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Mass Effect 2: All Main Missions List

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Mass Effect 2 contains many side missions that you wouldn’t want to skip, but what if you wanted the quickest route to the end of the game? We’ve got you covered, whether you’re a newcomer or a returning longtime fan. Here’s a list of all of the main missions in Mass Effect 2 .

Spoiler Warning : Please keep in mind that the names of some of the main missions can hint at some of the story beats in Mass Effect 2

All Main Missions in Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 allows players to complete many of its missions in whatever order they see fit, much like in Mass Effect 1. The following list of missions takes this into account by listing them in the general order that they appear in the story. The game is split up into three acts and several sections. Each section contains a number of individual missions to complete. That includes the highly recommended loyalty missions, even though they’re technically optional.

  • Freedom’s Progress
  • Dossier: Archangel
  • Dossier: The Professor
  • Omega: Aria T’Loak
  • Dossier: The Convict
  • Dossier: The Warlord
  • Dossier: The Veteran
  • Dossier: The Master Thief
  • Dossier: Tali
  • Dossier: The Assassin
  • Dossier: The Justicar
  • Collector Ship
  • Miranda: The Prodigal
  • Jack: Subject Zero
  • Garrus: Eye for an Eye
  • Mordin: Old Blood
  • Jacob: The Gift of Greatness
  • Tali: Treason
  • Grunt: Rite of Passage
  • Thane: Sins of the Father
  • Samara: The Ardat-Yakshi
  • Legion: A House Divided
  • Use Omega-4 Relay
  • Collector Base: Infiltration
  • Collector Base: The Long Walk

And that’s the list of every single main mission in Mass Effect 2 . If you’re looking for more tips, tricks, or other general info, check out our guide wiki for Mass Effect Legendary Edition . You can also have a look at our other Mass Effect coverage in the related articles below.

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  • Ranking Destiny 2’s Top 10 Best Seasons from Worst to Best
  • All Warzone DMZ Season 5 Changes: Konni Group, New Items, Missions & More
  • Warzone 2 & Modern Warfare 2 Season 5 Patch Notes: UI Overhaul, New Weapons, Modes & More

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Ethan Anderson

Ethan was formerly Deputy Guides Editor at Twinfinite, having worked at the site from 2019 to 2022. A lover of anime, RPGs and all things Genshin Impact, Apex Legends, Zelda, Pokémon, Dragon Age, or Tales related. He can usually be found either struggling/failing to get 100% completions, or praying for a Jak 4.

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Missions are the name given to Mass Effect's 2 Main quests. Completing Missions advance the story forward and most of the time rewards the player with experience points, Credits and/or Morality Points.

All Missions in Mass Effect 2

Main missions.

Main Missions are the core Missions of the game, focusing on the battle against the Collectors  and the Reapers .

  • Prologue: Save Joker
  • Prologue: Awakening
  • Freedom's Progress
  • Stop the Collectors: Assemble a Team
  • Omega: Aria T'Loak
  • Stop the Collectors: Investigate Collector Ship
  • Stop the Collectors: Acquire Reaper IFF
  • Await IFF Installation
  • Stop the Collectors: Use Omega-4 Relay
  • Collector Base: Infiltration
  • Collector Base: The Long Walk

Dossiers are Missions you take on to recruit members to the Normandy crew

Dossier: Archangel Dossier: The Convict Dossier: The Professor Dossier: The Warlord Dossier: Tali Dossier: The Assassin Dossier: The Justicar Dossier: The Master Thief Dossier: The Veteran

Loyalty Missions

Loyalty Missions are tackled to obtain the loyalty of one of your squadmates, this unlocks an additional power for said teammate as well as having a huge influence on the outcome of the final mission.

Garrus: Eye for an Eye Grunt: Rite of Passage Jack: Subject Zero Jacob: The Gift of Greatness Legion: A House Divided Miranda: The Prodigal Mordin: Old Blood Samara: The Ardat-Yakshi Tali: Treason Thane: Sins of the Father Zaeed: The Price of Revenge

Optional Missions

Citadel: Captain Bailey Citadel: The Council Illium: Liara: Systems Hacking Illium: Liara: The Observer Tuchanka: Urdnot Wrex

Kasumi: Stealing Memory Lair of the Shadow Broker (Mission) Zaeed: The Price of Revenge

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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!

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.

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?

Quick Links

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

How to do the Mass Effect 2’s Horizon mission guide

The mission to Horizon is of the utmost essence in Mass Effect 2 as it allows you to progress further to the second chapter of the game

Horizon is one of THE missions that you will need to do in order to progress in Mass Effect 2’s story. It is not just the main story but also a lot of the progression sidequests such as your companion’s loyalty missions.

You can’t not do Horizon since it’s obligatory so skipping it only means that you will hold up the story. You will also have your first run in with the Collectors who are there for all the wrong reasons and you need to find out why they are there.

How to get to Horizon

There are quite a lot of steps to undertake before you can start Horizon. And they are no easy tasks at all. First of all you will need to get your crew together. At least some of them and they are hard requirements in order to trigger the mission.

You will need the following people in order to get there: Jack, Mordin Solus and Garrus also known as Archangel. You will also need to recover the tank from Korlus but you don’t need to necessarily open it. The location of Horizon can’t be chosen from your Galaxy map and instead you will get a notification from Yeoman Kelly and Joker that the Illusive Man wants to talk to you.

Once you have had the conversation where you will be told that you will need to save the colony you will be on your way to investigate and see what happened. Also you will need to visit Mordin Solus who will have a gadget for you to deal with the swarms. Which is why he is essential in order to trigger the Horizon mission.

