Although many players have been asking for a remastered Mass Effect Trilogy for years, and EA/Bioware have teased us about it for years, it looks as though it probably won’t be happening. While that means console gamers will be out of luck, there’s still hope for PC gamer fans of Mass Effect. There are fan-made mods for high-resolution textures, game engine enhancements, and more. Want to play an HD version of Mass Effect? Read on to create your own! It’s actually quite easy, especially compared to modding some other games. Just make sure you backup your game files before modding! If you don’t, and you screw up, you’ll have to reinstall and possibly re-download the game (if you have it from Origin).
Although not a graphic enhancement mod, the following mod is one I consider essential for a fully upgraded, enhanced experience. It’s called Faster Elevators and it does exactly what it says. Have you gotten sick of five minute elevator trips in the Citadel where everyone stands around in awkward silence after their banter? Install this mod and the speed is doubled so that you still hear all the dialog but no more standing around in silence afterwards. I love this mod! You’ll need to install this BEFORE the texture mods I’m about to discuss and don’t forget to backup your game files before installing anything.
In regards to texture mods, the first thing to do is to download the MEUITM mod which will install high resolution textures for the entire game. (MEUITM was updated with a 2018 anniversary update so re-download if you had it before the update.) These will overwrite the default game textures which is why you should backup your original files first. The best was to download this is via torrent (no, it’s not illegal to use a torrent) since it is about 3 gigabytes in total. Just download the torrent file from Nexus mods then use a torrent client such as uTorrent to download the file quickly and easily. Don’t install it just yet, you need to do a few other things before getting to that.
To compliment MEUITM and add even more high-res textures to the game, I recommend you also download the ALOT for Mass Effect 1. It works with MEUITM to create a game that looks up to today’s standards in regards to its textures. Again, best to download this via torrent (it’s about half a gigabyte in size) and don’t forget that you can download several torrents at a time. ALOT comes with a great installer that will install the ALOT for ME1 and MEUITM and a few other texture mods for Mass Effect (it will also install texture mods for ME2 and ME3 but that’s for another day). Be sure to read the detailed instructions here before installing anything. The ALOT installer includes a fuction to backup your game files. USE IT!
Installing the actual texture mods will take anywhere from half an hour to a couple hours depending on how fast your computer is but it is very easy. The hardest part will be the sitting and waiting for it to finish. You can do like me and grab an extra Coke Zero while you wait. The little ALOT program will do all the work for you so be thankful. It used to be much, much more difficult and complicated to install texture mods into these games!
ALOT Installer for ME1
Next, after you’ve finished installing the texture mods, the game still lacks anti-aliasing (smoothing of model edges) and several other modern graphics effect. For this, and to fix bugs on Noveria (no pun intended) and Ilos for gamers with modern AMD processors, download the FPS Counter and Post Processing Effects mod. I don’t care for the FPS counter part of it (which can be turned off) but the post-processing effects make it worthwhile. The mod can be configured in-game, by pressing the F12 key, which is helpful for fine-tuning the effects. It will also take screenshots and record in-game videos. Here are screenshots of my settings: (NOTE: Turing on Ambient Occlusion with the Post Processing Effects can cause an odd error with characters’ eyelashes and holographic objects. It looks good on but the error can be so off-putting that I ended up just turning it off. We can still have some AO due to the next step so read on.)
If you have a Nvidia card, you can further enhance the game by going into your Nvidia Control Panel settings and then Manage 3D Settings then Program Settings, select the Mass Effect executable, and then create your custom settings. Make sure not to make the settings more powerful than what your GPU (graphics card) and CPU can handle. I basically just set everything on the highest setting then tested to see how setting affected gameplay. I have a Nvidia GTX 960 4Gb GPU with a AMD 4.7Ghz 8-core CPU and these are my settings for the game which work great:
And that’s it! Enjoy you’re newly enhanced gaming experience! Below you’ll find a gallery of screenshots from my enhanced, high-def Mass Effect game. Click on each image to see it enlarged. (Not actual screen size due to constraints.) Tune in next time for when we mod Mass Effect 2 to be up to high-def specs and then later we’ll tackle Mass Effect 3. If you have a question about what I talked about today, feel free to leave a comment on this post and I’ll get right back to you with an answer.