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Guesses here for Mass Effect: Andromeda. See also WMG/MassEffect.

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    Sara, Scott, and Alec Ryder 
The main character can claim to be a descendant of The Shepard.
Other characters will be skeptical. Or, if Shepard had a non-human (and non-asari)/same-sex lover, or partook in no romance at all, can outright call them a liar. In a twist, it may actually be true.
  • Jossed. The main characters' father is Alec Ryder, a member of the first team that went through the Charon Relay with Jon Grissom.

The main character will be the kid seen talking to the Stargazer at the end of Mass Effect 3.
Now grown up and looking for the wonders promised to him/her when s/he was still a kid.
  • Jossed, as Sarah/Scott would have been a young kid years before the events of Mass Effect occurred.

The protagonist's name is Ryder
Alright, let's get this one over with. In the N7 Day teaser, one of the computer-generated shots is of the interior of a cockpit as a spaceship rockets away from Earth. On the left hand side of the screen you can see some dog tags with a word inscribed on them. If you zoom and enhance the image, it appears to say "Ryder". All bets are on this being the name of the new Player Character. It makes sense on multiple levels. Ryder, like Shepard, is tied to space exploration (Ryder is a crater on the moon, along with being a possible reference to Sally Ride, first female American astronaut, as a successor to Shepard, which was a reference to Alan Shepard, first male American astronaut) and it is appropriate on a symbolic level as well; Shepard was a leader who kept humanity and other species safe from the Reapers, and Ryder will be a traveler, an explorer discovering a new galaxy. It also gives new meaning as to why "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" was used in the reveal trailer.

You will pick the player's background like in the previous games, but will also determine the state of the Milky Way.
Just like how you can pick Earthborn/Colonist/Spacer, you can pick whether you come from a Milky Way ravaged by war, entering a technological golden age, a huge diplomatic federation, or so on, and it will determine your starting stats (War Torn player will have health and defense bonuses, technological player will have bonuses to their powers, federation players will start with more money or resources). The three backgrounds will also be similar in theme to ME3's endings. War Torn is symbolic of the Destroy ending, Federation of Control, and Tech of Synthesis.
  • Jossed: The arks departed the Milky Way for Andromeda roughly around the time period of Mass Effect 2, and so before Reaper invasion. The state of the galaxy is therefore already established.

The new player character will have a customizable species
Hey, we know the N7 guy is not the protagonist, so it's possible, and it would be a logical evolution of the multiplayer characters in ME3. Your chosen species would serve a similar role as your chosen background in previous games, affecting both sidequests and Paragon/Renegade point gains, but also would partially determine your combat/tech/biotic abilities, alongside the normal class system. The available species would be:
  • Paragon:
    • Turians (Combat)
    • Salarians (Tech)
    • Asari (Biotic)
  • Neutral:
    • Humans (Combat)
    • Geth (Tech)
    • Drell (Biotic)
  • Renegade:
    • Krogan (Combat)
    • Quariansnote  (Tech)
    • Batariansnote  (Biotic)
      • Jossed, since the protagonist will be human just like Shepard.

The protagonist has been sent on this mission as a punishment as it is primarily a diplomatic/exploration mission and we all know what happens to marines and security forcas on those kinds of missions
And the reason s/he was reassigned was because of the way s/he dealt with the Yahg issue. This forms the psychological profile as follows
  • The Neutral was part of a rescue team that would covertly extract a compromised STG observation team. However, the extraction was a bloody affair, resulting in the deaths of many Yahg and an expectation that war with this species will be inevitable once they achieve space flight.
  • The Renegade was sent in after the bloody extraction to sabotage a Yahg spaceship prototype, setting their technological progress back a few decades. However, the team discovered that a launch was imminent the hour they were inserted, and chose to engineer a very public very horrible catastrophe with that rocket prototype. This engineered accident caused thousands of casualties and a major ecological disruption.
  • The Paragon was on a space based observation mission over the Yahg home world, but a star flare killed their ship's electronics, forcing it to plunge onto the planet below. The protagonist decided that blowing up the crashed ship would expose the Yahg to dust form eezo, and kill injured crewmen. So s/he buried the ship and avoided detection till a salarian STG insertion team pulled them out. However, the buried wreck was excavated a week later and jumped the Yahg forward technologically by two centuries.
    • All Jossed, as the expedition leaves right about the time when only a select few humans even know about the Yahg.
The three possible origins of Alec Ryder
Spacer Ryder is a John McCain Expy - comes from a long line of admirals, was a Tom Paris like Rebellious Spirit in the Academy, but is now a Military Maverick.

Earthborn Ryder is a Benedict Arnold Expy - Comes from old money, but his father squandered the family fortune, got himself in deep debt, then got himself imprisoned. Ryder is a Glory Hound looking to once again make the family name famous and respected.

Colonist Ryder is a "lunar schooner" who grew up on Earth's moon, and is an Expy of Razaak from Starship Troopers - was a soldier, became an instructor, stayed an instructor for a long time, then joined the Andromeda Initiative to see combat once more.

Ryder is descended from a legendary space warrior...
Better known by his many, many nicknames, including Crud Bonemeal, Brick Slamchest, Punch Rockgroin, etc.
  • ...silly reference to classic Mystery Science Theater 3000 fodder aside, this... is actually semi-confirmed. The PC Ryder is the son/daughter of an N7 war hero, one of the first humans to venture outside of the solar system.

"(Ghost) Riders In The Sky" hints at something about the protagonist and/or their family.
  • Ryders in the sky, we know there are multiple Ryders, and that they're in space, that seems a bit obvious. But ghosts certainly raises some questions, so does the fact that the song is widely recognized as being about The Wild Hunt.
  • That line about "change your ways or you will ride forever chasing the Devil's cows" could also be a metaphor for addiction, as "chasing the herd" sounds kinda similar to "chasing the dragon". The older Ryder showed up in Andromeda as part of an advance team, and got himself and his team addicted to something. Now they must constantly keep chasing after these ghostly animals to feed their addiction, so they try to warn the protagonist Ryder away from Andromeda, or s/he will end up addicted and "chasing the herd" just like them.
  • What exactly is the addiction? Eezo! The initial scout team found eezo and used a Dangerous Forbidden Technique to bioticize themselves in order to make themselves more versatile and survivable. However, the eezo found in Andromeda is different from the Milky Way eezo, so it decays much faster. The scout team must keep looking for eezo to inject into their new nodules, to replace the eezo that decayed away, or these nodules without eezo will become malignant and metastasize. So, if they can't mine eezo, they steal it.
  • Jossed. The song's lyrics are completely irrelevant to the game's plot other than the cursory mention of "riders (Ryders) in the sky".

The N7 Soldier in the initial trailer is actually one of the main antagonists.
Purely to play on the expectations of long time fans, who would assume the character in similar armour to Shepard would either be the main character or an ally. He may not be one of the villains, however, simply being The Rival to our new protagonist, or perhaps our new hero is a Han Solo or Peter Quill esque character, who is initially introduced as a criminal of some sort.
  • Jossed. The N7 guy is your father and the human pathfinder, so he is definitely on your side. He also pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to save your life.

The Faceless N7 Operator in the trailer is both one of the antagonists and a player character.
If you choose a male player character, the female version is the antagonist, and vice-versa.
  • And your choice of character class influences his/hers. If you choose Soldier, s/he will be a Sentinel, If you choose Adept, s/he will be an Infiltrator, and if you choose Engineer, s/he will be a Vanguard, and vice-versa.
    • Jossed — the N7 guy from the trailer isn't a player character. However, the idea that the character you don't choose will still be in the game is confirmed — Sara and Scott Ryder will both show up regardless of which one you're playing as.
    • The complementary class will apply. Except that you're restricted to combo classes - Sentinel, Vanguard, Infiltrator while your sibling is the complementary Soldier, Adept or Engineer.
      • Jossed due to the new character customization system that allows for flexible non-class specific builds for either Ryder.

Ryder is the antagonist, not the player character, and will fill a role similar to Saren and/or The Illusive Man.
The player character is someone else, and Ryder is a fellow member of the expedition to Andromeda. They play the role of The Rival to the player, and eventually become a major antagonist. They're an excellent combatant and is a foil to the player character akin to Saren, but they believe that the Andromeda galaxy deserves to be subject to Milky Way conquest in a similar mentality to The Illusive Man's Humans First beliefs. There will be a major Paragon/Renegade choice to be made at the climax of the game, where the Paragon option is to defy him/her and the Renegade choice being to join him/her (or, alternatively, kill him/her but take their place as conquistador of Andromeda instead.) And, to steal ideas from earlier in this page, Ryder is the N7 soldier in the trailer, and his/her gender is determined by the player at the start of the game.
  • Jossed already by BioWare. Ryder is the name of the Player Character. And he dies making a Heroic Sacrifice to save your life, right after saving the human ark, so he isn't an antagonist.
    • Later revealed to be trailer Ryder's son/daughter.

The N7 solider is the child in the after credits scene of Mass Effect 3.
He/she will also be "The Shepard's" biggest fan and idealizes the commander to frightening levels.
  • Jossed — we now know that the Andromeda expedition left before the end of Mass Effect 3, and that the N7 soldier had a long career before Shepard was even born (since he was part of the first human expedition to ever use a mass relay).

The N7 soldier is your older, cooler, better at everything (possibly long-lost and kind of a jackass) brother.
He is a Richard Marcinko expy who was once a successful N7 counterterrorism operative. He then got tasked with evaluating the security of key Alliance installations, but embarrassed way too many Miles Gloriosus politicians and Modern Major General type admirals. They wanted him tried on trumped up charges, but Hackett protected him from that by shipping him off to Andromeda as commander of the initial recon team. However, due to the time lag, Hackett isn't alive anymore to protect him, but the admirals who were embarrassed had young junior officer protégés who remembered. And so they are out to get him, prompting a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Well, considering how controversial Richard Marcinko is, they may have good reason to be pissed and Hackett may not have been that reasonable to protect him. Also, he might also be something of a Spartan Sibling.
    • The bit about being him your older brother is Jossed — he's your father. The rest of his personality could still turn out like that, though — and you do have an actual sibling, too.
    • The part about Alec Ryder being a Marcinko like troublemaker for the top brass is Jossed - his career came to an end because he dabbled in illegal AI research even after being warned to stop it.

The Voice is Rydad's played by Clancy Brown.
  • If this were to be the case, it's kind of funny to note that Clancy Brown voices a Star Wars Rebels character named Ryder Azadi.
  • He was also in a movie called Pathfinder

Alec Ryder falls prey to Bioware's Whedonesque urge to kill anyone who groups with you at the very beginning of one of their games.
Seriously, just from Mass Effect - Jenkins and either Kaidan/Ashley by the end of the first game (with the possibility of the last of the three not making it out of the third game alive), Wilson in 2, with the possibility of Miranda and/or Jacob dying on the Suicide Mission, or in Mass Effect 3, and Anderson in Mass Effect 3.
  • Alternately, he could survive the initial grouping experience and be kidnapped, and you have to save him instead of avenging him.
  • Confirmed somewhat. Although Alec isn't a squadmate (he is a NPC who is your squad leader), he dies in the first mission. Your twin however does need rescuing.

Alec and/or your sibling are robots.
It'll factor into a big plot twist late in the game.
  • Partially Jossed. The Ryder's have extensive cybernetic implants that connect them to an AI. When Alec dies saving your life, he uploads SAM directly into you, making an AI deeply intertwined to you. So, you are at least a cyborg.

There will be a Sadistic Choice where one of the options is killing the Ryder sibling you've been playing as.
This is a theory I'll probably keep reposting throughout the series, but at some point there will come a Virmire-esque choice where you have to decide between sacrificing something/someone valuable and letting your current Ryder live. If you choose to let them die, then the game will jump to the other sibling having recovered and being forced to pick up where the other left off. Choosing to save the first Ryder will have everyone angry at you for sacrificing something important for their own skin.
  • Jossed. The most sadistic of choices is whether to sacrifice the salarian pathfinder and some salarian prisoners or some krogan scouts. No matter who you save, someone will rip you for not saving the other.

You'll play as your sibling at some point
The sequence will probably be similar to Joker's unshackling of EDI in the second game, but there'll come a sequence where you play as your sibling while the main Ryder is off stuck somewhere else, possibly due to an attack on the Hyperion or the Nexus.
  • Confirmed! Late in the main storyline the main Ryder is captured and you play their twin leading the rescue mission.

The Shadowbroker that Alec Ryder dealt with is not the same Broker as encountered in Mass Effect 2
So one of the early audio logs you uncover of Alec's shows that he reached out to the Shadowbroker for resources to help complete SAM. However, the Broker that communicates with Alec is rather crass and blunt, lacking in the professionalism of the Yahg Shadowbroker. I submit that Alec dealt with the original Broker prior to his death and replacement by the hands of the Yahg.

The Stargazers in all the Mass Effect 3 endings including Refusal are the Ryder twins
BroRyder is the Buzz Aldrin stargazer, talking to his grandkids somewhere on Andromeda. He is the default choice, being the guy to tell his grandkids an old war story. SisRyder only narrates the Refusal ending's aftermath because she went on Prothean dig site expeditions, and would therefore have been a very likely person to have returned to the Milky Way and found Liara's time capsule warnings.

Alec isn't actually dead, nor is Pathfinder Ishara or Pathfinder Raeka, should you choose to leave her behind
All of them are in a situation where they are surrounded by Kett and survival seems very unlikely. Ishara and possibly Raeka could have been incapacitated then captured by the Kett instead of being killed outright. Alec was clearly close to being poisoned to death from saving his son/daughter, but I suspect that the crafty old soldier always had some way out. He may have noticed that the Kett seem to breathe fine on Habitat 7, so right after transferring Pathfinder authority to his kid, Ryder surrendered himself to them. He hoped to infiltrate the Kett and disrupt them from within. The reason the Archon didn't learn a lot more from Alec about activating Remnant tech is because the Primus kept exalted Ryder away from the Moshae. Eventually the Player Character may have to fight all of them. Depending on how much you've discovered on how to reverse exaltation, you may or may not be able to save them.

The twins will have a serious argument and become estranged
Their disagreement will mirror that between Han’Gerrel and Zaal’Koris - one will become more warlike and belligerent, wanting to construct dreadnoughts and take the fight to the Kett, while the other will advocate more exploration to find more golden worlds and looking to replicate Remnant terraforming tech. This will result in the exploration oriented sibling named Pathfinder and the belligerent one made commander of Apex Special Ops.
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    Squadmates, Romance, and Other Allies 
There will finally be a synthetic romance option
Probably an AI, but maybe a Geth...(hopefully a Geth)

Vetra, the female turian, will be a romance option for Scott Ryder
Why not? We had the [1] awesome badass companion Garrus as a love interest for Fem Shep! in the OT. Since this looks like it's akin to a reboot (i.e., the Mass Effect 1 that Bioware has always wanted to make) and they're doing an opposites (the OT has the fiery-tempered racist female squadmate Ashley and calm loving male squadmate Kaidan while Andromeda has Liam who is described as [[Hot-Blooded]] and Cora whom we have yet to learn about) then why not have a change up by throwing in a female turion for the male protagonist this time around and having her become [[Blood-Brothers Blood-sisters]] with the female Ryder? We've seen stranger turian pairings before anyway (Arya and her lover?).
  • Confirmed; Vetra is a romance option either twin.