Arriving on Horizon

Upon landing on Horizon you will witness the Collectors who are in the process of moving colonists on to their ships. Try and prevent that by stopping them in their tracks. Mordin Solus will contact you via radio or if you have him in your party then he will tell you that his gadget may or may not work or both. Kind of like Schrodinger’s cat. Simply because it hasn’t been tested yet. After that you just move until you find the first enemies which you will have to kill.

The attackers will be all over the first section of the colony and so keep shooting your way through all that. But be weary of surprise attacks either on the ground or by air. Once you killed all of the Collectors then move quickly to the next stage of the mission. And as always don’t forget to pick up any ammo or medi-gels in the vicinity. Also check for any lost datapads that may contain some credits.

Once you reach the next area you will see a couple of buildings and The Collectors are harvesting them. Shoot and kill them on sight but be weary of a couple of Husks. The Husks are melee only so use your biotics create a distance so you can keep shooting them from afar. If you are in the unfortunate situation that they got too close then don’t hesitate to mow them down with your melee. But again, the further you keep them, the better.

Once you killed all of them then go into the building to find a datapad and earn yourself 4200 credits. But more importantly, outside you will find a dead Collector that you need to scan a very important upgrade: The Heavy Skin Weave. Pick it up and use it to your advantage.

The first Husks and Collectors

Go around the corner and you will see a dead Husk. A cutscene will trigger and you will see Shepard go full CSI: Horizon as he examines the Husks. He comes to the conclusion that these Husks are different from the ones from Eden Prime. Shepard and whoever is in your party at the time come to realize that these Husks are different because they were brought along by the Collectors. With that Shepard inspires his squad to prevent the Collectors from abducting more people.

Once you have killed them all, scout the area to restock on ammunition before you move on. You will find a couple of medi-gels and 3000 credits. You will also find the Particle Beam, which is a heavy weapon. Since it is a heavy weapon you will need heavy ammo in order to use it. Now let’s move on to the next area.

More Collectors await and this time they are up in the air. This is a tough opponent so make sure you got some special ammo and someone with warp capabilities since you are shooting through three layers before it goes down.

There will also be another first encounter that will drop your jaw to the floor with the iconic sentence “Assuming control of this form”. It will be the Harbinger.

Now, The Harbinger is a class act enemy. It takes form of one of the Collectors, pretty much like The Agent did in The Matrix, just taking over bodies in the blink of an eye.

And it is a tough enemy to beat. It has two layers of shields before you actually get it down. The AI of the foe is incredible and simply shooting at him won’t work. You need to be tactical about this and take him down with a combo of biotics, warp and a lot of special bullets to penetrate that skin. That Particle Beam you picked up earlier will help a lot if you got enough ammunition for that.

After you are done with your first Harbinger, you never forget your first, march forward and get to the big door and enter the next area.

How to enable the GARDIAN Towers on Horizon

You will encounter Delan, a local who managed to stay safe during the Collector’s invasion. Talk to him and you will find out what the Collector’s have been up to and the towers as well.

You will need the towers as they are in fact defense towers against any threat from outer space and that the are called GARDIAN laser towers. After your conversation ends with Delan you will move to the next area to try and get the towers going.

Before you go, make sure you stack up on ammunition and any last gun changing can be done before you end the final phase of Horizon. So if you picked up the Particle Beam earlier on, now is the time to decide whether or not you want to take it to the last phase. Look around a bit and you will find 6000 credits, platinum and medi-gel. Save up before you make your final move!

How to counter the difficulties at the Starport

There are quite a lot of difficulties that you will encounter at the Starport. First of all, spend your ammunition wisely as it is very scarce no matter the difficulty mode you play. Make every shot count. Any shot that you miss, it will get punished later on.

Another item that makes this encounter so difficult is that there is barely any cover. So you will have to fight in the open most of the time. You will be running a lot to try and find the very few places where you can find cover.

Make sure you have control over your NPC friends and place them in tactical ways to make sure that you will always have two or three people shooting on the same target. You will encounter Scions, Collectors and Husks.

And let’s not forget Harbingers. So you will have your hands full but as they say: Always outnumbered, never outgunned!

Scions have a very powerful biotic akin to shockwave and it hurts. It will take about half your life if you get hit. So make sure you are out of its’ pathway.

So while you run from cover to cover and shooting your enemies wherever you can you will run into a swarm of Husks and two Scions. Again, move around and do what it takes to stay alive. At this point it is more about survival while you try and get your enemies down. Your best bet is to use your heavy gun, Warp and incendiary ammo will help a lot.

After you have survived the three waves which will consist of the following enemies:

First wave: Two husks, a Collector Assassin, a Guardian, a couple of Drones, and Harbinger.,

Second wave: Guardian, Drone, Harbinger and this Harbinger has brains since he will make sure he is hard to hit while on the movie as well as flanking you while he controls the Drone and the Guardian by having them take cover.

Third wave: four husks, Assassin, another Drone and Harbinger.

Keep a close eye on spawning points since you can hit a lot of them from their original spawn point. Most of them walk in a straight line until get close and start taking cover and such.

The Praetorian

After you have finished the three waves and your GARDIANs on Horizon are ready to charge, the Harbinger leaves you with a nasty surprise; A Praetorian joins the battle. Up until then all the enemies you have encountered, including the Harbingers, are child’s play. The Praetorian is far deadlier than anything you have seen before. Lucky for you, the Praetorian is the only enemy in this final phase.

Keep in mind the following: The Praetorian has a barrier and armor. He has two abilities: Death Choir which is an instant kill. And the shockwave that he uses is that even hits you hard despite your cover.

