Mass Effect: 10 Biggest Differences Between Renegade & Paragon Shepard (2023)

The originalMass Effect game trilogy features Commander Shepard as its star, the hero of the human Systems Alliance navy and the first-ever human Spectre. Players can customize many details about Commander Shepard, from the Commander's sex to Shepard's combat style and even their personality. As far as personality goes, paragon and renegade are the two main options.

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Commander Shepard can get the job done either way, but players might have a distinct preference between paragon and renegade, and the story will unfold in startling ways depending on which the player chooses. Some differences are merely aesthetic during conversations, while others can change the course of history, all based on how many actions Shepard takes that fall more on the side of paragon or renegade and how it ultimately shapes his/her personality.


10 Renegade Shepard Worsens Humanity's Image In The Eyes Of Aliens

Mass Effect: 10 Biggest Differences Between Renegade & Paragon Shepard (1)

As of the 2180s, humanity is still a newcomer on the galactic stage, and well-established alien civilizations such as the Turian people, the Asari republics, and others are carefully appraising this new species. As a war hero and Spectre, Shepard is an unofficial ambassador of the entire Systems Alliance.

Paragon Shepard will aim for cooperation and trust with aliens, even the tough Turians, while renegade Shepard has a "humanity first" approach and antagonizes people in the news cycle, such as slugging a Westerlund News reporter. More than a few alien eyebrows will be raised at all this.

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9 Paragon Shepard Is More Popular Than Renegade Shepard

Mass Effect: 10 Biggest Differences Between Renegade & Paragon Shepard (2)

Players can choose paragon or renegade as they please, and they can easily play the trilogy more than once to explore the story through each lens. According to some official poll taken a few years ago, though, paragon Shepard triumphed over renegade Shepard.

A substantial percentage of Mass Effect players favor paragon Shepard, perhaps because they found renegade Shepard's antagonism repulsive or they felt that renegade Shepard was doing more harm than good in the lore. It seems that having a stellar personality counts for a lot, even with the galaxy at war.

8 Renegade Shepard Has More One-Liners

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Everyone enjoys quippy one-liners, and in the Mass Effect games, it's often Joker the pilot who delivers them— especially in the second and third installments. However, renegade Shepard is also packing some barbed dialogue, setting them apart from the paragon version.

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Both paragon and renegade Shepards have interesting things to say, but it's renegade Shepard who has some of the most memorable (and vicious) dialogue in the entire game, such as saying "I'll cut your balls off and sell them to a Krogan!" to intimidate a local crime lord during an interrogation.

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7 Paragon Shepard Will Save The Krogan Race

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During the events of Mass Effect 3, the Salarian scientist Mordin Solus will engineer a genophage cure with Urdnot Wrex acting as a sponsor of sorts, and it's up to Shepard to finish the job. However, the Salarian dalatrass named Linron makes an offer that only renegade Shepard will accept.

Renegade Shepard will sabotage the genophage and thus doom the Krogan race to extinction, and Wrex will actually confront Shepard over this. Paragon Shepard will actually deliver the cure, and thus save the Krogan for real (and earn Wrex's eternal gratitude).

6 Renegade Shepard Will Appeal More To Garrus, Grunt & Javik

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The crewmates aboard the Normandy will favor either paragon or renegade Shepard, based on their own personalities and needs. Shepard can't appeal to them all, but some of the toughest squadmates, including Garrus Vakarian, Urdnot Grunt, and Javik the Prothean, will all like renegade Shepard.

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Paragon Shepard will bore these characters or frustrate them, while renegade Shepard will enable and validate these characters and drive them to great extremes. Grunt loves the tough talk of renegade Shepard, and Garrus appreciates the "get results at any cost" viewpoint that renegade Shepard has.

(Video) Mass Effect legendary Edition - Paragon Vs Renegade

5 Paragon Shepard Will Spare Fist's Life

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Aboard the great Citadel, a minor crime lord name Fist got himself involved with Saren the rogue Spectre, the Shadow Broker, and Tali'Zorah. He tried to play every side to get ahead, but ended up paying the price. Before long, Shepard had him cornered at gunpoint, but how should this be resolved?