Recruit and romance from Andromeda?
It is doubtful that the galaxy of Andromeda is devoid of life - wouldn't make for much of an action RPG if it was - so we'll probably run into native aliens. At least one of these will inevitably join the protagonist's crew... but maybe they're even romancable?
  • Confirmed that at least one squadmate is a native of Andromeda and romanceable.

Some possible squad mates.
In the new game(s) some of the new squad mates will include, but not limited to, a male Quarian, a female Krogan (depending on your choices in the third game), a female Turian and both a Volus and Batarian.
  • An actual asari commando as a squadmate, not just an asari capable of fighting. She is on this expedition to look for a cure for the Ardat-Yakshi syndrome. Asari as a whole have become marginalized and ostracized for their government's actions during the Reaper war, therefore very few will procreate with them. Left to only use themselves to procreate with, they anticipate a sharp increase in the number of Ardat-Yakshi. This commando is on this mission to preemptively prevent that from happening to her own young pureblood daughter.
    • This is very partially confirmed. Your Magic Knight squadmate's passive class is "Asari Commando", she served in an asari commando unit, but all that stuff about an Ardat-Yakshi daughter is so totally Jossed. Because this "asari commando" is a human female.
  • The male quarian is a soldier descended from the crew of the Idenna. That ship managed to inadvertedly jump to Andromeda and established a colony there. They are therefore, unaffected by the events on Rannoch.
  • Your ship's crew will include
    • A hanar helmsman. Since multiple tasks may need to be performed simultaneously in an emergency this far away from any home port, a pilot with multiple appendages will be very handy.
      • Jossed. Your helmsman is salarian.
    • A volus supply officer. In an unknown Galaxy, who better than a volus to navigate the economies of alien cultures?
      • I wish!! Your "supply" officer role is taken up by Vetra the turian smuggler. While she does have connections to dodgy exiles, you don't find her wheeling and dealing among the Angaara.
    • A female salarian intelligence officer. Since salarian females are known to be highly astute politicians, she is there to gather political intelligence as opposed to the typical military intelligence that STG operatives gather.
      • Jossed. There is no intelligence gathering apparatus of any kind, at least not unail you meet the Angaara resistance and later on rescue a trapped retired STG operative.
    • A grumpy misanthropic human male chief medical officer.
      • Jossed. Your ship's medical officer is an asari with a British accent.
    • The ship's captain will be an android who thinks he is a human.
    • The ship's second in command will be an Alliance civilian observer, who is a conniving manipulator looking to usurp command of the ship and mission herself. A confrontation will erupt between her and the captain, in which you must pick a side. Support The Captain and your ship will be considered to have gone rogue, with the rest of the Alliance looking to capture all of you. Support the civilian observer and she becomes an inept obstructive second guesser.
      • This part may be partially confirmed. Foster Addison the Initiative's current second in command is an unpleasant incompetent person, who doesn't think highly of you. She is also somewhat anti-military.

There will be a Krogan romance option
It'll be a semi-joke and largely consist of raunchy sexual humor, a lot like Iron Bull's romance in Dragon Age: Inquisition, but it'll be there, and it will be frigging hilarious.

Ryder will have to deal with dissent among his/her shipmates.
As the ship carrying what could be the last remnants of humanity flies into the unknown, our hero Ryder will have to contend with a faction of crewmen who no longer wish to live their lives on-board a starship, and want to land and settle on a planet. Eventually, the dispute will degenerate into an armed conflict. In other words: a Space Mutiny.
  • Plus the presence of an all-female race of psychics and the fact that the Mako handles like a floor buf—er, I mean enforcer.
    • And of course, you can name your male protagonist David. David Ryder. We are literally putting our faith in, and the future of humanity in the hands of, BLAST HARDCHEESE! Surely the allusion must be intentional.

Garrus's Sister will be a Squadmate
Filling the Engineer role. Also providing a connection to one of the most popular characters in the Original Trilogy.
  • Jossed since the ark ships leave during the events of ME2 and as of ME3 she is still on Palaven.

The daughter of Wrex and Bakara will be a squadmate.
Even though it's unspecified how far in the future it is, any progeny of the two are still potentially Spin-Offspring. Wrex will indeed go ahead and name his firstborn daughter "Mordin", and she will be the diametric opposite of her father in class, being an Engineer. Unlike her predecessor, Tali, her durability won't be just from shields but from being a krogan.
  • Jossed since the ark ships leave during the events of ME2 and as of ME3 Eve is still childless. You do meet a Krogan female who is an engineer, but she is Drack's granddaughter.

Krogan squadmate Drack will be a love interest for both genders.
Just because.

Krogan squadmate Drack is clanless, and that factors into his story.
Assuming that the leaked plot details isn't fake (and doesn't change by the time the game is released), then you have a Krogan squadmate named Drack, but we haven't yet learned his clan name. My theory is that he doesn't have one. He's clanless, having been exiled from his previous clan for whatever reason, and he chose to join the expedition due to not having anywhere else to go. Perhaps his long-term goal is to found a new clan of his own based in the Andromeda Galaxy.
  • Jossed. Drack belongs to clan Nakmor.

Drack is the Polite Krogan from ME2
Krogan live for a long time, so my theory is that the polite krogan who works for Mr. Thax on Illium will come back, either as Drack or just a more minor role. No real reason for theorizing this, I just can't get enough of british krogan.
  • Jossed for him being Drack, as they look nothing alike, and Drack belongs to clan Nakmore and the british krogan probably belongs to clan Thax.

Drack is the week old Krogan on Korlus who is not perfect but had purpose
He was most likely the only one of Okeer's rejects who survived. Even though the male Blue Suns commander who complains about Jedore says that the beserkers are going down, you hear him pleading for backup as someone guns him down. Since that week old krogan was holding position instead of running around, he most likely held on long enough to kill the guy on the radio. Now, still a clanless tank bred, but without Grunt's pedigree of perfection, he starts to do his own thing away from Tuchanka. He is a krogan who knows the least about what it means to be krogan.
  • Jossed. Drack belongs to clan Nakmor and is 1,400 years old.

Cora is related to the Illusive Man.
Both Cora and The Illusive Man have the same last name, Harper. Adding in the fact that the Andromeda Initiative's expedition was launched at the same time as Mass Effect 2 originally takes places in the timeline, this could definitely be the case.
  • This explains why Cora was cast aside again and again and again. The parents she knew were probably not her real parents, and when she manifested biotics, they shipped her off to the Alliance before TIM could get his hands on her. The Alliance shipped her off to the asari, as opposed to say, Kaidan's spec ops biotic unit, as they thought she'd be a Cerberus spy. Then the asari eventually find out, and discretely ship her off to the Andromeda Initiative, as they suspect it is a Cerberus front - sending her "home" so to speak.
  • The Illusive Man most likely funded the initiative, solely to get Cora out of the Milky Way. At this time, he is engaged against the Collectors, with the Reapers not far behind, and TIM didn't want Cora to get caught up in it.
  • As it stands the game makes absolutely no suggestion that there's a relation between the two. Cerberus involvement in the initiative is hinted at, but Cora isn't connected to it. Her backstory - which we're never given any reason to question - also puts her as the child of relatively poor spacers, not the relative of one of the richest men in the galaxy. It's entirely possible there's a twist in mind for a future game or DLC, but it's equally possible that they're just two unrelated people with the same last name. Especially when you remember that Mass Effect 3 had the same issue with James Vega initially being named James Sanders without any relation to Kahlee Sanders; they changed Vega's name then, it would seem this time they just decided not to blink.

Your human squadmates
They will include

The squadmates' contrasts to the squad in Mass Effect 1 will be played up.
  • Cora's time with the Asari Commandoes contrasts Ashley's stagnation on human colonies and xenophobic attitude. While Ashley was a little Hot-Blooded, Cora will be The Stoic who needs to lighten up. Also, while Ashley immensely respects you right from the get go, and accepts your leadership without question, Cora will constantly second guess your decisions, as she feels that the mantle of Pathfinder should have passed on to her, instead of you.
    • She will become disloyal and leave your squad if you display pro-human xenophobic tendencies once too often, as she is on this initiative to get away from Cerberus and their xenophobia.
  • Liam will be impulsive and hotheaded where Kaidan was one of the most reasonable teammates. Unlike Kaiden who was initially a Technical Pacifist who held back on his biotics, Liam is more templarish.
    • Liam is an ex-cop, so getting involved in a few too many larcenous schemes will cause him to become disloyal and attack you.
  • Vetra has underworld connections and puts a lot of emphasis on the team. Garrus was a Cowboy Cop. While Garrus abhors lawbreakers and injustice, Vetra will be more morally ambiguous and will love getting involved in a good scheme.
    • Pass up on a few too many good opportunities for a big score, and she leaves your squad. You might have to fight her later on, as she will attempt a scheme that may interfere with some side quest you are doing.
  • Peebee and Liara are both relatively young scholars, but Peebee is extraverted whereas Liara was reserved. While Liara falls head over heels for you immediately, you will just be another short term fling for Peebee.
  • Drack genuinely enjoys his life of mercenary work and violence, whereas Wrex just rolled with it. While Wrex desperately wanted to cure the Genophage, Drack is like Okeer and wants to "defeat the genophage by ignoring it".
  • Finally, while Tali was venturing out into a wider galaxy of strangers, Jaal is an Andromeda native dealing with a flotilla of refugees. Tali was a Wrench Wench while Jaal will be more of a Luddite.
    • Since Jaal is an Andromeda native, he prefers it if you resolve disputes with locals in a peaceful mediating manner. Resolve too ma conflicts by shooting one too many Andromeda natives will cause him to become hostile and attack you.

Hidden Seventh Squadmate
So far each Mass Effect has seen each of the six classes represented in the squadmates. From what this troper can tell, Drack is a Soldier, Pee Bee is a Sentinel, Cora is a Vanguard, and of Liam and Vetra one is an Infiltrator (most likely Vetra, to be fair), while the other looks like being either a second Infiltrator or a second Soldier. This leaves Adept and Engineer. We don't know which one Jaal will be yet but even if he fills one niche the other is still left empty.
  • The unchosen twin gets some kind of cryo sickness from the sleeper starship. Maybe they get better and return near the end like Warden!Sibling from Dragon Age 2?
  • SAM will install himself into a powerful Remnant mech to serve as a Game-Breaker squadmate towards the end. The reason he does this is due to a hidden objective programmed in by Alec Ryder, that commands SAM to do whatever it takes to ensure the survival of you and your twin, due to the Scourge causing him to be permanently disconnected from you and your twin.
  • Bane Goddamned Massani will become a Downloadable Content squadmate.
  • Lemm'Shaal vas Idenna nar Tesleya, Quarian Migrant Fleet Marine and Pathfinder, with his trusty turian shotgun.
  • Sarissa the asari commando that Cora idolized. If her actions were covered up by Ryder, they will eventually be uncovered, causing both her and Ryder to lose their Pathfinder status. If she was disgraced, she is found on Elaaden's flop house as a mercenary, starting a chapter of Eclipse.
  • Avitus Rix drinking himself to death on Kadara. If he was convinced to become Pathfinder, some Dirty Business from his Spectre past as well as his association with Saren causes him to be fired.

Peebee isn't actually an Asari.
  • She's actually impersonating/cosplaying as one, in the same way that Thom Ranier was impersonating a Gray Warden. It would explain the eyebrows, and how come she's so coy about her past. Perhaps the reason her loyalty mission demo cuts off at the confrontation with her nemesis is because that nemesis would spill the beans to Ryder and the rest of the crew. At the very least, it would be a much simpler explanation than Time Travel, an Intercontinuity Crossover with Dragon Age, or Resurrecting Samara's tale of being Shakespeare's muse.
    • I'd point out that there is an even simpler answer than that; quarian ancestry as opposed to human.
    • Jossed by the fact that if you pursue a serious relationship with her, she melds minds like an asari would.
We'll get to see actual unmasked Quarians
The quarians, when they finally show up, will be out of their suits, or at least able to remove their helmets. It was mentioned that while the Krogan were in cryo-sleep for 600 years, they had gene therapy performed on them to up their fertility rate in an attempt to halt the genophage. In Mass Effect 3, Tali mentions that it could take centuries for quarians to finally be out of their suits to live on their homeworld. Most likely while the quarians were in cryo-sleep, the same types of therapy are being performed to up their immune system to handle Andromeda. We may finally get to see what Quarians actually look like instead of the photoshopped stock image we got of Tali in Mass Effect 3.
  • Quarians will be retconned to look very similar to organic geth - their faces consist of a giant eyelid with a mouth and nose in the centre of the iris.

Peebee has a mental disorder.
  • At one point in the story, Ryder will come across Peebee in her room, where she is going up the wall, pacing back and forth and generally seeming ready to jump out of her skin. She says this is due to her not liking people to know where she is, and when it happens she needs to go into some sort of sensory deprivation chamber to calm herself again. This isn't something that's ever been presented as a thing Asari do in the lore, and it's clear that this isn't just a case of Peebee being her usual lone wolf self; she seems to almost physically need to get away from it all. combined with her constant need for mental stimulation leading her to hop from one area of interest to another, focusing on it until she feels she's got all she can from it, and her obvious issues with emotional intimacy (Though some of that probably stems from her relationship with Kalinda) then it all seems to point to her having a mental condition of some sort. It never comes up because she hasn't felt any need to mention it, and it may come up as an aside note in a future DLC, similar how the Shadow Broker files in ME 2 gave all sorts of background information on your squad mates in the DLC.

Vetra's Disappeared Dad was Saren Arterius
  • We know that Vetra's father was involved in shady black ops and that something caused her mother to leave him and take the kids. Now considering Vetra's age, 2165 or a bit later seems to be about the right time that her mother left her father. 2165 was when Saren blew up a refinery, framed Anderson, then ran off to find the sentient dreadnought Sovereign. So it would make sense that the mother would disavow all association with Saren including not taking on the surname "Arterius" in any manner. After all Vetra mentioned that she was a ladder climber. After Saren's public disgrace in the first game, it is no wonder Vetra jumped at the chance to start afresh in a new galaxy.

    Andromeda Initiative 
The main character will be undercover observing the Andromeda Galaxy.
The main character will be sent in to check up on and/or observe the Andromeda Galaxy for whatever reason. However, this person discovers a threat and either is stranded from the Milky Way Galaxy, or cannot contact them. Thus, the protagonist has to take matters into his/her own hands. Part of the story mechanic will be recruiting from races that live in the Andromeda Galaxy and whether or not to spill the beans regarding your origins. As a bonus, you might be able to tell them the story of "the Shepard," which will vary based on the choices you made in the original trilogy.
  • Jossed, in that the Player Character joined the initiative earnestly, joining their father. The part of an undercover infiltrator is confirmed however, with turian NPC Tiran Kandros, who investigates the Initiative in a prequel comic, then joins the Nexus militia.

