Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut Endings Guide

Mass Effect 3 just got a little longer with the new free Extended Cut DLC. Accepting some suggestions from fans, Bioware has added new scenes to the climax on Earth and extended the three main endings to take more of your choices into account. Think Fallout 3 or New Vegas, with a slideshow detailing some of the effects Shepard has had on the universe he just finished saving (or totally failing to save) from the Reaper menace. There’s even an all new ending choice. Learn how to make your choices matter, and check out the extended ending videos below.

Check out more from the original cut of Mass Effect 3 on our walkthrough page, where we’ll get you through the main campaign alive. For more tidbits and specialty coverage on Mass Effect 3, check out the cheats page.

Extended Cut Endings Guide


  1. To check out the new and extended endings, Bioware suggests you load a save before the Priority: Cerberus Headquarters mission.
  2. The game will autosave during the final sequence at “Citadel: The Return” allowing you to access the other endings even faster if you want to see them all. Autosaves can be missed or replaced inconsistently, so don’t plan on relying on the autosave method.
  3. New scenes have been added during the mission on Earth. Loading the autosave will skip past these scenes, so do it at your own risk.
  4. The endings themselves are still chosen the same way, and the events are still determined by your EMS (Effective Military Strength) score. Certain endings are only available at certain levels of EMS.
  5. EMS is calculated by multiplying your Total Military Strength by your Readiness Rating Percentage. Readiness Rating is set at a 50% default, and can be raised by playing multiplayer, using the iOS Datapad, or playing Mass Effect: Infiltrator on the iOS.
  6. The “best” version of each ending is unlocked when your EMS score is 4000 or higher.

Refusal Ending

  • To access the Refusal Ending, you’ll simply need to refuse the choice the Catalyst presents to you in the final dialogue tree.
  • You’ll have two choices: “Then let’s end it.” or “I reject these choices!”
  • Choose the second option, and continue to reiterate that you have decided to fight the Reapers on your own terms to check out the fourth ending.
  • This option is always available at any EMS level.
  • If your Renegade level is high enough, you’ll have the option to interrupt the dialogue with the Catalyst by shooting it. [Via Diego Kober in the Comments]

Control Ending (Paragon)

  • Variations at EMS Rating: 1750-2349, 2350-2799, 2800-4000+
  • Control the Reapers by choosing the blue light on the left.

Destroy Ending (Renegade)

  • Variations at EMS Rating: 0-2049, 2050-2649, 2650-3999, 4000+
  • Destroy the Reapers by choosing the red light on the right.

Synthesis Ending

  • Variations at EMS level: 2800-4000+
  • Combine organic life with inorganic life by choosing the green light down the center.

Shepard Lives

  • Prerequisite EMS Score: 3100+
  • The scene where an injured Shepard is shown possibly surviving — strangely under wreckage — remains in the extended cut.

Major Differences

  • During the final mission on Earth, your wounded crew is picked up by Joker. Shepard will also give a final goodbye.
  • The Mass Effect Relays are no longer destroyed, but are left nonfunctional. They can be repaired if you choose the Control Ending.
  • After the Normandy crash, the crew can be seen repairing their ship and leaving the planet.

Found more differences? Did you love this new extended cut or hate it? Leave us a comment below.

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5 Comments on Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut Endings Guide


On June 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Hated the endings before… LOVE them now! Cried for every option like a baby :)

Also, it can be assumed that the relays are fixed for the synthesis ending as well (since the Reapers are still there for that option as well), though that isn’t directly shown


On June 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Yes i loved the extended cut and i’m sure they also rebuilt the mass relay in the synthesis ending since EDI said they share their technology with us.


On June 27, 2012 at 2:20 am

Even in Destroy, i believe it’s implied, by Hackett, they will somehow repair the relays, in a tone of positive hope.

Liked the EC so far. :)

Diego Kober

On June 27, 2012 at 7:26 am

You can also get the refusal ending by shooting the Star Child, instead of by dialogue.


On July 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm

The crew is not alway picked up by Joker. If the readiness rating is low enough both of them will be crashed be a tank and die.
The Normandy is not seen leaving the planet when it is dameged to severeky (also with low readiness).
With a high rating, the relays get damaged, with a low rating they get destroyed. Regardless of rating and choice they will be rebuilt. With lower rating it sounds like it takes a very long time.