By Meg Pelliccio
In Mass Effect Legendary Edition, you must choose your pre-service history, psychological profile, and more. Here's what you need to know.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition is not only a great opportunity for long-time fans of the series to relive the beloved Shepard trilogy in its best form yet, but it also offers a perfect opportunity for newcomers to become acquainted with the franchise. When creating your character, as well as choosing how they look (you can even import your old Shepard's face), you also have to choose your character's backstory including pre-service history, psychological profile, and military specialization.
Next: Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Should You Choose Legendary Or Classic Mode?
The choices you make will change the Renegade and Paragon points your character starts the game with, unlocks exclusive assignments and content, and also decides which talents your character can unlock. Here's a full guide to each choice that you'll need to make when creating your custom Commander Shepard.
At the start of the game, you can either choose a default male or female Shepard or choose to create a "New ID". Choosing either of the default options will result in your character being an Earthborn, a Sole Survivor, and a Soldier.
Updated August 16, 2021: We've overhauled this guide and reformatted everything to make it more readable, as well as updating it with more accurate information about the outcomes of the choices you make when creating your character.
You have three choices when it comes to pre-service history, and each one unlocks a unique assignment in the game based on your chosen history. Additionally, your choice of pre-service history will affect your starting bonus Paragon and Renegade points based on the psychological profile that you pair it with (this is covered further down).
Both of your parents were in the Alliance military. Your childhood was spent on ships and stations as they transferred from posting to posting, never staying in one location for more than a few years. Following in your parents' footsteps, you enlisted at the age of eighteen.
"Old, Unhappy, Far-Off Things" Assignment — Only available if you have the Spacer background. This assignment unlocks in the Citadel after you have completed one of the core missions and allows you to speak with Shepard's mother, Hannah Shepard.
You were born and raised on Mindoir, a small border colony in the Attican Traverse. When you were sixteen, slavers raided Mindoir, slaughtering your family and friends. You were saved by a passing Alliance patrol, and you enlisted with the military a few years later.
"I Remember Me" Assignment — Only available if you have a Colonist background. This assignment becomes available on your return to the Citadel after completing a core mission and sees you helping out a fellow Mindoir survivor.
You were an orphan raised on the streets of the great megatropolises covering Earth. You escaped the life of petty crime and underworld gangs by enlisting with the Alliance military when you turned eighteen.
"Old Friend" Assignment — Only available if you have an Earthborn background. This assignment becomes available one of the core missions and sees you meet up with a member of a gang you belonged to when you were younger.
There are three psychological profiles to choose from and these also affect your bonus Renegade or Paragon points that you start with. Each profile will also unlock special dialogue options during certain assignments.
During your service, a mission you were on went horribly wrong. Trapped in an extreme survival situation, you had to overcome physical torments and psychological stresses that would have broken most people. You survived while all those around you fell, and now you alone are left to tell the tale.
Sole Survivors start with both bonus Paragon and Renegade points.
Additional conversation options during the "UNC: Dead Scientists" assignment.
Early in your military career you found yourself facing an overwhelming enemy force. You risked your own life to save your fellow soldiers and defeat the enemy despite the impossible odds. Your bravery and heroism have earned you medals and recognition from the Alliance fleet.
War Heroes start with Paragon points.
Additional conversation options during the "UNC: Espionage Probe" assignment.
Throughout your own military career, you have held fast to one basic rule: get the job done. You've been called cold, calculating, and brutal. Your reputation for ruthless efficiency makes your fellow soldiers wary of you. But when failure is not an option, the military always goes to you first.
Ruthless characters start with Renegade points.
Additional conversation options during the "UNC: Major Kyle" assignment.
Starting Paragon/Renegade Points Based on Your Decision
Paragon and Renegade points represent your character's morality. You'll naturally earn more points as you play, with the type and amount earned depending on the choices you make in conversations and regarding the plot. You can view your current Paragon/Renegade points in the Squad menu.
Just below are the Paragon and Renegade points you will start with based on the choices you make in character creation:
Spacer/ War Hero
20 Paragon points
Colonist/ War Hero
15 Paragon points
Earthborn/ War Hero
10 Paragon points
Spacer/ Sole Survivor
15 Paragon and 5 Renegade points
Colonist/ Sole Survivor
10 Paragon and 10 Renegade points
Earthborn/ Sole Survivor
5 Paragon and 15 Renegade points
10 Renegade points
15 Renegade points
20 Renegade points
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There are six military specializations to choose between, essentially this is deciding what class your character will be in the game and affects which talents you can learn, as well as how proficient you are with each weapon type.