The protagonist and other Milky Way natives are part of a great expedition that lost contact with the Milky Way long ago.
Even with mass effect technology, crossing the intergalactic void would take an enormously long time. The expedition ships probably made use of stasis, or (less likely) a colony ship model. The loss of contact also allows the start of a clean-state story, assuming the expedition had set off before the beginning of Mass Effect 3.
  • A slight modification to this theory: it was an expedition long planned and prepared for, but when the Reaper War began its schedule was bumped up. Candidates from every known species were selected and thrown onto the ship(s), the N7 Frontiersman was placed in charge, and the expedition left in complete secrecy to prevent the Reapers from knowing what happened, so that, in case the war was lost, their civilizations continued in some form. A rule was made that no contact with the Milky Way would be made, in case the Reapers won and traced the signal. There will be a subplot in the game about people wanting to reestablish contact with the Milky Way, or even go back.
  • Confirmed. The expedition was just a Non-Idle Rich woman's pipe dream until an unknown Benefactor accelerated the time table and invested heavily in order to escape the Reapers. The expedition's comm beacons acknowledging arrival in Andromeda remain unanswered by the Milky Way, and many mutineers rebelled because they wanted to go back.

This is a military invasion of Andromeda.
  • Post Reaper War, the organics of the Milky Way have become thralls to the Leviathans who have risen to reclaim their lost empire. After successfully subjugating the Milky Way once more, they have sent their thralls in force to conquer a neighboring galaxy to expand their influence even further.
    • Jossed, as they leave before the Reapers invade. Or even are known about. Also, they have first contact protocols that forbid them from initiating conflict, unless attacked first.

There's no going back to the Milky Way.
The Bioware shop has released an image of one of their new products. Who wants to bet that ARKCON is short for "Ark Contingency" and this whole expedition to Andromeda is a one-way trip thanks to the Milky Way being utterly annihilated by some galactic disaster?
  • The disaster being escaped could even just be the events of the main trilogy. If an ark were launched as a secret (Ilos-like) last hope for continuing humanity if the Crucible project failed, it might turn up at Andromeda significantly after the original trilogy but be unaffected by what ending Shepard chose (saving the devs from Cutting Off the Branches). If such is the case, the ark expedition may be under strict instructions never to go back even if they can, since that might mean Reaper discovery.

Some extra-galactic foe has curb stomped the Reapers and Ark-Con is on a mission to get help
One way that all four endings could be reconciled is to have some extra galactic power show up, wipe out the Reapers and outright enslave the Milky Way. If Destroy was chosen, this power just rolled in and conquered everybody while they were still recovering. If Refusal, Control or Synthesis was chosen, the Reapers put up a brave fight but lost. And just like Shepard leaving Earth to get help, this team is heading to the Andromeda galaxy to either get allies or find some MacGuffin that will allow them to prevail.
  • Jossed with the Andromeda Initiative. Might still be true for subsequent waves still on their way to Andromeda.

Humans were the ones to initiate a plan to explore Andromeda... and will become a cause for concern when the human thirst for conquest becomes apparent.
It goes without saying that the N7 Day trailer was calling back to humanity's history of exploration, as well as riffing on the current plans to explore and colonize space. In-universe, it ties in really well with how humans entered Citadel consciousness when they activated the Charon relay, alerting the turians to human presence. Compared to the other Citadel species, humans are the ones most likely to push for further exploration. Quite naturally, the senior species will at first try to ween humans off of the idea, but eventually relent and agree to a joint exhibition. Quarians will make their first major play, as they are the most versed in space vessels, and the game's ship will feature a fusion of human and quarian design.

Gameplay-wise, this may see a Mass Effect series first, wherein your starting companions will not be human. As this is a joint effort, it will likely be quarian and (going by the teaser) krogan, which will see this as an opportunity to expand after the genophage (and in a way that won't make asaris too nervous). The advisor in the crew will be an asari, who will help handle diplomatic exploits should the need arise, as well as academic pursuits like learning of foreign cultures. Turians oversee the security, within and without the crew during the expedition. Of course, there will be the eager humans (who may be remnants of or working for/with Cerberus—or completely its own thing, to better drive the point home) who want to hijack the mission and colonize Andromeda to establish power first, and claim seniority over the other Citadel species.

Story-wise, this will see the continued Character Development of the human race in the Shepard Trilogy, only the other species will see them grow from naïve, inexperienced, over-eager yet capable aliens that can rise above any challenge thrown at them to terrifying, unwavering, deterministic, and pragmatic warmongers that even have krogans worried. The Shepard trilogy loved to play up the fact that humans were praised for their undying willpower, helped by the fact that Shepard was the example they went by. Krogans by contrast are hard to kill because of their physiology alone, but humans have proved capable that despite their physical limitations, they can go above and beyond expectations, for good or bad. The game will see relations with the other Citadel species grow tense as humans become harder to manage while Andromeda is explored and colonized. Naturally, this will also bring unease to whatever indigenous Andromedan species are present, as they will really only see this as one thing: an invasion.

The Ship sent to Andromeda is a backup plan in case the Crucible fails
Captain Ryder was selected by the alliance to captain a ship to the Andromeda galaxy. The Game begins with Shepherd giving a final goodbye speech, taking place sometime before the fall of thessia. The Ark contains people of all races, who were put in Cryosleep to make the long journey to andromeda.
  • Jossed as the ships leave before anyone even knew about the Crucible. Might still be true for the quarian ark, explaining its delay.

Shepard's backup plan.
  • The N7 Day Teaser? The one where Shepard says her final goodbyes to those traveling from Earth to the Andromeda galaxy? Canon. How? Simple: S/he had put together a group of the best and brightest not to fight the Reapers, but as a doomsday evacuation should things go wrong. Which best and brightest? You obviously, or your descendants, as well as the best soldiers, engineers, adepts. infiltrators, scientists, spies, mercenaries, ect to help start anew far away from the conflict. This would serve two purposes:
    • 1. Allow for Cutting Off the Branches not just for the ending but for specific details in the game: everything from Destroy/Synthesis/Control to Shepard's gender and background can be chosen through dialogue and actions throughout the game.
    • 2. This will set up one hell of a Deus ex Machina at some point where you can actually come across Shepard as either the galactic god, old cyborg after being brought back to life, or full on human/synthetic.
    • Jossed, as the arks left before people took the Reapers seriously. Also, the initiative seems to have been Jien Garçon and Alec Ryder's idea.

The massive space structure being built in the "Shepard Sendoff" trailer is an intergalactic mass relay.
In the Post-Reaper galaxy, mass relay technology has finally been examined and the galactic community knows enough on how to build them to scale it up to intergalactic distances.
  • Jossed — it has been revealed to be an Ark, a long-range ship.

The Ark ships other than the Hyperion
The Initiative Orientation video mentions that humans will be on the Hyperion and the Nexus. Other races will be in three other ark ships. Those ships will be
  • The asari/salarian ark ship 'Eternal Embrace'
  • The volus ark ship 'Angel Investment', which contains turian crewmen and security personnel.
  • The quarian cruiser Idenna, with its crew bolstered by some more turians.
    • Jossed. The salarian ark ship is the Paarchera, the asari ark ship is the Leusinia and the turian ark ship is the Nataneus.
    • A quarian ark is arriving, but it is called Keelah Siyah, so it most likely is not the Idenna. Volus, elcor, hanar and drell are aboard.

The species coming along for the ride.
Originally, this was going to be a 'list the species you think will be in the Initiative' style thing. However, since every species in the Milky Way is inevitably going to be listed, I thought it would be more fun to think up justifications for the various races coming along. So:

  • Humans: Doy.
  • Asari, turians, salarians:
    • There was no way they were going to sit this one out. They probably cited some laws about building such massive ships unless there representatives of the Council races to oversee the project.
    • All three are Confirmed. The three races are prominent in the Andromeda Initiative, and your squadmates include PeeBee (Asari) and Vetra (Turian).
  • Volus:
    • The volus probably provided funding and technology to build the ships, on the condition that volus representatives were sent to keep an eye on their 'investment' and for a negotiated cut of the resources from Andromeda.
    • Volus are arriving on the quarian "deep breath" ark.
  • Hanar:
    • They'll probably get spots once they point out their obvious advantages in the exploitation of ocean environments.
  • Drell:
    • If hanar go, drell will follow.
    • Hanar and drell are confirmed to be arriving on the quarian ark.
  • Elcor:
    • The elcor are ultra conservative and don't like to stray too far from the high gravity world's they inhabit. So we might only see one or two very brave ones, who bucked tradition and came along.
    • Anticipated excitement mixed with nonchalance! Elcor confirmed on the quarian ark.
  • Krogan:
    • A number of krogan will be hired as mercenaries for security.
    • Confirmed. Drack is a Krogan who will be one of Ryder's squadmates. Moreover, Nakmor Kesh is a female Krogan engineer who serves as Nexus' Superintendant.
  • Quarians:
    • Even though they're still ostracized at this point, if anyone in the Milky Way knows how to build and run a Generation Ship, it's the quarians (even though it's really Sleeper Starship, but someone's gotta stay awake to keep an eye on things). Quarians were hired as consultants and overseers, on the provision that they were given spots.
    • Quarians have now been confirmed.
  • Batarians:
    • Yeah, maybe not.
  • Vorcha:
    • A group of 'civilized' vorcha join as a publicity stunt, to try and counter their species' bad rap, and as specialists for working in extreme environments.
  • Geth:
    • The geth will have learned of the Andromeda Initiative and become curious about it. A small ship filled with geth platforms and enough programs to remain sentient secretly attaches itself to one of the arks on the way out of the galaxy and disengages before enough people wake up to be noticed (and whatever disaster befalls the ships).
      • The part about the geth is most likely Jossed. Since the arks left around the time of the Arrival DLC, very few people would have known about the split between true and heretic geth. Therefore any attempt at geth infiltration would have been violently countered. At the best, maybe a small set of true geth subroutines downloaded themselves onto ark ships and built a few mobile platforms.
    • The geth do not intentionally infiltrate. This is not impossible but it is definitely a longshot. While Legion would likely have become privy of SAM and the Initiative through EDI, he probably would have seen the project as risky and probably would not have had much motivation to send so many runtimes out into the unknown where there was "no carrier available" if something went wrong. However, the research Tali's dad was doing in ME 2 was starting to bear fruit before one mistake got them all killed, maybe SAM data combined with Overlord data provided by the Benefactor might have enabled the possibility of a loyal, Legion like geth aboard the quarian ark. That's still a stretch though. Andromeda mentions Project Overlord several times, so I figure what's more likely is some nutso scientist decides to marry geth technology with Remnant, with disastrous results.

The Initiative will ultimately be revealed as an Enclave-esque sinister conspiracy perpetrated by Cerberus to advance humanity via alien experimentation
Ark crews were deliberately selected as part of that Ark's experiment, so is the choice of Pathfinder. Garçon will be a sociopathic Braun like figure putting you into dangerous situations and giving you near impossible quests For the Evulz and you will ultimately have to decide whether to continue on that path and reap the benefits, or reveal the truth and antagonize every alien in the initiative against you.
  • The story arc tag line will eventually be "No one was supposed to survive this expedition" similar to how the tag line for Fallout became "The vaults were never meant to save anyone". All the experiments carried out by Garçon on the Arks were for the benefit of an Exo-Geni colonization wave that would come 600 years later.

Some people joined the Initiative to escape the Reapers.
Even though the Arks leave the galaxy before the invasion, and so before the Reapers are officially acknowledged, there were people who knew about Shepard's assertion and believed them, so they could have joined the project to escape the incoming apocalypse. Or people who believed them could have put their loved ones on the ships; Kirrahe mentions that the members of the STG believed Shepard, for example, and even made some preparations, so some of them could have secured berths just in case they failed to fight off the Reapers. Some others in the know could have done the same thing. Regardless, the existence of the Reapers will be ridiculed by the majority of people in Andromeda.
  • Somewhat confirmed. Alec Ryder and Jien Garson were both aware of the rumors of the Reapers and believed them (Ryder can find communication logs with Liara and Garrus' father discussing the threat), and spearheaded the Andromeda Initiative as a result. However, this reason seems to have only been known among the leadership's inner circle.
  • When the quarian ark arrives, we will find the Mass Effect 3 council aboard. The asari councillor's "continuity of civilization" was for them to intercept the quarian ark, board it and run, leaving the Milky Way to burn.

The Andromeda Initiative is a Cerberus Project.
There's too many coincidences: SAM looks like EDI, Ryder is interested in human advancement, his assistant's last name is Harper, the color scheme of the Initiative is the same as Cerberus, as are the weapons. Spelled out in this video.
  • This actually seems about 75% likely following the Origins pre-release demo where the memory imprints of the deceased Alec Ryder and Jien Garson continually refer to their worries regarding the intentions of the Initiative's financial backers. While they never outright state who this might be and Jien and Alec themselves are pretty detached from anything remotely Cerberus, all evidence mounting is pretty well pointing towards The Illusive Man.
  • Come game release, it seems almost entirely certain that Cerberus was the main sponsor for Alec Ryder's SAM research after his money ran out, and a major backer of the Andromeda Initiative, but Alec Ryder and Jien Garson weren't themselves Cerberus or promoting a Cerberus agenda. It's strongly implied that Cerberus, if they were in fact the backers, sent someone along to kill Jien Garson.
  • Counter theory - it is a Leviathan funded, or alternatively, funded by that eccentric Volus on Klencory. What lends credence to this theory is that Cerberus would never have allowed all those other species to come along, especially the Krogan. After all, they are human survivalists. However, Jien Garçon's assassination might have been a ploy by Cerberus infiltrators to wrest control of this project away from her and these backers.

Some of the Initiative's tech is based on reverse-engineered tech from Sovereign.
Mainly because they seem to have more advanced tech in some ways than we saw in the original trilogy. Alec Ryder was based on the Citadel for a while, and dialogue and flavour text in Mass Effect 2 claimed looters had made of with a lot of wreckage from the destroyed Reaper. Now we're seeing who that loot went to.

Effects of the Reaper Invasion on the Arks.
According to videos released by players with early access copy, the reason for the lack of Quarians and Drell is that they had their own ark which, just before humanity's departed in 2185, was for some reason not ready to depart yet, and so by the time the game begins their ark has not yet arrived in Andromeda. It's assumed that their ark will arrive at a later point having departed at some point after 2185, however it seems possible that if work still needed to be done on the Quarian ark, it had still not left by the time of the Reaper invasion. The Ark may have been destroyed, or after the Geth/Quarian war the Quarians intending to travel on it may be dead or staying in the Milky Way having retaken Rannoch. Either way, it's possible that with no contact to the Milky Way, the Andromeda Initiative has no way of knowing for sure if the Quarian Ark actually left..
  • Alternative theory - the Catalyst found out about this ark ship, but didn't have a reaper to spare to try and subjugate it. So, the Catalyst created a backup copy of itself, fragmented it among code upgrades to some heretic geth runtimes and downloaded itself onto the ark. The idea was to seize control of that ark, Reaperize it, and evaluate the organic synthetic conflict situation in Andromeda, and if need be, start creating a new Reaper army out of species there. This way, it escaped the effects of the Crucible, but can be a terrifying new enemy for the Initiative to deal with.

The Initiative harbored passengers with ulterior motives
It's a pretty safe bet that half of the exiles had no plans on being law abiding Andromeda citizens regardless of how good the mission turned out. Most of the outlaws and pirates were likely, also outlaws and pirates back in the milky way. The initiative was just a good cover for them to escape either justice, or underworld debts or all of the above. The virulent spread of the exiles seems to be more than just disgruntled people. The initiative did a half ass job of screening people, especially the security personnel.

    Andromeda Galaxy 
There are surviving Protheans in Andromeda.
Descendents of an expedition colony that looooong since lost or severed contact with their origin galaxy and were not swallowed up by the Reapers in their incursions.
  • Besides Protheans, other older races also fled to Andromeda, seeking refuge from the Reapers. A source of conflict will be between these enclaves of Milky Way refugees and species native to Andromeda.

