Mass Effect 3: How To Get The Best Ending

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You’ve found every weapon, every piece of armor, finished Mass Effect 3 a second (or third) time, but you know something is missing. There are many endings available in Mass Effect 3, but it takes dedication and commitment to uncover every last slice of the finale. Learn how to get the best possible ending for you, and truly complete this massive game.

(3/11/2012: Updated with all three endings, plus the extended ‘Renegade’ Long Service Medal ending.)

Below, check out how to get the best possible endings out of your final choice in Mass Effect 3. While there are only three major choices, they have many variations and versions all depending on your EMS and a decision at the end of ME3! Spoil yourself completely and check out the possible endings below.

Save the galaxy with our huge video walkthrough for Mass Effect 3. For more extra content, browse over to our cheats page.

We try to keep story details to a minimum, but there are bound to be…

Mass Effect 2 & 3 Spoilers Ahead!

How To Get The Best Ending

UPDATE: We’re working to clarify and learn more about the ‘Perfect’ Ending in ME3! Stick with us as we update the page with new information. Below you’ll find the THREE major confirmed endings, plus the rumored ‘Perfect’ Ending, which is an extension of the Renegade Ending.

Readiness Rating & Effective Military Strength

  1. Total Military Strength is just the total number of War Assets you have acquired. These are collected during your choices in the game, by completing side-quests, how you solve problems during the single-player campaign, and through exploration of the Galaxy Map.
  2. The Readiness Rating can be increased through online co-op play. It starts at a base 50% rating that can be increased. The higher the rating, the fewer War Assets you’ll need for a perfect EMS score.
  3. For example, if your Readiness Rating is at 100%, you’ll need half as many War Assets. The Readiness Rating works with a simple algorithm. A 50% Readiness Rating multiplies your Total Military Strength score by .5%.
  4. If you play the co-op multiplayer and increase your Readiness Rating to 75%, your Total Military Strength score will be multiplied by .75%. Your Readiness Rating will increase through online co-op play, but will steadily decrease as time passes, giving you a very narrow window to play with a 100% Readiness Rating.
  5. There are enough extras, collectibles, and side-missions in the single-player campaign to earn the maximum EMS rating without having to play online.

Paragon Ending

[Video By RabidRetrospectGames]

  1. At the very end of the game, you’ll have two choices. Control the Reapers, or Destroy the Reapers. The blue, or left option, leads to ‘Controlling’ the Reapers.
  2. No matter what, this option will kill Shepard. But, Earth will always be saved as long as you go into the Final Battle with at least 2,350 EMS. If you want to save the Earth, but don’t have the EMS score up to 4,000 — take this option! Unless you want the planet Earth turned into a charred husk.

Renegade Ending

[Video by DeadShep]

  1. At the very end of the game, you’ll have two choices. Control the Reapers, or Destroy the Reapers. The red, or right option, leads to ‘Destroying’ the Reapers.
  2. Choosing to destroy the Reapers also destroys all synthetic life in the galaxy, including Shepard. EDI, the Geth, and the Reapers are all destroyed.
  3. If you’re willing to make that sacrifice, you can make the Renegade choice.

Neutral Ending

[Video by Erulilum]

  1. For this ending, you’ll need at least a 2,800 EMS score before entering the final battle on Earth. It doesn’t matter whether you destroyed the Collector base or not. The option won’t appear, and might not even be alluded to!
  2. To experience this ending, you’ll have to follow the middle path. Between the two choices, red and blue, you’ll find a massive energy beam. Walk into it to initiate the neutral ending.
  3. Doing so leads to Shepard creating synergy between all living things — organic and synthetic. That means all life is part organic, and part synthetic, leading to a future peace between all species.
  4. Despite that, the Mass Relays are still destroyed.

“Perfect” Long Service Medal Ending

NOTE: This special secret ending is NOT the short sequence following the credits where an old man (Voiced by Buzz Aldrin!) speaks to a child. Wait until afterward!

Rumored Content Below! Check back for new updates!

  1. To get the “Perfect” Ending in Mass Effect 3, play the game with the New Game+ option or with an imported character from ME2, with an achieved 4000+ EMS rating and choose the Red, or Renegade Option. With 4000+ EMS you must rescue Anderson from the Illusive Man’s execution. With 5000+ EMS, you can rescue Anderson or let him die. This ending comes after a short post-credits conversation between a man and child.
  2. During NG+ or with an imported character from ME2, the Prejak Paddle Fish will counts as a War Asset, which in turn increases your EMS (Effective Military Strength) score. That means you’ll want to invest in a Fish-Feeding VI. Learn how to find the fish on our Prejak Paddle Fish Easter Egg page.
  3. Shepard seemingly is killed, but the ending will be extended slightly with a shot of Shepard’s charred armor as it takes a deep breathe after the short “Stargazer” segment. According to fan theory, maybe that stuff on the Citadel was a hallucination!
  4. Get out there and get cracking, Shepard!

