Mass Effect 2 Loyalty Missions - consequences, how to gain loyalty, & resolve conflicts
One major addition in Mass Effect 2 that sets it apart from the rest of the Mass Effect Trilogy are loyalty missions - special, optional story missions tied to each member of Shepard’s squad that in turn makes them ‘loyal’ - and loyalty has benefits for both combat and story.
On this page, we detail every character’s loyalty mission, what choices to make to ensure you secure loyalty, how to resolve the Tali/Legion and Jack/Miranda confrontations aboard the loyalty, and everything else around this system. Basically, it’s got everything you need to know.
Loyalty has a number of benefits. For example, loyal characters will be more likely to survive the suicide mission, or will be able to undertake certain tasks within that mission safely. In addition, some characters will have their fate in Mass Effect 3 decided by their left-over loyalty status from Mass Effect 2; a disloyal character has a chance to die not just in this game, but also the next!
In video game terms, loyalty also has an impact. A character with a successfully completed loyalty mission will unlock an additional costume and a special fourth power, an extra combat ability.
Loyalty is not always plain-sailing. There are two pairs of characters in the game where, once they’re both loyal, a showdown will be triggered aboard the loyalty. You’ll have to resolve this conflict or face losing one character’s loyalty. These are detailed in the guide below, including instructions on how to dodge disaster.
The combat abilities unlocked through loyalty are unique to each character, but they’re useful even if it’s a character you don’t really use in combat. Shepard himself can learn any loyal squadmate’s loyalty power by using the Advanced Training research to get a bonus power - though only one at any given time. The skills are as follows:
- Armor Piercing Ammo (Garrus)
- Barrier (Jacob)
- Energy Drain (Tali)
- Flashbang Grenade (Kasumi)
- Fortification (Grunt)
- Geth Shield Boost (Legion)
- Inferno Grenade (Zaeed)
- Neural Shock (Mordin)
- Reave (Samara) or Dominate (Morinth)
- Shredder Ammo (Thane)
- Slam (Miranda)
- Warp Ammo (Jack)
- Stasis (from Liara in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, which is not technically a loyalty mission)
Below, you’ll find a list of every loyalty mission in the game for each character, which details the steps you’ll need to take to secure each character’s loyalty.
For some characters this is as simple as ‘complete the mission’, while for others the choices you make in the mission will have repercussions on their status and even the storylines of Mass Effect 3. All are listed below - scroll on, or click a name to be taken straight to that character’s loyalty guide.
Garrus’ loyalty mission seems him tracking down a traitor whose actions led to the deaths of many of Garrus’ allies. This takes you to the Citadel, and this loyalty mission has two specific outcomes:
If Garrus is allowed to kill Sidonis, that’s that. C-Sec are looking for the murderer, but have no leads, which means Garrus is in the clear. Garrus will now be loyal.
If Shepard persuades Garrus to spare Sidonis’ life, he turns himself into the authorities. Harkin is also taken into custody for his crimes. Garrus ends up loyal.
As you can see, in this instance Garrus ends up loyal to Shepard either way, so you can go with whichever option you prefer in whatever way you prefer.
Making Garrus loyal unlocks his Armor Piercing Ammo ability.
Grunt’s loyalty is one of the most simple loyalty related missions in the game - since as befitting a Krogan, it just involves a whole lot of combat, culminating in one big fight.
You’ll be placed into an arena area and forced to go through phases. The third phase is one real big boss. You don’t actually have to defeat this boss - you just have to survive for a while - but if you can defeat it, there’s an achievement in it for you as well. If you want to collect resources scattered around the arena, be sure to grab them before completing the third phase.
Grunt ends up loyal whatever happens, and his being loyal has a direct consequence in Mass Effect 3 as well as the rest of ME2.
Making Grunt loyal unlocks his Fortification skill.
To make Jack loyal, you’ll need to resolve unfinished business from her troubled childhood. This involves traveling through a ruined facility, defeating some enemies, and having a final showdown with Aresh, who Jack grew up with.
Shepard can convince Jack to spare Aresh’s life or let her kill him with either a paragon or renegade interrupt. Regardless of what you do, the outcome of the mission is the same as far as loyalty goes.
Making Jack loyal unlocks her Warp Ammo ability.
Jack vs Miranda Showdown - how to keep both loyal
If Miranda is already loyal at this point, when you return to the Normandy, Jack and Miranda will have it out. If you have enough points in either, you pick Paragon or Renegade dialogue options to diffuse the situation.
Be warned that if you choose “Back off, Miranda”, she will become disloyal. The same is true for saying “Too bad, Jack.” However, you must side with a character if you have a romantic interest in them. So, for instance, to Romance Miranda, you must say “Too bad” to Jack.
That doesn’t mean Jack’s loyalty is lost, however: With enough Paragon or Renegade points, you can restore your loyalty again in a private conversation. This works in the reverse with Miranda, too.