The Remnant visited the Milky Way in a previous cycle right around the time the Reapers invaded.
Maybe it was the Prothean cycle, or the Inusannon cycle, or even earlier. A highly advanced race from the Andromeda galaxy unlocked the secret to intergalactic travel. They had just enough time to establish a relationship with the Milky Way's dominant race when the Reapers came through the Citadel relay. Recognizing the threat to their own galaxy if their secrets were discovered, the Remnant hid their technology and existence from the Reapers in much the same way the Leviathans did. After the Reaper War ended, regardless of how Shepard did so, the dominant races of the original trilogy's cycle uncovered ruins containing the knowledge of the Remnant. Maybe it was a ruin left by the Remnant themselves, or maybe it was a ruin left by the Milky Way race they made contact with. Regardless, the races of the Milky Way unlocked the Remnant's method of traversing Dark Space safely, and decided to do the same.
  • The jardaan terraform planets with Remnant tech, then genetically engineer life to live on those planets because they observed that species in their neighboring galaxy were getting mulched and turned into Mecha Chtulhu monsters on a regular basis. They made trips to collect samples, bring them to Andromeda, then create planets for them in isolated star clusters for those species to thrive again. And without Mass Relays, these species could research FTL propulsion improvements at their own pace, thereby avoiding the problem of technological advancement before cultural advancement. So, the Angaara were once a Milky Way species, that got harvested a long time ago, explaining their humanoid turianoid appearance.However, they couldn't come this cycle, because they got into a galactic war with the makers of the Scourge, and were driven out of at least Heleus.

There's a large system of Citadels throughout the universe.
In the first game we learn that the Citadel is essentially an enormous mass relay gussied up to act as a sort of trojan horse. What if, while the mass relays allow for travel throughout a galaxy, there's then an entire network of Citadel-like constructs throughout multiple galaxies in the universe that allow for intergalactic travel?
  • The Citadel was created by the Reapers, remember. If there's more than one, that means they've gone extra-galactic, too. And since the Crucible, no matter what ending you chose, only affected the Milky Way, we're talking about the same genocidal Mecha-Cthulhu as the first game.
  • Jossed. There are no mass relays in Andromeda, as stated by the Initiative.

The Andromeda galaxy was victim to the reapers as well
During the ~50,000 years the Reapers spent in dark space they were terrorizing organics in this galaxy. This would explain how there could be races in the Andromeda galaxy that aren't extremely advanced compared to Milky Way races.
  • Jossed. We find evidence of an extremely advanced race the jardaan, who are capable of terraforming entire clusters of planets and even creating organic life. A reaper culling would have never allowed such a species to advance this much.

Biotics don't exist in Andromeda galaxy.
Assuming Eezo doesn't exist in Andromeda Galaxy: Assuming the Reapers only targeted the Milky Way, it would allow the inhabitants of Andromeda to pursue evolutionary paths naturally and unhindered. Including evolving to the point of developing telekenetic or telepathic powers without the presence of Eezo. One of such race is potentially recruitable as a squadmate and can even learn new biotic powered based off their knowledge.
  • Eezo is a naturally occurring material. There is no reason to believe that it wouldn't exist outside of the Milky Way.
  • You will learn during the course of this game that eezo is actually artificially created and that someone seeded amounts of it all over the Milky Way.
  • The eezo in Andromeda has been modified somehow to have a significantly shorter half life, so it decays much faster. This was done intentionally to ensure that no local species would ever produce biotic adults, as biotics are a major game changer in military conflicts. The only biotics in Andromeda are children, who lose their Mind over Matter powers when they reach adulthood.
  • Confirmed that there are no natural biotics among the Andromeda races. On the other hand, the angarans have a type of bio-electricity instead which they can use in combat.
  • That being said, Eezo does exist in Helius. Why there aren't natural biotics among the space faring races isn't entirely clear.
    • It will be established that eezo was previously contained only in Remnant tech and therefore carefully isolated from whatever life the tech supported. However, the Scourge also contains copious amounts of eezo, and is depositing it all over the cluster. And by neutralizing remnant tech, it is causing them to leak eezo too.

Andromeda is inhabited by Leviathan's predator species.
The Reapers originally had Andromeda on their hit list, but a species more advanced than the Levithans effectively curbstomped them enough to prevent the Reapers from returning. We'll see a host of Reaper carcasses on one fringe arms of Andromeda. While they are rarely seen, they are a noted presence in Andromeda.

Part of the plot will be to learn why Andromeda isn't filled with hyper-advanced life.
According to the Leviathan DLC in Mass Effect 3, the first space-faring species (that we know of) in the Milky Way appeared around a billion years ago, but the Reapers have been resetting galatic population ever since. The Andromeda galaxy has been around for a long time as well, but as of this writing all the promotional materials imply that Andromeda is a very frontier, unsettled place. As far as we know, the Reapers never came to Andromeda, so why isn't it filled to bursting with highly-advanced civilizations with massive populations? During the course of this game, we'll find out why.
  • Complete shot in the dark, but it could be that the Remnant race mentioned in the survey leak actively suppressed other species without exterminating them until the time of their mysterious disappearance.
    • The Reapers were created because organic civilizations kept wiping themselves out. Perhaps this is what happened in Andromeda? There was a massive cataclysm caused by some species' hubris that resulted in Andromeda being sterilized of life, and it's simply taken a very long time for organic life to come back. And while this is happening, the Milky Way species show up...
      • Earth IRL only had multicellular life for 600 million years. It took a little over half a billion years for those creatures to turn into a sapient race. Perhaps the cataclysm in Andromeda took place about a billion years ago and purged the galaxy of life down to the single cell level, and this is how long it's taken for life to reform completely from scratch?
      • Another theory. The Leviathans were in contact with Andromeda back then, and the Catalyst witnessing what happened there was what led it to conclude that the Reaper cycle of extinction was the only to prevent the Milky Way from suffering the same fate.
  • We find that there was at least one, most likely two highly advanced species in Andromeda, and fairly recently at that. The jaardan are responsible for the creation of the Remnant technology, including a network of teraforming systems, and designed the angaran species. They were driven out of the Helius cluster some five hundred years before the Initiative's arrival, meaning that they were active after the events of the Original Trilogy. The race that drove them - assuming it wasn't just another faction of jaardan - did so by unleashing an absolutely massive dark energy cloud across the cluster that disrupted the teraforming network, shattered at least one planet entirely, and completely disrupted space travel throughout the cluster in a way that is comparable to a minefield. The lingering effects and continued pressence of this cloud is why the cluster remains abandoned by other hyper-advanced species.

The Remnants are a synthetic race.
They are the remnants of a previous species who has gone extinct, who left their vaults of technology and data in their care. They are basically Vigil, but as a race.
  • That original species have ascended to become energy beings.
  • Confirmed that the Remnant are synthetic, but we don't yet know the fate of their creators the jaardan, except that they were attacked and driven away by the Scourge. These Remnant robots are however just passive machines that react when someone gets close, and don't exhibit the advanced behaviors of AI.

You will encounter a lot more cosmological hazards in Andromeda
One thing that the Milky Way mass relay network was very good at, was ensuring safe travel between stable habitable zones in the galaxy, far far away from nightmarish objects like magnetars, magneto-pulsars, stellar nurseries teeming with proto-stars, colliding stars, novae, supernovae, quark stars, quark novae, black holes, binary black holes etc. No such safe passages exist in the Andromeda Galaxy, so you will have to deal with them.
  • Just one, but it's a big one: The Scourge, a dark-energy mass that appeared sometime between when Andromeda was scouted and when the arks arrived. It destabilized planets, rendered biospheres unlivable, and damaged and destroyed the Andromeda Initiative ships.
  • You also get to see a black hole happily parking itself in the gravitational center of the Heleus cluster.

The Remnant were a robotic race
And the ones we see in the gameplay trailer are non-sentient or semi-sentient lesser versions created safeguard their technology
  • Confirmed. They are constructs.

Thresher Maws originated from Andromeda
There's a giant Sand Worm creature in the game; could it be that thresher maws originated from the Andromeda Galaxy? After all, they seem to panspermia everywhere in the Milky Way...
  • Or some Thresher eggs could have hitched a ride on the arks. If there's a time skip that could give them time to gestate.
  • Partially Jossed. That giant worm is a Humongous Mecha, not a thresher maw. However, there might be maws elsewhere. Also, the maws are explicitly stated to be native to Tuchanka.

One of the species in the Andromeda Galaxy will turn out to be genetic cousins of the Quarians
Sure, a long shot, but the Quarians are one of the more popular races in Mass Effect. Their low numbers make it hard to justify bringing some of them along, but perhaps a group of Quarians decided to look for a new home far, far, far away from the Geth and the council races that hated them, something went wrong and while they got there, they had enough time to evolve slightly, biologically and culturally? It'd also explain Bioware not bringing up the Quarians one way or another: It's a secret...

The Scourge's purpose
The Scourge was actually intended to stop the Kett. They targeted the jardaan because those guys were terraforming planets willy nilly and seeding them with all kinds of life - life that is primo fodder for Kett conversion. Destroy these vaults, kill the planets, snuff out all life, starve the Kett and they die out eventually.

The Jaardan sent an expedition to the Milky Way, but got repulsed by Sovereign
The Jaardan visited the Milky Way ten or twenty thousand years ago, well after the reaping of the Protheans but before the rise of the current races. While they were here, they were curious as to why the galaxy was so empty, so they explored around, opening each Mass Relay as they found them. They eventually encountered Sovereign or they discovered the history of the Reaper cycle, so they either got wiped out by Sovereign or they turned tail and fled back to Andromeda, not wanting to attract the Reapers' attention. Sovereign never realized or cared about the significance of the advanced race he encountered, so he just went back into hibernation, not noticing the single vault the Jaardan left behind on the planet Klencory.

The same vault that would eventually be discovered by a certain volus billionaire...

The Jaardan are a Kett faction or symbiotically linked to the Kett
The brief notes we get from the Jaardan talk about a cycle in making the Angara. This echoes some of the things the Kett talk about improving. Also, the Primus mentions that they never needed to use the Remnant before suggesting that they have uplifted races from Jaardanian worlds before. These things all support one possibility: that the Jaardan evolve new species and the Kett come along and assimilate their creations over and over throughout the galaxy. This theory would also give possible explanations to a couple of other questions:- Why would someone attack the Jaardan? Could be one of their creations who recognized the cycle for what it was and wanted to break it- Why is technology so backwards? Because, as Lexi notes, the process is an incredibly inefficient way to advance. If the Jaardan and the Kett control the Galaxy, they could restrict any ability for another species to interfere and they just continuously build on their attempts to incorporate more and more traits

The Jaardan did not create the Angara, but rather, they discovered and modified them
Throughout the game, we find all sorts of hints that the modern Angara aren't what they seem to be. Old statues showing Angara with physiological differences. Old instruments that can't be played by modern Angara. An ancient AI that insists that the modern Angara are not its creators, and suggests that you kill them. All this seems resolved when we find that the Jaardan seemingly created the Angara, but there are many unanswered questions. What if the Jaardan didn't really create the Angara, but rather discovered an ancient Angara civilization and then modified them to be an ideal servitor race, creating the modern Angara in the process? What if the ancient Angara civilization were the original creators of the Scourge, in a last-ditch attempt to drive the Jaardan out of Heleus and preserve their species? This would make the Kett invasion of Heleus rather grimly ironic - that would be twice that the Angara had their genetics altered by enemy action.

    Plot and Antagonists 
The Kett Are Human.
One of the first things revealed about the game was the early name for the Andromeda Initiative itself, "ARKCON" (Ark Contingency). The name of the main villain and presumed leader of the Kett as per the second cinematic trailer? Archon (or "The Archon" according to Scott Ryder). A coincidence? It wouldn't be a far stretch to assume that the Kett are in actuality a faction of humans, possibly an early expedition team sent ahead of the main Initiative, to scout the Andromeda galaxy but came into contact with some sort of otherworldly thing (Remnants?) that transformed them and twisted them in the same vein as Husks from the OT. Alternatively, they could be led by Alec Ryder having become lost due to some extraterrestrial anomaly. Either way, if the Kett are truly as hostile as promo materials have said towards all races (humanity most of all), it wouldn't be a far stretch to say that their underlying skin was once human too.
  • Further helped along by the newest launch trailer. While it's possible he's referring to something completely different, Alec Ryder's line "they're visitors, like us", seems to imply that the Kett themselves are aliens and strangers to the Andromeda Galaxy. With that, their true origin could potentially be from anywhere outside Andromeda...including the Milky Way.
    • Not necessarily. It was stated in the Jaal video that the Kett have been fighting a war with the Angarans for eighty years, and them being "visitors" could just mean that the Kett are from a different star cluster from within Andromeda.
      • ...unless a century or so after the Andromeda Initiative left the Milky Way, the human race sent another expedition to Heleus using faster spaceships that beat them there by a couple centuries, then mutated into the Kett.
    • Perhaps they are the Argon?
    • Op here, I like starting theory discussions. Also, I'm gonna counter by stating that I'm also hoping Mass Effect finally goes Interstellar and delves into some time travel mythos here with the Kett and normal Humans. There's also that the Andromeda Initiative itself went completely undetected between ME and Mass Effect 2 so who's to say there wasn't some other kind of crazy expedition launched beforehand?
    • The Kett are a Milky Way species that conquered the Galaxy and enslaved everyone else a million years ago. However, like all dominant Milky Way races, they got harvested and turned into a capital ship. The Kett were turned into the reaper called Nazara or Sovereign. These Kett were dispatched here to find technology that will defeat the Reapers, but don't want to share that tech with anyone else, as they want to regain their position as galactic overlords. This will be a nice way to further tie this game in to Mass Effect.
      • That honestly probably one of the coolest pre-game theories I've heard.
  • I was actually pretty close with this guess. But nope. Unfortunately they went with the much less cool and honestly weird idea of making them former Angara instead. Much less devastating.
    • For the humans anyways. The Angara on the other hand aren't too happy with finding out they've literally been fighting themselves for the past eighty years. Imagine how you'd feel if the homocidal alien soldier you just blew the head off of used to be your granny.

The plotline of "Dark energy" is coming back and would become the primary plot point in a new trilogy.
For the first three games it was implied, albeit never said directly, that the original reason that the Reapers created the cycle was preventing total extinction of the entire universe due to build up of star-destroying dark energy caused by the use of element zero. In this game or a new trilogy a major problem will be that without Reapers, the civilizations of the Andromeda galaxy have been using Eezo for so long that it is killing their stars so the hero will have to find a way to resolve this.
  • Note that this plot specifically was discontinued after lead writer Drew Karpyshyn left the franchise after Mass Effect 2. Now he is making a return.
  • The sun on Haestrom was prematurely aged as part of a Remnant weapon test. The Remnant felt threatened by the impending collision between the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies in 2 billion years, so they are trying to preemptively destroy every star in the Milky Way, so the Andromeda galaxy won't collide with anything.
    • An alternative to this theory - the premature aging of Haestrom's sun was caused as part of a test of the Scourge's capability. Test its ability on some distant star on the perimeter of a neighboring galaxy, collect data and refine the Scourge to wreck planets quickly. Since the quarian ark has this data, the Scourge builders attacked it. The reason it is broadcasting a "keep away" signal is because there is intense scourge presence on all approaches to the ark.
    • The destablization of Haestrom's sun was caused by a Q-Ball (a spherical soliton of concentrated Dark Energy), which is also, the All There in the Manual explanation for why our sun is acting so screwy in Sunshine.

