Mass Effect 3

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Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3 cover
Single player BioWare
Multiplayer Psyonix[1]
Electronic Arts
Unreal Engine 3
Release dates
Windows March 6, 2012
Mass Effect 3 guide at StrategyWiki
Mass Effect 3 at Wikipedia
Mass Effect
Mass Effect 2008
Mass Effect 2 2010
Mass Effect 3 2012
Mass Effect: Andromeda 2017

Key points

Mass Effect 3 can optionally import save games from Mass Effect 2, which in turn can import save games from Mass Effect.

General information

Official game site
Mass Effect Wiki


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
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Digital Deluxe
Icon overlay.png
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Digital Deluxe also available.
All versions require Origin DRM.
Game will not run in offline mode on Origin. You can bypass it altogether with this

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

This game has in-game micro-transactions (not listed below).
DLC can be bought through Origin by right clicking Mass Effect 3 and View Game Details or from Amazon
Name Notes
Alternate Appearance Pack 1
Earth Free.
Extended Cut Free.
Firefight Pack
From Ashes Included in Digital Deluxe
Genesis 2
Groundside Resistance Pack
M90 Indra Sniper Rifle
Mass Effect™ Trilogy Art Included in Mass Effect Trilogy bundle
Mass Effect 3 Digital Art Books Included in Digital Deluxe
Mass Effect 3 Soundtrack Included in Digital Deluxe
N7 Collector's Edition materials Included in Digital Deluxe
Reckoner Knight Armor Obtained by logging in to account in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning demo[2] (The demo is available on Steam)
Reckoning Free.
Rebellion Free.
Resurgence Free.
Retaliation Free.

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Use the -nostartupmovies command line argument[3]
Modify ME3_sig_logo in bioengine.ini[4]
  1. Download and run ME3 Coalesced Utility.
  2. In the utility open Coalesced.bin from <path-to-game>\BIOGame\CookedPCConsole\
  3. Go to the bioengine.ini > fullscreenmovie > startupmovies section.
  4. Add a semicolon in front of the ME3_sig_logo line like so: ;ME3_sig_logo
  5. Save the file and exit the utility.

HD Texture Pack[edit]

A Lot of Textures(ALOT) is a re-texture project aiming to bring Mass Effect 3's textures to today's standards, replacing around 2200 textures with high-resolution variants.

Game data[edit]

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.
In-game narrative settings.
In-game narrative settings.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect 3\BIOGame\Config\

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect 3\Save\

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes

Video settings[edit]

In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Use Flawless Widescreen or Widescreen Fixer.
Use Flawless Widescreen[5] or Widescreen Fixer.
4K Ultra HD
UI does not scale properly at 4K resolution without mods.
Field of view (FOV)
Use Flawless Widescreen or Widescreen Fixer.
The latter maintains correct FOV during cutscenes.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
The level of filtering can be adjusted in MassEffect3Config.exe.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
FXAA only. For other options see Anti-aliasing (AA).
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Forced on by default. To disable see Vertical sync (Vsync).
60 FPS
120+ FPS
See High frame rate.

Borderless fullscreen windowed[edit]

If the taskbar appears on top, set the game to Fullscreen and then back to Window (No Border) to eliminate it.[6]

Anti-aliasing (AA)[edit]

By default the game only has FXAA for anti-aliasing. But is possible to force other anti-aliasing types.
Use NVIDIA Inspector (NVIDIA only)[citation needed]
  1. Download and launch NVIDIA Profile Inspector
  2. Choose Mass Effect 3 from the profile list
  • Change Antialiasing - Mode to Override any application setting
  • Change Antialiasing - Setting to 4x [4x Multisampling] or 8xQ [8x Multisampling] or 16xQ [16x CSAA (8 color + 8 cv samples)]
  • (Optional) Change Antialiasing - Transparency Multisampling to Enabled to enable transparency multisampling. Or you can change Antialiasing - Transparency Supersampling to one of the supersampling options to enable transparency supersampling.
  • Change Antialiasing compatibility to 0x080000C1[7][8][9]
  • Change Antialiasing - Mode to Override any application setting
  • Change Antialiasing - Setting to 4x [4x Multisampling] or 8xQ [8x Multisampling]
  • Change Antialiasing - Transparency Supersampling to 4x Sparse Grid Supersampling or 8x Sparse Grid Supersampling
  1. Apply changes.


Default compatibility bits for anti-aliasing (0x080100C5) should be enough for MSAA. Therefore there is no need to change them when using MSAA.
If you are a SLI user and using SGSSAA you might want to change SLI compatibility bits to 0x42502005 for improved performance.[9]
If forcing AA causes video stutter, activating MSI Afterburner's OSD can fix it.

