Mass Effect 2 Transfer File in Mass Effect 3 is used to continue the story from the previous games with all the decisions made and their consequences. There are different methods of Transferring the Save File for the different platforms.
Mass Effect 3 Transfer File Information
You can import saves from Mass Effect 2 to Mass Effect 3. If a Mass Effect or Mass Effect: Genesis was previously imported to Mass Effect 2, all the plot decisions involving those saves will also transfer to Mass Effect 3.
When importing a character from a Mass Effect 2's save, that character will be exactly as it was left off in the previous game. A level 30 character imported into Mass Effect 3, will retain its level and abilities. Credits that an imported character had in Mass Effect 2, will be reset.
Powers & Classes
When importing your Commander Shepard from Mass Effect 2 and choose the same Class that your character had in the prequel, Shepard will retain an approximation of the Powers in Mass Effect 2 and most Ability points will already be spent on certain Class Powers. If you decide to change Classes while importing, all ability points will be reset.
Only the primary ship upgrades for the Normandy will transfer to Mass Effect 3. These upgrades are: Heavy Ship Armor, Multicore Shields and Thannix Cannon. Other upgrades will not transfer.
In the case of Model Ships, you will find them hidden in storage crates throughout the Normandy and initial Missions. You will find the space hamsters in the bottom level of Engineering, if you purchased it in ME2. To grab it, you have to position yourself along its path. This will lead to Shepard grabbing it to bring it back to its cage.
All extra mineral resources gathered in Mass Effect 2 will be converted to War Assets, depending on the amount.
Major Plot Decision
- Rescuing either Ashley Williams or Kaidan Alenko during Virmire. Whoever survives, is promoted to a Spectre and can be recruited in Mass Effect 3
- If Urdnot Wrex survived or not during the Virmire: Wrex and the Genophage confrontation. If the Krogan is killed, his brother, Urdnot Wreav takes his place as the leader of the clan. Wreav is a much more traditional Krogan and will act as one would expect of one of his kin. He will also be less trusting of Commander Shepard. If Wrex survives, he revolutionizes the Krogan in order to save his brethren, opening diplomatic communications with other clans and taking a more active role in the fate of his Race.
- Saving or dooming the Council during the final battle. If the Council was saved, the Alliance's fleets will be of diminished value as War Assets, due to the damage they took in the battle. However, the Destiny Ascension will become a War Asset as well, even being present during the final battle on Earth.
If you let the Council die, the exact opposite situation will play out. There will also be new Alien Council members to interact with.
If the Salarian Councilor is saved from Kai Leng, you receive a different War Asset depending on whether it's the old salarian councilor or a new one.
Mass Effect 2
- The outcome of the Suicide Mission, the final mission of the game. If Garrus Vakarian and Tali survived the suicide mission, they are available as recruitable Companions.
- If Grunt, Jack, Jacob Taylor, Kasumi Goto, Legion, Morinth, Mordin, Miranda Lawson, Samara, Thane Krios, and Zaeed Massani survived, they appear in some capacity. Some may be killed over the course of these appearances if their loyalty missions were not completed.
- If Legion was sold to Cerberus, it will be an Enemy when you assault the Cerberus Base.
- If Kelly Chambers, Kenneth Donnelly, Gabriella Daniels and Dr. Karin Chakwas survived, they will appear again. The latter three can become crew members. Kelly, will only make an appearance if she survived the suicide mission and Commander Shepard had dinner with her.
- Saving or destroying the genophage research data during Mordin: Old Blood, will have consequences for Eve.
- Rewriting or destroying the heretic Geth collective during Legion: A House Divided. If the heretics are rewritten, the Geth will provide more Military Strength, but will cause the Quarian War Assets to be diminished. If the heretics are destroyed, the Quarians won't suffer many losses, thus providing more Military Strength. However, this will cause the Geth forces to be weakened.
- Decided to kill or save Samara during Samara: The Ardat-Yakshi. If Samara was saved, Morinth will not appear due to her death. Samara can become a War Asset. If Morinth was saved, she will contact you on your private terminal. You will meet her on Earth as an enemy.
- The fate of the Collector Base at the end of Mass Effect 2. If the base was destroyed, after the attack on the Cerberus Base in Mass Effect 3, Commander Shepard will obtain the Reaper Heart War Asset. If the player did not obtain enough Military Strength to receive multiple options at the end of the game, they will be forced to pick the Destroy choice.
If the base was preserved, after the assault on the Cerberus base, you will obtain the Reaper Brain War Asset instead. If the player did not obtain enough Military Strength to receive multiple options at the end of the game, they will be forced to pick the Control choice.
Minor Plot Decisions
- Deciding between saving the hostages or killing Balak during Bring Down the Sky. If Balak was left alive, he appears during the Citadel: Batarian Codes Mission.
- Punching Khalisah al-Jilani or not.
- If you shut down the Rogue VI on Luna, the dialogue during Priority: Cerberus Headquarters will change.
- The fate of Captain Kirrahe on Virmire. If he survives, he will be a War Asset. If Thane Krios, survive the Mass Effect 2 suicide mission, Kirrahe will sacrifice himself to save the salarian Council member on the Citadel. If both of them are dead, the Salarian Council member will be inevitably killed.
- If you saved the Zhu's Hope's colonists, they will become War Assets.
- The nomination of either Donnel Udina or David Anderson to the Council.
Mass Effect 2
- Decide to either reinstate or not as a Spectre during Citadel: The Council.
- Importing a save from Mass Effect 2 with live Prejek Paddlefish, keeping them alive through an entire Mass Effect 3 playthrough AND a Mass Effect 3 New Game+ playthrough will give a special upgrade at the Intel Terminal on the Normandy. The Prejek Paddlefish upgrade grants a 10% bonus to either Weapon Damage or Power Damage.
- Preventing or allowing Tali to be exiled during Tali: Treason. If she was exiled, the peace between her Race and the Geth will be harder to achieve.
Keep or destroy Keiji's graybox during Kasumi: Stealing Memory.
- Completing Lair of the Shadow Broker or not. If it was completed, you will receive an upgrade at the intel Terminal at the beginning of the game, and in the first conversation with Liara T'Soni the dialogue will be different.
- If the player completed the Overlord or Firewalker DLC, there will be a debate between James Vega and Steve Cortez about the Mako and the M44 Hammerhead.
- If you resolved Conrad Verner's mission on Illiumm, he will appear during Citadel: Medi-Gel Sabotage.
- Deciding to continue or to end Project Overlord. The outcome of the DLC affects the dialogue with Dr Archer if he is encountered during Arrae: Ex-Cerberus Scientists. David Archer maybe encountered during Grissom Academy: Emergency Evacuation.
- Punching Khalisah al-Jilani or not.
- Completing the Arrival DLC or not. If completed, many characters will mention it. If it wasn't completed, the Alliance 103rd Marine Division War Asset, will suffer a 50 penalization in military strength.
Importing Mass Effect 3
You can also import your Mass Effect 3 character to a new Mass Effect 3 game. By doing so, you will import the character with their level, Class, Powers and reputation as they were at the end of the previous playthrough. You will have the chance to change the appearance and select a new bonus power, Class, however, cannot be changed.
All ability points assigned to the bonus Power during the previous playthrough, except for one, will be refunded.
Weapons, Armor Sets and Armor Pieces, Weapons Mods and Credits gathered throughout the previous playthrough will be retained. The maximum level for Weapons upgrades is increased from V to X. On the other hand, War Assets and Intel Terminal upgrades will not be imported and must be acquired once again.