This Upgrade Guide lists the locations and prices for all equipment and power upgrades available in Mass Effect 2. Upgrades are listed by their locations and equipment type or biotic/tech, with purchase prices given as before possible discounts where applicable. When starting a new play-through with a Shepard that beat the game, your upgrades from that previous file won't carry over.
The amount of credits available from a normal play-through covering all missions, assignments and current DLC is 1,280,251 with a theoretical maximum of 1,347,951 if avoiding the use of medi-gel and heavy weapons and choosing Renegade options for credits. Acquiring all upgrades no longer requires importing a level 60 (+50,000) character with the "Rich" achievement (+100,000) or starting with the completion bonus (+200,000) from Mass Effect 2 as long as all the DLC is installed, otherwise these import standards are necessary.
Note that research costs depend on the number of upgrades researched so far. So the cost for the first Heavy Pistol Damage upgrade will always be 2,500 Palladium, regardless of where it is acquired, followed by 5,000 and 7,500 for the next two tiers. Acquiring an upgrade from a store does not change the cost of the research upgrades. You can also get up to 25% discount on all research projects by being an Engineer, furthermore after completing the game with a single character all subsequent playthroughs will be granted +50,000 of each resource for free.
Total resources needed to research/buy all useful upgrades:
195,500 palladium (237,500 for all upgrades from DLC)
275,000 platinum (305,000 for all upgrades from DLC)
200,000 iridium (242,500 for all upgrades from DLC)
31,000 element zero (35,000 for all upgrades from DLC; +5,000 for each Advanced Training and +2,500 for each Retrain Powers)
1,253,416 credits (including discounts, this includes all maps, and items which either lead to more credits or which lead to other upgrades)
Arrival (assignment): Heavy Weapon Ammo – After exploding the gas line on Aratoht, a path will be blocked by two sets of flames. Use the nearby valves to disperse the wall and access a room. In the back behind the shelf.
Arrival (assignment): Medi-Gel Capacity – In the hangar area with the crane on Aratoht. The crane must be manipulated to move a large box revealing a PDA with the upgrade.
Sniper Rifle Damage – After your first encounter with husks on the bridge, before you fight the first Scion. It is next to some power cells, some platinum and a terminal.
Heavy Skin Weave – In a hacked computer near the altar after fighting your first Scion of the level.
Shotgun Damage – In the middle of a bunch of Scion and Husk fights after the first cutscene featuring Legion, in the lower floor right at the side of power cells and just under a medikit. (Easily Missed)
Heavy Pistol Damage – At the bottom of a stairwell leading up to the raised walkway (about half way along), next to the body of a quarian marine at the site of the first fight with the geth. (Easily Missed)
Weapon: M-9 Tempest– On a dead body just before the collapsed pillar area (be sure to pick it up before using the radio)
Assault Rifle Damage – In the room blocked by the collapsed pillar.
Weapon: Geth Pulse Rifle – After the Colossus fight, in the room Tali is in (only on Hardcore or Insanity difficulty).
Heavy Skin Weave – On a dead Collector, just after first seeing husks. You must do this before examining the dead husk. If you examined the husk first, you won't be able to go back to the dead Collector.
Biotic Damage – On a dead Collector when you first meet a Scion, after finding Delan. You can find the dead Collector right behind the building where the Scion emerges, up a short flight of stairs and to the right. Do not by-pass the door or you will miss it. (Easily Missed)
Retrain Powers – Automatically acquired after completing this mission.
Weapon: Collector Particle Beam – The weapon is awarded automatically at the end of the mission, if it is not picked up at the two possible pickup locations.
Tali: Treason: Geth Shield Strength – On a hackable monitor just down the hall after the first combat room on the Alarei. It's in a small room by itself.
Tali: Treason: Tech Damage – Awarded after trial if Tali is found innocent (either through Charm/Intimidate or "Rallying the Crowd") or by handing over evidence (and losing Tali's loyalty permanently).
Zaeed: The Price of Revenge: Heavy Weapon Ammo/Assault Rifle Damage – On the Paragon path you can find a Heavy Weapons Ammo upgrade, in the room with the fire extinguisher systems, whereas on the Renegade path, you can find an Assault Rifles damage bonus, accessed from a terminal next to a servo with credits.
Prices shown are before the paragon/renegade discount and before the engineer research discount.
Note: The mineral cost for each upgrade type follows a fixed price progression. For example, the first Sniper Rifle upgrade you research costs 2,500 Platinum, the second 5,000, the third 7,500 and the fourth 10,000, regardless of where they were acquired.
Upgrades bought in stores are instantly active and do not need to be researched; they are not included in the price progression.
Horizon Mission – The weapon is awarded automatically at the end of the mission, if it is not picked up at the two possible pickup locations.
Note: After completing N7: Blood Pack Communications Relay a Heavy Weapon Ammo upgrade may appear in the debriefing screen. The upgrade appears to be unusable, however; it cannot be researched. The only solution is reload an early save and play the mission again.
This is a list of how many credits are attainable and what missions they are on. Credits that are optional are listed separately from the totals. Power cells and med kits are listed because you can get 100 credits from each of them if you are full, but they are not included in the totals.
These numbers show that if you maximize your credits (and have all the appropriate DLC) you will still fall a few thousand short of purchasing all upgrades, not including trinkets. That's also not taking into account the several thousand you will probably need to spend on probes and fuel. So starting bonuses from prior playthroughs are necessary to get all upgrades.
If the Normandy SR-2 possesses the Extended Fuel Cells or Modular Probe Bay upgrades after you complete the game, and the ship currently holds 1500/1500 fuel and 60/60 probes import this Mass Effect 2 save into a new game. The Normandy SR-2 will possess 1500/1000 fuel and 60/30 probes following the Freedom's Progress Mission. However the probes may revert to 30/30 once a single probe has been fired (only giving you one free probe), the extra 500 fuel will still be burnt off before your actual reserves are drained regardless.
It is sometimes possible to bypass a safe, datapad, or container more than once (doesn't work 100% of the time without tedious reloads), doubling or even tripling the credits received from that particular object. Rapidly press A (Green) on the Xbox 360 or Use (Spacebar) on the PC after the minigame screens flash green to accomplish this (upon finishing the final circuit, or final line of hack code).
Acquiring Urz and betting on him in the pit battles at Tuchanka (save before each match) can also provide an unlimited stream of credits due to his high win probability, although this method is tedious at best.