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How to Get Higher Effective Military Strength (EMS) in Mass Effect 3

Updated on March 10, 2013

If you want to win the war against the Reapers, it's going to take more than a stack of thermal clips and a well-placed biotic charge. If you want to win, and get the best possible ending in Mass Effect 3, you're going to need to have the whole galaxy ready to fight. Here's a guide to exactly what you'll have to do if you want to get the best possible ending.

Effective Military Strength?

Your Effective Military Strength, or EMS, represents the military, scientific and tactical strength that you can bring to the final assault against the Reapers. Your EMS is determined by multiplying your War Assets by your Galactic Readiness. For example, if you have 4000 in War Assets and a Galactic Readiness of 50%, your EMS will be 2000.

Finishing Quests

Almost every quest and mission in Mass Effect 3 will reward you with War Assets. To get your EMS as high as possible, you'll want to complete every quest offered, and talk to as many people as possible. Taking to people, especially people on the Citadel, can unlock new quests. For example, speaking to Aria T'Loak in Purgatory, which can be found on the Citadel, will unlock quests that allow you to gain the collective firepower of the three main mercenary groups in the Mass Effect universe: the Blood Pack, the Blue Suns, and Eclipse.

Making The Right Decisions

The dialogue choices that you make in Mass Effect 3 will have a serious effect on your EMS. Often, you will have to make trade-offs. In some cases making the wrong choice will leave you without vital resources. As a general rule, if there's a possibility of getting someone on your side, try diplomacy before you start shooting. A living ally is a lot better than a dead enemy.

Scanning For Resources

Scanning local systems is an easily-overlooked way of getting vital war assets. You can find everything from fleets to scientists to valuable artifacts that can be turned in for quests. Each system will list the percentage of resources that you have recovered. If you really want to rack up your numbers, scan every system until you've hit 100%. Just watch out for the Reapers.


ME3's new co-op multiplayer mode is the only way to increase your Galactic Readiness. The Galactic Readiness score essentially works as a multiplier. So if you were to raise your Galactic Readiness from the default 50% to 100%, you'll double your Effective Military Strength. Even if you're not big on multiplayer mode, even a small increase in your overall Galactic Readiness can make a big difference in your final EMS score. Win as many games as possible in as many systems to crank up your Galactic Readiness.


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    • profile image

      joey95 4 years ago

      you all should just enjoy having gaming consoles... some people in the ghetto don't have any of this. and the reason for so many different consoles is because of user friendly. as in its up to you what you like weather its xbox 360 or ps3 and or even pc. i have owned all three and use all three and it took me a long time to get them. i personaly like ps3 because of the graphics and the ff and god of war series but xbox 360 has a sturdyer platform with out freezing because of blue ray eye going out but all plateforms has its own personaly equipment added to it for the people who like it. so just be happy with the one you got and don't down others. or and pc is easier to cheat on with console commands.

    • profile image

      pecador 4 years ago

      the only choices i had were destroy the reapers or control. i chose control the reapers. for me it was the best ending. shepard dies, but saves earth and controls the reapers to protect future organic generations. this ending is more dramatic and maybe because i love tragic stories where the hero dies to be able to save a lot of people. that is why jesus christ is very attractive for a lot of people. the value of sacrifice for others.

    • profile image

      GamerGirl93 5 years ago

      Ha! i have ALL the systems so i don't discriminate... i miss mass effect 1, it was so good

    • profile image

      Youdontneedtoknow 5 years ago

      I think Aaron just won

    • profile image

      Generalkidd 5 years ago

      @both fail

      Red dead redemption and ghost recon are not ps3 exclusives.

    • profile image

      Aaron 5 years ago


      You all sound indoctrinated

      I picked the renegade ending thus destroying all of your consoles. Win.

    • profile image

      RbRulz 5 years ago

      Look, Microsoft makes people pay for Xbox live because it takes a lot of $ to be successful. Whereas we pay for live to have security, PSN makes you pay for other options. Have you noticed how games like Halo and GOW are only for Xbox? Because Microsoft has charged people, it has been successful in the long-run.

    • profile image

      both fail 5 years ago

      Actually the internet does not matter 1 dollar vs. Free is pointless considering the fact that it is not the online gaming you are paying for! you are really actually paying for your internet connection. Not your free psn or one dollar xbox live. The other guy with xbox live paying 12 dollars a year for xbox live plus 115 a year for internet is a lot cheaper than if you have free online gaming but it is required that you have a mainstream company internet for 380 a year. Sublimital payments people.

