Mass Effect 2 is a far more streamlined game than its predecessor, but it still has aspirations of being a traditional, full-fat RPG – and that means there’s a bunch of side quests and optional missions which take the form of Assignments, just as they did in the previous game.
In ME2, assignments are generally a lot more simple and fall into two basic categories. First, there are missions that involve talking – to resolve a situation, to buy an item, etcetera. Second, there are missions where you’ll find an item during a story mission (such as a recruitment or loyalty quest) and must return it to the correct NPC. Finally, there are combat-focused side missions where you get into a scrap and fight your way through.
The entire game has been streamlined, meaning this guide isn’t quite as complicated as our ME1 assignments list – however, there’s still assignments here that can have consequences in Mass Effect 3 if undertaken – and the rewards are valuable in your main story quest, too – with credits and resources gained valuable for getting the best weapons & ship upgrades to survive the suicide mission.
This page lists every assignment in Mass Effect 2, broken up into a few simple sections, based on where you are in the game and when the quests unlock:
Here’s all of the assignments and side quests that can be triggered in ME2 in the first ‘act’ of the game – so after Freedom’s Progress and getting the Normandy, but before the next compulsory story mission on Horizon. First, the assignments on planets and major locations:
Normandy: FBA Couplings – talk to Ken and Gabby, the Normandy’s engineers, down on the engineering deck. They’ll ask for these. You can buy them cheaply from Kenn’s Salvage on Omega. Can result in unique ambient dialogue in ME3 if completed. Normandy: Serrice Ice Brandy – talk to Chakwas on the Normandy Crew Quarters deck, in the med bay. You can buy the item you need in the various bars across the world; the Citadel’s Dark Star Lounge, Afterlife on Omega, and from shops on Tuchanka or Illium. You only need to buy it once. Normandy: Special Ingredients – talk to Mess Sergeant Gardner on the Normandy Crew Quarters deck. Buy the item from Zakera Cafe on the Citadel. Citadel: Crime in Progress – interrupt a conversation between a Quarian, Volus, & Human on the Citadel Wards, Level 26. Find the chit at Saronis Applications store nearby. Citadel: Krogan Sushi – overhear two Krogan arguing on the Citadel Wards Level 27. Talk to the Turian groundskeeper inside the Dark Star Lounge club nearby. Either tell the Krogan the truth, or buy a fish from the Souvenirs store to give to them to lie. Omega: Archangel: Datapad Recovered – pick up a datapad during the Archangel recruitment mission. Hand it over to Aria in Afterlife on Omega. Omega: Batarian Bartender – downstairs in Afterlife, order a drink from the Batarian Bartender. Choose how to deal with him. Omega: Struggling Quarian – speak to Kenn the Quarian at Kenn’s Salvage shop. Either pay his way, or help him another way. Omega: The Patriarch – after completing one or both recruitment missions on Omega, talk to Grizz the Turian bodyguard of Aria, near her private booth. Find the Patriarch downstairs. The neutral route gets less rewards; go for Paragon or Renegade. Omega: The Professor: Missing Assistant – automatically mentioned when you first meet Mordin during his recruitment mission. Daniel can be rescued in a side room in the second half of that mission.
These missions unlock at the same time, but at N7 missions, take place on random worlds typically discovered through Planet Scanning:
N7: Eclipse Smuggling Depot – either scan the planet Daratar in the Faryar system of the Hourglass Nebula, or get the quest off Aria after completing the Datapad & Patriarch quests on Omega. The credits you get at the end of the mission varies depending on how many crates survive. N7: Lost Operative – scan the planet of Lorek in the Fathar system of the Omega Nebula, or get a message off Cerberus HQ after recruiting Archangel. N7: MSV Estevanico – scan the planet of Zenthu, which is in the Ploitari system of the Hourglass Nebula. N7: Wrecked Merchant Freighter / N7: Abandoned Research Station / N7: Hahne-Kedar Facility – this is three separate quests, one following the other in sequence. To get the first, Wrecked Merchant Freighter, scan the planet Neith in the Amun system of the Eagle Nebula. N7: Abandoned Research Station then takes place on Jarrahe Station in the Eagle Nebula’s Strabo system. N7: Hahne-Kedar Facility takes you to the planet Capek in the Haskins system of the Titan Nebula.
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There are DLC Missions that are technically side quests, but are significant. Unlike other side missions, we include these in our suggested ME2 mission order – so we suggest you consult that page if you’re struggling to decide when to do them. The other DLC missions not listed here – Kasumi & Zaeed’s quests, as well as Lair of the Shadow Broker and Arrival – are considered main story quests. Again, to know when to do them, see the order guide.
Normandy Crash Site – you can do this any time after getting the Normandy. There’s no combat, but some decent rewards – so consider taking it on early. Project Firewalker – this consists of a string of 5 missions; Geth Activity/Incursion, Prothean Ruin, Rosalie Lost, Artifact Collection, and Recover Research Data. You can do these whenever you want, and they’re completely safe to do in the early-game, with no regular combat. Overlord – this DLC consists of 4 stages; Investigate Project Overlord, Atlas Station, Prometheus Station, and Vulcan Station. We suggest you save this string of missions for the second half of the game.
Mass Effect 2 Assignments – Act 2 & 3 side quests
After a thrilling visit to the planet of Horizon where you meet an old friend and get a far better idea of the threats you’re facing, a bunch more major planets and systems open up in ME2 – bringing with them a wide range of additional side quests.
