Mass Effect

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This page is for the original release. For the remastered trilogy version, see Mass Effect Legendary Edition.

Mass Effect
Mass Effect cover
Developers
BioWare
Windows Demiurge Studios[1]
Publishers
Electronic Arts
Eastern Europe CD Projekt
Engines
Unreal Engine 3
Release dates
Windows May 28, 2008
Reception
Metacritic 89
IGDB 89
Taxonomy
Monetization One-time game purchase, DLC
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Third-person
Controls Direct control
Genres ARPG, Shooter
Vehicles Automobile, Off-roading
Art styles Realistic
Themes Sci-fi, Space
Series Mass Effect
Mass Effect on HowLongToBeat
Mass Effect on IGDB
Mass Effect guide on StrategyWiki
Mass Effect on MobyGames
Mass Effect on Wikipedia
Mass Effect
Mass Effect 2008
Mass Effect 2 2010
Mass Effect 3 2012
Mass Effect: Andromeda 2017
Mass Effect Legendary Edition 2021

Key points

Use Mass Effect Mouse Fix to remove the game's mouse acceleration.
Requires installation of PhysX legacy driver to start reliably

General information

Steam Community Discussions

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Requires online activation
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
Can only be used x times
Originally SecuROM 7.37.0007 and SecuROM PA DRM[2] with a three machine limit.[3] Patch 1.02 updates to SecuROM 7.40.0006 and SecuROM PA DRM and raise limit to five.[4] A De-Authorization Tool is available. Online activation can be optionally replaced with disk check.
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
SafeDisc v4 DRM[Note 1]. Only in Hungary and Czech Republic. The provided keys are invalid to Origin. Contact Origin Support to verify them.
Windows
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
StarForce 5.50.011.005 DRM.[7] Only in Russia.
Windows
Amazon.co.uk
Origin
Windows
Origin
Origin
Included with EA Play.
Windows
Steam
Icon overlay.png
Included with EA Play (Steam).
Some[8][9] keys could be redeemed directly on Origin,[10][11] but they ceased to be handed out in February 2021. Contact EA and/or Steam Support if still wanting it.[12][13]
DLCs won't install out of the box anymore
Windows
Gamesplanet logo.svg (unavailable)
Origin
Mass Effect Trilogy.
Windows
Humble Store (unavailable)
Origin
Mass Effect Trilogy.
Windows
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).

Monetization[edit]

DLC and expansion packs

Origin version automatically includes all DLC (existing Origin owners can install the latest update to get the DLC)[14].
Separate installers have been made free and are available for other game releases. See Localizations for non-EFIGS regions.
The Steam version built-in CD key (required for the DLCs license) has been removed. See DLC installation fails at the end to fix.
Name Notes
Bring Down the Sky Separate online registration is no longer required since 2012.[15]
Windows
Pinnacle Station Bundled with new[16][17] Origin activations after the Trilogy release[18][11], free for everyone since the BioWare Social Network shutdown.[19]
Windows

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Skip intro videos[20]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\BioGame\CookedPC\Movies\.
  2. Delete or rename BWLogo.bik, db_standard.bik and ME_EAsig_720p_v2_raw.bik.
Use Quick Startup mod

Patches[edit]

The latest patch is update 1.02 which fixes various issues. The Steam and Origin versions are already patched.

ME1 Recalibrated[edit]

Fixes bugs not resolved by the official patches
Text-wording adjustments are only available with the English localization

Game data[edit]

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioware\Mass Effect\Config\
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/17460/pfx/[Note 2]
Origin DRM stores activation in %PROGRAMDATA%\Electronic Arts\EA Services\License\1003344.dlf

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioware\Mass Effect\Save\
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/17460/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Origin
[21]
OneDrive
Requires enabling backup of the Documents folder in OneDrive on all computers.
Steam Cloud

Video[edit]

Restarting the game is advised after changing most settings (including resolution, particle effects and texture detail), to get them applied properly or at all.
In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Vert- but designed with 16:9 aspect ratio in mind; use Flawless Widescreen to correct FOV and HUD issues on any other one
Multi-monitor
Use Flawless Widescreen.
Ultra-widescreen
Use Flawless Widescreen and Mass Effect Ultrawide.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Default is 75°. Use Flawless Widescreen or see Field of view (FOV).
Windowed
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See Borderless fullscreen windowed.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Point, Linear and Anisotropic.
4 samples by default, see Anisotropic filtering (AF) for up to 16.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Every sampling-based method alters lights intensity.[22]
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS
120+ FPS
See High frame rate.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See High dynamic range display (HDR).

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Fix camera FOV permanently with a key binding[23]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open BIOInput.ini.
  3. Find the [BIOC_Base.BioPlayerInput] section, and add the following period binding to it.
  4. Bindings=(Name="Period",Command="set BioCameraBehaviorFollow CAMERA_FOV 100 | set BioCameraBehaviorZoom CAMERA_FOV 40")
    
  5. Get to a stage when your Shepard can run around, and hit the . (period) key. You only need to do it once, then it works until you exit the game.

