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Mass Effect Andromeda guide: Elaaden, 100% viability and The Journey to Meridian

Mass Effect Andromeda is building to a climax - and we don't just mean in the romance system.


Up until now we've encouraged you to avoid completing Mass Effect Andromeda's side quests, but during this chapter you'll unlock the final landable planet and be able to complete a number of quests that would otherwise go "on hold". This means you can embark on most side quests knowing you'll actually be able to finish them, and tick off loads of objectives at once by touring around each planet. You'll still need to run around a bit finishing up loyalty quests, but almost everything else can be ticked off here and now.

One side quest you should definitely check out is Know Your Enemy, which updates with a last email as you begin The Journey to Meridian. This quest leads into another called Dissension in the Ranks, which can decrease the difficulty of the final priority op, as well as being narratively satisfying. Be sure to grab the email and proceed to Voeld to complete the quest chain before you go past the point of no return in the next chapter.

You don't need to see and do everything before the final priority op, as the game continues after the credits roll - but whether you're chasing 100% completion or just want the best ending, one goal worth pursuing is full viability on all planets; it's easily achieved without doing every single quest. New planet Elaaden counts towards this goal, so we've included all its sidequests on this page, now that you can access them.

The priority op itself, The Journey to Meridian, is pretty straightforward, although it does involve some great battles, including two major bosses. You'll know when you've hit the mission's little point of no return (not the final one); you'll get one of Mass Effect Andromeda's rare "embark on mission" prompts. Up until then you can wander off to do side questing whenever you like without fear of being dropping into the next mission.


The Journey to Meridian objectives and suggested missions flow

As mentioned above, this mission is something of a point of no return for Mass Effect Andromeda. Although you will still be able to play after the final priority op, some secondary content will close or alter to reflect the end of the main narrative. Additionally, you won't have a chance to increase your Andromeda viability once you get moving.

We're stressing this a lot now because we want to be sure you don't miss the message: get everything done. Check your email. Talk to everyone. Go everywhere. Look at everything. Sure, you can do it later, and it's not like the galaxy's gonna blow up if you don't, but since you have the chance to make a perfect run on it now, why not do it?

Alright then, here's how we suggest you tackle The Journey to Meridian. The only tricky bit in this mission is a branching path where you need to visit each destination - a pair of towers, one in the north and one in the south. Each includes a boss battle, and one of these is with a Destroyer, a new enemy type you won't have seen before if you haven't been checking out side content as you progressed.

The mission culminates in a major boss battle with The Archon's Sword, a souped-up Cardinal, and transitions immediately to Meridian: The Journey Home.

  • Optional: visit the Nexus, Hyperion and Tempest to update conversations and side quests
  • Optional: collect Elaaden side quests (see list below)
  • Optional: clear all available side quests and planet scanning
  • Optional: Achieve 100% viability on all outpost planets
  • Meet with Nexus Leaders
  • Speak with your sibling
  • Interact with the terminal in the Tempest Research Centre
  • Call a crew meeting on the Vidcon
  • Travel to Meridian in the Civki system
  • Explore the Remnant City
    • Use the console
    • Cross the bridge and use a second console
    • Use gravity well and fight through Kett and Remnant
    • Investigate the North Tower
      • - Battle through the Remnant
      • - Activate the console to open the door
      • - Enter Exploration Systems
      • - Activate the four consoles: NW, NE, SW, SE
      • - Activate the final console
      • - Kill the Destroyer mini-boss
    • Investigate the South Tower
      • - Battle through the Kett and Remnant
      • - Optional: solve the Remnant Decryption to loot a treasure room
      • - Activate the console to open the door
      • - Enter Research Sector
      • - Battle through the Kett and Remnant
      • - Kill the Ascendant mini-boss
    • Return to Core 17
    • Battle the Remnant and Kett on the bridge
    • Use the gravity well
    • Activate the central command console
  • Kill The Archon's Sword boss


The Journey to Meridian mini-boss: the Destroyer

Encountered in the North Tower as a mini-boss, the Destroyer unit actually turns up a second time during this mission, so get used to it now - assuming you haven't found one in side content or multiplayer already.

The key to a Destroyer encounter is to use the environment to your advantage and stay mobile; distance will keep you out of its annoying area of effect attacks, but you'll need to evade its main cannon, and hunkering down behind cover is a bad idea - it has an explosive response to that tactic.

You must control the adds. Your first priority should be to take down all the Assemblers, to stop them building more units, and then the Nullifiers. We found it easiest to point our squaddies at the Nullifiers while we whipped around clearing up the smaller mobs.

When you're ready to face the Destroyer itself, go for its most obvious weak spot - the two turrets. Although dropping the turrets makes the Destroyer more mobile, it also prevents it unleashing one of its attacks, and significantly eats into its shields. Critical damage bonuses help a lot here.

Once you've dropped both turrets, just keep your distance and dodge when the main cannon fires, and you'll win the war of attrition, As ever, consumables will help you hit it harder and faster.


