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Mass Effect 2 PC Tech FAQ


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Kloreep

Kloreep
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Frequently Asked Questions from Mass Effect 2 PC Technical Self-Help

CONTENTS

1. Main Game
1.1 Patching
1.1.1 Is there a patch?
1.1.2 Should I install the patch?
1.1.3 I have a single core processor and I'm having problems with ME2, would the patch help?

1.2 Importing
1.2.1 How do I import my Shepard from ME1 PC?
1.2.2 Can I import a Shepard from ME1 XBox?

1.3 Crashes
1.3.1 Mass Effect 2 has never worked on this computer, it always crashes as soon as I try to run it.
1.3.2 Mass Effect 2 used to work fine on this computer, now it crashes as soon as I try to access the main menu.
1.3.3 ME2 crashes whenever I try to access a weapons locker.
1.3.4 In the Tactical HUD, when I try to move powers on to/around the hotkey bar on the upper left, the wrong powers get dragged and/or the game crashes.
1.3.5 A) Movies stutter and sometimes even freeze
* * * B) The game freezes when I go to the Citadel
1.3.6 ME2 crashes when I try to align the beams on Jarrahe Station, what can I do?
1.3.7 ME2 always crashes at the same exact spot, help!
1.3.8 ME2 crashes randomly, what should I do?

1.4 Other Bugs
1.4.1 I can't interact with stuff! / Spacebar doesn't work! / I can't get the pistol from the weapons locker!
1.4.2 How do I fix the error "awc.dll not found"?
1.4.3 Shepard just floated up in the air and won't come down!
1.4.4 A) My saved games don't show up when I try to load them or are not saved in the first place
* * * B) My Achievements are not saved
* * * C) I told the game to log me in automatically but it doesn't do it
1.4.5 The "objective" map in the corner of the screen keeps popping up and pinging. How do I stop it?
1.4.6 I'm holding “F” But the game won't finish the mission/leave the planet!
1.4.7 The graphics and textures look corrupted/characters look scarred and messed up, what can I do?
1.4.8 A) Load times seem very long
* * * B) Load times got longer after installing the 1.02 patch

1.5 Re-installation
1.5.1 I want to back up and restore my save games, how do I do that?
1.5.2 My discs are damaged but I still know my CD key. Can I download the game somehow?
1.5.3 I've lost my CD key. Can I recover it?


2. DownLoadable Content & the Cerberus Network
2.1 DLC How-To
2.1.1 I don't know where to download DLC, help?
2.1.2 My PC copy of Mass Effect 2 comes with free DLC, how do I get it?
2.1.3 Can I have detailed instructions on downloading & installing DLC?

2.2 Installation & DRM/Log-in Problems
2.2.1 I get an "NSIS error" when I run a DLC installer.
2.2.2 I get the error "Mass Effect 2 does not appear to be installed" when I run a DLC installer
2.2.3 This "automatic" installation isn't working for me. Can I install DLC manually?
2.2.4 The game tells me one or more DLCs are unauthorized, even though I followed the steps in 2.1.3.
2.2.5 I bought/redeemed DLC on a second account, and now my games/DLC are spread across two accounts. Help!
2.2.6 The game keeps logging me in to the wrong EA Account, and it won't let me log out!
2.2.7 How do I confirm DLCs are installed correctly?
2.2.8 I sold/damaged/otherwise lost my PC copy of Mass Effect 2. Now I'm buying another one. Since my DLCs are linked to my account, not necessarily my game, can I just go ahead and use them with a second copy of the game?
2.2.9 My DLC(s) installed fine, but now that I'm playing, saves I made in DLC areas say “Unknown Area” and won't load.
2.2.10 I can't log in to the Mass Effect 2 servers/Cerberus Network.

2.3 Gameplay Problems
2.3.1 The Hammerhead vehicle's controls aren't working!
2.3.2 I can't mine/pick stuff up in the Hammerhead?

2.4 Known DLC Problems
Overlord
Lair of the Shadow Broker
Arrival

2.5 Buying DLC
2.5.1 I bought Mass Effect 2 for XBox 360 or PS3, and now I have bought/I am thinking about buying a PC copy. Will I be able to use DLC I bought for my console?
2.5.2 Several DLCs are not compatible with Polish, Czech or Hungarian versions of Mass Effect 2. Why? Is there any way I can get these DLC if I have one of those versions?
2.5.3 Where do I buy DLC for Mass Effect 2 PC?
2.5.4 I have a problem related to buying Bioware Points.

Final Question: My problem isn't covered here, so should I post about it in this thread?

About This FAQ




1. Main Game

1.1 Patching
1.1.1 Is there a patch?
Yes, and it can be downloaded here.

1.1.2 Should I install the patch?
Unless you already have the latest game version, it's generally a good idea. For one thing, even if it doesn't ultimately solve your problem, other posters will not look kindly on you if you ask for help without even trying the patch first.

A few posters have had issues with patching – it seems loading times are longer under 1.02 on some machines - but the change log on the patch download page should show you there are far worse problems that can arise than reduced loading performance. If loading times do become an issue, question 1.4.8 contains possible fixes.

If you are uncertain what game version you already have, open the Mass Effect 2 Launcher, press Configure, and select the Game tab. The number given for the first file listed, MassEffect2.exe, is your patch level.