Notes

This fix sets the FOV to 100 and does not mess up conversations or cutscenes. You can try other values (default is 75).
Use ThirteenAG's Mass Effect Trilogy FOV Fix
  1. Download the archive from here.
  2. Download and extract the archive to the game directory, where the exe is located (Binaries or Binaries\Win32)

Notes

Also works with Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3
Automatically corrects in-game FOV (Hor+)
16:9 only[citation needed]

Borderless fullscreen windowed[edit]

Force borderless windowed mode[citation needed]
  1. Set the game to run in windowed mode in the in-game video settings, make sure it's set to the same resolution as your desktop.
  2. Close the game. Make sure you haven't set the game to run in compatibility mode for XP nor Vista, the former causes borderless to be glitchy and the latter leads to a crash. Compatibility mode for 7 (if you're running 8+) is fine, should you need it.
  3. Install Borderless Gaming.
  4. Go to <path-to-game>\BioGame\Splash.
  5. Delete or rename Splash.bmp, this prevents Borderless Gaming from making the splash window borderless, as this causes a crash for unknown reasons. Be aware that the MEUITM mod adds a new splash image, so be sure to re-delete/rename it again should you choose to install/reinstall it.
  6. Run the game and wait for it to get to the main menu.
  7. Run Borderless Gaming, click Mass Effect on the left panel, click the arrow pointing to the right.
  8. In a few moments the game window should become borderless fullscreen. If Borderless Gaming isn't making the game borderless try running Borderless Gaming as administrator.[24]
If UI elements are clipping off-screen, in Bordlerless Gaming, right-click Mass Effect under Favorites, and check No Size Change.

Anisotropic filtering (AF)[edit]

High quality AF[25]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open BIOEngine.ini.
  3. Go to [SystemSettings] section and edit the following values like below
Trilinear=TRUE
MaxAnisotropy=16
High quality AF is automatically enabled by ALOT.

High frame rate[edit]

Change frame rate smoothing[20]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open BIOEngine.ini.
  3. Search and change bSmoothFrameRate to FALSE or raise MaxSmoothedFrameRate value.
  4. Save file.
For more information, see the Unreal Engine 3 page.

Depth of field[edit]

Disable DOF
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open BIOEngine.ini.
  3. Search and change DepthOfField to FALSE.

High dynamic range display (HDR)[edit]

Use Special K after D3D11 upgrade[26]
  1. Set the game to run in fullscreen resolution.
  2. Install DgVoodoo 2 in <path-to-game>\Binaries\.
  3. Use its configuration utility to force Appearance to Windowed, and the DirectX Videocard VRAM the closest to your GPU.
  4. Download Special K.
  5. Install it locally into the aforementioned game folder with SpecialK32.dll renamed to dinput8.dll.
  6. Start the game, and from the SpecialK UI (Ctrl+ Shift+← Backspace) make sure Active Render API is D3D9→11.
  7. From the Compatibility Settings, disable support for the D3D9 render backend.
  8. Close the game and open the newly created dinput8.ini with a text editor.
  9. Set Promote8BitRTsTo16 to true, and RefreshRate to the monitor refresh rate value.
  10. Follow the remainder of the Special K HDR guide.

Input[edit]

In-game general control settings.
In-game general control settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.

Controller support[edit]

Add reinstated controller functionality[27]
  1. Download ME1 Controller Support mod
  2. Extract Config content in the configuration files location
  3. Extract Mass Effect content in <path-to-game>

Notes

Installing this MOD will break some elements of the keyboard and mouse support. The console will work fine. If you want to play with keyboard and mouse, uninstall this mod.
The ini substitutes are read-only to prevent the game from overwriting them. Unset this when adjusting options.
To change sensitivity go to the configuration files location, open BIOInput.ini and adjust following values.
LookRightScale=24
LookUpScale=20

Simultaneous mouse and joystick support[edit]

Enable joystick move to be used with mouse[28]
  1. Navigate to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioware\Mass Effect\Config\
  2. Open BIOEngine.ini and under [WinDrv.WindowsClient] add the line:
AllowJoystickInput=True
  1. Open up BIOInput.ini and under [BIOC_Base.BioPlayerInput] add the lines:
Bindings=(Name="XboxTypeS_LeftX",Command="Axis aStrafe Speed=1.0 DeadZone=0.3")
Bindings=(Name="XboxTypeS_LeftY",Command="Axis aBaseY Speed=1.0 DeadZone=0.3")
Bindings=(Name="XboxTypeS_RightX",Command="Axis aTurn Speed=0.2 DeadZone=0.3")
Bindings=(Name="XboxTypeS_RightY",Command="Axis aLookup Speed=0.2 DeadZone=0.3")

