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How to get a custom Shepard with Mass Effect Legendary Edition face codes

Want to get your old face back for Legendary Edition? Here's how via face codes.

Originally Published: 
Three characters from Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Mass Effect Legendary Edition is here and bringing back memories. The newly remastered trilogy takes players back to the golden age of late 2000s gaming where every game had cover mechanics and a binary morality system. Most importantly, it’s just nice to see Commander Shepard again.

Of course, Commander Shepard can look entirely different depending on the player. The original games let players customize their Shepard to their liking. While the Legendary Edition features two default Shepard models that players can use, they also have the ability to import their likeness from the original game(s) via face codes.

That’s going to take a bit of finagling though, so here’s what you’ll need to do.

Where to find face codes in Mass Effect

If you’re looking to import a face code from Mass Effect 2 or 3, you’re in luck. Both of these are extremely easy to find. When you boot up your old file, pause the game and select the Squad menu. You’ll see your Shepard on-screen. Look at the top left of the screen and you’ll see a lengthy code. Copy that code down, and you’re good to go.

The squad menu in Mass Effect 2.


The first Mass Effect requires some extra hoops. It doesn’t feature face codes at all, so you can’t directly copy it. Instead, you’ll have to import your character into Mass Effect 2 and then follow the above process. Once you do that, a face code will be generated, and you can grab it from the Squad menu.

How to redeem face codes in Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Mass Effect Legendary Edition makes it easy to carry your face over. When you start a new file, you’ll find yourself in the character customization tool. Look at the bottom of that screen and you’ll see a box where you can type in a face code. Simply type in that gigantic string of characters and your old visage will appear. (Hint: You can also use any code in existence, so theoretically you could copy someone else’s custom Shepard if you had their code.) Easy, right?

Well, not exactly. It’s not a perfect one-to-one recreation. Back in February, Mass Effect Legendary Edition Project Director Mac Walters noted that this wouldn’t be a perfect solution.

A tweet from Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Project Lead Mac Walters.


“We're working to make it as compatible as possible (we even added the code importer to ME1),” tweeted Walters. “But due to improvements and new options in character creator, some codes are currently working better than others.”

The issue is clear when looking through the Legendary Edition’s newly retooled character creator, which adds many new options to the game. The remasters have more skin tones, hairstyles, and more to choose from. When you pull your old character in, you’ll likely find that you need to make some fine-tuned adjustments to get them looking exactly how you remember them.

For those who don’t want to go through the hassle, you’re free to just make a new Shepard from scratch and try out the new options. You can also just select the new default option, which is FemShep from Mass Effect 3. Perhaps picking a new face will encourage you to roleplay differently this time around. (You might even smooch a different alien!)

Mass Effect Legendary Edition is now available.

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