Call it love or call it lust, but like in real life, your options in Mass Effect: Andromeda are plentiful. Opting to play as Scott or Sara Ryder has an important influence on your romantic prospects, so your first step is to choose your protagonist wisely. In this guide, you'll learn what characters are available for each sibling to romance, and the best ways to go about pursuing the object of your affection.
There are some important basics that apply to every situation. You'll always initiate a romance with flirting — that's the large heart icon that's always at the 9 o'clock position on your dialogue wheel — without exception. What Andromeda does that's new to the Mass Effect franchise is allow you to flirt with a wide variety of individuals. Not only do you have the option with almost every member of your crew, you can hit on many of the people you encounter on the Nexus and the various planets you'll visit. You can even make a pass at 1,400-year-old Drack if he strikes your fancy, but don't expect the old Krogan to reciprocate.
Not every character will return your affections, and some who do may only be interested in a one night stand. Forming genuine, long-term, and frankly, more rewarding relationships takes greater effort, but it's entirely doable. Also, keep in mind that most of your romantic prospects won't even consider getting together unless you're open to commitment. Read on to find out which ones.
11 Ground Work
One particularly nice touch that BioWare put into this game is that relationships with the various characters available to you are as unique as they are, so no two relationships unfold in the same way. Most of your field team characters are available for romancing, but in most cases, you'll have to successfully complete their loyalty mission before you can do anything more than flirt. Other NPCs like Gil and Suvi still require plenty of flirting even though they have no loyalty missions, but it's still pretty far into the game before a fully-developed romance becomes a possibility with them.
Feel free to flirt with whoever you like at the game's outset, as often as you like; this won't harm your future standing with whomever you choose to pursue. But by the same token, flirting doesn't guarantee that a relationship will follow. Eventually, both parties have to verbally agree to start things up before anything physical happens — and should you get cold feet at the last minute, you can reject another character's advances, even if you've flirted every single time you've spoken to them.
But know this: once you commit to a relationship with one individual, all other romance options are closed. The same is not true of one night stands. Note that we're going to get into some heavy, romance-specific SPOILERS here, though we won't be revealing much about the main storyline of the game.
10 Cora Harper: Scott Ryder
Looking for some dramatic character development? How about a little nudity thrown in, too? Look no further.
It becomes clear as you play through the romance with Cora that this is one relationship BioWare invested a lot of time and care into. Not only is it longer and more involved than most of the other romances, it culminates in Ryder's quarters in one of the few on-screen hookups that shows a lot of skin. There are no overly explicit privates glimpsed, but you'll see plenty.
As Mass Effect: Andromeda players find out early in the game, Alec Ryder bypasses his groomed replacement Cora to make his son or daughter, Scott or Sara, the new Pathfinder. This doesn't sit well with a very confused Cora, but she remains loyal and eventually, she comes around — especially after you complete her loyalty mission. Having a romance with the man who got the job she wanted adds an extra layer of drama to the relationship, making the Scott/Cora pairing one of the most rewarding romances you can choose, narratively speaking.
Note that Cora has no interest in casual sex. This career officer is only willing to engage if you commit to a real relationship. But she's got a strong personality — Cora is a badass, alpha female commando — so you'll know pretty soon after meeting her whether she's the one.
9 Jaal Ama Darav: Sara Ryder
He may be the outsider as the only Andromeda native on the Tempest, but the crew instantly welcomes him to the family, and if you're playing as Sara Ryder, striking up a romance with Jaal is not hard. Just as Cora feels like "the" primary romantic option for Scott, it could be argued that Jaal is the most idealized partner for Sara, if the extra depth the developers put into this relationship is any indicator.
It should come as no surprise that everyone's favorite heart-on-his-sleeve Angaran is a hopeless romantic, and he provides probably the most traditional of relationship options in the game. So yes, he definitely requires a commitment from Sara. But he's so honorable and open with his feelings, it's not like he's hard to resist.
Flirt with him often, and complete his loyalty mission as soon as it becomes available. This part is crucial: during his mission, when given the timed option to shoot terrorist leader Akksul, don't do it. Let Akksul live, or your romance with Jaal is over, because he'll feel that you didn't trust him (though paradoxically, you'll still earn his loyalty as a crew member).
If the loyalty mission ends properly, Jaal will offer to introduce you to his family (did we mention he's traditional?), and this is where you'll state your commitment to him. Once the story mission "Journey to Meridian" is complete, Jaal will take you to a beautiful, secluded spot on Aya where you profess your love for one another and have sex. Some mild nudity is visible here, mostly shots of a purple Angaran derriere.
