FANDOM


Caution Before vanillaing any game, always consult the uninstall instructions for any mods you currently have installed. Failing to use supplied uninstaller executables could result in not being able to re-install the mod in the future.

Mass Effect Trilogy Edition and Digital Download users should always fully Exit Origin prior to uninstalling. Don't forget to check your system tray!

This article assumes you understand terminology presented in the ME3Explorer Setup Guide.

Tip After vanillaing any of the three games, don't forget to re-check ME3Explorer's pathing as specified in the ME3Explorer Setup Guide. ME2 & ME3 users should also re-download and install the DLC Patchers.
Refresh icon This article has been updated for ME3Explorer v3.0.

"Vanillaing" your game — reverting it to a 100% clean and unmodded state — is very straightforward for non-Origin copies of the trilogy. However, once Origin is involved, there is a right way and a wrong way to vanilla. This article will walk you through how to properly vanilla each game in the trilogy.

Mass Effect Edit

Start by confirming vanilla status via the "Date Modified" of the files in the main Cooked. Assuming direct installation from disk, unmodded base game files will be dated in March, April, or May of 2008. Trilogy Edition/Origin editions of the game may differ.

If you have modded files, you may reliably vanilla ME1 via the following methods, in order of preference:

Manual Restore from Vanilla Backup

This method is by far the fastest, most convenient method, and is strongly encouraged. However, you must be 100% certain you have a completely vanilla unmodded copy. If so, navigate to the ME1 root folder and completely delete these three subfolders:

  • ..\Binaries
  • ..\BIOGame
  • ..\DLC

Once the above have been deleted, copy the vanilla ones in to complete the process. If you copied the root folder when originally backing up and prefer to just delete and then restore the game's entire directory, feel free to do that, as well.

Tip Don't overwrite/merge files/folders. A delete-replace is more foolproof.

Uninstall and Re-install from Disk

This method is less optimal than the above. It's more time-consuming and requires you to re-download and/or re-install the patches and DLC for ME1. However, it can be better than an Origin Repair Install if you have slow internet speeds or restricted bandwidth.

Proper procedure is identical to uninstalling and re-installing any software in Windows; detailed instructions won't be provided. Mass Effect Trilogy Edition users will be fully vanilla'd after re-install.

Non-Trilogy Edition Users: After installation, navigate to ..\Mass Effect\Binaries\MassEffect.exe, right-click it, and select Properties. Check the File version on the Details tab. If it isn't 1.2.20608.0, then you'll need to install the v1.02 Patch. If you have Bringing Down the Sky DLC, download it here. Pinnacle Station DLC is no longer available for download for these users.

Origin's Repair Install

This method is only available if Mass Effect is installed under Origin, either digitally or via the Trilogy Edition. If you have an older physical disk, this option is not available. For details on how to use this option, see the section for Mass Effect 3 below.

Mass Effect 2 Edit

Start by confirming vanilla status via the "Date Modified" of the files in the main Cooked. Assuming direct installation from disk, unmodded base game files will be dated December 2009. Trilogy Edition/Origin editions of the game may differ.

If you have modded files, you may reliably vanilla ME2 via the following methods, in order of preference:

Manual Restore from Vanilla Backup

As with ME1, this method is by far the fastest, most convenient method, and is strongly encouraged. However, you must be 100% certain you have a completely vanilla unmodded copy. If so, navigate to the ME2 root folder and completely delete these two subfolders:

  • ..\Binaries
  • ..\BIOGame

Once the above have been deleted, copy the vanilla ones in to complete the process. If you copied the root folder when originally backing up and prefer to just delete and then restore the game's entire directory, feel free to do that, as well.

Tip Don't overwrite/merge files/folders. A delete-replace is more foolproof.

Uninstall and Re-install from Disk

This method is less optimal than the above. It's more time-consuming and requires you to re-download and/or re-install the patches and DLC for ME2. However, it can be better than an Origin Repair Install if you have slow internet speeds or restricted bandwidth.

Proper procedure is identical to uninstalling and re-installing any software in Windows; detailed instructions won't be provided. Mass Effect Trilogy Edition and users will be fully vanilla'd after re-install.

Non-Trilogy Edition Users: After installation, navigate to ..\Mass Effect 2\Binaries\MassEffect2.exe, right-click it and select Properties. Check the File version on the Details tab. If it isn't 1.2.1604.0, then you'll need to install the v1.02 Patch and any DLC by logging into your account on the old BioWare Social Network.

Origin's Repair Install

This method is only available if Mass Effect 2 is installed under Origin, either digitally or via the Trilogy Edition. If you have an older physical disk, this option is not available. For details on how to use this option, see the section for Mass Effect 3 below.

Mass Effect 3 Edit

To confirm vanilla status check the "Date Modified" of the files in the main Cooked. Assuming direct installation from disk or Origin, unmodded base game files will be dated prior to 25 April 2012. All DLC SFARs will have a 2012 date, except Citadel DLC which will be dated early 2013. If any of these dates are later, it's a strong indication the file is modded.

If you have modded files, you may reliably vanilla ME3 via the following methods, in order of preference:

Manual Restore from Vanilla Backup

As with ME1/2, this method is by far the fastest, most convenient method, and is strongly encouraged. However, you must be 100% certain you have a completely vanilla unmodded copy. If so, navigate to the ME3 root folder and completely delete these two subfolders:

  • ..\Binaries
  • ..\BIOGame

Once the above have been deleted, copy the vanilla ones in to complete the process. If you copied the root folder when originally backing up and prefer to just delete and then restore the game's entire directory, feel free to do that, as well.

Tip Don't overwrite/merge files/folders. A delete-replace is more foolproof.

Uninstall and Re-install from Disk

This method is less optimal than the above. It's more time-consuming and requires you to re-download and/or re-install the patches and DLC for ME3. However, it can be better than an Origin Repair Install if you have slow internet speeds or restricted bandwidth.

Proper procedure is identical to uninstalling and re-installing any software in Windows; detailed instructions won't be provided. Mass Effect Trilogy Edition and users will be fully vanilla'd after re-install.

Non-Trilogy Edition Users: After installation be sure to use Origin to re-download the Extended Cut DLC and any other DLC you've paid for, then, re-patch the game. The final patch for ME3 is 1.5.5427.124. This can be verified by right-clicking the MassEffect3.exe located in ..\Binaries\Win32\, selecting Properties, and viewing the Details tab.

Origin's Repair Install

If you delete files Origin will replace them. Convenient, eh?

Not always.

When using Origin to vanilla, you must delete all modded files PRIOR to the repair. Failing to do so will result in Origin trying to "fix" certain files, which will often result in the files still being modded. This will cause problems when using tools such as Texplorer. Therefore, the rule is:

Caution Never leave modded files in place when using Origin's Repair Install feature.

If you aren't 100% certain which files have been modded, then the best strategy is always to delete the game's entire root folder inside ..\Origin Games\. Then do the Repair Install through Origin. Note: Origin's "Uninstall Game" feature will totally remove the game from your PC, which shouldn't be necessary to vanilla.

After repairing, double-check that the MassEffect3.exe is at version 1.5.5427.124, using the method outlined above. Also check that all your DLC are in place. If not, re-download through Origin.

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.