Mass Effect: Andromeda releases today, and there has been an interesting shift in the conversation surrounding the game over the past week. What was once one of the most hyped releases in an already stacked few months of gaming has quickly become the target of many fans' ire, thanks largely in part to Mass Effect: Andromeda's faces. While the environments in the game still look undeniably gorgeous, many gamers are taking issue with the way characters' faces move as they speak, alongside some glitches that cause them to behave strangely during movement.
While the reviews for Mass Effect: Andromeda continue to emerge with mixed results, what will ultimately determine whether or not BioWare's bold decision to eschew popular protagonist Commander Shepard was the right one will be how the game grows on players after time. The Mass Effect series can be a notoriously slow starter regardless of how well-received each game was, and Mass Effect: Andromeda is also dealing with the fact that it is essentially a reset button on a franchise many fans are now emotionally attached to.
To that end, however, Mass Effect: Andromeda isn't all about moving forward, and there are quite a few clever callbacks to the original trilogy present within the game. One of the most obvious nods to Shepard is the presence of the N7 armor, the Commander's iconic gear, and something that Mass Effect: Andromeda players can equip to the Ryder twin of their choice in order to ease the transition from the original trilogy to the life of the Pathfinder. Here's how to acquire the N7 armor and what benefits it will offer Ryder.
Know Where to Look
It really is that simple, for the most part. Most of the cool items in Mass Effect: Andromeda can be bought from a vendor while aboard the Tempest, and the N7 Armor is no exception. While aboard the Tempest, have Ryder head towards the R&D department and talk to the attending scientist there (or interact with the terminal, if playing as a more anti-social Ryder). Select the research option, and focus Ryder's efforts on the Milky Way subsection.
Gamers will need 250 Milky Way Research Data in order to purchase the base-level version of the armor, which costs 100 for its chest piece and 50 more for each of the helmet, arms, and legs.
How to Collect Milky Way Research Data
Research Data is primarily collected by using the scanner on various points of interest on each map. Although the logistics behind Ryder needing to collect Research Data on the galaxy that humans already came from can be a bit fuzzy if players think about it too hard, ignore the weirdness and make sure to take in all of the sights Ryder possibly can in any given area. Collecting Research Data points in Mass Effect: Andromeda isn't exactly difficult, as the game has prompts that show where areas of interest are, but it can be easy to start ignoring them as the missions begin to pick up their pace, and gamers can find themselves short valuable Research Data in the late game if they do so.
Of course, certain side quests can mitigate this greatly by offering vast scores of Research Data points when they are completed, so an alternative route would simply be pursuing every side quest Ryder comes across until they have accumulated the necessary amount.
Look Good, Fight Better
The N7 Armor offers some pretty decent coverage for Ryder, with the chest piece after upgrades increasing max shields by 10%, Biotic power damage by 8%, and Biotic recharge speed by 15% alone. Although the arms, legs, and helmet offer diminishing returns on the same stats minus the recharge speed, when equipped together the represent a sizeable chunk of stat boosting for Ryder, especially if players prefer to use Biotics in combat. At max level, the armor will essentially offer these upgrades to a player:
- Biotic Power Damage increased by 29%
- Biotic Recharge Speed increased by 15%
- Max Shields increased by 31%
Of course, for many players, the stats offered by the N7 Armor won't even factor into the equation. Commander Shepard is such a revered hero in video game history now that the chance to suit up one more time - even if it is just in their armor - is a temptation that will likely be too hard to resist for anyone who considers themselves a Mass Effect fan.
Is the N7 Armor worth the effort? Is there much more exciting armor to focus your efforts on instead? Let us know in the comments below.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is available now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.