So the best thing to do here is to shoot it as much as possible as soon as the barriers are down. Once the Praetorian starts glowing and slams to the ground , it will kill you instantly if you are too near. That ability is the Death Choir.

If you see the Praetorian on the ground then do not shoot it. As mentioned before; ammunition is very scarce so make every bullet count. When it is glowing it is also invulnerable so do not waste your ammunition. Once he is on the floor, it is best to revive a fallen ally. Find extra medi-gels or extra ammo. Who knows what lays aruond.

This fight is basically rinse repeat after that and the Praetorian will disappear into thin air.

As you activate the GARDIAN towers, they will make sure that the Collectors will think twice to invade Horizon ever again. However they still managed to get about 33% of the Horizon population.

Then one of the toughest conversations in the game is triggered. It is a confrontation with your past. And if you were involved with Ashley or Kaidan in Mass Effect 1 then this conversation is going to be even tougher when either finds out that you have joined “the enemy” Cerberus.

Either Ashley or Kaidan will let you know that he/she has been dropped here by the Alliance after someone told them that the Horizon colony was about to get hit. And in fact they were sent there to investigate Cerberus. Which makes it even more controversial. Your former teammate will be upset and you will figure out what happened in the past few years while Shepard was dead.

You will go back to the Normandy after the conversation ends.

Back on the Normandy

The Illusive Man wants to talk to you as soon as the mission is over. He praises Shepard on the way he handled the mission on Horizon by stopping the Collectors as well as saving the colony.

Shepard however is not happy that the Illusive Man has secretly leaked that Shepard is working for Cerberus. This is the first dent in the already rocky relationship between the two.

The conversation ends with the Illusive Man telling Shepard to continue to build his team to take on the Collectors and giving him three more files on potential recruits.

Meanwhile The Illusive Man will use all of his resources to get through the Omega 4 Relay.

We hope you liked the Mass Effect 2 Horizon mission guide. Check out the rest of the Mass Effect series coverage we have here on

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Mass Effect Wiki


  • Edit source
  • View history
  • 1.1.1 Shepard's Background
  • 1.1.2 Squad Member Assignments
  • 1.2.1 General
  • 1.2.2 Second Visit
  • 1.2.3 Detainee Visit
  • 1.3.1 Feros
  • 1.3.2 Noveria
  • 1.3.3 Virmire
  • 1.4.1 Galaxy Collection Assignments
  • 1.4.2 Uncharted Space Assignments
  • 1.4.3 Morality-dependent Assignments
  • 1.5.1 Bring Down the Sky
  • 1.5.2 Pinnacle Station
  • 2.1 Normandy
  • 2.3 Citadel
  • 2.6 Tuchanka
  • 2.7.1 Project Firewalker
  • 2.7.2 Project Overlord
  • 2.7.3 Arrival

Assignments are the side missions of Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 . These have little to no bearing to the overarching narrative, but completing them may further understanding of the series' underlying workings.

There is a large variety of assignments to complete; this page is a list of them. Click on a specific assignment in the list to read its detailed walkthrough. For a list of missions broken up by cluster and system, see the Mass Effect System Guide .

Some assignments are listed more than once; this is intentional and is intended to make them simpler to find by listing them in all relevant contexts as they appear in the Journal .

For an alphabetical list of assignments, see Category:Assignments ; for locations, see Category:Assignment Locations .

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Review

25 May 2021

Mass Effect: Andromeda Review

20 March 2017

Mass Effect [ ]

Please Note: The assignment names as given here are intended to match those in the game; sometimes the game itself is inconsistent, in which case all of the variations are listed here ( e.g. Asari Diplomacy , Missing Person ).

Character-Specific Assignments [ ]

Shepard's background [ ].

These assignments relate to Shepard's pre-service history.

  • Citadel: Old, Unhappy, Far-Off Things (only available if Shepard has the Spacer background)
  • Citadel: Old Friends (only available if Shepard has the Earthborn background)
  • Citadel: I Remember Me (only available if Shepard has the Colonist background)

Squad Member Assignments [ ]

These assignments relate to the histories of your fellow crewmates.

  • Garrus: Find Dr. Saleon → Garrus: Dr. Saleon is Dead
  • Tali and the Geth → Tali's pilgrimage
  • Wrex: Family Armor

Citadel Assignments [ ]

General [ ].

These assignments are available during your first and all future visits to the Citadel.

  • Citadel: Asari Consort
  • Citadel: Doctor Michel → Citadel: Doctor Michel is Safe
  • Citadel: Homecoming
  • Citadel: Jahleed's Fears → Citadel: Jahleed's Secret → Citadel: Jahleed and Chorban | Citadel: Jahleed Returns Materials | Citadel: Jahleed Arrested | Citadel: Jahleed Set Free
  • Citadel: Presidium Prophet
  • Citadel: Reporter's Request
  • Citadel: Rita's Sister → Citadel: Rita's Sister and Chellick → Citadel: Rita's Sister is Safe
  • Citadel: Scan the Keepers
  • Citadel: Schells the Gambler → Citadel: Schells' Scanner Given Away | Citadel: Schells has his Data
  • Citadel: Signal Tracking
  • Citadel: The Fan
  • Citadel: Xeltan's Complaint → Citadel: Xeltan Convinced
  • Missing Person → UNC: Privateers

Second Visit [ ]

These assignments are available after completing one of the major missions (Noveria, Feros or rescuing Liara).

  • Citadel: Family Matter
  • Citadel: Planting a Bug
  • Citadel: Snap Inspection
  • Citadel: The Fourth Estate

Detainee Visit [ ]

These assignments are only available during your detention at the Citadel.