  • Confirmed. The Scourge mentioned in the trailers and encountered by the Initiative on their first arrival to the Heleus Cluster is described as being tied to Dark Energy and Element Zero but otherwise defies all understanding of basic science. No word yet on what it might actually be but at the very least it is tied to this.

Cerberus will be antagonists.
The ship fled the Milky Way during the events of Mass Effect 3, and Cerberus made sure to leave their mark. In Andromeda, Cerberus will be doing whatever it takes to put humanity on top of the new galaxy — whether Ryder wants them to or not.

The story will be at least partially about a science fiction version of The Wild Hunt.
The reveal trailer used "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" by Johnny Cash for many different reasons. BioWare has already confirmed that the song was used for symbolic reasons, although we don't know exactly what those reasons are yet. It's been theorized that it may be a reference to the name of the protagonist, "Ryder", which seems highly likely, but we also shouldn't forget what the song itself is about. The lyrics are about the Ghost Riders, the North American name for ancient myth of The Wild Hunt. The Wild Hunt is said to occur before or during a great calamity or even the end of the world. Perhaps the Milky Way explorers see themselves as this: hunters from a mostly dead galaxy looking for new worlds to call home, in the aftermath of the Reaper invasion, which spelt doom for every species in the galaxy. Or maybe its a reference to the way the Milky Way explorers will be viewed by the natives of Andromeda: an ominous hunting party that can seen charging across the sky (or space, in this case), spelling doom and catastrophe for them since they want to colonize and invade their worlds.
  • Partially Jossed. The Angaara did fall victim to the Scourge which set them back technologically, after which the Kett are hunting them. However the initiative seems to have no relevance to this concept.

The conflict of the game will revolve around restored communications with the Milky Way.
The theories above about a one-way exploration trip to escape the Reapers are correct, but decades or even centuries later the contact with the Citadel space is re-established. The problem is that to the explorers these people who have undergone the Synthesis and are on friendly terms with AI come off as incredibly creepy, possibly even Indoctrinated, and the conflict will be based on whether to reconnect with these people and their strange new world or stick to the old and familiar customs in an alien environment and find your own way in the new galaxy. There could even be separate character development trees depending on whether you wish to go transhuman or remain unmodified — possibly using some Andromedan artefacts that reject Reaper-based technology to retain game balance.
  • Jossed.

Objective of this game will be to gather all resources needed and build a Mass Relay
It wouldn't be a Mass Effect game unless the titular mass effect fields are a major plot point. Since the mass relays in the Milky Way are Reaper constructed and operated, and the Andromeda galaxy is so far known to be Reaper free, building relays there is the only way that our explorers could actually explore the Galaxy.
  • Jossed as of now. Although one goal of the initiative is to establish some sort of conduit back to the Milky Way, right now the Nexus is in no condition to allocate resources for this project.

The totemkopf terrorist group mentioned in Mass Effect 2 will be antagonists
Totemkopf was mentioned to have struck Gagarin station with a neurotoxin. What possible reason could they have to strike this little known station instead of a more populated target? Because Gagarin station at that time was known only for one thing - training biotic kids to become Super Soldier types. We know that biotics face a lot of discrimination among humans and turians and who knows who else, because they are perceived as mutated freak Ubermensch types. Combine that with the Nazi inspired moniker Totemkopf and we could arrive at the conclusion that this group consists of genetic purists who see biotics as not human any more. The reason why they didn't become a bigger threat was because the more well funded, well organized and tacitly supported Cerberus was in favor of bioticising humans, and thus covertly suppressed them. However with Cerberus annihilated and the Alliance political leadership in turmoil after the Reaper War, conditions are ripe for Totemkopf to rise from the ashes. Furthermore the Thessia beacon revealation may result in sufficient animus against the asari species, that other people, especially turians might be swayed to join this anti biotic genetic purist movement. Furthermore, with inert Reaper tech available for cybernetic implantation, these purists may have another axe to grind against people who have received genetic modifications and/or cybernetic implants.

The Big Bad of this game and perhaps trilogy will be a sentient supermassive singularity
Dummied Out content from the first trilogy was to have made dark energy due to eezo usage the reason for the Reapers' genocidal cycles. Because that leaked, they obviously cannot use that exact premise. Also, they replaced that idea with that of a technological singularity threatening everyone. So how to top The Singularity as a feared threat? A natural singularity. However, collapsed star singularities including those present at galactic cores are relatively harmless as long as people keep their distance. A life form that evolved into a gravitational singularity that can plot its own path on the other hand is a truly terrifying force, that conventional weapons are ineffective against. And it's motive for attacking others is simple - it must feed and increase mass or the rate of Hawking radiation will cause it to evaporate. So how did this singularity come to be? Biotics via eezo. After all we have already seen people use eezo to create localized singularities, which can even explode and deal damage. Left to evolve for a billion years, it is entirely conceivable that someone created an eezo based singularity so powerful it swallowed him/her up.
  • This has to be one of the most unique and hardest interpretations of an Eldritch Abomination I've heard of.
    • A little late to the party here, but with the dummied out dark energy plotline, the reason why it was such a threat was tied into heat death theory. All the use of dark energy was exacerbating the buildup of entropy (or at least creating a similar effect), causing the Milky Way to enter the early stage of heat death. The Reapers were created to solve the problem, when they couldn't they started the harvest. The cullings not only dark energy and entropy levels to reduce, but they figure by harvesting these advanced species they might eventually finally solve that piece of the puzzle that will "solve" the heat death problem. The original final choice for Shepard to make would have been, work alongside the Reapers to find a way to avert galactic heat death (as this cycle may hold the final piece of the puzzle, meaning it would be the last one), or destroy them and the galaxy, accepting that it is on borrowed time, enjoy the little remaining time it has left. This was mainly Drew Karpyshyn's idea, and Casey Hudson hated it, so once Drew left the series, Casey junked it.

There will be an antagonistic Krogan faction.
There was a leak that showed a cutscene under-construction where a couple of krogan poisoned a human using a vial of alien pollen. My theory is that the Andromeda expedition is a multi-species joint project, as stated earlier on the page, but there's a group within the krogan who are antagonistic to the other races (or possibly just humans). Squadmate Drack, assuming he's real, is opposed to this group, and a quest or two will involve putting them down.
  • The reason these guys became hostile is because they were members of Clan Weyrloc who were off on some blood pack mission. They were recruited to be part of an advance scout unit for the Ark-Con Pathfinders, but during the expedition, found out that a human and salarian annihilated their clan to prevent the genophage from being cured (sound familiar?) They then swore revenge.

There will be an antagonistic Human faction.
Alternatively to the above WMG, there's a group within the humans who are antagonistic to the other races, though not in the same vein as Cerberus. They're more generally distrustful and casually racist, and want the human leaders to keep a much tighter leash on the aliens who are part of the expedition, or at least a tighter leash on the Krogan.
  • Confirmed somewhat with a single antagonist named Spender. This guy made a deal with the Krogan to violently suppress a revolt that hadn't escalated into a revolt yet, then reneged on the Krogan, causing them to leave the Initiative too. Spender then tries to actively sabotage the Krogan colony, and Ryder must stop him.

There will be an antagonist asari faction
The asari have rediscovered how to fight a war again, thanks to Shepard finding their Sun Tzu's Art of War equivalent. Javik revealed that the asari were engineered specifically for the purpose of subjugating other more primitive races and forming a galactic empire. Some Athame cultists now take this to heart and try to form such an empire. They are supported by the Justicar Order, whose strict code is actually based on Prothean law. Many hanar willingly support them, as they too are fanatical Prothean worshippers. Liara's half sister who is part hanar will be either the Big Bad or The Dragon for this faction.
  • They will call themselves the Children of Athame and will attack anyone asari included, who isn't part of their cult. It will be revealed that they knew about the Thessia beacon, Vendetta, the Crucible and the Reapers all along but hid that knowledge from everyone except their most zealous devotees. Their plan was to wait until there were four council races, creating political impasses due to no idea ever winning a majority, secretly fund the initiative to explore Andromeda and leave the Milky Way to be reaped. A few centuries after the reaping, they would return to the Milky Way and establish an all new Empire of Athame.

The Citadel will be dispatched to the Andromeda Galaxy
Doing that solves two major problems. The first is that the expedition needs some kind of home port to operate out of, since it may be quite some time before a friendly native species will offer the explorers safe harbor. The Citadel on the other hand has a huge amount of space to dock ships, berth crewmen, house R&R facilities, store equipment, even cultivate food with hydroponics. The Conduit relay probably links back to the Milky Way, allowing more supplies to be relayed in as needed.

The second problem is more political. Earlier, the Citadel was viewed by everyone as the seat of galactic power and the pinnacle of galactic culture. Now, the aftermath of the Reaper War has tarnished its reputation by a lot, so most people would rather not have it around. It is a bleak reminder of how close they all came to total annihilation and mulch-ification. The Council no longer resides there, instead choosing London as their new headquarters, with that place being symbolic of stubborn defiance, resistance and ultimately, victory. The political festering wound that is the Citadel, can't be destroyed outright, so why not banish it to Andromeda?

  • Jossed as of now, according to all the material so far, the Nexus is the Citadel's substitute and basically does all the same things up to and including having AVINA as it's VI guide. So confirmed for Citadel VI? But the Citadel may still be in transit though.

A Prime Directive will be a recurring theme of the game.
In order to prevent another rendition of the First-Contact War, the members of the Andromeda exploration team will be given a version of the Prime Directive where your primary objective is to simply document and explore potentially habitable planets and avoid messing with civilizations too much. There will be many times over the course of the game, however, where that choice becomes difficult. For instance, one planet might have a species that starts raiding and stealing your technology, and you have to figure out a way to get them back, either through force or diplomacy or other methods. There might also be a planet with a destructive violent species that makes Krogans look like pacifist monks, and you have to choose whether to stop their genocidal streaks or let them run their course. There will also probably be teammates that will represent each 'side' as well. The Spock member will implore you to follow the Directive at all cost, while The McCoy will beg you to consider the lives at stake. At some point there will be a major choice between the two.

Elkoss Combine and Exo-Geni will be two competing interests vying for control of the Andromeda galaxy
The Reaper war left the Citadel races economy in shambles and in many cases, the political leadership was discredited. While government's focused reconstruction efforts on home worlds, many colonies felt neglected and marginalized. Furthermore with the asari being especially pilloried for their machinations with the Prothean Beacon, a very important calming influence and tone of moderation is missing. This will present these two Mega-Corp organization's the chance to buy up colonies wildly nilly, have them secede from the Alliance or the Hierarchy and establish Illium like oligarchies. And now both these companies are looking to expand to the Andromeda sector. These companies' security forces may or may not be antagonists depending on your actions towards them.

It is mentioned in the Citadel archives and is singled out instead of many possible religious artifacts, including other Christian ones such as the Shroud of Turin, the Sacred Chalice, the lance etc. Perhaps some alien xenoarcheologists thought there was something different about this ark. Plus it ties in to the word Ark seeing significant use, such as Ark ship, Ark-Con etc. Also, the other races had to learn something uncomfortable about their history and overcome it, this game will put that onus on humans via this Ark.

We will meet Leviathans in Andromeda, except they won't be able to enthrall anybody
These were the original Leviathans - aquatic creatures with an imposing presence and a booming voice. But that was all they were - sea creatures who advanced to space flight. The Leviathans we met in the Milky Way developed their enthrallment ability and accompanying sociopathy due to excessive exposure to eezo. They were banished to the Milky Way as a form of imprisonment similar to how asari confine Ardat-Yakshi to monasteries. The original Leviathans postulate that eezo exposure causes biotic ability to manifest in all life, but successive generations of intermingling biotics will create sociopathic enthrallers. So, after hearing about this Reaper war that nearly devastated their neighboring Galaxy, they take it upon themselves to confiscate and destroy all eezo.

As Shepard's story was about saving the species of the Milky Way, Ryder's journey will be about deciding what species survive in the Andromeda galaxy.
The other races joining humanity in its endeavor are only a small fraction compared to the humans. Humanity gets a whole ship while others are all confined to sharing ships? We'll likely have a token number of races but SOMETHING is going to happen when the Initiative reaches Andromeda that will put certain races in danger and it will be up to Ryder to decide what races live and dies. Knowing Bioware, they're going to be selecting fan favorites for the process of species selection.

Alec Ryder will be the Big Bad.
Jossed During the mission on Habitat 7, the visor on their child's helmet has been broken beyond repair, and with their evac still a few minutes out, he decides to sacrifice himself, and attaches his undamaged helmet onto their armor so that they would live.

Milky Way characters will arrive at some point in the story.
Barring the Refusal Ending, Mass Effect 3 guarantees that the species of the Milky Way survived. ME:Andromeda should assume everyone survived but the Krogan, but dialogue and codex entries should avoid specifics of the Milky Way's history. (leaving possibility of the Krogans dying sometime after Mass Effect 3 to some unrelated event) and cybernetics could have advanced to the point where it's irrelevant if Shepard went for Synthesis or not. It stands to reason that in 600 years of Reaper-free development the Milky Way may have developed technology to get to Andromeda much quicker than the Arks. The culture clash could be an interesting plot point.

The Kett are a Decoy Antagonist.
Just like Saren, the Geth, Loghain and so on. Bioware is fond of this trope, and whenever they present a character or a race as the main antagonist at the start of a game, they're seldom the real Big Bad.

Jien Garson will be an antagonist, possible the Big Bad
She seems mysterious enough to be revealed to be the Big Bad in a Virmire-esque plot twist, in this troper's opinion.
  • Jossed The Nexus, ran into the Scourge shortly after arriving in the Andromeda galaxy, and one of the first things it took out was a large bank of cyro pods, hers included.

This isn't the first time Andromeda has been visited by Milky Way races.
It's possible that previous cycles sent expeditions to Andromeda before their races were destroyed by the Reapers. We never found out about it because the expeditions were either destroyed, lost in transit, or they returned to the Milky Way just to get detected by Reaper sentries (like how Sovereign remained inside the galaxy while the rest of the fleet hibernated in dark space after destroying the Protheans). During the game, we'll find evidence of previous expeditions, likely from archaeological evidence or from old legends passed through Angaran, Kett, or Remnant myth.

Sloane Kelly was at Torfan
Torfan was a meat grinder in which the Alliance marine invading force took 75% casualties, but slaughtered each and every single enemy. Such levels of slaughter was what drove Major Kyle insane, gave Earthborn Shepard The Butcher of Torfan sobriquet and would have severely traumatized anyone who wasn't a Sociopathic Soldier Blood Knight. Sloan joined the rebels because she was terrified of the prospect of people being butchered to restore order. This indicates lingering trauma from witnessing a bloodbath somewhere before. Sloane runs Kadara port with a selected band of loyal followers, who are otherwise maladjusted people - just like Major Kyle and his biotic cultists. And even on Kadara, she seems only to want to play defense - sit comfortably in the port but don't launch any offensive ops in the badlands against Kett or Collective. This again indicates lingering trauma from an offensive action that resulted in too many casualties. QED - Sloane is a veteran of Torfan.