8 Vetra Nyx: Scott Ryder or Sara Ryder
Like Cora, Turian acquisitions officer Vetra is a one-partner gal — but this one's open to either sibling. Flirting is always casual and okay, no matter the character, but Vetra assumes that once things are consummated, the two of you are officially a couple. She will, however, continue to endearingly fret over whether or not she's able to make you happy.
As always, start things off by flirting at every opportunity. The turning point comes after you complete Vetra's loyalty mission and help save her sister's life. Complete that successfully, and an option opens for a discreet rendezvous with Vetra on Kadara, a special outing she plans just for the two of you. A little playful rock-climbing (you can cheat with your jetpack if you want — it won't affect the outcome) leads to a cliff-side picnic, though the two of you pretty much ignore the food and the view and get busy. Don't expect to see much; the camera cuts away before anything risqué occurs (probably so BioWare didn't have to figure out how to model a nude Turian), but the story doesn't end there.
Later, Vetra works her black market magic and procures some human food that she attempts to cook for Ryder. The results aren't very appetizing, but her sweet attempt to do something nice is more than enough to warm the Pathfinder's heart.
7 Peebee: Scott Ryder or Sara Ryder
If you've met Peebee, aka Pellesaria B'Sayle, you know she's not like any other Asari you've encountered before. She's an uninhibited, free spirit loner; a grab-life-by-the-throat-and-squeeze kind of gal. Start flirting with her, and she'll reciprocate without hesitation. Unsurprisingly, she's candid and unabashedly open about Ryder's prospects with her, promising to be "relentless" in her flirting.
Eventually, on the Tempest, you'll find her pacing around her makeshift lab by the escape pod, restless and stressed out; she's not used to staying in one place for so long, or spending so much time around others. The conversation leads SAM to suggest using the escape pod for one of her favorite activities: zero-g relaxation.
She'll invite Ryder to join in, and you have the option to agree or reject her. This is where the plot thickens — and not entirely in the way you're thinking. If you enter the pod, Peebee quickly makes a pass at Ryder, but she promises that there are "no strings attached," that it can be simply about blowing off steam, and that she'll be completely discreet if he's interested in someone else. This gives you the option to pursue casual sex, and it will have no effect on other relationships. Or, you can point out that while you're here for her in this moment, you actually find those strings appealing.
If you choose the latter, Peebee will soon find herself undergoing a change of character and falling for Ryder, despite herself. Complete her loyalty mission — and most importantly, don't kill her ex, Kalinda, when the opportunity arises — and soon she'll summon you to a cute rendezvous with her robot POC, which she nervously speaks through to state her desire to be with Ryder exclusively and permanently. If you agree, before long, Peebee will playfully get you to invite her to Ryder's quarters. Some definite skin is on display in this scene, mostly in the form of Peebee's breasts and rear end. You'll glimpse some Ryder bum, too, when the pair enjoy a floaty, psychic embrace.
6 Liam Kosta: Sara Ryder
Liam is a taste that a sizable contingent of players hasn't been able to acquire. But should he strike your fancy, you'll find your British crisis specialist pal fiercely loyal to Ryder — despite some noteworthy lapses in judgment along the way — and rather easily romanced by Sara.
Do the usual flirting at every opportunity, and check in with him regularly when you're on the Tempest. A pivotal moment occurs in a scene where he shows you the old car he and his family launched into space towards Andromeda. Liam's a complicated guy, and in the heat of the moment, he becomes unexpectedly vulnerable; just keep selecting that heart option on the dialogue menu. When Sara reaches out to touch him, you'll get a timed action cue for "more." Pull that trigger, and it's on.
After their tryst, Liam offers the opportunity for it to have been a one-time thing, or you can take things further. How you respond is up to you, and he'll be mature about it if you're not interested in continuing. If you do choose to keep going, most of his future interactions with you will take on a more personal tone. After Liam's loyalty mission is complete, he'll ask to meet you on Eos, where you'll see his latest project and have the opportunity to declare your true feelings.
Expect more romance scenes after this if you pursue him. But viewership wise, Sara/Liam is a pretty chaste storyline. You won't see anything remotely explicit.
