Best Order to Play Mass Effect 3’s DLC

The best way to experience all of the DLC for Mass Effect 3.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition includes almost all of the content from the series, outside of a rather forgettable downloadable mission from the first game and Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer, which BioWare has said could still happen if the demand is big enough

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Even if we don’t see any other updates to the Mass Effect universe until the new game, there is still an abundance of content to be enjoyed within the single-player story mode. It was a little easier to keep track of what was new and extra content in the original game in 2012 since it all had to be downloaded separately.

The Legendary Edition is the best way to play the Mass Effect series but it can feel a little overwhelming since everything is already in the game. Some parts feel extra and add to the experience and others feel like they should have been included in the base game from the start.

This guide will help you smoothly sequence the missions that were originally DLC so the game feels and operates best from both a gameplay and role-playing perspective. 

Best Order to Play Mass Effect 3’s DLC

From Ashes 

I would recommend playing this as soon as the game gives you full control and lets you choose destinations and missions. This was day-one DLC, which was incredibly controversial at the time.

Most people misunderstood day-one DLC and thought it was held back for release, instead of being developed months before the game’s release and finished right before launch. Regardless, this should have been a free update at the time.

It doesn’t feel extra and feels essential for the game’s story and structure. You can start this mission by going to Eden Prime, where you’ll fight off a Cerberus assault and learn more about the protheans and their demise. This mission gives you a prothean squadmate named Javik.

He’s the last living Prothean and so there’s some really neat story bits that come as a result of having him on your squad even after this mission is finished. Javik was suspended in stasis for 50,000 years and so he’s completely removed from the politics and disagreements of the present day.

He offers a neutral perspective that adds to conversations. You won’t always agree with him but he’s good to have on the team. It’s wild that BioWare and EA thought using the last living prothean as an optional $10 DLC was acceptable from a storytelling perspective. 

Start this one as soon as possible for a quick and fun mission on Eden Prime that brings you more story, a powerful squadmate, and a new weapon. 


Leviathan can be started as soon as Priority: Palaven is finished but I’d recommend waiting until after you finish the story section on Thessia.

Leviathan expands on story details that are brought up on the asari homeworld and Shepard comments on some information you learn on Thessia like it’s new information, which doesn’t work as well if you’ve already completed the Leviathan content. 

You can start it by visiting Dr. Bryson’s lab on the Citadel. There are several smaller parts in Leviathan’s main mission and they don’t all have to be completed at once. I think the story flows best if it’s tackled all at once but that’s your decision to make.

The detective work and combat encounters build up to some interesting lore that ties into the larger plot while also revealing much more about the reapers. 

Omega: Aria T’Loak

It’s best to play Omega: Aria T’Loak after completing Citadel II. It fits really nicely into the narrative and the main plot slows down a tad, making it a great time to help Aria. This mission is pretty fun and involves working with Aria to take back Omega, which was stolen from her shortly before the game’s main story starts.

It ends up being really difficult but it’s a fun mission that lets you team up with Aria and gives you some good rewards. In addition to credits you find in the levels, you also get 15,000 credits and new weapons and abilities upon completion.

You can start this mission by meeting Aria at Dock 42 on the Citadel. This is when she will bring up her plan to take back Omega. 


Mass Effect 3: Citadel was the last paid downloadable content pack released for the 360/PS3 version of Mass Effect 3 and it was a really great sendoff for the game. It provides you with extra equipment, credits, and more (like all of the extra packs released) but it also gives you lots of fun moments with squadmates from the first two games.

It’s really nice and it makes the stressful and thrilling final act of the game easier to enjoy. Shepard gets some time and special moments with their friends during a time of war and conflict. Play Citadel after finishing Priority: Horizon. More characters can be present and it’s the best place in the story to enjoy the time with squadmates.

Some players like starting it after the main story is finished, but there are continuity issues regardless of the ending you get. It’s an incredible mission pack with bonuses for your stats and your soul that’s best experienced right after Priority: Horizon. 

Related: Best Order to Play Mass Effect 2’s DLC


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