Mass Effect Timeline Highlights

Most Mass Effect players focus on completing quests and romancing companions. Eventually you may want to learn more about some factions and events. Read below for a selection of the most important lore highlights, conveniently assembled in a timeline.


A titanic reaper named the Leviathan of Dis is killed by the real leviathans. The reapers start to spread mass effect technology through the galaxy and prey on the species that reach a suitable advancement level.

48.000 BCE

One race, the protheans, learns about the reapers but fail to defend against the threat. Their legacy remains under the form of the Crucible.

1900 BCE

A nuclear war destroys the krogan homeworld of Tuchanka and the race reverts to a primitive clan system.

580 BCE

The asari civilization activates the mass effect relays and discovers the Citadel Station.

500 BCE

The Citadel Council is formed and diplomatic missions are started.

1 CE

An interplanetary expedition stumbles upon a rachni after enabling a mass effect relay connected to one of the hive minds leading to the Rachni Wars.

300 CE

Genetically enhanced krograns drive the rachni to extinction. The Council rewards them with several rachni homeworlds.

693 CE

Beelo Gurji becomes the first Spectre , being charged with keeping the krogran expansion in check.

700 CE A krogan colony is established on Lusia, a world owned by the asari. After they refuse to leave Spectres attack the colony, sparkin the Krogan Rebellion.

800 CE

After a bioweapon released by The Turians ravages the krogan population they are no longer a threat. Their military role is taken by the Turians.

1600 CE

Reaper servants are spotted in the Terminus Systems but the threat is dismissed by the Citadel Council.

1895 CE

Quarians discover that the geth, their robotic assistants, have attained sentience. They start to destroy the geth and a revolution begins.

1980 CE

Aria T’ Loak seizes control of the Omega Station.

2000 CE

Decades of industrial activity ruin the drell homeworld. They are evacuated from the planet by the hanar. The surviving drell form a symbiotic connection with the hanar, called Compact.

2069 CE

The first human settlement is established on the moon.

2148 CE

After analyzing prothean rumors on Mars humanity discovers that Charon, Pluto’s satellite, is in fact a mass relay. Humans use it to travel to Arcturus.

2156 CE

A number of children from Singapore are accidentally exposed to element zero. Some develop telekinetic abilities.

2157 CE

Turians attack humans that try to activate a relay and the First Contact War begins.

2163 CE

Batarians discover the remains of the Leviathan of Dis.

2165 CE

Humankind’s System Alliance is accepted as an associate member of the Citadel council

2171 CE

Pope Clement XVI is assassinated by a member of the Cerberus human paramilitary organization.

2176 CE

The Andromeda initiative is started

2819 CE

The events of Mass Effect: Andromeda start

2183 CE

The events of Mass Effect take place

2185 CE

The events of Mass Effect 2 occur.

2186 CE

The events of Mass Effect 3 begin.

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