Audio[edit]

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Dialog, music and sound effects.
Surround sound
By default, it can work only under XP. See No surround sound.
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Enabled by default, no way to disable.
EAX support
EAX 5.[29]

No surround sound[edit]

Force native OpenAL device[25][30]
  1. Make sure to have a working non-Generic Software OpenAL implementation
  2. Make the game use updated OpenAL libraries
  3. Go to the configuration files location.
  4. Open BioEngine.ini.
  5. Search for [ISACTAudio.ISACTAudioDevice] class
  6. Delete any value after DeviceName=

Notes

If needed, force a specific audio device by inserting its name (as reported by ALC_ENUMERATION_EXT in EnumerateWin32)
Changing any of the audio settings in-game will reset the last steps, which will have to be redone

Localizations

Language codes to be used in .ini fixes are highlighted in the notes. Fan translations usually just override English files.
Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
INT
Czech
CS. Retail only. Patch and DLCs for this release here. Doesn't contain translation for Pinnacle Station.
Unofficial patch for digital release localization here.[31][32]
French
FR
German
DE
Hungarian
HU. Retail only. Patch and DLCs for this release here. Pinnacle Station translation not included.
Patch for digital release localization here.[33]
Italian
IT
Korean
A Korean fan translation for the game should be available here.
Polish
PL (only Polish subtitles), PLPC (full Polish). Retail only.
Patch can be found here, Bring Down the Sky here, while Pinnacle Station here (instructions & unofficial translation).[34][35]
Brazilian Portuguese
A pt-br fan translation for the game is available here.[36]
Russian
RA. Aka "Gold Edition". Retail only.[37]
Russian
RU. Retail only. Improved digital version here.
Spanish
ES
Turkish
A Turkish fan translation for the game is available here

Independent UI and dubbing/captioning[edit]

English should be always present, and benefits of a slightly more privileged position[Note 3]. For simplicity the following fixes just assume 2-way mixes with it.
Combining 3 languages (or 2 non-English ones) shouldn't be particularly harder, but when switching to a new localization in Steam/Origin the client will try to prune the previous one files.
Separate the UI from the rest[38]
  1. Install the game in the desired localized language.
  2. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  3. Open BIOEngine.ini.
  4. In section section [Engine.Engine], set Language=YYY.
  5. Browse back one directory and go to Published\CookedPC\Packages\Dialog (create the missing folders)
  6. Open a command prompt and run the following command (replace <path-to-game>, XXX and YYY where appropriate):
  • mklink GlobalTlk_YYY.upk "<path-to-game>\BioGame\CookedPC\Packages\Localised\YYY\Dialog\GlobalTlk_XXX.upk"

Notes

XXX is the language code for the UI, and generally other non-dialog strings.[39]
YYY is the language code for "everything but the UI" (or just the subtitles if also coupled with the other fix).
Separate dubbing from captioning[40]
  1. Install the game in the desired localized language.
  2. Go to <path-to-game>\BioGame\CookedPC\
  3. Open/replace/tinker/trim loading priorities inside FileIndex.txt to change the voices language

Notes

Only English FileIndex.txt is ready-made (make sure the Localised GlobalTlk entry points to the one wished for the UI)
Alternatively files can be renamed and moved by hand as shown here.

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native GG3D Notes
Nvidia 3D Vision
See Helix Mod: Mass Effect for better support.
iZ3D
vorpX
G3D
Officially supported game, see official vorpx game list.
Devices Native Notes
3RD Space Gaming Vest

Issues unresolved[edit]

Some menu screens have sides "cut off" on 4:3 screen resolutions[edit]

Playing in 4:3 or 5:4 resolutions like 1280x1024 or 1600x1200 (common on moderately high-resolution, non-widescreen monitors and projectors) results in some menu screens displaying incorrectly: the left and right-hand sides of the screen are clipped (as if "zoomed in" too far), so important information cannot be seen (like journal details and the map legend). Screens affected include: Map, Party Selection, Planet details, and Journal. The only workaround is run the game in resolution with wider aspect ratio, i.e. 1920x1080 or 1280x800.

Black screen after loading a save[edit]

Black screen after loading a save[citation needed]

If the whole screen is black except for the UI, then Shepard fell through the Normandy and the save is bugged. Only happens on the Normandy, in the Engineering part of the ship. Never save there.

Use console command[citation needed]

Activate the console (instructions on how to enable the console further down) and type At BIOA_NOR00 Start_BIOA_NOR00_01 and press Enter. This will place you at the entrance to the Normandy and you will be able to save and load your game with no problems. If you fall through anywhere else in the game, pctweaks has a comprehensive list of all the "At string newArea" commands.