1.1.3 I have a single core processor and I'm having problems with ME2, would the patch help?
Yes. The patch is particularly vital for anyone trying to play on a single core machine. As covered in this thread, there are a number of game-stopping bugs for single cores in the original version 1.00 of ME2 that have since been patched.


1.2 Importing
1.2.1 How do I import my Shepard from ME1 PC?
From ME2's patch notes:

1) Run the Mass Effect 2 configuration utility from the main launcher.
2) Click the 'Save Games' button.
3) Click the 'Copy Mass Effect 1 Save Games' button,and select the appropriate location for your ME1 save game.
(The default location is 'My Documents\\bioware\\Mass Effect\\Save'.)
4) This will copy the appropriate save games from your ME1 directory into the proper place in the ME2 directory.
5) Run Mass Effect 2, and from the main menu select 'New Game'.
6) Select 'Import ME1 Character'.
7) Your savegame should now show up in the list.

This can also be done manually if you wish. As mentioned above, ME1 saves are in Documents\\Bioware\\Mass Effect\\Save\\. Files starting with Shepard's first name are mid-game saves and are of no use to ME2. The files with names filled with numbers and dashes, following the naming pattern Char_01-LL-#-#-#-DD-MM-YYYY-HH-MM.MassEffectSave, are the end-game saves that can be imported to ME2. Copy any or all of them to Documents\\Bioware\\Mass Effect 2\\Save\\ME1\\ and they should show up for importation in ME2.

1.2.2 Can I import a Shepard from ME1 XBox?
No. Bioware does not support this, nor there is any fan hack that I know of to allow this.


1.3 Crashes
1.3.1 Mass Effect 2 has never worked on this computer, it always crashes as soon as I try to run it.
Confirm that you do indeed meet the Minimum System Requirements. Note that Intel video chips are unsupported. Trying to run ME2 on an Intel GPU (besides those included in the latest Core iX-2XXX processors) is likely, though not universally, going to result in an immediate crash.

If you are uncertain how to find your computer's specifications, see the *Read First* thread which shows how you can get this information in ME2's Configuration utility.

1.3.2 Mass Effect 2 used to work fine on this computer, now it crashes as soon as I try to access the main menu.
This can be caused by a corrupted save or corrupted Player1.prf file.

Saves are located in Documents\\Bioware\\Mass Effect 2\\Save\\ - try moving this directory somewhere else and running the game. If ME2 no longer crashes, you have confirmed that (a) corrupt save(s) is/are the problem. Figuring out which saves are corrupt can be a difficult task. If any saves are much smaller than the rest – say, 0 or 1 KB, when a normal ME2 save is at least 40 KB – you can safely delete those. However, if the game still crashes, the only way to test saves is to move them back to their original location one at a time, and each time run the game and see if it crashes.

If moving the saves did not fix the problem, keep them outside the ME2 folder and try also moving Player1.prf. Player1.prf is located in Documents\\Bioware\\Mass Effect 2\\BIOGame\\Profile\\ - corruption of this file can also be the cause of this crash. Note that if you remove Player1.prf, ME2 will automatically generate a new one with all Achievements and bonus powers locked.

1.3.3 ME2 crashes whenever I try to access a weapons locker.
Some posters have fixed this by disabling or un-installing any third-party video card utilities they had installed. For instance, Asus' SmartDoctor and GamerOSD.

1.3.4 In the Tactical HUD, when I try to move powers on to/around the hotkey bar on the upper left, the wrong powers get dragged and/or the game crashes.
This is a known bug with the hotkey bar. It does seem more likely to happen in or after combat. Therefore, to avoid it, it is recommended you map your squad's power hotkeys as you want them at the very beginning of a mission, right after squad selection, then avoid modifying them until the next time you select your team.

If you want to fix this "wrong power gets dragged" and the associated crashing without saving and reloading, AnotherRho suggests this workaround:
1. Note which icon IS moving and then stop at once (release the hotkey but keep holding the HUD key).
2. Next, drag the icon which was actually moving and release it anywhere on the screen (that is, don't actually map it to the bar; just move it into empty space).
3. Now you should be able to move the icon of your choice. If the problem persists, repeat or save-reload.

1.3.5 A) Movies stutter and sometimes even freeze
B) The game freezes when I go to the Citadel

These are known bugs in ME2 v1.00 that occur on single core processors. Make sure you have the latest patch (see section 1.1).

1.3.6 ME2 crashes when I try to align the beams on Jarrahe Station, what can I do?
The 1.02 patch is supposed to fix crashing on Jarrahe. (The patch notes specify Windows 7 64-bit, but I do not know if the fix is truly only effective for that platform; Vista and 7 are very similar.) If you are not already using the latest version of the game, try patching it.

If the patch does not help, see the Bugs section in the Mass Effect Wiki's page for the Abandoned Research Station mission for advice on working around the crash.

1.3.7 ME2 always crashes at the same exact spot, help!
Recurring errors in the same spot often indicate a corrupt installation. Especially when the game is otherwise working fine, and the issues listed above in section 1.3 don't apply or the fixes do not work. Re-installation is the best bet to solve this. When un-installing Mass Effect 2, make sure to choose to keep your settings & saves.

