Mass Effect Legendary Edition

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About this mod

Early recruitment of Thane, Samara and Tali. Early access to Illium. Early access to Tuchanka if Wrex is the clan leader.

Permissions and credits
Early Recruitment

This mod allows early recruitment of Thane, Samara and Tali, early access to the Illium Hub and early access to the Tuchanka hub if Wrex is the clan leader. 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. 

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 (this is to prevent bugs on import to ME3).

*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.

Useful Information

  • Thane, Samara and Tali have less dialogue on some pre-Horizon missions. Everything should work but taking two early recruits on missions may result in a quieter experience.
  • 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.
  • Squadmate loyalty conversations in ME2 trigger post-Horizon in a set order. They will interrupt the regular flow of squadmate conversations. For characters traditionally recruited early, such as Jack, Garrus or Grunt, you may trigger a loyalty conversation immediately. After the loyalty mission is resolved, conversations will resume, beginning with whichever one you were due to have next (including the very first conversation). Content and romance opportunities are not lost.


In terms of audio support, this mod is available for the English localisation of the game only at this time. 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.

Using this game with English audio and a different set of subtitles is supported for German, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, French and Japanese. 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 7.0 or higher.
Apply the mod to the game. 
Play the game.

If you have been extensively modding your game since release, particularly if this involves texture mods, I would recommend a clean install in order to avoid any issues. Then install content mods (using Mod Manager or drag-and-drop replacement) followed by textures (using MEM). 

Manual installation is not supported. This mod uses the mod manager's PlotSync feature to edit basegame files. This is not a drag-and-drop process.


This mod may be deleted or disabled safely via ME3Tweaks Mod Manager. Select your LE2 installation, and then choose "Manage Target", you will see the option to disable or delete. It is important to use this method rather than manual deletion because this mod uses the mod manager's PlotSync feature to amend basegame files. If you manually uninstall, your Plot Manager will not be updated and your installation may become broken.


This mod is built on Unofficial LE2 Patch files, and many fixes from that mod are included by default. A few are only included if ULE2P is detected in your installation (this is because of wider dependency issues). Ensure ULE2P is installed first so that the appropriate compatibility option will be automatically selected for you.

This mod is compatible with Trigger Buttons

This mod is compatible with DLC Timings Mod v1.1 and higher. DLC Timings Mod's changes to Lair of the Shadow Broker will take priority. Other Early Recruitment behaviour will be unchanged.

This mod is compatible with ALOV for LE2 - Relay Jump Remaster.

This mod is compatible with Optional Flirting Mod for LE2 provided you use the patch that mod provides.

This mod is compatible with More Gay Romances and with Casual Hubs for LE2 provided you use ME3Tweaks Mod Manager 7.0.6 (build 124) or higher. Earlier versions have a plotsync bug that means they will not work together. 

I am not aware of any other mods with compatibility issues at this time. If a mod shared .pcc files with this one, but is not listed above, it is likely to be incompatible. The list of mods above have all been explicitly tested and created with native compatibility in mind.

Technical Information

See article.

My Other Mods


Credits and Thanks

Media section features No Headgear for Squadmates by ThaliaGraces and Expanded Shepard Armory by Marcus22Khaar.

Thanks to: 
Gabe8 for the banner.
anshelaGabe8JadeBarkerMarcus22Khaar and ThaliaGraces for testing.
Marcus22Khaar and Audemus for working on shared compatibility between mods.
MgamerzSirCxyrtyx, HenBagle and Kinkojiro for development and maintenance of the toolset and mod manager.