Mass Effect: Andromeda Guide - Dialogue Options and Conversation Symbols Explained

Mass Effect: Andromeda is an interesting mix of series traditions and new ideas, and it turns out to be a pretty compelling mixture even if the game suffers from some polish issues. One major change from past Mass Effect actually comes in the form of an adjustment to the conversation system - a staple of Mass Effect and its predecessors.

The paragon and renegade system which has its roots in the light and dark side mechanic of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is gone, replaced by a more contextual 'tone' system. It's deliberately a bit less black-and-white than Paragon and Renegade, saint or sinner, but as a result it can also be a little confusing.

This is explained in the game during the opening, but it's pretty easy to forget the detail about, given how early it takes place. So allow us to assist...

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.


What Mass Effect: Andromeda's Conversation Symbols Mean

As shown above, each of the major symbols you'll find on the conversation wheel in Mass Effect Andromeda correspond to a particular type of tone for Scott or Sara Ryder. The two have similar responses, but they are written as unique characters too and don't say everything in exactly the same way.

  • A heart-shaped icon when presented in the same style as the other 'mood' symbols means an emotional response - Ryder will speak from the heart, and this most often leads to kindness and sweetness on their part.
  • A cog-shaped icon represents a logical response - sometimes cooler and colder than the other responses, Ryder will speak to logic even if that's harsh or is likely to upset.
  • A Dreamcast-logo style swirl stands for a casual response. This response is often jokey and cute, and can sometimes provoke a negative response as easily as it can promote a laugh depending on the severity of the situation.
  • A square type spiral represents a professional response - this response will see Ryder take things seriously and get down to business.

As you can tell, these four responses are in many ways related to each other - logical is more or less always the opposite of emotional in tone, and casual is pretty much consistently the opposite of the deadpan tone in professional. Pick the right response depending on what you feel the mood of the situation is.


Non-Tone Conversation Dialogue Options

As well as the basic tone symbols, Andromeda has a second set of dialogue icons for special situations. Two of these are pictured above - and as you can see, they're presented quite differently, with the difference between the tone heart icon and this heart icon quite different.

  • A big old love heart icon means that your response will be flirty - this icon represents a conversation path that can help lead you towards a relationship or at the very least a fling with that character. We've got a full guide on who you can get with if you need it.
  • A large question mark icon will prompt Ryder to ask a question about the topic of conversation at hand. Questions will usually lead you back around to the main conversation so you can pick another response with the information the question's answer gave you.
  • The image of two people together means that you're moving towards a friendship with that character - this is like the relationship icon, but softer touch.
  • An icon with branching arrows means you're pushing the conversation onwards (and with it probably the story) - by selecting it, you're moving on to the next section of this conversation.

Conversation Interrupt Prompts

At any time in Mass Effect: Andromeda a conversation interrupt prompt can appear - this prompt will make you perform a clearly-defined action to interrupt another character as they talk. This can have consequences, so consider carefully, but also act fast as this icon disappears quite quickly.

Unlike Mass Effect 2 and 3 these interrupt prompts do not have a pre-defined 'good' or 'bad' outcome and so are all on one button - it's up to you to read into the detail and potential consequences of your action.

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.