Mass Effect allows you to romance Ashely or Kaidan, depending on your Commander Shepard’s gender. There’s no way to romance a same-sex human squadmate so keep that in mind when starting your game and creating your Shepard. 

There are a few key conversations that can lead to a romantic relationship between Commander Shepard and the opposite-sex human squadmate. We will keep details as vague as possible to avoid spoilers so you can see what you need to do to pursue your Shepard’s love interest without spoiling the story.

How to Romance Ashley and Kaidan in Mass Effect

The romance flow between the two characters is pretty much the same outside of some specifics. It’s worth mentioning that you can cause issues with the romance subplot if you’re not careful when speaking with Dr. Liara T’Soni.

This can lead to a confrontation between Shepard, Liara, and Ashley/Kaidan where you’re essentially forced to choose who you’re romantically interested in. 

Ashley or Kaidan (depending on your character’s gender) will interrupt the Prothean Beacon process on Eden Prime and you can start flirting with them as soon as the scene in the Med-Bay is finished. 

There’s an opportunity to flirt with Ashley/Kaidan while looking at a view of the Citadel from the market area. It’s kind of funny and a light moment between the characters but it’s not completely necessary for the romance subplot. 

After you finish the first planet mission you can have a longer conversation with Ashley/Kaidan regarding humans, aliens, and their places in the galaxy. Kaidan talks about how it was being a part of the first group of human biotics. Ashley gets kind of racist so you’re out of luck if you want to romance her while also condemning racism.

You need to stick with Paragon conversation prompts for the most part when speaking with both of them to avoid getting shut out of the romance subplot. Completing the second planet mission brings another longer conversation between Shepard and Ashley/Kaidan.

Kaidan opens up about his experiences in biotic training more. Inquire about being considered special by Kaidan to continue the romance subplot. Ashley talks about her military life and religion. Continue picking Paragon and polite responses to continue the romance subplot. 

The conversations with Ashley/Kaidan after the third mission world are less eventful and it’s easy to advance the romance subplot as long as you keep picking Paragon options and avoid upsetting the characters

This next part contains a spoiler but it’s unavoidable for this guide. We’ll keep it as vague as possible though.

While going through the Virmire mission, you’ll need to choose between saving Ashley or Kaidan. The other character will die and they’re gone forever.

Pick whoever you’re romancing unless you’ve changed your mind and want a weird breakup, I guess. Later when you’re back on the Citadel, the character you’re romancing will talk with Shepard.

Respond with positive and affirming dialogue to keep the romance subplot going. During the next mission while heading toward Ilos, Ashley/Kaidan will approach you in your room. The romance scene will happen as long as you don’t choose Renegade options.

You can romance Ashley/Kaidan again in Mass Effect 3 depending on choices made in Mass Effect 2 but you’re also able to keep your relationship isolated to the first game. People drift apart in space just like they do on Earth.

Related: How to Romance Dr. Liara T’Soni in Mass Effect