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Are there any important points of no return?
Are there time-limited objectives in the game?

In Mass Effect 2, there was a point where you had to abandon doing any more side missions and focus on the main story to avoid serious consequences where half or the entire crew of the Normandy dies if you wait too long to rescue them.

However, it was possible to do all side missions and still save everybody if you were careful to delay obtaining the Reaper IFF until all side missions were done.

With Earth under attack there is a clear sense of urgency in Mass Effect 3, so I'm wondering if I really have time to go cruising around the galaxy, or if this will have negative consequences in the final outcome.

In other words, if I want to do as many side missions as possible, do I have to be careful to avoid consequences?

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marked as duplicate by Sterno, FAE, Tharius, hammar, bwarner Mar 8 '12 at 16:12

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

The attack on earth is taking it's time. You pretty well have to go on a system to system meander to fill up your war assets. If you don't then you'll need to play multiplayer or the IOS game to get your score high enough for the better endings.

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So am I correct in assuming that the point where it's "no more side missions -- time to save Earth!" is fairly obvious and up until that point I'm free to do what I want when I want? (Unlike Mass Effect 2 where the Omega 4 Relay was "advertised" as the point-of-no-return while the true point-of-no-return if you wanted the best outcome was the Reaper IFF.) – hammar Mar 8 '12 at 14:55

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