Was it worth it? Have we been tricked by Cerberus agents? You tell us in the comments below.

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102 Comments on Mass Effect 3: How To Get The Best Ending

Khanh Ngo

On March 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Like it, but video confirmation please?


On March 9, 2012 at 3:32 am

so are you going to give us any confirmation on this super secret ending? i hope you’re not talking about the old man telling the boy a story. that happens on every ending.


On March 9, 2012 at 4:07 am

You dont need the new game + or the fish and models. Just stick around after the credits and youll see it.


On March 9, 2012 at 6:21 am

There is no secret ending. Fish is just an intel data, that can be processing into 10% bonus damage to weapons or powers. This is no a suggestion, this is direct info from game files (.tlk and coalscaled).

Also, no other secret story plot conditions in coalscaled, neither for 10k WA, nor for NG+.


On March 9, 2012 at 7:53 am

I heard u can dodge the laser at the end of the second play threw? So ur not all injuerd and can enter the citadel. Conformation anyone?


On March 9, 2012 at 8:16 am

My effective military strength was over 2, 650.
The ending was so sad for me. It made me so depressed…
I don’t want this to be the last in the trilogy. I feel like I just lost a loved one.
I going on a second play-through and my goal is to get EMS over 4000, so that I can see the “perfect ending”

I hope I don’t have to play multiplayer, to get over 4000.


On March 9, 2012 at 8:39 am

I cant even get a new game plus


On March 9, 2012 at 9:49 am

i had 6,000 plus EMS n i just got 100% readiness will i get the best ending where shepard wont die no matter wat choice i make ?


On March 9, 2012 at 10:54 am

I had well over 7,000 EMS with 100% War Readiness, virtually all side quests I could find were completed, and I replayed through all three scenarios with a Shepard imported all the way from ME1; it seems that “living” N7 mystery corpse in the “red” ending still occurred, and the questionable child and grandfather post-credit came up as well for all 3 scenarios.


On March 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm

i hope they dont confused the go back before the cerberus hq. but if it means little blue babies i in

Kortez-lover 1488

On March 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Plz video.Plz….


On March 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm

It’s true. THIS IS LEGIT.


Man just finished a story with a boy (son or grandson) about the legend of Shepard. There is a little more to it than that, but it’s really cool.


On March 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm

LDUK, that part is literally in every single ending scenario in the game. if that’s what GF is talking about, they’re very wrong. it’s hardly a secret ending and in no way distinguishes ‘the best ending’ from any of the other endings.

Soviet Razor

On March 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

No, this is wrong. There is likely no perfect end–there’s ONE where Shepard survives, apparently, but all it involves is having a 4000+ War Assets, saving Anderson, and finishing what Anderson started. If you have 5000, you don’t have to save Anderson.

Now, there are rumours floating about that if you do a new game+ you’ll get a super duper, fixed all the complaints ending but i really doubt it.

Kevin Thielenhaus

On March 9, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Hey Soviet Razor,

The after-credits sequence comes after all three normal endings, but if you play with NG+ and work up to a 5000+ EMS, you’ll see one final extra bit after the conversation between the child and old man. It’s very short, but it DOES imply Shepard survives. Maybe it doesn’t fix the ending, but it’s something.


On March 9, 2012 at 11:32 pm

The New Game Plus means , i just need to import a ME3 char n replay the game ?


On March 10, 2012 at 12:28 am

@ Kevin. I’ll have to check that out. I’m about half way through the second play-through.


On March 10, 2012 at 2:15 am

It’s either multiply by 75% or by .75, not .75%


On March 10, 2012 at 4:55 am

Just beat the game, military strength of 6k. Galactic readiness was at 98%. Play some multiplayer, really helps. Anyways, wasn’t able to do the very last paragon option and picked synthesis. No extra scene for me. Gonna try again tomorrow, when I feel up to beating the whole game again and searching out all the extra crap I found the first time -.-’


On March 10, 2012 at 5:56 am

this is completely legit ……but you can see that ending by downloading bink player and running the videos from the movie folder of the game xD


On March 10, 2012 at 7:32 am

Where it is possible to receive New Game +, or it to import preservation from МЕ3???


On March 10, 2012 at 8:03 am

So the short of this is that if you want to complete the game using solely Single-Player content to achieve the best possible ending, you have to complete the game…twice?

Bioware staff that were interviewed on this never stated this once. It’s either, you play through 20+ hours of the game again to get the added bonus, or you are forced into doing MP content as it’s easier to just jump from getting a 3.3k up to a 5k+ score.


On March 10, 2012 at 8:59 am

The author tell to me it is an ending where the person with the child look at stars it is an ending of best or there is more the best ending???


On March 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

ok than if i played the game twice n oso played MP 100% will i get another ending or it will b the same ?


On March 10, 2012 at 10:02 am

Just finished my first play through 5k+ score. didn’t get enough paragon or renegade points to choose the last option persuasion, but still pulled through chose synthesis and got the little video at the end. For those who arn’t doing it right. YOU HAVE TO SIT THROUGH THE CREDITS. ALL OF THEM.