Renegade Shepard will simply shoot and kill Fist out of spite, and to tie up a loose end. Meanwhile, paragon Shepard will spare his life, since paragon Shepard doesn't believe in needless killing. If spared, Fist will appear again in the Afterlife nightclub in Mass Effect 2, still bitter about the loss of his criminal empire. It should be noted that if Urdnot Wrex is in the party, then he will shoot and kill Fist, no matter Shepard's preference.

4 Renegade Shepard Has A Scary Face

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When Mass Effect 2 launched, Commander Shepard was brought back to life with cutting-edge medical technology, but the Commander will get a few facial scars. Paragon Shepard will have these scars heal over time, but in renegade Shepard's case, the scars only deepen.

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In fact, renegade Shepard's scars will start glowing as though molten lava was under the surface, and Shepard's eyes will glow red, Terminator-style. It's a terrifying face, though characters don't often comment on it aside from Dr. Chakwas.

(Video) Mass Effect | Being A Renegade | Mass Effect Legendary Edition

3 Paragon Shepard Can Appeal To Saren's Good Side

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During the final battle of Mass Effect, Commander Shepard will face the game's archvillain once again: Saren Arterius. Saren is totally the puppet of Sovereign the Reaper, and both renegade and paragon Shepard can talk Saren into taking his own life to escape Sovereign's grasp.

However, paragon Shepard can appeal to Saren's good side, saying how there is still good in Saren and that he can help save the galaxy by destroying himself as Sovereign's puppet, for the sake of others. Given how brutal and cold Saren's personality is in the books and other lore, it's remarkable that paragon Shepard can appeal to Saren's tiny good side.

2 Renegade Shepard Kills Off Ronald Taylor

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Jacob Taylor was in for a shock when he and Shepard visited the crash site of his father's spaceship, the Hugo Gernsback. Ronald Taylor and his crew didn't die; they were still alive as rugged survivors, and Ronald had taken command of the survivors as a selfish king of sorts. Jacob was horrified, to say the least.

Paragon Shepard will make sure Ronald ends up in an Alliance prison, but renegade Shepard will take a more hands-on approach. Renegade Shepard hands Ronald a pistol with one charge, and Ronald follows the wordless cue to shoot himself before the violent survivors can mob their fallen king and tear him apart.

1 Paragon Shepard Is More Skeptical Of Cerberus Than Renegade Shepard

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(Video) Mass Effect Legendary Edition - Paragon Vs Renegade

During the events of Mass Effect 2, Commander Shepard has no choice but to team up with the Cerberus organization to take on the Collector threat, but Shepard's view on Cerberus is up to the player. Renegade Shepard will even talk up Cerberus or make excuses for the organization, but paragon Shepard won't.

Instead, paragon Shepard will be highly cautious around Cerberus and keep the Illusive Man at arm's length during the entire game, not to mention criticize the organization's extreme methods and borderline xenophobia. Paragon Shepard is ready for Cerberus to become a real problem at any time, and paragon Shepard is proven right when Cerberus sides with the Reapers during Mass Effect 3.

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What is the difference between renegade and Paragon points Mass Effect? ›

There are two Moralities in the game: Paragon for good actions, and Renegade for bad actions. Unlike games like Knights of the old Republic or inFamous (which move a needle up and down a single meter), in Mass Effect performing good and bad actions earn Paragon and Renegade points.

Should Commander Shepard be paragon or renegade? ›

Being Paragon or Renegade will greatly impact Shepard's dialogue and quick-time actions throughout the games. Overall, it can be said that Renegade Shepard's dialogue is much funnier and more memorable. After all, Paragon Shepard is patient and kind which leaves little room for "creativity".

Is it better to be renegade or paragon in Mass Effect? ›

Is it better to play Paragon or Renegade? The short answer is that Paragon is usually better. For the majority of players, it will be the best choice, by far, to (almost) always favor the blue answers in all situations and to seek peaceful solutions as often as possible.

Should I max out both Paragon and Renegade? ›

Each is associated with a particular Morality: Paragon for Charm and Renegade for Intimidate. We reccommend putting 5 Points into both stats, as both moralities will benefit from this exploit.

