How To Use the Mass Effect 2 Save Editor

 

The Mass Effect series has a unique pitch: create a character that will stick with you through multiple sequels, with his or her decisions and abilities intact. This promise can get complicated in practice, however. The first Mass Effect game was released in 2007, and five long years can result in corrupted hard drives, changing platforms, and changing minds.

Since the release of Mass Effect 3, the finer points of imported save files are more important than they’ve ever been. BioWare offers some cursory customization options when you first initialize the game, but for players hoping to fine-tune the decisions that inform the events of Mass Effect 3, other, better options are available, whether you’ve played the previous games or not.

Option 1: Download a Save

 

By visiting the site masseffect2saves.com, you can access a huge number of different save files, with a commensurately huge range of different variables. By browsing the saves on offer, you can decide exactly who you want to survive the climactic mission in Mass Effect 2, or the events on Virmire in the original Mass Effect. You can even decide who your character has romanced.

  1. Use the (admittedly awkward) navigation tools under the large image at the top of the masseffect2saves page until you’ve found a save that meets your specifications.
  2. Download the chosen file to your hard drive
  3. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to My Documents –> Bioware –> Mass Effect 2 –> Save. If this directory does not exist, create it.
  4. Mass Effect save files are organized by character — each character gets its own folder. The naming conventions work like this: CharacterName_TwoDigitNumber_CharacterClass_SixDigitNumber. You can see an example on the right.
  5. If you already have Mass Effect 2 save folders available, simply create a copy of one, and change one digit in that string of numbers at the end. If you haven’t played Mass Effect 2, create one from scratch, using the conventions explained above (you can even copy mine, if you’d like). Copy your downloaded save file into that folder.
  6. Fire up Mass Effect 3 and import your new save.

Option 2: Use a Save Editor

 

Whether you have a leftover save from Mass Effect 2, or you’re interested in customizing a save downloaded from the above website, this simple save editing program makes specific changes easy.

  1. Download the archive, extract it to a folder of your choice, and run the executable.
  2. In the top left of the window, select “Open,” and find your save of choice under My Documents –> Bioware –> Mass Effect 2 –> Save, or in some other location.
  3. Click on the “Plot” tab.
  4. Subsidiary to the “Plot” tab are six more tabs. The most important are “ME2 Plot Table,” “Henchmen,” “ME1 Imported Plot Table,” and “ME1 Plot Table.”
  5. Subsidiary to each of these tabs is a tab called “Flags.” Within this tab, you’ll see a long list of check boxes, each of which corresponds to some element of the plot. Use the check boxes to customize your save, making sure to pay attention to the advice the program gives you about Mass Effect 1-related options.
  6. Use the “Save” button in the upper left to save your save to an appropriate folder, as per steps 4 and 5 above.
  7. Fire up Mass Effect 3 and import your new save.

 

 

Note that while this editor exercises huge power over a variety of plot-related decisions, it exercises no discretion over romantic choices. To make romantic changes, you’ll have to download a save using Option 1. Option 2 does give you the option of setting Shepard’s level, thus unlocking all the powers at the beginning of the game. The save editor also works for XBOX saves. Follow steps 1-8 in this Game Front Guide to transfer a Mass Effect XBOX save file onto a PC.

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1 Comment on How To Use the Mass Effect 2 Save Editor

Mark

On July 12, 2012 at 7:27 am

Great guide! Do you know if this could work for ps3 saves too?