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Mass Effect 3 Legendary Edition

Destroy or Control the Crucible

Matt Chard

The last, but the most important choice of the Mass Effect Trilogy. You’ll have to choose between four options on what to do with the Crucible.

Choice: Control, Destroy, Refuse, and Synthesis

The final choice in Mass Effect 3 is determined by your Effective Military Strength (EMS), and the availability of the choices available depends on how high it was when you get to this point.

Choice: Control

By choosing Control, the Crucible will absorb your soul, then upload it to the Reapers. If your EMS is below 2,649, this act will destroy all the Mass Relays, and ravage Earth. Furthermore, your narration will change, depending on your morality score, this will be one of three outcomes, Paragon, Renegade, or Neutral.

Choice: Destroy

By choosing Destroy, the Reapers will become disabled, and inoperable due to the Crucible’s energy waves. If you choose this choice whilst you’re at 3,099 or higher, you could live through this, but only if Anderson survives the Illusive Man, and if you’re above 3,100 EMS, you’re guaranteed to survive. At 2,649 EMS or lower, you’ll destroy all the Mass Relays, and ravage Earth. If your EMS is lower than 1,749, you’ll kill all life on Earth. Regardless of your EMS score, you’ll end up killing all non-organic life in the galaxy, including EDI, and the Geth.


By choosing Refuse, by choosing “I reject these options”. You’ll get a speech option, and this’ll let the Reapers continue with their extinction plan, which won’t get stopped until the next cycle, in 50,000 years. You can also shoot the catalyst, which will result in the same outcome minus the speech.


This choice is only available at 2,800 EMS or higher, and will transfer your soul into the crucible, then used in an energy wave, which’ll change all life into organic and in-organic beings, thus giving the Reapers no reason to make you extinct anymore as they consider you allies.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Electronic Arts
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS3, Wii U, XB 360
  • Genre
    Action RPG, Third-person shooter
  • Guide Release
    14 May 2021
  • Last Updated
    15 June 2022
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Andrew Mills, Claire Farnworth

Share this free guide:

For years, a lone soldier has told tales of the Reapers, of their return, of these sentient machines reaching out across the vastness of space, to harvest all sentient life. But the warnings were all for nothing. Until now. The Reapers have at last come to Earth and these warnings can no longer be ignored. You are Commander Shepard, the first human spectre and elite soldier of the Alliance, tasked with uniting the galaxy in the fight to stop the Reapers destroying everything you hold dear. In your hands lies the fate of the entire Milky Way but luckily, this time, you are no longer alone.

  • All side missions completed containing the included DLC.
  • Find every single weapon mod tucked away in the game.
  • In-depth look at the major choices and consequences of each.
  • Full details on all possible Romances.
  • Class builds to get the most out of your chosen class.
  • All Biotic Combos and Tech Bursts explained.
  • Details on every Power.
  • Builds for all squad mates.
  • Trophy/Achievement guide.

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