Overall, your choice of class will not affect the storyline but there are some small instances where additional conversational choices may be available depending on your chosen class. After the completion of the "UNC: Rogue VI" assignment, you will be able to choose between two different specializations based on your starting class.
Note: Some of the talents listed below must be unlocked by leveling another talent to a specific level.
Soldiers are combat specialists ideal for the front lines of a firefight. Soldiers have improved health, can specialize in the use of all weapon types, start with the ability to wear medium armor, and can train in the use of heavy armor.
Pistols, Shotguns, Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles, Combat Armor, First Aid, Assault Training, and Fitness.
Commando or Shock Trooper.
Engineers are tech specialists. Using the holographic omni-tool, they can decrypt security systems, repair or modify technical equipment, disrupt enemy weapons or shields, and heal their squad. Engineers only wear light armor, and they specialize in pistols.
Pistols, Basic Armor, Decryption, Hacking, Electronics, Damping, First Aid, and Medicine.
Medic or Operative.
Adepts are biotic specialists. Through upgradeable implants, they can use biotic powers to lift or throw objects, shield the squad, and disable or destroy enemies. Adepts can only wear light armor, and they specialize in pistols.
Basic Armor, Pistols, Throw, Lift, Warp, Singularity, Barrier, and Stasis.
Bastion or Nemesis.
Infiltrators combine combat and tech abilities to specialize in killing or disabling enemies at long range. Infilitrators are trained to use omni-tools, focusing on decryption and offensive abilities rather than healing. They can specialize in pistols or sniper rifles and wear medium armor.
Pistols, Sniper Rifles, Tactical Armor, Fitness, Electronics, Damping, Decryption, and First Aid.
Commando or Operative.
Sentinels combine biotic and tech abilities. Typically, they use biotic abilities and advanced healing skills to defend allies, though they can also disrupt opponents with biotic or tech attacks. They are more efficient at tech and biotics than other classes, but at the expense of combat. Sentinels can only wear light armor and receive no specialized weapon training.
Throw, Life, Barrier, Statis, Decryption, Electronics, First Aid, and Medicine.
Bastion or Medic.
Vanguards are biotic warriors. They combine biotics and weapons to take down opponents and are especially deadly at short range. They specialize in pistols and shotguns and wear medium armor.
Pistols, Shotguns, Assault Training, Tactical Armor, Throw, Lift, Warp, and Barrier.
Shock Trooper or Nemesis.
Next: Mass Effect Legendary Edition Complete Guide And Walkthrough
Should I play Renegade or Paragon? ›
That's not a hard rule (Renegade players will also be able to use persuasion), but if you're generally more interested in using charisma and logic over fear and brute force, Paragon is much more likely to offer roughly what you're looking for. They generally try to find a way to diffuse a situation than blow it all up.Does preservice history matter in Mass Effect? ›
Additionally, your choice of pre-service history will affect your starting bonus Paragon and Renegade points based on the psychological profile that you pair it with (this is covered further down).Do you have anything else to add Commander Shepard? ›
An NPC asks "Do you have anything else to add, Commander Shepard?" and the options given are labeled "You won't see the truth," "No," and "What's the point?" No matter which option you select, your character responds to the NPC with "You've made your decision.How do you get the perfect ending in Mass Effect 3 Legendary Edition? ›
To achieve the Perfect Ending in Mass Effect 3 Legendary Edition, Shepard needs 7800 Total Military Strength or higher. The Total Military Strength system in Mass Effect Legendary Edition counts all the War Assets Shepard obtains, not only in Mass Effect 3 but based on choices made throughout the Mass Effect trilogy.Will epic ever bring back paragon? ›
Now, thanks to free assets from the game on the Unreal Marketplace and a trademark agreement with Epic, Paragon is making a return four years later, albeit under a new title and new ownership.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.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 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 you be both Paragon and Renegade Mass Effect? ›
It is very possible for a hero who is primarily Paragon to also have earned some Renegade points along the way, though this does not typically detract from his Paragon score. However, there are (with the exception of some bugs) a finite number of opportunities to increase your score in either of these aspects.Why is FemShep so popular? ›
In fact, FemShep is so wildly popular because of it. The moment that FemShep prepares to take on the threat to the universe, she inevitably will give an impassioned speech as to why they must do what they are preparing to do. This is true for both games in Mass Effect and many other franchises.