On March 10, 2012 at 10:04 am

PS, on a side note I am also sad to see the end of this great series, Kind of wished shep could of survived and lived happily ever after with his/her L.I but every game needs a sacrificial hero.


On March 10, 2012 at 11:17 am

U dont need to sit through the credits. Just hit the cancel but and skip them. U still get tobwatxh the video.


On March 10, 2012 at 11:25 am

Yeah well even if the series will end I am sure BioWare will milk it more using that “best end with NG+” and create a new series based on ME that will have Shepard in it but maybe not as a main character or at least a game in the setting after Shepard saves everyone and everyone is done building mass relays after hundreds of years of civilization and development and the next cycle starts.. There are a lot of options, after-all it depends on the EA cancer.

And anyone has a solid confirmation on the NG+ end with a video?

Kortez-lover 1488

On March 10, 2012 at 11:50 am

Guys..any proofs plz.And write spoilers here too.


On March 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Guys, question can I get 4000+ Effective military rating without playing multiplayer? Also Has anyone actually played through a new game again ? If so can you confirm the secret ending?



On March 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Hey Ihave over 4000 ems its enough for the “best ending?”


On March 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm

i think theyre talking about the scene where shepard is in the rubble and moves a little bit?

Lord Elros

On March 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Hey, anyone knowns is it possible to reach 4000+ EMS (and save Shepard) without playing that dumb multiplayer? I earned only 3400+ in the first time.
Is there a reason to start “New Game+”? Did it give me needed 600 EMS? Or I need to play multiplayer which I hate in all games?


On March 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm

i really hope the whole thing was a kick in the balls by bioware, because for the whole thing to end just like that. it just kills me inside. a hallucination from the shock of all the missions. a bad dream. something i just don’t want it to end, just like that. like infamous did, either you die or you kill you’r best friend. like sly will.


On March 11, 2012 at 12:10 am

Can someone tell me if the ending with New Game Plus is worth it? I just beat mass effect last night with appropriate EMS and all endings depressed me to tears. I don’t want to put myself through that again unless I truly know it’s worth it.


On March 11, 2012 at 12:45 am

it’s not worth it. i don’t know wth these guys are talking about, but the best you can do is see about a 10 second clip of a bunch of rubble, then Shepards suit looks like it takes a breath. the end. oh, and in that ‘good’ ending, all of your squad mates die. lol

the stargazer bit… it’s in EVERY scenario. stop telling people there’s a special ending at the end of the credits. there’s not. if you’ve seen it once, that’s enough. it DOESN’T change.


On March 11, 2012 at 4:54 am

This post is so very wrong. There are ultimately three endings, not two. One to destroy the Reapers, one to control them, and a third one that allows you to meld cybernetics with organics…a system The Catalyst called “Synthesis”.

Likewise, you do not need a second playthrough to get the old man telling the child about the story. My Paragon Shepard (imported from ME1 and ME2) on it’s virgin playthrough of ME3 got that at the end.


On March 11, 2012 at 5:36 am

The guy and kid occur at the end of all of them. They aren’t saying that’s the special ending. They are saying Shep can survive the ending. I can’t confirm new game + gets you that, but it’s apparently 10 seconds. That doesn’t seem worth the time and heartache of playing this game again. No matter how you cut it, there are three endings and they all suck.


On March 11, 2012 at 5:37 am

Oh and thanks. JD for telling me about it. You saved me another go, hoping and praying something would be better.

Kortez-lover 1488

On March 11, 2012 at 7:19 am

But autors of this post showed us 3 endings and they are keep talking about secret ending after New Game+…
“Perfect” New Game+ Ending

NOTE: This special secret ending comes AFTER the short sequence following the credits where an old man (Voiced by Buzz Aldrin!) speaks to a child.


On March 11, 2012 at 7:39 am

how do i get the 10 second clip where shepards suit looks like take a breath ?, wat requiment do i need ?

Kortez-lover 1488

On March 11, 2012 at 7:53 am

Renegade Ending

[Video by DeadShep]

At the very end of the game, you’ll have two choices. Control the Reapers, or Destroy the Reapers. The red, or right option, leads to ‘Destroying’ the Reapers.
Choosing to destroy the Reapers also destroys all synthetic life in the galaxy, including Shepard. EDI, the Geth, and the Reapers are all destroyed.
If you’re willing to make that sacrifice, you can make the Renegade choice. But, if your EMS score is more than 4,000 and you’re able to stop the Illusive Man from executing Anderson, Shepard will survive. If your EMS score is more than 5,000 Shepard will still live whether you stop the Illusive Man from killing Anderson or not.
If Shepard survives, the ending will be extended slightly with a shot of Shepard’s charred armor as it escapes the rumble. According to fan theory, maybe that stuff on the Citadel was a hallucination.


