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.

RELATED: Halo: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Spartans

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.

(Video) Do Backgrounds Matter in Mass Effect? (Sole Survivor vs War Hero vs Ruthless)

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

Mass Effect: 10 Biggest Differences Between Renegade & Paragon Shepard (3)

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.

RELATED: Skyrim: 10 Essential Mods for Fantasy Lovers

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.

(Video) 5 MISTAKES every RENEGADE Mass Effect player makes

7 Paragon Shepard Will Save The Krogan Race

Mass Effect: 10 Biggest Differences Between Renegade & Paragon Shepard (4)

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

Mass Effect: 10 Biggest Differences Between Renegade & Paragon Shepard (5)

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.

RELATED: The 10 Most Powerful Monsters in the Fallout Series, Ranked

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 - Top 10 Legendary RENEGADE MOMENTS

5 Paragon Shepard Will Spare Fist's Life

Mass Effect: 10 Biggest Differences Between Renegade & Paragon Shepard (6)

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

Mass Effect: 10 Biggest Differences Between Renegade & Paragon Shepard (7)

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.

RELATED: Fallout 4: 10 Community Mods You Need to See

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 Legendary Edition - Paragon Vs Renegade

3 Paragon Shepard Can Appeal To Saren's Good Side

Mass Effect: 10 Biggest Differences Between Renegade & Paragon Shepard (8)

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

Mass Effect: 10 Biggest Differences Between Renegade & Paragon Shepard (9)

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

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

Next: Skyrim: 10 Side Quests Better Than the Actual Game


Is it better to be Paragon or Renegade in Mass Effect? ›

Paragons Typically Inspire More Love From the People Around Them. Again, this isn't a hard rule (and we'll talk about some of the exceptions to this rule in a bit), but generally speaking, playing as a Paragon means that you're more likely to win over the people closest to you and assist them in their moments of need.

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".

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.

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.

What is the best military specialization in 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

What is the least played class in Mass Effect? ›

Only a small percentage of Mass Effect Legendary Edition players chose the Engineer class, making it the least popular choice among six options. The character abilities and combat of the original Mass Effect trilogy revolve around six classes.

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).

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.

Why is destroy best ending Mass Effect? ›

One of the big reasons "Destroy" is such a popular ending is because the other endings are ideas that were only explored by villains that ultimately failed. For example, the idea to control the Reapers was entirely the Illusive Man's goal from the start.

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.

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.

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 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.

Is Shepard canonically female? ›

The character is clearly a woman. "Yup, Commander Shepard was originally a woman," said Cooper. That settles it once and for all: FemShep is the one true Commander Shepard. This is definitely canon, right, BioWare?

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."

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.

Do you ever see Tali's face? ›

Tali's face was eventually shown at the end of Mass Effect 3 to those who romanced the character via a picture in Shepard's cabin. Her design was based on the Photoshop of a human stock photo model - something which angered some of the character's fans.

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.

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.

Can you get a degree 100 Paragon solo? ›

Perfect Paragon is a hidden achievement in Bloons TD 6, first added in Version 28.0. It is earned by acquiring a Degree 100 paragon of any type. The achievement can be completed in either multi-player or single-player.

How many totems do you need for a degree 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 is the max Paragon LVL? ›

There is no limit to a player's Paragon Level and the player will continue to gain paragon points regardless of how high their level is.

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).

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.

Can you mix Paragon and 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.

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.

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.

Is Garrus Renegade or Paragon? ›

Though Garrus Vakarian starts out as a clearly Renegade character, Shepard can change this aspect of him, if the player wishes. While Garrus isn't morally gray or evil, he believes in bringing people to justice by whatever means necessary, including by killing them and circumventing the law.

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".

Is Garrus a renegade or paragon? ›

Garrus is Renegade based on his own personal justice, though. His heart's in the right place, but it's also what drives his mentality of accomplishing goals regardless of cost.

Is Paragon a good guy? ›

The Paragon isn't just a good guy, he's the good guy. Everyone looks up to him. He's at the forefront of every battle, gives the Rousing Speeches, and has probably personally trained most of the heroes.

Who replaces Garrus if he dies? ›

If Garrus dies there is absolutely no replacement and you have an empty spot on your squad. Also Tali, while nobody takes her place on your squad, is replaced plotwise with Admiral Shala'raan Vas Tombay.

Is Garrus older than Shepard? ›

12 He is Younger Than Shepard

BioWare Writer, Patrick Weekes, has stated that he believes Garrus is two to four years younger than Commander Shepard.

Can Garrus be a Spectre? ›

Renegade: Garrus began training to be a Spectre but still grew tired of the Citadel and the Council refusing to openly acknowledge the Reaper threat. As a result, Garrus went to Omega and became a vigilante.

Who is the best romance 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.

Why did Epic stop Paragon? ›

Paragon was previously shut down to make space for Fortnite.

Who is the next Paragon monkey? ›

It was later released in the 28.0 update. On 4th December 2021, Ninja Kiwi teased the Navarch of the Seas on their Twitter. It was later released in the 29.0 update. Engineer Monkey Paragon has been announced in Ninja Kiwi's Version 30.0 patch notes as the next Paragon.

Why did epic drop paragon? ›

Why Did Paragon Shut Down? Paragon was primarily shut down because it failed to attract a significant player base while Epic's other titles, Fortnite in particular, began to take off. As previously mentioned, Paragon's team, in July 2017, stated that the game had attracted more than 7.3 million players.


1. Mass Effect | Being A Renegade in a Nutshell | Mass Effect Legendary Edition
(Unatoned )
2. The Perfect Playthrough: Paragon or Renegade?
(Lotuseaters Dot Com)
3. Mass Effect | Being A Renegade | Mass Effect Legendary Edition
(Unatoned )
4. Renegade Shepard is the best lawyer...
(Happy Light Productions)
5. Mass Effect 1 - How to RAPIDLY MAX OUT Paragon & Renegade Points with this OG Exploit
(Big Dan Gaming)
6. Mass Effect 2 - Top 10 Legendary RENEGADE MOMENTS
(Big Dan Gaming)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lidia Grady

Last Updated: 06/27/2023

Views: 5790

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lidia Grady

Birthday: 1992-01-22

Address: Suite 493 356 Dale Fall, New Wanda, RI 52485

Phone: +29914464387516

Job: Customer Engineer

Hobby: Cryptography, Writing, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Calligraphy, Web surfing, Ghost hunting

Introduction: My name is Lidia Grady, I am a thankful, fine, glamorous, lucky, lively, pleasant, shiny person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.