Can you be full Renegade and Paragon Mass Effect? ›

It's fully possible to collect both Paragon and Renegade points throughout the game, allowing what seems best in the moment to dictate how you talk with people or wrap up problems. However, there are a lot of things in the Mass Effect games that are dependent on you either being very Paragon or very Renegade.

Can you be full Paragon and full renegade? ›

Outside of exploits, its impossible to max both paragon and renegade in ME2 or 3, but you can max the skills in ME1 via new game +. Currently, there are no known ways to max both in ME3, but it becomes less necessary as in ME3 your total rep can contribute to speech unlock checks rather than individual levels.

Who can Renegade Shepard romance? ›

In addition to these romance options, both male Shepard and female Shepard can romance:
  • Kaidan Alenko.
  • Liara T'Soni.
  • Kelly Chambers (if romanced in ME2)
  • Diana Allers (Fling)
May 14, 2021

Which version of Shepard is canon? ›

If you're familiar at all with the Mass Effect series, you know that your character, Commander Shepard, is totally customizable. Shepard can be either a man or a woman, and you can alter the commander's looks to suit your tastes. That said, it seems in most circles that the male version of Shepard is 'canon' Shepard.

How much Paragon do you need to save Tali and Legion? ›

Provided the player has four bars worth of paragon and renegade points, they will be able to end the argument without siding with one or the other. Convincing them both to stand down will then see Tali send non-classified data to Legion after understanding his attentions, for which the latter is grateful.

What is the best military specialization Mass Effect? ›

The Commando specialization makes the best weapons in the Mass Effect series even better by upping their damage output. What's more, you can enhance your Marksman and Assassination skills, too.

Does renegade Paragon affect romance? ›

Paragon decisions unlock a special scene. Renegade choices cause them to leave, but your romance is still considered permanent enough to carry to Mass Effect 2.

What's the point of Paragon levels? ›

Paragon Levels are a system implemented that allows a player to continue to level up and advance their character, even after that character has reached the highest level cap.

How many pops you need for Max Solo Paragon? ›

Waiting until round 136 before upgrading to Paragon should provide enough buffer to achieve the 16,200,000 pops for max degree, assuming the sacrificial towers are responsible for ~80% of all pops until that point.

What happens if you go full renegade in Mass Effect? ›

Renegades End Up With a “KOTOR-Style” Scarred Face

less than good player characters in other RPGs with morality systems tend to be, it's worth noting that you can still get that cool “Sith-style” scarred face in Mass Effect if you go full Renegade.

How many pops do you need for a max paragon? ›

This can make up the difference needed to reach 200,000 power to get to Degree 100. If every other power is maxed, (110,000 power from pops, money spent, and total upgrades), then you will need 60 Paragon Tower Totems (or 54 if you are making the Apex Plasma Master).

Does Andromeda have paragon renegade? ›

Shepard-ed away.

In the original Mass Effect trilogy, your dialogue choices would very often give you points in either Renegade or Paragon, a sliding scale determining your overall morality. Mass Effect: Andromeda's creative director Mac Walters has explained why this system is no more in Mass Effect: Andromeda.

How do you get infinite paragon? ›

Talk to Gianna Parasini, who's nearby, then head back to Qui'in. Lorik Qui'in. Now you can convince him to testify in court, awarding you either Paragon or Renegade points. And you can do so over and over, awarding yourself an infinite supply.

What is the highest Paragon level? ›

There is no cap on Paragon levels. Players can now earn as many Paragon levels as they can, provided they contribute time. All that needs to be done is to simply fight monsters and complete quests with a hero already at lvl 70.

How many points is Max paragon? ›

You'll want to accumulate about 200 Paragon Points in order to max out the Paragon bar in the Squad Menu.

Who is Shepard's Canon love interest? ›

As a potential romance that spans the entirety of the Mass Effect trilogy (even if her best moments in ME2 are limited to the Shadow Broker DLC), Shepard's relationship with Liara is one of the most complete and genuine in the original games.

Who is the best love interest for Renegade Shepard? ›

I agree with everyone else though: male shep + jack and femshep + Garrus are your best bet for the truest renegade romance. Personally, if you\re going renegade then pick the sweetest romances and then break up with them, it can be devastating.