      Besides, if you are hooked up on bluray so much, I can blow that out of the water as well. I can get the same crap as you can on the website of the company that makes it. However if you have a pc you can get the exact same crap as everyone else for twice as much to get your beloved computer installed. For you that don't know, xbox live has silver which is free and gold for a dollar with more stuff however in order for it to work for more than two or three years you must get some hardrives.

      As for lan networks pc is honestly the easiest to set up.

      Ps3 does not have a free music option such as pandora on pc or last fm on xbox.

      And another thing, every game system has its own trademarks

      Xbox has halo and xcom

      Ps3 has red dead redmtion and ghost recon

      Pc has all the mmo games

      And lastly the controls. Pc you can have many more controls but they are harder to reach.

      Ps3 and xbox have the same basic controls including the evil t pad.

      So before you idiots begin strangling each other over Internet, why don't we all rope together and create a super console with all the pros and none of the cons.

      P.s. before any nintendo players begin an argument here. One sentence: limited storage space and controls.

    • profile image

      Wut 6 years ago

      I find it interesting that so many persons are talking about PS3 and 360 as if they were not computers. What you could argue about in that case is which OS is the better 360s, 7, PS3s, OSX, some other UNIX. Obviously the biggest con for 360s, PS3s and OSX is that they are built for very specific, non third party, hardware.

      I personally could never support these newer consoles since they are all about the company and none about the user. Live and PSN are just extremly controlled parts of the Internet.

      Otherwise, coop is really fun. I see no problem having do a bit of that for some extra goodies. Sad that some of you have to pay some company extra to access Internet which they are not providing.

    • profile image

      Gary Bell 6 years ago

      I have all the mass effects on both the PS3 and the 360 just because I'm that big of a fan. Its the same thing for both systems. I do prefer the 360 though since the specs are in 1080p

    • profile image

      penismcgee 6 years ago

      ok guys shut the hell up grab a weapon and get ready for battle because this EMS system sucks we must fight it and we must WIN

    • profile image

      Banfoy 6 years ago

      The PS3 controller sucks ass. Also the online service is nothing compared to the xbl system. And I only own a box lol.

    • profile image

      Derper 6 years ago

      Arguing about witch console is better is like running in the speacial olympics... Even if you win your still retarded ;). When i was choosing witch console to get i will admit both consoles look pretty good but i chose the ps3 and that was just my choice, yes ps3 got hacked, yes xbox has a pretty big problem woth the res ring of death, some people think the ps3 has inferior games others say the xbox is an inferior console altogether but in the end does it really fucking matter? In my opinion i purchased the ps3 because i thought it was slightly better but that doesn't give me or any of you the right to say the other console is "shit" no, remember theses are just gaming consoles and grow the fuck up. PS: where i live a ps3 is the same price as an xbox so.... How is it so overpriced compared to the xbox?

    • profile image

      wow 6 years ago

      GeneralKidd just gave me the only scarp of useful info on this whole page.

      I don't have xbox live and I'm about to do the cerberus headquarters mission decided to do some research to make sure I covered all bases since I heard the game goes into auto play from there to the end. I've completed all the missions and found all the war assests but I didn't understand why my readiness was only 50% and only alittle over half of my total military strength was useful so I found myself here where I find out I have to do the multi player.

      My heart broke cuz multiplayer can only be accessed through xbox live which I don't have.

      Thanks GeneralKidd I completely set aside my 2 day trial of xbox live cuz I was never interested in it. So I'm super happy that I know have a reason to get on there (a free 2 day trial to do it) and a way to increase my readiness.


      The debate over which platform is better is stupid, and has nothing to do with this particular topic. I love my xbox (^_^) and I'm sure PS3 and PC gamers are happy with their lot, so enough said.

      Back to gaming now! (^_^)

    • profile image

      THEWHOGIVEASHITGUY 6 years ago


    • profile image

      Generalkidd 6 years ago

      Ok, to all those wondering about how to bring up their galactic readiness without multiplayer, there's a free app for ios devices such as the iPhone or iPad called Mass Effect Datapad. All you do in it is collect credits which raise your galactic readiness rating.

      After that, all you have to do is use Xbox live to connect to your EA origin account and sync your galactic readiness. And for the record, Xbox Live is technically free. In fact, the free version of Xbox live still has more features than free PSN with the exception of multiplayer. Plus, mass effect 3 comes with a 2 day free trial of Xbox live gold and 2 days is plenty of time to raise your galactic readiness. Even just a few hours a day will give you a huge boost.

      And if you really want to vent on each other, you should go play the numerous cross platform games available. There are currently 2 Xbox 360-PS3 games and 4 Xbox 360-PC games. Not all of them are shooters, but that's better because all you platform specific fanboys will get to test your so called "platform specific skills" against each other across different genres.

