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I am revisiting the Mass Effect trilogy as it's one of my favorite series of games. Having completed Mass Effect again I am trying to get Mass Effect 2 started but I never seem to be able to make a connection to the Cerberus Network, and as such I am unable to create a new game with the DLC enabled.

This occurs regardless of whether it's the initial connection to the Cerberus Network on game startup, or attempting to (re)connect to the Cerberus Network from the menu option once you've got to the main menu. In both instances the game will sit on a screen stating it's trying to connect for ~30 seconds before timing out with the message "Communication with the Mass Effect 2 server was interrupted or has timed out".

I have tried installing the game both via Steam (with DLC installed manually), via Origin (with DLC installed automatically), clearing Origin caches, verifying the game files in both Origin and Steam, setting up firewall rules, completely disabling the firewall, running the game as Administrator, connecting directly to the internet with no NAT, and basically everything else I've come across while searching for an answer to the issue but still the same connection failure.

Mass Effect 2 is also not on EA's list of games with withdrawn services so I would expect to be able to still run the game without using unofficial solutions.

How can I get Mass Effect 2 to connect to the Cerberus Network?

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    The only way I've managed to get this working so far is using the highly unofficial DLC patcher, which enables all DLC regardless of whether the connection to Cerberus Network succeeds or fails. Mass Effect 2 is still officially supported so I would expect not to have to use something like this in order for the game to work. – kalina Mar 2 '18 at 9:39
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The unofficial Binkw32 proxy DLL patcher enables all DLC regardless of whether the connection to Cerberus Network succeeds or fails.

Don't forget to use Windows firewall (or whatever you prefer) to prevent Mass Effect 2 from using the internet. If Origin or Steam interfere and try to "fix" the game files, don't use them, run the game directly using a shortcut to the exe file.

Unfortunately EA is not interested in fixing issues with Mass Effect 2, even if you wanted to pay the ludicrous prices of the DLC for this game (when it obviously should include all DLC by now).

If after installing the new binkw32.dll, the game fails to start, giving an error like "binkw32.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error", try the gcc compiled version instead.

The error message will still appear, but it won't affect your ability to use your DLC (regardless of where you got it from - disc/Origin/EA/etc).

Note: Using the command line parameter that skips the intro logo videos seems to make the warning message disappear faster:

-nomoviestartup

  • Does this mean it's not possible to play Mass Effect 2 with DLC if you don't already have the DLC installed? (There's no place to download it from any more?) I am using the game via Steam's library sharing feature, but it wasn't installed on my computer until today. – BlueMonkMN Mar 10 at 16:07
  • @BlueMonkMN as far as I know most of the DLC is not available for the steam version at all (through official channels). EA deliberately restrict it to Origin. – MGOwen Mar 11 at 7:56
  • When I look at the Steam Keys for the game, it shows me 3 keys for: "Mass Effect 2: Digital Deluxe Promo Key", "Mass Effect 2: Digital Deluxe Cerberus Key" and "Mass Effect 2: Digital Deluxe Game Key". According to Steam Community content at steamcommunity.com/app/24980/discussions/0/619568793742805236 is looks like some of that may relate to some DLC. – BlueMonkMN Mar 11 at 23:35
  • Correct. Those are the pieces of DLC that are available on Steam. But the rest is Origin only. – MGOwen Mar 11 at 23:45
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Go to your EA profile page and there, go to "Redeem Code". https://myaccount.ea.com/cp-ui/redemption/index Insert the code there, and voila! Worked for me.

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