High frame rate[edit]

Disable 62 FPS cap[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open Gamersettings.ini.
  3. Add the following under [SystemSettings]


Causes issues in the game. Enemies will be more accurate and your shields will recharge slower. Prevents usage of powers from cover unless you first lean out manually.

Vertical sync (Vsync)[edit]

Disable VSync[10]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open GamerSettings.ini.
  3. Add the line UseVSync=False under the [SystemSettings] section.
  4. Save the changes.

Input settings[edit]

In-game general control settings.
In-game general control settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.
Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Mouse acceleration
Negative acceleration when "Mouse Dampening" is enabled in options. Can also be tweaked through Coalesced.bin.[citation needed]
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
See Controller support.
Full controller support
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Additional information
Button prompts
See Controller support.
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
See Controller support.

Controller support[edit]

Complete Xbox 360 interface restoration:

Replace Coalesced.bin[11]
  1. Download the replacement Coalesced.bin.
  2. Move it to <path-to-game>\BIOGame\CookedPCConsole, replacing the existing file.
  3. Connect your controller and launch Mass Effect 3. The controller should now work.


The mouse is still required in menus and conversations.
If you have made other changes to Coalesced.bin you will need to redo them.

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Up to 5.0
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost


Language UI Audio CC Notes


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
4 Co-op
Use ME3 Private Server Emulator/LAN.
Online play
4 Co-op
Multiplayer activity and progress affects the singleplayer storyline. Note that the Extended Cut DLC modifies the game such that playing the multiplayer is not required for the "best" singleplayer story ending.

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
UDP (outbound) 5659, 6000

VR support[edit]

Issues fixed[edit] has created a comprehensive guide for fixing issues in this game.

"Origin (EA) is no longer running. Mass Effect 3 will now close"[edit]

Reinstall Origin into default folder[12]

Make sure Origin is installed in the default folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin\), not on another drive.

64bit Version Error Message[edit]

64bit Version Error Message[citation needed]

The following error message may appear:

The version of this file is not compatible with the version of Windows you're running. Check your computer's system information to see whether you need a x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version of the program, and then contact the software publisher.
  • Selecting Mass Effect 3 in Origin and clicking 'repair install' and 'check for update' may fix this issue.

Mouse Causing Stuttering[edit]

Mouse movement may cause slowdowns. This can be fixed by disabling Origin overlay within the game.

Mouse Causing Stuttering[citation needed]
  1. Click on the gear in the top right.
  2. Click "Settings".
  3. Click the "In Game" tab.
  4. Make sure "Enable Origin In Game" is disabled

MSVCR90.dll startup Crash[edit]

Sometimes the game crashes with an error about MSVCR90.dll.
Delete save folder[citation needed]
  1. Go to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioware
  2. Delete the Save folder.

Startup Crash 2[edit]

This error message may appear on startup:[13]

 Problem signature:
 Problem Event Name:    BEX
 Application Name:    MassEffect3.exe
 Application Version:    1.1.5427.4
 Application Timestamp:    4f46d052
 Fault Module Name:    awc.dll
 Fault Module Version:
 Fault Module Timestamp:    4ee2521d
 Exception Offset:    0008342f
 Exception Code:    c0000417
 Exception Data:    00000000
 OS Version:    6.1.7601.
 Locale ID:    1033
 Additional Information 1:    636e
 Additional Information 2:    636ed4ad6e2ce5a3e01564e40133fee8
 Additional Information 3:    61e2
 Additional Information 4:    61e20e96bfcd8b3479be5a6b63429556

Going into the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Bioware\Mass Effect 3\Binaries\Win32\ and remove or rename the "atiags.dll" may fix this issue.

Crash on From Ashes DLC[edit]

Crash on From Ashes DLC[citation needed]

At Eden Prime, shortly after watching the cutscene for the first pod, the player crashes.

  • To fix this, access the second pod first, and then the first pod.
  • There is a second way to fix this so you can watch the vids in order: And that is right after the first vid has done playing start pressing your escape button a few times.

Retail DVD Install Issue[edit]

Some users experience issues installing Mass Effect 3 from a retail disc. After starting the install process and entering the product key, an error message claiming it is not a valid Mass Effect 3 serial number appears. Despite this, Mass Effect 3 will now be activated in your Origin library. Further attempts to run the installation process will still prompt for a product key, and upon entering it will result in an error message stating the key has already been used. It is impossible to continue the install process from this point.