On March 11, 2012 at 8:32 am

Just for those people worried about the multiplayer and EMS

I had about 8.8k EMS, with 50% readiness. Never played any multiplayer


On March 11, 2012 at 9:56 am

I think people are missing the point. witch is bad story telling on EAs part.
Shepard Survives in some form no matter what, red it might be in charred Armor, Blue you Die Catalyst Says that specifically(not about any other choice not the Red or Green) but you are in control of the Reapers so to be in control your mind must survive or soul as part of the reapers.

The Green you become Part of the Catalyst who merely lives in the citadel and is a part of the Catalyst (like a geth platform is my guess) that the Catalyst might be a energy construct creature. So Shepard become part of a God and every living thing in the Galaxy. But was clear dose not die.

EA could of made this more clear, ie have Shepard Face/ghost appear smiling in the in the side of a tree / reaper saying in a whisper to his/her lover “I will always protect you!”

So I agree it was badly done but not for reasons people think.

A follow would of been nice. Did Wrex get back to his wife? What did Liara do at the end there Dose she now have a Little Shepard in the oven ? Lot was just not answered.

I suspect there be a DLC or New mass effect(no matter what EA claims about this being the last) that will Answer this.


On March 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Super Secret Ending Confirmed.

You just need 10,000 war assets with 100% Galactic readiness percentage and you need to have imported a mass effect 2 file.

You have to beat the game a second time and have to unlock all medals and model ships and fish.

You need to have completed every side quest and gotten every artifact and war asset. You also need every armor in the game and every weapon upgraded to lvl 10. You also need all weapon modifications in lvl 5.

At the end, not matter what choice you made, you will be presented with the same 3 options but you can go back and you will be allowed to talk to the catalyst.

You will need full paragon or renegade points to be able for him to reveal the 4th option in the conversation but if you have you will get the secret ending.

The ending will be “good” or “bad” depending if you choosed the paragon or renegade option in the conversation. No super neutral ending can be achieve, won’t spoil them.

For the ones asking how the hell do I get 10K of war assets is not possible yet, you will need the upcoming DLC’s in order to achieve it, guess its just another way for Bioware guys to make us buy the dlc’s :P


On March 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm

By the way, for the ones asking how the hell do I know this I have friend from Bioware who had worked in this game.

The armor, weapons, fish, model ships, medals and upgrades was a joke XD.

The sidequests, galactic readiness percentage and war assets its true though. Also the endings.

By the way you dont need the galactic readiness percentage to be 100%, I say this because this is the only way to get to the 10k effective military strengh, even with the dlc’s that will come.

And no, my name isnt really steven xD.


On March 11, 2012 at 4:49 pm



On March 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm

When the child talks to the man, he asks the man if he can tell him another story about sheppard, and the man says sure. Impying theres a story about sheppard, AFTER the events which he just told the child all about. (This meaning, he told the story of ME1-3 to the child).

However, you guys are wrong about one thing.
Shep lives in two endings.
The perfect/renegade one,
And every Neutral ending.
Shep IS part of that stream that converts all life to synthetic & organic life. That means, He lives, through all life in the universe.


On March 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm

It is actually quite true.

Although I dont know if the end comes with the dlc’s or if it is already in the game.

However, you wont get to that number of war assets without the dlc’s. You could try hacking the coalesced.bin file but I dont know if that will work.


On March 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Haha lol xD.

Actually I did heard something like that but it was 9k not 10k and the armor and weapons things is bull.

I do think you need the dlc to unlock the endings. When I finished the game, i completed every quest (I think) and I had 8k dot something.

By the way the neutral ending is the best one for me.


On March 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I do think there will be DLCs with new endings because the 3 of them where .


On March 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I think that the true ending was the renegade one and that shepard dreamed the whole thing that came after the laser hit him. Then the reapers would still be alive if no one else got to the citadel.

I think that it is something like in the darkness II were the true ending is the bad one and the “good” ending or endigns are good because they arent telling what truly happen, they are incomplete.

In that case there would still be reapers and that would leave context for a mass effect 4

Although I do believe that bioware are going to do a kind of what they did in dragon age 2, where the story happening is parallel to the original story.


On March 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm



On March 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm

you know what ?

I really dont give a F.U.C.K and neither does BioWare.


On March 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm

About that secret ending thing it is true, but you do need the dlc’s I dont think you can just hack your way into that because the video files are missing.

Commander Shepard

On March 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm

And Steven what do you mean by side quests do you just mean every mission given in your journal cause if so sooo close and if your lying Im joining jD and will be waiting for you


On March 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Also to note, the video that shows the Neutral ending, isn’t the Neutral ending at al, you walk into the stream, in that one, he’s shooting it. Thats the paragon ending.

Epic Vas'Fail

On March 12, 2012 at 1:52 am

I imported an ME2 character, rescued Anderson, had an EMS of over 5,000, picked renegade option and STILL didn’t get the N7 snippet… Is it because my EMS was less than 4000 when I did the Cerberus quest (Chronos Station) that leads up to endgame? After I destroyed Cerberus, I saved my game, and played the multiplayer stuff to boost my EMS to 5,000+. When I completed endgame I didn’t get the N7 scene. So maybe you have to have EMS @ 5,000 BEFORE the Chronos Station level????


