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The Best Mass Effect 3 Mods in 2021

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@nicolasngNicolas Ng

Hi! I’m a Journalism student writing gaming stories with the Hacker Noon Blogging Fellowship!

2012’s Mass Effect 3 ended one of the greatest trilogies in gaming history on a controversial, tri-coloured note. While the game’s combat mechanics were head and shoulders above its predecessors, many felt that the story failed to end on a satisfactory note even if the journey to get there was incredible. Almost a decade on from its initial release, talented modders are still creating Mass Effect 3 Mods that build on the game and elevate it beyond its original state. 

The Mass Effect 3 Nexus has everything from texture improvements that rival even the Legendary Edition’s improved textures to hair mods, remakes of the game’s most iconic levels and even new endings for the game. 

The effort that these modders have put into their work is as impressive as it is expansive and you won’t be alone if you feel overwhelmed by the mods available. If you want to play Mass Effect 3 with a fresh new coat of paint, give these mods a shot.

The Greatest Mass Effect 3 Mods

  1. Mass Effect 3 Hair Mods
  2. Mass Effect 3 Texture and Graphics Mods
  3. Mass Effect 3’s best galaxy-expanding mods
  4. The Orikon Collection: Priority Earth Overhaul Mod and more
  5. Mass Effect 3 Ending Mods

Mass Effect 3 Hair Mods

The game’s original hair mods aren’t very expansive. Restricted by the fact that Shepard is a commissioned officer in the Alliance Navy, Shepard can’t reasonably have amazing, physics defying hair. Fortunately, with Mass Effect 3’s Hair Mods, Shepard can ignore the grooming standards.

There are two main hair mods to pick from.

1. Hair Mods as DLCs by ElysiumFic

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ElysiumFic/Mass Effect 3 Nexus

Out of the two options on this list, this hair mod is significantly easier to use. The way the mod is designed is significantly less finicky than the alternative and the quality is comparable. As the mod suggests, you’ll get to add more hairstyles to your game both for male and female Shepard. 

Unfortunately, development stalled early on and some features like being able to see the hairstyles in character creation are not available.

Download Here

2. 125 Hairstyles for Femshep and MShep by Girlplaysgame

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Pudgethefish/Mass Effect 3 Nexus

If you’ve spent even a short amount of time looking for Mass Effect 3 hair mods, the collection from Girlsplaygame has probably turned up. They’ve made an expansive collection of hair mods for you to install into your game and have even provided instructions for installation. It’s not as easy as ElysiumFic’s method and may be incompatible as ME3Explorer, needed for these hair mods, is not used by the newer mods on list. Some modders even discourage it. Still if you do decide to use these hair styles, Girlsplaygame have a guide you can refer to.

Nexus Download | Girlsplaygame Download

Mass Effect 3 Texture and Graphics Mods

The Legendary Edition isn’t the only way to get Mass Effect 3 to look better. In fact, Bioware’s own improvements were benchmarked against mods. As always, there’s an abundance of mods that change Mass Effect 3’s visuals through upscaling textures to modifying characters in the game.

1. A Lot Of Textures (ALOT) for ME3 by CreeperLava

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CreeperLava/Mass Effect 3

This incredible graphical overhaul upscales pretty much every texture in Mass Effect 3 to a more modern standard. With this installed, it will be hard to find any pixelated patches on walls, even if you’re all but licking walls searching for them. ALOT makes the game much more palatable if you’ve gotten used to the new decade’s far more advanced graphics.

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What the installer looks like

What is arguably most impressive about ALOT is the installer it comes with. The mod comes with its own installer that keeps things streamlined. More importantly, it’s compatible with many of the game’s other graphics mods and will be able to install them alongside itself which is incredibly helpful.

Download it here

2. A Lot Of Videos (ALOV) for ME3 by Mellin and the ALOV Team

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ALOT can change plenty but Mass Effect 3’s pre-rendered cutscenes were beyond the Mass Effect 3 Mod. Fortunately, Mellin and the ALOV Team managed to fill that gap with their remake of Mass Effect 3’s cutscenes. Thanks to their work, the game’s lower-than-1080p cutscenes are no longer and the replacements don’t even stand out.

