How to Get the Best Ending in Mass Effect 2
To achieve the best ending in Mass Effect 2, you must go into the last battle with your entire crew loyal to you, and with each ship upgrade completed, including non-combat upgrades. If you do not research improved armor plating, the Occulus lasers will kill one squad member. Failing to to research shielding will cost you another squad member when the Normandy is forced to plow through a debris field. You will lose another squad member when facing the Collector cruiser if you have not researched the upgraded canon. Inside the Collector base, you will lose your specialist, the leader of your alternate squad, members of your rear guard, and possibly one or both of your teammates from the final battle if not all ship upgrades are completed.
The Easiest Way to get the Best Ending in Mass Effect 2
The simplest way to achieve the best ending is to play the game through for a second time. Not only will you have an opportunity to try a new class, but you will begin the game with a substantial paragon/renegade boost, a surplus of raw materials, and enough credits to purchase a slew of squad upgrades and armor. You will receive these benefits regardless if you re-import your Mass Effect 2 character or if you decide to start from scratch.
This head start on paragon/renegade scores, credits, and resources will make it relatively easy to fully upgrade your ship, as well as keep the peace if arguments break out between squad members. In addition to these direct benefits, you will also now have a cursory knowledge of the enemy types you will encounter on each mission. This could make your second play through much more enjoyable, especially if you decide to play on hardcore or insanity difficulty levels. Samara, Morinth, and Mordin should be used on missions that will include many organic targets, such as Horizon, while tech specialists like Tali and Legion should be brought along to fight mechs and synthetics. Squad members with area of effect attacks, like Jack, Mordin, and Zaeed, are great for missions where you’ll be facing a lot of husks, such as the Reaper IFF mission.
Regaining Crew Member Loyalty for the Best Ending in Mass Effect 2
To get the best ending, all of your crew members will need to be loyal to you. Unfortunately, arguments in this ship are certain to erupt that will cause at lease one crew member to lose loyalty. To prevent this, you will need to have an exceptionally high paragon or renegade score. If you’ve completed every mission and still lack the score needed to regain a crew member’s loyalty, retrain your powers using element zero and max out your class skill. When given an evolution decision, choose the one that gives a higher multiplier to paragon and renegade scores. This should tip the scales to unlock the dialog option needed to regain your wayward crew member’s loyalty and trust.
With all of your crew loyal and your ship fully upgraded, head to the derelict Reaper to find its Identify friend/foe system. After completing the mission and activating legion, be sure to complete his loyalty mission right away, the game-ending sequence can begin at random any time after acquiring the Reaper IFF. If you do not come to your crew’s aid right away, Doctor Chakwas and Yeoman Chambers will be lost to the collectors forever, robbing you of the best Mass Effect 2 ending.