On March 12, 2012 at 8:50 am

Guide how to get 5000+ ems(for good ending)


On March 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm

OK peeps perfect ending you have to have soldiers at 5k and 100% readiness (or as long as that your ems is at 5k readiness doesn’t have to be 100%) you have to destroy the reapers commander will breathe (which is telling you he/she lived) top 3 love ones comes out the ship when it crashes. Old man and the little boy cut scene (happens in all endings) pretty much is telling you there will be another game ummm last but not least if you choose the control or combine options yes commander is dead after those choices if you think other wise you are wrong cause the boy tell you himself you going to die unless you lack comprehen


On March 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I did every side-mission, had 5k+ Millitary strength, I didn`t NG+ though, I used an imported character from ME2, and I got the scene with the charred armor. It`s legit.


On March 13, 2012 at 12:37 am

I did every side-mission and had 5.6k military strength with NG+, with imported character from ME2. Most diffidently got the charred armor scene. So it is Legit, just need to choose to destroy the reapers


On March 13, 2012 at 1:12 am

i had over 7k at 100% and i got her breathing at the end of it

What ?

On March 13, 2012 at 4:41 am

perfect ending : shepard starts as a new reaper for next mass effect universe cycle…


On March 13, 2012 at 5:02 am

Ok guys.. i had a ME1->2 imported character on its first playthrew of ME3. I did every single side mission, found (sofar as i know) every single war-asset and even completed all the ‘mini-missions’ you pick up from walking past talking NPC’s. I had an ‘effective’ rateing of only 5900 due to not playing Multiplayer.

But, I saved Anderson from the Elusive man (he still died though =( ). And i chose to destroy the Reapers. Now, the Catalyst says this’ll also destroy Sheaperd, but at the end of the credits, AFTER the old guy and kid finish talking, i got that ending 3 second dlip of the red/black Armor with the N7 dog-tag suddenly takeing a deep breath.

I am assumeing that this means sheaperd lived and somehow re-united with everyone still alive. Hey, i have to think that to keep my sanity after all the work i put into creating the romance with Traynor and the conversation about kids and a white picket-fence.

Im guessing Bioware left the ‘ending’ the way they did so that they can still continue on the Mass Effect storyline in another series. Their leaving their options open at the expence of us wanting to SEE our Sheaperds re-uniting with their romance choice.


On March 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I started the last mission with 7,000 EMS and 100% readiness and chose the Paragon ending.

Aaaaaand I got fuuuucked over. For real, what a ending to a great series.

Get ed bioware


On March 14, 2012 at 12:40 am

The endings we get in the game aren’t real. They’re all in Shepard’s head. He’s been knocked unconscious and everything else after that is in his head. If you pay attention to some of the things you hear and see, it’s a dead giveaway. The true ending is yet to come, and the 10 second secret bit is Shepard regaining consciousness. What occurs after that will be solved in DLC (EA’s way of sucking the money out of your wallet)


On March 14, 2012 at 1:44 am

Does anybody else relize that the mass relays are destroyed regardless of which ending you pick leaving the Turians,Quarians,Krogan,Geth,and any other races that helped retake earth stranded there with no way of returning home

not only does the ending seperate Shepard from his/her Friends and lover(if he’s douchebag and servives) it also makes fighting the reapers somewhat pointless for everyone but the humans

whats the point of playing ME1&2 if my choices don’t effect anything in the end

the end of a series always leaves me wanting more but bioware really screwed this up i hope there’s some way they can fix it

don’t get me wrong the game was great but the kinda kills the whole franchise for me


On March 14, 2012 at 2:53 am

The synthetic ending is the best ending. Simply because Shepered fought for freedom, not to wipe out any race. He fought to give everyone a choice. Nobody should decide who lives & dies. Shepered’s sacrafice allowed everyone to have that choice.


On March 14, 2012 at 3:44 am

thanks for the spoilers in your walk through, douches.

Kelvin Bradley

On March 14, 2012 at 3:48 am

So I was mad about this for days until I understood the ending. Shepard was indeed hallucinating everything that takes place after being shot by the Reapers. A side effect of Shepard vein indoctrinated. That explains why the ending doesn’t make sense. It explains how Anderson gets to the control panel before you. It explains why the best endin is presented as a renegade choice. It explains how Shepard is waking up alive on earth despite having been on the Citadel when it explodes. It explains EVERYTHING. If this theory is true, BioWare likely always intended to release the real ending as DLC. Hopefully they do it for free so as not to destroy their integrity worse than this whole fiasco already has.