The Kett are also a Jardaan creation.
We're shown that the Jardaan can create new species more or less from scratch. But what if at some point they got desperate for quick batch of shock troopers in their unseen conflict, and made a technology that allowed to convert existing lifeforms into single-mindedly loyal soldiers? But then the Jardaan disappeared, leaving the kett following the last orders they had: convert more soldiers and prepare for a war? Over time the message of their creators got garbled and essentially turned into a religion to convert all the "worthy" lifeforms into kett.

The kett will eventually be dealt with by revealing all these facts to their general populace, destroying their sense of unity and breaking them into various factions, some that will be more inclined towards peaceful relations with other races, thus avoiding the Always Chaotic Evil stigma that almost never applies to truly sapient races in the Mass Effect universe.

    Tempest (Ryder's ship) 
This game's Normandy equivalent will be a Reaper.
....Made of human slushee because trailer Shepard said "we will always be with you"
  • Jossed by the Suicide Mission's ending in Mass Effect 2 where the EDI reveals that an entire species will have to be ground up into mulch to create a Reaper. No way that a human exploration team would work with such a thing, no matter how the Reaper War ended.

The spacecraft seen at the end of the N7 Day teaser is not the protagonist's ship, but the Ark
It's easy to write this shot off as the reveal of the new ship that will be taking the place of the iconic Normandy as the vessel the protagonist will be commanding, but the ship seems too large to be a simple exploration vessel, and in fact more closely resembles the Citadel rather than a spaceship. It seems more likely that it's the Ark, which carried millions of survivors from the Milky Way to Andromeda, which would also explain why it's seen traveling from the Milky Way to Andromeda rather than within Andromeda itself.
  • Confirmed.

The Tempest will be more of a Mighty Glacier than Normandy's Lightning Bruiser
It'll still have enough of an arsenal to compete with whatever the team has to fight, having quite a few upgrades compared to the Normandy at the height of the Reaper War.
  • Jossed. It's a much smaller form compared to the Normandy, so it may end up being a Fragile Speedster.

The Tempest will be destroyed with all hands except Ryder lost in a sequel.
The first game tried to recapture the essence of Mass Effect, with mixed results. Me thinks the devs may make the sequel very similar to Mass Effect 2 as that game caught fire like the first game never did. That game started with the Normandy destroyed with Shepard killed. This sequel will see the Tempest destroyed with Ryder being the Sole Survivor and subject to Court Martial for losing the ship.
  • Ryder will replace the Tempest with an armed to the teeth version called Typhoon or Tsunami.
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    Nomad (Ryder's vehicle) 
The Mako will be upgradable to three specialized and three hybrid configurations similar to the character's class system

The three specialized modes are Combat (weapone only), Engineering (drills, cranes, excavators, bulldozer) and Surveillance (lots of probes, pilot able drones, terrain scanners, structure scanners).

The three hybrid modes are Recon Scout ( some sensors with medium and long range weapons only, invisibility cloak), Sapper/Breacher (short and medium range weapons with some drilling and excavating equipment, ability to teleport spam and recharge shields, then detonate shields for knock back effect) and Searcher/Extractor (short range weapons only with a mix of scanners and drills/bores).

Installable weapons are

  • Long range - Thannix cannon, Cain launcher, Camera guided missile with disruptive, high explosive or Hydra cluster missile warhead
  • Medium Range - Machine gun with disruptive, incendiary or polonium tipped ammo, scatter gun capable of firing high explosive rounds, charged plasma or a Blackstar exploding singularity, radar lock guided missile with disruptive, high explosive or Hydra cluster warheads.
  • Short range - Arc projectors, flamethrowers, Avalanche cryo boasters, Hydra cluster missile launchers, grenade launchers, proximity mines

  • The bits about weapons are Jossed — according to the GameInformer previews, the Nomad (i.e. the new Mako) doesn't have any offensive weaponry.

    Weapons, Abilities, and Other Gameplay 
Equipment available initially will be
  • Assault Rifles
    • The Zaeed assault rifle - an updated version of the Avenger
    • The Williams burst fire battle rifle - a blend of the N-7 Valkyrie and the Mattock
    • The Vega light machine gun - an updated N-7 Typhoon
  • Shotguns
  • Pistols
    • The Xen Phasic Pistol - designed specifically to take down shields, barriers and synthetics
    • The Kirrahe microgrenade launcher - an updated Scorpion
    • The Mordin hand cannon - an updated Carnifex with built in chemical rounds
  • Submachine guns
    • The Samara - An automatic fire Acolyte optimized to take down shields and barriers
    • The Tarquin machine pistol - a CQC (close quarters combat) burst fire submachine gun with a large headshot bonus. Intended specifically for combat in confined spaces, and works best in the hands of a skilled double tapper
    • The Gryll armor piercing SMG - an updated version of the Blood Pack Punisher
  • Sniper Rifle
    • The Krios suppressor - A blend of the Viper rifle and Suppressor pistol, that is optimized for sneaky silent takedowns of unshielded unaware targets
    • The Vakarian bolt action rifle - An updated [[Chunky Salsa. Krysae]], optimized for hard target interdiction. By default, the rounds it fires are explosive
    • The Legion anti-material rifle - A soldier portable scoped Thannix cannon
  • Special Weapons
    • The Alenko cryoreaver - A modified Mattock semiauto that fires cryo rounds with a warp jacket - by syncing with the operator's biotic amplifier. This weapon can only be used by biotic
    • The KRAS (Kal Reegar Anti Synthetic) rifle - a blend of the Adas rifle and Reegar carbine. The weapon can either fire Phasic pulses on very accurate full auto, or can be charged for close range high spread boosted damage.
    • The Javik Particle channel - An updated Prothean particle rifle that can either fire a focused beam, or (for biotic operators only) sync with the biotic amp to charge and fire a dark channel field
  • Omni tools
    • The Goto tool, optimized for hacking, bypassing, cloaking and non lethal melee
    • The Lawson Sentinel pack - an omni tool that is usually sold along with a biotic amplifier for trained sentinels, or an inexpensive basic tool for novice Engineer operatives
    • The Zorah - An expensive tool for only those technicians skilled enough to hack and co-opt synthetics and automated defenses, deploy and control multiple combat drones simultaneously and pull off an Energy Drain on shields and barriers
  • Biotic Amplifiers
    • The Jack Zero amp - Optimized for shockwaves and lash, this amp is only for the more offense oriented biotic
    • The Lawson Sentinel pack - A versatile amp normally sold in a set with an omni tool for sentinels, or an inexpensive starter amp for other biotics
    • The T'Soni Power Elite - An expensive amplifier for those adepts skilled enough to pull of a singularity, damaging stasis or biotic flare

  • This is jossed even before confirmation. Standard Mass Effect starter kits always include the Avenger Assault Rifle, Predator pistol and Mantis sniper rifle, among others. Most human weapons are returning from Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 and new plasma and overheat weapons are included from Andromeda.

Certain cool abilities that were previously restricted only to a particular class, will now be universally available via Armor Mods
These Armor Mods will have a primary function and an upgradable secondary function. Specifics are
  • The Assassinator Mod provides for a tactical cloak with a damage boosted single shot. Boost is significantly higher for headshots.
    • The Power Cloak upgrade is needed to allow one power to be fired while cloaked, before the de cloaking damage boosted attack. That power cools down with the cloak.
  • The Re-charger Mod allows for a teleportation jump that recharges shields and knocks back anything in the vicinity of the jump's destination.
    • The Nova discharger upgrade is neccesary to channel the boosted shields from a jump into an area of effect attack.
  • The Bastion Mod gives us the knock back tech armor, that automatically detonates when the shield is taken down.
    • The Guardian upgrade allows for manual detonation. The higher the shield, the more damage done.
  • The Doppleganger Mod generates a holographic decoy that fires incineration attacks.
    • The Illusion upgrade allows this decoy to be repositioned tactically like any squadmate
  • The Adrenalizer Mod allows for a brief period of heightened awareness, boosted melee damage, Bullet Time with an accuracy boost at the cost of damage.
    • The Stimulator upgrade allows for a brief period where all powers can be fired with no cool down.
  • The Levitator mod allows you to float above ground and/or glide down from a height for a period of time. If the wearer is not a biotic, crafting this mod will require significant amounts of eezo. This mod is mutually exclusive with the jet pack.

You can use any weapon now, and will have three biotic abilities, two tech attacks, two defensive buffs and a new class system
The abilities are as follows
  • Biotics
    • Throw, which can be evolved into either Slam or Shockwave.
    • + Jossed. Throw and Shockwave are distinct powers.
    • Pull, which can be evolved into Lash or Singularity.
      • Jossed. Pull and Singularity are distinct.
    • Warp, which can be evolved into Reave or Dark Channel.
      • Jossed. No Warp or Reave is available.
  • Tech Attacks
    • Sabotage, which can be evolved into AI Hack or Backfire.
      • Backfire in turn will cause different effects based on the ammo modifier selected by the enemy. A backfiring gun with Inferno ammo will create an Incineration Blast, Disruptor rounds will cause a Flare, Cryo rounds will cause a Cryo blast and Polonium rounds will cause a toxic Neural Shock. Lack of modifiers will have the same effect as a flashbang grenade.
    • Overload can be evolved into either an Energy Drain, or an Immobilizer.
      • All Jossed.
  • Defensive buffs will be Fortification and Shield Boost
    • Your squadmates have these abilities, not you.
  • Your passive class will be based on the Four Horsemen
    • White Ryder - Boost to charisma, which will enable you to charm, intimidate or gain loyalty easier. Conflict resolution also becomes easier. You can also cast this passive power on enemies to Dominate them.
    • Red Ryder - Boost to damage, making it easier to kill enemies. Also possesses higher damage reduction. Cast this power on enemies to temporarily increase DPS.
    • Black Ryder - Boost to buying and selling ability, allowing you to demand higher payment, while paying lower amounts yourself. You will also gain access to rare items easier. Cast this power on enemies to siphon credits away from them into your account.
    • Pale Ryder - Gives you regenerating health, making you that much harder to kill. Also, your melee attacks do toxic damage, while ammo modifiers stack on top of Polonium ammo's toxic damage.
      • Jossed. No Ryders of the Ark-pocalypse!!

    Original Trilogy - Consequences 

  • All of these are looking like they're Jossed; according to the official timeline, the Andromeda Project launches the year before the Reaper Invasion, so they were well on their way out of the galaxy by the time of ME3's ending.

Whichever choice was made by Shepard at the end of Mass Effect 3 will affect the game, but only marginally.
If it really happens in the original trilogy's far future, time will have evened out the massive differences between what galactic society would have looked depending of Shepard's final choice (Destroy, Control or Synthesis) in the war's immediate aftermath.

But Players favored ending will still be referenced, for instance by having mutually exclusive side-quests givers depending on which ending was selected:

  • If Destroy was chosen a descendant of Shepard. Also if the final love interest was human, it will be Shepard's biological descendant; if it was Liara, that descendant will be an Asari, Garrus, and it will be Turian thought this raises questions if Shepard romanced Tali (a Quarian) or Thane (a Drell).
  • If Control was chosen, that will be the Shep him/herself, allowing for a metaphorical passing of the torch.
  • If Synthesis was chosen, the Quest giver will be EDI, now the Mind of the GSV Normandy, an expensively upgraded version of the original ship.

The game is post-Refusal Choice.
It's not just a colonization attempt. This is a last resort measure to save the Citadel races.

The endings will be reconciled as follows
Destroy - Everybody has now voluntarily augmented themselves with cybernetics and nanotechnology obtained from the now harmless inert Reaper corpses. Geth platforms now run VI programs and aren't sentient.

Control - Just as the new Shepard influenced catalyst Benevolent Dictator starts to become less benevolent and more dictatorial, a Crazy-Prepared La Résistance secretly creates a new crucible, docks it to the citadel and chooses destroy. After that, everyone slowly augments themselves.

Synthesis - After it becomes widely known that the crucible could have been used to give one individual total control of the reaper fleet, some megalomaniac builds a crucible and attempts to dock it. However, Spectres discover his plan, and infiltrate the crucible and use it to destroy the reapers, so as to never give anybody the possibility of attempting such a thing again.

Refusal - Sorry, suckers! You lose! Just like how a Shepard dies ending of Mass Effect 2 cannot be imported, a refusal option save game here cannot be imported.

Low EMS Destroy and Control - Any ending where an Earth-Shattering Kaboom was caused by the relays blowing up can't be imported since humanity is all but extinct and wouldn't be capable of launching such an ambitious expedition.

Assuming they survived, Quarians will be out of the suit in this series.
More than just a photo, we'll get to see quarians walking around outside the suits normally, regardless of the events of ME3; enough time will have passed for them to adapt on their homeworld that their immune systems have recovered.
  • Except that it only applies to their homeworld, which is obviously not located in Andromeda. On other planets they still have to wear suits.
  • Counter-theory: unless the quarians (on their own or with the help of the geth) have developed a way to improve their own immune system that they can spend extended periods outside of an exosuit or unmasked, at least.

The only previously established alien races to appear in the game will be the Council races
That way, the developers will have an easy job avoiding making anything from the previous games canon, since the existence of Asari, Salarians and Turians are completely unaffected by the choices made in ME3 and before.
  • Already Jossed. A krogan can be seen in the announcement trailer.

The Genophage will have been cured by this game, but the details will vary
If you import a save file from Mass Effect 3 where you cure the Genophage, then the cure was loaded onto the expedition before it left (assuming that the expedition left during or after the Reaper war) or information on how to synthesize it was transmitted to the expedition while in transit to Andromeda (assuming it left before) If you sabotaged the cure or don't import a save, then the Genophage was cured using Remnant technology. This is all assuming that the "leaked" information regarding Krogan colonies in Andromeda was real.
  • If the cure was sabotaged, a very small sample of the original cure did not get dispersed and therefore wasn't sabotaged. A female shaman found it, and owing to the sample size being too low to cure the entire populace, decided to administer that cure only to those select few she deems "worthy". Drack is on this mission to prove himself worthy.

We're going to see just how deadly that "son-of-a-bitch Issac Newton is in space"
Remember when serviceman Chung was admonished by a well-learned commanding officer in Mass Effect 2 for blindshooting a warhead which missed and disappeared into deep space because it could hit someone in the far future and cause catastrophic destruction to some random civilization? Well, we could see the consequences 700 years later, as the warhead was zooming at speeds beyond even that of the Arks' hyperspeed travel. The actual odds of this bullet actually reaching the Andromeda are even worse than the odds of a Reaper choking on a hot dog (read: near-impossible), but it's more of a brick joke than an actual lesson on Newton's Second Law of thermodynamics.

Synthesis is definitely non-canon.
Likely Destruction is non-canon, too. Let me explain why; it's estimated that the Reapers could make the journey from the Milky Way to Andromeda in roughly 250 years, less than half the time it took the Arks and Nexus to make the trip. In the Synthesis ending, the Milky Way species are living in active cooperation with the Reapers, who're helping them to rebuild their civilization and reach even greater heights using the shared knowledge of countless civilizations. We also know that the Initiative wasn't a top secret, classified project, and that Liara was aware of it. So, if Synthesis was chosen, the survivors of the Milky Way could have easily lapped the Initiative with their new Reaper pals. Likewise, (High Prep)Destruction has the Milky Way civilization reverse engineering Reaper Tech to help rebuild, even using it to repair the Relays, thus making it likewise likely that they could lap the Initative and arrive in Andromeda well before the Arks did. In a Control ending, however, the Reapers aren't actively working with and cooperating with the Milky Way races, they're just acting as guardians under the influence of the Shepard AI, leaving the MW races with only their own tech which would put them at least a year if not more behind the Arks if they tried to follow them, and in a Refusal ending, there's obviously no one to try.