Issues fixed[edit]

TweakGuides has created a comprehensive guide for fixing issues in this game[20]

Game simply doesn't start[edit]

Install PhysX Legacy System Software[41]
Origin version may also depend on the next fix to run at all[42]

Game always asks for admin permissions (Windows 8.1 +)[edit]

This is also responsible for Steam Controller and Steam overlay not working.
Workaround broken Application Compatibility Engine and shim[43][44]
  1. Open the <path-to-game>\Binaries\MassEffect.exe properties
  2. Make sure there are no compatibility/administrator modes set (also remember the "settings for all the users" button)
  3. Open regedit
  4. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers
  5. Create a new string value named <path-to-game>\Binaries\MassEffect.exe
  6. Set its content to RUNASINVOKER

Notes

Make sure there are no Compatibility modes enabled for <path-to-game>\Binaries\MassEffect.exe.
It's also highly recommended to remove leftover registry values to avoid issues in other games.[45]

Game still crashes immediately even after having installed PhysX[edit]

Disable Mandatory ASLR for the game[46]
  1. Open Windows Defender
  2. In App & browser control, open Exploit protection settings
  3. In Program settings, add an exception for <path-to-game>\Binaries\MassEffect.exe
  4. Disable "Force randomization for images (Mandatory ASLR)"

Crash after splash screen or black screen[edit]

Use updated OpenAL[47][48]
  1. Install latest OpenAL
  2. Delete or rename OpenAL32.dll and wrap_oal.dll from <path-to-game>\Binaries
Disable or update Riva Tuner Statistics Server

Crashes after title screen[edit]

Check the last log in %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioware\Mass Effect\Logs\ for "Error opening file" clues
"Failed to load" lines aren't instead necessarily indicative of anything special.

Launcher crashes (retail)[edit]

Install latest patch[49]

Crash after some few minutes of play[edit]

Close any 3rd party application that may hook the game (e.g. AMD Gaming Evolved)[50]

Failed to compile shader ** error[edit]

Retail: reinstall game[citation needed]
Steam: check local game cache[citation needed]
Origin: repair game[citation needed]

Characters become black blobs on AMD >K10 CPUs[edit]

Use fixed D3DX dll[51]
  1. Download SilentPatchME
  2. Extract d3dx9_31.dll in <path-to-game>\Binaries\
Disable some Processor Specific Graphics Pipeline optimizations
  1. Open regedit
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Direct3D\
  3. Create a new DWORD named DisableD3DXPSGP and set it to 1
Use Black Blobs fix for AMD CPU users

Notes

This is the only fix working for Bulldozer CPUs, although it removes some lights to solve the issue

Therum missing textures[edit]

If when you get to Therum most of the ground is black, then you've got a common texture problem. Some of the black area is safe to drive on but some of it will kill you outright, making it quite hard to navigate.
Therum Missing Textures[52][citation needed]
  1. To restore the texture, go to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect\Published\CookedPC.
  2. Delete LocalShaderCache-PC-D3D-SM3.upk.
  3. Go to <path-to-game>\BioGame\CookedPC.
  4. Delete or rename LocalShaderCache-PC-D3D-SM3.upk.
  5. Restart and Therum should look fine.

Notes

The game will take longer to boot on the first run after performing the above steps. This is due to the engine recaching all of the textures. Following the first boot, each subsequent boot up should be as normal.
This issue is only found on Therum, so if the above steps do not solve the problem, you can continue to play as normal.

Humongous lens flares cover the whole screen (Nvidia GPUs)[edit]

Disable any kind of forced sampling-based anti-aliasing[53]
Can be specifically solved just with better compatibility bits in Nvidia Inspector, but minor lighting irregularities still remain

Bugged lighting all around the map (AMD GPUs)[edit]

Make sure application anti-aliasing in the GPU control panel isn't set to "Override Application Settings"[54]

No option for higher resolutions[edit]

No high resolution option

The resolution listbox in graphics options does have up/down arrows on the right side, which are easily overlooked, that allow you to choose higher resolutions like 1920x1080.

All textures look incredibly washed out[edit]

Also known as "Garrus face fix"
See Force highest quality textures
Make sure Texture Filtering Quality in your GPU control panel is set to High

Saves or settings don't actually get saved[edit]

Add an exception for <path-to-game>\Binaries\MassEffect.exe to your antivirus[55]
If Controlled folder access is enabled, add the game to the allowed apps list[56]
Check the last log in %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioware\Mass Effect\Logs\ for issues in the saves folder[57]

No audio at all (menu or ingame)[edit]

Disable hardware audio
  1. Un-check "Use Hardware" in in-game "Sound" settings
  2. Open %USERPROFILE%\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect\Config\BioEngine.ini
  3. Add or replace the following lines under the [ISACTAudio.ISACTAudioDevice] section:
[ISACTAudio.ISACTAudioDevice]
DeviceName=Generic Software
UseEffectsProcessing=True

Dialogue and other audio cutting out[edit]

