This page contains a walkthrough for the main missions of Mass Effect 2. Major changes in the gameplay from Mass Effect are listed in the main Mass Effect 2 page, while the effects of importing a saved game from Mass Effect are listed in the Save File Transfer page.
Prologue missions take place at the beginning of the game, in mandatory progression. At the end of the prologue Shepard receives command of the Normandy and is free to explore both it and the galaxy.
Prologue: Save Joker - Story and setting
Prologue: Awakening - Create your Shepard, Tutorial
Stop the Collectors - Master mission for the rest of the game
Act 1 begins when Shepard receives the Stop the Collectors master mission along with command of the Normandy SR-2 and continues until the mission to Horizon, which is activated as soon as Shepard has recruited all four of Mordin, Garrus, Jack, and Grunt. Any other missions and assignments not completed during Act 1 can still be completed during Act 2. Note that the order that squadmates are recruited during Act 1 is entirely up to Shepard and will not affect how events play out in any way.
You will also have the opportunity to perform various assignments - some available on Omega, some on the Citadel, and others you can discover during the process of Planet Scanning. All assignments are optional, but they help advance the story and provide the opportunity for additional rewards and items.
Act 1 Dossiers Edit
Perform dossier missions to recruit new squad members for your team. It is recommended that you recruit Mordin first so that you will be able to take advantage of upgrades in the Research Lab on the Normandy. When these four missions have all been completed, the Horizon mission will trigger and Act 2 will begin.
Act 1 DLC Edit
The following DLC missions can be performed during Act 1, or saved until Act 2 if desired.
Zaeed: The Price of Revenge - Loyalty
Kasumi: Stealing Memory - Loyalty
Act 1 Progression Edit
When all four of the original (non-DLC) dossier missions are complete, the Horizon mission will be activated and Act 2 will begin.
Act 2 begins upon successful completion of the Horizon mission. At this point the Normandy is able to travel to Illium and new dossiers and missions become available. New assignments also become available during the course of Act 2 - some at Illium, some on Tuchanka, and others through Planet Scanning at the new systems which open up for exploration. New merchants also become available, along with new items at some of the Act 1 merchants - see the Merchants Guide for a complete list of locations and wares.
Act 2 DossiersEdit
Four more squadmates can now be recruited, though Legion's mission works differently in that it does not become available until after the Collector Ship mission, and triggers additional act progression. Other than the Reaper IFF mission, all of these missions are optional.
Act 2 Loyalty MissionsEdit
Starting in Act 2, speaking with squad members on the Normandy will elicit requests for you to perform Loyalty missions. Securing the loyalty of your squad will both unlock new powers for them and increase the likelihood they, and indeed Shepard, will survive Act 3. All loyalty missions are optional - they increase the power of your team but are not required to be completed for the game to progress.
Miranda and Jacob's missions can be obtained immediately when Act 2 begins. Additional missions become available one at a time in the order listed; if the character whose loyalty mission would normally unlock is not yet present (e.g. Grunt is still in his tank, or Thane has not been recruited) then the mission of the next character present will unlock instead. Speaking with Kelly Chambers between missions will let you know which squad members you can talk to for new loyalty missions.
Unlocking the "Bonus Power" for a squad mate allows him/her to use that power. The first time a Bonus Power is ever unlocked, it is also added to the Advanced Training list for Shepard.
Each squad mate also has one Normandy Upgrade or research project to unlock in the research lab. Once Shepard has access to the research lab, these can be unlocked, even during Act 1, by talking to the squad members before they offer their loyalty missions and selecting the "[NORMANDY UPGRADES]" option under the Investigate heading; otherwise it unlocks automatically as each loyalty mission is complete.
Act 2 DLC Edit
The following DLC becomes available for the first time when Act 2 begins. These are both large, substantial, and challenging missions, and offer significant rewards.
Act 2 Progression MissionsEdit
Several key progression missions take place during the course of Act 2. Apart from Reaper IFF which you can activate when you are ready, the rest trigger automatically at which point Shepard has no choice but to complete them.
Reaper IFF - choose any time after Collector Ship mission
Await IFF Installation - triggers shortly after Reaper IFF complete.