    • profile image

      PeaceMaker 6 years ago

      Considering that this article is about Mass Effect, try to thing of consoles as the different classes in Mass Effect. Everyone has their own preferences, and every console(like classes) have their own benefits and weaknesses. Some preffer to do things their own way.

    • profile image

      BlackMinotaur706 6 years ago

      Sony and Microsoft should team up and release a multiplayer game where Xbox players play online against PS3 players so that people can vent their anti-console anger outside of message boards....

    • profile image



    • profile image

      maniac8290 6 years ago

      Seems to me like as soon as we get back to talking about the real issue (being forced into multiplayer) someone jumps back in and starts saying you are all stupid for still arguing about consoles. OK got it. Now on to the multiplayer. I figure these companies are seeing the success of MW3 and such and all the DLC and Elite residual income they are seeing even after the game has been bought and are trying to capitalize on that market. Could be wrong but seems logical.

    • profile image

      fml 6 years ago

      lol noobs I agree!

      even if there is virus who gives a shit!

    • profile image

      6 years ago

      All i gotta say behind the PS3 vs XBox is:


    • profile image

      Aryan 6 years ago

      I own a ps3 An Xbox and a gaming pc. In all fairness pc is probinaly the best but I love ps3 and Xbox is great to. Who really cares what concil it's on any way

    • profile image

      Me 6 years ago

      Here, here SRNormandy!

    • profile image

      lol noobs 6 years ago

      Only morons get viruses on their PC.

    • profile image

      TheGamer 6 years ago

      Oh yeah go pay $500 just to get the right software to actually play the games. For ps3 just stick the disk in and you're good to go!

    • profile image

      SRNormandy 6 years ago

      guys you are all bitching over the same stupid shit the only thing that matters is the damn game can't you just play ME3 and enjoy the goddamn story , i don't care bout a freaking console i just care about the game...

    • profile image

      Hahahaha 6 years ago

      I love that comment where the guy mentions the red ring of death.. i have had my xbox for almost 4 years and never once had a red ring... nothing has gone wrong with it actually. Besides that. Very great information :)

    • profile image

      tbd 6 years ago

      Don't you buy a game to play the game? No matter how its drawn out if you don't like it, DON'T PLAY!!!

    • profile image

      anon 6 years ago

      doesn't matter what ending you get guys, virtually no difference

    • profile image

      Ur gay 6 years ago

      Wow ur all retarded. Nobody cares what console any of u use or prefer they read the article to figure out EMS. Get a life or join a discussion where it's relevant.

    • profile image

      Lulz McGee 6 years ago

      To "Really?"

      Lol, you're starting to sound like Commander Shepard.


      Anyway, I don't want to play multiplayer...I just...don't want to, see no reason for it. Is there any way I can raise the EMS without having to play multiplayer? I was reading in another guide for the perfect ending and it said there IS a way but I still not entirely sure.

    • profile image

      Really? 6 years ago

      Guys we have bigger problems then a console war here....If were going to get a proper conclusion we all need to band together not fight each others like savages

    • profile image

      Stop the Console Wars 6 years ago

      i have bought both a PS3 and XBOX. PS3 in my opinion is better, Now everyone, PEOPLE HAVE OPINIONS SO DEAL WITH IT, STOP BEING NERDY KEYBOARD WARRIORS AND FACE THE FACTS, PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT TASTES IN CONSOLES. Now, for the people saying about PS3 being down for ages, well XBOX has been down 7 times, just not for as long as PS3 was, but when it adds up to it, Xbox has been down for longer. PS3 in my opinion is the Better Of the two consoles, i am going to get a load of hate for this, so let the Halo players come at me with abuse.

    • profile image

      Einar 6 years ago

      Oh my god. Are you people still bitching about which console is better?

    • profile image

      GenocidalTaylor 6 years ago

      well EA are pushing all there games at 7.99 a month from now on and its disgusting they have tried to force the ME3 faithful to buy a multiplayer for a single player game. The idea that you bought a game as a RPG and then have to pay to play a online shooter to get an ending that's just 4 seconds different smells of a greedy company that might get shot out of the water soon by people bringing out games you don't have to pay an extra on the retail price for.

    • profile image

      SomeGuy 6 years ago

      Seriously, EA has already convinced BioWare to mark up the profits by releasing a paid-for day 1 DLC, forcing people to play multiplayer in a game series that was meant to be single player in order to get a good ending,(which costs money if you're a traditional ME Xbox gamer like me)and now there are rumours of an 'Epilogue' DLC which will allow people's Shepards who live (via multiplayer or app) to actually end the series. No wonder game pirating/hacking is so common.

