Here's Everything You Need to Know About Mass Effect 3’s Co-Op Mode

Dan Webb

Whether you like the prospect of Mass Effect 3’s co-op mode, tough, it’s happening and there’s nothing you can do about it. The least you can do is give it a chance and see how it turns out – Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood says that’s a wise move. If it’s naff when it ships, sure, lambast the hell out of it – we will. Until then, let us do what we do best and reveal as much info as possible on the mode so you can make a more informed judgement, this time courtesy of the December issue of the Official Xbox Magazine.

The four player co-op survival mode that has you fighting increasingly difficult waves of Cerberus foes - you know, because they've been indoctrinated - according to the mag, has been planned since the beginning of the Mass Effect franchise, but Casey Hudson, Executive Producer, had only felt comfortable implementing it now.

The “Galaxy at War” mode will see you trek to various stages and face-off against eleven waves of foes that range from basic foot soldiers and assassin-like Phantoms to huge Atlas mechs. With a reward system and a character progression suite, the Galaxy at War mode will allow you to take a bigger stake in the larger battle from the single-player campaign. Yes, how you perform in the co-op mission has a result on the Shepard storyline… but only if you want it to.

With “War Assets” earnt in the single-player campaign, players can purchase allies, friendly fleets and even facilities such as radar stations, which will assist in the final battle. By doing enough of the single-player campaign though, there’s a potential you won’t have to participate in the Galaxy at War mode at all. However, the more you play and build up your MP characters, the more influence and power Shepard will have at his disposal in the single-player campaign's final battle if you wish to use it.

By the sounds of it, the co-op will have you visiting areas you visited in the single-player campaign under the command of the gravely voiced Admiral Hackett, and will have you taking to arms and defending it in a bid to win the overall war. Your progress, as indicated by a colour coded map, will be viewable in-game or on other platforms – iOS devices, Facebook, etc – all of which will have their own “unique hooks.”

According to the mag, there are four classes to choose from: Soldier, Infiltrator, Engineer, and Sentinel; and players can also choose a race and a gender – including Drell and Krogans – as well as get their hands on plenty of unlockables. Each class has specific abilities – like Soldiers using the Omni-blade – as do the races – Krogan soldiers can do their typical charge attack by the sounds of it. Players will also have the ability to upgrade weapons and their armoury, whilst also being able to choose weapons and biotic powers before they start, as they work their way up to the level 20 cap and help save the galaxy in the process.

It’s not just about surviving though, as BioWare will offer mission objectives too, like retrieving data packets from around the map, protecting an ally while they hack, and more. If you’re a straight up killer though, you can earn points for kills or for assists. Get downed, fear not, an ally can help you up.

Even from the perspective of a single-player purist – that’s me! – all this is sounding mouth-wateringly good. Hopefully we’ll get our hands on it soon and be able to give you our real impressions, until then, you at least know what to expect.

Regardless of how good it turns out to be, I do get to live out my lifelong fantasy - and by lifelong, I mean since Mass Effect 2 - and that's that I get to be a Drell!!! Huzzah!

[Via StickSkills]