Increase # of sound sources & update rate
  1. Open %USERPROFILE%\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect\Config\BioEngine.ini
  2. Add or replace the following lines under the [ISACTAudio.ISACTAudioDevice] section:
[ISACTAudio.ISACTAudioDevice]
MaxChannels=128
TotalAvailableChannels=128
TimeBetweenHWUpdates=1
ReserveChannels=2

DLC installers error "Mass Effect is not found"[edit]

Launch the game at least once
Make sure game is properly registered
  1. Open regedit
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Bioware\Mass Effect
  3. String Path should be set to <path-to-game> (no trailing slash)

DLC installation fails at the end[edit]

Steam only: spoof game key[58][59]
  1. Run the game once
  2. Go to <path-to-game>
  3. Open installscript.vdf with a text editor
  4. Replace "%CDKEY%" with "5GUCXRFPQNBMTJBD3L5J"
  5. Run the game again
  6. Reinstall the DLCs
Make sure your game key is valid
  1. Open regedit
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Electronic Arts\electronic arts\mass effect (tm)\ergc
  3. The default string value should be set to your game key

DLCs aren't shown in-game even though they have been installed[edit]

Verify your game installation
Steam only: see DLC installation fails at the end[60]
Force load DLCs[61][62]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\DLC\DLC_Vegas
  1. Make a new file named autoload.ini with the following content:
[Packages]
2DA1=BIOG_2DA_Vegas_GalaxyMap_X
2DA2=BIOG_2DA_Vegas_Merge_X
2DA3=BIOG_2DA_Vegas_AreaMap_X
2DA4=BIOG_2DA_Vegas_UI_X
2DA5=BIOG_2DA_Vegas_TreasureTables_X

DotU1=PlotManagerDLC_Vegas
PlotManagerConditionals1=PlotManagerDLC_Vegas.BioAutoConditionals
PlotManagerStateTransitionMap1=PlotManagerAutoDLC_Vegas.StateTransitionMap
PlotManagerConsequenceMap1=PlotManagerAutoDLC_Vegas.ConsequenceMap
PlotManagerOutcomeMap1=PlotManagerAutoDLC_Vegas.OutcomeMap
PlotManagerQuestMap1=PlotManagerAutoDLC_Vegas.QuestMap
PlotManagerCodexMap1=PlotManagerAutoDLC_Vegas.DataCodexMap
GlobalTalkTable1=DLC_Vegas_GlobalTlk.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_ES=DLC_Vegas_GlobalTlk_ES.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_PL=DLC_Vegas_GlobalTlk_PL.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_DE=DLC_Vegas_GlobalTlk_DE.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_IT=DLC_Vegas_GlobalTlk_IT.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_FR=DLC_Vegas_GlobalTlk_FR.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_CS=DLC_Vegas_GlobalTlk_CS.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_HU=DLC_Vegas_GlobalTlk_HU.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_PLPC=DLC_Vegas_GlobalTlk_PLPC.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_RU=DLC_Vegas_GlobalTlk_RU.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_RA=DLC_Vegas_GlobalTlk_RA.GlobalTlk_tlk

[GUI]
NameStrRef=182170
DescriptionStrRef=182209
ImagePackage="GUI_SF_PRC2_SaveLoad.Images_PRC2"
ImageFrame="shotOne"
CreditsFile="BIOCredits_DLC_Vegas.ini"
  1. Go back one path level and browse to <path-to-game>\DLC\DLC_UNC
  1. Make a new file named autoload.ini with the following content:
[Packages]
2DA1 = BIOG_2DA_UNC_GalaxyMap_X
2DA2 = BIOG_2DA_UNC_Merge_X
2DA3 = BIOG_2DA_UNC_AreaMap_X
2DA4 = BIOG_2DA_UNC_Music_X
2DA5 = BIOG_2DA_UNC_UI_X
2DA6 = BIOG_2DA_UNC_GamerProfile_X
2DA7 = BIOG_2DA_UNC_Talents_X
2DA8 = BIOG_2DA_UNC_TreasureTables_X
2DA9 = BIOG_2DA_UNC_Movement_X

DotU1 = PlotManagerDLC_UNC
PlotManagerConditionals1 = PlotManagerDLC_UNC.BioAutoConditionals
PlotManagerStateTransitionMap1 = PlotManagerAutoDLC_UNC.StateTransitionMap
PlotManagerConsequenceMap1 = PlotManagerAutoDLC_UNC.ConsequenceMap
PlotManagerOutcomeMap1 = PlotManagerAutoDLC_UNC.OutcomeMap
PlotManagerQuestMap1 = PlotManagerAutoDLC_UNC.QuestMap
PlotManagerCodexMap1 = PlotManagerAutoDLC_UNC.DataCodexMap
GlobalTalkTable1 = DLC_UNC_GlobalTlk.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_ES = DLC_UNC_GlobalTlk_ES.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_PL = DLC_UNC_GlobalTlk_PL.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_DE = DLC_UNC_GlobalTlk_DE.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_IT = DLC_UNC_GlobalTlk_IT.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_FR = DLC_UNC_GlobalTlk_FR.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_CS = DLC_UNC_GlobalTlk_CS.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_HU = DLC_UNC_GlobalTlk_HU.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_PLPC = DLC_UNC_GlobalTlk_PLPC.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_RU = DLC_UNC_GlobalTlk_RU.GlobalTlk_tlk
GlobalTalkTable1_RA = DLC_UNC_GlobalTlk_RA.GlobalTlk_tlk

