‘Mass Effect 3′ Custom Face Codes, Imported Save Problems Already [Updated]

Published 3 years ago by , Updated March 6th, 2012 at 1:29 pm,

Mass Effect 3 Custom Face Code Import Problems

While the gaming world is finally returning home from midnight launches to pop Mass Effect 3 into their systems and take on the Reapers once and for all, it seems fairly disappointing and mind-boggling technical issues are already starting to appear. Specifically, players on PC or Xbox 360 who attempt to import their custom characters first designed in the original Mass Effect are instructed to recreate their character’s face codes from scratch.

Unfortunately, the extensive levels of customization that were first given to fans with the original game in the series also mean that replicating said selections from memory – since the numerical face codes result in different faces in Mass Effect 3 – is a tall order. This issue seems to only be affecting hardcore fans who have stuck with the series from the beginning, so it goes without saying that this is an unpleasant surprise for what was expected to be a terrific launch night.

In a cruel twist, even players who started with Mass Effect 2 seem to be able to import both the choices and physical appearance they made into ME3. Provided, that is, that they’ve already removed any saves from the cloud. Fans who fall into the category affected have already taken to the official forums to ask how an oversight like this could have possibly gone unresolved, especially with so much time and money behind ending the trilogy on a high note.

At this point the official stance from developer BioWare seems to be to simply do what the game instructs: if you need to remake a face from scratch after two entire games, then that’s what you have to do. This is not the kind of support or advice that any gamer wants to hear, so hopefully the team will have a better explanation soon.

For those who are jumping into the series for the first time, or for those who picked the franchise up with the second installment (and its variety of DLC), this may seem like a cosmetic issue, and the resulting uproar more vain than legitimate. But in the minds of players who put their faith in the Mass Effect series from the very beginning, it’s hard to think of this as anything but a horrible sign that their fears have been somewhat founded.

Mass Effect 3 Face Import Problems

The minds behind the game have spent the last year or more explaining why Mass Effect 3 would be bringing a ‘satisfying’ end to the trilogy, and claiming that their desire to bring more players into the franchise wouldn’t be affecting their dedication to loyal fans. At no point were fans made aware of this lack of imported save support, which is nothing short of baffling. Considering how many improvements and visual changes have been lauded, such a simple yet disappointing glitch only seems more odd.

Throwing fans such a curveball without any warning will certainly enrage many who felt that the series was straying from its roots, especially with the development team finding the time to craft close to $1000 worth of extra ME3 content, but we won’t jump to conspiracy theories or hyperbole just yet. And while the game will almost certainly prove to be one of the best of this year, having it start on the wrong foot for the most dedicated of fans is regrettable, and completely unnecessary.

There may be technical reasons for the glitches – like tweaking an imported face in ME2 as BioWare is claiming – but the complete lack of warning or discussion among fans certainly won’t be earning the developers any goodwill in the eyes of those affected. So while we await any fixes or actual explanations, it seems that fans will need to put their visual memory to the test, unless they want to erase the Shepard they’ve come to know and love for the past two games.

Update: BioWare has addresed the face importing issue on its forums. While no solution has been offered for Xbox 360 owners, a fan made tool may be able to help PC players.

“Hi everyone

We are aware that some players are having issues importing the faces of characters from Mass Effect 1 or Mass Effect 2 into Mass Effect 3. The issue is likely in how faces were detected when imported from Mass Effect 1 into Mass Effect 2, and we’re working on the best way to correct it for affected players.

As our teams work hard to address the importing of face codes we would like to call out a fan made tool that may be able to help PC users in the short term:

Mass Effect Tools

Have you encountered these issues yourself? Do you share our disappointment in the lack of support or communication, or think this is a small issue in the grand scheme of things?

Mass Effect 3 is available now for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. As is the day-one DLC ‘From Ashes.’

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: BioWare

TAGS: BioWare, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, PC, PS3

  • Anthony

    Some people are obviously having a problem with empathy. The character you started with is the character you want to finish with. For all of you people who played with Default Shep, what if he wasn’t there? What if you had to play as Fem’shep or the “Ron Perlman” Shepard instead of the default one? It’s the weirdest thing watching the voice of a character you created come out of someone else’s face.

    It’s disappointing that they couldn’t copy the base code from the character face developer and just add all the shadows and HD crap they wanted to afterwards.

