Mass Effect 3 Endings Guide - How Your Choices Matter

by Gaetano 'Xbot' Prestia Featured 6 Comments 14 Votes 16707 Views 13/03/2012 Back to Articles

SPOILERS AHEAD! (derp?)

Mass Effect 3 ends a number of different ways. How it ends will depend on a few things, be it your importing (or lack thereof) of your Mass Effect 2 character, how you interact with certain characters, and decisions you make throughout the adventure.

While you certainly can complete the game without talking to every single character and completing every single objective, it's wise to explore the galaxy as extensively as possible as to improve your "galactic readiness" and increase your War Assets.

Why Your Decisions Matter

Mass Effect 2 Character Import

The ending in Mass Effect 3 is heavily dependant on whether or not the Collector's Base was destroyed in Mass Effect 2. If you don't import your Mass Effect 2 character, then the Collector's Base is automatically destroyed, leaving you with one ending tree. If you choose to save the Collector's Base after importing, the ending will be slightly different.

Readiness Rating

Your Readiness Rating is determined by the total number of war assets you have in the final Reaper battle. These assets can be accessed via the War Assets panel in the CIC on the Normandy. You can gain War Assets from Side Missions, Scanning / Exploration and conversation choices. Galactic Readiness affects this directly and the percentage shows how much of the War Assets (Total Military Strength) can be used, which creates the Effective Military Strength (which is what determines the end result of the game).

Collector's Base - Saved

  • A readiness rating of less than 1750 will lead to Earth being destroyed, no matter what your decisions throughout the game were.
  • A readiness rating of 1750 - 2049 gives you the option to save the Reapers, which will save the Earth.
  • A readiness rating of 2050 - 2349 will allow you to control a reaper and save Earth.
  • A readiness rating of 2350 - 2649 will mean you need to destroy the Reapers, but compromise the Earth, and see Shepard and Anderson die.
  • A readiness rating of 2650 - 2799 will allow you to destroy the Reapers, which will lead to the destruction of Eather.
  • A readiness rating of 2800 - 3999 will allow you to save the Earth and Galaxy once synergy is created.
  • A readiness rating of 4000 - 4999 will allow you to destroy the Reapers, save Anderson and see Shepard live.
  • A readiness rating of 5000+ will allow you to destroy the Reapers, but will see Anderson die to see Shepard saved.

 

Collector's Base - Destroyed

  • A readiness rating of less than 1750 will lead to Earth being destroyed, no matter what your decisions throughout the game were.
  • A readiness rating of 1750 - 1899 will give you the opportunity to control a Reaper, but Earth will be destroyed.
  • A readiness rating of 1900 - 2349 will mean you need to destroy the Reapers, but compromise the Earth, and see Shepard and Anderson die.
  • A readiness rating of 2350 - 2649 will allow you to control a Reaper and save the Earth.
  • A readiness rating of 2650 - 2799 Destroy the Reapers and save the Earth.
  • A readiness rating of 2800 - 3999 will save both the Earth and Galaxy once synergy is created.
  • A readiness rating of 4000 - 4999 will allow you to destroy the Reapers, save Anderson and see Shepard live. – Choose to destroy the Reapers and Save Anderson to see Shepard lives.
  • A readiness rating of 5000+will allow you to kill the Reapers, see Anderson die by Shepard live.
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Mass Effect 3 Endings Guide - How Your Choices Matter Comments

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at least some of this information is incorrect...

i have found that at 2350 - 2649 you MUST destroy the reapers but shepard dies and so does anderson.
lol i dont get why 4000-5000 u can save both anderson and shepard, but over 5000 anderson must die? shouldnt u be rewarded for more points :S
ok i just confirmed this first hand... i had an EMS of around 5700, full paragon, full reputation. i was allowed to answer all of illusive mans convo options with the 'blue' paragon answers which causes him to shoot himself. this way u dont have to 'let' illusive man kill anderson and he is still alive (at least until him and shepard finish talking). shepard also lives in this ending, and i had a destroyed collector base in me2, so it is possible to save anderson and have shepard live when you have maximum EMS. :)
i don't know wtf i did...but i was given the choice to either destroy or control the reapers...i chose to control the reapers to end the cycle...which in turn saved the earth but the jump gates get destroyed. Then I see normandy getting kaboomed near a jump gate. Saw it crashed in a planet...and someone opened the door from inside. :\
I would have loved if the cut scene after my decision showed reaction of my friends back in Earth.
If no one came out of the ship, your War Assests must have been pretty low that's basically the "No one survived the crash" ending. :O
i did see the door open...from a first person view of someone from inside the ship.
q is...wtf was Joker doing out there running away from Earth? :\

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