If you bought ME2 on Steam, you can first try verifying the game's files. In Steam, right-click on the game and select "Properties." Select the "Local Files" tab and click the button that says "Verify integrity of game cache..." Steam will automatically download replacements for any files that do not pass this quick test.

1.3.8 ME2 crashes randomly, what should I do?
There's no one solution. Random crashes are often specific to hardware, so general advice is hard to give. You should probably post a new thread describing your problem. Make sure to follow the directions in Pacifien's *Read First* thread - if you can't provide a good description of your problem and your hardware, don't be surprised if you don't get good advice.

You can also try contacting EA Support for official help.

Note: If your computer automatically reboots when these crashes happen, the first step in troubleshooting is to ensure that Windows is not automatically rebooting for you. There is an important difference between a mere crash (which is generally related to software, e.g. video card drivers) that Windows is covering up, and your computer actually rebooting on its own (often caused by defective hardware).


1.4 Other Bugs
1.4.1 I can't interact with stuff! / Spacebar doesn't work! / I can't get the pistol from the weapons locker!
To make a long technical story short, Mass Effect 2 requires a minimum frame rate in order to make the blue interaction reticule pop up. If frame rate falls below a certain threshold, you won't be able to interact with the game world. (The exact threshold is uncertain, but you definitely want more than 10 frames a second.)

You may be able to work around this issue by lowering the game's resolution and turning off graphical effects; certainly, any video card that meets the Minimum System Requirements for ME2 should be free from this issue at some level of resolution and effects. Additionally, some posters have reported that hitting ESC twice – once to go out into the menu, then again to go back in to the game – will work around this issue for a split second. However, if playing at 800x600 with all graphical effects off still does not fix this issue, upgrading to a more capable video card/Graphics Processing Unit may be your only recourse.

See this post and thread if you want to read further.

1.4.2 How do I fix the error "awc.dll not found"?
Bioware has posted a collection of possible solutions in this thread. I think you're especially likely to find these tips helpful if this error occurred as soon as you installed the game.

You will also find more fixes listed in this thread. For instance:

Open EACore_App.ini in the \\Mass Effect 2\\Binary folder (wherever you installed it) and save it as an empty file. (You may want to back up eacore_app.ini first in case you have reason to restore it.) Again, empty out the file, but don't actually delete it - ME2 will fill in the file anew, but it will not create it.


1.4.3 Shepard just floated up in the air and won't come down!
You aren't the only one to run in to this bug. There is no known fix. You'll probably just have to re-load your latest save. (Whatever you do, do not overwrite an existing save with your floating Shepard! "Floatiness" is saved; saving and reloading will not get Shepard un-stuck.)

There is a possible work-around, although it may not be worth the trouble, unless your most recent save was some time ago. In some circumstances, Shepard can be un-stuck by binding a "ghost" or "noclip" key that allows Shepard to walk through solid objects. You will need to edit your Coalesced.ini file. See this post for a relatively user-friendly Coalesced editor. Instructions for binding a "ghost" command can be found near the bottom of that post in the "User Contributions" section. Just be warned that noclip commands can just as easily get you in to trouble as out; use carefully!

1.4.4 A) My saved games don't show up when I try to load them or are not saved in the first place
B) My Achievements are not saved
C) I told the game to log me in automatically but it doesn't do it

These are all bugs that can occur when your "My Documents" (Windows XP) or "Documents" (Windows Vista/7) folder has been moved from its default location. Possible fixes can be found here and here.

1.4.5 The "objective" map in the corner of the screen keeps popping up and pinging. How do I stop it?
If you have an Athlon 64 x2 processor, try installing the AMD Dual Core Optimizer. (Link is for the US website/installer.)

1.4.6 I'm holding “F” But the game won't finish the mission/leave the planet!
You need to hold whichever key or button you've mapped to “Melee.” If you've changed the Melee key from “F,” the Leave Planet button has changed too, even though the game still says to press F.

Note that there is a genuine bug in "Old Blood" (Mordin's loyalty mission). The Melee/leave planet may not work if you choose to look around a while longer after the conclusion. AnotherRho reports why it happens and how to avoid it:

the bug only "triggers" if you "look around" AND you perform any action which would put a weapon in Shepard's hands). Easy prevention: when you choose to "look around", do not pull out your weapons (so, e.g., don't TAP "F/melee", but click and hold).


1.4.7 The graphics look corrupted/characters look scarred and messed up, what can I do?
Newer Nvidia drivers seem to cause texture problems for older Nvidia cards, particularly the Geforce 7000 series. This can be fixed by reverting to one of the drivers ME2 does work correctly with. See e.g. this thread for discussion and example pictures. The 197.xx drivers seem to be one of the compatible driver series.

1.4.8 A) Load times seem very long
B) Load times got longer after installing the 1.02 patch

1.02 seems to have introduced some delay into loading on some machines. Here's eshrafel's report on symptoms/cause and possible fixes:

(Tested and present in ME2 1.02. Does not affect single core or quad core systems. This cuts my loading times from approx 60 seconds to 5 seconds.)
Dual core systems experience loading times that can be in excess of 1 minute, with also the side effect of the weapon loadout screen being extremely laggy. To workaround this follow these steps:
1. Start Mass Effect 2.
2. Alt-tab out, and start Windows Task Manager. You can do this by right clicking the taskbar and pressing 'Start Task Manager' or use the menu after pressing ctrl+alt+del.
3. In the processes tab, find MassEffect2.exe, right click on it and press Set Affinity...
4. Select a single processor, so only CPU0 or CPU1 is checked. Press ok.
5. Go into Set Affinity... again.
6. Enable both processors once more.
7. Alt-tab back into Mass Effect 2 and the loading times will be fixed. 