On March 14, 2012 at 5:57 am

To get the “Perfect” Ending in Mass Effect 3, play the game with the New Game+ option or with an imported character from ME2, with an achieved 4000+ EMS rating and choose the Red, or Renegade Option. With 4000+ EMS you must rescue Anderson from the Illusive Man’s execution. With 5000+ EMS, you can rescue Anderson or let him die. This ending comes after a short post-credits conversation between a man and child.

i did that with an imported me2 save… but after the grandpa talk there is just this panel with “blabla shepard legend blablah” and after that i’m back on the normandy…
what did i wrong?

Tali (@Locolobo_2)

On March 14, 2012 at 9:36 am

I would be okay with what Bioware did with the ending if they released DLC for the end and confirmed that what we’ve all played so far was just a “hallucination”. That would actually be pretty cool if the ending they actually created made sense and was epic. Even if Shepard died, I’d be okay as long as he went out in Shepard fashion… I’d also like an option for him living too, but that’s just my opinion. If it wasn’t possible, I’d be okay, as long as they did it right.


On March 14, 2012 at 11:42 am

i think the described “Perfect” Ending after the grandpa talk is just a hoax…
i did exactly what is described there, but everything is the same…
i want to know why people want to mock us around by saying there is something else… :/


On March 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Check out youtube there’s a vid of the ending where Shepard lives


On March 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I too finished the game last night and was super disappointed, I mean, really? I chose to control the reapers and I saved Anderson but he died while I was on my way up to the final place where you meet that child. I looked up all the videos on YouTube and you can find all the endings there and they all end the same, except the renegade option where it hints at Shepard being alive. I ported my character all the way from ME1 and had about 3000+ EMS without playing any multiplayer. I couldnt sleep last night because I felt like I did lose a friend, someone who I invested 100+ hours into. I wanna play through all the 3 again and make different choices but, what’s the point? It’s all gonna end the same way… :’(

Occupy BioWare

On March 16, 2012 at 2:17 am

wow BioWare really f****d everyone over on this one! Someone said it..whats the point of even playing through the first two games if the third one ends the same no matter what! I mean I played through as Paragon and Renegade on ME1 & ME2 and made complete opposite choices just so I could see two DIFFERENT story lines and paths for finalizing the third..but no.

I just beat ME3 as Paragon, did all three endings, (including the twitchy armor at the end) and now there’s absolutely no point in playing through again on Renegade because it doesnt change a damn thing! How anti-climatic is that?? Also what was the point of emphasizing ‘Harbinger’ as a character when you have no interaction or encounter with the damn thing! And whats the deal with following the Illusive Man’s plan as the ‘Paragon’ ending and following Anderson’s plan the ‘Renegade’ one?!? Epic fail–as BioWare sits back and counts all the money they made.

What a giant kick in the nuts.

ps. Someone pointed out that with all the mass relays destroyed all the galaxy’s races are stuck in the Sol system….that’s hilarious!


On March 16, 2012 at 5:34 am

@neuropunk: If you’re going through a walkthrough you’re already reading through spoilers, dumbass.

@everyoneelse: As it stands now with only the Ashes DLC released all possible endings basicly end the same. Everybody dies or is stranded and therefore might as well be dead, mass relays destroyed, Normandy crashed, Shepard takes a single breath in the “destroy reapers” option.
This means there is currently no other way to end the game, no matter how many times you replay it or how high your EMS is (mine was 10k+).
There are no videos or files in the game that suggest there is an alternative ending to the one i just mentioned.
Pretty sure however that Bioware will release several DLC’s including one (or probably a combination) that will alter the ending in a more satisfying way. So basicly you just have to wait till all DLC’s have arrived and get them all, which sux but then again i did quite enjoy all my ME2 DLC’s so something to look forward to maybe if they don’t screw this up too.


On March 18, 2012 at 2:39 am

come on! There is no good ending! The ending anyway was f*cked up!


On March 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm

The end it’s just a dream? i really hope.. but this mean that bioware just want more money..

how much money i have to spend to play this game? 100€? and for what? a 30 hours game full of holes in the plot? a game that don’t care about my choices?

i really don’t think it worths the money

and i don’t really think that bioware deserve my trust after this, and after the unbelievable pre-launch DLC..

sorry for my english.. bye


On March 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Mass effect 3 will be the end to the shepard story so he could well live or die. We only know he becomes a legend.

Bioware did said that they will do more games of the mass effect universe but the shepard story died there so maybe a prequel or side stories to the one of shepard.


On March 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I did like the ending but the only thing in which Bioware up was in destroying the mass relays before the other races could return to their planets.

Rosetta Liranzo

On March 18, 2012 at 7:15 pm

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On March 19, 2012 at 1:27 am

I hope there would be any DLC for ending!


On March 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Shepard can either die,reaperize,or survive ….case closed


On March 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Didn’t see it mentioned anywhere in the above comments — but I did see elsewhere the theory that the only way to get the “Shepard lives” clip (with the crushed armor and the breath) is if you’re playing from an imported ME2 character and you destroyed the Collector Base at the end of ME2. Can anyone who has gotten that ending confirm? I played from an ME2 where I had turned over the base to Cerberus and did NOT get the clip, even though I had everything else mentioned above.