Which gender Shepard is canon? ›
"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? Check out our coverage of BioWare's most recent N7 Day roundtable for more on the next Mass Effect game.Can Shepard have both Liara and Ashley? ›
A male Shepherd in Mass Effect 1 can romance either Ashley Williams or Liara T'Soni, but you can't have both. If you try to develop relationships with both of them, eventually they will tell you to pick one. As a female Sheperd in Mass Effect 1, your options are Kaidan Alenko or Liara T'Soni.Is synthesis the best ending? ›
The Control ending does alow EDI and the Geth to live unlike in the Destroy option. The Synthesis ending involves the merging of both synthetic and organic life and only has a good ending. There is no bad ending because again, like the Control option, there are numerous circumstances where synthesis is not an option.Which ME3 ending is canon? ›
What Is The Canon Ending? At this time, there isn't a confirmed canon ending for ME3. But several teasers for the next entry in the series suggest that Shepard destroying all synthetic life is the true conclusion to the game.Which ending is destroy ME3? ›
The “Destroy” ending allows Shepard to eradicate the Reapers along with all other synthetic life, allies included. The “Control” ending turns Shepard into the new, non-organic Reaper overmind, which will direct the Reapers to repair and defend the galaxy.Can there be 2 paragons? ›
Only one Paragon of a specific tower may exist at a time, even in co-op.What is Paragon's new name? ›
In October 14, 2022, Epic Games granted Netmarble Corp. the rights to use all Paragon assets to craft Overprime. These rights included the Paragon trademark, and game title. As a result, Netmarble has decided to change the game title to Paragon: The Overprime in respect to Paragon.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 younger 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.
Garrus Vakarian is 2-4 years younger than Shepard, making him anywhere from 25 to 27. Turians, like quarians, have a lifespan comparable to that of humans.
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.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.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.What is Shepard's first name? ›
By default, Mass Effect's Commander Shepard is called "John" or "Jane", depending on your allegiance in the BroShep/FemShep war.Which Shepard is more popular? ›
John Shepard, as the first choice on the list, may be considered the standard among first-time players and therefore gets chosen more frequently. This is arguably supported by the fact that Soldier, the default class of both John and Jane Shepard, is the most popular Mass Effect class among 40% of players.Can you make Garrus renegade? ›
Making Garrus Paragon Or Renegade in Mass Effect
The doctor dies no matter what, but if Shepard lets Garrus kill Saleon he becomes hardened, meaning his character becomes harsher and moves toward the Renegade path.
You can either break off a romance with Kaidan or Ashley or confirm your feelings. If you break off your relationship, you can then tell Liara that you are attracted to her and that starts your new relationship. Any romance decision you make in Mass Effect will be imported into Mass Effect 2.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.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.Does Tali have a crush on FemShep? ›
Romance or no, Tali has a crush on Shepard. (and un-used audio files suggest that she might have been romanceable to FemShep before the game went out) And..