You will need to do this every time you play ME2. Alternatively you may wish to investigate 3rd party fixes (such as this tool but these are not supported by Bioware/EA etc.)

Note that, even if you do not experience the affinity bug or have solved it, loading screens nevertheless often seem to cycle through the entire animation/video being played before resuming play.

1.5 Re-installation
1.5.1 I want to back up and restore my save games, how do I do that?
Backing up? Good idea!

Mass Effect 2 stores saves and achievements in a different area than where the game is installed to. Look under Documents\\Bioware\\Mass Effect 2\\ All saves are stored in the \\Save\\ folder. Note that Achievements and bonus power unlocks are stored separately, in \\BIOGame\\Profile\\Player1.prf

If you back up these two folders, you should be able to copy them in to a new Mass Effect 2 installation and pick up right where you left off.

1.5.2 My discs are damaged but I still know my CD key. Can I download the game somehow?
Yes. Install the EA Download Manager and register your Mass Effect 2 key.

1.5.3 I've lost my CD key. Can I recover it?
If you bought ME2 through a download service (e.g. Steam, Impulse, etc.) the key may have been saved on your account with that store. For instance, in Steam, right-click on a game that has a CD key and you will have the option to "View game CD key."

If you registered ME2 on this site, the key is stored in EA's database. As long as you do know your EA account & password (it's what you use to log in to this site), log in to EA Support and ask them to look it up for you.



2. DownLoadable Content & the Cerberus Network

2.1 DLC How-To
2.1.1 I don't know where to download DLC, help?
Profile -> Your registered game content

2.1.2 My PC copy of Mass Effect 2 comes with free DLC, how do I get it?
Follow these instructions, and then also follow the instructions for question 2.1.3. If you've already redeemed the code, skip to 2.1.3.
A) You will need a Cerberus DLC code. All new copies of the game should come with a code. (Used copies do not, unless the original purchaser did not use the code and happened to pass it on to you.) Note that this is a second code, in addition to the "CD key" tied to your copy of Mass Effect 2.
-For new disc copies, the code should be printed on paper somewhere inside the box. (On a separate slip? Or possibly on the manual? Please post and let me know what it was in your copy.)
-Steam: Right-click on ME2 in Steam and select "view game CD key"? This is how some other games work, but I don't know if this is correct for ME2 specifically. Please post if this is correct or incorrect.
-Impulse: Code(s) should have been e-mailed to you. May also have been listed on the order confirmation page when you bought the game.
-EA Store: Code(s) delivered in e-mail receipt after purchase. (Thanks RetasuNeko.)
-Others (Direct2Drive etc.): No experience myself. If you know how to reliably find your Cerberus code when buying from a different on-line store, please post.
-Didn't get a code?
--If you bought a boxed copy, contact EA Support.
--If you bought a download copy, you should probably contact the store you bought the game from as the next step.

B) You will need an EA Account.
-You may already have one - for instance, by registering on this website, or if you created one for another EA game. If so, skip this step.
-To make an EA Account, go to http://social.bioware.com/ and click the "Sign Up" button. Follow the instructions to create an account.

C) Make sure you are logged in to your EA Account on this website, the Bioware Social Network (BSN).
-If you are not logged in, you can do so on the left hand side of the BSN homepage.
-If you are already logged in, going to http://social.bioware.com will take you to http://social.biowar...m/user_home.php.

D) Redeem your Cerberus code.
-This can be done at the redemption page on BSN.
-The Cerberus DLCs should now show up on your Game Content page.
-This step permanently binds the DLC to your EA Account, and so you will never need to repeat it. (This is what is meant when the DLC code is referred to as "one use.")
*If you are having trouble redeeming a code that was written on paper, make sure you are not misinterpreting a character, e.g. the letter O and the number 0.
*If the site says you have already used the code, and you aren't sure whether this is true, look on this page. You should see several Mass Effect 2 DLCs listed with "(Cerberus Network)" at the end of their names. If the DLCs are not listed on that page, do as the redemption page says and talk to EA Support about it.

Note: You can also make an EA Account via Mass Effect 2; there is an option. You can even redeem your Cerberus Code in-game. However, the code redemption was a once-off that I cannot get to come up again, and so I can't write instructions about it. You still have to come to the BSN in the end to download the DLC, so I think anyone looking for instructions might as well learn to navigate the BSN.

2.1.3 Can I have detailed instructions on downloading & installing DLC?
A) Make sure you are logged in to your EA Account on this website, the Bioware Social Network (BSN).
-If you are not logged in, you can do so on the left hand side of the BSN homepage.
-If you are already logged in, going to http://social.bioware.com will take you to http://social.biowar...m/user_home.php.

