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Mass Effect 3 designer maps out a Mars Rover easter egg kept hidden for 10 years

Commander Shepard looks down the sights of a gun at a chirpy mars rover
(Image credit: BioWare, via Tuskin38)
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Mass Effect 3 is full of vast, horrifying robots. But if you'd like to meet a more whimsical mechanical buddy, one of the game's original developers has revealed how to activate a long-lost Mars rover easter egg.

During an early mission to Mars, Shephard might stumble across a 4x3 grid of solar panels next to a shuttle. Speaking on the game's subreddit (opens in new tab), former Bioware designer Richard Boisvert explains that walking through the grid in a certain panel will trigger an easter egg that, to the best of his knowledge, has never been discovered.

"10 years ago I put an easter egg in the mars mission of ME3, and as far as I know no one ever stumbled upon it," Boisvert writes. "At the beginning of the mars mission, feel free to walk through the nearby solar panel array in the following way to see it."

A map outlining how to unlock a Mass Effect 3 easter egg.

(Image credit: Richard Boisvert)

Lo and behold, the first comment from Redditor Tuskin38 (opens in new tab) shows that, upon completion, a chirpy wee rover will emerge from the shadows, approach Shephard, and give the hardened space captain a light now. Who said organics and synthetics can't get along, eh?

While knowledge of how to summon the rover has been a decade-long mystery, fans have been aware of its existence for some time. Last year, Marcus_Khaar (opens in new tab) used a free camera mod to clip out of the game's maps, finding the hidden rover tucked away. I particularly love how the bot isn't a bespoke model—rather, kitbashed from various parts of other models.

It's neat to see this buried robot carry over into the trilogy's Legendary Edition untouched. But elsewhere, BioWare has been busy making tiny, welcome changes (opens in new tab) to the series—from misaligned visors to Pluto's fresh new look.

Natalie Clayton
Natalie Clayton

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.