When Does Mass Effect Andromeda Take Place? -Answered

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Mass Effect Andromeda Key Art
Image via BioWare.

Mass Effect Andromeda’s plot takes place completely separately from the three mainline games, so its time period can be quite confusing. Here’s when Mass Effect Andromeda takes place.

What Time Does Mass Effect Andromeda Take Place in?

While it doesn’t entirely seem like it, the events of Mass Effect Andromeda take place in 2819, approximately 700 years after the events of the mainline games. This is because the journey from the Milky Way Galaxy to the Andromeda Galaxy is colossal, and the Arks can’t easily use the Mass Relays to jump from one to the next. While the first three Mass Effect games had the Normandy jumping from planet to planet like your neighbor next door, the Mass Relays only covered the Milky Way Galaxy. The jump from there to Andromeda is still huge. It doesn’t help that the Arks are huge, so speed isn’t their strong suit.

Spoiler Warning:

The following will contain spoilers for information revealed during the events of Mass Effect Andromeda. It isn’t vital to the main plot, but if you want to find this out yourself, this is your time to walk away.

In the timeline, the Arks leave their home planets and begin making their way to the Andromeda Galaxy during the events of Mass Effect 2. While the public believed this was due to wanting to explore Andromeda’s resource potential and eventually set up a proper pathway between the two galaxies, there was a deeper purpose: saving Milky Way’s civilizations.

During the events of 2183, two years before the Ark would launch, Saren and his group of Geth launched the attack on the Citadel with the power of a Reaper. While it failed, it was proof to a “benefactor” of the Andromeda Initiative that the threat of the Reapers was real. As such, their goal was to get the Arks out as fast as possible. Thus, two years later, the Arks were deployed. The fate of the Milky Way Galaxy is left ambiguous during the events of the game, with the Arks unable to make contact.

If you’re looking for more details about what to expect from the next installment, check out our piece on last year’s N7 Day reveal.

About the Author

Shawn Robinson

Shawn is a freelance gaming journalist who's been with Prima Games for a year, writing mainly about FPS games and RPGs. He even brings several years of experience at other sites like The Nerd Stash to the table. While he doesn't bring a fancy degree to the table, he brings immense attention to detail with his guides, reviews, and news, leveraging his decade and a half of gaming knowledge. If he isn't writing about games, he's likely getting zero kills in his favorite FPS or yelling at the game when it was 100% his fault that he died.