The Journey to Merdian boss: The Archon's Sword

The proper boss of The Road to Meridian is sort of like a Destined on steroids, except that Destined rarely call in so many adds you want to throw your controller at the screen.

Add control is so, so important here and it's the constant spawns that really make this encounter challenging. Since there's so much going on it's very difficult to order your squaddies about efficiently, so if you are good at clearing large numbers of adds quickly, you might want to leave Drack and Cora at home and bring those more at home with distance battles, like Vetra and Jaal, and point them both at the Archon's Sword while you do mob duty.

High ground is very important in this encounter, and you can really help yourself out by using the environment to funnel enemies into chokepoints. You will have to face Anointed and a Fiend as well as the squishier Wraiths and Chosen, so you definitely need to think about something to smack down shields as well as punch through armour. Ability wise, anything you've got for controlling groups is great, and if you've specced your powers to detonate with radius damage you can really benefit from combos here.

If you only have limited disruptor ammo consumables, save them for the Archon's Sword himself, as his shields are a bother. Whenever the Archon's Sword gets a bit sore he'll cloak and wander off, usually calling in a bunch more adds. Keep track of him by watching for that weird swirly cloud Destined generate, and make sure you don't let him flank you while you're coping with the mess.


Elaaden secondary quests

Elaaden is a dry and dusty planet, and home to New Tuchanka, the outpost established by the Krogan after they were kicked off the Nexus. This planet is entirely optional, but there's heaps to do. You can set up a new outpost, even.

  • Elaaden: A New World
    Enter the Tempest after visiting Kadara to view a cutscene unlocking this mission and the planet Elaaden.
  • Settling Elaaden
    Land on Elaaden to unlock.
  • Conflict in the Colony
    This is the main Elaaden mission chain and unlocks after you visit the planet and enter Paradise.
    • Parlay with the Krogan
    • Investigate the Remnant Derelict
    • Search for the Stolen Remnant Drive Core
      • If you give the Drive Core to Morda the Krogan and Nexus resume friendly relations and you can build an Outpost on Elaaden.
      • If you keep the Drive Core for the Initiative you'll receive 1,000 Remnant research points and 2,000 Credits in addition to standard mission rewards.
  • The Flophouse
    This is the main base mission of Elaaden, and is tackled during the quest chain above.
  • Architect on Elaaden
  • This battle becomes available if you establish an outpost on Elaaden.

  • Taming a Desert/Making This Dust Bowl Livable
    Approach any of the three Elaaden monoliths.
  • Water Supply
    Use the console in the Flophouse.
  • The Mind of an Exile
    Unlocks with a comm from Lexi after you enter Paradise.
  • Gray Matter
    Unlocks sometime after completion of The Mind of an Exile.
  • Hard Luck
    Speak to Nora Tallis in Paradise Sands.
  • The Rebel
    Speak to Kent Halsey in Paradise Sands.
  • Save Dr. Okeer’s Krogan Research
    Speak to the Krogan geneticist at New Tuchanka.
  • Rising Tensions
    Speak to Shaman Kortik in New Tuchanka; must have unlocked Parlay with the Krogan.
  • The Search for Ljeta
    Speak to Rorik in New Tuchanka. Unlocks after resolving the main Elaaden mission chain.
  • Crisis Response
    Acquired from a datapad in the Flophouse.
  • Aspirations
    This sidequest marker is in the southeast of the map. The door won't open until you've interrogated Vehn Terev in Hunting the Archon.
  • Task: A Flower for Kesh
    Unlocks after completing Drack's loyalty mission. Speak to Vorn to begin.
  • Out of Gas
    Drive around the north of the Elaaden map until the Nomad breaks down.
  • Dismantled
    Acquired by approaching map icon Remnant ruins.
  • Task: Cache Flow
    Scan a Remnant device at any Remnant site.
  • Task: Little Mouse
    Collect a Little Mouse datapad in a random encounter.
  • Task: Volatile
    Destroy a volatile container in a random encounter.
  • Task: Infection
    Scan an infected outlaw corpse in a random encounter.


Other endgame secondary quests

There are several secondary quests that open up during the final few priority ops of Mass Effect Andromeda, or when you touch down on planets and systems you won't have visted unless you're pursuing other secondary quests. Here are some that are easy to miss if you're not checking in regularly:

  • Life on the Frontier
    You'll receive an email from Sid sometime after reaching Aya.
  • Contagion
    You'll receive an email from Captain Dunn when you return to the Nexus after Kadara first becomes available.
  • Task: Investigating Embezzlement
    Speak to the dock manager in the Docking Bay area of the Nexus after opening Kadara.
  • Task: Beer Run
    Speak to Wilma just outside Kesh's office on the Nexus after visiting Kadara.
  • Taks: Outpost Supplies on Elaaden
    Talk to Merixus at the docks on Aya after building an outpost on Elaaden.

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