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. Early recruits are voiced and will comment during most missions. See below for further details.

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.

Minor Fixes

A few minor bugfixes were included in files that the mod needed to include as part of its major features. They are as follows:

  • The Illium landing video will now play each time you arrive, in keeping with the other hubs.
  • Streamlined the dialogue wheel options during the post-Observer quest conversation with Liara. This should make it more difficult to accidentally (and irrevocably) exit the line of investigative questioning about her anger at the Shadow Broker.
  • Fixed the transmission tower cut scene on Horizon to fix an inconsistency with changes between EDI's regular and radio voices and location shots.
  • Fixed broken lighting on Kaidan during the final scene on 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 localisation and a different set of subtitles is supported for German, Spanish, Italian, Polish and French. 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.

Using this mod with Japanese or Russian subtitles will result in one dialogue wheel option and one journal update being displayed in English, but should still function. If you are able to provide translations into these languages and would be interested in helping, please contact me!

With thanks to the following for their translation work:

German - Herobrine24
Spanish - WarDrake
Italian - Krozt
Polish - TreoPL
French - Zagarah
Polish - TreoPL
Russian - RielDeley and Staminer
Japanese - Pikashi


Installing this mod requires the use of ME3Tweaks Mod Manager 7.0 or higher. This mod uses the mod manager's PlotSync feature to edit basegame files. This is not a drag-and-drop process.

Download the .7z file.
Import the .7z file into ME3Tweaks Mod Manager (M3).
Apply the mod to the game.
Play the game.


This mod may be deleted or disabled safely via M3. 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 compatible with Trigger Buttons.

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

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

I am not aware of any mods which are incompatible with this mod 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.

Credits and Thanks

Media section features No Headgear for Squadmates by ThaliaGraces and Expanded Shepard Armory by Marcus22Khaar. These mods are available from NexusMods.

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

Please consider joining the Mass Effect Modding Community discord: Discord.gg

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RSS Articles

Mount: 8888
Conditionals: 4181 - 4187
State Transitions: 8700 - 8705
Bools: 8750 - 8752
Integers: 1200 - 1201

Amended vanilla conditionals: 161, 361, 362, 737, 738, 739, 1149, 1152, 1155, 1533, 2026.

BioD_Nor_103CIC.pcc is a file shared between Early Recruitment and Trigger Buttons with sequences pertaining to both. These sequences are gated by in-memory bools for their respective mods (held in BioGame.ini). If you are patching this file, you can use the BioD_Nor_103CIC.pcc file this mod ships and make your changes directly. It can be shipped as part of your main mod. The file will behave as a vanilla file unless Early Recruitment or Trigger Buttons are also installed. You do not need to do anything except use this file as a baseline instead of the vanilla file, and to mount higher than Early Recruitment.

BioD_Nor_103aGalaxyMap.pcc also makes use of Early Recruitment's in-memory bool to check whether it is installed. However, the galaxy map makes use of custom conditionals in order to adapt to Early Recruitment's presence. If you wish to achieve patchless compatibility with Early Recruitment, you may edit this BioD_Nor_103aGalaxyMap.pcc file, but you will also need to include conditionals 4180, 4181, 4183, 4184, 4185 and 4187 in your mod's Startup file. Please contact me if you need assistance creating a Startup file or adding these conditionals to that file. If you do this, you can again ship an edited version of this galaxy map in your main mod and it will natively adapt to Early Recruitment's presence. Systems will unlock at vanilla times if Early Recruitment is not installed, and earlier if it is.

This is a complex mod, and overriding certain files via mounting above can potentially break it in ways that will softlock the game for end users. I have tried to make the files which are absolutely critical to this easily patchable (see above). Traditional patching will also work with these files (and would not require any edits to your startup file in the case of the galaxy map).

If you are not going to provide a comprehensive set of patches, and your mod makes use of any files in common with Early Recruitment, please try to contact me before mounting above Early Recruitment so we can discuss the implications. It may well make sense to mount your mod higher than this one. But if you aren't going to patch, please consider that choice carefully and please be clear that this will make your mod incompatible with Early Recruitment.

I have an open patching policy, so if you are confident you know what you're doing, you don't need to specifically reach out. Please do let me know if you can, though - it's always nice to know.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Going Free Through Prime Gaming in July; 5 Legendary Mass Effect Mods

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Going Free Through Prime Gaming in July; 5 Legendary Mass Effect Mods


For Amazon's July sale event, several games - including MELE - are going free, so here's five Legendary Edition mods to check out!

RSS Files
Early Recruitment (v1.3)

Early Recruitment (v1.3)

Full Version

Early recruitment of Thane, Samara and Tali. Early access to Illium and Tuchanka if Wrex is the Clan Leader. Updated for compatibility with the Unofficial...

Early Recruitment (v1.2)

Early Recruitment (v1.2)

Full Version

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

Plot Manager - modder resource

Plot Manager - modder resource


Basegame plotmanager.pcc file - backup resource for experienced modders. Not needed for basic installation.

Early Recruitment (v1.1.1)

Early Recruitment (v1.1.1)

Full Version

Early recruitment of Thane, Samara and Tali. Early access to Illium. Early access to Tuchanka if Wrex is the clan leader. MUST BE INSTALLED WITH ME3TWEAKS...

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