B) Download and install the DLC.
-You can download your ME2 DLC from this page on the BSN.
-You can access this page via the BSN at any time by hovering your mouse on top of the "Profile" category on the left-hand side of the BSN, then clicking "Your registered game content." Remember: Profile -> Your registered game content
-All ME2 DLCs are downloaded as stand-alone install files. You must run each file after downloading it (double-click on the file). The DLC will then install itself.

C) Log in to your EA Account in Mass Effect 2.
-You must authenticate new DLC(s) the first time you run the game after the DLC installation. This is done automatically whenever you log in in-game.
-Start the game. On the main menu, there will be two laptops. The right one is closed and has a "Connect" button on it. Click "Connect" and log in to your EA account just like in step 2.
-If the game already logged you in to your EA Account automatically, the right laptop will be open and the Connect button will be gone.

D) Play.
-You can now either begin a new game, or load an ongoing one; DLC should show up in either case.
-If you ever re-install Mass Effect 2, just follow the above steps again.


2.2 Installation & DRM/Log-in Problems
2.2.1 I get an "NSIS error" when I run a DLC installer.
The first thing the DLC installers do is check themselves to make sure they are intact and uncorrupted. As the error message states, this error means the check was not successful because the installer is damaged.
The first thing to try is to re-download the affected DLC installer. It may be helpful to turn off any download managers you are using, or to download via a different browser.

2.2.2 I get the error "Mass Effect 2 does not appear to be installed" when I run a DLC installer and...
A) ...I have the Steam version of the game.

First, make sure you have run Mass Effect 2 at least once. The Steam version does not set up entries in the Windows Registry until you do.
If you have moved the Steam folder since installing Mass Effect 2, the problem is likely incorrect registry entries, still pointing to the old location of the Steam folder and its games. You may be able to repair the registry entries by right-clicking on Mass Effect 2 in Steam, clicking "Properties," selecting the "Local Files" tab, and clicking "Verify Integrity of Game Cache..."
For more possible solutions, see this thread.
You can also look at the next question, "Can I install DLC manually?"
B) ...I don't have the Steam version of the game.
It's rarer for this to happen with non-Steam versions, and I don't know of a common solution, sorry!
Some solutions in this thread are for/may work for non-Steam versions.
You might want to take a look at the next question, "Can I install DLC manually?"

2.2.3 This "automatic" installation isn't working for me. Can I install DLC manually?
It's possible. I need to investigate this more before I can write something on it myself. For now, here are a couple references:
yadffej's posts here lists where to put the DLCs once you have the .rar file that contains it. If, like him, your problem is that the installer quits after extracting the .rar, this could be all you need.
Adam We details how to get the .rar file using a program called Universal Extractor. (I found 7-zip also worked fine for locating and extracting the .rar file. More detailed instructions on how to use 7-zip will have to wait for another day and more investigation on my part.)

2.2.4 The game tells me one or more DLCs are unauthorized, even though I followed the steps in 2.1.3.
Make sure you are using the same account in-game. If the trouble is that you are using two different accounts, see the next question below.
If you've confirmed you are using the same account in-game and here on the Bioware Social Network, and that the BSN lists the unauthorized DLCs when you go here on this website, contact EA Support.

2.2.5 I bought/redeemed DLC on a second account, and now my games/DLC are spread across two accounts. Help!
Only EA Support is able to move DLCs between accounts. If you need to consolidate DLC into one account, you will need to contact EA Support and ask them to do it for you.
Note that you can manually move game registrations between accounts. Hover over "Profile" on the left and then click "Register games." You will have the option to remove registrations; that done, you can then go re-register them on the other account.

2.2.6 The game keeps logging me in to the wrong EA Account, and it won't let me log out!
Go to the Options screen in Mass Effect 2. (From the Main Menu, click "Extras" and then "Options.") Click "Online" and then set "Auto Login to EA Online" to No. Exit and restart the game.

2.2.7 How do I confirm DLCs are installed correctly?
There is no quick and easy way to check this.

Generally, the easiest way is to simply play. The first place DLC will show up is in the armor locker that is accessible after completing Lazarus Station. You should there have access to any armor you have from DLC - e.g., the Cerberus Assault Armor. Most other DLCs will not be confirmable until a bit later in the game when you have access to Shepard's e-mail. At that point, you generally should receive an e-mail message for each DLC you have installed. If you have one or more games saved that have already reached that point, you could try loading them up.

If you would like to make sure that the installers at least put files in ME2's DLC folder, you can check for subdirectories in the \\BIOGame\\DLC\\ folder, found under the folder where you installed ME2. See Bravenu3's list of DLC folder names to identify them.

2.2.8 I sold/damaged/otherwise lost my PC copy of Mass Effect 2. Now I'm buying another one. Since my DLCs are linked to my account, not necessarily my game, can I just go ahead and use them with a second copy of the game?
Yes. The DLCs are linked solely to your EA Account.

2.2.9 My DLC(s) installed fine, but now that I'm playing, saves I made in DLC areas say “Unknown Area” and won't load.
First, make sure you have the latest patch. The patch log states it has a fix for this issue.

Also make sure to note any messages from the game telling you DLC is unauthorized. The game is designed to lock you out of DLC areas if the DLC is/becomes authorized, and you must get it authorized again to fix this.

That said, some people continue to have this problem despite the patch. If you are patched and authorized, a possible workaround is to try starting a new game and then loading your existing game afterwards, as described here.