Act 3, also known as the Suicide Mission, begins when the Normandy enters the Omega 4 Relay, which can be done freely any time after Await IFF Installation is complete. At this point the mission sequence is locked, and the game proceeds through to the Epilogue without any intervening break for Shepard to use the Galaxy Map, complete assignments, etc. If Shepard survives the suicide mission, however, additional missions and assignments (DLC or left over from Acts 1 and 2) can then be completed.
Before beginning Act 3, make absolutely certain that you have purchased the armor, weapon, and shielding upgrades for the Normandy, as for each one of these not purchased a squad member will die during the run to the Collector base.
Before entering the Omega 4 Relay and thus launching Act 3, you will want to upgrade your ship. The important upgrades are the shields, the armor, and the cannon. Tali, Jacob, and Garrus, respectively, provide these upgrades. For each of these you do not upgrade, you will later lose one team member. Upgrades will also increase the Normandy's value as a War Asset in Mass Effect 3.
The following list shows, in order of preference, which crew member will die if you haven't upgraded a particular part:
- Heavy Ship Armor: Jack
- Multicore Shielding: Kasumi, Legion, Tali, Thane, Garrus, Zaeed, Grunt
- Thanix Cannon: Thane, Garrus, Zaeed, Grunt, Jack, Samara/Morinth
Note: This tier is sorted by the characters' order of dying in descending order. Squad members on the "Multicore Shielding" list will not die if they are in your party when you fight the Oculus. Bringing party members to fight the Oculus will not protect Jack if you do not have Heavy Ship Armor, or anyone on the "Thanix Cannon" list.
Act 3 ProgressionEdit
Collector Base: Infiltration - Help your tech specialist through the ventilation shaft.
Collector Base: The Long Walk - Your biotic specialist escorts you through the seeker swarms.
Final Battle - Face the truth behind the abductions and make your decisions.
Final Battle Edit
Note that, while manual saving is not allowed from this point onwards, the game will auto-save at the beginning of each part. Loading an auto-save also gives you the opportunity to change the weapons loadout of your squad. If you die, you will have full ammo when you reload the game, even if you didn't have full ammo at the last save.
- The team you select here will be with you for the remainder of the game – you will be fighting against Drones, Harbinger, Assassins, Abominations, Scions, and one giant Human-Reaper larva.
- Ideal: Squad members who are loyal to you and are less suited for defensive tasks such as Mordin, Jack, Kasumi, and Tali.
- Non-Ideal: Squad members who are not loyal to you. They will die after the battle as the Collector station begins to fall apart.
- Note: The teammates you do not choose are automatically assigned to hold the line against the Collectors. A 'defensive skill' value is calculated for the 'hold the line' group as a whole, based on a defensive value inherent to each character. Loyal characters gain a bonus to this value. If the 'defensive skill' check is not high enough to ensure all characters' survival, squad members will be designated to die based on their vulnerability, with Mordin taking priority if he is present. Leaving behind strong defenders, such as Grunt, Garrus, and Zaeed will increase the group's odds of survival. In contrast, certain characters such as Jack, Tali, and especially Mordin have less skill in holding their position and should be removed through escort duty or taken along. The entire group will survive as long as the combined defensive skill is high enough, otherwise the game selects a squad member to die based on the scenario of who was left behind and how loyal are the group members. (Squad members who are not loyal are most likely to survive here than anywhere else, provided the group's collective defense skill is high enough, although they will be the first to die if the skill is not.) Leaving behind two strong defenders such as Garrus, Grunt, or Zaeed should suffice, provided you haven't lost too many people.
- Note: The order in which squad members die is as follows: any non-loyal squad members, Mordin, Tali, Kasumi, Jack, Miranda, Jacob, Garrus, Samara/Morinth, Legion, Thane, Zaeed, Grunt
Powers must be used efficiently as Ammo is very scarce and must be scavenged whenever possible. Platforms will fly in, carrying several Collector enemies on them. The last platform will contain three Abominations and two Scions. After defeating them there will be a console to trigger the next section. Like the similar battle onboard the Collector Cruiser, using abilities that get enemies off their feet when the platforms are flying in can be invaluable as it prevents them from reaching you, and allows you to pick them off from a distance.