Can FemShep date Tali? ›
Tali is never a romance option for FemShep, and even though she's a crewmate in the first Mass Effect game, you'll only be able to romance her in the sequel. As for Mass Effect 3, you will only be able to romance Tali here if you already completed the romance in Mass Effect 2, so keep that in mind.How many kills does Commander Shepard have? ›
A post shared on Reddit by u/TK-576 detailed the process that went into determining the statistic, and as it turns out, 1,781 is a conservative estimate.Did Mass Effect 1 have FemShep? ›
Many new details about the original Mass Effect trilogy are emerging since the recent release of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. One of these new details is a glimpse of the original FemShep from the beta version of the first Mass Effect.Do Liara and Shepard have a baby? ›
Iyra Aldonia was an Asari Commando, Shadow Broker agent, and adept. She is one of the main protagonist of Mass Effect: Lost Souls, Broken Minds. Iyra is also the daughter of Liara T'Soni, and Vincent Shepard.What happens if you cheat on Ashley in Mass Effect? ›
Cheating on Ashley with Tali, Jack or Miranda in Mass Effect 2 gets -1 Point. Picking the Paragon options on Mars gets +1 Point, while the Renegade options get -1 Point. Visiting Ashley at Heurta while she's awake but bedridden at Huerta will get +2 Points.What happens if you cheat on Liara in Mass Effect 2? ›
This seems to have no effect on Liara later on, and Shepard can continue onto Mass Effect 3 to romance her, however, Shepard will be forced to choose between their love interests during the third game.Can EDI survive the destroy ending? ›
EDI survives in two of the three endings of Mass Effect 3. However, all the Mass Effect 4 teasers so far seem to imply that Mass Effect 3's Destroy ending, the one in which EDI supposedly dies, will be the canon conclusion of the trilogy and starting place of the next game.Can Shepard survive synthesis? ›
Unless players have enough Total Military Strength and go for the Perfect Ending with Destroy, Shepard will always be killed in action. Synthesis and Control have no option where the Commander survives.Does Shepard live in destroy ending? ›
While the Destroy Ending eliminated the Reapers, it also destroyed the relays and all synthetic lifeforms, such as the geth and EDI. If the player has enough Galactic Readiness, Shepard is shown to have survived all the destruction.Who replaces Wrex ME3? ›
If a save is imported where Wrex was killed at the stand off in Virmine in Mass Effect, his role will be replaced by his broodbrother, Urdnot Wreav.
Who replaces Legion ME3? ›
The Geth VI replaces Legion in Mass Effect 3 if you don't import a save with Legion.Can you Romance EDI ME3? ›
EDI is not romanceable by Shepard in Mass Effect 3. EDI can, however, pursue a relationship with Joker depending on Shepard's conversation choices: Talk to EDI and Joker in the Presidium Commons early in the game. Talk to EDI and Joker in Purgatory later in the game.Will Shepard be in Mass Effect 4? ›
No, it does not mean that Commander Shepard is returning as the playable protagonist of Mass Effect 4. However, one could claim with confidence that the next hero of Mass Effect will follow in Shepard's footsteps as an N7 operative. As Mr.Why is me3 ending controversial? ›
A widely discussed fan theory proposed that the base game's endings were a hallucinated consequence of Shepard's gradual, forcible Reaper indoctrination over the course of the trilogy, also positing that the "Destroy" ending was purposely colored red to dissuade Shepard from picking it, and thus, overcoming the mind ...Which me3 ending is most popular? ›
In order from least to most popular, eight percent of players chose Refusal, 17 percent picked Control, 30 percent picked Synthesis, and 45 percent chose Destroy. For many players though, this statistic was not surprising.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 go both Paragon and Renegade? ›
It is very possible for a hero who is primarily Paragon to also have earned some Renegade points along the way, though this does not typically detract from his Paragon score. However, there are (with the exception of some bugs) a finite number of opportunities to increase your score in either of these aspects.Can you get a good ending with renegade? ›
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.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.
How many times can you reset Paragon points? ›
You can reset your Paragon Points at any time without having to pay a single gold coin. Respecs occur on the hero level, not the account level, so respeccing on one hero will not reset your Paragon Points on other heroes.What is the max level in Mass Effect 1? ›
As well, in the original Mass Effect 1, the Level Cap was 50 until you completed the story once, after which the Level Cap was raised to 60 for all saves. In Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, the Level Cap is 60 right off the bat.Is Canon Shepard paragon or renegade? ›
Unfortunately, the system turns the player character into a one-trick pony if players are determined to choose one or the other, but simply looking at the characteristics of each doesn't determine which is canon. The short answer is neither Paragon nor Renegade Commander Shepard is canon.Can you renegade romance Ashley? ›
Once you have a Locked In Romance, then when you go to Ilos and start the one-way ticket to the end of the game, Ashley will approach Shepard in their quarters. This is when you'll get the Romance Scene, unless you turn Ashley away with Renegade choices.Who can Renegade Shepard romance? ›
- Kaidan Alenko.
- Liara T'Soni.
- Kelly Chambers (if romanced in ME2)
- Diana Allers (Fling)
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 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.How many Paragon totems do you need to get 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 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.