2.2.10 I can't log in to the Mass Effect 2 servers/Cerberus Network.
When this occurs, you will usually receive an error such as: "Communication with Mass Effect 2 server was interrupted or has timed out. Try again later."

If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, one thing you can try is to disable Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN). (Thanks Bogsnot1 for the heads up.) Open a Command Prompt (under the Accessories folder in the start menu) and type:
netsh int tcp set global ecncapability=disabled

One of these days I will get around to reading threads like this one and culling what tips I can, but I haven't yet. In the meantime, if you have another fix to contribute that you can give me the summary on, I always appreciate having the possible fixes come to me. :)


2.3 Gameplay Problems
2.3.1 The Hammerhead vehicle's controls aren't working!
First, note that the on-screen prompts, like all prompts in Mass Effect 2, only ever tell you to use the default key for an action, even if you have already re-mapped the action to a non-default key.
Secondly, note that Mass Effect 2 v1.00 featured a different vehicle control scheme from what ended up being used. From the notes for Mass Effect 2's patch 1.01:

It is recommended that players reset their keyboard mapping to default values to ensure proper vehicle control.

Due to these two things, it is possible that, even if you have not altered Mass Effect 2's key mapping, the vehicle controls may not match the on-screen prompts. To manually reset ME2's key mapping as the patch notes suggest, go to the Options screen, choose Key Bindings, then click Reset to Defaults.

2.3.2 I can't mine/pick stuff up in the Hammerhead?
You have to hold down the "Mining" key for several seconds, while maintaining the Hammerhead's position over the object, to pick it up.

2.4 Known DLC Problems
Note that none of these problems occur for all people. However, they have been reported by enough posters that I think they can be considered as known problems.

Overlord: Mission crashes upon accessing Prometheus Station if Legion is brought along. Possible workaround: None? For some people it's sporadic, so you can try again if you really want Legion along. More information: This thread.

Lair of the Shadow Broker: After the DLC is installed, ME2 crashes all or some of the time on Illium in the hallway under Liara's office. Possible workaround: Play in Windowed mode.

Arrival: Crashes in Project Control Center? Possible workaround: windowed mode + turn off graphics settings? (TBD, very new release)

2.5 Buying DLC
2.5.1 I bought Mass Effect 2 for XBox 360 or PS3, and now I have bought/I am thinking about buying a PC copy. Will I be able to use DLC I bought for my console?
Mostly, "no." A few DLCs - promotional or pre-order items, generally - will automatically transfer between platforms, but most do not. (You can see which PC DLCs, if any, you already have by going to your DLC page. Any that automatically transfer should already show up there as PC DLC.)

This is a qualified no, as some people have obtained free PC copies of some or all of their console DLC by contacting EA Support. See e.g. this thread to see some other posters' experiences. Explain the situation to EA Support and be courteous, and they might be nice and give you some free PC DLC. Just don't rely on it.

2.5.2 Several DLCs are not compatible with Polish, Czech or Hungarian versions of Mass Effect 2. Why? Is there any way I can get these DLC if I have one of those versions?
For a response to "why?" see this post by Michael Gamble.

There is still a way to play these DLC. (Although they will be in English, not in Polish, Czech or Hungarian.) There are two obstacles you must overcome: getting the website to let you buy the DLC, and installing the DLC. The former is easily done. The latter will require editing the Windows Registry.

You will be prevented from buying these DLC if you have set the Bioware Social Network to display in one of the unsupported languages (Polski, Ceština or Magyar). Switch to a different language in the drop-down box and it should allow you to buy any ME2 DLC. (Thanks to Ileanos07 for passing on the tip.)

If you installed Mass Effect 2 with the Polish, Hungarian or Czech language pack, you will need to trick the installers for the affected DLC in to thinking you have an English version installed. This can be accomplished by editing the Windows registry (choose “Run” on the Windows Start menu and type “regedit”):

Change entry Language in the following registry key from "pl" (or whatever you have there) to "en"

32bit: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\BioWare\\Mass Effect 2
64bit: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Wow6432Node\\BioWare\\Mass Effect 2

Then install DLC and after that change Language back to original value.

The affected DLCs (Lair of the Shadow Broker, Alternate Appearance Pack 2, and Arrival) will be entirely in English, but the rest of the game should still be playable in Polish, Czech or Hungarian.

2.5.3 Where do I buy DLC for Mass Effect 2 PC?
Go to the top of this website. Hover your mouse over "Games," then "Mass Effect 2," then click on "Official DLC" and it will take you to a listing of DLC packages, including "Buy now" buttons.
This page also lists ME2 DLC, with longer descriptions.
Note that you cannot buy DLCs directly with money; you must buy Bioware Points. The DLC checkout page will give you the option to buy Points if you do not already have enough on your account. You can also buy Bioware Points at any time by hovering your mouse over "Profile" on the left-hand side of this website and clicking "Add Bioware Points."

2.5.4 I have a problem related to buying Bioware Points.
The ME2 PC Tech forum is not the right place to ask about EA/Bioware's Points purchasing system. Please see the dedicated Points forum.



Final Question
My problem isn't covered here, so should I post about it in this thread?
If you have something you think should be added to this FAQ, sure. Or if one of the answers isn't making sense to you, I'm happy to get feedback on what could be clarified.