There are two possible solutions to this issue. The first and easiest option is to simply download Mass Effect 3 via Origin. However, for those on slower or bandwidth limited internet connections, this may not be a viable option. It is still possible to install from the DVDs using the following workaround:

Retail DVD Install Issue[citation needed]
  1. Start downloading Mass Effect 3 via Origin, pause the download and exit Origin.
  2. Delete all files in the Mass Effect 3 subfolder of Origin's game install folder. By Default this is C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3 Also, delete all files in Origin's download cache %PROGRAMDATA%\Origin\DownloadCache
  3. Copy the file Mass Effect 3.z01 from disc 1 and Mass Effect from disc 2 to a temporary location on your hard drive.
  4. Extract these files to the Mass Effect 3 folder in Origin's game install folder. Default C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3 (NOTE: Traditional unzipping software such as WinRAR or 7-zip may experience critical errors extracting these files. If this occurs, you can use a program called Total Commander to extract them. In Total Commander some error messages will appear, but these can be ignored)
  5. Remove the read-only attribute to these files and folders (Right Click on the folder in Windows, select properties and uncheck the "Read-only" box).
  6. Launch Origin and resume the download. A small download of approximately 60 MB should start to fix missing or broken files. After this, Mass Effect 3 should be fully installed and working.

Origin Install Issue[edit]

In some cases where Mass Effect 3 has been downloaded through Origin, upon installation users are met with this error message:

Error: The VC++ runtime redistributable package was not installed successfully. Setup cannot continue.

In order to solve the issue:

Origin Install Issue[citation needed]
  1. Exit Origin.
  2. Go to the Control Panel and uninstall any 'Microsoft Visual C++ 20XX' packages you may have.
  3. Download both the 2010 x64 and 2010 x86 redistributable files from the Microsoft website.
  4. Once both files have downloaded successfully, navigate to Mass Effect 3's installation folder, default is
    C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3\__Installer\vc\vc2008sp1\redist\
  5. Inside that folder, either delete or rename both the vcredist_x64.exe and vcredist_x86.exe and replace them with your newly downloaded versions.
  6. Open Origin and install the game.

Language Fix[edit]

If you buy the game on Origin and discover the in-game menu and subtitles are a different language then English, there is a way to correct it;

Language Fix[citation needed]

After you have downloaded and installed the game:

  1. Download the language pack: From MediaFire
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\BioWare\Mass Effect 3
  • Now change the Locale data to: en_US and change the final part of GDFBinary path to GDFBinary_en_US.dll by right clicking the relevant row and pressing 'edit value'.
  1. After changing these values go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Origin Games\71402
  • Now change the Locale value to en_US by right clicking the relevant row and pressing 'edit value'.

Now replace the CookedPCConsole folder found in Mass Effect 3\BIOGame with the one found in the language pack, and accept all the changes and overwrites.

Finally, delete the BIOGame_RUS.tlk in your Mass Effect 3\BIOGame\CookedPCConsole folder and rename the BIOGame_INT.tlk language file, that you will find in the CookedPCConsole folder after you have replaced it with the one found in the language pack, to BIOGame_RUS.tlk.

Mass effect 3 is now fully in English.

DLC Error[edit]

DLC Error[citation needed]

Sometimes the game will have problems loading DLC (both free and paid DLC) and will present an error message stating "Unable to authorize the listed DLC. Please log in to the Alliance Network with the account used to purchase the DLC". This is usually caused by an error during the download.

  1. To solve the error, open Origin and bring up Mass Effect 3's information by clicking the "i" icon below it.
  2. Right click on the DLC causing the error and select "Check for update".
  3. A download should begin to download any missing or broken files.
  4. The DLC should work the next time you launch the game.

Unable to save any more games[edit]

Increase 50 save limit[14][citation needed]
  1. Download ME3 Explorer
  2. Run ME3Explorer and select PCC Editor 2.0 (under Developer Tools)
  3. Provide game executable situated in <path-to-game>\Binaries\MassEffect3.exe
  4. Go to File > Load and open <path-to-game>\BIOGame\CookedPCConsole\SFXGame.pcc
  5. Choose Exports tab and scroll down to the 45241 line
  6. Select it and set MaxSaves IntProperty to a big number like 999
  7. Go to File > Save


Import Save Game[edit]

Import Save Game[citation needed]
For general troubleshooting with importing, please refer to EA's save game import FAQ and this detailed post about modding and save game imports from LiveJournal user bluefall.

Import From Mass Effect 2 Folder[edit]

Import From Mass Effect 2 Folder[citation needed]
Mass Effect 3 does not use an import save game data in the same way that one could import save game data from Mass Effect to Mass Effect 2. Instead, it detects an existing Mass Effect 2 save games folder (as if Mass Effect 2 was installed and completed). Therefore there should be no issue as long as the same computer used to complete Mass Effect 2 is used to start a new game in Mass Effect 3.