  • Citadel: Our Own Worst Enemy
  • Citadel: Negotiator's Request

Charted Planet Assignments [ ]

These assignments are specific to their relative planet.

  • Feros: Data Recovery
  • Feros: Geth in the Tunnels
  • Feros: Power Cells
  • Feros: Varren Meat
  • Feros: Water Restoration

Noveria [ ]

  • Noveria: Espionage
  • Noveria: Smuggling

Virmire [ ]

  • Virmire: Assisting Kirrahe's Team → Virmire: Kirrahe's team | Virmire: Captain Kirrahe is Dead
  • Virmire: Wrex and the Genophage → Virmire: Wrex is Convinced

Galaxy-Wide Assignments [ ]

These assignments span the entirety of Citadel-controlled space. Assignments prefixed with the UNC indicator represent assignments that take place on uncharted planets.

Galaxy Collection Assignments [ ]

These assignments involve traveling across Citadel space and finding numerous hidden collectibles.

  • UNC: Prothean Data Discs → UNC: Collection Complete
  • UNC: Turian Insignias → UNC: Collection Complete
  • UNC: Valuable Minerals → UNC: Survey is Complete
  • UNC: Locate Signs of Battle → UNC: Entire Collection is Found
  • UNC: Asari Writings → UNC: Collection Complete

Uncharted Space Assignments [ ]

Morality-dependent assignments [ ].

  • UNC: Besieged Base
  • UNC: The Negotiation

Downloadable Content [ ]

Bring down the sky [ ].

  • X57: Bring Down the Sky
  • X57: Avoid the Blasting Caps
  • X57: Missing Engineers

Pinnacle Station [ ]

  • Pinnacle Station: Combat Missions
  • Pinnacle Station: Convoy
  • Pinnacle Station: Vidinos

Note: Pinnacle Station content is not available in Legendary Edition.

Mass Effect 2 [ ]

Note: The assignment names as listed here are intended to match those in the game; sometimes the game itself is inconsistent, in which case all of the variations are listed here ( e.g. Citadel: Found Forged ID , Citadel: False Positives ).

Normandy [ ]

  • Normandy: FBA Couplings
  • Normandy: Serrice Ice Brandy
  • Normandy: Special Ingredients
  • Omega: Archangel: Datapad Recovered
  • Omega: Batarian Bartender
  • Omega: Packages for Ish
  • Omega: Struggling Quarian
  • Omega: The Patriarch
  • Omega: The Professor: Missing Assistant

Citadel [ ]

  • Citadel: Crime in Progress
  • Citadel: False Positives
  • Citadel: Found Forged ID → Citadel: False Positives
  • Citadel: Krogan Sushi
  • Illium: A Troublemaker  →  Illium: Conrad Verner
  • Illium: Blue Rose of Illium
  • Illium: Conrad Verner
  • Illium: Gianna Parasini
  • Illium: Indentured Service
  • Illium: Medical Scans
  • Illium: The Assassin: Salarian Family Data
  • Illium: The Justicar: Smuggling Evidence
  • Illium: The Justicar: Stolen Goods Found
  • Illium: The Prodigal: Lost Locket Found

Tuchanka [ ]

  • Tuchanka: Combustion Manifold
  • Tuchanka: Killing Pyjaks
  • Tuchanka: Old Blood: Missing Scout

Downloadable content [ ]

  • Normandy Crash Site

Project Firewalker [ ]

  • Project Firewalker: Geth Activity (Labelled Project Firewalker: Geth Incursion on the Galaxy Map )
  • Project Firewalker: Prothean Site (Labelled Project Firewalker: Prothean Ruin on the Galaxy Map )
  • Project Firewalker: Rosalie Lost
  • Project Firewalker: Survey Sites Located (Labelled Project Firewalker: Artifact Collection on the Galaxy Map )
  • Project Firewalker: Volcano Station (Labelled Project Firewalker: Recover Research Data on the Galaxy Map )

Project Overlord [ ]

  • Overlord (Labelled Investigate Project Overlord on the Galaxy Map )
  • Overlord: Atlas Station
  • Overlord: Prometheus Station
  • Overlord: Vulcan Station

Arrival [ ]

  • Arrival (Labelled Rescue Dr. Kenson on the Galaxy Map )
  • 2 Romance (Mass Effect: Andromeda)

Mass Effect 2 Suicide Mission: How To Get The Best Ending

The climax of Mass Effect 2 is a culmination of decisions and actions throughout the rest of the game; here's what you need to do to reach the best result.

By Phil Hornshaw on May 13, 2021 at 6:07PM PDT

Note: This post contains huge spoilers for the final mission of Mass Effect 2. Read on at your own risk!

All of Mass Effect 2 leads up to one powerful, frightening climax: the Suicide Mission to save the galaxy. With the release of Mass Effect Legendary Edition , players can revisit the iconic climax, or take it on for the first time. Even if you have experience with Mass Effect 2, it's a tough mission, but you can do a lot to prepare for it--and the more you prepare, the better the chances that you and your crew can put the term "suicide mission" to shame. Still, like lots of things in the Mass Effect franchise, your success is largely determined by choices you make during the mission, along with previous actions you may have not known were counting toward a moment of truth.

To get the best possible ending for Mass Effect 2, you'll need to put in some work, spanning the course of almost the entire game. Here's everything you need to know to make it through the final mission of Mass Effect 2 with the best possible outcome for Shepard and their crew.

If this is your first time through Mass Effect 2, however, you might want to take on this mission fresh, with no additional info--maybe on an alternate save file. While it can be rough going through this mission blind, the Mass Effect series is at its best when you experience the consequences of your actions and decisions. The best version of Mass Effect 2 isn't the one where you do everything perfectly, but where the story adjusts to you. With that in mind, we suggest playing through the game and its finale on your own, and returning to this guide on a second playthrough or to make adjustments to get your preferred setup for the start of Mass Effect 3.

