Mass Effect 3

About this mod

Project Variety is a major overhaul of Mass Effect 3

Permissions and credits
Version 2.1.1 is out. Check the changelog for details.


Project Variety is a significant overhaul of Mass Effect 3. It is aimed to fix everything that I found annoying and immersion breaking about the game. Everything from the Citadel’s population, to the weapons the Shepard and company uses during the cutscenes, and much much more have been modified. The goal is to make Mass Effect 3 feel more unique than it was before. With the amount of pccs the mod modfies sitting at over 300, it is the biggest DLC mod for Mass Effect 3 in terms of file size. Below is a list of all the changes.


The Citadel has received the most significant change in this mod. In the vanilla game, the Citadel was dominated by humans. It took the combined number of Asari, Turians, and Salarians to equal the amount of humans. This makes no sense seeing as humanity is still the new kid on the block. Other races have been on the station for millenia and it would be more immersive for them to have a bigger population on the Citadel. For example,  species like the Hanar, Elcor, and Volus have had their population drastically increased. Turian Females make an appearance as well and can be seen as C-Sec officers and civilians. The complete set of changes for the Citadel is listed below.

  • Salarians have been added to Docking Bay D24.
  • Salarian C-Sec officers have been added.
  • Salarians in Purgatory no longer wear armor and instead wear civilian clothes.
  • Salarians in the Refugee camp no longer wear armor and instead wear civilian clothes.
  • More Asari have been added to Docking Bay D24.
  • Asari C-Sec officers have been added.
  • Asari no longer wear Alliance uniforms or armor in Purgatory.
  • Asari soldiers now wear their military uniforms instead of armor on the Citadel.
  • Female Turian Civilians have been added.
  • Female Turian C-Sec Officers have been added.
  • Male Turians now wear casual clothes at the hospital.
  • Human soldiers now wear their uniforms instead of armor on the Citadel.
  • Vorcha Refugees have been added.
  • Some human civilians now wear casual clothes instead of armor in places like Purgatory and the hospital.
  • C-Sec now uses the Argus instead of the Avenger across the Citadel.
  • Elcor have been added across multiple floors.
  • Hanar have been added across multiple floors.
  • Krogan have been added across multiple floors. They mostly are in Purgatory or the refugee docks, but diplomats start showing up at the embassy after the genophage is cured.
  • Quarian civilians have been added. Before anyone asks, I know that they were recalled to the flotilla before the war with the geth. The Quarians I added could be interpreted as being exiled or not wanting any part of the war.
  • The embassy has unique photo frames now. Bailey and Udina have different pictures on their desks.
  • The awkward camera animation when Shepard talks to the Ismar Frontier Prototype doctor has been fixed.
  • Shepard can now take the side of the person arguing with the receptionist about President Huerta. Dialogue has been restored to accommodate this.
  • Khalisah Al Jilani has a new outfit. (Optional)
  • The pictures on the wall of the missing are now unique. Picture that were cleary Kirrahe, Thane, and the Turian councilor have been replaced with more unique pictures.
  • The shuttle that the councilors evacuate to during the coup is now a C-Sec shuttle instead of an Alliance one.
  • Purgatory gets a new 20 minute soundtrack instead of a 2 minute one. 7 new songs have been added. These songs play in the same order everytime you enter the Purgatory level. An optional version containing music not from the Mass Effect Trilogy is also included in Project Variety Extras. (This was the soundtrack in pre 2.0 versions of the mod.)
  • The background human doctors, in Huerta, no longer wear SR2 uniforms.
  • The Docking Officer is now a Female Turian working for C-SEC. Dialouge during the docking intro and the coup has been adjusted for this.
  • Samara now wears a casual outfit while on the Citadel (Optional).
  • Ensign Copeland now wears the correct color uniform when you first dock on the Citadel.
  • The soldiers that James wants to buy drinks for and Bilal Osoba's squad now have the correct color uniforms.

Citadel Missions

  • The human bodyguard for Zymandis has been replaced with a drell. Hanar officials are provided Drell bodyguards in accordance with the Compact.
  • Kasumi’s face can now be seen. It is no longer covered by shadows (Optional).
  • The leaders of the Blood pack are now Krogan.

Prologue: Earth

  • The Alliance soldiers at the Vancouver base now wear the correct colored uniforms.