[GUI]
NameStrRef = 178491
DescriptionStrRef = 178492
ImagePackage = "GUI_SF_DLC_SaveLoad.Images_UNC59"
ImageFrame = "shotOne"
CreditsFile = "BIOCredits_DLC_UNC.ini"

Error "Selected Save Game could not be loaded. DLC missing", but it is detected[edit]

If possible try instead to play with the same game language the save game was originally created in[63]
Disable checks for DLC dependencies
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open BIOGame.ini.
  3. In the [BIOC_Base.BioSaveGame] section, set m_bIgnoreDLCRequirements=TRUE.

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
Shader Model support 3
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows

Middleware[edit]

Middleware Notes
Physics PhysX 2.7.2
Audio ISACT, OpenAL [64]
Interface Scaleform
Cutscenes Bink Video 1.8v

Large Address Aware[edit]

Improves stability when using texture mods by allowing the application to use more than 2GB RAM.

Large Address Aware requires administrator permissions request fixed to run on Windows 8.1 and 10 with the current Origin version[42]

Low end configuration[edit]

Use custom settings
  1. Set the lowest possible in-game settings
  2. Open %USERPROFILE%\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect\Config\BioEngine.ini.
  3. Change all instances of bUsePostProcessEffects, bEnableBranchingPCFShadows and bSmoothFrameRate to False
  4. Similarly, put all MinShadowResolution to 16 and all MaxShadowResolution to 32
  1. Replace the whole two sections below
[SystemSettings]
StaticDecals=FALSE
DynamicDecals=FALSE
DynamicLights=TRUE
DynamicShadows=FALSE
LightEnvironmentShadows=FALSE
CompositeDynamicLights=FALSE
ShadowFilterQualityBias=0
DirectionalLightMaps=TRUE
MotionBlur=FALSE
DepthOfField=FALSE
Bloom=FALSE
QualityBloom=FALSE
SpeedTreeLeaves=FALSE
SpeedTreeFronds=FALSE
OnlyStreamInTextures=FALSE
LensFlares=FALSE
FloatingPointRenderTargets=FALSE
Trilinear=FALSE
SkeletalMEshLODBias=2
ParticleLODBias=2
DetailMode=0
ShadowFilterQualityBias=0
MaxAnisotropy=1
ScreenPercentage=100
[TextureLODSettings]
//TEXTUREGROUP_Character=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_CharacterNormalMap=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_Effects=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_LightAndShadowMap=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_RenderTarget=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_Skybox=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_UI=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_Vehicle=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_VehicleNormalMap=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_Weapon=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
//TEXTUREGROUP_WeaponNormalMap=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_World=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=2)
TEXTUREGROUP_WorldNormalMap=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=2)
TEXTUREGROUP_AmbientLightMap=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Diff=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Norm=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Spec=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Environment_512=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Environment_256=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Environment_128=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Environment_64=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_VFX_512=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_VFX_256=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_VFX_128=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_VFX_64=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_GUI=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Environment_1024=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_VFX_1024=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_APL_128=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_APL_256=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_APL_512=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_APL_1024=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character_1024=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)
TEXTUREGROUP_Promotional=(MinLODSize=0,MaxLODSize=0,LODBias=0)

Force highest quality textures[edit]

Force highest level of detail[65][66]
  1. Open %USERPROFILE%\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect\Config\BioEngine.ini
  2. Replace the following three lines:
    TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Diff=(MinLODSize=32,MaxLODSize=512,LODBias=0)
    TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Norm=(MinLODSize=32,MaxLODSize=512,LODBias=0)
    TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Spec=(MinLODSize=32,MaxLODSize=256,LODBias=0)
  3. ...with these lines:
    TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Diff=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0)
    TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Norm=(MinLODSize=512,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0)
    TEXTUREGROUP_Character_Spec=(MinLODSize=256,MaxLODSize=4096,LODBias=0)

Modifications[edit]

Prior to modding the game, it is strongly recommended to run Mass Effect at least once to initialize all game files. You should also adjust your video and graphics settings as well to your preferences.
Please make sure you have as well all DLC installed.
ME3Tweaks Mod Manager is the required tool for installing more or less all content mods.

Mass Effect Overwritten (MEOw)[edit]

Contains a collection of subtle textual modifications for a more consistent, immersive, Mass Effect experience.

