Mass Effect 2 (2010)

Mass Effect 2 (2010)

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Optimal Mission Order
Von GregDave
This was written by LordTrinen, but was helpful and I wanted to share for the steam community. Several modifications have been made based on user input from the Steam community. Thanks guys!

Between each mission talk to your squadmates to see if they have anything new to say. This speeds up their loyalty missions unlocking and ensures enough Paragon/Renegade points to unlock the necessary Charm/Intimidate options when they reach them.

LordTrinen Optimal Mission Order

1) Normandy SR-1

2) Lazarus Project

3) Freedom's Progress

4) Normandy SR-2 - Wander the ship to meet and greet your new crew and accept some side missions.

5) Citadel - Visit to meet Anderson, buy some upgrades and do some side missions. Recruit Kasumi if you have the DLC.

6) Omega - Meet with Aria, buy some more upgrades and do some side missions. Recruit Zaeed if you have the DLC.

7) Recruit the Professor (Mordin)

8) Kasumi's loyalty mission (non-Soldier classes only) - Non-Soldiers rely heavily on SMGs. Doing this mission early gives you access to the Locust, the game's best SMG.

9) Recruit Archangel (Garrus)

10) Recruit the Convict (Jack)

11) Mineral Scanning/Side Missions - Take a break to do some mineral scanning. Talk to Miranda to upgrade your scanning systems to make this easier. To research all upgrades throughout the game you need 33,000 Element Zero, 267,000 Iridium, 265,000 Platinum and 340,000 Palladium. Add an additional 100,000 to each of these before you complete the Suicide Mission to get a bonus to a war asset in ME3. Do a few side missions along the way like the Firewalker and Normandy Crash Site DLC.

12) Recruit the Warlord (Grunt) - Be sure to visit Grunt in the hold afterwards.

13) Horizon - Mandatory.

14) Recruit the Assassin (Thane), ask about ship upgrades.

15) Recruit Tali

16) Illium - Buy upgrades, do side missions and speak to Liara.

17) Lair of the Shadow Broker - DLC mission. The Shadow Broker ship will be unlocked upon completion and offers a number of benefits, including the ability to respec followers. ~ Credit goes to BarrinVorg in comments.

18) Recruit the Justicar (Samara)

19) Mineral Scanning/Side Missions - Take a break with side missions and mineral scanning to buy all the upgrades you've found in the game so far.

20) Grunt's loyalty mission - After completing it you get a discount at Fortack's shop.

21) Mordin's loyalty mission

22) Collector Vessel - Mandatory. Automatically starts after you complete five missions after Horizon. Do not go get the IFF yet.

23) Kasumi's loyalty mission (Soldier players)

24) Miranda's loyalty mission

25) Jacob's loyalty mission

26) Garrus's loyalty mission

27) Thane's loyalty mission - Can be failed. Make sure you get the info during interrogation and don't lose track of your target.

28) Jack's loyalty mission - Once it is complete Miranda and Jack will have a fight. You need to use Charm/Intimidate to stop the fight and keep both their loyalties.

29) Samara's loyalty mission - Can be failed. Be sure to lure your target out, never mention family or Justicars and remember all the stuff you learned while investigating.

30) Mineral Scanning/Side Missions - Take a break with side missions and mineral scanning. At this point you'll have unlocked every character except Legion, and you'll have unlocked the Advanced Weapons Training at almost the earliest possible point.

31) Tali's loyalty mission - Can be failed. Do not present the evidence. Use Charm/Intimidate for the best conclusion or Rally the Crowd if Veetor and Kal'Reegar are around.

32) Zaeed's loyalty mission - Can be failed. Renegade players will have no problem. Paragon players need to pass a very high Paragon check.

33) Overlord - DLC mission.

34) IFF mission - If you want everyone to survive the Suicide Mission, treat this as the point of no return. Do all your mineral scanning and visit the Citadel, Omega and Illium one last time to finish all side missions and buy more upgrades.

35) Normandy - Immediately recruit Legion in the ship's AI core behind the med bay. Talk to him again to get his loyalty mission.

36) Legion's loyalty mission - Bring Tali for some bonus dialogue. Afterwards Tali and Legion will get into a fight much like Miranda and Jack. It is imperative that you use Charm/Intimidate here to make peace between them.

37) Normandy - Mandatory. For this small mission you'll be controlling Joker. Follow the lights and EDI's instructions carefully.

38) The Suicide Mission - Go there immediately. Don't stop anywhere else.

39) Arrival - DLC mission.

