How to survive the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2
The Suicide Mission
If you want to survive the Mass Effect 2 suicide mission, which is the final mission of the game, you will have to take the necessary precautions. It is possible for Commander Shepard to die at the end of the game. Also, every other character in your squad in the game can also die. The most important thing to do is recruit everyone and do their loyalty missions. Besides, this makes up most of content in the game. If you do not do their loyalty missions they will not be able to focus on the mission as well and it may result in their death at the end of the game. If a character dies in Mass Effect 2 it will be their permanent death in Mass Effect 3. Upgrading your ship is also another VERY IMPORTANT factor for the success of the mission. You will also have to choose the right team leaders at the end of the game or a characters death could occur.
Recruiting Missions and loyalty missions
Recruiting every character and gaining their loyalty will ensure that they will focus on the mission at hand. Zaeed's loyalty mission can be done very early because you will meet him at Omega at the beginning. I will have to warn that you, however -- even completing his mission can still make him not fully loyal , UNLESS, you have high paragon. There is a part where Commander Shepard can either go save people or ignore them and only go after Zaeed's target. If go to save the people first, Zaeed's target will get away. He will not be loyal to you unless you convince him with paragon lines. However, if you do this mission the renegade way, you will not need high paragon because you will make it to Zaeed's target in time (the civilians on mission will die, however).
Now how do you get the loyalty missions for other characters? Chambers (the one near the world map will inform you that a character needs to speak with you). Usually, sometime after you recruit them or upon completing other characters loyalty missions, will prompt a character requesting to see you about their loyalty mission. Go to them on the Normandy and speak to them on their issue. This may involve a problem with their father or some other matter that affects their focus on the mission. You will then get the coordinates to go to the desired planet. It will inform you on the map, for example, it will say "help Jacob."
Upgrading The Normandy
Upgrading the Normandy defenses is viable to ensure everyone's survival as well. You will have to do a lot of scanning of planets to attain element zero, iridium, platinum, and palladium. Travel to different star clusters to find new planets. On the screen of the planet it will say how good the planet is for collecting resources. This can vary from rich, good, moderate and poor. You will want to try to find rich and good. Moderate is okay, but considering there are so many planets you should only go to them if you will really need to. There are plenty of rich and good planet ratings. When scanning the planets try and wait till the controller vibrates and shoot a probe to gather the resources. Just remember when outside of solar systems you will need fuel and enough probes to scan planets. You can purchase these at fuel depots on the solar systems, If you run out of fuel traveling to another system you will lose a lot of resources to get back. Try and be careful and make sure your fuel is always efficient before leaving a solar system.
Now, to upgrade the Normandy speak to your crew mates and see if they have found anything for the Normandy. The most important ones are the ships guns, shields, and ship armor. Speaking to Garrus will give you the new gun upgrade. Jacob has the idea for new armor for the ship, and tali has upgrades for the ship's shields.
jacob- ship armor ***IMPORTANT
Miranda- scanner upgrade
mordin- his omni-tool
garrus- ship guns ***IMPORTANT
jack- biotic implants for herself
grunt- claymore shotgun (for himself)
tali- ship shields ***IMPORTANT
Samara- increased fuel
thane- increased probe capacity
legion- his own sniper rifle
**Loyalty can be lost with some crew members**
Even if you have loyalty for Miranda and Jack, there will be a scene where they are arguing on the Normandy. Siding with one of them will cause the other to lose loyalty. You must make sure you use a paragon/renegade option to settle the fight so you do not lose loyalty.
After completing Tali's loyalty mission and Legion's mission, they will be in a confrontation just like Miranda and Jack. You will need high paragon or renegade to keep them loyal. Do not side with one of them because you will lose loyalty with the other!
Choosing right team leaders for the suicide mission
When you finish recruiting everyone and finish their loyalty missions, you should be prepared for the suicide mission. Once you go through the Omega relay there is no turning back so make sure you have done everything, including other upgrades to Normandy. You will have to choose people for certain parts of the mission and they must be loyal to ensure their survival.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT MASS EFFECT 2 CHARACTERS FOR THE JOB
For the tunnels/vents- Tali or Legion. They have expertise in engineering.
First Fire team leader- Garrus
Escort back to the Normandy- Mordin
Swarm Protection- Samara
Second Fire Team- Garrus again
You can have everyone survive the suicide mission in other combinations as well. For some reason on my game, Mordin Solus died (I sent Zaeed for escort) and the game did not even acknowledge his death. I only realized his death when he was not on the Normandy. In a cut scene, it even said everyone was alive, but apparently not because Mordin was not on the Normandy after I completed the game. I think Mordin has to be sent back to the Normandy as the escort or else he will die without the game showing his death or acknowledging it.