Note: On all versions there is a glitch where the two Scions will not attack until you run up to the platform to engage them. If you have a sniper rifle or Warp you can kill them from 2 platforms away before they are aware you exist.
Note: Whichever Heavy Weapon you bring with you will have its ammo maxed out as soon as the player takes control.
Destroying the Feeding Tubes Edit
More fly-in platforms with various types of Collectors. After clearing each platform, the armor covering the four tubes of the inactive Human-Reaper will open for a short period of time and should be destroyed immediately.
It is possible to destroy at least two each round. The M-15 Vindicator or M-12 Locust can both be used to destroy two at once without powers. With heightened Adrenaline Rush, the M-6 Carnifex hand cannon or the M-5 Phalanx heavy pistol can destroy each tube with one shot. The M-76 Revenant machine gun has sufficient ammunition to destroy all tubes in one long burst, finishing the battle in one round. The M-920 Cain can also take out two tubes simultaneously. The Collector Particle Beam can destroy all four tubes in just one go before the covers come down. It is also possible to destroy the tubes or at least heavily damage them by using Warp, so having squad members with this ability can be useful. Alternatively, if all else fails, you can instruct squad members to attack the exposed tubes while attacking a different one yourself to take down 2 tubes with standard weapons.
Destroying the four tubes will cause the Reaper to fall into the chasm below. Shepard will open up the platform's core and prepare to plant a bomb, but will be contacted by the Illusive Man, who asks Shepard to preserve the facility both to use against the Reapers and to "secure humanity's future against the Reapers and beyond." Shepard will then need to make a choice -- destroying the facility is a Paragon action, while preserving the facility for Cerberus to use against the Reapers is a Renegade action.
Note: During this conversation, Shepard might refer to team members giving their lives even if the entire team has survived up to this point (depending on the selected dialogue option). Also, if Miranda is in the party, a few extra lines of dialogue between her and the Illusive Man can be heard.
The Human-Reaper Larva Edit
You start behind a good barricade spot and you can begin shooting at the Reaper's eyes (they are small, but there are 3 of them, two in the left socket, one in the right), or the large weak point on its chest. It has a nasty charge up attack and it would be wise to not expose yourself until it is finished. If you are hit by it, your shield will be depleted and will take longer than usual to recharge. (If you're feeling brave, you can also take advantage of the fact that it stays still while charging its attack to get in some reliable damage; listening to the charge-up sound will tell you when it's time to get back behind cover.) Be aware that the Reaper's glowing mouth is vulnerable to your weapons while this attack is charging, and presents a very large target for gunfire. Note that you can fall off the platform you are on, so stay away from the edges.
Once you have damaged the Reaper enough, Collector drones will attack. During this section of the fight Harbinger will drop special Heavy Weapon ammo packs when killed. Also note that the Reaper's mouth weapon will injure or kill any Collector enemies it hits. When the boss' life is below 25%, it will begin dodging around and send more attacks at you. Continue shooting at its eyes or use the M-920 Cain, directed at its chest and the fight should be over shortly, leading to the end of game cutscenes. Sniper rifles are surprisingly effective: when the Reaper leans to the right there are about 3-5 seconds worth of reliable targeting. After the first shot, an Adrenaline Rush (if available) allows for a second reliable shot. This has the advantage of spending very little time outside of cover (just enough to fire two shots), allowing for little to no damage to Shepard.
The target is armored, so sniper rifles get a bonus. Widow and Mantis rifles have a 50% bonus against armor, and, boosted by rifle damage upgrade (50%) and heightened adrenaline rush (100%), the damage is massive. With perfectly aimed shots (it's not difficult to aim for the single eye on your left when on adrenaline), the Reaper can be dropped in four or five shots on Casual using the Widow with zero damage to Shepard.
Note: At the end of the battle when you talk to Joker via comm link, he will tell you all "survivors" have made it back to the ship, even if you saved your entire team.
