Every time I open Mass Effect 3, it connects to the EA network with the message "Validating DLC". For something like the pre-order guns, I don't see this as being a big deal, but for something bigger, like an entire DLC squadmate, I don't want to be "always online" just to use my Rastafarian squadmate.

Do I still have access to unlocked DLC while offline? Do I lose access to unlocked DLC if I load a save file with the DLC while offline?

This, in my mind, is a dealbreaker when it comes to buying the darn things in the first place...


11 Answers 11


I haven't verified the work around, but I can confirm that on a PC with origin, if you have any kind of DLC linked to your account you must be connected to the internet long enough to load your save. If you are disconnected at any time prior to that you will not be able to load your save or do anything really except start a new game.

Short answer: No offline play with DLC.


It seems like it does authenticate every time, and if you're not able to authenticate, you won't be able to load that DLC on a subsequent run. It seems like it might even lock you out of a save created with DLC if you're unable to authenticate said DLC, but I'm looking for official confirmation of this.

One poster on the Bioware forums posted this workaround, although it requires that you have internet access at least enough to authenticate for a little while:

  1. Start Origin.
  2. From Origin, Start Mass Effect 3.
  3. Wait for all of your DLCs to authenticate then load a save game. If you are in Normandy Shuttle Bay area, check if your CE items and Preorder bonus are there, if they are then Save game and exit to Main Menu then close.
  4. Just close Origin, remember just close and not Log Out or Play Offline.
  5. Disconnect from the internet.
  6. Use the desktop shortcut of Mass Effect 3 to start game, NOT ORIGIN.
  • Oy vey. At this rate, I might want a separate installation for Multiplayer, exclusively. Mar 7, 2012 at 22:35
  • Any luck with official confirmation? Mar 8, 2012 at 20:25
  • @RavenDreamer, no, I've gone digging again and can't turn anything official up. It might be time for some SCIENCE, although I can't science this on the Xbox and give you a PC answer...
    – agent86
    Mar 8, 2012 at 21:44

I launched Mass Effect 3 (from the desktop shortcut, if that makes any difference) after logging in to Origin in offline mode with no WiFi connection, and it worked fine. Loaded up my save just fine even though I have extra items from the CE (which Origin seems to treat like DLC) and completed From Ashes on that save.

I think it only authorizes the DLC the first time you play after downloading it. Maybe it checks again whenever you play while online just to be sure.


you cannot play dlc offline. It wont even let you load your save game if you are offline.


I just found this fix. Hope it helps and its better than being still needing to be online when loading game.

Some routers have curfews on them limiting usage past... some time in the evening. So of corse my fav single player game that I have for basicly that purpose of playing offline now does not work. My online hours are teken up by online games.

So... How to fix this(at least for PC): -First close origin. Completely and utterly. If you feel so inclined destroy its .exe in task manager jsut to be 110% sure its dead. -Then disconnect, not from the internet alone but from your local network completely. If your on desktop upplug the net cable(in my exp usually a blue one) and for laptops just shut off your wi-fi adaptor. -Then run origin. Login.

Origin will then run offline default and you -should- be good to go. Hope it helps.


As I've been reading through this, a lot of people seem to have different experiences, however it should work for everybody.

Currently my net adapter is broken, and thus I can't use any internet on my gaming pc at all. I can use all the DLC just fine without internet, except for any weapons that are given through DLC (like the reckoner).

If you get the can't authorize, simply close the game, restart origin, (without internet connected) login to origin (cause it still knows if your account info is correct or not).

Once you have logged in, find the Mass Effect 3 in your library and click more information so you can see all the DLC that is installed. Click the play button in the top of the information page and it should authorize correctly.


It's true, I've made the exact same experience. The game tries to verify my DLC every time I start the game, a definite dealbreaker.

Upon searching in the Bioware forums, it seems some players do not experience the problem. One of the moderators commented how the original poster doesn't have all the necessary information, but rendered no explanation whatsoever. It was also posted that patch 1.02 would fix the problem. I can definitely confirm that this is not the case. With the patch applied, the game still won't load DLC-saves unless I start the game while being online.


No, you can't start your game if you have DLC and are offline.


I have a fix for this, but be warned that it's easy to mess it up by accident.

Go online with a good internet connection, load up the game. Load up your save, exit game, exit origin.

Disconnect from internet, turn off the automatically connect option.

Go on offline and it should remember your last authentication. It works for me so long as I don't go online by accident.


I found out after I moved that I am in an internet dry area. Trying to connect to Origin was virtually impossible and playing ME3 without DLCs suck. I purchased all the DLCs for ME3 before I moved and I read every board I could find on the subject. I finally was successful at playing ME3 off line with the following DLCs:

  • All henchmen armors
  • Leviathan
  • Retake Omega
  • From Ashes
  • Citadel Apartment

I’m not sure what I did but I’ll give the steps I used. First I completely removed Origin from my laptop, then reinstalled it with all it’s updates. I turned off my wifi and unplugged my cable. I then started Origin and it came up offline and I selected ME3.

I imported a character save that I played in ME1, imported that save into ME2. If nothing else I would be able to play with all my info from the previous games. When I finally got to Normandy in ME3, I noticed in the email I had one for the Prothean Artifact. Bottom line is the only DLC that I don’t have is the weapons packs but I can live without that. I hope this helps and if someone can tell me what I did to solve this.


I do this "trick" with all my Origin games, Dragon Age 1-2-3 and Mass Effect series. sign into your origin via password and username(or email on your account) say "remember me" and maybe "hide" for security while activating and updating but later unnecessary. AFTER activating the game, playing a while, I'd say through Mars and when your on the ship your DLC's will start informing you via messages on screen "your so and so is loading" once this occurrs you can go offline anytime after you exit the game AFTER you have "checked download" it will do this after you exit gameplay to menu DO NOT exit the game entirely to desk top in fact, don't do that EVER! with ANY EA game! next it will authenticate maybe once or twice more, go to the menu/title screen then exit the game. in the Origin Client browser, tell it to "go to offline mode" then exit origin DO NOT sign out. in fact, NEVER sign out. it will(of 2016 patches) save your info. if you must sign in again you will of course need to get online. if you do not need to(rarely you do BUT you use ccleaner and delete Origin cache it will delete your cred!) then merely relaunch origin and you can play the game offline with saves and DLCs this MAY or MAY NOT pertain to "From Ashes" nor "Citadel" (according to rumor) why I am reluctant to buy those particular DLC. but it DOES IN FACT apply to all the others offered in the Deluxe editions. This trick works with Origin and Steam client.

  • 1
    This is very unclear as to what you're saying. Caps on every other word doesn't help either.
    – rivermont
    Jun 17, 2016 at 18:49

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