Jacob has some daddy issues - like a lot of people in Mass Effect 2, if we’re being honest - and so his loyalty mission involves tracking down and finding out what happened to a long-missing father, Ronald Taylor.
At the end of the mission, you’ll have a choice between turning Ronald over to the Alliance, leaving him to die, or giving him a gun so he can take his own life. The outcome of the mission does not impact Jacob’s loyalty.
Making Jacob loyal unlocks his Barrier ability.
Geth loner Legion’s loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2 takes Shepard aboard a Geth space station to stop a group of ‘Heretic’ Geth that have adapted a reaper virus to take over the normal Geth. After fighting through the station, you’re faced with a choice.
Choosing to Rewrite the Heretics is considered the Paragon option, and resets the Heretic Geth to eliminate the unique threat they pose.
Meanwhile, Destroying the Heretics is considered the Renegade option, outright destroying these unique Geth.
Legion can’t decide which it prefers, so it leaves the choice of if you should Rewrite or Destroy the Geth Heretics up to you.
Keep in mind that this choice has small story consequences in Mass Effect 3 - though nothing major to be concerned about. In ME2, Legion will become loyal either way, unlocking its Geth Shield Boost skill.
Legion vs Tali Showdown - how to keep them loyal
Once you have completed both Tali and Legion’s loyalty quests, the two will have a confrontation aboard the Normandy. This showdown sees them face off, and Shepard must use Paragon or Renegade dialogue options to diffuse the situation.
However, if you want to Romance Tali, you should instead side with Tali, telling Legion to stop transmitting. This makes Legion disloyal once more - but then if you have a high enough Paragon or Renegade stat, you can then make Legion loyal once more in a private conversation.
Oh, hey, another Mass Effect 2 character with issues surrounding a bad father! Miranda’s loyalty quest requires you to try to rescue her sister, Oriana, from her less-than-kind father.
Work your way through the mission. At a point, you’ll have the chance to Paragon Interrupt Miranda to stop her from shooting someone. At the end of the mission, you can encourage Miranda to introduce herself to her sister, if you wish.
What you do is irrelevant, however: Miranda becomes loyal, unlocking her Slam power. Miranda’s loyalty status also plays a minor role in Mass Effect 3.
Miranda vs Jack Showdown
Once both Jack and Miranda are loyal, when you next return to the Normandy the two will be fighting. To resolve the fight, you’ll need to pick Paragon or Renegade dialogue options to diffuse the situation.
There’s a catch. To romance a character, you’ll need to side with them in this conversation, avoiding those Paragon and Renegade options. Doing so makes the other character disloyal, however.
You can regain the lost loyalty by returning to whoever you made disloyal for a private conversation; then use Paragon or Renegade options to patch things up.
Mordin’s loyalty mission centers on a wider issue for the Mass Effect universe - the Genophage disease that is ravaging the Krogan race. It turns out his former student Maelon is developing a cure.
Firstly, Mordin rushes Maelon and moves to shoot him - but you can interrupt to stop him if you wish. Beyond that, you will ultimately be faced with two choices, albeit framed in a few different ways:
If you destroy the data, the chance of a cure to the Genophage is dropped significantly. This has major repercussions in Mass Effect 3. This is regarded as the Renegade choice.
If you choose to save the data, this is regarded as a paragon choice. This decision also has major repercussions in Mass Effect 3.
Mordin will end up loyal to you either way, unlocking his Neural Shock power. However, the more significant outcome of this mission is what you do about the data, which is covered in more detail in our Mass Effect Trilogy choices & consequences guide.
Samara has unfinished business with her daughter, who is actually a serial murderer who destroys the minds of her lovers. This mission has no combat - instead, you’ll be out of your armor and helping more passively.
It’s worth noting that this mission can be failed outright. At one point of the mission, you’ll need to perform activities to impress Morinth, Samara’s daughter. If you fail to impress across four activities, Morinth leaves, and the trail goes cold. This will be a mission failure, and Samara will remain disloyal.
These are the activities you can undertake to impress Morinth:
- Defend the dancer Hallia from a Turian’s advances. Punch the Turian out to save the Turian being inappropriate towards her.
- Dance with Waera by approaching her and choosing the Paragon dialogue option.
- Buy everyone in the club a drink by talking to Edwin the bartender and persuading him with the Paragon dialogue option… or pay out yourself.
- Challenge Verf the Krogan for his trash-talking humans. Use the renegade responses.
- Dissuade the Turian criminals in the corner of the club. Use renegade options to intimidate them into rethinking their plan to mug innocents.
- Talk to Horftin, and then help him to save Moirall, his undercover journalist partner. You need to talk to the gangster Florit, and be sure to use the words “Terminal” and “Eternity”, in that order, when Moirall can hear you.
