There are many fantastic side missions in the Mass Effect series–known in-game as Assignments–that are well worth your time. There are also plenty that aren’t worth doing at all, so we’ve compiled below a list of some of the best side missions you won’t want to skip during your time playing the series in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition.
Note that we’ve only listed Assignments from the first Mass Effect so far. We’ll be updating this feature with even more you shouldn’t miss in other games in the coming days. Otherwise, be sure to read our Mass Effect: Legendary Edition review in progress.
Acquisition Details: Located in the Citadel. You can find this one in the Consort’s chambers in the southeastern corner of the Presidium. Speak to Sha’ira.
Why It’s Worthwhile: In this Assignment, the Asari Consort Sha’ira asks you to help with a Turian general who is spreading lies about her. It is a fun quest in its own right with two rewards: One being a steamy encounter (if you pick the right dialogue), and the other a Prothean trinket, which, if taken to the uncharted world on Eletania, gives you a nifty little Easter egg.
Acquisition Details: Located in the Citadel. Speak to Rita in Flux to pick up this Assignment.
Why It’s Worthwhile: This particular Assignment has you helping a C-Sec officer save her sister, Jenna, who is working undercover and in potential danger. Complete it, and Jenna will show up in Mass Effect 3 in an unexpected way.
Acquisition Details: Located in the Citadel. Speak to Conrad Verner in the Upper Markets of the Ward.
Why It’s Worthwhile: You’ll get to meet Conrad Verner, the galaxy’s biggest fan of Commander Shepard. You’ll need to return to the Citadel several times for this one (typically after each major story quest) and talk with Conrad to finish the quest. Conrad is a fan favorite and will return in both Mass Effect 2 and 3 as long as you complete his quest.
Acquisition Details: Located in the Citadel. Talk to Samesh Bhatia, who will be in the Presidium Emissary suites after Tali joins your party.
Why It’s Worthwhile: This Assignment is a heartbreaking little quest about a man who wants to recover his wife’s body so he may give her a proper burial. It’s hard to miss because, as we mentioned above, it will present itself outside the Presidium Emissary after meeting Tali.
The Fourth Estate
Acquisition Details: Located in the Citadel after you’ve completed one or more of the game’s main missions (Therum, Noveria, or Feros). After coming down off of the elevator to meet with Captain Anderson in the story, a reporter will be waiting for you. Talk to her to trigger this Assignment.
Why It’s Worthwhile: The Fourth Estate is a tiny little quest where reporter Khalisah Al-Jilani interviews Shepard. Al-Jilani makes an appearance in all three games, each time referencing how things played out previously, so it’s a good idea to talk to her and experience that fun continuity of events as you go.
Shepard’s Backstory Quests
Acquisition Details: When you first start Mass Effect, Shepard has three possible backstories to choose from, and each has a related Assignment you can do that fleshes out your selected background. All three of them are located on the Citadel and are available after completing one or more of the game’s main missions (Therum, Noveria, or Feros).
- Old, Unhappy, Far-Off Things (Spacer Background): A human named Zabaleta will call Shepard over when you’re passing by the Wards Access corridor.
- Old Friends (Earthborn Background): A human named Finch will address Shepard in passing when you’re running around Chora’s Den in the Wards.
- I Remember Me (Colonist Background): When you returnto the Citadel and leave the elevator from the docking bay, Lieutenant Girard will contact Shepard.
Why It’s Worthwhile: For the most part, Shepard is built as a blank slate for you to define through your decisions as you play through the Mass Effect series. However, these backstory Assignments offer more story detail to help provide insight and color to Shepard’s past.
Squad Member Assignments
Acquisition Details: While squad loyalty missions wouldn’t become a series hallmark until Mass Effect 2, there are missions available for Garrus (Find Dr, Saleon), Tali (Tali and the Geth), and Wrex (Family Armor) in ME1. To unlock them, keep talking with your crewmates and exploring all their dialogue options when on the Normandy between missions until they come up.
Why They’re Worthwhile: All three of these squad member Assignments are great missions and will help progress your relationship with these characters. Wrex’s, in particular, is worth doing if you don’t play pure Paragon or Renegade, as completing it can be invaluable to keeping Wrex around as a mainstay party member.
Colony of the Dead
Acquisition Details: Located on Feros. Hack the server node in the upper level of the ExoGeni headquarters to retrieve it.
Why It’s Worthwhile: This one is a creepy horror-themed Assignment that we won’t spoil. Just expect to be spooked. It’s important to note that you need a character with good decryption to hack the server node, so make sure you’re allocating your skills accordingly or have a teammate who can handle it.
Acquisition Details: Located in the Citadelafter completing the main missions in Therum, Noveria, and Feros. Hack one of the computers in the C-Sec Academy located at the Aroch Ward of The Citadel to pick this one up. C-Sec is investigating a suspected criminal named Helena Blake, who you can find near the Emporium in the Financial District.
Why It’s Worthwhile: Criminal Helena Blake asks you to take out her two business partners. It’s a fun quest, and depending on the outcome, Helena will make a small appearance in Mass Effect 2.
Missing Marines, Cerberus, Hades’ Dogs
- Missing Marines: Acquired when you talk to Admiral Kahoku after the meeting with the Council, who can be found at the terminal before the stairs up to the Council’s chamber. Alternatively, you can get it by completing the Doctor Michel Assignment. You can also pick up the marine unit’s distress call yourself when you approach Edolus.
- Cerberus: After completing Missing Marines, the next time you use the Galaxy Map, Admiral Kahoku will message you about a new Assignment.
- Hades’ Dogs: You can acquire this after completing Cerberus. When you return to the Normandy, you’ll be able to track the location of the main Cerberus base.
Why They’re Worthwhile: This ongoing questline involves Alliance officer Rear Admiral Kahoku. These three quests technically contain the first mention of the organization Cerberus, which plays a major role in Mass Effect 2 and 3.
Acquisition Details: You’ll get this Assignment after warping into a system. Admiral Hackett will contact you and ask that you return to Sol.
Why It’s Worthwhile: Shepard’s asked to visit an alliance training ground and destroy the VI stationed there. The quest takes place on Earth’s moon, which is always fun. It’s worth doing from a gameplay standpoint, as completion will unlock Shepard’s specialization class. It also comes back in a very interesting way in later games, which we won’t spoil here.
Bring Down the Sky
Acquisition Details: Becomes available after you leave the Citadel. It’s marked on the map as Asteroid X57.
Why It’s Worthwhile: This is Mass Effect 1’s only major DLC (). It is not required to beat the game, but it is an excellent mission involving stopping a group of terrorists from sending an asteroid into the planet of Terra Nova. It is also the introduction (and only appearance in Mass Effect 1) of the Batarian species, which shows up regularly in the following games. Depending on your choices at the end, you’ll even get an epilogue of sorts in Mass Effect 3.
MASS EFFECT 2 & 3 Coming Soon
As noted above, we’ll be updating this feature with all the side missions that you need to play in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 in the coming days. For now, enjoy your time in Mass Effect 1 and make sure you complete the ones we highlighted to optimize the fun continuity of your series playthrough.
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