  • Still not needed.
  • co-op combining into the single player experience sounds interesting
  • I'm actually excited about this. Can't wait to play as a Turian Sentinel :)
  • what i can finally play as a krogan? KROOOGAN!!!
  • a video is now available on xbl marketplace regarding mass effect multiplayer
  • I had my worries, but once again BioWare has done an excellent job knowing just what to put into a game. I think this is great, all the people who say this will ruin the story, or its not needed, are just stubborn jerks who cant accept change. Change in a good direction.
  • I really hope we can play them on our own with bots then I wouldn't really mind.
  • @7 Even though the co-op looks good I have to agree. I don't like having to wait for my friends before playing.
  • Like stated, I'll try it (thanks AC:B) but I'm getting a little tired of firefight/horde modes. I personally don't think this is needed at all since you can apparently have the same ending by doing everything in SP. But, like I said, I'll try it.
  • Will we be able to play as a Quarian? This is actually starting to seem good, but I will hold final judgement until March.
  • In terms of story, should the Multi-player be done before or after the Single-player campaign?
  • Krogan and Sentinel FTW :D! I'm actually kind of interested in co-op!
  • @6 from what i've heard the co-op portion was not deved by bioware it was out sourced.
  • @Damodar Thade They didn't outsource the co-op. There are two teams at Bioware working under the same creative lead, and both have contributed to co-op and single player. Source:
  • Sounds like they ripped off Gears of War's Horde 2.0
  • Well before everyone starts bashing me, just saying this isnt a bad thing. Just feel it would have already been a great game without this.
  • @1 Nothing in video game's is "needed" videogame's aren't "needed", all you need is air to breath,food to eat and water to drink everything else is gravy.
  • @13 yesterday's article said BioWare opened a new studio to handle the co-op. So it's still BioWare-developed but not by the main campaign studio, so they didn't have to divert resources away from the main game.
  • can't wait! sounds like before i really get started in the story ill be playing lots of co-op to get the most out of the single player :D
  • Again like i said before I don't mind Co-op and like the idea better then online multi but I have no friends, can i play co-op with a AI? lol ;p Guess I will miss out on the co-op/multi achievements unless I can boost with a second controller like I did with the Gears series
  • @15 If you wanna copy while not from the best. OT: I must say I'm really pumped up for this, Have 100% Mass Effect 1&2, can't wait to complete the trilogy.
  • Sounds awesome! So glad they did this instead of Team deathmatch etc. Love how it adds to campaign also. Great move Bioware!
  • So then, play Single Player first, and THEN do Galaxy at War, or the other way around?
  • Well there goes the galaxy...
  • Can't wait!
  • Sounds like a great addition, however alot of fans like me will proberly just dive into single player first to see how the story ends, by the time i am finished with the SP ill probably be max level and really have no need to play Galaxy at War (although ill still give it a try eventually).
  • The now obligatory "horde' mode.
  • Lol 15 what are u talking about. Wave defence has been around long before Horde mode surfaced. It's not like it's epics original idea. And how is this the same as a fortification focused wave defence? This sounds objective focused (the hacking and data packets mentioned in the article), and having it affect your personal story line is hardly out of the gets playbook either is it. The only similarities are the fact that the players have guns and shoot waves of enemies. This formula has been done 100 times before cliffy B had a wet dream over it
  • While I'm not 100% sold on this, the ideas are better than I thought they would be. I'm glad it's co-op as opposed to competitive. I like the idea that it can make a difference on your single player campaign. I like how you're not Shepard and his crew. As others have stated up there I would really appreciate being given the option to play solo with bots. I have a vastly different schedule than my friends and I have vastly different schedules and rarely get to play online together and I would prefer not to play with strangers. And like Webb I'm stoked to get to play as a Drell.
  • Totally Disgusted
  • I'll play throught the campaign single player on my first run. I started the series with no 'outside help' and i'll end it like that. The 2nd run-through i'll give this new co-op mode a try and if it makes the single player campaign more enjoyable then i'll look forward to using it in future play-throughs, if not then whatever. I didn't need it in the previous 2 games so no big deal.
  • In before Batarians get an increased Field of View :p
  • As I stated in the previous article, if I can actually play as a Krogan and charge people, I'll wet myself. Time to go change my pants.
  • They need to have Android support cause it's gonna suck if they only have iOS supported apps for the end product.
  • I think the only thing i want to do in previous mass effects and cant be done, is playing with krogans, and all the types of alliens on it... Can't wait! :)
  • what if other play refuse to make out with me?
  • As a single player purist, I was turned off by the idea initially, but from what I've been reading, its not a multiplayer component in the traditional sense (Bioshock 2, I'm looking at you). It appears, your actions in the MP will enhance the SP campaign. I'm a huge fan of the franchise and I'm looking at this with an open mind. Casey Hudson has delivered two good title so far, lets see if the third is as good.
  • Nice, i love that they are doing it this way where it completely does not do anything to the single player while catering to the wider audience.
  • I want to play as a hanar
  • The First Hanar Spectre This is sounding definitely worth it. :)
  • As long as I can play as a smoking hot Asari then I'm happy with this. Also I hope we get to customize what are MP characters look like.
  • As #1 said, it is not needed, no it isn't, but it will make the game much more interesting and in some ways more fun, I for one am looking forward to this, it is seeming to be shaping up pretty damn well :D
  • Sounds like worthless piece of adddition. At least we know why it was delayed. however this will turn out I know SP will deliver:-)
  • "and that's that I get to be a Drell!!!" Word!
  • "december issue of OXM" wait what? December issue? O_O
  • Finally I can have quad like Wrex. Although I'll probably play a drell since an infiltrator fits a drell more.
  • Would rather they release this as an XBLA* game and keep ME3 a SP game. I have no doubt that this will be another generic MP add-on that gets played for the first few months and then falls to the wayside, like so many other games. For those wanting cheevos, I recommend playing MP ASAP. ;) * Ironically, EA could probably end up getting more for this as an XBLA game, as they would probably sell it for $15 instead of the $10 Online Pass that they use in their feeble attempt to influence the used market, and at the same time look better in the gamers' eyes by keeping ME3 a SP game w/o an Online Pass.
  • The last thing Mass effect needs is multiplayer
  • Awesome. Can't wait to play ME3 with my mates. Sounds like this could be a potential "game changer."
  • @47 Well tough shit. It's in the game. Deal with it. Like it says in the article. Give it a chance. And no, they wouldn't make any more money. Because all the whining little "single player purists" would just buy ME3, and not the co-op game. So not only would they lose the $15 because the co-op wasn't purchased, they'd also lose the $10 from the online pass in the retail version. Seriously, everyone, just stop whining. It's not going to change anything, at all, period.
  • Made me look even more forward to this
  • [Comment deleted]
  • I can't wait for this game
  • @11 after you have started the singleplayer but before you have finished it so while you are doing it
  • 'according to the mag, has been planned since the beginning of the Mass Effect franchise, but Casey Hudson, Executive Producer, had only felt comfortable implementing it now.'. yeah right, biggest pile of bullshit I ever heard. 'Yes, how you perform in the co-op mission has a result on the Shepard storyline… '. Great, not only dp they put it in the game- they are actually forcing you to play it. At least there are enough other games coming out so I don't have to buy this shit. ME used to be so great, sigh...
  • Who cares if it's not needed? It's still good to have, Call of Duty didn't need to have multiplayer but it's still a great feature.
  • Does anyone know if there will be achievements tied to the co-op mode? If that's the case then it isn't REALLY optional for those who care about completion percentage. If I can take it or leave it without having to worry about that, then I have no objections whatsoever to the addition of co-op.
  • @ 57 Over at the Bioware forums it did say there would most likely be achievements tied to the co-op mode. Look here: This is why I hate mp getting added to originally single player games. Not really excited about co-op in ME.
  • Honestly though, not happy about it tying into the campaign.
  • I am honestly tied for both sides. On one hand Having Co-op would be kinda cool especially since it will give you extra stuff in campaign. however my biggest fear is that either: A) It could be just tacked on and suck or B)The Co-op would be fine but since they may have taken people off the single player and then that could be bad but hopefully it will be C) They are both awesome and the game will kick but. I'm sure all are hoping for C.
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