The Normandy rushes to escape the immense fireball emanating from the Collector base. If Shepard chose to destroy the base, it explodes in a massive blast that the Normandy barely manages to outrun. If the base was spared, the blast is blue as the radiation destroys all organic matter, leaving the base intact. After the mission ends, there are three possible endings:
- Shepard goes to speak with the Illusive Man. If the base was destroyed, the star behind the Illusive Man is colored blue. The Illusive Man is furious with Shepard; he tells the Commander that they still have to face the Reapers and that base's technology could have helped humanity.
- If the base was spared, the Illusive Man compliments Shepard's decision, the star behind the Illusive Man is colored red. When their discussion is finished, the Illusive Man grins in quiet contemplation at the hologram of the spared base.
- If your actions caused Shepard's death in the final cutscene, Joker is the one to speak with the Illusive Man. If the base was spared, the Illusive Man watches as salvage ships move towards the base.
After the conversation with the Illusive Man, another scene takes place aboard the Normandy.
- If any of the crew members died during the Suicide Mission, Shepard will be seen mourning over their casket(s). If Shepard died, Joker will be here instead standing over Shepard's casket (which will have an N7 symbol on it). The number of caskets varies depending on how many crew members were killed. The Normandy is shown flying through space, and Joker stares at a datapad displaying schematics of a Reaper.
- If everyone survived, the Normandy is shown flying through space. Various crew members are fixing the breaches in the Normandy. Kelly Chambers can be seen walking by in the distance. Shepard is very briefly greeted by Thane in passing, before walking by Legion, Jack, Grunt, and Garrus, who nod as the Commander walks past. Joker hands Shepard a datapad displaying schematics of a Reaper.
A Reaper is shown in Dark Space as lights appear within its superstructure. As it lights up, the dark void surrounding the Reaper is illuminated by thousands of pinpoints of light, revealing hundreds, or even thousands, of other Reapers. The final shot shows the Reaper fleet flying towards the Milky Way galaxy, setting the stage for Mass Effect 3.
After completion of the last mission, cutscenes and closing credits you will be presented with two options: either go back and complete any missed side or loyalty missions, planet scans, free-roam, talk to your squad/crew members on the Normandy SR-2, etc., or start a new career using the same "Shepard" with the stats carried over. Despite how the choice is framed, the options are not mutually exclusive. If you choose to continue playing, you may still start a new career with an import of your completed ME2 character from the main menu at any time. Similarly, if you choose to start a new career immediately after completing the last mission, you can still go back to that old career and continue post final mission play at any time. You will also keep any and all armor components that you purchased from your previous game.
- Starting a New Game+ will carry the character's upgraded Powers over. Weapons, armor, level and equipment are also retained, any associated upgrades must be earned and/or purchased from scratch. The Paragon/Renegade morality bars will be completely empty, even if the character had a previous bonus carrying over from Mass Effect. No bonus credits or resources will be carried over from importing a Mass Effect character, though the bonus credits and resources that are given to all new Mass Effect 2 characters after completing the game will still be received.
- Choosing to go back and continue the game allows you to finish off any incomplete missions, scan planets for mineral extraction, play any downloadable content you haven't played, and also if you are romancing Kelly or other crew members, to invite them up to the Commander's cabin as well as attempt to be seduced by Morinth if you recruited her (although that results in your death). Don't Miss: Even if you have no more missions or DLC to complete, you can speak to each of your surviving squad members and hear a one-time-only comment on the decision you made regarding the Collectors' base. If you choose to keep it and turn it over to the Illusive Man, your teammates will express skepticism -- surprisingly, this includes Garrus, Grunt and Mordin, who all encouraged Shepard to preserve the base as a weapon against the Reapers if part of Shepard's squad on the final mission. On the other hand, if the base is destroyed, the entire party approves -- surprisingly, this includes even Cerberus loyalist Miranda. You will also hear your fellow crew members congratulating you on the mission, and Kelly, Dr. Chakwas, Joker, and Rupert all have something to say if you speak to them as well.
|Mass Effect 2 Guides|
|Completion||Walkthrough • Morality • Upgrades • Planet Scanning|
|Classes||Adept • Engineer • Infiltrator • Sentinel • Soldier • Vanguard|
|Other|| Squad Members • PC Tweaks • No One Left Behind • Data Hound • Merchants |
Research Guide • Interrupts