Back when Mass Effect 1 was released, it was a busy time for us. The game was filled with bugs (most of these were triggered by the game’s copy protection mechanism, on pirated copies) and we had to post several troubleshooting articles to answer all the questions that were directed by our readers. Thankfully, Mass Effect 2 (ME2) release has been a lot ‘cleaner’. It does not seem to carry an insanely paranoid DRM system and at the same time seems to be very well optimized. I’ve played a few hours into the game and it’s been good so far – there aren’t as many RPG elements as there were in the first game but they’ve definitely ramped up the pace of action. Anyways this article tries to address some of the common issues with ME2, as pointed out by our readers.
Note that this is a work in progress. More issues/solutions will be added as they are discovered.
How do i import Mass Effect 1 saved games into Mass Effect 2?
As revealed by the developers, the choices you made in Mass Effect 1 can affect your story progress in Mass Effect 2. If you have at least one complete playthrough on ME1, you can import the saves to ME2 and continue from where you left off (not having saved games does not mean you’ll miss out on anything in ME2 though).
- Open the Mass Effect 2 launcher.
- Select ‘Configure’
- Open the Savegames tab to the left
- Select Copy Mass Effect 1 save games button and browse for the location of your old ME1 saves. If i remember correctly the default location is /My Documents/Bioware/Mass Effect/Saves
- Save the configuration and exit the launcher.
Note that even after importing saves, you character won’t start our as a leveled up mofo. You will start from level 1 but you will be given certain bonuses as you progress through the story, based on your actions in ME1.
Also note that some people seem to have experienced an error after importing ME1 saves; the game either crashes or freezes at the loading screen. This has only happened to some readers and not for all. At the moment we do not know of a specific solution for this problem.
How do i change game settings?
Game settings can easily be changed from the game launcher. Note that if you want to enable Anti Aliasing (AA), the launcher does not have an option for it. It seems the game does not support AA (as it didn’t seem to work when forced from video card control panel either). Whatever changes you make, they won’t take effect unless you save the configuration file.
How to avoid errors at loading screen, skip intro movies and improve loading times?
Let’s face it – intro movies are cool the first or second time you watch them. After that it becomes annoying. If you want to disable the imntro movies and save up some time during loading, you can easily do that. Some readers have reported that disabling intro movies got rid of their crashes at game startup so it could be a possible solution for such problems as well.
- Go to Mass Effect 2 installation directory and browse to Mass Effect 2\BioGame\Movies.
- Delete or rename the following files:
I get a “failed to initialize the physics system. Please ensure you have an updated version" error.
Sometimes, you may end up with this message even if you have PhysX system software installed on your system (seems to have only with some NVIDIA cards). The only possible solution we have found so far is to uninstall the existing PhysX version and installing from the setup that came with the Mass Effect 2 DVD disk.
Tips to avoid Mass Effect 2 random crashes to desktop (CTD, black screen and more)
Mass Effect 2 does not seem to have any showstopper bugs such as the galaxy map problem in ME1. However, below are some guidelines you can follow to avoid crashes and gain optimal performance not only with ME2 but with any PC game. These probably won’t fix all of your problems but they sure as hell will help in one way or the other.
- Install the latest DirectX runtime – Latest DirectX should be available in your Steam directory but if it’s not (or if you didn’t buy the game from Steam), you can download the latest monthly runtime from here. This is a standalone installer that will work in offline mode as well.
- Install Microsoft Visual C++ runtime libraries – I’m not sure if this is an absolute necessity for this game but it’s required for most games nowadays (as demonstrated by the case with Dragon Age : Origins). You can download the required files from this link.
- Update Video card drivers – Both NVIDIA and ATI have recent video drivers out – you should always try updating to the latest official driver version available for your hardware for best performance. If anything goes wrong, the option to rollback to previous release is always there.
ATI Drivers: Download the latest ATI Catalyst drivers from this link: http://game.amd.com/us-en/drivers_catalyst.aspx
NVIDIA Drivers: Download latest official NVIDIA drivers from this link: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us
For Beta ATI/NVIDIA drivers for Windows 7, XP and Vista, check out this page: http://downloads.guru3d.com/. If you are having video issues with official drivers, do not hesitate to give beta drivers a go. They are not always evil as the sound like.
- Update sound card and motherboard drivers – Overlooked by many but an essential step to playing games crash free. Click Here to download 3DP Chip for Windows Vista/XP/7 – This program will automatically detect your hardware and search for updated drivers for them.