Can renegade Shepard get the best ending? ›

Yes. Here is a list of largely spoiler free ending info with requirements listed, you have to click to expand the spoiler for each ending. Morality doesn't affect whether you can get the "best" ending, though whether or not you saved the Collector base in ME2 forces your hand for certain ending levels.

Who is the default female Shepard? ›

The default names of both the male and female Shepard are the names for an unidentified male (John Doe) and female (Jane Doe) respectively.

Is Shepard an l2 or L3? ›

Shepard is a L3 because Kaidan says something like "I spike higher than L3s except for you, Commander."

Who is FemShep modeled after? ›

In truth, the Femshep model probably wasn't quite as good as the Male one, which was a head-scan of a real-life person, model Mark Vanderloo. “I think she was a really good example of an ME3 character that had some room for improvement,” character lead Meek explained.

Can you save Tali from killing herself? ›

If your companion is Shala'Raan, she'll shoot herself in the head. Significantly. your Quarian companion, either Tali or Shala'Raan, will ALWAYS die if this option is picked. Not even being in a locked-in Romance with Tali will prevent her from killing herself in grief.

How much Paragon do you need to convince zaeed? ›

Paragon: "Welcome aboard", "No. He didn't", "We can do that" (+6 Paragon Points total) Renegade: "Report to the Normandy", "There's always a catch", "If there's time" (+6 Rengade Points total)
Dossier: The Veteran.
SystemLocationRich in...
SahrabarikBindur (3rd planet)Platinum
Sep 27, 2021

How much Paragon do you need to pardon Tali? ›

Return to Trial

Return to the trial fashionably late, then answer with either "You should pardon Tali" for +2 Paragon Points or "You could have waited" for +2 Renegade Points.

What is the best class for all three Mass Effect games? ›

Mass Effect Best Class – Vanguard

Throw in the ability to deal huge amounts of damage with shotguns and pistols, medium armor compatibility and a range of debilitating biotic attacks, and it soon becomes clear that the Vanguard is the most versatile and capable class in all three Mass Effect games.

What's the best armor in Mass Effect? ›

Colossus Armor has the highest damage protection of all armors. It is considered one of the top two armors attainable without console commands, the other being Predator L/M/H Armor. Colossus Armor has lower shields and tech/biotic resistance than Predator L/M/H Armor, but higher damage protection.

What rank is Shepard in me1? ›

Lieutenant Commander Shepard, better known as Commander Shepard, is the player character in the Mass Effect video game series by BioWare (Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3).

Can Renegade Shepard romance Jack? ›

Jack is only available for Male Shepards, who can begin Romancing her after you've completed her Loyalty Mission, Jack: Project Zero, in Mass Effect 2. Once you complete it, you can begin courting her, which happens in three conversation stages.

Can you romance Tali as a renegade Shepard? ›

Tali is a squad member and potential love interest for those playing as a male Shepard in Mass Effect 2, which is included in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. She is part of Shepard's first mission working with Cerberus, but a romantic storyline can't continue between the two until her loyalty mission is completed.

Can I romance Liara as a renegade? ›

After you complete all four Mission Worlds and return to the Citadel, the Normandy will be grounded and Liara will appear to comfort Shepard. Unless you consistently pick Renegade options here, your romance with Liara will be Locked In.

How many Paragon Power Totems do you need for a level 100 Paragon? ›

If these max requirements are met, a minimum of 45 Paragon Tower Totems are needed to level a Paragon to Degree 100, that value obtainable by using the totems as supplements to the Degree 76 Paragon.

What to do with Paragon points after 100? ›

With each level up, you'll earn Paragon Points which can be spent on the Paragon Trees (unlocks as soon as players hit the first Paragon Level) to gain more bonus attributes. To make most of these Paragon Trees, you'll need to spend 100 Paragon Points. As you continue to level up, more of them get unlocked.

How should I spend my Paragon points? ›

How to spend Crusader Paragon points. In the Core category, pile all of your points into Movement Speed until it's maxed out - the faster you can clear through content, the faster you'll gain better gear.

Is there a super monkey Paragon? ›

Possibly the most difficult Paragon to balance, and definitely the most powerful... the Super Monkey Paragon has finally arrived...

