Mass Effect 3: What to Expect if You Don’t Import from ME2

The Mass Effect series features plenty of choice, and Bioware wants you to experience the consequences of your actions in Mass Effect 3. But, not everyone has played the previous games in the series, kept their save file, or switched systems to try Mass Effect on a new platform. Because of that, Mass Effect 3 starts with a set of default, generic, choices to get you started fast in Mass Effect 3. Sadly, these default choices won’t lead to some of the most interesting tidbits in Mass Effect 3, so another reply of Mass Effect 2 might be in order.

If you’re switching from 360 to PC, you’re in luck! Check out our guide to transferring save files from X-box to PC. Otherwise, check out our huge text and video walkthrough for Mass Effect 3 here.


Default Choices

Mass Effect 1 Default Choices

  • Characters Recruited: Garrus, Wrex
  • No DLC or sidequests are counted.
  • The Asari Shiala is killed by the Thorian.
  • The Rachni Queen is killed.
  • The colony on Feros is not saved.
  • Wrex is killed on Virmire.
  • Shepard does not enter into any romantic relationships.
  • The Council is killed, with the ship the Destiny Ascension, during the attack on the Citadel.
  • Udina is appointed Counselor.

Mass Effect 2 Default Choices

  • No DLC, sidequests or Loyalty Missions are counted toward Mass Effect 3. This includes two DLC exclusive characters, Zaeed and Kasumi, who count as never being recruited.
  • Tali is exiled from the Migrant Fleet.
  • Shepard does not enter into any romantic relationships. Again.
  • Grunt is not recruited.
  • Legion is not recruited, and no choice is made for the Geth.
  • Samara is never recruited. She is killed by Morinth trying to escape from Ilium.
  • Suicide Mission Survivors: Mordin, Jacob, Garrus, Tali and Miranda.
  • Suicide Mission Survivors (Normandy Crew): Joker and Chakwas. All other crew members are considered killed.
  • Suicide Mission Deaths: Jack, and Thane.
  • The Collector Base is destroyed.
  • Although the DLC is not considered completed by Shepard, the events still occured. The Batarian System is destroyed, and Liara is the Shadow Broker.

Game Front’s Official Mass Effect 3 Video Walkthroughs

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Mass Effect 3 Walkthrough Playlist (w/ Mitch – FemShep Paragon)

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17 Comments on Mass Effect 3: What to Expect if You Don’t Import from ME2

Garyn Dakari

On March 5, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Sounds like BioWare wants people to play the first 2, so they gave players a really bad default save xD


On March 6, 2012 at 8:02 am

man that is a bad default start. i wanted to play mass effect 3 on pc but have all my saves on xbox 360. on the 360, i have perfect, everyone survives including crew, and paragon is good.


On March 6, 2012 at 8:04 am

oh and yeah, there was like a dlc for mass effect 2 that is called the “comic book” that is a short 15 min recap of me1 but it will let you choose your choices for me2 if you didn’t complete me1. will there be one for me3 dlc to make your choices to start?


On March 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm

The problem I have: I picked Anderson as the counselor in ME1, and confirmed in ME2. I picked up my copy of ME3 today and lo and behold, I get to the Citadel and Udina is the counselor???



On March 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I should clarify that I DID import my ME2 gamefile.


On March 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm

@Matt, same with me.


On March 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm

@Matt, Right? That’s what brought me to this page I don’t recall Anderson stepping down from the council seat our anything… Ugh! Udina sucks…


On March 7, 2012 at 1:16 am

This is ridiculous, why can’t we just choose from different option at the start of the game? I played the first 2 games on the xbox but have since switched to PC. That list of default options is basically the exact opposite of the choices i made in the previous installments. I can’t begin to describe how annoyed I am, it feels like all the effort I put in to shape 1 & 2 the way I wanted was utterly wasted.


On March 7, 2012 at 5:50 am

the novels strongly suggest that Udina is the more canon choice for the council ambassador.
they also hint that Anderson really hates politics so i guess it’s safe to say he could have stepped down anyway.
maybe he resigned after the events of the arrival DLC.


On March 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Ughhhh I am so frustrated right now. Why in the hell did they not include a choose decisions option In the begnning. I played Me1 and Me2 on xbox and then I bought a PS3. I hope they do something about this. Miranda was my love interest in 2 now she won’t even look at me the same way :( and Wrex is dead! Thane! Legion! They were all alive when I finished ME2! God it sucks without all of those characters!


On March 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm

For all the people who are wondering about Anderson and Udina, it says in Anderson’s codex entry that he stepped down after a year.


On March 8, 2012 at 4:06 am

just use this


On March 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I’m a big fan of ME2 and ME3, though I have never found a copy of ME1. I played through me2 using only paragon choices, as I am with ME3. However I am put off that by default, Shepard brutally murdered wrex on Virmire. I play on xbox. If you start on me2 on the ps3, you can make the major descisions of ME1 in an interactive motion comic. Though this feature is not supported on xbox. If I download ME1 (mass effect 1 physical copies are fairly rare, at least where I live.) I will still have to play through the trilogy again. It pisses me off.


On March 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm

man i cant begin to describe how annoyed i am…

i even went so far as to replay #2 thru just to refresh my story ….on pc..

i feel like i just wasted sixty bucks on the ps3 version…im so pissed i want to return it to store, and just torrent me3 so i can be able to use my savefile…ugh…


On March 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Can I transfer my ME 2 save file from steam to origin?
I download my ME 2 from steam and Me 3 is no longer available in Steam.

and where is ME 2 save file in steam?
sorry 4 being a noob :P


On March 12, 2012 at 8:34 am

Mass Effect 2 save games are located in the user profile regardless of version. Saves from the Steam release of Mass Effect 2 are identical to saves from the Origin release, and may be imported without incident.

Mass Effect 2 saves from the XBox 360 version may be extracted and converted to PC format using certain tools. These tools also allow conversion and importation of a PC format Mass Effect 2 save to the XBox 360.