When importing a character you start at a maximum level of 30.

Does this actually make the game any easier? I understand that you will start off with lot of upgrade points, but will the enemies also scale to your level?

2 Answers 2


Based on how it worked in Mass Effect 2 and personal experience in ME3, enemies scale to levels, regardless of how the levels were acquired. As such, the answer to your question is yes and no. Compared to an unimported character at the same place in the campaign, it will be more difficult, but compared to an unimported character of the same level, it should be about the same difficulty.

Edit: Now with science!

I played through the first 15 minutes of the campaign twice, once with my imported ME2 character and then with a brand new character. Below is a spreadsheet with the amount of body shots I counted before the enemy died. All shots are from the starting pistol. Note that these are wild approximations - it's hard to count with friendlies firing as well, and I likely landed a few headshots without realizing it. Note: Both characters attained levels over the course of testing. No skills were spent on either, and only the character level at the start of each area is listed

kill shots required for killing

As hypothesized, enemies on Earth were roughly the same difficulty (it was made as a basic tutorial). Once I reached Mars, though, the enemies seemed to take more body shots when Shepard was at a higher level.

  • While I believe your answer is correct, your link goes to the combat page for Mass Effect 1. The one for Mass Effect 3 is here and doesn't talk about it yet. But I really doubt they would have changed this from the previous two games, and if I had to fight the stuff my level 35 guy is fighting back when I was level 1, I'd be dead.
    – Sterno
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 4:15
  • @Sterno You seem to be right. I thought the linked wikia page was for the series with each game having specific pages. That seems to be wrong, so I'll take the link out. Through personal experience, though, I can attest that combat difficulty is scaled up for imported characters. Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 4:19
  • @DaveMcClelland I haven't tried it yet with a fresh character. But after spending 4 hours with my level 29+ I am surprised that it is scaled as the enemies seem very easy.
    – row1
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 4:30
  • @row1 I played through ME2 about a month ago and imported that character. The enemies I've fought so far (even on Earth) seemed more or less on par with the enemies I was fighting near the end of ME3. Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 4:40
  • I think we need some Science!™
    – Sterno
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 6:56

So i tried a little science myself, going beyond mars (if anyone is still following this) Using a save editor i tried several different missions through the campaign with a variety of different levels, what you would be with both a new game and if you were max level. they were approximations of course but the difference was clear to see.

Enemies are more than just tougher, theres more waves of them and you even meet high level enemies much sooner, for instance playing the female krogan mission on level 10 had you fight regular cerberus dudes, the guys with shields and then the guys with the extra shield healthbar. same mission on level 37 i encountered nemesis'(the sniper bitches) and a lot more engineers and shield guys. In fact the regular grunts were less common in favor of the specialists that had sheilds to stop you spamming biotics.

So TL;DR it definitely scales, and scales more than just how much damage enemies can take.

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