Mass Effect

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Mass Effect
Masseffectbox.jpg
Developers
Publishers
Engines
Release dates
Windows
May 28, 2008
Mass Effect at WineHQ
Mass Effect at SteamDB
 Mass Effect at Wikipedia
Mass Effect
Mass Effect 2008
Mass Effect 2 2010
Mass Effect 3 2012
Mass Effect: Andromeda 2016

General information

More information Official game site
More information Official forums
More information Mass Effect Wiki
More information Steam Community Discussions
More information Steam Users' Forums for game series

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys
Retail Requires online activation DRM: SecuROM, three machine limit.[1] A De-Authorization Tool is available. Availability Table Icons - Origin.svg
Amazon.com Requires online activation Availability Table Icons - Origin.svg
Amazon.co.uk Availability Table Icons - Origin.svg
Direct2Drive Availability Table Icons - Origin.svg
GamersGate Requires online activation Availability Table Icons - Origin.svg
Green Man Gaming Availability Table Icons - Origin.svg
Origin Availability Table Icons - Origin.svg
Steam Availability Table Icons - Steam.svg Availability Table Icons - Origin.svg
Uplay Availability Table Icons - Origin.svg

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

Advantage Origin version includes all DLC (existing Origin owners can install the latest update to get the DLC).
Name Notes
Bring Down the Sky Free download from Bring Down the Sky DLC Redemption or by activating the base game on Origin. Windows
Pinnacle Station Activate the game on Origin for a free download. Not sold separately. Windows

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip videos[edit]

Fix Skip intro videos

  1. Navigate to <path-to-game>\BioGame\CookedPC\Movies\
  2. Delete/move/rename BWLogo.bik, db_standard.bik, ME_EAsig_720p_v2_raw.bik

Fix Skip relay videos[citation needed]

  1. Navigate to <path-to-game>\BioGame\CookedPC\Movies\
  2. Delete/move/rename GLO_01_Relay.bik and UCW_Loading_Flyby.bik

Patches[edit]

The latest patch is update 1.02 which fixes various issues. The Steam and Origin versions are already patched.

Large Address Aware[edit]

Improves stability on systems with at least 3GB RAM by allowing the application to use more than 2GB RAM.

Game data[edit]

In-game general settings.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

  Location 
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioware\Mass Effect\Config\

Save game data location[edit]

  Location 
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioware\Mass Effect\Save\

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Origin Native support
Steam Cloud No native support
GameSave Manager Native support

Video settings[edit]

In-game video settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution Hackable WSGF WS Bronze.svg Limited native support; use Flawless Widescreen to correct FOV and HUD issues.
Multi-monitor Hackable WSGF MM Bronze.svg Use Flawless Widescreen.
Field of view (FOV) Hackable Use Flawless Widescreen.
Windowed Native support
Borderless fullscreen windowed Hackable See Borderless fullscreen windowed.
Anisotropic filtering (AF) Native support Point, Linear and Anisotropic (Default is 4 samples, can be set up to 16 samples; see Anisotropic filtering)
Anti-aliasing (AA) Hackable Can be forced through the NVIDIA Control Panel/AMD Control Center.
Vertical sync (Vsync) Native support
60 FPS Native support
120+ FPS Hackable See High frame rate.

Anisotropic filtering (AF)[edit]

Fix High quality AF[2]

  1. Open BIOEngine.ini file located inside your configuration folder
  2. Navigate to [SystemSettings] section and edit the following values like below
Trilinear=TRUE
MaxAnisotropy=16

High frame rate[edit]

Fix Change frame rate smoothing

  1. Navigate to configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open the BIOEngine.ini with a text editor.
  3. Search and change bSmoothFrameRate to FALSE or raise MaxSmoothedFrameRate value.
  4. Save file.
Information For more information, see the Unreal Engine 3 page.