    • profile image

      PS3 or Xbox...Seriously this is a choice 6 years ago

      As someone who has owned all systems going back to Atari...I can honestly say that the PS3 is a WASTE OF MONEY. While I did not purchase one myself, many friends have, and when decided some four years ago which system to get all I kept hearing from my friends who owned PS3s...don't buy it, it crashes a lot, don't buy it the blue ray player conks out after so are inferior (their opinion)..etc..etc..etc...The biggest lynch pin for me was price...If I am going to pay over $400 for a system...I may as well buy a computer (but I already have a gaming PC so I don't need it). I have to wonder why Sony sacrificed the quality of their system while insisting that they charge a higher price. Now granted, you have to pay for xbox live, but I do not use multilayer much...the games I play I play to beat the computer...not to sit around and play online all day long...I have a computer for that. Mass Effect series was a RPG, and although a hybrid RPG into a is a MISTAKE to have made the game multiplayer....This is not Call of Duty....this is not Medal of Honor...I couldn't care less about the kill points...I play the game for the story. Period.

    • profile image

      Stick to the article??? 6 years ago

      Cool stories about 360/ps3/pc.

      Anyway back to the article. Good write up for people who haven't understood how EMS works. Personally I like the multiplayer galactic readiness, it immerses you in a different perspective on the war while shepard is doing his quest.

    • profile image

      TheVoice 6 years ago

      Really? What has Mass Effect 3 taught you? To work together it doesn't matter what. Xbox, PS3 or PC it doesn't matter. All have their ups and downs eg Xbox (Red Ring, Paid Online Gaming), Ps3 (Hacked quite a few times, can't play ME1) and PC well... (Viruses? Crashes?) and btw i play Xbox and I don't give a shit about other consoles.

    • profile image

      Marie 6 years ago

      That's not cool for those who don't have xbox live... I loved ME and ME2 but I'm not so sure about ME3

    • profile image

      Imma 6 years ago

      I like tacos and buritos but i don't like being forced to multi in single player games.

    • profile image

      Anon 6 years ago

      This is some rather terrible discussion. Better question: when will someone make a hack to manually set galactic readiness so I can ignore all this multi-player crap?

      Selling an expensive game, and then asking people to play online or play a game on an expensive & non-sense platform in order to properly play the game they bought in the first place is money grubbing and insulting. No wonder people pirate games.

    • profile image

      Delta117 6 years ago

      I have no problem with the ps3. I do agree that everyone has their preferences, but he was out of line.

    • profile image

      Screw Fanboys 6 years ago

      All of you shut up. Xbox, PS3, PC or otherwise. We all have our preferences, but it does not give us the right to shove those preferences down each other's throats.

    • profile image

      6 years ago

      Ha that got everyone to shut up for a while.

    • profile image

      VoiceOfReason 6 years ago

      You're all morons!

    • profile image

      Delta117 6 years ago

      Ps3isbetterthanxbox: mine red ringed once and I got it fixed for free. ONCE. Blu-ray is most definitely not worth wasting money on for a crappy console when you can just go and buy a blu-ray player for much cheaper. Last thing is this: how does it feel to not know what the crap is going on in Mass Effect 3 if you couldn't play the first one because of your beloved console?

    • profile image

      AssortedUnicorn 6 years ago

      LOL PC Gamer is right. PC is where it's at. Invest in a gaming laptop that's multi use and will last you a while instead of a console that you'll have to keep rebuying and dicking with.

    • profile image

      PC gamer 6 years ago

      Real gamers are PC gamers.

    • profile image

      h8 yu 6 years ago

      360 got hackd,..a few times. Live just wasn't down as loong as psn was.

    • profile image

      Harbinger 6 years ago


    • profile image

      ps3isbetterthanxbox 6 years ago

      Well how many times has your XBOX red ringed? 11? 12? 15? your console is like 3 years older than ps3, one word... Blu-ray...

    • profile image

      NonHackedAccount 6 years ago

      Oh yes... how many times has the Xbox Live been hacked and valuable customer info stolen... oh that's right...

    • profile image

      PS34LIFE 6 years ago

      If you had a PS3you could play online for free. I never understand why Xbox owners prefer to pay for online connectivity than pay a few extra dollars for a more advance gaming system. Don't blame Bioware blame Microsoft.

    • profile image

      Ya know 6 years ago

      Bioware sucks. I have to have 20,000 war assets to get the best ending, people who don't have xbox live are kinda screwed over, been with this series since the 1st, but seriously?


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