How The Suicide Mission Works

Three elements factor into how Mass Effect 2's endgame shakes out: Normandy ship upgrades, the decisions you make about which crewmates you assign to essential tasks during the final mission, and whether each member of your crew is considered "loyal" to Shepard.

The ship upgrades have to be made ahead of the final battle with resources you gain from probing planets, which we have covered below. We'll also walk you through the crew decisions to make during the final battle. The most time-consuming and important part is loyalty, which you'll secure by working through each character's specific loyalty mission. The good news is, these are some of the best parts of the game and deepen the story significantly, so you'll enjoy seeking them out. Check below for more details.

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Talk To Everybody

Several elements you need access to for your preparations for the endgame of Mass Effect 2 require input from your crew, so talk to everyone--a lot. Conversations will open up your opportunities to make upgrades to the Normandy, while also helping unlock each character's essential Loyalty missions. Make sure you're spending time with your crew between missions to exhaust their dialogue options; as the story progresses, new conversation opportunities will open up. Invest time in talking to your crew throughout the game to get everything you need from them when the time comes.

Upgrade The Normandy

No Caption Provided

As you advance through the game and talk to your teammates, you'll eventually start to add upgrades for your ship to the Research terminal. Your crew will suggest several upgrades, and of those, there are a few essential ones that will help you survive the final assault. All the Normandy upgrades appear on the Research Terminal, but not all of them are essential. There are three that you definitely need:

  • Heavy Ship Armor, suggested by Jacob
  • Kinetic Barriers, suggested by Tali
  • Thanix Cannon, suggested by Garus

The decisions you make during the final mission can help keep your teammates alive, but it's possible to lose some of them before you even get there if the Normandy isn't properly outfitted. If you don't have these upgrades, the run-up to the final mission can claim some of your teammates, or for each upgrade you fail to install.

Do The Loyalty Missions

No Caption Provided

Apart from being pretty much the best chunks of Mass Effect 2, each character's loyalty mission goes a long way to whether they survive the climax of the game. Talking to each of the characters between missions will eventually bring about moments in which they will ask Shepard for help with some personal issues. Each one has you joining in to help them deal with their issues, and those missions add a lot to their backstories. Completing them successfully--a few can be failed if you're not careful--makes your teammates trust Shepard's leadership, which drastically helps with keeping them alive during the game's toughest battle.

It is possible to get through the final mission and not lose anyone without securing every character's loyalty, but it's a lot tougher. More on that below.

Loyalty missions are pretty straightforward and you can play them in just about any order. They become available after you complete the mission that takes you to the derelict Collector ship, and you want to knock out almost all of them before you go on the mission to retrieve the Reaper IFF. Make sure you get as much done as you can before you go after the Reaper IFF! This kicks off the next portion of the game, and what you do and when you do it following that mission has serious consequences. More on that in a minute.

The thing about the loyalty missions is that some of them can be easier to fail than others, so it's better to leave a few of them toward the end of the batch so that you can advance your Paragon or Renegade points as far as possible before you hit them. The missions you can fail are Thane's, Tali's, Zaeed's, and Samara's. It's pretty clear as you play them how you can mess up:

  • Losing Thane's target
  • Getting Tali's father in trouble
  • Letting Zaeed's target get away and failing to convince him to drop the issue
  • Messing up distracting Morinth

As mentioned, you can play loyalty missions in pretty much any order, but the ones you might want to leave for last are the ones mentioned above.

The last loyalty mission you should do is Legion's, after you get the Reaper IFF.

No Caption Provided

Don't Linger After Retrieving The Reaper IFF

Once you get the Reaper IFF, Mass Effect 2 changes significantly but not obviously. Completing that mission triggers a silent countdown; after you complete one or a few more missions, a major story beat initiates in which the Collectors attack the Normandy while you're away, kidnapping the crew . You'll then have the ability to head to the final mission to rescue them, and how long it takes you to get there has serious consequences.

Therefore, you want to try to create a situation so that the only important thing you have to do after getting the Reaper IFF is completing Legion's loyalty mission. Play that mission and any others until the Collectors attack, and then head into the Collector base mission. If you wait and complete more missions after the Collector attack, it'll affect which members of your crew you're able to save.

If you immediately go to the final mission after the kidnapping, you'll save the entire Normandy crew. If you complete between one and four additional missions before going to the Collector base but after the attack, you'll only save half the crew. If you wait any longer than that, only Dr. Chakwas will make it out--so if you want to save your Normandy pals, make sure you're ready to go to the climax before grabbing the Reaper IFF.

Make The Right Leadership Choices In The Final Mission

The final determining factor for who makes it through the climax of Mass Effect 2 is your leadership throughout the mission. At key points, you'll need to assign members of your team to take on different roles. Picking the right person for the job is essential to making sure those people are successful in completing their tasks. Whether they make it through completing their job comes down to whether they're loyal to Shepard or not.

As a note, at different points characters will haggle about who should do what job and even volunteer for missions, but just because someone wants to do a dangerous job doesn't mean they should . It's up to you to know your team's strengths and weaknesses--or at least to read the guide below.

No Caption Provided

Technical Specialist And Fireteam Leader

The first obstacle in the final mission requires you to send a technical specialist through a ventilation duct to hack enemy defenses, while another team distracts the Collectors so the specialist can get through without getting killed along the way. The people you choose to head into the vent and lead the fireteam decide whether everyone makes it through this section.