Input settings[edit]

In-game general control settings.
In-game key map settings.
Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping Native support
Mouse acceleration Native support Mouse acceleration can't be disabled
Mouse input in menus Native support
Mouse Y-axis inversion Native support
Controller
Controller support Hackable See Controller support.
Full controller support No native support
Controller remapping No native support
Controller Y-axis inversion No native support

Controller support[edit]

Fix Add controller support[3]

Information The mouse is still needed for the tactical HUD and weapon upgrading.
  1. Download the configuration files.
  2. Extract to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect\Config\
  3. Plug in your controller and launch Mass Effect. The controller should now work.

Fix Add controller support (Alternative)

This mod allows controller support and also allows the tactical HUD and weapon upgrading without the mouse, however it requires a third party application, JoyToKey. Download here.

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls Native support Dialog, music and sound effects
Surround sound Hackable Nearly always bugged. See No surround sound.
Subtitles Native support
Closed captions No native support
Mute on focus lost Native support
EAX support Native support EAX 5.[4]

Localizations

Language UI Audio CC Notes
English Native support Native support Native support
French Native support Native support Native support
German Native support Unknown Unknown
Italian Native support Native support Native support
Russian Native support Native support Native support
Spanish Native support No native support Native support

No surround sound[edit]

Surround Sound Restoration can be found at: http://www.indirectsound.com/

Fix Edit BIOEngine.ini

It's possible you won't get surround sound if your hardware doesn't support EAX. If you have a supported sound card, you may be able to resolve the issue by first setting hardware audio on in the game options, then exiting the game and including the following info in the BioEngine.ini under the line [ISACTAudio.ISACTAudioDevice]:

MaxChannels=128
TimeBetweenHWUpdates=15.000000
MinOggVorbisDurationGame=20
MinOggVorbisDurationEditor=4
TotalAvailableChannels=128
DeviceName=
UseEffectsProcessing=True
ReserveChannels=2

Notes:

Disadvantage This may not work on some integrated sound chipsets.

Issues unresolved[edit]

Some menu screens have sides "cut off" on 4:3 screen resolutions[edit]

Playing in 4:3 resolutions like 1600x1200(useful for non-widescreen monitors and projectors) results in some menu screens displaying incorrectly: the left and right hand sides of the screen are clipped (as if "zoomed in" too far), so important information cannot be seen (like journal details and the map legend). Screens affected include: Map, Party Selection, Planet details, and Journal. Currently the only known fix is to use a 16:9 screen resolution when playing, like 1920x1080.

Black screen after loading a save[edit]

Fix Black screen after loading a save

If the whole screen is black except for the UI, then Shepard fell through the Normandy and the save is bugged. Only happens on the Normandy, in the Engineering part of the ship. Never save there.

Issues fixed[edit]

Information TweakGuides has created a comprehensive guide for fixing issues in this game. It can be found here.

Game simply doesn't start[edit]

Fix Install PhysX Legacy System Software

Fix Run the game as an admin

Information If you have the Steam version, run it as admin.

Fix Update the game through Origin

Information This fix is for the Origin versions of the game.
  1. Go to "my games"
  2. Right click on the "Mass Effect" icon
  3. Click the "Check for Update" button"
  4. The latest update will be installed.

Fix Use regedit[5]

  1. Open regedit
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\AGEIA Technologies
  3. Edit the enableLocalPhysXCore REG_BINARY (create, if necessary)
  4. Assign this your actual network card MAC address as value

Notes:

Information Your MAC address can be found by clicking the "Details" button in the "Status" of your network card (inside the Windows control panel). In case of multiple network cards you'd better try until you find the right one.

Launcher crashes (retail)[edit]

Fix Install latest patch

Failed to compile shader ** error[edit]

Fix Retail: reinstall game

Fix Steam: check local game cache

Therum missing textures[edit]

Fix Therum Missing Textures[6]

If when you get to Therum most of the ground is black, then you've got a common texture problem. Some of the black area is safe to drive on but some of it will kill you outright, making it quite hard to navigate.

  1. To restore the texture, go to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect\Published\CookedPC
  2. Delete LocalShaderCache-PC-D3D-SM3.upk.
  3. Restart and Therum should look fine.

If this however wouldn't fix the problem. The issue is not to be found anywhere else than on Therum.