Saren Stages[edit]

This mod aims to both resolve and add to Saren's transformation throughout the game using hand created new meshes and HD textures.

Same-Gender Romances for ME1[edit]

This mod allows Ashley and Kaidan to be romanced by both male and female Shepard, utilizing unused dialogue in the game files.

A Lot Of Textures Mod (complements MEUITM)[edit]

A compilation of textures not covered in MEUITM. Regularly updated, applies LAA, and texture bioengine.ini tweaks automatically for the user (very user friendly).
MEUITM can be installed through ALOT.
Install all non-texture based content/mods (such as the DLCs or the ME1 Controller Support mod) before ALOT.

Mass Effect Updated/Improved Textures Mod[edit]

Regularly updated, applies LAA and texture bioengine.ini tweaks automatically for the user. Has mod options (picking different versions of textures) optional installs of ReShade, Indirectsound, and more (very user friendly).
Can be installed through ALOT.
Install all non-texture based content/mods (such as the DLCs or the ME1 Controller Support mod) before MEUITM.

Mass Effect Restored Light & Illumination Natively Mod[edit]

A mod that aims to restore dynamic lights and post-processing to Xbox 360 levels. It also corrects other things broken in the PC port and some things broken in all releases of Mass Effect (bug fixes).
Adds several optional and highly requested changes to the base game, such as removing Tali's visor distortion and making Ashley's armor look the way it does in the video on the Normandy distress call-and prerelease footage.
Install last, after installing ALOT, MEUITM and/or all other mods.

A Lot of Videos (ALOV)[edit]

This mod aims to upscale and remaster all prerendered cutscenes.
Also offer an optional addon that upscales the Eden Prime distress call in the prologue.

Enable developer console[edit]

Edit BioInput.ini[67]
  1. Open %USERPROFILE%\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect\Config\BioInput.ini
  2. Add the following line below Engine.Console so that this section looks like:
[Engine.Console]
ConsoleKey=Tilde
If you have an AZERTY keyboard, the correct line is ConsoleKey=²

Quicker galaxy travels[edit]

Skip relay videos
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\BioGame\CookedPC\Movies\.
  2. Delete or rename GLO_01_Relay.bik and UCW_Loading_Flyby.bik.

No disappearing corpses[edit]

Make dead bodies stay[68]
  1. Go to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioware\Mass Effect\Config\.
  2. Open BIOGame.ini with a text editor
  3. Go to the section [BIOC_Base.BioArtPlaceable]
  4. Change the following five values to 0:

m_nMaxCorpseVisibilityCleanupAttempts=0 ;If after this many tries, the body has m_fCorpseCleanupFirstAttemptTime=0.0 ;How many seconds to wait until the first m_fCorpseCleanupAttemptRetryTime=0.0 ;How many seconds to wait between
m_fMaxCorpseCleanupDistanceThreshold=0.0 ;FOR NON SKELETAL MESH CORPSES m_fMaxCorpseCleanupScreenSizeThreshold=0.0 ;FOR SKELETAL MESH CORPSES

  1. Do the same in the section [BIOC_Base.BioPawn], then save the file.

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz
AMD Athlon XP 2400+ 2.0 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB (XP)
2 GB (Vista)
Hard disk drive (HDD) 12 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 6800
ATI Radeon X1300 XT
256 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Shader model 3.0 support
GPU must also support the A32B32G32R32F render target format[69]

Notes

  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[5] or Windows 11 and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[6]
  2. 2.0 2.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/17460/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (17460) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.
  3. As also evidenced by its files having no suffix, and their lack of a separate Localised path

