How decryption works in Mass Effect Legendary Edition

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Image via BioWare

The decryption mini-game in the Mass Effect Legendary Edition was a small hacking puzzle you had to complete to unlock doors or crates. By successfully finishing these, you could access unique resources, better equipment or find characters behind them that you could speak with that you could have missed. The decryption mini-game is not too difficult, but you also want to make sure you have someone in your party who has a high level in it.

Decryption only shows up in the first Mass Effect game in the Mass Effect Legendary Edition trilogy.

How decryption works

When you approach a locked door or crate, you’ll see a ‘decrypt’ icon appear above them. If your character’s decryption level meets the requirement of the lock, you’ll be able to try and unlock the item.

Screenshot by Gamepur

When you attempt to override the console, the mini-game will pop up. The mini-game varies depending on what platform you’re playing on. For those playing on a console, the mini-game is a Simon Says game where you match the buttons that appear on the screen. If you don’t input the buttons quickly enough, you’ll fail the decryption.

For those playing on PC, the mini-game features a circle with a small blue triangle at the exterior that you control. The goal of this game is to make it to the center of the circle. The orange blocks will block your triangle from moving, and the red blocks are rotating throughout the circle. If you hit a red block, your triangle is pushed back to the exterior, and you have to start over. The goal is to make it to the center before time runs out.

Screenshot by Gamepur

The difficulty of the decryption will vary depending on your party’s skill with decryption or electronics. You cannot attempt to decrypt doors that are too high level for you or any member of your party.

How to level up decryption – Decryption skill too low

All decryption access ports have a skill check level associated with them. If your party does not have a high enough skill in decryption to access it, you’ll receive the message, “Decryption skill too low.” You can improve this by leveling up the decryption talent tree of any member of your party. The game searches for the character in your party with the highest decryption skill and uses that to determine if you can access a door. You do not need to switch to this party member to use their skill, and Shepard does not need to have the highest skill.

All of the party members that have the decryption skill include Kaidan, Garrus, or Tali’Zorah. Shepard can use decryption if they are an Infiltrator, Engineer, or Sentinel.