santos

There’s an absolute shipload of missions spread throughout the three games in  Mass Effect Legendary Edition , from main campaigns to side quests and DLC adventures. While we highly encourage series newcomers to go in blind, there are specific mission orders for all three games that leave no stone unturned and no dialogue line unspoken. Here’s how to progress through each game without missing any of the important bits.

Mass Effect : best mission order

Mass Effect Eden Prime Reaper

Image via BioWare

Compared to its successors, the main mission list for the first Mass E f fect is a lot more straightforward. The optimal mission order to tackle the game is both chronological and practical in terms of difficulty scaling. Get Liara as early as possible to get her biotic powers early, and do Noveria first since it’s easier than Feros.

  • Eden Prime (Prologue)
  • Citadel: Garrus
  • Citadel: Shadow Broker
  • Recruit Liara

Take some time to do side missions in between story quests. The later portions of Mass Effect’s storyline get progressively harder. Getting upgrades for the crew or getting Shepard’s skill points to a high-enough level can help alleviate some of that difficulty.

Regarding sidequests, players should prioritize completing UNC: Rogue VI as soon as they hit level 20. This mission will unlock Shepard’s Specialization class, which will greatly improve their effectiveness in combat. For the rest of the optional quests, make sure to do them before the point of no return in Virmire .

DLC missions can all be done after the main storyline. However, we recommend doing X57: Bring Down the Sky right after getting Liara since it provides a generous helping of morality points for future speech checks. Unfortunately, the Pinnacle Station DLC is not included in the Legendary Edition, so players are forced to miss out on its rewards.

What order should I recruit in Mass Effect 2?

Mass Effect 2 Elusive Man

  • Dossier: The Veteran (Zaeed—DLC)
  • Dossier: The Master Thief (Kasumi—DLC)
  • Bring Miranda and Zaeed
  • Bring Mordin
  • Bring Zaeed and Grunt or Zaeed and Mordin
  • Bring Grunt and Miranda
  • Bring Garrus
  • Bring Zaeed and Garrus
  • Bring Grunt and Jack

Mandatory mission squad recommendations

Mandatory missions will trigger as soon as players finish recruiting squadmates for a particular chunk of the storyline in Mass Effect 2 . This recruitment order will allow players to hear most of the unique scenes and dialogue lines that each character has for the subsequent recruitment quest. Taking Mordin to Grunt’s quest, for example, will give players some more insight regarding the Krogans from the Salarian scientist’s perspective.

Note that it’s best to bring squadmates who have direct relations to the setting of a mission, such as Grunt and Mordin in Tuchanka, Garrus in the Citadel, and Legion anywhere Quarians are involved. They often have the most to say about ongoing situations, giving players the most insight and driving the narrative even further. Still, don’t let this be the basis of squad picks, especially in higher difficulties, since synergies between characters are far more valuable when it comes to actually making progress.

  • Garrus and Miranda
  • Garrus and Miranda or Jacob
  • Thane or Grunt with Samara

Loyalty missions can be done in any order. Just pick a favorite squaddie and get to doing their special mission. Keep in mind that the entire crew needs to be loyal in order to survive the suicide mission at the end of the game. Also, make sure to do all loyalty missions  before installing the Reaper IFF for reasons we won’t spoil here. Make sure to research the upgrades for the Normandy’s weapons, armor, and shield systems too.

As for the DLCs, Overlord , Project: Firewalker , and Lair of the Shadow Broker  can be done at any time after the opening of the main campaign. The latter has a number of useful rewards that can help make playthroughs easier, and it also brings Liara back to the spotlight. Anyone who wants to check in on her should do so immediately, especially if they want to follow up on their relationship with her after the first game. Meanwhile, Arrival should be done  after  the main story since it essentially serves as a prelude to the sequel .

Mass Effect 3  priority missions list

Mass Effect 3 Omniblade

There are a lot of time-sensitive missions in Mass Effect 3 . For example, players may want to do Citadel missions before Tuchanka, as most of them will be unavailable afterward. Likewise, other quests related to the Quarian fleet and its key people will expire if left unresolved after the Rannoch mission.

  • Priority: Mars
  • Priority: Citadel I
  • Priority: Palaven
  • Priority: Eden Prime (DLC)
  • Grissom Academy
  • Priority: Sur’Kesh
  • Priority: Tuchanka
  • Priority: Citadel II
  • Priority: Perseus Veil
  • Priority: Geth Dreadnought
  • Priority: Rannoch
  • Priority: Citadel III
  • Priority: Thessia
  • Priority: Horizon
  • Priority: Cerberus HQ
  • Priority: Earth

N7 strike missions against Cerberus bases are almost always worth doing since they hide plenty of resources and upgrades. They are short and relatively easy to complete, assuming players are capable of holding back wave after wave of Cerberus operatives. We strongly recommend doing sidequests as soon as they become available. As a rule of thumb, if a side quest feels important, then it probably is. The fate of the galaxy is at stake here.

Marc Santos

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