Download it here

3. Ottemis’ HR Mods

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Creeperlava’s ALOT project covered plenty of textures but because of some questionable decisions made do not contain updated textures for everything. Ottermis’ expansive collection of Mass Effect 3 Graphics Mods fills the gaps in ALOT. Each item modified has its own page and listing all of them out here would make this article absurdly long. Just head over to Ottermis’ profile below to take a look at what they’ve made.

Their profile is here

4. Ellise’s Complexion Tweaks

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Sheploo Complexion Tweak/Ellise/Mass Effect 3 Nexus

Ellise’s various complexion tweaks give you the option to have a significantly different appearance on many prominent figures in the game. These modified complexions generally lend themselves to a lighter look to the affected characters. It can be refreshing to see the characters appear that way though it is ultimately more of a stylistic choice more than it is a simple upgrade. 

There are plenty of complexion tweaks to choose from and it would be easier to simply visit Ellise’s profile below. 

Their profile is here

Mass Effect 3’s best galaxy-expanding mods

All of the mods above improve the Mass Effect experience in their own, specific ways but some modders have gone far beyond that, creating mods that make sweeping changes over certain levels and even the entire game. These are Mass Effect 3’s best mods because they give you whole new reasons to play the game.

1. Expanded Galaxy Mod by Kinkojiro, rusm0, Mellin and lmorri8165

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KkJiro/Mass Effect 3 Nexus

The Expanded Galaxy Mod is a must-have for any modded playthrough. While the Nexus page goes into detail about what the mod adds to the game, the actual list of additions is so substantial there is a TVTropes page dedicated to this mod. Some of the changes are even affected by choices made all the way back in the first game!

EGM adds a significant amount of content surrounding the Normandy, letting it participate in many of the game’s most important moments such as the evacuation of Thessia. Its performance in these moments is dictated by new upgrades you can make for the Normandy, similar to Mass Effect 2’s system, and assigning crew members to important tasks. You’ll need to find and locate these upgrades and crew members in the Galaxy Map and even in some levels. 

The Normandy herself will be affected by the story with characters coming on board and staying when appropriate, adding some life to the ship. For example, Jack and her students would come on board after completing Grissom Academy. 

EGM goes even further by adding new mechanics to Shepard through a new cybernetics system that gives new combat bonuses like a 250% increase to melee damage at the cost of weapon damage. The system lets you mess around with new builds and makes the game less stale if you’ve already beaten it multiple times.

There’s far more to be said about this mod that I haven’t covered but it’s better left as a surprise. 

Many of the mods below are actually add-ons for EGM though they would be incredible in their own right.

Download it here

2. Ark Mod by Kinkojiro

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KkJiro/Mass Effect 3 Nexus

The Ark Mod acts as a bridge between Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect: Andromeda and brings with it two brand-new missions, five revamped missions with new enemies and even new armour and weapon mods for Shepard. 

The mission itself is a treat. It’s best experienced as a complete surprise but, suffice it to say, the mission would stand out as one of the series’ greatest levels if it was included in the vanilla game. 

Download it here

3. Spectre Expansion Mod by Tydeous

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Tydeous/Mass Effect 3 Nexus

Shepard being a Spectre was a huge deal in the first game that didn’t receive the attention it should have in subsequent games. The Spectre Expansion Mod rectifies this by letting Shepard put their Spectre authority to use. The mod doesn’t add or change existing levels but does introduce plotlines resolved through text adventures that see Shepard make difficult decisions across the galaxy. This mod adds depth to the world by involving races like the Elcor and Hanar that weren’t given the focus that they deserved in the plot. 

This mod is also one of EGM’s add-ons and complements the mod incredibly well. 