Import Without Reinstalling[edit]

Import Without Reinstalling[15]

To import a Mass Effect 2 save file from an old computer to the one in which Mass Effect 3 is currently installed, copy your old career folders to: %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioware\Mass Effect 2\Save\

Lost Old Save Game[edit]

Lost Old Save Game[citation needed]
One can replace an old save game by going to Mass Effect 2 Saves, which is a repository of Mass Effect 2 save games with various playthroughs which can be imported into Mass Effect 3.

Save Game Not Detected[edit]

If a Mass Effect 2 save game is not detected, there are currently some methods to fix this.

Rename Save Game Folder[citation needed]
A save editor may have changed the folder structure. Change this back to allow Mass Effect 3 to autodetect correctly.
  1. Go to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioware\Mass Effect 2\Save\
  2. Change the folder name to Name_12_Class_012610
Edit GamerSettings.ini[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open GamerSettings.ini.
  3. Add your Mass Effect 2 saves folder location next to Location=
Location=%USERPROFILE%\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect 2\Save\
Make sure that the above location is the correct location of your save games.

Multiplayer game using "Different Version"[edit]

When attempting to join a game an error will display that you cannot join due to the executable being version 1.6 instead of 1.5
Replace exe file if wrong version[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Mass Effect 3\Binaries\Win32\
  2. Right click MassEffect3.exe, select properties, choose the details tab, under "file version" it should start with
  3. If not, make a backup of that executable and replace the original with this 1.5 version.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
Shader Model support 3
64-bit executable


Middleware Notes
Physics PhysX
Audio Speex, Wwise
Interface Scaleform
Cutscenes Bink Video

Ambient occlusion[edit]

Default NVIDIA driver profile does not have compatibility bits to enable ambient occlusion for the game. But it can be enabled by tweaking the driver profile settings.
Use NVIDIA Inspector (NVIDIA only)[citation needed]
  1. Download and launch NVIDIA Profile Inspector
  2. Choose Mass Effect 3 from the profile list
  3. Change Ambient Occlusion compatibility to 0x00000020[16]
  4. Change Ambient Occlusion usage to Enabled
  5. Change Ambient Occlusion setting to Performance, Quality or High quality
  6. Apply changes.


  • Mass Effect 3 Nexus - One of the most popular modding communities, has decent amount of mods for Mass Effect 3.
  • ME3Explorer - A multi-tool software for modding Mass Effect 3. Also includes a Coalesced.bin editor for further tweaking.

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP Vista, 7
Processor (CPU) Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB (XP)
2 GB (Vista, 7)
2 GB (XP)
4 GB (Vista, 7)
Hard disk drive (HDD) 15 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon X1800
Nvidia GeForce 7900
256 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Shader model 3 support
ATI Radeon HD 4850
Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT
Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti
512 MB of VRAM
AMD video cards below minimum system requirements: Radeon HD 3200, HD 3300, HD 4350
Nvidia video cards below minimum system requirements: GeForce 9300, 8500, 8400, and 8300
S3 video cards are not supported


  1. Psyonix on Twitter: "@Shinjiki81 Well, we helped contribute to the multiplayer for that one. The lovely folks at @bioware crafted the rad single-player game." - last accessed on 2017-07-23
  2. Kingdoms of Amalur Crossover Content - Mass Effect 3 Wiki Guide - IGN - last accessed on 2016-8-30
  3. Verified by User:Blackbird on 2016-11-02
    Makes the game skip right to Press any key to continue
  4. PC Tweaks (Mass Effect 3) - Mass Effect Wiki
  5. How to fix games for 21:9 Ultrawide Gaming - Mass Effect 3, Ori and the Blind Forest, GoT, Fallout 4 - YouTube
  6. Tested by Andytizer
  7. 3DCenter Forum - View Single Post - Antialiasing - Kompatibilitätsbits - Sammelthread
  8. 3DCenter Forum - View Single Post - Antialiasing - Kompatibilitätsbits - Sammelthread
  9. 9.0 9.1 3DCenter Forum - View Single Post - SLI - Kompatibilitätsbits - Sammelthread
  10. Mass Effect 3 Tweak Guide - Configuration File - last accessed on 2017-08-26
  11. Hacking in gamepad support on PC - Coalesced.bin - The BioWare Forum - last accessed on 2016-8-17]
  12. Tested by Andytizer.
  13. Crash on startup - The BioWare Forum - last accessed on 2016-8-17
  14. Increasing ME3's 50-save Limit - SUCCESS! - The BioWare Forum - last accessed on 2016-8-17
  16. HBAO+ Compatibility Flags Thread - Forums