First, you need to pick someone with high tech skill. The characters best at tech on your team are Tali, Legion, and Kasumi , so you'll want to send one of them. Any other character, or any of these who aren't loyal, won't make it.

For the fireteam, you need a strong tactical leader, so choose either Garrus , Miranda , or Jacob . If your choice isn't loyal or you pick anybody else, your tech specialist won't make it through.

The Crew's Escort

Next, you'll find survivors who need to head back to the Normandy, but they'll need an escort to help them get there safely. Whoever you send will be out of the mission for the duration, so it's key to send someone you can spare. Your choices here are Tali, Jack, Kasumi, or Mordin. The best bet, if he's loyal, is Mordin --he's not really useful in any other role throughout the rest of the mission, so this is a good way to get him off the roster. However, if you send someone who isn't loyal, they won't make it back to the ship, and if you send no one, the survivors won't make it.

No Caption Provided

The Biotic Specialist And Fireteam Leader

The obstacle you face after choosing your escort is cutting through a swarm of Collector Seekers. To do that, you'll need a biotic specialist to create a big biotic barrier that can protect the rest of the squad, while a second fireteam distracts the Collectors to minimize the number of other threats you face during this section. So first, you need a powerful Biotic who can stand up to the pressure--either Jack , or Samara or Morinth , depending on which teammate you picked up during the loyalty mission. Your other biotics just aren't powerful enough to hack it, so if you pick someone who's not ideal or not loyal, you'll lose a squadmate to the swarm.

For your fireteam, you'll have the same major choices as last time: Garrus, Jacob, or Miranda . Again, pick someone who's loyal, or the leader you choose won't make it to the end of this section.

Your Squad And The Defense Team

Finally, you'll pick your team to go to the final battle, while leaving a group to hold off the Collectors and cover your escape. Anyone you don't choose to take with you will hang back to play defense for the final push. Each character has a defensive ranking, which is increased if they're loyal or not. The good news is that everyone can survive even without everyone being loyal, provided the total defense ranking is high enough.

Generally, you want to leave behind at least some of your toughest (remaining) teammates, like Grunt, Garrus, and Zaeed , who all have the highest scores as defenders. If you're low on squaddies here, you might also consider taking loyal characters with lower defense scores to the final battle, since that'll keep them from potentially dying while holding the line. The defense scores for each character shake out as follows; if the character is not loyal, subtract one point from their score.

  • 4 points: Garrus, Zaeed, Grunt
  • 2 points: Samara or Morinth, Jacob, Miranda, Thane, Legion
  • 1 point: Jack, Mordin, Tali, Katsumi

There's some behind-the-scenes math at play here but the simplified version is that the average defense score for your team determines whether and how many people in this group die. That's why you want to leave Grunt, Zaeed, and/or Garrus behind, especially if they're loyal, because they can drastically pump up the total. That's also why it's a good idea to ditch Mordin as the crew escort, since he carries a low score.

No Caption Provided

You want an average of 2 points per character or better for them all to survive. Factors vary after that, but if your average is 1.5 points, you'll lose one character. An average of 1 point gets you two deaths; 0.5 points or lower will result in three deaths. The order of deaths shakes out generally in the order of weakest to toughest fighter, like this: Mordin; Tali; Kasumi; Jack; Miranda; Jacob; Garrus; Samara or Morinth; Legion; Thane; Zaeed; Grunt.

It's also worth noting that even a small defense team can survive if you have strong characters, since deaths are determined by the average of defense points, rather than each character's individual score.

Keep all this in mind as you choose the two characters who are going to come with you so that you leave a strong defense team while also picking strong teammates. What's more, you can get some extra story tidbits if you bring along your romance character, should you have one, and Miranda, who has extra dialogue at this moment.

As always, you want to make sure you add loyal characters to your personal squad for the final battle, or you'll lose anyone who's not loyal in the end.

Saving Shepard

One last note: It's possible to lose Commander Shepard in the Suicide Mission along with anyone else. Shepard's survival depends on your overall performance throughout the mission; it's determined by how many people you've lost throughout the course of the mission. The good news is that as long as you haven't absolutely devastated your team, Shepard will make it.

The numbers boil down like this: If two or more teammates survive in total, Shepard survives the Collector base. If only one other teammate, or no other teammates, make it out, Shepard won't either. In that case, you'll see one final cutscene between the Illusive Man and Joker, who takes Shepard's role in giving a final report. But you won't be able to continue onto Mass Effect 3 with that save file, since Shepard will, in fact, be dead. Sorry.

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mass effect 2 key missions

mass effect 2 key missions

Mass Effect 2 (2010)

mass effect 2 key missions

  • None of these are mandatory.
  • Some of these are really really fun.
  • Rewards aren't that big. (Upgrades, minerals, money, experience points)
  • Certain clusters will need to be purchased first, and some will be revealed to you as you go along. Don't freak out that you don't see some of these clusters without even doing the first mission.

mass effect 2 key missions

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How come when i want to leave the mission, the key does not work ?

Mass effect 2, pc playstation 3 xbox 360, mass effect 2 (pc).

