BioWare Acknowledges Mass Effect 3 Face Import Bug

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
This happened to me, and I was soooooo angry. Actually started the game five different times until I had my recreated my character juuuuuust right. I think I came pretty close, though.

It was interesting, though - it really drove home for me just how attached I was to my Shepard. I tried playing the game with a slightly different appearance, and it bothered me so much I couldn't actually pay attention to the game. I couldn't finish with any Shepard but Joanna, because we'd already come so far together.

I do hope it's fixed soon. I was fortunate - I never bother with most of the sliders, so I didn't have all that many variables to try and recreate. Someone else might have a harder time with it.


New member
Nov 26, 2011
DVS BSTrD said:
Glad I have an excuse not to play it until they patch this. I still need to finish my replay of ME2 with my original Shepard.
Don't look me that way! I only started playing it over the summer
Don't look at THAT way either!

OT: I've always used the default face, so it really doesn't bother me. Then again, with the default face changed completely, I'll probably import the old face. And if that doesn't work, there's always the preset that's almost-but-not-quite the original default.


New member
Jun 24, 2010
Supposedly there's a workaround on the 360.

Haven't tried this myself yet (to hell with whoever decided Europeans should get their games two days later...), but it seems to be working pretty well. Worth a shot I reckon if you can be bothered.


New member
Mar 9, 2010
I wonder if the Trenches scenario is true here, where the test team found the bugs but management and the developers write them off as "won't fix" or "as intended".

It's sure a good thing that they didn't spend all this time since Content Complete working on day-one DLC while these bugs just sat there unpatched for the launch. Oh wait...

Proverbial Jon

Not evil, just mildly malevolent
Nov 10, 2009
Wow, this sounds like a major gaff. I am actually really dissapointed in Bioware. Considering the entire point of the games is to be able to play them all together with your own personalised Shepard this is a real kick in the teeth.

You expect a few bugs in the gameplay, certain missions or through some strange combination of armour and weapons that no one tried... but not in such a vital (for me anyway) and EARLY part of the game. Why was this not picked up during testing?

I hope it's fixed by Friday when it's released here in the UK because having a Shepard that's not my own is really going to ruin the experience for me.


New member
Aug 27, 2009
Zen Toombs said:
Flamezdudes said:
Glad they have actually finally acknowleged this, it took them long enough.
...Didn't the game come out at midnight?
This problem was actually recognised by people before launch who got the game early and by people who tested codes of their characters in the ME3 demo, but Bioware said nothing.


We are a rattlesnake
Dec 22, 2010
In the meantime, Priestly pointed to a fan-made tool that might do PC users some good at [].
I ended up on that page last night when I hit this, and it didn't work all that great (Oh God, Shep, what happened to your eyebrows?!).

Instead I spent way too long with an ME2 save editor, digging out the face data and converting it into slider values to enter into ME3. I didn't get it quite right, she's too pale and apparently ME1 eye colors are no longer available, but I'm hoping I'll get to used to it.


New member
Aug 6, 2011
Ahh that explains it. All well, my F!Shep was that different from the custom Shep. Took me five minutes to get her looking like she was supposed to.


New member
Apr 15, 2011
Flamezdudes said:
Glad they have actually finally acknowleged this, it took them long enough. Hopefully this issue will be fixed soon, ideally at least by Friday when it comes out here in the UK.
They have acknowleged it long before, the escapist just didn't mentioned it.
I saw the News in an local gaming website on monday.
The Problem is that ME 2 just copied the face, without copying the facecode, thus avoiding problems, because the ME 2 character creator is different than the ME 1 character creator.
But these characters have no facecode themselves now.
And since ME 3 works with the facecode to make the characters look more realistic than ME 2 characters, Me 3 has no facecode to work with.
There is a pretty easy workaround discussed in the Mass effect forum.
The you have the facecode.
Just copy it in Me 3 and then you just have to adjust some easy things like the hair type and color, or the eye color.
I tried it with the demo and it worked just fine.
(On PC but i heard it works with Xbox 360 too)


Overly Proud New Yorker
Dec 18, 2008
I'm going to go ahead and guess that part of this is due to the fact that the character creator is very different from ME1 & 2. Observe:

Here's my Shepard in ME1:

Here she is in ME2:

... and here she is in ME3:

As you can already tell, she's not the same woman she was in 1 and 2. This is because BioWare did not bring back her hairstyle, hair color, nor eye color (the picture is making her eyes look lighter than they are in-game) in Mass Effect 3.
There's only one shade of brown hair (had to make room for purple I suppose), two shades of blue (red must take up a lot of game space), and her hair style simply no longer exists (because the public was clamoring for five bun styles that all pretty much look the same I guess, so they had to clear out some of the old styles).

So naturally, the game wouldn't be able to import my dear Roslyn simply because parts of her no longer exist.


Elite Member
Nov 19, 2009
BoogieManFL said:
I discovered this 15 seconds into playing the game the first time.

How, with any stretch of the imagination, could this get through testing? I even used the default male Shepard appearance each time.
Its called a WNF, it happens all the time, it generally means that the Dev team doesn't have the time to do it before launch.

OT: Well, I guess I'll wait a little longer then.


Pub Club Am Broken
May 30, 2009
I seriously hope I don't encounter this problem (ME3 doesn't come out until tomorrow here in Australia).


The Resident Team ICO Fanboy
May 14, 2009
Eh. My first Shepard always looked kind of ugly to me. This just gave me the opportunity to update his look.

Brad Shepard

New member
Sep 9, 2009
This pissed me off beyond belief, I threw in my ME2 disk, did the sliders and everything to get the code right, copied the code, and then put the code in. Thank god my data transferred.


Keeper of the GWJ Holocron
Feb 21, 2010
How on Earth did BioWare not catch that in testing?? I have five characters which I brought with me from ME1 & ME2. Three of them are custom FemSheps, one of them is the default MaleShep and one is a custom MaleShep. If I can't have my characters the way I created them, I'm going to be one sad little panda. Hopefully, they'll come up with a fix before I get my copy (curse whoever decided Europeans would get their game three days after Americans, indeed!).


New member
Aug 10, 2011
I think this actually kinda happened to me, but it sort of made my guy look better. I didn't really mind it all that much.

Irony's Acolyte

Back from the Depths
Mar 9, 2010
Well, I guess it wasn't just me then. Thankfully ME 3's face editor allows you to make human beings much easier than the first one, as opposed to strange creatures wearing human faces.

I don't know how you miss this though. Did they not test with imported characters at all? Because this is the FIRST thing they should have noticed.