First, there’s the quests that take place on the major story planets you can now visit, plus a few extra quests on previously visited worlds:
Citadel: Found Forged ID / Citadel: False Positives – this quest can have two names, depending on how you acquire it. Either find the Forged ID as loot during Garrus’ loyalty mission, or overhear chatter between two Asari on the Citadel later in the game. You’ll need to talk to Kalara Tomi and decide what to do, either giving her the ID (if you have it), or going to C-Sec Customs to resolve it verbally. You have more options if you get reinstated as a Spectre. Omega: Packages for Ish – after Horizon, a Salarian named Ish will appear near the entrance to Omega. He and his companion want you to pick up packages from the Citadel (from near Saronis Applications) and Illium (in Eternity) and deliver them to him. Illium: A Troublemaker / Illium: Conrad Verner – only available if you completed the Citadel: The Fan assignment in ME1, and if you charmed or intimidated Conrad. If so, he’s back on Illium – an Asari outside Eternity gives you the assignment. Depending on the outcome, Conrad can show up in ME3. Illium: Blue Rose of Illium – in the area with the shops, Charr the Krogan is reading out his poetry. Talk to the Asari merchant to start the quest. This has consequences in ME3. Illium: Gianna Parasini – only appears when you import an ME1 save. She appears regardless of if you completed her side mission there or not. Meet Gianna near the entrance to Liara’s office. Drink the beer to get the quest. Illium: Indentured Service – if Conrad Verner is present, you must complete his quest first. Then, there’ll be a Quarian and Asari in Eternity. Decide the Quarian’s fate. Illium: Medical Scans – if they survived, this will be a character from ME1. Regardless, though, you’ll be approached near Illium’s tracking office. Illium: The Assassin: Salarian Family Data – during Thane’s recruitment mission, pick up this datapad to start this mission, then return it to the Salarian in one of Ilium’s hallways. Illium: The Justicar: Smuggling Evidence – find this datapad during Samara’s recruitment mission. After the fighting is over, you’re returned to the port for a debrief. During this time, before the mission ends, hand the datapad to either Pitne For or Detective Anaya. Anaya gives less of a cash reward, but is the paragon option. Illium: The Justicar: Stolen Goods Found – find the note during Samara’s recruitment mission and choose to upload it. That starts this mission. Back in the Illium hub, you’ll be approached about this. Illium: The Prodigal: Lost Locket Found – when completing Miranda’s loyalty mission, find this locket as loot. Return it to an Asari back on the Illium hub. Tuchanka: Combustion Manifold – talk to the Krogan mechanic, or find the manifold from an upside down vehicle during the mission. Tuchanka: Killing Pyjaks – talk to Ratch, the shopkeeper, to be challenged to this little tower defense mini-game. Tuchanka: Old Blood: Missing Scout – before going on Mordin’s loyalty mission, talk to the Chief Scout in the Krogan camp hub area. Rescue the Scout during the loyalty mission.
Beyond this, there are also a new series of N7 missions that unlock once you’ve completed the story mission on Horizon. Again, they’re mostly found through planet scanning:
N7: Abandoned Mine – first, you’ll need to buy the Star Charts from Baria Frontiers on Illium. Next, go to the Minos Wasteland cluster’s Fortis system and scan the planet Aequitas. N7: Anomalous Weather Detected – you’ll need the relevant Star Chat from Baria Frontiers on Illium. Then scan the planet Canalus in the Dirada system of the Pylos Nebula. N7: Archeological Dig Site / N7: MSV Strontium Mule / N7: Blue Suns Base / N7: Javelin Missiles Launched – the first in this string of missions is only available once Jacob’s loyalty mission has been acquired, as it unlocks the cluster you need to visit. Head to the Rosetta Nebula once it unlocks, and then to the Enoch system. Scan the planet Joab to get started with the Archeological Dig Site quest. After completing that, an email will kick off N7: MSV Strontium Mule. Another email then sends you to N7: Blue Suns Base Finally, EDI will point you to N7: Javelin Missiles launched, though you can also trigger this early by just scanning its location (the moon Franklin in the Skepsis system of the Sigurd’s Cradle cluster). N7: Blood Pack Base / N7: Blood Pack Communications Relay – buy the relevant star chart from Baria Frontiers on Illium. Then scan Zada Ban, which is in the Xe Cha system of The Shrike Abyssal cluster. This directly leads to the next quest, N7: Blood Pack Communications Relay. You can trigger that mission early by scanning its location – Tarith, in the Lusran system of the Crescent Nebula. N7: Captured Mining Facility – scan the planet Helyme, which is in the Zelene system of the Crescent Nebula cluster. N7: Endangered Research Station – this mission either unlocks after Horizon & completing Project Firewalker: Rosalie Lost, or after the Collector Ship story mission. Scan Taitus, a planet in the Talava system of the Caleston Rift cluster. N7: Imminent Ship Crash – you’ll need another star chart from Baria Frontiers on Illium. The Broken Arrow is a ship found in the Nariph system of the Pylos Nebula, which is unlocked by a chart. N7: Mining the Canyon – this mission either unlocks after Horizon & completing Project Firewalker: Rosalie Lost, or after the Collector Ship story mission. Scan Sinmara, a planet in the Solevig system of the Caleston Rift cluster. N7: Quarian Crash Site – you’ll need a star chart from Baria Frontiers again. Once you have it, scan Gei Hinnom, which is in the Sheol system of the Hades Nexus cluster.