Though there is no single romance that is considered canon in the Mass Effecttrilogy, many fans point to the relationship between asari scientist and Prothean expert Dr. Liara T’Soni and Commander Shepard as the one the series seems to hint at the most. Romance is by no means a central focus of BioWare’s massively popular science fiction series, but, like many of their beloved RPGs, it is a feature that resonates with fans. Liara’s romance is unique, being the only one that carries across all three games, though most of the arc in Mass Effect 2 only takes place in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC. Of the three romances available in the very first entry to the trilogy, Liara is the only alien and the only option available to both a male and female Shepard.

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Like the other romances in the first Mass Effect, Liara’s romance is not difficult to trigger, and there are very few steps involved. Because of this, it is sometimes possible for a player to accidentally trigger a romance with her and with either Kaidan Alenko or Ashley Williams. Shepard will be required to make a choice, however. Her romance can carry over to Mass Effect 2 and to the end of Mass Effect 3 if players choose. In general, romancing Liara requires some patience, and Shepard needs to be enthusiastic and reassuring to get her to commit. Here’s how to begin a romance with Liara in Mass Effect.

How to Begin a Romance with Liara in Mass Effect 1

Shepard will not have Liara on their squad until they rescue her from the catacombs of Therum in the main campaign of the first Mass Effect. Players who know they want to romance her should prioritize rescuing her from the Geth. This mission can easily be postponed, however, even until after Virmire. Not rescuing Liara until this point will prevent her romance from triggering. It will also cause her to believe Shepard and their squad to be a hallucination from how long she has been stuck in the catacombs.

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Following one of the first conversations Shepard has with Liara after she joins the crew, she will begin to express an interest in the Commander. If Shepard has already begun a romance with Kaidan or Ashley, she will comment on this as well. Shepard can encourage her interest by choosing the first or second dialogue options in the wheel: either I want to believe that or Me? Or the beacon?. When asked about Kaidan or Ashley, they will need to choose It’s not serious. Then, when she asks about mutual attraction, they will need to choose I am attracted to you. At the end of this conversation, she will ask for some time. Shepard should use the first or second dialogue option here to offer to give her the time she needs.

It is generally a good idea to bring Liara to the mission on Noveria to confront her mother, Matriarch Benezia, as she has some unique dialogue. Following this mission, Shepard may go check on Liara.

During this conversation, players will need to select the Let’s talk option on the dialogue wheel. She will talk about asari relationships and admit she has never been intimate before. Generally, players will want to choose reassuring dialogue options in this conversation. However, even with reassurance, Liara will deny Shepard’s advances in favor of focusing on the mission.

When the Normandy is locked down, Liara will come to comfort and reassure Shepard. The two will almost kiss but will be interrupted by Joker. Then, on the way to Ilos, she will appear in Shepard’s cabin and ask to spend the night. Shepard will need to choose comforting or positive responses (the first or second options) during this conversation. Negative responses will prevent the couple from being intimate. As long as Shepard has expressed interest and responds positively to her advances here, a short romance cutscene will ensue, marking the end of the romance arc for Mass Effect.

Following the events of the prologue to Mass Effect 2, players will not encounter Liara again until Illium. Because of this, they can choose to remain loyal and continue the romance, or they may choose to pursue other romantic options. Liara will have a reaction either way.

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Mass Effect: Legendary Edition launches May 14 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, with forward compatibility on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

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