However, posting here is not a good way to get help if you're looking for people to help you troubleshoot your problem.

While I hope this thread can serve as the first word on anything it addresses, it is definitely not the final word on any topic in this forum. Search around the forum before posting. I recommend you do a google search including the term "site:social.bioware.com" - this will let you use google to search just within the Bioware Social Network.

If you do not find an answer here or by searching, and you'd like some assistance with your self-help efforts from the other posters here, I suggest you start a new thread. If you're seeking individual attention, attaching your post to a very general thread like this one is not a good way to be noticed. Starting a new thread will ensure all the details about your individual case are contained in one place, where they won't be confused with anyone else's.

If you want official support from EA/Bioware, remember that this is a user-to-user forum. This is not the right place to contact either the game's developers or the game's official tech support. Official tech support is through EA here.



About This FAQ
Many parts of this FAQ were written by myself, and others come from contributions from other posters that you can see below. It is a compilation of communal knowledge that has been bouncing around these forums, the great majority of which I cannot and do not take credit for. I try to give some credit to anyone who specifically helped me compile this, but trying to identify people to credit for the knowledge itself based on "first post on the entire internet" or other criteria for "most worthy" would be a difficult and likely futile task. So, I have not specifically attempted to give credit more broadly. That said, I would like to thank the many posters who have given their time toward making this forum a helpful and constructive place, and without whom this FAQ would be a lot less informative.

Edited by Kloreep, 11 October 2011 - 01:06 AM.


#2
Kloreep

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Things to work on:
---EA server connection problems. (Only have one suggestion in at the moment, can anyone point me to more common solutions?)
---Expand/re-write DLC Manual Installation after more investigation.
---Loading time reduction via movie replacement
---Questions to add:
-Thane mission bug with worker convo? (e.g.)
-Mini-game speed workarounds? (Possibility that needs testing)

Edited by Kloreep, 09 June 2011 - 03:44 AM.


#3
Kloreep

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And I think I'll go ahead and post a second "reserved" just in case.

#4
Bogsnot1

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Nice work, and hopefully it gets read by people before they post their various questions that have already been answered.
Ive also sent a request off to get it stickied.

#5
Kloreep

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Bogsnot1 wrote...

Nice work.


Thanks. :)

Bogsnot1 wrote...

and hopefully it gets read by people before they post their various questions that have already been answered.


Yes, that is the catch. A lot of people seem to pass the words "Read First" by as it is. :mellow:

Bogsnot1 wrote...

Ive also sent a request off to get it stickied.


Thanks. I was anti-humble enough to have just PMed one of the mods myself, too. :)

Edited by Kloreep, 31 March 2011 - 01:51 AM.


#6
Kloreep

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Added Jarrahe crash (1.3.7) - ME2 random crashing moved from 1.3.7 to 1.3.8, as I think it makes the most sense to have this question cap off the section
Added Nvidia driver/7000 series texture problems (1.4.7)
Added "Unknown Area" save problem with DLC (2.2.9)

Again, if there's something you think needs to be added/edited/expanded, please post. :)

#7
Heliosas

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Thanks for this! It helped me help a Hungarian friend, on another forum, to be able to download some DLC. :)

Edited by Heliosas, 11 April 2011 - 09:19 PM.


#8
dabtech

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Here's a Quick Question, Mass Effect 2 Digital Download Via Steam,, DLC does not see ME2 installed because of steam, so how do i install the DLC for the game if it doesn't even let me browse for the folder its in?

#9
XD34THST4RX

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Dude, this helps so much. Thanks, :o you're officially chuck norris.

#10
Dian

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dabtech wrote...

Here's a Quick Question, Mass Effect 2
Digital Download Via Steam,, DLC does not see ME2 installed because of
steam, so how do i install the DLC for the game if it doesn't even let
me browse for the folder its in?


I haven't really tried out any DLC for ME2 yet, as I had some awc.dll issues and I'm trying to reinstall, (11 gig of files to download on an average speed of 30-80 kb/s, yay) but I had no issues with DLC for DA2, though I have DA2 on Steam.. The system may work differently though.. Have you tried getting any DLC? It'd be weird if Steam haven't thought about it..

edit: specified who I was writing to

Edited by Dian, 16 April 2011 - 08:45 AM.


#11
Asch Lavigne

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For the "having trouble interacting with things" problem you suggested lowering the resolution and changing the graphical effects. How low of a resolution do you suggest? (I have mine set to 1920 x 1080) And what graphical settings are recommended?

#12
Bogsnot1

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Folks, this is a FAQ thread, and needs to be kept clean. Post your questions in a new thread rather than cluttering this one up.
@dabtech: You need to run the game at least one for Steam to finish installing the various registry entries before you can start installing DLC. If you have already fired up the game to complete the install, then take it up with the Steam support forums, as its a Steam problem, not ME2 problem.
@Dian: The AWC.DLL problem is mentioned, complete with a link to the thread detailing on how to fix it.
@Asch: It all comes down to your video card, and the driver. In general, newer drviers are a bad idea, as they tend to cut out support for older games like ME2.

If none of these answers help, post your questions in a new thread, and not here. Follow the reporting procedure, and we'll help out as quick as possible.