Download it here

4. Project Variety by Scottina123, Mellin, NoiraFayn, Jenya, Furinax, Audemus and FairfieldFencer

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Scottina123/Mass Effect 3 Nexus

Project Variety is a massive overhaul of small changes that improve the game for the better. Small changes like Turians holding turian-manufactured Phaestons instead of human-manufactured Avengers might seem like a small change but it is only a small point on a 40-page long list of changes made by this expansive mod.

With it installed, you can expect to see a much wider variety of species throughout the game and even have some cut content restored. Small inconsistencies such as corpses wearing the wrong uniforms or non-Alliance personnel wearing the uniform are fixed. It all comes together to create a significantly more immersive experience that lets Mass Effect 3 live up to its lore. 

Download it here

The Orikon Collection: Priority Earth Overhaul Mod and more

Mass Effect 3’s levels were good but Orikon made them better. Climatic moments like the battle to retake Earth and the mission to Thessia were some of the harshest, most gut-wrenching moments in the series that hammered home the true cost of the Reaper War. 

Orikon has managed to significantly overhaul those moments in the mods that they’ve bundled into a single collection.

1. Priority Earth Overhaul Mod

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OrikonTheModder/Mass Effect 3 Nexus

The Priority Earth Overhaul Mod is all about showing you the force you managed to bring together for the final battle. It’s full of fanservice moments like Garrus turning out an entire platoon for Shepard to a brand-new speech sequence from Hackett and much more. 

The level itself is overhauled with squadmates from past games joining you for the level and real-time updates to your war assets as the battle drags on, letting you know what this attempt is costing the galaxy. 

After playing the ending with this mod on, the original experience doesn’t even come close. 

2. Immersive Thessia Mod

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OrikonTheModder/Mass Effect 3 Nexus

The Immersive Thessia Mod isn’t as impressive as the Priority Earth Overhaul Mod but it’s still an incredible mod to install. It has a few restored mechanics, new sounds and visuals that add to the atmosphere of the level and a refresh to the final fight to give a fresh new take of beating the daylights out of the annoying rat Kai Leng. 

On playing through the mod, Thessia will truly feel like a world on the verge of collapse and the game is so much more for it. 

3. Prologue Overhaul Mod

The Prologue Overhaul redoes the introduction to the game by adding new moments like slightly extended conversations and new details to the background in the Prologue’s cutscenes. It’s great when you’ve started the game multiple times and want a breath of fresh air for the game. 

Orikon has made adding all three of these mods incredibly easy with their own installer that simplifies the process. Even if the other mods are too daunting, these won’t be. You can download them at any of Orikon’s mod pages.

Download them here

4. Final Confrontation Overhaul Mod

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OrikonTheModder/Mass Effect 3 Nexus

The Mass Effect series might have good gameplay but it was the control you can exert over the world through Shepard that made it special. So why, then, did we end the series by shooting Marauder Shields?

Orikon’s Final Confrontation Overhaul mod changes that by hinging the success of Shepard’s mission on their ability to convince The Illusive Man to stand down. It has brand new UI elements and options to take in the conversation. 

The final confrontation is more of a battle of wits and determination than mowing down enemies down the barrel of a gun. Truly, a more fitting end. 

This mod isn’t part of the Orikon Collection at the time of publishing and must be downloaded separately. 

Download it here

Mass Effect 3 Ending Mods

Mass Effect 3’s notorious ending has been tackled by more than a few modders and has been changed in three different ways.

1. LIME Less Is More Endings by deager

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ME3deager/Mass Effect 3 Nexus

The Less Is More Endings mod gives you two choices on how to end the game, one significantly less depressing than the other. It cuts out most of the exposition at the end of the game and leaves only the important parts. It’s much more concise but doesn’t wrap up the story as well as the vanilla ending.

Download it here

2. ITEM – Indoctrination Theory Ending Mod by Reven100

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Revan111111/Mass Effect 3 Nexus

As the name implies, the Indoctrination Theory Ending Mod leans into the popular Indoctrination theory by providing tweaked dialogue and cutscenes during the final moments of the game to give people who subscribed to the theory a more satisfying ending. 