Priority: Mars

  • The dead scientists no longer have SR2 logoed uniforms.
  • The Cerberus Troopers that attacked Liara now use Hornets instead of Mattocks.


  • Cortez now wears armor for all missions. This includes the base game and all DLC.


Menae has received a significant overhaul to immersion.

  • Female Turian soldiers have been added to the level.
  • The turian soldiers now use Phaestons instead of Avengers.
  • The bug where Shepard’s equipped weapon was combined with an Avenger after first talking with General Corinthus has been fixed.
  • General Corinthus now uses a Phaeston instead of a Locust.


Sur'kesh has received a significant enhancement.

  • The STG now uses lore accurate weapons instead of N7 Weapons, Mattocks, and Phalanxes. This primarily means Venom shotguns.
  • No more Eclipse armored Salarians in the base.
  • Wrex no longer magically switches between a Claymore and a Katana.
  • Kirrahe no longer magically switches between a Scorpion and a Mattock
  • Cerberus soldiers will no longer switch between using a Locust in the cutscenes to using a Hornet in combat.
  • A Cerberus Centurion in one of the cutscenes no longer uses a submachine gun but instead uses a Mattock.
  • The Cerberus Soldiers attacked by the Yahg now have Hornets instead of Avengers.

Krogan Arc

The missions during the Krogan arc have received enhancements as well.

  • Turians on Tuchanka now use Phaestons.
  • Krogan on Uttuku now use Claymores instead of Avengers.
  • Grunt no longer has an Eviscerator and instead uses a Claymore in the final cutscene.
  • Grunt now wears a more armored version of his loyalty armor (Optional).
  • Krogan during Priority Tuchanka now use Claymores instead of Eviscerators.

Grissom Academy

The changes to Grissom Academy include fixing bugs, making Jack look like her role as teacher, and more.

  • Cerberus Troopers now use accurate weapons during the cutscenes.
  • Pressly no longer just stands there doing nothing while Jack and Shepard rescue Rodriguez.
  • Jack no longer punches Shepard if he/she decide to destroy the Collector base. She only punches Shepard if she was romanced or if the Collector Base was saved.
  • Jack now wears outfits more appropriate for a teacher. It was ridiculous that she would wear such a revealing outfit in front of teenage students. She now wears a leather jacket on Grissom and on the Normandy if you use Expanded Galaxy Mod. She changes clothes once Shepard meets her at Purgatory and wears armor during the holo call on Earth (Optional).

From Ashes DLC

  • Eden Prime now has unique paintings.
  • The soldiers guarding Javik now wear armor.
  • Javik now has a new casual outfit and wears it during non combat situation (Optional).
  • Javik now uses a shotgun instead of a pistol. This matches his squad selection image.


Gellix has received many changes, primarily aimed at making the scientists look like they are actually in hiding from Cerberus.

  • All Cerberus logos have been removed.
  • The scientists now wear clothing that is not the cerberus uniform. This can range from anything from the scientist outfit to the refugee clothing.
  • Jacob now wears recolored Inferno Armor during the mission (Optional).
  • The Scientists’ shuttles are no longer Cerberus branded.
  • In one of the cutscenes, the Cerberus trooper no longer switches between a Locust and a Hornet
  • Accurate Cerberus units are now present during the the opening cutscene. A Guardian is actually using the shield now. In addition, the troopers are now using Hornets instead of Mattocks.

Ardat Yakshi Monastery

  • Samara now wears armor during the mission. It made no sense why she would go into a potential war zone waring such skimpy clothing. She wears a more appropriate uniform while on the Citadel and during Citadel DLC (Optional).

Rannoch Arc

The Rannoch Arc contains numerous changes as well.

  • The geth heavy weapons are now actually of geth design rather than human designed heavy weapons.
  • The Quarians who crash landed on Rannoch now use weapons unique to the Flotilla like the Arc Pistol.
  • Admiral Gerrel no longer does that weird neck turn when talking with Shepard after the geth dreadnought.
  • Quarians in the Geth Consensus mission now use Quarian weapons instead of Vindicators.


  • Asari solderis now use lore accurate weapons.
  • Shepard no longer gets an email from Kai Leng following the mission. Instead, he gets an email from Asari High Command.
  • The Marauders no longer use Revenants during one of the cutscenes. they use Phasteons like everywhere else.
  • The fight with Kai Leng on Thessia is now skippable (Optional).