5 Reyes Vidal: Scott Ryder or Sara Ryder
Before you jump into a romance with the dashing Mr. Vidal — and fans seem to agree that the charismatic scoundrel is one of the most appealing romance options in the game — you should know that he's not entirely what he appears to be. We're not going to spoil anything here, but if you want to get your mitts on this guy and hold on tight, be prepared for a twist or two in his storyline. Depending on your sensibilities, you might just shrug it off... or you may feel betrayed.
You'll first meet him on Kadara, where he works as a smuggler-with-a-heart-of-gold. His life is complicated, so he'll sweet-talk you into helping him deal with some problematic situations. Once things are sorted, and assuming you're able to roll with the aforementioned surprise, Reyes proves to be a charming partner with no shortage of witty banter.
There's never anything racy on screen between them, but you'll get plenty of warm fuzzies watching them dance and open up to one another. If you see this storyline through to its end, be sure and talk to each member of the Tempest crew after you and Reyes have committed; their reactions to your new relationship are entirely worth your time.
4 Suvi Anwar: Sara Ryder
That Suvi is quite the talker. Listen carefully and you'll hear NPC crew members comment about her soothing, sultry voice. Turns out, it can be a turn-on for Sara Ryder as well.
Do all the flirting, and in a surprising change of pace, it's Ryder who finds herself tongue-tied and nervous. After several conversations at the Tempest's helm, Suvi will invite you for "a break." The two of them retreat to the meeting room, where they have a heartfelt conversation about things they left behind in the Milky Way. At the end of this conversation, Suvi will warn you not to turn romantic with her "unless you mean it." In other words, she has no interest in a casual encounter; she wants a commitment, or it's no dice.
Their story culminates in the Tech Lab back on the Nexus. Aside from some mild smooching, don't expect to see anything naughty.
3 Gil Brodie: Scott Ryder
Despite his penchant for giving Scott a hard time — to say nothing of how he treats poor, fussy Kallo — Gil is one of the easiest characters to romance. Exclusively interested in Scott, Gil is probably the fastest and most aggressive partner you can pursue; he's ready to go for it almost as soon as you meet him.
Unlike your potential assault team members, Gil never leaves the Tempest when you visit the Nexus, Aya, or Kadara Port. So you'll need to make a habit of heading back to the Engine Room on a regular basis to talk to him. Flirt at every opportunity, and after completing the main story mission "Hunting the Archon" (hint: it's the one that culminates with the Salarian Ark), Gil will make a rare venture outside of the Tempest down to Eos, where he'll invite you to meet up.
During a serious conversation in Prodromos, you'll learn that Gil is usually more of a player, but he wants to do things right this time. Once you agree that you share his feelings, he's all yours. Back on the ship, Gil initiates an encounter in Ryder's quarters where things are consummated. Things get a little steamy, but never racy.
2 Keri T'Vessa: Scott Ryder or Sara Ryder
Intrepid Initiative reporter Keri is seemingly always at the ready to meet with Ryder and get his or her take on recent events. Keri's interviews tend to be short and to-the-point, but you can draw things out with the attractive Asari by engaging in a romantic relationship with her.
Like Peebee, Keri doesn't require a commitment from Ryder, but she will insist that nothing can happen between them until her ongoing interviews with Ryder are finished. After that, if you're still interested, she certainly is. She'll ask you for drinks at Vortex, a scene that turns intense remarkably fast.
There's not much to be seen beyond that, aside from a few face-to-face meetings whenever Scott returns to the Nexus. Expect her to always be happy to see him safe and sound. The two of them seem content to keep up their long-distance relationship status, but one gets the feeling that after the game ends, she's going to put her career first instead of settling down. Just a hunch.
1 Avela Kjar: Scott Ryder
The Angaran museum curator starts off with her priorities aimed purely at Ryder's archaeological finds. But a little flirtatious flattery makes it easy to get her interest to shift to Scott.
After you collect all of the artifacts that Avela is interested in, you'll get a chance to meet up with her at a scenic overlook on Aya. She reciprocates Scott's feelings but believes that the time isn't right, since both of them have so much important work ahead of them. She indulges him with a little making out, though, and promises to follow up if he still feels the same after things settle down (aka, after the game's main storyline is over).
There's a nice little wrap-up conversation you can engage in after the primary story is done, but don't expect any on-screen action. Similar to the Keri T'Vessa relationship, Avela implores you to always return to Aya — for her. And that's pretty much all that happens here.
Did we miss any of Andromeda's romantic options? Which has been your favorite thus far? Let us know in the comments.