Starter Guides are quick wrap-ups of a franchise. Whether you are a Mass Effect pro or new to the series, this page will get you caught up. You'll find links throughout to give you far more in-depth content courtesy of Wikia's Mass Effect wiki.

Back Story
To understand the game, it is crucial to understand the universe it is set in. The Mass Effect universe is both ancient and futuristic. The story starts with an ancient race of aliens, the Protheans, leaving a very important piece of technology on Mars. Fast forward thousands of years to Humans discovering it. This discovery launched Humans into the inter-stellar scene, alongside dozens of other races. Most of the races have representatives for the race on the massive space station The Citadel. The Citadel serves as a hub for the galaxy, with many politicians and traders going to and fro.
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The Plot of Mass Effect 1
The main plot of the Mass Effect games revolves around Commander Shepard. Shepard is what you make of him or her. No matter what, Shepard is a Human, but you pick the sex, attributes, back story, and other key points to your character. When the first game starts, you are appointed to the impressive position of Spectre. Spectres are an elite fighting force that works directly with The Citadel. This position is even more impressive, because Shepard is the first Human Spectre.As you go through the galaxy saving people, and stopping others from attacking, you find Saren, a Specter who has gone rogue. Saren is working with an ancient and incredibly powerful race of sentient machines known as the Reapers to take control of the Universe. Saren must be stopped, and it is up to Shepard to do it.
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The Plot of Mass Effect 2
A few months have passed, and with Saren out of the way, everything has been quiet. Out of the blue, Shepard gets attacked by an unknown adversary, and dies. Years pass until Shepard is woken up at a strange company known as Cerberus. Cerberus has completely overhauled Shepard and has brought Shepard back to life. Now Shepard must not only convince others that the Reapers are a legitimate threat, but also do everything to stop them from conquering the universe. All this culminates with an all-out assault on a Reaper. After blowing it up, and escaping, the screen flashes with the image of hundreds or possibly thousands more Reapers all coming to attack.
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Main Characters
There are dozens upon dozens of characters to interact with in the Mass Effect series. A few stand out as being most central to the main plot.
  • Shepard is the main character that you control.
  • Joker is the spaceship Normandy's pilot.
  • Ashley Williams is a Human member of the military. She will fight by your side.
  • Kaiden Alenko is a Human member of the military. He will fight along side you.
  • Illusive Man is the leader of Cerberus. His intentions are vague, and is a very potential threat.
  • Anderson is a former Human Commander who is now a politician on The Citadel.
  • Garrus is a Turian who has fought with you since the first Mass Effect.

Character Classes
When you create a character in Mass Effect, you must choose a class. Your class won't affect the story, but does affect the powers available to you during the game. You can't change your class once you start a campaign, so choose wisely.
  • Soldier is all about using big guns and muscle to take out enemies.
  • Vanguard uses a combination of Biotics and weapons to attack.
  • Adept is a very strong Biotic user, with great powers.
  • Engineer uses tech to disable and attack enemies
  • Sentinel uses both tech and biotic abilities in battle.
  • Infiltrator uses tech and guns on the battlefield.

The multiplayer component of the game is part of the meta-game Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War. The multiplayer involves creating a different character to use in up to 4 player co-op. Players work together to eliminate the 11 waves of enemies. There are also secondary tasks, such as retrieving items or hacking beacons.

Love & Sex in Mass Effect
A major part to the Mass Effect series is Romance. The player can become intimate with several different characters throughout the series. The options change depending on if your Shepard is male or female. Some characters can be romanced by either male or female Shepards.
Male Female Both
Ashley Williams Kaiden Alenko Liara T'Soni
Miranda Lawson Jacob Taylor Kelly Chambers
Jack Thane Krios Samara
Tali'Zorah vas Neema Garrus Vakarian Morinth

Vote for your favorite Mass Effect love interest.

The systems behind Morality change the style of play, and open up different gameplay options. Instead of good and evil, Mass Effect uses Paragon and Renegade.If you have your Shepard make consistently "good" decisions, this increases your Charm, allowing for people to be nicer to you, and even avoiding certain battles. Renegade options include using sarcasm, mean jokes, and violence to get what you want. This is tied to Intimidate, and can give Shepard the upper hand in combat.
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