  • I completed a mission, and appears(press and hold F, to leave the mission) and nothing happens. I'm stuck in the mission. RASGOOMATOTODO - 13 years ago - report

Top Voted Answer

  • If you alter the the default key configuration, the in game prompts that tell you what keys to hit will not change to reflect this. For example, If you change Move Foward from "W" to "E" the in game prompt that says you can move forward with a specific key will still say "W" not "E" even though you use "E" to move forward now. What I'm trying to say is that you if you altered the key to leave the planet from "F" in the control configuration then you will need to figure out what key you changed that to and press that one instead of "F." Junkcar02 - 13 years ago - report 1   0
  • It's already been a while. I believe I had to restart the game and the mission. It's a flaw with this game, windows always does something weird to anything it runs. ILJtheFirst - 13 years ago - report 0   0

More Questions from This Game

  • Does Blood Dragon Armor work from Xbox? General X360 1 answer
  • What is the best strategy for not getting your whole team killed in the last mission? Build X360 2 answers
  • How do class based achievements work? General X360 3 answers
  • Does the character creator sliders from ME1 work with ME2? General X360 1 answer
  • How do I complete Samara's Loyalty mission? Side Quest X360 4 answers
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Watch CBS News

New COVID variant BA.2.86 in at least four states — what to know about the highly mutated strain

By Alexander Tin

Updated on: August 30, 2023 / 12:18 PM / CBS News

Health authorities and scientists say they are now racing to study BA.2.86, a new strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 , after the highly mutated variant was spotted spreading in multiple countries around the world and at least four different U.S. states.

For now, officials say they remain well-equipped to deal with the strain if it continues to spread. Early assessments suggest current treatments and tests, as well as upcoming vaccines to be rolled out in September, will not be rendered useless by BA.2.86. 

But a number of questions remain about the variant, nicknamed "Pirola" on social media, whose mutations could amount to an evolutionary jump on par with the emergence of the Omicron variant in 2021. 

Here's the latest on what we know about the strain.

Is there a new COVID variant? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization say they have been closely tracking the emergence of a new, highly mutated COVID-19 variant that scientists have labeled BA.2.86. 

The new variant first raised concerns earlier this month after variant trackers noticed a handful of new sequences showing up in global virus databases with a large number of genetic changes different from other circulating strains.

When compared to the XBB.1.5 variant, which drove a wave earlier this year and was picked out to be targeted by the upcoming fall booster shots, BA.2.86 has 36 mutations. Sequences of early Omicron variants in 2021 also had a similar number of mutations, when compared to the original strain of the virus.

BA.2.86's mutations include changes at key parts of the virus that could help the variant dodge the body's immune defenses from prior infections or vaccinations.

Authorities still consider BA.2.86 technically a part of the Omicron variant family, though the WHO told reporters  that this could change if the strain spreads more widely.

"We will use a Greek letter when we have a variant of concern and we won't hesitate to use those Greek letters should they be needed," Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's COVID-19 technical lead, said Aug. 25.

More could be known soon about the impacts of the strain, from experiments done by scientists testing the strain's mutations against antibodies for the virus.

Among them is Peking University Professor Yunglong Cao, whose rapid assessments of variant abilities to dodge antibodies have played a key role in helping global authorities judge the threats posed by past strains. Cao told CBS News on Aug. 24 he expected to have some data on BA.2.86 by "early next week."

Where has the new COVID variant BA.2.86 been detected?

At least 24 confirmed infections have been reported to the global virus database GISAID or announced by health authorities. As of Aug. 30, 10 are in Denmark , four are in Sweden, three are in the U.S., two are in South Africa, two are in Portugal, one is in Israel, one is in the United Kingdom and another is in Canada .

A number of countries have also reported signs of the variant's spread using  wastewater  testing in areas that have yet to spot human cases, including in the U.S. 

No deaths have been reported, according to an Aug. 24 WHO  report . 

None of the early cases had a known "epidemiological link" with each other, an official for the U.N. agency said Aug. 25, or had compromised immune systems. Experts have speculated  that previous highly mutated variants arose in immunocompromised patients battling lingering infections.

The first reported U.S. case was reported from a sample collected on Aug. 3, according to metadata reported to GISAID by a lab at the University of Michigan. A spokesperson for Michigan's health department said that sample was collected from an adult who lived in the state's Washtenaw County.

A second U.S. case of BA.2.86 was reported to GISAID from a sample collected on Aug. 10 at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. Contractors for CDC's airport testing program had detected the case, in a woman who had traveled from Japan to the Washington, D.C. area airport.

The third U.S. case of BA.2.86 has been confirmed in Ohio, a spokesperson for the state's health department told CBS News. Records reported to GISAID show the sequence was from a sample collected by the Cleveland Clinic on July 29, from a 26-year-old patient in Ohio's Cuyahoga County. 

New York became the fourth to report the variant, after spotting BA.2.86's distinctive mutations in New York City's wastewater. Ohio had previously confirmed it was also investigating with the CDC a "preliminary detection" of BA.2.86's distinctive mutations in its sewers. No other states have reported BA.2.86 in their wastewater so far, a CDC spokesperson said Aug. 30.

Scientists in several other countries have also announced spotting at least preliminary signs of the strain in their sewers, according to Sorin Sion of the EU Sewage Sentinel System for SARS-CoV-2, including Denmark, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand.

Marc Johnson, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Missouri, said on social media the Ohio detection was based on results published from the CDC's sewer testing program . Those were first released on Aug. 17, from a sample collected in late July from the Ohio city of Elyria. 

Do COVID tests pick up the new COVID variant BA.2.86?

Current COVID-19 tests are expected to still work for BA.2.86, early analyses suggest.

"Based upon available information at this time, the FDA believes that most existing tests used to detect COVID-19 appear to be effective with this variant," FDA spokesperson James McKinney said in an Aug. 28 email.

McKinney said the FDA is continuing to study the performance of current COVID-19 tests, including through an ongoing relationship with a National Institutes of Health  program  that manually rechecks tests against new samples of the virus. Health authorities also do detailed computer modeling that can predict when variants might evade current tests.

Tests found to have reduced performance for BA.2.86 will be listed on the FDA's website , McKinney said. 

