Mass Effect 2
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About this mod

Allows early recruitment of Thane, Samara and Tali. Thane, Samara and the Illium Hub are available immediately after Freedom's Progress. Tali is available before Horizon.

Permissions and credits
Early Recruitment

This mod allows early recruitment of Thane, Samara and Tali and early access to the Illium Hub. Thane and Samara are available immediately after Freedom's Progress. Tali's recruitment mission will become available after a short delay (as she is completing her mission for the Migrant Fleet), but before Horizon. 

(This mod is also available for Legendary Edition.)

Main Features

  • Illium will be available after Freedom's Progress.
  • Tuchanka will be available after Freedom's Progress provided Wrex is the clan leader. Small amendments to dialogue for immersion and to clarify that recruiting Wrex is the purpose of Shepard's visit (see Media tab).
  • Thane and Samara's recruitment missions will unlock after Freedom's Progress. 
  • Tali's recruitment mission will unlock after completing 2 recruitment/loyalty missions*.
  • Horizon will trigger after 4 recruitment/loyalty* missions if Mordin has been recruited. Horizon will not trigger until Mordin is recruited. 
  • Any combination of squadmates may be taken to Horizon. Taking Thane and Samara together will result in very little ambient dialogue, but new lines have been implemented to ensure all cut scenes function and the level does not softlock. (See Media tab).
  • The Shadow Broker DLC will trigger after Horizon. The Illusive Man will send an email with intelligence for Liara. After reading this, the quest will become available.
  • The Collector Ship will trigger (1) five missions after Horizon if (2) there are at least 8 recruited squadmates and (3) Garrus and Jack are among them. You must recruit Garrus and Jack before this mission will trigger (if you complete the game without them, it will cause issues with an imported ME3 game.)

*As in vanilla, loyalty missions for regular squadmates will not trigger until after Horizon. However, Zaeed and Kasumi do not have recruitment missions and - again as in vanilla - their loyalty missions are available immediately. These loyalty missions count towards unlock requirements for Tali's recruitment and Horizon.

Minor Fixes

A few minor bugfixes were included in files that the mod needed to include as part of its major features. They are as follows: 

  • The Illium landing video will now play each time you arrive, in keeping with the other hubs. 
  • Streamlined the dialogue wheel options during the post-Observer quest conversation with Liara. This should make it more difficult to accidentally (and irrevocably) exit the line of investigative questioning about her anger at the Shadow Broker. 
  • Fixed the transmission tower cut scene on Horizon where EDI switches from her regular voice to her radio voice within the same shot.

Known Issues and Tips

  • Thane, Samara and Tali have a reasonable amount of content during the early recruitment missions, however there are places where this is missing. Taking two early recruits together should be fully functional in any level, but may result in less audio content in some sections
  • Thane and Samara have no dialogue on Horizon. Lines have been borrowed from other parts of the game to ensure cut scenes are functional and the game will not softlock, but ambient dialogue is limited to standard combat barks. (Interestingly, Tali is fully voiced and will even speak to the Virmire Survivor briefly.)
  • New dialogue implemented to allow the dead husk cut scene to function when taking out Thane and Samara (or certain other squad combinations), plays through the right audio channel rather than the central channel. This cannot currently be fixed. This only affects lines from Thane or Samara during the dead husk cut scene.
  • Early Recruitment 1.0 (now deprecated) is not compatible with Mod Manager 7.0 and will break due to the new plotsync feature. If you have an in-progress game using 1.0 and have updated to Mod Manager 7.0, you will need to apply the hotfix in the files section or the mod will not work correctly. This can be done safely after ALOT and texture installation. This can be done at any point during a playthrough. Early Recruitment 1.1 is fully compatible with Mod Manager 7.0.


Audio support available for the English localisation of the game only, as several features and bugfixes require complex edits to localised files. I do not have access to the files for other localisations. Using this mod with other localisations will mean you are unable to recruit either Thane or Samara early as Liara will not offer you the option to ask for their whereabouts prior to Horizon. If you do somehow manage to recruit them and then take them both to Horizon, you will softlock your game.

You can use this mod with English audio and local subtitles. Subtitle support is provided for German, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, French and Japanese subtitles. This should be feature complete but has not been robustly tested. If you come across any bugs, missed text strings, etc., please let me know

With thanks to the following for their translation work: 

German - Herobrine24
Spanish - WarDrake
Italian - Krozt
French - Zagarah
Polish - TreoPL
Russian - RielDeley and Staminer
Japanese - Pikashi


Download the .7z file. 
Import the .7z file into ME3Tweaks Mod Manager higher.
Apply the mod to the game. 
Play the game.


This mod is not compatible with ME2Recalibrated. 

This mod is not compatible with Mass Effect 2 Ultrawide.

This mod is not compatible with Playstation Icons.

This mod is compatible with Risky Suicide Mission and early recruits taken to Horizon will receive the appropriate readiness bonus during the suicide mission.

Version 1.1+ of this mod is compatible with Project Variety for ME2 (version 0.2+) with the patches that mod provides. 

This mod should be compatible with all other major mods for ME2.


This mod must edit a single basegame file in addition to installation of the DLC folder. This is the PlotManager.pcc file.

If you are using ME3Tweaks Mod Manager 7.0+ then you can choose "Manage Installation" and disable or delete Early Recruitment. Mod Manager will handle the uninstallation and restore your Plot Manager file to a vanilla state. 

If you are using an older version of Mod Manager, or have installed the mod manually (please note this is not a method of installation for which I will offer technical support), then this mod can be effectively uninstalled by deleting the DLC_MOD_RECRUIT folder, or by moving it to another location if you wish to disable it temporarily. The expected filepath is Mass Effect 2/BioGame/DLC/DLC_MOD_RECRUIT.

Doing this will leave you with an amended PlotManager.pcc file, however without the rest of the mod, it will replicate vanilla behaviour.

Technical Information

Mount: 600
Conditionals: 4181 - 4186
State Transitions: 8700 -  8705
Bools: 8750 - 8752
Integers: 1200 - 1201

Featured Mods

Other mods featured in the clips in the media section include: 

Femshep Appearance Consistency Project
Expanded Shepard Armory
No Headgear for DLC Armors
A Lot Of Textures for ME2 (ALOT)
Mass Effect Updated/Improved Textures Mod for Mass Effect 2 (MEUITM2)
Synix Beautification Project
Hairy Sheploo for ME2
Armored Justicar

Credits and Thanks

anshela, Gabe8, JadeBarker, Marcus22Khaar and ThaliaGraces for testing.
Mgamerz, SirCxyrtyx and Kinkojiro for development and maintenance of the toolset and mod manager.