Play Mass Effect 3 With Only 2 Disc Swaps

Commander Shepard 007 in: You only swap twice

Mass Effect 3 artwork

Depending on how you play through Mass Effect 3, you will have to swap discs on Xbox 360 as few as 2 if you do it right, and as many as 10+ times if you do it wrong. This guide will give you the most efficient path through the game so you should only need to swap twice.

How to Finish Mass Effect 3 with 2 Disc Swaps

The key to minimizing your disc swapping is to remember that certain main story "Priority" missions are only on disc 1, while most of the rest of the game is on disc 2.

You will start the game on disc 1 and should play through only the main missions to begin with - The Prologue, Mars, The Citadel (these three will all happen automatically), then you go to Palaven, and Sur'Kesh. There will be a couple of other missions available, but don't do any other missions than these listed in bold, or you'll have to swap discs. After Sur'Kesh, you'll have to go to the Krogan homeworld of Tuchanka, at which point you'll be asked to swap to disc 2.

From this point, you are free to do the rest of the main and story missions however you like. They'll all be on disc 2, except for the very end of the game. Also of note is that after the Tuchanka missions you'll be asked to return to the Citadel again. Make sure that you do the Grissom Academy Rescue mission (given to you by talking to Specialist Traynor) before you return to the Citadel.

You'll spend a good 15-20 hours on disc 2 before having to swap back to disc 1 for the run-up to the end of the game. You'll be asked to swap back to disc 1 starting with the assault on Cerberus HQ and will stay on disc 1 through the end of the game.

Beat the Game

Once you beat the game, your save will revert back to this point - before the Cerberus HQ mission - so you can keep playing and wrap up any side missions if you didn't do them all already. Keep in mind, though, that if you still have side missions to do you'll have to swap back to disc 2 again. Obviously, it is better to do all of the side missions while you're still on disc 2 the first time, so make sure you've done everything you can before committing to the Cerberus HQ mission.

If you follow this guide, you will beat the game and only have to swap discs twice.

Disc swapping on Xbox 360 is easy to deal with as long as it is handled well like it was in Mass Effect 2 or Final Fantasy XIII. When it is poorly handled and you have to potentially swap more than once, though, like in Star Ocean: The Last Hope or here in ME3, then it becomes a problem.