Changes on Horizon are primarily focused on the Lawson Sisters

  • Miranda now wears her aap armor during the mission. It made no sense why she would try to go to Horizon in her normal clothing. The textures for the armor are high res. Unlike the other Miranda armor mod, this one skips over the scene with the unchangeable bik file. This means immersion is not broken. Miranda also ties her hair up as women with long hair typically tie their hair before combat situations (Optional).
  • Oriana Lawson’s face has been changed to make her actually look like a twin of Miranda (Optional).
  • Henry Lawson now used a Talon instead of a Paladin.
  • There are no more alliance logos in the facility.

Tertiary Codex

A, new, third codex has been added. It replaces the rather useless manual. The primary purpose of the tertiary codex is to bring in EU and relatively obscure lore into the game. My stance on EU lore is that as long as it does not conflict with in game lore, then it is valid. For that reason, things like the events of Mass Effect: Deception will not be included. Things that do not conflict with lore like the Cerberus Daily News Network have been added.

Immersive Loading Screens

The original gameplay based loading screens have been replaced with loading screens that contain current events and facts about the lore.

The Fate of Decian Chellick

The lore about the Executor in Mass Effect 3 is completely messed up. Fore one thing, in Mass Effect 2, a news report by Emily Wong says that Chellick is executor; not Pallin. There is also cut dialogue that references Chellick as executor that can be heard if you play with Mass Effect 2 recalibrated. Finally, Bailey contradicts himself in his dialogue. In one instance he says that he is unaware why he was promoted to commander. In another, he says it was because he killed Executor Pallin; who should not be Executor anyway according to Mass Effect 2 content. The EU regarding Bailey and Palin follows this dialogue chain which creates even more of an immersion break.  With that being said, this is how Project Variety handles the situation of the Executor.

  • Chellick now has an entry in the Tertiary Codex mentioned above
  • Bailey no longer talks about Pallin in one of his early conversations
  • The human executor during the coup has been replaced with Chellick
  • The secondary codex regarding the coup, that mentions Pallin, has been edited.

Accurate Cutscene Weapons

Anyone who has played Mass Effect 3 knows about the cutscene weapons. Having an Avenger and Predator replace Shepard’s and company’s weapons during the cutscenes is one of the most annoying and immersion breaking part of the game. In Project Variety, this has been fixed for the most part. Shepard and his/her squad will now use accurate weapons during the cutscenes in the base game and the DLC. Bye Bye Avenger and Predator. There are some caveats however. Some cutscenes could not be fixed due to compatibility issues with other mods and because of technical reasons. These are listed here.

  • The confrontation with the Virmire Survivor during the coup
  • Priority Mars
  • Shepard will still use a Predator during some scenes of Rannoch: Geth Fighter Squadrons.
  • I was unable to give the Clone unique weapons in two cutscenes in the final battle of Citadel DLC. This will be fixed once I figured out how.
  • Shepard still uses a predator if he/she decides to shoot Brooks.
  • Nyreen will still use a Phaeston while protecting Aria from the Rampart mechs.

There is another caveat. You must bring a heavy pistol with you for the missions stated in the list below. If you do not, there will be no weapon in Shepard's hand for specific scenes. It does not have to be your primary weapon, it just has to be in your inventory.

  • Priority: Sur'kesh
  • The Citadel Coup
  • The first mission of the Omega DLC
  • The last mission of the Omega DLC
  • Priority: Thessia
  • Priority: Horizon
  • Priority: Cerberus Headquarters

Spectre Weapons

The Harrier, Black Widow, Paladin, and Wraith are now listed as Spectre weapons. Their descriptions have been edited accordingly. The Harrier and Black Widow also have new textures to correspond with their new Spectre affiliation (Optional)

Leviathan DLC

The Leviathan DLC has received multiple changes.

  • The paintings in Bryson’s office are now unique from the rest of the game.
  • Ann Bryson now changes outfits as the storyline progresses (Optional).
  • The two NPCs, besides Ann Bryson, that show up in Shepard’s Leviathan induced Hallucination have been replaced by Anderson and The Illusive Man.

Omega DLC

The Omega DLC has received some changes as well.

