Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War is an optional gameplay system in Mass Effect 3 that allows the player to manage Commander Shepard's resources in the galactic war against the Reapers. Galaxy at War directly affects the state of the war effort in single-player, and can determine how the final confrontation of Mass Effect 3 plays out. Access to Galaxy at War requires an Online Pass which is included in new copies of Mass Effect 3 or available for free download.
Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War provides a strategic outline of the state of the galaxy in the midst of the war against the Reapers. A color-coded map displays the player's progress in the conflict. The goal of Galaxy at War is to prepare the galaxy for a counterattack to defeat the Reapers; the level of preparation will determine the outcome of that battle. Using Galaxy at War is optional and the same outcomes can be achieved by playing only the single-player.
Galactic Readiness and War Assets
- Main article: War Assets
Galactic Readiness measures Commander Shepard's influence and ability to utilize the galaxy's resources. The higher the Galactic Readiness level is, the more prepared Shepard's forces will be for the final confrontation against the Reapers. Galactic Readiness can be increased by utilizing Galaxy at War interfaces, listed below.
War Assets are the resources of the galactic war effort. They include armies, fleets, and vital supplies that can improve the chances of Allied forces against the Reapers. Players can acquire different War Assets while playing Mass Effect 3 or Galaxy at War interfaces.
War Assets and Galactic Readiness combine to determine the player's overall Effective Military Strength (EMS) rating. The total number of War Assets obtained by the player represents potential Military Strength. If Galactic Readiness is at 100%, then the player's EMS will be 100% of all available War Assets. If Galactic Readiness is at 50%, the lowest level it can fall to, then the player's EMS will be reduced by 50% as well.
There are multiple ways to interact with Galaxy at War that will affect the Galactic Readiness rating. Aside from cooperative multiplayer, additional interfaces on iOS and Facebook were planned, each with their own "hooks".
- Main article: Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer
Mass Effect 3's cooperative multiplayer mode ties directly into Galaxy at War. Success in co-op rewards players with an increased Galactic Readiness rating. Typically, if a specific map is chosen, 8-9% readiness is added to the galactic region that map is located in, while if "Unknown Location" is chosen, 3-4% readiness is added overall. If a multiplayer mission fails in the second half of the match (after Wave 5), 2% readiness will be rewarded.
Mass Effect: Infiltrator
- Main article: Mass Effect: Infiltrator
Mass Effect: Infiltrator is a third-person shooter for mobile (iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8) devices. Playing the game gives the opportunity to earn bonuses in Mass Effect 3's single-player:
- Cerberus Escapees War Assets which increase the player's overall military strength by a maximum of 120 points :
Note: Due to an unknown bug, it is possible to reach a fourth level of this asset instead of the maximum of three. The War Asset value is then 160 instead of 120. The origin of this bug seems to be multiple and unknown.
- Collect, trade and upload Intel Points to increase the Galactic Readiness rating. Like others similar bonuses, uploaded intels are a temporary bonus because Galactic Readiness will decay over time.
Mass Effect 3: Datapad
- Main article: Mass Effect 3: Datapad
Mass Effect: Datapad was an app for iOS devices that linked to Mass Effect 3. It allowed players to monitor the Galaxy at War system and deploy fleets throughout the galaxy for an increase to the Galactic Readiness rating and receive messages from Mass Effect 3 characters.
On June 6, 2013, Mass Effect: Datapad was removed from the App Store. It was replaced by BioWare's N7 HQ, which assumed most of Datapad's functions, including the Codex and Galaxy at War mini-game.
- Main article: N7 HQ
N7 HQ is a BioWare website that was originally launched to allow Mass Effect 3 players to track their progress and unlocks in the game's multiplayer mode. On June 6, 2013, N7 HQ was modified to include the Codex and Galaxy at War mini-game from the Mass Effect 3: Datapad app.