On March 20, 2012 at 3:23 am

@ATC : no, you don’t need to import a ME2 character to get the “shepard lives” clip.
I started ME3 with a new char, played paragon all the way, managed to have 4700 EMS (5600 War asset with 85% readiness), used all paragon options when talking to Illusive Man, didn’t need to shoot Illusive Man to “save” Anderson (instead i forced him to commit suicide with the paragon lines) and I choose to destroy the reaper. I got the clip where Shep is breathing. My reputation bar was at 100% too.
So I don’t know what are the conditions to see Shep alive, anyway, none of endings are really good. Synthesis may be the best ending if Shepard wasn’t turn into some Godlike divinity.
In all cases, the mass relays are destroyed, so the universe is screwed.

I think Bioware tends to believe the best ending is the Synthesis, and you just need 2,800 to 3,999 EMS to do that, which is perfectly obtainable by not playing multiplayers at all. I had 5600 war assets and I did a lot of mistakes (Quarian was killed, Miranda was killed, and I managed to screw the side mission of Eden Prime).

So, as unsatisfying it may looks, I really think synthesis is the true good ending of Mass Effect, by Bioware standard as least.

But all the mess on Internet about the end, I’m pretty sure they’ll drop a DLC with an alternative ending to satisfy the fan.


On April 1, 2012 at 4:44 am

I have played ME3 right through 3 times now and I am convinced the final stages are all a dream. Shepard doesn’t make it to the beam, he has just been blasted by a Reaper. The scene is in slow motion like all the dreams with the child, the edge of your screen is splatted with blood like you are looking through a broken visor or badly injured face. When the Illusive Man comes out onto the platform you see black streaks like smoke being sucked out of Shepards body- like life being sucked from his body, he has no control when he shoots Anderson by accident. He has always dreamed of killing the Illusive Man and he does but he can’t get the device to fire. Then if you do destroy the Reapers after the Stargazier segment you see the body of Shepard take one last breath, but he is in a pile of rubble back on earth-how did he get there from the Citadel in space without a ship or shuttle- simply he never left earth, he didn’t make it to the beam. This leaves open the possiblities of Bioware continuing the sage -who siad iy was a trilogy anyway-or giving us some lengthy DLC to finalise the ending. I just hope that we bet to choose and that the relationship side line we all used has some relivance to this ending, we don’t all want our hero to die. Bioware may have some surprises for us yet. Its still the best game ever made and will be hard to top.
Chawk- ME junkie


On June 26, 2012 at 9:00 pm

hated the ending.
why would they kill shepard off they know it would just bring a bad reaction from most fans and plus i was hoping there to be a brighter ending seeming as this game is popular and many people would like another with the commander or just scene seeing him having that happy ending, personaly i was hoping that the commander would survive so tali and him could have that life they where talking about.


On July 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm

There is a 4th ending with video. Don’t know if it’s been mentioned.

I turned and shot the AI and he turned angry and the Cycle continued. A female stargazer reciting information from a protheanesc type data device desifned by Dr Tsoni.

Didn’t mean to do this ending, but it was different.


On July 30, 2012 at 10:29 am

If you watch the ending while it shows the mass relays being destroyed across the galaxies, if you look carefully, you can see a bunch of ships leaving the Sol system, which would be the surviving ships of all the other races. However, there is several factors that make it a really dumb ending, and it isn’t really necessarily that Shepard dies or lives (provided that you get the ending that shows him/her take a breath in the rubble). But I highly oubt Joker or any of your squadmates would just leave him/her there. And the fact that it shows Liara, Garrus, and whichever of Shepards squad walks out of the Normandy at the end, I’d like to know how they were able to somehow teleport all the squadmates on board, but not Shepard, aswell that the Normandy would be in battle helping the other fleets, so how would the others manage to get onboard in the first place, are they saying Joker and the gang chickened out and ran away?


On October 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm

So you lot are just thick, or just haven’t downloaded the EXTENDED ENDING in the DLC. It shows the effects of Shepard’s choice on the universe on whole, including the bit where Admiral Anderson tells everyone to meet at the rendezvous point at which time the Normandy heads for the Mass Relay hence their leaving. Also it’s not the end of the Mass Effect universe (game wise, if you had bothered to read the note from Bioware), just the end of Shepard. The crew at the end would have been alive the EMS was high enough, and the romantic interest of Shepard had been in the party. Instead of dying a fiery death, Shepard is injured by tank shrapnel, and calls Cortez to come and get them. I’m sure things are different with all the other DLC’s I just haven’t been buggered to get them.


On December 13, 2012 at 2:21 am

i got an ending whet a woman telling the story in the ending is it any secret ot its normal i took 4 choice


On July 24, 2013 at 11:55 am

The example video you use to demonstrate the Neutral Ending is actually the Renegade one.