Download it here

3. MEHEM The Mass Effect 3 Happy Ending Mod by MrFob

This incredible ending mod gives the series an undeniably happy ending to cap off the series. It might be a bit too unlikely for most people to consider but it’ll make sure you won’t be ending your playthrough depressed. 

Most impressive are the brand-new animated cutscenes that make the bulk of the changes. They aren’t as sharp as Bioware’s and they look especially out of place with ALOV installed, but they are a great way to change the ending without using walls of text. 

This ending is also, undoubtedly, the most uplifting out of all of them with many of the consequences between the three normal endings removed entirely with only the best outcomes left in. 

Download it here 

4. Citadel Epilogue Mod by Deager

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olson367/Mass Effect 3 Nexus

The Citadel DLC was a light-hearted send-off for the cast of Mass Effect. With its absurd story mixed with some of Bioware’s finest writing and finished off with a hilarious party, the Citadel DLC was a break from the misery of Mass Effect 3’s campaign.

This mod changes it to place the DLC after the main story which doesn’t really work from a narrative perspective, considering most vanilla endings. Deager went further by removing references to the Reapers and the war from most dialogue, changing the context of the adventure from a break to a finale and celebration of the series. It’s perfect. 

Download it here

Final Thoughts on the Best Mass Effect 3 Mods

Mass Effect 3’s modding scene is one of the most vibrant, considering the high barrier for entry the game has for modding. There are enough new things on this list for you to mix up your next playthrough. The overarching changes from the Extended Galaxy Mod add new layers to the game while the Orikon Collection makes stand-out moments stand out more The endings even give the series a finale that can be tailored to your tastes. 

There’s a lot to calibrate on this list, but it’s completely worth it.

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by Nicolas Ng @nicolasng. Hi! I’m a Journalism student writing gaming stories with the Hacker Noon Blogging Fellowship!Read my stories

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Former PlayStation CEO Ponders About Xbox Game Pass Long-Term Sustainability

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Xbox Game Pass has emerged over the last several years as a new publishing strategy for Microsoft. The subscription service was not exactly the first of its kind, but definitely the first to be done on the scale it has been. The service has been a boon for players, too, as a constant stack of games come and go from the service, not to mention the ever growing slate of first party titles that will remain there forever. But it’s still a new venture, and one that leads to much speculation about just how sustainable a model it is for the future, as pondered by one former CEO of PlayStation. 

Speaking with GamesIndustry, former Sony executive Shawn Layden, who served as many different major positions within the platform holder, spoke about a lot of things relating to the current gaming industry. When talking about Game Pass, he expressed some doubt that the service could be sustainable on a long-term basis. He cites the ballooning budgets of game developer as doubt that the service can continue without some changes.

“It’s very hard to launch a $120m game on a subscription service charging $9.99 a month. You pencil it out, you’re going to have to have 500 million subscribers before you start to recoup your investment.

“That’s why right now you need to take a loss-leading position to try to grow that base. But still, if you have only 250 million consoles out there, you’re not going to get to half a billion subscribers. So how do you circle that square? Nobody has figured that out yet.”

Layden’s thought isn’t a new one, by any means, but it’s also something that is difficult to know without some type of inside information. Xbox’s Phil Spencer has been largely dismissive of concerns of sustainability for Game Pass, saying the service is less about numbers of players and more about engagement and overall the revenue from gaming has been in the net positive for Microsoft. What that means for the math Layden is referencing here is simply unknown for anyone outside the office, so to speak, but it’ll be interesting to see what changes come to the service as time goes on.


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Source: https://gamingbolt.com/former-playstation-ceo-ponders-about-xbox-game-pass-long-term-sustainability

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A Total War Saga: Troy To Get Mythological In Upcoming Mythos Expansion

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The Total War series has slowly built up to being one of the biggest and best-selling RTS series of all time. The game has weaved back and forth between real world and grounded conflicts and pure fantasy. Of the latest entries in the series, A Total War Saga: Troy, stuck its toe in both. It covered the Trojan War of Greek lore, a conflict that is heavily debated as even really happening. Despite its possible fantastical nature, Creative Assembly aimed to create a still grounded approach. Well, it seems that is out the window a bit now with the first major expansion.

