The Mass Effect 3 DLC order might not be the same for everyone who plays the third entry in this trilogy. However, there are certain times people should play some of the DLC in order to get a better experience, especially for those playing the Mass Effect Legendary Edition where it’s all included. While there are only suggestions, here’s the best order to play the ME3 DLC in.
What order to play the ME3 DLC
All players should play From Ashes as soon as they can. This mission should show up on the Galaxy Map under “Priority: Eden Prime” right as Shepard boards the Normandy. This controversial expansion adds a new squad member, Javik, and gives almost vital context to the rest of the game. Javik yields a different perspective on the story and benefits those who do this mission to do as early as possible. Make sure to actually open the pod after, too.
This DLC was controversial because it was $10 and came out alongside the game. And not only that, it felt important enough to the plot and gave the impression to many that it should have been included in the core game. Essentially, players felt like EA was chopping off a part of the game to sell to players as a part of its Project $10 initiative the company employed in the early parts of that console cycle. BioWare stated on its forums that the game was complete as is and that From Ashes wasn’t finished until after the game was certified.
While Leviathan and Omega are quite different plot-wise, they are somewhat interchangeable when considering what order. Omega did release a few months after Leviathan so some might want to play it chronologically in order of release. Although it’s worth considering what each player wants and when they want it.
Omega is an almost entirely separate adventure as Shepard teams up with Aria to take back Omega. It has little to do with the Reapers or the plot of the game at large and seems like a way to give the former Omega owner a more proper ending. It’s a complete change of pace and doesn’t even let players leave until they’ve completed the DLC.
Given its separation, it might make the most sense to play this DLC relatively early in the campaign before the stakes rise even more. Going off on this side adventure in the later parts of the game may hinder the its overall narrative momentum. These players should try to complete this mission just after going to Tuchanka. However, some may want to save it for later to change it up from the dire Reaper-filled missions of the later acts.
Leviathan is entirely focused on the Reapers so it would probably make sense to save this DLC for later in the game. Many of the reveals in this expansion feel like they would be near the end of a narrative arc so doing these after Rannoch would likely be enough proper buildup. Discovering these mysteries early on might seem premature. But, as was stated in the Omega section, Leviathan did release before Omega if players wanted to weigh that in the decision-making process. Despite that reality, it still works better as something Shepard would do later in their journey.
Citadel has to unquestionably be one of the last things players should do before taking on the final mission. Not only was this the final piece of Mass Effect 3 DLC, it effectively served as a goodbye for the whole trilogy. This expansion celebrates the series and throws a party for Shepard and it doesn’t make sense to party if there are still things to do on the itinerary.
It also makes sense narratively since it serves as a sort of loyalty mission for the player. In Mass Effect 2, the characters had to clear their head and take off mental stress before going into the suicide mission. The Citadel DLC is like that for the player as it gives them one final hurrah and chance to unwind before finally taking on the Reapers.