  • TaboriHK

    It’s an oversight, and they will obviously fix it. Should this have happened? No. But they didn’t crush your dreams, and it won’t go unresolved for eternity.

  • the sortor

    I noticed that the hair selection i chose in 1 and 2 is not in 3. And if the creation code is not exact, then i can see that as a good reason not to import the custom character.

  • Jake L

    I can care less if it didn’t accept my characters face. At least freaking let me import the decisions I made. -.-

  • Robert

    I had that same problem. Its really frustrating and dissapointing. My new Shepard is pretty close but still doesn’t look right and it bothers me everytime I see him. He’s a chubby faced imposter and looks like a tool. What’s worse is I’ve lost all my scars that I so proudly earned while being the biggest most ruthless a**hole in ME2. f*** EA and bioware for pandering to the noobs of the series

  • Rowan

    Mine did this but it still imported my choices… Im trying to manually put in the code from ME2 and see if that works

  • Elu

    I’m kinda happy about this. My character looks eff’d up and needs changed.

  • asdf

    Well maybe this just gives you an extra chance to repair that fugly spot on the previous faces that maybe ya couldnt hide.

  • Gabeler

    Regarding Update:


    Come on, BioWare, you’re better than this…

  • Murasaki Sensei

    This issue has EA’s finger’s all over it. This was NO ACCIDENT people.
    Why do I say that? It’s about money. And the multiplayer is going to drive revenue.
    1. EA Charges for online connectivity even if you’re buying the game used.
    No pay, no getting online features.
    2. In the multiplayer, to get better items, you can either use in game credits or MICROSOFT POINTS!
    They know people have an emotional attachment to their created Shepards. There is NO WAY they would bollix that up except on purpose.
    They also know that people would wait and perhaps play the multiplayer while they wait for the “patch”. And get hooked on the multiplayer experience because to be fair, it IS a lot of fun. But that’s the catch.

    They want you to spend Microsoft Points on stuff in the multiplayer.


    • Hawkins

      I agree…I HATE EA….They destroy every thing they touch…The destroyed the Ultima series and UO when the did a corporate take over on Origin. They charge you for pre-ordering their games??? Also charge you for dlc on launch??? Selling in game items on me3??? I have a friend who has already spent 8000 Microsoft points on crates. Totally killed the mood of multiplayer for me. I play my ass off getting these crates. Then my friend easily surpasses me because he can afford to drop 100 bucks on crates…….EA is the greediest corporation in gaming history. I really wish they would disappear….

  • Murasaki Sensei

    I created a FemShep based on what I thought a badass babe would look like. Not glam, nor white. She’s Asian ( default Asians were laughable) and she’s a bit goth with black lipstick and dark eye shadow.
    I tried to recreate her, but there is no more black lipstick available. No more dark eyeshadow. Skin tone is all wrong. Her eyes while looking Asian in the CharGen either squint or are wide caffeine wide open in game. The severe bun isn’t there either.
    I actually had a series of pictures to work from so that I could re craft her perfectly. No dice. Tried using my code from ME2 CharGen. No dice.

    I am PISSED about this. I love BioWare, but I’ll never buy a non sport related title EA is associated with again.

  • Michael

    first world problems… Mine was wrong corrected it played game no complaints on my part. Good Job Bioware I’m not mad bro.

  • Henning
  • Silvernexon

    See i didn’t have the load face problem like a lot of people are having my problem was that when i tried loading my mass effect 2 save it loading my face but it deleted my file from ME2but keep the custom face i made so i don’t have any of the decision’s i made.

    • MC

      Yeah at that point I would have been knocking on EAs door.

  • Buster Skull

    I had to recreate my face in ME3, that kinda pissed me off but I could deal with it, but what bugged me was Udina was councilor I understand he was supposed to be any way, but why give me the choice of picking Anderson or Udina in the first game if there was no point in the first place?

  • Diatomus

    Its like having a new actor step in during the final 1/3 of your your favourite movie. Yeah…the script is the same. The history is all there. But the shepherd I made and followed through 1 and 2 is THE Commander Shepherd. Having Impostor-face play him is just too discontinuous and bizarre. This issue is big enough for me that I’m holding off playing my original Shepherd until the face-import repair patch is released. Hopefully that will come soon!