Mass Effect 3

From Before I Play
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General

  • For your first time through, play Soldier, Sentinel, or Infiltrator. Biotic powers are actually quite worthwhile now, but so is shooting things.
  • Certain events can go differently depending on who survived/was loyal in ME2, and there are certain outcomes that just can't be reached without an import.
  • Don't feel bound to the types of weapons you were using in the first two games. Wanna play an Infiltrator with a shotgun and an SMG? Go for it. How about a Sentinel with an assault rifle and a shotgun-pistol? Sure! Use the shooting range on the Citadel to get the hang of your new gear.
  • Some guns can only be found on missions and are missable, so look around!
  • In the beginning of the game during the Mars mission, when you talk to the Illusive Man pick the Investigate dialogue option on the left to open up a potential Charm/Intimidate option. If you miss this it will lock you out of something later.
  • Complete armor sets (the ones that cost 50000) aren't awful, but are very inflexible in their stat spreads. If you get any, just buy one and stick with it, they're a little too expensive to get completionist about.
  • Don't neglect the bottom floor of the Normandy. It's the only place you can directly upgrade weapons, and if you don't feel like running around, you can use the requisitions console to just buy everything you could on the Citadel (at a significant mark-up, but still).
  • Do every side-quest you can before doing the next "Priority:" mission. The exception is Eden Prime, which is the mission for the DLC character and should be completed ASAP.
  • If you miss the pick-up for a side quest from a mission, you can buy it in the Spectre office for a pretty minor fee.
  • If you choose not to betray someone in exchange for a group's support, you'll get another, somewhat more difficult chance to win them over later.
  • They make it fairly clear when you're about to go on the point of no return mission, but for the sake of it, it's a mission called Priority: Cerberus Headquarters.
  • The final EMS breakpoint is 4000, or 3100 with the Extended Cut DLC. (Get the Extended Cut DLC.)
  • No, seriously, get the Extended Cut DLC. It changes the ending from spectacularly shitty to only kind of shitty, and it is actually impossible to get 4000 EMS without playing the multiplayer, which is now a ghost town.

DLC

  • Extended Cut should be included in the game, but make sure you've got it, just in case.
  • From Ashes (DLC party member) is practically cut content, don't start the game without it, and do the associated mission (Priority: Eden Prime) as soon as possible.
  • Leviathan's good, if mostly self-contained.
  • Save the Citadel until after you finish the final mission. It's a final love letter goodbye from the dev team.