Playing with ThaneMOD

ThaneMOD is distributed in several optional “modules”. Depending on which one players use, some changes the mod makes can be unexpected. Below are some tips that should help you experience your preferred playthrough.

ATTENTION | This article assumes you’ve read the Installation article and understand the organization of ThaneMOD’s content into “modules”. The information below contains minor spoilers and is receiving a light refresh with the site. It pertains only to ThaneMOD v2.0 and will be supplanted by an updated version concurrent with the final release of the mod.


ThaneMOD will not work by default. Players must meet the criteria covered in the Installation article. Make sure your imported game meets these requirements prior to starting, and that you make the necessary decisions as your playthrough progresses.

New Playthrough or Existing Playthrough?

ThaneMOD can only be used when starting a new playthrough.

This is for two reasons. One, ThaneMOD may start making changes to the game as soon as after Priority: Mars. It will continue to alter various aspects of the game through the epilogue. Two, proper functioning of the mod is dependent on many things, but mainly upon the status of various plot conditions in your save. Existing saves made without with the mod installed will have improper plot conditions, which means the mod can’t work like it should.

Troubleshooting support will not be provided to players who ignore this warning; it’s both a waste of my time and of yours.

Boarding the Normandy

Perform a quicksave and then reload that save before trying to board Normandy from the Citadel. This will alleviate 99% of game crashes and freezes. While this is a documented issue with the vanilla game, ThaneMOD edits several Citadel files that exacerbates this problem.

Emails + War Assets + Codex

Below are a few key points and suggestions about playing with the EWAC module.

  • EWAC requires ThaneMOD’s “Core” module to function.
  • EWAC users should consider using the Relationship Improvements module. The restructuring of the conversation at Huerta between Shepard and Thane provides a smoother segue into him survive his illness (or potentially surviving, in the case of friendShep).
  • If your war asset and codex textures are missing, you forgot to install them. Consult the Install Guide.
  • To ensure the first corrupted Shadow Broker note doesn’t arrive until after LI Thane’s Sur’Kesh message, check Normandy’s mail immediately upon boarding after Sur’Kesh. The corrupted message will show up sometime after; timing will vary by your individual playthrough.
  • To ensure proper timing for all corrupted Shadow Broker notes after Sur’Kesh, always check the SB terminal FIRST after main missions. Then make your rounds talking to the crew. Then check Normandy’s mail terminal for Thane’s messages. This will help with immersion.
  • Customizing the corrupted Shadow Broker letters is quite easy. If you want to write your own, see the instructions on the Troubleshooting page.

Thane in Huerta

Remember that the Relationship Improvement modules (Friend and Romance versions) can be used on their own. They do not require any other module to work, even the Core module. However, to use only this module, you must use the manual install version of the mod (v1.0F/v2.0F).

Here are a few pointers for visiting Thane in Huerta:

  • Make sure you read Thane’s note before you try to visit him in Huerta. He won’t be there if you don’t!
  • Thane’s availability in Huerta Memorial Hospital changes for users of EWAC. In the vanilla game he is present from Priority: Palaven to Priority: Tuchanka. ThaneMOD will make this window even smaller.
  • To maximize your time with Thane, speak to him immediately after finishing Menae, then exhaust all Side Missions and Search & Rescue options (planet scanning) before embarking on the next mission in the main storyline.
  • If the conversation in Huerta seems incorrect or buggy, be sure you are using the version of Relationship Improvements that matches the conditions of your playthrough: Friend or Romance. For TMv2.0 users, be sure you didn’t overwrite one ThaneMOD install with another. Doing so will result in an improper combination of files and subsequent bugs in game.

And, here are a few more that apply only to those romancing Thane:

  • Keep a couple things in mind before you enter the convo. One, there are still a significant number of issues with modding dialogue in ME3, and two, there is only a finite amount of Thane’s dialogue that can be reused. While the amount of conversation options for the seated portionhas been doubled (in addition to entirely revamping what was present), it will still feel short compared to the conversations in Life Support you’re used to.
  • Turn on subtitles prior to your visit. This is important since FemShep is missing the audio for a few of her new lines, but subtitles are present.
  • You need to be FAST on that Paragon interrupt or you will miss it. This is due to the edits present. Click your right mouse button as Thane says “last”. The audio won’t get cut off, and you’ll successfully make the interrupt. If you miss it, just reload your “Citadel Mission” autosave and start over.
  • If you’re about to experience Paramour for the first time and want to be able to experience it again, make a backup of your LocalProfile.sav in your Windows Libraries ME3 folder before triggering the achievement in game. That way you’ll have a copy of all your existing game achievements before triggering Paramour. To experience Paramour again, just restore this backup.
  • Thane’s entire dialogue in Huerta is now repeatable, but there are no new dialogue options after the first conversation. Therefore, you may want to “stretch” your time with him out, by not exhausting all options during your first visit.

