What Happened to the Mass Relays in Mass Effect: Andromeda?
Spoilers for Mass Effect 3’s ending below.
Mass Relays are giant devices that allow ships to instantaneously travel around space, hopping through time and space to another relay in the network. They’re the crowning achievement of the now extinct Prothean race, and drastically cut down on space travel time, even if a starship has an FTL drive. The devices, however, don’t play much of a role in Mass Effect: Andromeda, and there’s a reason for that.
Andromeda takes place 600 years after Mass Effect 3, focusing on the Ark and a group sent to the Andromeda galaxy to find a new home for humanity. What ends up happening to the Mass Relays could change depending on the ending you chose for Mass Effect 3, although it won’t really play into Andromeda at all.
At the end of Mass Effect 3, during the battle for Earth, it’s possible for a super weapon called the Crucible to be used. Shepard interacts with the Catalyst, a strange AI that looks like a young boy and controls the Reapers. Here Shepard is given a choice; destroy the Reapers, control them, merge organic and synthetic life, or refuse altogether. The first three options all have different ramifications, but each ending sees the Mass Relays suffer extensive damage. The energy needed to power the Crucible is sent through the Relays, overloading their element zero cores. Additionally, if Shepard didn’t gather enough forces before the final battle, the Relays suffer even more extensive damage. If the refusal ending is chosen, the Reapers will subsequently destroy the entire galaxy.
It’s suggested that after whichever ending you choose, besides refusal, the survivors of the events eventually rebuild the Mass Relays. Since Andromeda takes place in an entirely different galaxy, the destruction of the Relays won’t even be felt. In fact, the Ark and its passengers left between Mass Effect 2 and 3, meaning they have no knowledge of the Reaper war that took place in Mass Effect 3. It remains to be seen how Andromeda further, if at all, connects to the previous trilogy.
For more guides, help, and tips on Mass Effect Andromeda make sure to check back with Twinfinite, or take a look at our wiki.