The exposition of Mass Effect: Andromeda is that the Nexus and the five Arks are on a journey to the Andromeda Galaxy in FTL-travel. This travel needs approximately 600 years and the colonists are in cryo-sleep during this time.

But thinking about a journey that lasts 600 years through space, there must be someone responsible for the maintenance of the ships.

All life-supporting systems, the navigation system and also the integrity of the ship as a whole would have to be observed by a crew. I think, a 600-years journey would lead to some marks on every running machine over the time.

I would not guess, that Jien Garson would spend such an enormous amount of money and time into this project and not think about problems like keeping the cryo-chambers and the ships itself running (especially because the true purpose was about saving the humanity from the Reaper Invasion).

The in-game codex mentions that the Hyperion ark has around 20,000 colonists on board.

20,000 humans are in cryogenic stasis aboard Hyperion - Mass Effect Wiki

What I could think about now is that they had a sort of shift-system. Like a small part of the maintenance crew is awake for a few years, caring about the ships and its systems. After the shift they are changing with another group of the crew/colonists. SAM could also play a role in this, as he might observe the ship's systems and maybe wake up the required people once they are needed.

As nothing about this is mentioned in-game, I would like to know if there is any information about this in the background lore of Mass Effect: Andromeda (comics and books or the in-game Codex), which indicates how they managed to challenge this problem?

  • 1
    Perhaps they had some AI (called virtual intelligence or VI in the game) to take care of everything.
    – Hans Olo
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 18:04
  • That is what I meant with the point about SAM, who could control the ship. But, in the lore of Mass Effect, there is a major difference between VI and AI. The VI, like Avina from the Citadel, are just UIs which can give the User some information. AIs, like SAM are illegal in the Citadel sector. This is, why the development of SAM was not funded by the alliance. I do not think, that a simple AI would be flexible enough, to react on unknown situations. And SAM, as a prototype would probably also have some bugs.
    – Samsara
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 9:09
  • Its like the automated driving in cars: In principle it works, but one still keeps looking on the street and controls the system. And I would guess, that something similar must happen during the journey to Andromeda. It would not be a large crew, just a few people, that could recheck, if SAM is working correct and that could do some work on the ship (and SAMs core e.g.). Is anything mentioned in the books/comics, which could indicate something like this?
    – Samsara
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 9:14

1 Answer 1


id assume more mass effect fields, but the question arises on how would those be maintained. ( massive ark drive cores) I have at least 1,500 hours in that game alone (it was the only game I played for years)

summery answer:

mass effect fields supported by the drive core protecting the arks from solar radiation, if they came across any, or other space problems. and since the arks cant be weathered or anything like that then they wouldn't decay at ANY level. and most systems were shut off during the journey.

  • 1
    Hi Jaxin, do you mean 'summarily"? You also don't have to introduce your answer, as you're giving an answer (and I'm not sure how your personal play time matters). Please take the Tour to familiarize yourself with this platform. Welcome!
    – Joachim
    Commented Mar 8 at 22:03
  • because time playing the game translates to knowledge about the game. and no i didn't btw. explaining what two things I was answering is why I introduced it. (The power provided to the arks, and what keeps them from getting damaged.) Commented Mar 18 at 12:58

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