Is there a wizard monkey Paragon? ›

Wizard Monkey Paragon was first reported officially on the June 3rd 2022 blog, mentioning Ninja Kiwi's next planned Paragons, alongside the then-named Engineer Monkey Paragon (Master Builder) and Monkey Ace Paragon (Goliath Doomship).

How many dart monkeys for Max Paragon? ›

The degree scales as the game progresses, so there is no set number of sacrifices that are “optimal.” In general, it is better to fuse about six or seven total Tier 5 Dart Monkeys at a minimum to get decent Paragon degrees.

Is it better to be renegade or paragon? ›

There are two Moralities in the game: Paragon for good actions, and Renegade for bad actions. Unlike games like Knights of the old Republic or inFamous (which move a needle up and down a single meter), in Mass Effect performing good and bad actions earn Paragon and Renegade points.

Should I focus on Paragon or Renegade? ›

Being Paragon or Renegade will greatly impact Shepard's dialogue and quick-time actions throughout the games. Overall, it can be said that Renegade Shepard's dialogue is much funnier and more memorable. After all, Paragon Shepard is patient and kind which leaves little room for "creativity".

Can Sun God sacrifice paragons? ›

Heroes, Paragons, Cave Monkey, and placeable Powers cannot be sacrificed.

What do Renegade and Paragon points do? ›

The main thing you'll unlock with your Paragon and Renegade points are Charm and Intimidate slots. You initially start the game with three Charm slots and three Intimidate slots, and you can have up to a total of 12 in each.

What do renegade points do Mass Effect? ›

As players earn Renegade points in Mass Effect 1, they will also gain ranks in the Intimidation skill. Both of these stats combined will unlock special red options during conversations and can be used to intimidate NPCs; if the option is grayed out, it means players do not have enough Renegade or Intimidation points.

What is Renegade vs Paragon Mass Effect 3? ›

Paragon actions are usually about building alliances, obeying galactic law, and basing decisions on sympathy and trust. Renegade actions usually involve a pragmatic, results-focused approach, breaking laws or taking extreme steps as required to get the job done.

What happens when you max out Paragon points? ›

Here's a breakdown of what a full Paragon bar will get you: Unlocking all 12 Charm Points in the Squad Menu. If you purchase all of these Charm Points, you'll be able to pick any Charm option in the game. Unlock the Paragon-exclusive Morality Mission.

What is the best class in Mass Effect? ›

Infiltrator is also a bit better in the sequels, but they're arguably still your best overall option in Mass Effect if you want to pick a class that can use some of the game's better tech abilities.

Can you romance as renegade Shepard? ›

As long as you are male, you will be able to romance Ashley even if you're renegade. It's actually quite difficult to lock yourself out of the romances. Talk to the crew member after each mission and don't be a jerk. If you want to stay on the safe side don't pick the bottom option in the conversations.

Can you make Garrus renegade? ›

In Mass Effect you can help to shape Garrus into either a Paragon or a Renegade depending on the choices you make.

Do Renegade and Paragon points carry over? ›

While your Paragon and Renegade Points do not transfer over in full, a portion of them will be. So, if you were heavily Paragon in Mass Effect, then you'll start Mass Effect 2 with a chunk of Paragon Points already on your stat bar.

What is the most Paragon ending me3? ›

Mass Effect 3's control ending is effectively the trilogy's Paragon ending. If the player chooses to have Shepard assume control of the Reapers the harvest is stopped, the Mass Relay system is rebuilt by the now-benevolent Reapers, and all synthetic life survives.

Why does Renegade Shepard have scars? ›

Shepard's Physical Side Effects from the Lazarus Project

The scarring that comes from a large number of Renegade points is a symptom of the Lazarus Project, which brought the Commander back to life after they were killed in the opening cinematic of Mass Effect 2.

What is the max Paragon level solo? ›

For most Paragons, excluding Apex Plasma Master (max level being 79), Degree 76 was the highest degree possible in single-player mode as surpassing 110,706 power required a 4th Tier 5 tower, which was only possible in co-op. However, the introduction of Geraldo's Paragon Power Totems circumvents this need.

What happens after 800 paragon? ›

After reaching Paragon 800, all stats in the latter three trees are maxed out, so all further Paragon points are assigned to Core Stats.


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