Thane at the Coup

If Thane, rather than Bailey, makes the radio call to the Normandy about the coup, this means you haven’t satisfied one of the requirements for ThaneMOD. Stop your playthrough and figure out where you went wrong before continuing, otherwise Thane will show up at the coup.

Romancing Thane

Here are a few other tips if Shepard is romancing Thane in your playthrough:

  • Remember, Thane’s cabin photo will not appear until after you have locked in the romance. It will not be present when you first enter the cabin. If Tali’s image is present, you forgot to apply the TPF file. Consult the install guide. Note: This content is now superceded by BackOff.
  • If you are playing with EWAC, Thane will not be accessible in-game after you receive the final email. Not on Noveria, nor in the cabin. A few people have asked about this since v1.0 release, so I want to be clear that he will not return prior to the epilogue. I apologize for the confusion and disappointment; the last thing I want is for Thane fans to experience more disappointment. This aspect of the mod will change in TMv3.0.
  • To see the changes to the Liara/Aethyta content with TMv2.0, you must talk to Liara on the Presidium any time after Priority: Menae and the coup. Aethyta will appear after talking to Liara (you must leave the Presidium first). At that point talk to Aethyta yourself and then encourage Liara to talk to Aethyta. There are more changes in the ambient sequence. All changes involve more accurate comments about Shepard’s relationship with Liara, past and present. Note: This content is now superceded by BackOff.

Interacting with James

If you don’t want James to call Shepard “Lola”, then select the disagree/renegade response after the sparring match and tell him not to. With the Romance Improvements module he will also not flirt with Shepard for the entire game. This changes Shepard’s dynamic with James, substantially, lending a more professional feel. Something more appropriate for a subordinate in the military, akin to a non-romanced Ash or Kaidan à la ME1. Note: This content is now superceded by BackOff.

Interacting with Kaidan

Ah, Kaidan. Lots of players who had Shepard romance Kaidan in ME1 interpreted events in ME2 as a breakup — and subsequently moved on to bigger and better things. Yet, when ME3 came along BioWare didn’t leave a lot of room for FemShep to be assertive in the face of Kaidan’s accusations about their relationship. Players became confused about how rekindle the romance with Shepard’s ME2 LI and rebuke Kaidan’s advances…but not have to kill him at the coup as a result.

For those of you who romanced Kaidan in ME1, Thane in ME2, and want to stay with Thane in ME3, here’s some advice:

  • Use BackOff. This greatly improves FemShep’s interactions with Kaidan throughout the game.
  • If you felt Kaidan was constantly stepping over the line with Shepard in previous playthroughs, make sure you respond to him appropriately on Mars. This means selecting the disagree/renegade option at the Cerberus corpse and telling him that he and Shepard are “in the past.” He’s going to bring it up again but this response has an impact on your dialogue with him at Huerta.
  • Be straight with Kaidan and firmly turn him down in Huerta. When using BackOff, this will permanently end the romantic relationship.
  • Don’t be a complete ass to Kaidan unless you want to have to shoot him at the Coup. Tell him you are “good.”
  • With the Romance Improvements module, you will no longer experience Kaidan’s triangle dialogue when speaking to Thane. It will be all sunshine and bunnies when Thane and Siha reunite (well…relatively speaking). The focus is on them and not Shepard’s past relationship with Kaidan.
  • With the new lock-in, you will get an automatic friendzone on the Presidium with Kaidan based upon your actions with Thane. However, to avoid immersion breaks, it’s up to you to respond to Kaidan appropriately on Mars and in Huerta. BackOff retains this lock-in when used in conjunction with ThaneMOD.
  • You may want to speak to Kaidan before Thane, as speaking to him after just reuniting to Thane will be immersion-breaking for some—especially if they just earned Paramour. Try it both ways and see which you prefer.

If you romanced Kaidan in ME1, Thane in ME2, and want to reunite with Kaidan in ME3, do not lock-in a romance with Thane. Be aware that this will prevent many other portions of the Romance Improvements module from working, as you are no longer committed to Thane. This is as intended and is similar to the existing, vanilla romances.