When you catch Morinth’s attention and get the chance to speak to her in a booth, talk in a specific way. Again, if you lose Morinth’s attention here, you will fail the mission. Have Shepard say “I’m confident”, and then talk about travel, art, and music. Pick any responses with the terms “Expel 10”, “Hallex”, and “Forta” as a priority, but also generally mention violence and power as much as you can. Obviously, do not speak of family or justicars.
Back in Morinth’s apartment, eventually talk to her. The choices here don’t matter, but the paragon/renegade speech check here is one of the most difficult to pass in the entire game. Samara bursts in and a fight ensues. Ultimately, you must choose between the two:
If you side with Samara, Morinth is killed. Samara becomes loyal, unlocking her Reave power. Samara appears in ME3.
If you side with Morinth, she disguises herself as Samara and takes her identity. Loyal Morinth has the Dominate power. Some aboard the Normandy are suspicious, but nothing more comes of it. Morinth doesn’t have much of a role in ME3, but her fate is revealed.
The Quarians might not have a planet, but the Migrant Fleet still has its own laws - and Tali now finds herself charged with treason. Shepard must take Tali to the flotilla - and then help to protect her and prove her innocence. We recommend you take the time to talk to everyone, in full, at every phase of this quest.
Over the course of the mission, you will uncover evidence that implicates Tali’s father. This would exonerate Tali but incriminate her father - which she does not want. Here are the possible paths out of the trial, which are also explained in our guide to Tali's trial:
- You can use Paragon or Renegade Charm/Intimate dialogue options to talk of Tali’s history and character, to make a case for her innocence that way. This can work if you have enough morality points, getting Tali’s Loyalty without incriminating her father.
- Alternatively, you can lie and say no evidence was found. Tali will be found guilty of treason and exiled, but her father’s reputation remains intact.
- If you returned Veetor the Quarian to the fleet during the Freedom’s Progress mission (rather than sending him to Cerberus), and talked to the Admirals throughout the mission, requesting their help, Shepard can use the crowd, getting them on his and Tali’s side. This can get her exonerated. Tali will be loyal.
- Finally, you can present the evidence, which exonerates Tali but ruins her father’s reputation. Tali will not be loyal in this scenario.
Once loyal, Tali gets use of the Energy Drain power.
Tali vs Legion Showdown - how to keep them both loyal
After completing Legion’s loyalty mission, if you’ve also finished Tali’s, the two will end up having a fight aboard the Normandy. Shepard has to mediate the fight, and can resolve it using Paragon or Renegade Charm or Intimidate dialogue choices.
It must be noted, however, that you can’t use these if you want to romance Tali. Instead, you should side with her, and tell Legion not to transmit. This will make Legion disloyal, but it keeps the Tali romance on track - and at that point, you can then go to Legion and charm it back into loyalty by using charm or intimidate dialogue.
Thane’s Loyalty mission is fairly unique in that you don’t actually have to do any fighting - it’s a non-combat mission, just like Samara’s. Here you’re tracking down Thane’s son - and as with Samara’s daughter, it’s possible to fail the mission and miss Thane’s loyalty.
To avoid that, you’ll have to track down where Thane’s son Kolyat is. You’ll learn of his target, Talid, and will then have to track Talid from up in the rafters. This is where you can fail; you must repeatedly update Thane on Talid’s whereabouts. If you lose him, loyalty is lost. You have choices to make here and some interrupt options along the way, but none will impact your ability to attain Thane’s loyalty, though obviously it’s recommended you don’t injure Kolyat.
Once the mission is complete, you can give Thane and Kolyat the chance to talk in private. You can then decide his fate. Whatever you choose is a positive outcome, and ends with Thane loyal, unlocking his Shredder Ammo power.
As a DLC character, Kasumi’s loyalty mission is unlocked from the very moment you first recruit her on the Citadel. Kasumi’s mission is also one of the more unique in the game, having you play out an exhilarating heist.
For the record, whatever you decide in this mission, Kasumi will end the mission loyal. Your choices around if you should destroy or keep the box will have small dialogue implications including in the next game, but nothing more. A loyal Kasumi gets access to the Flashbang Grenade skill, and will also act as a War Asset in Mass Effect 3.
Unlike other characters, as a DLC character Zaeed’s loyalty mission pops the moment you recruit him. It sees you travel to a low population planet to track down some of Zaeed’s old allies who betrayed him. He wants revenge.
This mission is straightforward, but it’s important to note that you can fail Zaeed’s loyalty mission. At one point, you’ll have the choice between saving innocent workers or continuing to give chase after Zaeed’s target. If you choose to save the workers, you will fail to get Zaeed’s loyalty - unless you can diffuse his anger with a specific Paragon/Charm prompt at the end of the mission. Alternatively, you can take a disloyal Zaeed back to the Normandy, or in some circumstances leave Zaeed behind on the planet for dead via saving the workers..
If you want his loyalty, the safest way to do so is to let the workers die. You’ll miss some Paragon points through this, but little else. Loyal Zaeed has the Inferno Grenade power.