It’s been nearly ten years since the original release of Mass Effect 3 and even longer since the first two games in the trilogy came out. As a result you may find yourself wondering which order you’re supposed to play the DLC. In this guide, we’ll run down each of the pieces of downloadable content, highlight what they add to the game, and explain whether or not the order in which you play them in matters.
If you’d just prefer to play Mass Effect 2’s DLC in the order it came out, just follow the list below! We have not included weapons and armor packs because they’re given to you regardless and have no content which affects the order in which you experience things.
Normandy Crash Site
This short piece of content released alongside Mass Effect 2 and was available for free as part of the Cerberus Network which was included for free in all new copies of the game. It was also available as a free download from the respective online services at the time. In it, you explore the crash site of the SSV Normandy. It’s one small location with a cabin item as a reward and shouldn’t take you longer than 30 minutes to complete. This is one you can play whenever.
Zaeed – The Price of Revenge
Despite adding a new character to your party, Zaeed, this is actually one of the shorter pieces of downloadable content. Included is two missions, one new location, and a new weapon. We always recommend completing anything that gives you new characters as soon as possible as it gives you more time to actually have them in your party and weigh in on everything going on.
The Price of Revenge released just a few days after the launch of Mass Effect 2 and was another free addition.
The last of the free DLC, the Firewalker Pack brought back vehicular exploration and combat to Mass Effect 2. Replacing the Mako is the Hammerhead hover tank. In this pack you’ll explore seven locations for five different assignments. Aside from extra lore and time spent in the universe, you’ll walk away with another item for your cabin. Nothing huge here, play it when you want.
Kasumi – Stolen Memory
Boy these are a throwback. If you were on PlayStation 3, this was free content as the Sony platform didn’t get the title until a full year later. If you were on Xbox 360 or Windows, it cost $7. Either way, you gain access to another squad member, Kasumi Goto, two new missions, a new location, one new weapon, and a casual outfit for Shepard. Like we said before, play this one as soon as possible.
Setting aside new characters, now we get into the meat and potatoes of Mass Effect story content. Overlord was once again $7 and comes with four new assignments, a new location, an upgrade for Shepard’s armor, and the Hammerhead if you don’t already have the Firewalker Pack. Obviously that won’t be a factor here. In it, you visit a Cerberus research base and figure out exactly why it’s gone silent. Honestly, it’s one of the most haunting pieces of DLC ever released for the trilogy. There’s no right or wrong time to play this one. It’s good middle of the game content.
Lair of the Shadow Broker
Now we get into the post-Mass Effect 2 story releases. This is one pack which is best completed after you’ve finished the suicide mission. There’s only one quest, one new location, a handful of weapon upgrades, a bonus power, and two new cabin items. It doesn’t sound like much but it’s an incredibly important bit of story, particularly for Liara’s character development. It’s also yet another gorgeous environment.
And finally there’s Arrival, the DLC which is meant to set up the events of Mass Effect 3. Again, this should be played after you complete the story. There’s just one quest here in one location and a reward of three new upgrades for Shepard. Again, it’s the story which is important here. Finish this one just before you dive into Mass Effect 3.