#13
eshrafel

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Fixing long load times on dual-core systems
(Tested and present in ME2 1.02. Does not affect single core or quad core systems. This cuts my loading times from approx 60 seconds to 5 seconds.)
Dual core systems experience loading times that can be in excess of 1 minute, with also the side effect of the weapon loadout screen being extremely laggy. To workaround this follow these steps:
1. Start Mass Effect 2.
2. Alt-tab out, and start Windows Task Manager. You can do this by right clicking the taskbar and pressing 'Start Task Manager' or use the menu after pressing ctrl+alt+del.
3. In the processes tab, find MassEffect2.exe, right click on it and press Set Affinity...
4. Select a single processor, so only CPU0 or CPU1 is checked. Press ok.
5. Go into Set Affinity... again.
6. Enable both processors once more.
7. Alt-tab back into Mass Effect 2 and the loading times will be fixed. 

You will need to do this every time you play ME2. Alternatively you may wish to investigate 3rd party fixes (such as this tool but these are not supported by Bioware/EA etc.)

Edited by eshrafel, 20 April 2011 - 08:59 PM.


#14
Computer_God91

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Kloreep wrote...
-EA server connection problems. (Don't know much about this area myself, can anyone point me to common solutions?)


Can someone point me to the solution, this is my current problem.

#15
Computer_God91

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Computer_God91 wrote...

Kloreep wrote...
-EA server connection problems. (Don't know much about this area myself, can anyone point me to common solutions?)


Can someone point me to the solution, this is my current problem.



 And here's the solution:
  • On the left hand side of the page go to Profile > Register games. Unregister your game (hoping this is universal for DAO, DA2, ME2) and register it again.
  • Make sure you're logged into both this site and Ea.com (look for login at the bottom facebookish bar)
  • Make sure on the EA site that your email is verified, if not do so by having them sent a verification email.
  • Logout of both sites, Log back into both sites
  • Give it a couple minutes
  • Boot up your game and when it says you lost connection hit ok (my button actually worked at this point)
  • Go into options and disable Auto-login
This works for ME2, I'm not sure if it also works for DAO and DA2 but its worth a try. Credit to Esreve12 for figuring this out a year ago.

#16
MadTyke

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I have had the same problems, unable to access DLC and no cerbrus network, this is the second time I have downloaded a game from the EA online store (Dragons Age, Mass Effect 2) had no responce from EA or Bioware, tried all the self help fixes and no joy. If anyone from EA bioware reads this you have alot of unhappy costomers SORT IT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#17
Gorath Alpha

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Look at the NAME and description at the top. EA has a separate tech support site; this is user to user, a self-help forum. Only selected threads are infrequently monitored by Bioware people, and AFAIK, there are none of those here in this forum now.

#18
Kloreep

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Thanks for the contribution eshrafel, I'll copy that in next time I update. :)

Computer_God91, that looks more like a problem with redeeming the Cerberus code on a fairly new EA account, more than an issue with ME2's server connection? Will look into that thread though, thanks.

#19
VINCLUB777

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Hello there, I'd bought the Mass Effect 2 Collector Edition PC version before, however, donno when the first disc got a small crack. I've tried so many times, windows won't reconize the disc. Is there any way that I could make the first disc work again? or do I need to buy the game again?

Thanks a lot!

#20
Kloreep

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Updates:
-Moved 1.3.4 (crashing in the same spot) down, which changed a few numbers in that section. Sorry for any confusion, but I think those last two questions are best put at the end as catch-alls.
-edited final question, including a link to EA Support
-edited/reworded About section
-A few misc edits to clean up or clarify
-Added eshrafel's loading times fixes (1.4.8) and added reference to it in 1.1.2. May expand question later with instructions about movie file replacement to avoid the "game waits for movie to play out" delay, but for now not sure about that - the replacement pack I tried today caused a black screen freeze after the first part of the IFF scene, just before the squad leaves the Normandy on the shuttle.

Edited by Kloreep, 30 April 2011 - 10:36 PM.


#21
Kloreep

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Hmm, the FAQ now seems to skip from 2.5.1 to the final "About" section, even though I thought I fixed that.

Hopefully this is just BSN being laggy, as it shows up correctly when I try to edit it. But please post/bump if you see that problem too and it isn't sorted in a few hours.

Edit: My bad, I had a doubled URL tag that must have been giving the BSN trouble.

Edited by Kloreep, 01 May 2011 - 12:48 AM.


#22
Kamarso

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I just completed ME1 again, butI can't seem to get my ME1 character to import. I've tried to do the automatic import, and manual one as well, even though the files (the numbered, not named ones) are in the correct spot, ME2 isn't bringing them up. Any ideas? Would having ME1 on Steam, and ME2 not make a difference?

#23
Kloreep

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Steam shouldn't make a difference. If even moving them manually doesn't work, all I can suggest is double-checking the folder locations and that you've moved all the import/export files.

#24
RetasuNeko

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For the EA store when buying ME2 Deluxe Edition, you get the codes in the receipt you receive (in email) after buying the game. Used my Cerberus code, will check to see how weapons codes work.

EDIT: Instructions on how to redeem weapons codes are in email as well.

Edited by RetasuNeko, 24 May 2011 - 12:49 AM.


#25
Kloreep

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Thanks, I'll add that in.