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I just finished Mass Effect 3, though I didn't play the multiplayer and my war readiness was therefore at only 50%. So I didn't have enough war assets to get to the best ending.

I now want to play some multiplayer and get that war readiness to a good value, so that I can get the best ending with the same playthrough. I'm wondering now from which point on I need to replay to have my increased effective war asset score count.

At which point in the game is the ending you get determined? When are the war assets counted, the war readiness evaluated and the ending "locked"?

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To clarify my own concern: What is the last point at which I can save my game before playing a bunch of multiplayer to manipulate the ending via Multiplayer? –  LessPop_MoreFizz Mar 14 '12 at 4:15

3 Answers 3

My understanding is that war assets and readiness (and hence EMS) are locked in after Priority: Cerberus Headquarters.

This is based on:

  • entering this mission with 7060 assets / 50% readiness did not award the Master and Commander achievement. The ending did not include the final 'secret' scene.
  • restarting from Priority: Earth with 80% readiness (over 5000 EMS, which should trigger the 'secret' scene) resulting in exactly the same result as the previous attempt.
  • restarting from Priority: Cerberus Headquarters with 100% readiness awarded the Master and Commander achievement. It also resulted in the 'secret' scene in the ending.
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EDIT

If asking about Readiness, then according to this Mass Effect Wiki Article:

When the mission Priority: Earth is started, all gathered War Assets combine into two different groups, codenamed Sword and Hammer. Sword consists of all allied fleets and starships, and Hammer consists of all ground forces. When Sword attacks the Reaper fleet above Earth, it acts as a distraction to allow Hammer to land on Earth and engage the Reapers on the ground to aid Admiral Anderson's resistance forces. Depending on the number of War Assets gathered and their combined military effectiveness rating, Sword and Hammer will either take heavy losses during the battle or be able to hold their own. Readiness rating determines if the Crucible, depending on the solution chosen, destroys all forces fighting on Earth indiscriminately, or selectively targets the Reapers.

So the answer for War Assets is right before the Priority: Cerberus Headquarters (the point of no return).

While Galactic Readiness waits until Priority Earth (the actual final mission


I would venture a guess is that when you hit the point of no return, i.e., right before the assault on the Cerberus headquarters, your War Assets are then calculated for your ending. So in order to get the best ending, ensure you have as high a rating as possible in order to gain the ending you desire.

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There must be at least one more check after that, because Priority: Cerberus awards you a war asset depending on your dialogue choice. –  Michael Edenfield Jun 11 '13 at 23:58

I have played several times and there is a point of no return. This is when you assault the cerebus base. Before you do that get the multi-player readiness up to 100% and you can also boost your readiness via the omega DLC. The omega DLC confers also an additional 2 powers avail as an option in med bay - lash and flare. These two powers were those that aria has and upon successful retake of omega, become avail. Before that, the best optional power was something that allowed you to basically gain control of either organics or synthetics as an ally for a short duration. It was the most effective tool in dealing with all opfor, including turrets who are very useful in turning on their engineers who set them up. After you finish the game, watch all the credits, there is another scene. Additionally, after finishing a game, you will be reset to the helm of the ship just before the point of no return, before the assault on the illusive man's base.

Warning, I think that this is a bug, the initial reputation of Sheppard is maintained and even though I ended the game and played a new one to get my reputation 100% 'bad' I could not get to the reputation that allows the final option in conversation that gets the illusive man to shoot himself. I had played an entire game on insanity and kept the negative conversation replies, but it was still not enough to enable the final choices. I could see them, but not act on them.

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This has nothing to do with when war assets and galactic readiness are evaluated. –  Frank Dec 4 '12 at 17:54

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