References

  1. Blog: Demiurge and BioWare Team up to Bring Mass Effect to the PC - Demiurge Studios (retrieved)
  2. Game Database - THE DAEMONS HOME (retrieved)
  3. Mass Effect Community - Mass Effect for PC System Specs, SecuROM and FAQ Part 2 (retrieved)
  4. Mass Effect Tweak Guide - TweakGuides.com (retrieved)
  5. Not Loading in Windows 10; this will break thousands of - Microsoft Community - last accessed on 2017-01-16
  6. Microsoft - MS15-097: Description of the security update for the graphics component in Windows: September 8, 2015 - last accessed on 2018-02-16
  7. Mass Effect - Ролевые игры - SnowForum
  8. I'm thinking of getting the origin version :: Steam Community Discussions
  9. Cant redeem the game on origin :: Steam Community Discussions
  10. Unable to install Mass Effect :: Steam Community Discussions
  11. 11.0 11.1 Regestered ME at origin to get my dlc but :: Steam Community Discussions
  12. DLCs fail to install ??? :: Steam Community Discussions
  13. cd key :: Steam Community Discussions
  14. Pinnacle Station? - The BioWare Forum (retrieved)
  15. [UPDATED April 2012] PC - Bring Down the Sky Download and Install Instructions - The BioWare Forum (retrieved)
  16. Pinnacle Station DLC free on Origin :: Steam Community Discussions
  17. DLC included? :: Steam Community Discussions
  18. Solved: Pinnacle Station DLC Mass Effect on PC - Answer HQ
  19. Does steam version have bring down the sky and pinnacle station? :: Steam Community Discussions
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 TweakGuides.com - Mass Effect Tweak Guide - last accessed on 2016-8-9
  21. Origin 8.5 Introduces Custom Avatars And Extends Cloud Storage - EA News
  22. Recommended Nvidia Profile Inspector settings for the Mass Effect Trilogy
  23. How to actually fix FOV in Mass Effect · Eugene Homyakov
  24. Mass Effect 1 · Issue #205 · Codeusa/Borderless-Gaming - last accessed on 2016-10-30
  25. 25.0 25.1 Making the most of your ME1 PC Experience, maximizing graphics and sound. - The BioWare Forum - last accessed on 2016-8-9
  26. dgVoodoo 2 | Special K - The Official Wiki
  27. ME1 Controller Support (Power Wheel) - ME3 Explorer Toolset Forums
  28. How to use Mouse & Joystick move for Mass Effect 1-3 : SteamController - Reddit
  29. The game is claimed to support up to 128 voices, so it must be using the fifth version.[citation needed]
  30. [PC] How to enable surround sound and environmental audio in Mass Effect - Answer HQ - last accessed on 2016-8-9
  31. CDProjekt.cz - Mass Effect - last accessed on 2016-8-24
  32. RPGčeštiny | České fanouškovské lokalizace her » Mass Effect 1
  33. CD Projekt - last accessed on 2016-8-24
  34. CD Projekt: Gra - Mass Effect - last accessed on 2016-8-24
  35. Mass Effect PC - temat ogólny - O grach - forum gram.pl
  36. Tradução do Mass Effect para Português do Brasil - Tribo Gamer
  37. Mass Effect - Ролевые игры - SnowForum
  38. Mass Effect: Совет (английская озвучка + русские субтитры) [Золотое издание]
  39. [Tutorial] Using ME1 TLK Editor - ME3 Explorer Toolset Forums
  40. War-of-Annihilation comments on Mass Effect 1 + DLC [English audio + subtitles in another language] : masseffect - Reddit
  41. Mirh testing
  42. 42.0 42.1 Why Mass Effect requires administrator rights - and how we fixed Origin not running it | ME3Tweaks Blog
  43. Default RunAsHighest fixes can't be disabled - Msdn forums
  44. RunAsHighest: Compatibility Fix vs Compatibility Mode · Issue #1 · mirh/CompatibilityBug
  45. PhsyX, Mirror's Edge, and You - Steam Users' Forums (retrieved)
  46. Can not start the game :: Steam Community Discussions
  47. Startup Game Hang (black screen) - Mass Effect Community (retrieved)
  48. Game Failing to Launch ME1 :: Steam Community Discussions
  49. Mass Effect 1 Crash - Windows 7 Help Forums
  50. Help with ME1 crash : masseffect - Reddit
  51. Fixing Mass Effect black blobs on modern AMD CPUs | Silent’s Blog
  52. To fix missing lava textures on Therum - Steam Users' Forums (retrieved)
  53. Help with a Bug (Blue light) :: Steam Community Discussions
  54. Mass Effect 1 - Insane Glitching / Artifacting on AMD hardware | guru3D Forums
  55. A Lot Of Textures (ALOT) for ME1 - The Nexus Forums
  56. The Game is Not Saving :: Steam Community Discussions
  57. [No Spoilers] ME1 pc: My settings and achievements are resetting every time the game starts. Anyone else have this problem? : masseffect - Reddit
  58. DLC install failed :: Steam Community Discussions
  59. What EXACTLY is the current situation of the DLC's for the Steam version? :: Steam Community Discussions
  60. Bring Down The Sky folder not being recognized by the game? :: Steam Community Discussions
  61. Clé CD Mass Effect et Bring Down the Sky sur le forum Mass Effect - jeuxvideo.com
  62. Mass Effect - Ролевые игры - SnowForum
  63. ERROR; Could not load game: Pinnacle Station and Bring Down the Sky DLCs missing : masseffect - Reddit
  64. Exclusive Interview with the Sound Design Team of “Mass Effect 2″ | Designing Sound
  65. Garrus face fix in ME1 WITHOUT Texmod; YOU DONT NEED IT! - The BioWare Forum (retrieved)
  66. Mass Effect 1 Updated/Improved Textures Mod - The BioWare Forum (retrieved)
  67. PC Tweaks - Mass Effect Wiki
  68. Guide on Steam
  69. Post-Splash Screen Crash - "Device does not support 4 component FP target render format" - Mass Effect Community (retrieved)