Today, the expansion called Mythos was announced with a trailer that you can see below. The trailer lays out that the expansion will bring forth actual mystical creatures into the game. While the base title did have nods to Greek mythology, they were often done in a grounded and ‘realistic’ way. This seems to be going more the way of pure fantasy. If you don’t want that however, there will also be a Historical mode that will keep things to an as accurate as possible historical context.

A Total War Saga: Troy is available now on PC via Epic Games Store, where it was downloaded quite a lot. Mythos will launch on September 2nd, which will be the same time the base game will come to Steam.


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Source: https://gamingbolt.com/a-total-war-saga-troy-to-get-mythological-in-upcoming-mythos-expansion

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Xbox Series X/S Are the Fastest Selling Xbox Consoles Ever, Microsoft CEO Says

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The Xbox Series X and Series S have clearly gotten off to a great start, what with the consoles having been consistently selling out since their launch in November of 2020. The two, in fact, enjoyed the best ever launch for an Xbox console, selling more units during their launch month than any other Xbox console in the past. That pace of sales has persisted well past its launch.

During Microsoft’s recent quarterly earnings call (via Tom Warren on Twitter), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the Xbox Series X and Series S are the fastest selling Xbox consoles to date. They have sold more units from launch up until this point than all previous Xbox consoles at this point in their respective life cycles. Given that, it’s not surprising to hear Nadella say that Microsoft is “all in on games.”

It’s been many years since Microsoft released actual sales figures for consoles, but at this point in its life, the Xbox One had sold over 5.5 million units, so the Xbox Series X/S have sold more than that, at the very least.


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Source: https://gamingbolt.com/xbox-series-x-s-are-the-fastest-selling-xbox-consoles-ever-microsoft-ceo-says

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Microsoft “All-In” On Games as Xbox Series X|S Are Fastest-Selling MS Consoles Ever

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Microsoft hosted its quarterly financial conference call for investors and analysts and Chief executive officer Satya Nadella and chief financial officer Amy Hood talked about the Xbox business.

Nadella declared that Microsoft is “all-in” on games, boasted the “rapid” growth of game pass, and leadership in cloud gaming.

He also mentioned that Xbox series X and S are Microsoft’s fastest-selling consoles ever, while content creators in games like Microsoft Flight Simulator and Minecraft are earning twice as much this year compared to the previous year.

“Gaming is the largest category of the entertainment category and we’re expanding our opportunity to reach the world’s 3 billion gamers wherever and whenever they play.

We’re all-in on games. At E3 last month we unveiled our biggest games lineup ever announcing 27 new titles which will all be available to game pass subscribers.

Game pass is growing rapidly and it’s transforming how people discover, connect, and play games. Subscribers play approximately 40% more games and spend 50% more than non-members.

We continue to lead in the fast-growing cloud gaming market. Just last month we made Xbox cloud gaming on PC as well as Apple phones and tablets via the browser in 22 countries, with more to come.

Millions already stream games to their desktops, tablets, and phones, and the Xbox Series S and X are our fastest-selling consoles ever with more consoles sold life-to-date than any previous generation.

Finally, we continue to grow our opportunity in the creator economy adding new ways for players to build and monetize their creations in many of our most popular games including Flight Simulator and Minecraft. Creators earn more than double what they did a year ago across our titles.

Hood mentioned the guidance for the next quarter, with growth for gaming revenue expected to be in the low double digits (10-15%) and console growth expected to be still constraint by supply.

Xbox content & services revenue should grow by “low single digits” (1-5%) due to a strong comparable in the previous year.

If you’re interested in Microsoft’s financial performance (especially in regards to the Xbox business) you can check out our dedicated article from earlier today.

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Source: https://twinfinite.net/2021/07/xbox-series-x-s-fastest-selling-microsoft/

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