  • Aria now wears armor for the duration of the DLC. There is no reason for why she went into a warzone wearing civilian clothing (Optional).
  • The previously unique interupt for Engineers at the Reactor has now been made avaliable for Sentinals and Infiltrators as well. I will not make this interput avaliable for Soldiers, Adepts, or Vanguards because they are not tech specialists.
  • Nyreen now uses a Carinifex instead of a Talon in the scene before she dies. Where would she have gotten a Talon anyway?
  • Aria’s entire army is now armored as well.
  • The infamous buggy Aria speech at Talon headquarters has been fixed.
  • More unique weapons at Aria’s bunker.
  • Accurate cutscene weapons for Cerberus soldiers during the DLC.
  • No more Cerberus logos on the turrets guarding Aria’s bunker.
  • Talon soldiers at their headquarters no longer use N7 weapons.
  • Shepard’s weapons no longer disappear while he is leaving Omega.
  • Shepard's weapons no longer disappear when he is taling with Petrovsky at the reactor core.
  • Cerberus troops trying to kill the Adjutant in the corridor now use the right weapons and the right type of troops are used in the scene( Guardians instead of troopers).
  • The boxes at Talon headquarters no longer have Alliance logos on them.
  • A Talon soldier no longer uses a geth weapon at Talon Headquarters.
  • The vehicles that the Cerberus troopers use to attack the Talon base now use Cerberus colors instead of being Alliance Branded. The troopers in
  • that scene also use Mattocks instead of Avengers.
  • Centurions replace the troopers in the scene where Aria calls Nyreen to ask about her progress.

Aria Speech if you choose to keep her in her vanilla outfit (Ignore her armor).

Aria Speech if you choose to have her in her Armor

Citadel DLC

Citadel DLC has received many changes to increase its uniqueness and fix annoying issues.

  • The apartment now has unique paintings (Optional).
  • The apartment now has unique picture frames. This means that each picture frame has a unique photo (Optional).
  • The apartment now has brand now Statues and shelf decor designed to replace clearly reused assets (Optional).
  • The casino now has unique paintings (Optional).
  • There are now NPCs who wear shorter dresses during the casino infiltration mission (Optional).
  • Female Turians are present on the Silversun Strip
  • Javik no longer brings his guns to the casino infiltration mission.
  • Kasumi now wears a dress and shows her face while she attempts to rob the casino. Her previous outfit was too suspicious (Optional).
  • Kasumi’s henchmen now wear casual clothing instead of armor.
  • Jack gets a new casual outfit, for the duration of the DLC, which is based off of Grissom academy (Optional).
  • Jacob gets a new casual outfit for the duration of the DLC (Optional).
  • Zaeed gets a new casual outfit for the duration of the DLC (Optional).
  • Traynor gets casual outfit for the duration of the DLC (Optional).
  • Joker gets casual outfit for the duration of the DLC (Optional).
  • Cortez gets casual outfit for the duration of the DLC (Optional).
  • Samara gets casual outfit for the duration of the DLC (Optional).
  • Ashley and Brooks no longer wear fugly dresses during the casino mission. They are no longer twinning or matching Shepard as well (Optional).
  • Cortez now wears armor during the beginning of the Archive mission. There is no way he could transition into armor that quickly.
  • Miranda, Jacob, Samara, and Jack wear armor while in the Arena Optional).
  • Wrex now uses an Assault Rifle instead of pistol because what type of Krogan uses a pistol?
  • The salarians in Javik’s meetup no longer wear armor.
  • Quarians have been added to the Silversun Strip
  • The low quality models for squadmates that Shepard did not pick during the Archive mission have been upgraded to have better models and textures. If you have ALOT, some of them will be improved further.
  • Shepard's weapons now appear during the begining of the Archive mission.
  • The smoking dockworker during the first mission no longer wears armor.
  • The CAT-6 soldiers attacking Liara or your LI during the first mission now have the correct weapons.

N7 Missions

  • Corporal Nyrek now had a helmet and wears a different armor than vanilla. He also uses a Phaeston instead of an Avenger.
  • Captain Riley now wears N7 armor and now uses a Valkayrie.
  • You can now find Bilal Osoba's body on Benning. This is to match what Shepard said to Dominic Osoba.
  • You can now loot the Cerberus Ciphers off a dead Engineer. This is to match what Shepard said to the C-SEC officer post mission.

