Box art - Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 Suicide Mission Choices: Who can die and how to save everyone

Mass Effect 2’s suicide mission is a significant turning point in the series. Who lives and who dies depends on the player’s choices during the game and the decisions they make before and during the mission on the Collectors Base. This guide will cover what events cause characters to live or die during the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2 and can serve as a cheat sheet to refer to while playing this part of the game.

Who can die during the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2?

Mass Effect 2 suicide mission squadmates

The suicide mission in Mass Effect 2 is so impactful because it’s no holds barred. Everyone is at risk, even Shepard. The only named member of the Normandy’s crew (including DLC characters) that can’t die is Joker.

It’s entirely possible to get every single person killed off during the suicide mission. However, for Shepard to survive (and for players to be able to import the save into Mass Effect 3), at least two squadmates must live.

Mass Effect 2 Suicide Mission Preparation

There are some choices players must make before jumping through the Omega-4 Relay that’ll affect whether crew members live or die during the suicide mission. At no point are these posited as life or death decisions, so it’s easy to completely ignore them only to have 1-3 characters immediately killed. Additionally, if players don’t set a course to the Omega-4 Relay as soon as the IFF mission concludes, some or all of the supporting crew members will be killed.

Players who want all their squad members and crew to live need to accomplish three tasks before proceeding through the Omega-4 Relay:

  • Purchase Normandy upgrades:
    • Silaris Armor
    • Cyclonic Shield
    • Thanix Cannon
  • Complete all loyalty missions before starting the Reaper IFF quest
  • Enter the Omega-4 Relay as soon as possible after the IFF is installed.

Mass Effect 2 Suicide Mission choices: How to save everyone

This section will assume that players have completed the tasks outlined above. Otherwise, there will likely be some losses. We’ll also be covering some of the general mechanics of the suicide mission’s complex design.

After the jump

Immediately after jumping through the Omega-4 Relay, there’s a chance for three squad members to die if players haven’t installed the three Normandy upgrades.

If these aren’t installed:

  • Silaris Armor: Jack dies
  • Cyclonic Shield: One of the following crewmembers dies (in order of priority). This can be affected by who players take with them to the shuttle bay:
    • Kasumi
    • Legion
    • Tali
    • Thane
    • Garrus
    • Zaeed
    • Grunt
  • Thanix Cannon: One of the following will die (in order of priority):
    • Thane
    • Garrus
    • Zaeed
    • Grunt
    • Jack
    • Samara/Morinth

Vents

Players will need to pick one squadmate to go through the vent and one to lead the fireteam. If either check fails, the character in the vent will die. Additionally, those chosen must be loyal for the attempt to succeed.

To succeed, pick:

  • Vent:
    • Kasumi
    • Legion
    • Tali
  • Fireteam Leader:
    • Garrus
    • Jacob
    • Miranda

Rescuing the Crew

Mass Effect 2 suicide mission Normandy crew

Once players have made it past the vent section, they’ll find the Normandy crew members kidnapped on Horizon. How many survived depends on how quickly players made the Omega-4 Relay jump after the IFF module was installed.

  • Made the Omega-4 Relay jump as quickly as possible: All crew members survive.
  • Completed 1-3 missions or assignments after installing the IFF: Half of the crew dies (Gabby, Gardner, Kelly, Ken).
  • Completed 4+ missions or assignments after installing the IFF: Everyone but Dr. Chakwas dies.

Making it through the swarm

To make it through the swarm, players will need to pick a powerful Biotic character to form a shield around the squad.

To succeed, pick one of the following (loyal) squadmates:

  • Jack
  • Morinth
  • Samara

If players choose another character, or they choose one of the above, and they’re disloyal, one character (who is not projecting the Biotic shield) will die (in order of priority):

  • Thane
  • Jack
  • Garrus
  • Legion
  • Grunt
  • Samara
  • Jacob
  • Mordin
  • Tali
  • Kasumi
  • Zaeed
  • Morinth

Second Fireteam Leader and Escort

Players will have to pick a fireteam leader again and have the ability to choose a squadmate to escort the Normandy crew back to the ship

For the fireteam leader, choose one of the following loyal characters:

  • Garrus
  • Jacob
  • Miranda

Who players choose as an escort for the crew doesn’t matter as long as they’re loyal. If the squadmate they send is disloyal, that character will die. If the player doesn’t send an escort at all, the crew will die. The best crew member to send here (since they’re not required elsewhere) is loyal Mordin.

Final Squad Selection

Mass Effect 2 suicide mission endgame

This is an easy choice:

  • If a squadmate is loyal, they live.
  • If a squadmate is not loyal, they die.

Holding the line

The remaining squadmates will stay behind to hold back the Collectors. Whether all characters survive, or one, two, or three dies (at least one will survive no matter what) depends on a calculation.

Each character is assigned a value for this part of the game. (If their loyalty mission wasn’t completed, deduct one point.):

One Point:

  • Jack
  • Kasumi
  • Mordin
  • Tali

Two Points:

  • Jacob
  • Legion
  • Miranda
  • Morinth
  • Samara
  • Thane

Four Points:

  • Garrus
  • Grunt
  • Zaeed

To determine how many characters will die here (if any), add up the point value of the characters that are holding the line and divide by four. The resulting number shows their fates:

  • Above 2: All characters live.
  • 1.5: One death
  • 1: Two deaths
  • 0.5: Three deaths

The character(s) that can die in this section are in this order or priority:

  • Mordin
  • Tali
  • Kasumi
  • Jack
  • Miranda
  • Jacob
  • Garus
  • Samara/Morinth
  • Legion
  • Thane
  • Zaeed
  • Grunt

Does Shepard Die?

The final check of the game comes at the very end. Shepard can either live or die depending on how many squadmates survive the ordeal.

  • If two or more squadmates survive, Shepard will make the jump to the Normandy and live.
  • If one or fewer squadmates survive, Shepard plunges to their death.