People and objects become black[edit]

Fix Disable lighting[7]

Your squad, enemies, and objects that can be interacted with become boxy black blobs. This is a known problem on newer AMD processors. To fix change the viewmode to unlit.

  1. First you will need to enable the developer console.
  2. Boot up Mass Effect, open the developer console by hitting ~ and type in viewmode unlit. Should be good to go.
Information It's possible these issues will only affect you in very specific areas, namely an area on Noveria and another on Ilos. After exiting these areas you can use viewmode lit to revert Mass Effect to its normal lighting. There's a possibility you will need to unequip then reequip armor to fix them after doing so.

IGameExplorer --> Verify Access. Unable to verify access to the game[edit]

Fix IGameExplorer --> Verify Access. Unable to verify access to the game.

If you receive this message, it may be fixed by running the .exe in compatibility mode for Windows XP Service Pack 2. Be sure to do this for the actual MassEffect.exe and not the launcher. The final folder tree will be \Mass Effect\Binaries\MassEffect.exe. The preceding folders will of course depend on how you installed the game (via Steam, via Origin etc.).

  1. To set the compatibility mode, right click the .exe, select properties.
  2. Go to the compatibility tab, select an option from the drop down list.

No high resolution option[edit]

Fix No high resolution option

The resolution listbox in graphics options does have up/down arrows on the right side, which are easily overlooked, that allow you to choose higher resolutions like 1920x1080.

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
Shader Model support 3
64-bit executable No native support

Middleware[edit]

Middleware Notes
Physics PhysX
Audio ISACT,[8] OpenAL
Interface Scaleform
Cutscenes Bink Video

Low res textures fix[edit]

Fix Force highest quality textures[9]

  1. Open %USERPROFILE%\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect\Config\BioEngine.ini
  2. Replace the following three lines:
    TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Diff=(MinLODSize=32,MaxLODSize=512,LODBias=0)
    TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Norm=(MinLODSize=32,MaxLODSize=512,LODBias=0)
    TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Spec=(MinLODSize=32,MaxLODSize=256,LODBias=0)
  3. ...with these lines:
    TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Diff=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0)
    TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Norm=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0)
    TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Spec=(MinLODSize=256,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0)

Mods[edit]

Mass Effect 1 Updated/Improved Textures Mod[edit]

Fix Install mod

  1. Download and install MEUITM
  2. Enable Large Address Aware flag in game executable
  3. Open %USERPROFILE%\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect\Config\BioEngine.ini and:
DepthBias=0.006000
MinShadowResolution=32
MaxShadowResolution=4096
ShadowFilterQualityBias=4

Enable developer console[edit]

Fix Edit BioInput.ini[10]

  1. Open %USERPROFILE%\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect\Config\BioInput.ini
  2. Add the following line below Engine.Console so that this section looks like:
[Engine.Console]
ConsoleKey=Tilde
Information If you have an AZERTY keyboard, the correct line is ConsoleKey=²

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS)
XP / Vista
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz
AMD Athlon XP 2400+ 2.0 GHz
Intel Pentium 4 2.6 GHz
AMD Athlon 64 3700+ 2.2+ GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB (XP)
2 GB (Vista)
2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
12 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 6800
ATI X1300 XT
256 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Shader model 3.0 support
Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX
ATI X1800 XL series
512 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Shader model 3.0 support

References

  1. Mass Effect Community - Mass Effect for PC System Specs, SecuROM and FAQ Part 2
  2. Making the most of your ME1 PC Experience, maximizing graphics and sound. - The BioWare Forum
  3. ME1 and ME2 XBOX 360 Controller Support - Steam Users' Forums
  4. The game is claimed to support up to 128 voices, so it must be using the fifth version.
  5. Mirh testing
  6. To fix missing lava textures on Therum - Steam forums
  7. Squad and enemies become black pixels - The BioWare Forum
  8. Exclusive Interview with the Sound Design Team of “Mass Effect 2″ | Designing Sound
  9. Low quality textures fix for Mass Effect - Steam forums
  10. PC Tweaks - Mass Effect Wiki