Want to know what DLC is included with the base game and how to get it? See my other guide.
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Any questions or comments, let me know.
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54 Kommentare
wild type droid 19. Mai 2021 um 9:31 
I wonder if LE fixed the samara bug...
A Mad Charmander 19. Jan. 2021 um 2:15 
Just so that I might save someone else half a playthrough worth of time after following this guide:

If you recruit Thane AND complete the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC BEFORE recruiting Samara, like this guide suggests, it creates a bug that prevents you from being able to start the recruitment mission for Samara.

Just finish recruitment before starting the DLC. If you don't believe me just google "can't recruit samara"
GregDave  [Autor] 7. Juni 2020 um 18:30 
Virandar, thank you!
Virandar 14. Mai 2020 um 17:24 
Afterwards it's recruting Tali, Collector's Vessel and all other loyalty missions, Jack, Samara, Garrus, Thane, Jacob, Tali, Overlord and other remaining side missions, more scanning, making sure I have all upgrades. Then Derelict Reaper and Legion's loyalty mission and it's pretty much time for the Suicide Mission. Vents - Tali, 1st Leader - Miranda, Shield - Samara, 2nd Leader - Miranda or Garrus, Babysitter - Mordin, final squad - Tali & Samara.
When completed, I do The Arrival as a bridge to ME3. In my game, which is modded, The Arrival doesn't even trigger before the Suicide Mission.
My game is modded mostly for better visuals and restoring some content. Though I do play a bit with Gibbed and Coalesced to change things like my starting credits (I ended ME1 with 10M credits, so of course I want some of that back (5%) and also I think creds are a bit too tight in ME2), squad members' weapon loadaouts, max fuel and probes.
Virandar 14. Mai 2020 um 17:24 
After that I go for side missions: Normandy Crash Site, Firewalker, N7 missions if they are in the clusters I visit for other reasons. I also do the mineral scanning as I travel around. Only after that I buy upgrades from Citadel and Omega.
Next step is recruiting Jack and then Grunt and after Horizon (which triggers then) I go to Illium.
Here, again side assignments, meeting Liara (who's my LI), recruiting Samara and Thane. By that point I have Miranda's loyalty mission available. I prefer to do assignments for Liara whilst I'm at Ilium, complete with LotSB. It doesn't make sense to me to leave her hanging when I can help her and also the additional resources from that DLC are very useful later. Especially the option to re-spec the team.
Virandar 14. Mai 2020 um 17:23 
I play as Femshep, mostly Paragon, Vanguard, import after several ME1 playthroughs. After the obligatory missions (SR1, Lazarus, Freedom Progress) I make a point of talking with every crew member of SR2 I can talk with and grab assignments. I start at the Citadel, because like hell I'm going to follow TIM's suggestions and also need to speak with the Council and get reinstated as a Spectre. I do the tiny side assignments there (including two picked onboard of SR2), recruit Kasumi and do her loyalty mission. It's in a system next door and also Kassa Locust with incendiary ammo makes a great weapon for a Vanguard.
Then Omega, recruit Zaeed, Mordin and Garrus, do the side assignments there. Then it's Zaeed's loyalty mission, because it's available from the start. Never had any problems with the Paragon route. Zaeed is loyal every time.
(Arm)_benjitzu 18. Apr. 2020 um 8:48 
Always grabbed tali and garrus first.
Player One 17. Apr. 2020 um 16:01 
Also, Overlord is best done after Suicide mission and before Arrival: that way you can use loyal Legion on it, and he's good in a geth mission, plus gets a unique dialogue piece from Archer. Finally, doing Zaeed's loyalty mission FIRST ensures you can succeed even with low paragon score since it's based on percentage. Essential for Renegon Shepards! OR you can not do it until after endgame and leave him to die for ultimate Paragade.

P.S. LotSB later brings you less bonuses but lets you play with Liara having maxed skills. :sadpolice:
Player One 17. Apr. 2020 um 16:00 
With Legion, you can have at least one more, up to two loyalty missions between unlocking him and IFF getting installed. If you have them, that is. Funny to do Tali's with him. But can keep any that you want to bring Legion with, So leave some to take loyal Legion for the ride, just make sure to talk to him a lot and get his mission ASAP. And his loyalty can be done after Suicide Mission - just don't send him to the vents if you do it like that. If you don't have enough missions after Reaper IFF, you will NOT hear all of his dialogue. Dyson sphere is the last, IIRK. :blackcoffee:
armywannabe 15. Feb. 2020 um 13:08 
i never figured there was an "optimal" mission order, i just always assumed do all the loyalty missions and get all the upgrades before the IFF mission, then do Legions mission and win