Mass Effect: Andromeda Guide - First Murderer Sidequest how-to and outcomes

Mass Effect: Andromeda might take place in a different galaxy, but that doesn't mean it's free of some of the basic, baser instincts of sentient beings - and that means that you're in Andromeda for barely an hour before somebody is accused of murder. The question is... did they do it? The First Murderer sidequest tasks you, the Pathfinder, with determining a man's innocence or guilt. Gulp...

This quest has a few different branches and takes place in two different major in-game locations - so we figured we'd give cover it as part of our Mass Effect Andromeda guide content. Let's get down to it...

Want more Mass Effect: Andromeda help? Be sure to check out our hub - it's full of quest walkthroughs, tips, tricks, system explanations and more.


Mass Effect Andromeda - First Murderer Sidequest Guide

To find the First Murderer sidequest you'll need to have properly unlocked the Nexus - once you've arrived and the lights are on, head down the Militia Office area of the Nexus Operations area. Down here you'll find a concerned, upset Turian lady called Mariette (pictured above) - her husband has been accused of comitting Andromeda's first murder. 

Speak to Mariette and agree to take up her cause. Her husband, Rensus Nilken, has been arrested and is due to be exiled from the Nexus, which could be a death sentence.

Having taken up the quest, let's get the investigation underway:

Speak to Nilken - the man accused of Andromeda's first murder

Across the hallway you'll find Nilken, guarded by another Turian, Sergeant Aker. Aker will allow you to talk to Nilken. Nilken will make his case for innocence. You'll be able to choose how you want to respond to him, but none of this will make any material difference to your completion of the quest - do what you want.

Next up: the man responsible for the law here on the Nexus. Thankfully, he's just across the hallway once again.

Talk to Nexus lawmaker Kandros & listen to the security footage

Back over in operations and a matter of feet away from Mariette's sobbing protest you'll find Kandros, the turian you first met on the Nexus in his white-and-grey armor with sick green neon highlights. Kandros thinks Nilken is guilty and isn't really interested in helping, but he'll still point you in two directions: towards witness Cassidy Shaw and towards a recording of Nilken threatening the victim before the murder took place.

Once again across the hall and near Nilken's jail cell you'll find the computer with security recordings - play it. This doesn't look too hot for Nilken.


Chat to witness Cassidy Shaw & Director Tann

Having listened to the security footage now follow the other lead Kandros gave you - the witness. Head up to the Nexus bridge just up the way. On the raised, upper part of the birdge you'll find witness Cassidy Shaw - she's got white hair and is usually holding a tablet (pictured above). Chat to her.

You've got multiple conversation options here, so be sure to go through all of them and press her. You'll learn that the body was never recovered thanks to Director Tann - who is already proving himself to be a bit of a pain in the ass.

Head to chea tot Tann. He'll give his blessing to go and retrieve the body and downloads the coordinates of where the body was left to the Tempest. Next stop: Eos.


On Eos: Investigate the Murder Scene

It's been a while since Nilken was arrested, and as a result there's not much left for you to find. Head down to Eos, select First Murderer as your active quest and head to the waypoint. Once you head to the waypoint Tann gave you in The Golden Wastes on Eos, pull out your scanner. Scan around where the waypoint was placed - you will find leg armor, half-buried. No body. Nasty.

That said, this is a clue in itself. Your waypoint now moves. This leads to a helmet. It moves again: chest armor. Then more armor. Keepm scanning, as each piece adds to your evidence pile.

This trail eventually leads to the Kaerkyn Cave, a cave inhabited by... you can probably guess, right? These enemies are easy but can swarm you if you're not careful. Kill them, then head inside the cave. On the left of the cave you'll find more equipment including an omni tool, plus what remains of the bosy. Scan and examine the body and you'll learn the truth. 

Nilken didn't kill the victim, Chief Reynolds... but he intended to. His shot missed, and a kett shot did its job instead. So... how guilty is he? Time to return to the Nexus.


Confront Nilken & speak to Tann to decide his fate

Back on the Nexus head back to Operations and find Nilken - unsurprisingly, he's not moved. He's still trapped in his cell, as you'd expect. You can speak to Nilken however you like, as once again this won't impact the way the quest resolves - your decision comes when you speak to Tann.

When you're done confronting Nilken about his attempted murder, head up to Tann's office deeper in Nexus Operations and report to the Salarian about what you've found. Here, you have a choice.

The fate of the murderer - exile or release?

Once you've explained your findings to Tann, Tann is exasperated and delegates the decision to you. Should Nilken be exiled for the fact he intended and attempted to murder Chief Reynolds or should he be freed because he didn't actually commit the murder? The choice is yours.

There is no right or wrong choice here - this isn't a major decision, but just a character moment. If you exile Nilken he will be found living on the outlaw planet Kadara later in the game. If you release him he will hang around the Nexus for a while but will later be seen putting himself into stasis - with knowledge of what he did now out there, his life is unlivable, so he chooses to be frozen again.

If you exile Nilken, check in with Kandros for his approving reaction. If you free him, head back to Mariette - she'll be ecstatic he's free... until she learns of the truth. Not all stories have a happy ending - but at least you solved the mystery of Andromeda's first murder.

Want more Mass Effect: Andromeda help? Be sure to check out our hub - it's full of quest walkthroughs, tips, tricks, system explanations and more.