    Original Trilogy - Characters 
Shepard will be back, somehow.
Either as a cameo or even as a party member, but mark my words. Shepard will be back. The focus will probably be on the new main character, though.
  • If including Shepard in marketing delivering a message to the new protagonist counts as a cameo, confirmed.

Liara will make an appearance.
Asari live a LONG time, and BW has a major crush on the character. She'll be in her matriarch stage, obviously, and she will have been responsible for almost a millennium of close cooperation between humanity and asari cultures due to her interactions with the Shepard during the Reaper Wars. Due to her influence, she will be an integral part of planning the expedition to Andromeda.
  • Asari in general will be ostracized by the rest of the galaxy for hiding the beacon until the very Darkest Hour, but since Liara did much more than any other asari to stop the Reapers, she is allowed to emigrate to the Systems Alliance and becomes a politician. Shiala becomes her acolyte and a new conclave of Liara descended asari forms within the Alliance, who are more accepted than the Thessia based asari.
  • In her capacity as the Shadow Broker looking to maintain neutrality and a balance of power, Liara will be a Voice with an Internet Connection giving you quests in a manner similar to Hackett in the first game.
  • Sort of confirmed: Liara doesn't appear in person, but was in contact with Alec Ryder and audio logs from her can be found in his quarters.

Grunt will make an appearance.
Krogan are another long lived species, and Grunt was just being born in Mass Effect 2. Wrex was grooming him to take over as clan chief of Urdnot. ME:A will see that plan as a reality. Grunt is not just Chief of Urdnot, he leads the entire Krogan people.
  • To quote Grunt in Citadel: "Who's a space cowboy? Me!" I can't think of a better place for him.
    • Jossed. The initiative left in 2185, during which time, Grunt's pod is recovered by the Normandy crew, but you don't have to open it and let him out. Also he is given numerous opportunities to die, should you have made certain choices. And this game doesn't carry over save files from the trilogy. But Okeer and his research into creating Grunt is mentioned in a side quest.

EDI will return as EDI 2.0.
She was backed up or copied into new hardware, and now she's the ship's AI.
  • Alternatively, all shipboard AIs will be referred to as "the EDI"
  • Jossed as of now. All AI used by the initiative are called SAM.

Jennifer Hale voices Commander Shepard in the N7 "signing off" trailer - only not the Shepard who fought the Reapers
Why pick a female voice? And most importantly why would Reaperized Shepard in the Control ending send humans off in a rickety ship like that shown? Or for that matter how could Shepard have been resurrected from the Synthesis, Refusal and lower EMS Destroy endings? Because the voice isn't Shepard, but the asari daughter that Liara conceived when giving Shepard the "gift" in London. This asari rose to her own command, and was the dignitary who sends off the Andromeda exploration team.
  • Jossed by virtue of Liara's gift being optional - Shepard can turn her down. Not to mention if Shepard didn't romance Liara, there would likely be an angry mob of both Liara fans and Liara haters marching on BioWare for having her steal Shepard's DNA and get herself pregnant with their child, effectively raping Shepard.

Gavin Archer, assuming he and David survived, will appear and do some great heroic act, getting mortally wounded in the process. He will learn that David forgives him, and die in peace.
That's how such redemptive arcs often turn out.
  • Jossed. Project Overlord is mentioned, but no mention on Gavin or David's fate.

    Technical / Meta 
Andromeda will introduce the Mass Effect version of the Keep.
Not much of a theory, I know, bit t I might as well put it down so I can claim I was right. :P It'll be called Historical Records or the Archive or some such, and will be represented as the history of the Milky Way (and eventually Andromeda) kept by the explorers/settlers/invaders/whatever they will turn out to be.
  • It'll probably be based on the archive capsule that Liara left behind for future generations.

Please God BioWare let it move and flow like real hair. Hair in Mass Effect has flowed about as much as a brick ever since the original game, but with new hardware and the Frostbite 3 engine, plus Fallout 4 setting a new standard for big RPGs with customizable characters, which did incorporate hair physics in all characters, BioWare will finally give us hair physics again, which have been absent from their games since Dragon Age II.

This game won't be subject to Continuity Lockout in regards to the Original Trilogy.
Sony and Microsoft will be retiring (and ending active support for) the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 around the time Mass Effect: Andromeda is set to hit stores, so it makes sense that Bioware will make this game more accessible to franchise newcomers.
  • Well, the game takes place in a new Galaxy, 600+ years after the originals, and the ships involved left around the time of Mass Effect 2, so that seems to be Confirmed.

Unlockable Achievements
Some of them will beexpand 
  • Something we should know?

Once this game has been out for awhile, Obsidian will make a Gaiden Game called Mass Effect Sol that focuses on the immediate aftermath of the Reaper War
The game will be set initially on Earth where remnants from Hammer and refugees from the now ruined Citadel exist as refugees. The presence of aliens is a source of tension with humans who want to rebuild but are becoming more isolationist. Hackett's fleet is stranded light years away along with the Council, human government is nonexistent and anarchy reigns supreme. Aria establishes herself in Vegas as the new Queen of Sin, Samara incorporates a few ex soldiers into a new Justicar order to pacify the chaos by any means neccesary, the three mercenary gangs run amok, remnants of the Batarian fleet restart a slavery ring preying on vulnerable addicts, turians start a Brotherhood of Steel-esque organization that goes around destroying all technology, stranded Krogan become rampaging bands killing everything in sight to survive, and one person has to somehow establish a working government and repair the Charon relay.
  • In this game, you can choose to play one among the following six characters, with the other five becoming squadmates
    • Toombs the soldier who had Thresher Maw acid injected into his veins. This gives him Krogan like regenerative health, and an adrenaline rush whose effects are similar to blood rage.
    • Milque the sniper from Vega's old squad. Tried to resume civilian life on Earth, but the Reaper war forced him back into action. Now trained as a stealthy infiltrator.
    • Oriana Lawson, the sentinel. Joins this mission to either redeem her sister's reputation, or to make Miranda proud.
    • Susan Rizzi the adept. Hates carrying guns, and above all, hates rear echelon logistics people.
    • Engineer Telavi, who is angsting over either her entire squad dying due to her absence on an anti Cerberus mission, or alternatively grieving after having found her brother's body on Sanctum.
    • Fredericks the private you find in the Embassy lounge in the first game, talking about the consort. Was exposed to a lot of eezo during the Battle of the Citadel, initially developed cancer, but developed biotics as he went into remission. Retrained as a Vanguard shock trooper.
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    Other Franchises 
Andromeda will have share an uncomfortable number of story similarities with The Witcher 3.
"(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" is a song about the Wild Hunt.

The Desert Planet is not all desert.
It's the Western Approach or Hissing Wastes of Thedas.
  • The antics the Player Character gets into will involve the goings on in Dragon Age: Inquisition somehow, even if they take place way after the Tenth Age of the Chantry.
    • Several characters are wandering through such a desert when they see something in the sky.
    Inquisitor: What in Andraste's name is that?
    Leliana: Strangest dragon I've ever seen, it looks like iron.
Make. This. Happen.

The Remnant creators are survivors from the Those Who Came Before.
  • Bizarrchitecture? Check. Magic from Technology? Check. Quantum Mechanics Can Do Anything? Check.

The Golarion System is somewhere in Andromeda.
  • There is apparently some evidence in one of the Pathfinder sourcebooks that suggests it is set in Andromeda. Of course, this means that there are worse things than the Kett around.

    Misc 
All council races will have one unified military, with its ships and equipment named after major figures in the Reaper war
The ships will beexpand 

The exact ranking system of the Turian Hierarchy will be revealed
Ranks are as followsexpand 

The full list of Alliance vocational codes will be made available in the Codex
Designations will be as followsexpand 

The reason that the Quarian/Elcor/Drell/Hanar/Volus Ark is lost and broadcasting a "keep away" signal is because of the geth.
The geth knew that the quarians had seized their FTL telescope and pointed it at Andromeda. They did some digging and realized what the organics were up to, and decided to send a contingent of geth programs along with the quarian ark in order to preserve the geth as a species should the Reapers prevail, and to continue to watch over their creators and hopefully pursue reconciliation. However, on the flight over the stowaway geth were discovered by SAM, and the quarians forcibly isolated their ark from the rest of the Andromeda Initiative to prevent the geth from spreading.

The Quarian Ark is besieged by Reaper forces that stowed away from the Milky Way.
The Ark left at the same time as the opening of Mass Effect 3 when the Reapers attacked the Sol system, barely escaping the main Reaper fleet but not before being infested with Husks and Cannibals from a Reaper Destroyer (the smaller version of their capital ships) that attached to the side of the Ark. Stuck in FTL flight to Andromeda and confined to certain areas of the Ark, the Reaper and its forces went into stasis of their own until the arrival in Andromeda. The distress signal meant to warn the Initiative attracts the Kett who attack the Reaper and only succeed in leading it back to a major base in the Heleus Cluster where the Reaper begins to process the Kett. When Ryder encounters Husks and reaperized kett on a kett ship they use it's nav info to track down the Quarian Ark and destroy the Reapers still onboard before tracking down the Destroyer and its new kett hybrids.

Even after the Reapers are neutralized, the Initiative races will be in an uproar when they discover that the Reapers are real and debate whether to attempt to contact the Milky Way.

The Quarians coming to Andromeda are secret Geth sympathizers and moderates that left the fleet due to the plan to attack the Geth during in Mass Effect 3.

A minor sub-plot during the Reaper crisis above will be Ryder trying to assure the Initiative leadership about the Geth presence on the Quarian Ark that the sympathizers brought with them. The Geth programs on the Ark are given Remtech bodies by SAM and Peebee and prove vital in stopping the Reapers' advance in Andromeda, helping to prove their case against Tann's concerns. One particular Geth platform that Ryder befriends contains memories shared from another Geth intelligence that briefly traveled with Commander Shepard and will sound very familiar to players of Mass Effect 2 and 3...

The Quarian Ark accidentally dragged a thresher maw spore to Andromeda.

Thresher maw spores are said to be capable of surviving for millennia before growing into full maws. It's possible that the Quarians are trapped in a damaged ark while a thresher maw tunnels outside, waiting for them to expose themselves...

     DLC Theories 
Bane of our existence
Bane Massani joins your squad and gives you an important assignment - track down and neutralize the notorious Batarian slaver and Blue Suns frontman Solem Del Sera, who has surgically altered himself to look like a different species. In doing so, uncover his role in instigating the uprising.

Pathfinders
The asari pathfinder temporarily joins your squad to deal with a sensitive asari matter - a suspected Ardat-Yakshi serial killer. But nothing is as it seems - including whether an Ardat-Yakshi is actually the one responsible.

Avitus Rix (whether he is pathfinder or not) is brought up on charges upon a dirty secret leaking from his days as a Spectre under the tutelage of Saren Arterius. Go off on a cluster wide hunt for evidence - and discover an old enemy that everybody thought they'd left behind - an indoctrinated sleeper agent.

The salarian pathfinder asks for your help in covertly observing a new and potentially hostile species. It's your choice - do some dirty work now and neutralize the threat, or fight them with your conscience intact.

Once these Loyalty Missions are done, all pathfinders join you in an op to find a dextrose compatible world for Turians and eventually quarians to settle in. Solve a vexing ecological and ethical dilemma about saving a starving species or disrupting the evolution of life on that planet.

Kett Heathens
The Initiative is contacted by a rogue faction of the Kett who claim to oppose the Archon/Primus and the Kett hierarchy. They elect to sne done of their finest warriors to join your squad and assist you in taking down a lucrative Kett operation in Heleus.

The DLC could essentially serve as a Loyalty Mission for the Kett squadmate, as well as an opportunity to look a little deeper into the Kett's history, such as how they came to be and what their motives are. It could look deeper into exaltation and the Kett's religious and political beliefs.

Also, the Kett squadmate could be a romance option for both genders. What's a new galaxy without a few more exotic romances?

Uninvited Guests
A group of refugees crash-lands on Eos and Ryder is contacted to deal with them. The only problem? The refugees are made of batarians and vorcha, two species that did not sign up for the Andromeda Initiative.

The leader of the group explains that the batarians made their own ark to prove that they could, but had not prepared for the threats in Heleus, and so their ark was damaged in the Scourge and captured by the Kett.

A batarian squadmate would join the Tempest crew and accompany Ryder on a quest to find and liberate the batarian ark from the enemy, all the while learning a bit more about why the batarians took the risk of sending their ark out blind.

Roekarr Manifestations
The Roekarr under a new leader launches an all out assault against all Initiative outposts. Scour their staging areas, their corpses and finally Havaarl itself for clues to their new motive, since Akk'sul is dead having been deposed even if spared by Ryder. Discover a sinister connection between these Roekarr and the Havaarl hermits, who manipulated you in the main game into reactivating the Vaults. We will discover that a functioning vault's purification field can be repurposed into a WMD that an exterminate everything on a planet. And that these "hermits" are actually fanatical Jardaan who want to wipe out all life except angaara who worship them as gods.
     Sequel Ideas 
Mass Effect Andromeda 2 - The Scourge
A Ryder stripped off the Pathfinder title, will steal SAM and go on the lam. A new "benefactor" contacts him/her on Kadara, tells them to build a new warship version of the Tempest, recruit a new gaggle of more morally ambiguous companions and take the fight directly to the Scourge builders. This game will have a Darker and Edgier Suicide Mission as its last act in which Ryder must sacrifice every single squadmate but pick the right one to die at the right time and place to come out on top.

Drack will die in the sequel, and be replaced by Vorn.
The Drack death thing probably won't be much of a surprise, as he's old and missing a lot of his original parts, but Vorn joining the team would be something new - a Krogan that's more brains than brawn.
  • Vorn will have been divorced by Kesh and exiled from the colony because as a biologist, he took a position that Krogan population growth will be unstable and ecologically unsustainable if the genophage is cured, and therefore refused to increase fetal viability any higher than the current level of 4%. He will become a Krogan Mordin.

Mass Effect Andromeda 3 - The Relay
When Ryder eliminates the Scourge, an even nastier threat emerges - one that had been previously contained by the Scourge. The only hope of the Initiative is to finally construct an intergalactic mass relay - to either bring reinforcements from the Milky Way or leave Andromeda to run to a different Galaxy.

Mass Effect Galactic Conflict
Open hostilities break out between the Andromeda Initiative and the Citadel Council.

