Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Multiplayer Will Have A Bearing On The Core Story, But It’s Entirely Optional

Unlike Mass Effect 3 before it, players won’t have to indulge in Mass Effect Andromeda‘s multiplayer to get the most out of the sequel’s story, but BioWare has teased that the online mode will have loose ties to the single-player narrative.

In fact, according to BioWare Producer Mike Gamble, Andromeda will provide users with the option to switch between single-player and multiplayer on a whim. It’s not entirely seamless, according to Gamble – expect a loading screen, then – but by using a feature known as the Strike Team system, those ties between single and multiplayer will seemingly be “packaged around a meta-story of what’s going on in Helios.”

Chatting to Kotaku Australia, here’s what the developer had to share:

“There’s a system that we use called the Strike Team system, and fundamentally it allows you to go between singleplayer and multiplayer within the game. And it’s packaged around a meta-story of what’s going on in Helios. I can tell you that there’s a loading screen – it’s not entirely seamless – but it won’t require you to stop your game and restart in a different mode. Because narratively it’s all connected, it makes a lot of sense.”

Currently barrelling down on its late March release date, Mass Effect: Andromeda is still planning to host its planned multiplayer test prior to launch. Still no word on when fans can expect the beta to go live, but according to Lead Designer Ian S. Frazier, it seems an announcement is imminent.

Expect Mass Effect: Andromeda to descend on PS4, Xbox One and PC on March 21. As previously announced, the spacefaring sequel won’t feature a Season Pass, though BioWare has so far been cagey about its post-launch plans for Andromeda, so they may have something else planned.