Did you see my previous post for the original Mass Effect in High Def? Now we’re going to work on getting the amazing sequel up to par!
The graphics for Mass Effect 2 are leaps and bounds better than its predecessor but it’s still not quite up to today’s standards for AAA games. With the following mods, I’ll show you how to upgrade Mass Effect 2 and have the ultimate visual experience along with some tweaks to enhance gameplay.
The obvious place to begin is with the graphics, specifically the textures which are quite low-res in Mass Effect 2. With the ALOT for Mass Effect 2 mod, the game is overhauled with textures with a much higher resolution but still look like the “vanilla” a.k.a original textures of the game. ALOT has become easier than ever to install but you need to make sure you read all of the instructions here before installing. Also, backup your game’s installation files before installing otherwise you’ll have to re-download the game to reinstall it should you accidentally mess something up. It’s always good practice to backup your games before modding them so you’d better get in that habit now. If you’re not sure how, don’t worry. The installer for ALOT has a built in feature to backup your Mass Effect 2 game for you. Just follow the instructions I already linked to.
I also recommend you download the main textures for ALOT file via torrent. (No, torrents are not all inherently illegal. This one, at least, is totally legit.) Just use a torrent client such as the completely free uTorrent to download the almost 4 gigabyte zip file.
The ALOT installer will also provide links to several other optional texture mods that compliment ALOT. I highly suggest downloading and installing all of them plus the mod on the ALOT for Mass Effect 2 page that make’s Liara’s face in the game consistent throughout. Just download the file then drag and drop the entire zip file onto the ALOT installer and select “Mass Effect 2” as the game the file is intended for. It’s easy! You should be grateful how easy it is to mod the textures now. It used to be extremely complicated and time consuming. It’s still a little time consuming but definitely easier.
The ALOT Installer Interface for ME2
The next mod concerns both visuals and gameplay. It’s about all of those animated loading screens in Mass Effect 2 that actually make loading times longer than they should be on modern gaming computers. You see, the game won’t load regardless of how fast your system is until the animation completes. These animations are relatively slow so it increases load time unnecessarily. With the 4x Faster Loading Screens at 60fps mod, this problem is fixed. The loading screens now look fantastic and load faster. This mod is essential and quite easy to install. If you find that 4x faster is too fast, you can easily re-run the installer and have the screens run only 2x faster. I have tested this and you can install it after (or before) the texture mods as it only affects scripts not textures.
Let’s face it, the mini games in Mass Effect 2 are not too fun to begin with and after a while become increasingly tedious and boring. The No MiniGames mod doesn’t remove the mini games but instead causes them to be instantly won each and every time. Version 2 of the mod even changes planet scanning so that one probe will take all the planet’s resources if you hate planet scanning too. I’m still debating whether I want to take the easy way out of the planet scanning or not. If you only want to instantly win minigames like hacking and bypassing, download the version 1.0.2 of the mod. If you don’t like planet scanning anymore than those other minigames, download the latest version 2.0.2 of the mod.
Another “unique feature” of ME2 is that you don’t have the option to hide your helmet at anytime. You either wear a helmet and get the stats while hiding your Shepard’s pretty face or you wear no helmet and get no stats. Now there’s a fix but it’s not as “drag and drop” simple as the previous mods mentioned. Be sure to read all of the instructions on the mod page before you even download it to make sure you are able to install it. For some people it’s too complicated, I’m not judging. The mod is called Hide Helmet Tweak and it requires you to edit your .ini file. This could crash your game if you don’t do it correctly, just to forewarn you, but it is a great and essential mod in my opinion. Oh, you might not want to change ALL the lines of code to hide all helmets. Leave the N7 Breather helmet alone or you’ll be helmet-less during levels like the Quarian and Geth ships.
If you have a Nvidia card, you can further tweak your visuals by going into Nvidia control panel. WARNING: the exe that displays in Control Panel by default is the wrong exe! The exe you want to tweak is me2game.exe and NOT masseffect2.exe. If you tweak the latter, nothing will happen as I found out the hard way. LOL You can see the settings I’m using in the screenshot below.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned until next time when I show you how to mod Mass Effect 3 along with recommendations for story-enhancing mods as well. Thank you for viewing!