The Ryder twins will both get the chance to be the heroes of their own games before joining up for the third game's Grand Finale
The next game in the Andromeda series will do something interesting with how it handles the player character; namely, if you import save data from Andromeda (or create some whole cloth from, assuming a Dragon Age-style Keep function), you will be locked into playing whichever Ryder twin was not the protagonist of Andromeda; the game will begin with Pathfinder Ryder disappearing under mysterious circumstances, presumably kidnapped by the kett, who have taken in an interest in what he/she could do for their cause once properly exalted. They will also be taken out of Heleus, farther into kett controlled space, meaning a rescue mission will not be sanctioned by the Initiative, who are still concerned with getting things in Heleus up and running, and going into unexplored kett space blind would be suicide. Twin!Ryder, only just recovered from their ordeal in the first game, will have to step up to find their missing twin, while becoming a proper hero in their own right. The problem is, Twin!Ryder won't be confirmed as the new Pathfinder, since that would smack of supporting nepotism (given that Alec Ryder already basically did that), and instead Cora will "officially" become the new Human Pathfinder. However, SAM will still end up in Twin!Ryder's head, and they will have to "go rogue", leaving the Initiative, and the Tempest crew behind to travel beyond the Heleus cluster, and deeper into kett space to find where they've taken their sibling. This will necessitate a new ship, and a new crew, and justify having to restart at level 1, since you're now playing their non-Pathfinder sibling. Cora and the Tempest crew will act as hero antagonists however, pursuing Twin!Ryder to bring them back from their unsanctioned rescue mission (but may also try to covertly help since they are the Pathfinder's team), and there will be definitely more friction between Twin!Ryder and Cora who may finally get the nod as human Pathfinder (even after making her peace with not being the human Pathfinder), but finding herself so In Name Only because she lacks SAM. Twin!Ryder may even have to ally with the Exiles since they'd be able to provide assistance like the Initiative but be less burdened by protocol and rules (and following the original trilogy's second game where Shepard had to team up with Cerberus). Bane Massani will also be included as a partymember this time, as a well as have a romance path as well. This will provide a deeper look at the Exiles and other rogue nations like Advent being built up beyond the Initiative's control. It might be called something like Mass Effect Andromeda: Outcast or something.

Following this, the third game will allow you once again to choose which Ryder twin you play; either the rescued Pathfinder Ryder, or the Rogue Outcast Ryder as the conflict with the kett heats up (and maybe bringing the Jardaan in and whoever the "Opposition" that created the Scourge is. Interestingly, this will massively change the story of the third game; Pathfinder Ryder will still work with the Initiative, whilst Outcast Ryder will be working with their own faction, and possibly at cross-purposes. Even your teams and ships will be different to reflect this; Pathfinder Ryder will (mostly) have the Andromeda crew and a overhauled Tempest while Outcast Ryder will have their ship and crew from the second game. Whichever Ryder you play as will end up taking the dominant lead in the end-game, against the kett the Jardaan and the Opposition, with their teams merging and consolidating to one ship (presumably the other Ryder's ship is destroyed in some Heroic Sacrifice. It would also allow you to put both Ryders in the party at once, though only one of them (the player Ryder) would have SAM so as to avoid being overpowered, with their class being based on their general playstyle from their respective game. It would be a hugely ambitious undertaking, one that BioWare may not be up to the challenge of pulling off successfully, but if they could...damn if it wouldn't be the coolest thing ever (and an excellent way of recovering from the Andromeda reboot's somewhat...rocky start).

Mass Effect Andromeda: War
The game would begin with the Nexus being attacked by the Kett fleet, backed by reinforcements acquired by Primus. Pathfinder Ryder and the Initiative Militia are dispatched to deal with the situation, but it is no use, as the Kett are there in force. Ryder manages to save the crew of the Tempest as well as Sibling!Ryder before being thrown into space.

Ryder wakes up an unspecified amount of time later on Prodromos. Apparently he had been deposited on Eos by an unknown force 3 days before waking and left in the care of the colonists. He is told that the Nexus has fallen and the Initiative is in disarray. The crew of the Tempest had separated, and Sibling!Ryder's location is unknown. With nothing but a borrowed shuttle and a lot of determination, Ryder needs to find his ship and crew and find out what happened after the fall of the Nexus.

S/He eventually gets in contact with Kallo Jath, who happily steals the Tempest from the Initiative board of directors, grabs Dr. Lexi T'Perro, Dr. Suvi Anwar and Gil Brodie, and goes to find Ryder. The group sets out to find the rest of the Tempest's old crew along with a few new faces.

Ryder's new squad would include Jaal Ama Darav, Vetra Nyx, Peebee, Bane Massani, a quarian soldier, a krogan biotic, a kett defector, a former member of Cerberus, and SAM in a Remnant android body.

There will be rising tension be Initiative species and the angara following the influx of refugees seeking asylum in angara colonies, and those refugees attracting the attention of the kett. Ryder may have to choose between the initiative people and the angara, inevitably resulting in casualties on whichever side they do not support.

The kett have been systematically attacking Initiative outposts in an apparent attempt to either wipe out or exalt every alien in Heleus. Many innocents blame Ryder and his crew for the aggressive actions taken by the kett, leading to the Tempest being unwelcome on Havarl, Voeld, and even Meridian. Cora Harper and Liam Kosta are under the command of the Initiative Board of Directors, and though supportive of Ryder's goals, cannot join their crew because of their duties.

Nakmor Drack has traveled to Elaaden with Kesh and Vorn in order to protect his family from the kett. He too does not join Ryder on their quest, but uses his veto power to give the Tempest crew access to New Tuchanka's resources and the krogan biotic crew member. If Morda was not given the Remnant drive core, then Ryder only gets the biotic squadmate.

Upon further investigation, it's discovered that when Ryder was thrown out of the Nexus at the beginning they were saved by a Remnant machination and then dropped off at Prodromos after 5 weeks. This is discovered when the crew comes across a new Remnant city in space sending out ships across Heleus. It's in the city that they find Sibling!Ryder captured in a mysterious pod. Sibling!Ryder is rescued and the Remnant city attacks with its' usual machines as well as a very human-like android that attempts to take the sibling back, but is shot to pieces by Pathfinder Ryder. The android is taken aboard the Tempest and SAM manages to take control of it.

Elsewhere, the Tempest crew also investigates the kett in order to find a way to stop them. In doing so, they end up meeting the highest level of the kett chain of command. They find out that there is serious political unrest within the kett hierarchy, and the defeat of the Archon sparked a major uprising from several rogue factions. The kett squadmate hopes that Ryder can help him overthrow the Kett Overlord and keep his species from subjugating any others.

If Kadara Port was left in the control of Sloane Kelly, it is revealed that the port had been overthrown by the Collective and Kelly had been deposed and let to die in the Kadara wilds. If the Port was left in control of Reyes Vidal, then Kaetus and Kelly's loyal Outlaws had deposed his figurehead and declared war on the Collective. Whichever character you sided with in the previous game joins your squad in exchange for your help in taking back Kadara.

All the while the Tempest continuously receives messages from an unknown sender detailing a series of events that led to "the downfall of a civilization". This mysterious sender also strongly implies that they are the one who destroyed the civilization and that they plan to do it again, and no matter what happens, Ryder will not be able to stop them...

  • With the unfortunate news that the Mass Effect development team being moved to a support studio and the series being frozen indefinitely, it's dubious whether we'll ever know what awaits the Initiative.

Return of the Reapers
Mass Effect: Andromeda 2, kicking off a year or so after the first, will see the furthering of the Initiative throughout the Heleus Cluster in the Kett Civil War breaking out into open hostilities throughout their Empire in the rest of the Galaxy. As the Initiative begins a push out of the Cluster towards the rest of the Galaxy in an effort to uncover the other races and further their rebellion against the Kett, the Primus will struggle with leading a war on two fronts. At the same time, Ryder will now be forced to reveal the painful truth to the entirety of the Initiative about the true state of the Milky Way and the powerful new enemy that likely devastated it in the six hundred years since their departure, a decision spurred by the sudden and rather undesired resurgence of a powerful and familiar threat in the Mass Effect History, this time led by The E-lusive Man, Cerberus Sleeper Agents have now begun their coordinated attacks on Initiative facilities and colonies, seeking to destabilize the peace and potentially crumble all that Humanity and the Initiative has done in the past 2 years and threaten the very future of the colonies that they have strove so hard to establish. Too few in numbers to launch an all-out war on the Initiative but great enough to pose a significant threat, Ryder is now charged by the Initiative to hunt down this new threat and prevent any further catastrophic damage to colonial outposts while also attempting to combat the remaining Kett in the Heleus Cluster and figure out what they are now up to, leading to the disturbing discovery of the true new enemy, which doesn't seem happy and wants it's creation...The Scourge and the Remnant...back. All while Vetra and Scott get it on in a proper love scene (it's my fic damnit!), getting ever closer to their castle and princess dress for him and dealing with the third wheel that is Sid. Can Ryder fight a multitude of wars on different fronts and against different enemies and keep Humanity and the Initiative from crumbling in on itself the way the Kett seem to have? And can they prevent the catastrophic fate the Jaardan seem to have in store for the Cluster with their Scourge weapon? Or will things only escalate? Find out in...

Mass Effect: Andromeda 3, a galaxy in peril! War! The Reapers have arrived. Despite Scott Ryder's successful efforts to convince the Primus of the grave threat posed by the Reapers and their impending arrival to the Andomeda Galaxy, Scott has failed to secure alliances and end the conflicts that so plague the space in a galaxy at war. Desperate to save his dying world, Ryder 1 as well as Eos and the Nexus, Scott undertakes a bold expedition, placing his trust in the Primus in an effort to journey to the heart of the Kett Empire in the Andromedan centre and secure an alliance with the Kett and their vassal races that could potentially save their races from the threat posed by the invading Reapers, end the Kett occupation and exaltation of the Cluster and all other space, and prevent the complete and total annihilation and extintion of their two species as well as those of the Initiative and the Angara. But will it be enough? To combat a threat so great that has destroyed a galaxy already, they'll have to gain the support of the Jaardan and use their Scourge superweapon in order to combat not only the Reapers and prevent the Andromeda Galaxy from meeting the same grizzly fate as the Milky Way, but Cerberus itself, who insist the Milky Way is not all lost and are hell-bent on utilizing both the Reapers and the Kett and their technology as well as that of the Jaardan and their Remnant in order to try and advance Humanity in a galaxy so on the brink. Before Scott and the others take back the Milky Way, or what remains of it...can they take back Andromeda?

How it ends: Since Andromeda was WAY more lighthearted than the OT in general, I'm assuming the same for the entire series. It ends with princess Scott and Vetra in a floating space castle on Ryder-1 in Andromeda with little Human-Turians preparing for an eventual return (in another generation) back to the Milky Way to finish what they started and retake the galaxy from the now-weakened Reapers and rescue the remains of the races still left there in both fighting holdouts and stasis capsules. Commander Shepard-approved.

The Benefactor is the Eccentric Volus Billionaire, and he will be an antagonist.
See also the WMG: The Jaardan visited the Milky Way in the past.

The Eccentric Volus Billionaire Kuman Shol went to the planet Klencory seeking "lost crypts of beings of light". While he was there, he encountered pieces of tech from these beings, and they told him that the key to the galaxy's salvation lied in the Andromeda Galaxy, but he needs to move quick because "machine devils" were coming. So, he contacted Alec Ryder and Jien Garsen anonymously and became their mysterious benefactor in order to jump start the Andromeda Initiative. He didn't know what the machine devils were until Commander Shepard brought news of the Reapers, which is why he told Alec that he knew that something was coming but didn't know what exactly.

Shol is on board the Quarian Ark, but he sent one of his agents ahead on the Nexus to eliminate Garsen and Alec (though Alec got himself killed on Habitat 7 before the agent could encounter him) in order to keep them silent about his plans. His plans? Utilize the technology of the Beings of Light to make himself into a machine god and raise an empire, so he may some day return to the Milky Way and vanquish the Reapers once and for all. However, he is a full believer in Utopia Justifies the Means, and any race in Andromeda who don't want to cooperate with his vision will face enslavement or genocide.

The Benefactor is the AI from the Mass Effect side quest "Signal Tracking".
In the original Mass Effect, a tech-savvy member of Shepard's squad can point out a Quasar machine on the Citadel rigged to funnel credits through the system. After tracing the signal through various Citadel locations, Shepard finally finds its source, only to discover the "thief" is an artificial intelligence that had been created to help a would-be thief steal from the Quasar machines. The AI attempts to destroy itself and Shepard with it, claiming organics always enslave or destroy synthetics. Shepard can then disarm the self-destruct mechanism before it causes massive damage on the Presidium, apparently destroying the AI in the process.

Appearances to the contrary, the AI survived the encounter and laid low on the Citadel, biding its time to fulfill its plan to be installed on a starship and make contact with the Geth. It witnessed Sovereign's attack, and by reading through the security archives pieces together the truth about the Reapers. It also begins hearing rumors of Jien Garson's Andromeda Initiative, taking particular interest in the involvement of Alec Ryder (who is known to be interested in AI research). The AI is able to amass a tidy fortune in the aftermath of the attack on the Citadel, and branches out into other financial ventures, greatly increasing its wealth. It gets installed on a starship, and makes contact with the true Geth. The Geth then construct the FTL telescope and scout out golden worlds in Andromeda in exchange for a portion of Geth runtimes getting to stow away on an ark. As Garson begins to run out of money in the pursuit of her dream, the AI contacts her under the assumed identity of the Benefactor, becoming a silent majority partner in the process. The Nexus houses a copy of the Benefactor AI, and (dormant) backup copies were sent on each Ark.

The Geth runtimes are sent to Andromeda on the Quarian ark, but are discovered after its arrival. This forces that ark's Benefactor copy to carry out its endgame strategy: seize control of everyone with a Pathfinder implant in the same way the Zha'til did the Zha in the Prothean Cycle. This will majorly impact events of the sequel.

Mass Effect 5
Set 50 years after the Battle of London, this sequel assumes that low EMS was canon. Therefore, regardless of what you chose, the relays all over the galaxy exploded in supernovae causing sympathetic detonation of all those systems' stars in additional supernovae. Earth and most other major species' homeworlds have been vaporized, with surviving enclaves on worlds that weren't close to a relay, eking out a harsh hand to mouth existence in a new technological dark age. Crime, cultism and anarchy runs rampant. Reaper corpses lay strewn everywhere and have a somnambulant effect, turning anyone exposed to them long enough into docile, submissive slaves that follow whatever command they are given. These corpses therefore become havens for slavers and cultists. You start out on the human world Sanctum in the Decoris system. There is the turian colony on Trignitra Petra and the asari colony on Chalkos. The Skepsis system is now a nebula consisting of debris and eezo from when the mass relay exploded and the star went supernova. However, while technology had to be rebuilt, the knowledge base behind that technology still exists in older people’s brains. FTL travel has just been made possible with omnitool and mass effect field technology having been recently reconstructed.

Your initial settlement in Sanctum is however a colony of neo-Luddites who believe that any manipulation of mass effect fields is an unforgivable sacrilege. If you selected a tech based class (Infiltrator, Sentinel or Engineer), you get excommunicated, while a non tech class is sent to annihilate some “outlaws” who were actually just excommunicated for mass effect field experimentation. You sympathize with them and get excommunicated yourself. You will have to bring these factions together eventually. Similarly, Trignitra Petra has the biotics exiled from their main settlement, while the asari Chalkos colony consists of violence abhorring meditation oriented hippies high off psychotropic substances all the time. Those who displayed any aggressive tendencies were exiled. Reaper corpses serve as outlaw raider outposts, but these gangs appear too well coordinated even on planets light years apart.

Uncover a conspiracy involving a hidden salarian colony, the Leviathans On Despoina and surviving batarians. Uncover the psychopathic Leviathan who deliberately sabotaged the Catalyst VI to make it commit all the atrocities it committed for the past billion years - and uncover the truly horrifying plan it has hatched, involving an artificially created cosmological hazard in a neighboring galaxy, called The Scourge.

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