Miscellaneous Changes

  • Shepard and company can now max out all their skills at level 60
  • Press F12 to toggle Flycam
  • Press F1 to toggle freezing the game
  • Press F2 to toggle the HUD.
  • Press NumPad 7 to get more credits
  • Press Numpad 3 to take screenshots. This will ignore reshades such as the Gravis Reshade. Screenshots are stored in Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect 3\BIOGame\Screenshots. Screenshots are in the bmp or bitmap file format.
  • Press NumPad 8 to instantly level up to level 60.
  • Skip the security scan on the Normany. The graphical glitches of this change may annoy some people (Optional).
  • Increase field of view from 70 to 90. Activate by pressing F3. (You have to activate this every time you load up a game.)
  • Miranda's passive class has been renamed to Femme Fatal because she is no longer with Cerberus
  • Jacob's passive class has been remaned to Special Operative becuase he is no longer associated with Cerberus.
  • The codex entry for the Nemisis now says they use a Raptor instead of a Widow.
  • Disable the voice of the Codex narrator (Optional)

Andromeda References

Several references to Mass Effect Andromeda have been scattered through the mod. I will let you discover them for yourself.

Required Files

This mod requires the Leviathan DLC, Omega DLC, Citadel DLC, From Ashes DLC, and the Mass Effect 3: Firefight Pack to unlock all of its features. Lacking any of these DLC will wall off parts of the mod, but it will not break the mod.

As with all DLC mods, this mod also requires WarrantyVoider's DLC Patch files to be installed in Mass Effect 3\Binaries\Win32. Those files are included as optional files.


Installation is simple due to the mod being a DLC mod. Just put DLC_Mod_ProjectVariety  in Mass Effect 3\BIOGame\DLC. I have also included the moddesc.ini for Mod Manager users.

If you use any of the patches, put  DLC_MOD_ProjectVarietyP in Mass Effect 3\BIOGame\DLC after you follow the instructions in the patches folder.

If you want to use any features in Project Variety Extras put  DLC_MOD_ProjectVarietyE in Mass Effect 3\BIOGame\DLC after you follow the instructions.


There are too many people to thank in this section. For convenience's sake, I have put all their names and important links in the Permissions and Credits panel. I owe a sincere debt of gratitude to those artists listed.  Without them, this mod would not have been possible. On person in particular stands out. That person is Mgamerz. Without his work on the ME3explorer fork and ModManger, this mod would have not been possible.

Localization and Translations

As of right now, Project Variety is for English versions of Mass Effect 3 only. Attempting to use it for other localizations will break many aspects of the game. I will not support questions if you decide to do so. If you want to make translations for this mod, you have to jump through a few hoops. One, you have to be competent in English and the language you are translating to. Two, you have to know how to mod the game. Mass Effect 3 modding is complicated and translating does not just mean translating text. You have to modify the pcc LOC files as well. This means, you not only need to know how to install mods, but you also need to know how to use ME3explorer to modify pcc files as well. Finally, if you can do that, you need to contact me and let me know your intent of translating and you need to prove your skill level. This is not an easy task so I recommend that no one do this unless you know how to make mods, not install them.


The compatibility section is in the articles tab. Read it carefully before you ask me any questions. In additon, there is a article that tells you how to manually confirm compatibility between DLC mods.


I realize that some of the changes in Project Variety can be viewed as subjective. For that reason, I have decided to move the most subjective features into a seperate DLC mod called Project Variety Extras. Anything that has (Optional) next to it has been moved to that DLC mod. For a complete list read the Project Variety 2.0: A New Chapter Article.

To Do List

There are still several things that I intend to add or fix in this mod. This may or may not be done.

  • Fix blacked out textures for the cerberus gunships on Gellix
  • Fix the infamous Tali vanishing rock bug
  • Make the cutscenes work with all weapon types
  • Right now, the new Hanar and Elcor are not animated. You can also walk through some of them for some reason I am looking into fixing this
  • Part of a scene that involves Cortez, in Leviathan DLC, is a bik file that could not be changed. Because of this, he will be in his original uniform for a few seconds for that scene.

Project Variety is Exclusive to Nexus Mods