Box art - Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Is Mass Effect Legendary Edition compatible with old saves?

Those who have old saves from the original Mass Effect Trilogy might be interested to know whether or not they’ll load in Mass Effect Legendary Edition. Plenty of players have likely held onto saves from the original copies of the PC version, and would like to either continue a playthrough they haven’t finished or load a completed one for nostalgia’s sake. Unfortunately, Mass Effect Legendary Edition’s save compatibility isn’t a clear-cut topic, so there’s some good news and some bad news.

Will old saves from the original PC version load in Mass Effect Legendary Edition?

Mass Effect Legendary Edition Old save compatibility

Surprisingly, old saves do work with Mass Effect Legendary Edition on PC, but not with all three games. Additionally, as far as we know, there’s no option to import saves into console versions. We’ll cover each title individually below.

Mass Effect

The original Mass Effect had a different save format (.MASSEFFECTSAVE) from ME2 and 3 (.pcsav). The version of the ME1 included in the Legendary Edition collection has been upgraded to use the format from the latter games, so saves from the original version are read as corrupted.

We’re not familiar enough with ME1’s save format to speculate on whether or not a converter can be made. If it can be, the community will likely produce one fairly soon after launch.

Mass Effect 2 and 3

On the flip side, I was able to import saves from the original PC version into Legendary Edition very easily. The process is the same with both games and requires no special knowledge or tools. Just follow the steps below to import those old saves:

  • Launch ME2 or ME3, and start a new game. This will create the folders needed to import the saves.
  • As soon as the cinematic starts, players can quit out of the game with ALT+F4.
  • Copy the folder that contains the saves to be imported. Usually (C:\Users\[username]\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect 2[or 3]\Save\[character first name]_[character level]_[date the character was created])
    • For example, ours was John_31_Soldier_010221
  • Go to the Legendary Edition save folder (C:\Users\[username]\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect Legendary Edition\Save\ME2 [or ME3])
  • Paste the character folder into this directory.
  • Launch Mass Effect Legendary Edition as usual and make sure not to select “Resume” in the launcher.
  • Go to load game, then select the correct character.
  • At this point, all the saves from the player’s original PC copy should appear.

We only spent about 10 minutes in each game after loading an old save but didn’t run into any issues. We can’t guarantee loading an old save will work flawlessly, but it is possible, at least in Mass Effect 2 and 3.