On August 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Well, first off, the “secret” ending is if you shoot the Catalyst. Who is that weird little kid who talks to you. In doing that, the cycle continues and the Reapers are NOT destroyed. The next cycle of life conquers the Reapers due to the information in a VI underground from Liara warning them and giving them ALL the information on the Reapers and the Crucible. Not a good option.
Picking the “Renegade” or red option, on the right, will eradicate all synthetic life. It’s unsure weither or not EDI’s mainframe is kept but her body is gone. The Geth are gone as well, a tragic thing considering you must do something rash with the Geth earlier in the game that is a real heart breaker. It’s more dramatic in the sense that you saved all organic life, which is what you were send to do. To DESTROY the Reapers, not become on or make all life synced.
While picking “Paragon” or blue option, on the left, you will control the Reapers. Sending them back to the depths of deep space and you will become a Reaper yourself. Obviously a paragon choice! It’s unknown if the Reapers are eradicated or just controlled by your Commander for all time. This is will save all life but more then likely at the cost of your own.

You do not, I repeat do NOT, need to play multiplayer to achieve 4000+ War Assets. Just do each quest that appears in your journal. They will give you surprising allies. You can even get the Batarian fleet by talking to a C-Sec officer after the attack by Cerberus! Hanar and drell, too.

Massive Cock 3

On August 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm

The best ending can only be unlocked by downloading the homebrew mod that completely removes the Catalyst nonsense and ends with Shepard placing Anderson’s name plate on the memorial wall of the Normandy. All the others are desperate, pretentious attempts at swerving a loyal audience by a pair of writers who appear embarrassed to be in this business.


On August 9, 2013 at 5:31 am

Its impossible to have a single player perfect ending without multiplayer points.
I have nearly every resource from every planet, compled all dlc perfect and still have not even 4000 points readiness.

So unless your very good with playing multiplayer this is really stupid.
just another commercial way to make money.


On June 10, 2014 at 10:45 pm

I don’t get why the destruction ending is considered the perfect ending, other than it is the only one where Shepard lives. The entire point of not destroying the reapers is that synthetics will always rise up against organics (that’s why the reapers existed in the first place) so to me it seems pointless to destroy them since eventually synthetics will wipe out all life anyway. It also seems pointless to control the reapers because if there is any indoctrination involved in the ending, that’s definitely it (they obviously indoctrinated Saren, The Illusive Man, etc. and that’s the kind of thing the indoctrinated support). The rejection ending seems ridiculous. The only thing being saved are the mass relays. All civilization gets wiped out, and then the next cycle has a much better chance of beating the reapers conventionally. Again, though, the issue with synthetics wiping out humanity is there, though I suppose Liara’s “beacon” could warn races against building synthetics. The other problem is that if we were too late receiving the information from the vastly superior Protheans, what ensures that our warnings will work any better? The rejection ending just doesn’t seem promising overall. That’s why I choose synthesis. First off, it’s supposed to be the “ultimate ending” (assuming it isn’t another issue of indoctrination). Organic and synthetic life being synthesized together solves all issues in the galaxy. The genophage, Quarian/Geth peace, Cerberus, the rise of synthetics, war, crime, etc. all no longer matter. The reapers help rebuild, possibly restore the civilizations that they have harvested over the last (maybe millions of?) cycles, etc. The issue with this is then, what is the purpose of anything in the galaxy? In essence, “what is the meaning of life?” Especially when living itself is no longer an issue, and everyone probably now lives forever? And would races still reproduce? Then wouldn’t the krogan overpopulation issue be the issue for the entire galaxy? Would they have to expand into other galaxies with new, probably hostile species? Or their own reapers? Or would people not live forever, or not be able to reproduce? If species couldn’t reproduce, then all species would likely go insane, and if they didn’t live forever, the only thing the synthesis achieved is stopping the uprising of synthetics. All the ramifications of the synthesis ending hurt my brain. I honestly think the best ending would be destroy the reapers, if the story developers would not have put in the suggestion that synthetics will always be a threat if you choose that ending.


On June 11, 2014 at 3:32 am

@Name* – don’t waste your energy trying to analyse this crap, it’s not worth it. The truth is that Casey Hudson and Mac Walters don’t know how to write a compelling conclusion and instead wanted to force unnecessary extra drama into the last decision by using tautological platitudes that would somehow affect the entire galaxy, except they forgot to explain why these were the only options available and forgot to show us what the consequences were until forced to release the extended cut by massive consumer backlash. It’s a crock of turd and the indoctrination theory was always far, far better than anything these hacks could have come up with on their best day.


On June 26, 2014 at 11:59 am

and i sooooo waited for a human quarian mutant…. played all male shepard romances and the one with Tali was the sweetest one :P

Bradley welch

On September 24, 2014 at 3:38 pm

I got a different ending than all of these, i shot at the little boy/catalyst, he says in a demonic sounding voice so be it you then see a video of a planet while you here liara giving a warning but it shows everything going underground and you find this to be a recording. Then you get the old man and young boy after credits sceen