Races of Mass Effect

In the Mass Effect galaxy there are many sentient races with intra-galactic travel available to them. Romance happens between members of various races, though humans are typically more squeamish than most about having alien sex because we’re just not used to the idea as much as the other races are yet. Here I’ll give a brief overview of the races and split them into playable and non-playable races just so there is no confusion. Full write ups of their game stats will be linked in their profiles when I make them.

Playable Races


This one is pretty easy. Because of advanced tech, human lifespans are up to about 130 years now and disease is almost eradicated on Earth. The planet is in kind of shitty condition because of fossil fuel abuse before our tech revolution, but it’s getting better. Race relations with turians are kind of rough because of our unexpected huge victory in the First Contact War, and batarians tend to hate humans because of conflicts over colonization rights to certain planets. Humans are seen as cunning, ambitious, ruthless and a little mean. In spite of this, the Council races see a lot of potential for the species because of our lateral thinking, adaptability and relatively strong military and economy. Other non-council races resent humans for having so much favor with the Council in such a short period of time.


The first of the Council races and the first race to find the Citadel. They have the largest economy and their worlds are some of the most populous in the galaxy. Asari philosophy, politics, media and culture permeates all over the galaxy. They have a strong military though their military isn’t as large or advanced as the turians or as adaptable as the humans. The military is not controlled by a central commander or government but instead is set up by smaller governments or interest groups. All asari are biotics and have some innate psychic powers. All Asari are female and they reproduce by melding nervous systems with another sentient creature, which always produces an Asari (as DNA was never given by the “father” and wouldn’t be compatible if it was). Asari culture puts a large emphasis on pleasing, helping and caring for others and their natural charisma leads them into roles that emphasize these qualities.


They are the second of the Council races. The Salarians are an amphibious humanoids that look vaguely like frogs or salamanders. Salarians have an incredibly quick wit, high level of intelligence and fast reflexes. The species is 90% male; females are usually leaders and politicians while the males make up the scientists, engineers, military and so on. Salarians tend towards intellectual pursuits as they are relatively frail, though their quick reflexes makes them incredibly good as infiltrators and scouts. The salarian government has the largest spy and information network of any government and the salarian spec ops teams are known for their fierce reconnaissance. Others might see the Salarians as hyperactive, idealistic and naive though a reputation of manipulative behavior also exists.


Turians are the third council race. They earned their spot after helping defeat the Krogans in the Krogan Rebellions in the wake of the Rachni War. They are a bird-insect-like humanoid race and are well known for their peace keeping services in the form of C-Sec (the Citadel Security Force) and their permission to build more Dreadnaught class battleships than any other race in the Galaxy. Turians are extremely disciplined and are often seen as humorless and rigid as well as overly tied to protocols. They have the largest, most technologically advanced military though they have been learning much from the tactics of the human newcomers (who beat the turians during the First Contact War, something neither side forgets). They have a long track record of public service and have a reputation of teamwork and an emphasis on group-advancement instead of personal-advancement.


Drell are a Citadel race, but do not have a Council seat. They are a snake/lizard looking humanoid and are a client race of the Hanar who saved a large amount of them from the climate change and war killing their homeworld. In exchange for this salvation the Drell advance Hanar interests in ways that the Hanr themselves cannot. This usually means that the Drell are the secret police and assassins of the jellyfish and non-physical Hanar. While the Hanar/Drell have no formal military to speak of, what they do have is composed of mainly Drell who have conditioned themselves to be killers. Drell have perfect memories, to the point of being able to fully relive past experiences in dreamlike trances. This is combined with still fairly strong religious beliefs and traditions that make Drell awkward to talk to at times as these trances are sometimes involuntary during moments of stress or emotion.


Quarians are a non-Citadel race who are similar to gypsies as they roam the galaxy with their Flotilla. Quarians have been exiled from their own homeworld by their own machine creations after they gained sentience and the Geth waged war on the Quarians. The quarians live their entire lives in hazard suits that protect them from disease- a weakness that is a side effect of their living exclusively in space for so long. They posses no colonies as they see only their homeworld as a proper planet to colonize. The Flotilla is not a large military force but contains a large amount of firepower and is technically the largest fleet in existence in the galaxy. Quarians tend to be good engineers because of their lives aboard ships, though there is a jack-of-all-trades expectation on them as all quarians are meant to be capable in any situation that might go bad on their ships. Quarians are generally seen as competent though not precisely trustworthy by the Citadel races, owing to their outsider status. Quarians for their part accept the reality of the situation and in turn are insular against other cultures, with the exception of their time on Pilgrimage (a Rite of Adulthood where young quarians are sent out to find themselves before becoming adults).


The Krogan are a former Citadel race that have had their rights to representation revoked during the Krogan Rebellions. They are large, powerful dinosaur men and are almost uniformly hotheaded berserkers. Originally “uplifted” by the salarians to fight the Rachni Wars, they became uncontrollable and expansionist and so were rendered almost sterile by a biological weapon/disease called the Genophage. Their numbers are astronomically low now and all are angry at the Citadel for essentially committing slow genocide on their species. Anyone with sense knows that krogan are dangerous, short tempered, jealous, prideful and mean. They can make up for this by being extremely loyal friends, inspiring leaders and at times wise sages. Because of the genophage females are protected very heavily and very highly respected though they are not political leaders as the salarian women tend to be. the Krogan have no military but almost all of them are either part of war bands or mercenary groups and their warrior culture is still the dominant one, no matter how diluted now.


Batarians suck, you can play one but if you do it sucks. Mostly composed of pirates, drug runners and slavers, these guys pretty much suck. They’re entitled, whiny, racist douchbags and tend to have loose morals in a way that isn’t even appealing. They’re ugly and smell bad and hate humans but also despise most other Citadel races. They might have decent normal citizens somewhere on their colonies but their tyrannical fascist government won’t permit them to leave so all we see are the jerks. They left the Citadel when it looked like humans were getting more consideration than them and the Citadel didn’t cede a large amount of space where there were already human colonies to the batarians. No one likes them, especially humans.

Non-Playable Races

Citadel Races


Non-Citadel Races

*Rachni (Extinct)
*Protheans (Extinct)


Mass Effect: Proverbs Chiguayante