"The agency will update this page when significant new information becomes available, including when the FDA's analyses identify tests for which performance may be impacted for known SARS-CoV-2 variants," McKinney said. 

In 2021, the NIH's effort had flagged early signs that the real-world performance of tests was slipping for new Omicron variants. The FDA ultimately  began to urge Americans to do repeat testing with at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, after NIH-backed scientists confirmed an increase in false negative results.

Do the symptoms of the new COVID variant BA.2.86 differ from previous strains?

There are some promising early anecdotes, but for now it is too early to know for sure whether BA.2.86 will cause new or worse symptoms.

Michigan's health department said their case was in "an older adult with mild symptoms and has not been hospitalized." The traveler in Virginia was asymptomatic, according to the metadata submitted by the CDC's contractors.

Ohio's health department declined to comment on whether their case was hospitalized. A Cleveland Clinic spokesperson said they forward to the state "a random subset of our COVID-positives which includes both inpatients and outpatients" for sequencing.

In Denmark, the country's Statens Serum Institut said their first three cases did not have symptoms "other than those normally seen in the course of COVID-19." Canadian health authorities made a similar statement  about their case, who was not hospitalized.

"What we would need to make sure we understand is the full spectrum of disease that is caused by BA.2.86. My reservation in giving a lot of detail around this is I don't want to draw any conclusions coming from eight or nine patients," the WHO's Van Kerkhove said.

The strain's emergence comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations had already been rising around the country driven by less-mutated variants. So far, those trends do not appear to be worsening more around early sightings of the strain.

"At this time, locations where this variant have been detected have not experienced increases in transmission indicators (e.g., cases, emergency department visits) or hospitalizations out of proportion to those seen in neighboring locations," the CDC said the CDC said in a  risk assessment  published Aug. 23.

Will vaccines work for the new COVID variant BA.2.86?

Upcoming vaccines are expected to help for BA.2.86, though more needs to be known. 

The variant's emergence comes as health authorities are preparing for the rollout of new COVID-19 vaccines next month, which are expected to be available soon after a meeting of the CDC's outside vaccine advisers on Sept. 12. 

Those shots were designed to target the XBB.1.5 variant , which at the time of the Food and Drug Administration's pick in June was seen as the option best suited to further broaden immunity for the virus. 

If BA.2.86 becomes dominant, Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary biologist at the Fred Hutch Cancer Center, told CBS News that the strain's mutations could be enough to make those shots a poor match to fend off infections from the virus. 

However, Bloom says the body's other immune defenses could still work to blunt the strain's danger. The CDC says it currently assesses that the updated vaccine "will be effective at reducing severe disease and hospitalization." 

"I would note that while strain specific neutralizing antibodies (which can be escaped by new variants) provide the best protection against infection, there are also broader mechanisms of immunity elicited by vaccination and infection that provide some protection against severe disease," Bloom said in an Aug. 17 email to CBS News.

CBS News reporter covering public health and the pandemic.

More from CBS News

Masks mostly optional: Philadelphia schools' COVID-19 safety plan released

Health experts encourage public to get vaccines for COVID-19, RSV and flu

Doctors concerned over 3 respiratory viruses, including COVID, entering fall, winter

COVID hospitalizations on the rise as U.S. enters Labor Day weekend


This page of IGN's Mass Effect 2 wiki guide is the main walkthrough of the game's core storyline Missions. It will help assist you in getting through all combat encounters, where to find every collectible, and how to pick the right dialogue choices for your playthrough. This walkthrough is available in both a text-and-pictures format as well as video demonstration .

The listings below focus on efficiency. For example, Illium can have up to three Missions available for it at the same time, so they are all grouped together. DLC is not listed here as it is all ultimately optional. Any Side Quests are handled in the Side Quests section.

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
  • Dossier - The Professor
  • Dossier - Archangel
  • Dossier - The Convict
  • Dossier - The Warlord

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.

  • Dossier - Tali
  • Dossier - The Justicar
  • Dossier - The Assassin
  • Collector Ship

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.

  • Kasumi - Stolen Memory
  • Zaeed - The Price of Revenge
  • Miranda - The Prodigal
  • Jacob - The Gift of Greatness
  • Grunt - Rite of Passage
  • Mordin - Old Blood
  • Samara - The Ardat-Yakshi
  • Jack - Subject Zero
  • Garrus - Eye for an Eye
  • Thane - Sins of the Father
  • Tali - Treason

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
  • Legion - A House Divided
  • Jokers Jump

Up Next: Full Walkthrough Roadmap

Top guide sections.

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

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Mass Effect 2


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    Main Missions are the core Missions of the game, focusing on the battle against the Collectors and the Reapers. Prologue: Save Joker Prologue: Awakening Freedom's Progress Stop the Collectors: Assemble a Team Omega: Aria T'Loak Horizon Stop the Collectors: Assemble a Team Stop the Collectors: Investigate Collector Ship

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    Community in: Navigation, Gameplay, Mass Effect, and 4 more English Missions Edit Missions advance the main storyline in Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, Mass Effect: Infiltrator, and Mass Effect: Andromeda. The list contains all of the missions available within the game, and indicates how their names will change as the story progresses.

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    Updated Apr 23, 2023 In BioWare's Mass Effect 2, Shepard has the freedom to tackle most missions in any order. What is the best order to follow? Quick Links Prologue: Joining Cerberus ACT 1: Putting Together Your Team ACT 2 - Part 1: Finishing Recruitment ACT 2 - Part 2: Gaining Loyalty Act 3: Endgame

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  16. Tips and Tricks

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  18. Mass Effect 2

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