According to the Geth memories shown by Legion in Mass Effect 3, we see that the Geth were shut down and attacked after they were created by the Quarians. The Geth responded by self-defense but what made the Quarians attack the Geth in the first place?

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    Hello, ChosenTorture, and welcome to the site. Interesting first question!
    – Tynam
    Feb 1, 2013 at 12:49
  • @Tynam Thanks! :) Feb 1, 2013 at 12:56

2 Answers 2


They feared, that the Geth would attack first. It was just an action out of fear. The Geth were fast expanding their intellect and that made the Quarians fear, they would rise against them, because they were stronger and more intelligent than the quarians, especially when they are near each other. The Quarians were shocked when the Geth started to ask Questions like a learning entity, like a living being. But they were designed as a VI which are networked to operate accurate. They tried to shut them down, but this failed and the Quarians began to kill the Geth. Just because of that, the Geth started to defend and this resulted in the Morning War.

So in short: The Quarians attacked the Geth because they feared them.

  • Thanks! Nice answer :) but I think that the Quarians constructed the Geth as a true AI and not a VI? Is that true? Feb 1, 2013 at 11:25
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    This was a mistake. They wanted to create a VI, where the "clients" are sharing tasks in one network to optimize their performance. But out of this idea, the Geth became one, and because this they simulated a "brain". They started to learn and then understood their environment. The Quarians feared, they would revolt, because they were supressed like slaves. But Geth are not humans, they are intelligent but they were also loyal to their creators.
    – souichiro
    Feb 1, 2013 at 11:30
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    On a sidenote: The research and the creation (even if by accident) of an AI is outlawed in Citadel space. The quarians were not only afraid of the geth (or rather what they feared they could become) but also of the repercussions if the new synthetic life form was discovered by the Citadel. They practically lost all support from the Citadel after the Morning War because they were responsible for creating what was considered a galactic wide threat. The geth only became a threat after they met Sovereign however, but that was unforeseen and the Citadel races were very afraid of the geth at first. Feb 1, 2013 at 13:31
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    @Sebastian_H: I always thought that outlawing happened due to the uprising/conflict with the Geth (considering they even lost their homeworld).
    – Mario
    Feb 3, 2013 at 10:29
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    @Mario According to this wiki entry masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/… you are right. I recalled there had been a problem before that led to the outlawing and the geth just beeing a reminder that they were right to do so. But I might have confused this with something from the games about synthetics always rising up again organics. Though I somehow doubt that the quarians were the first to create AIs, given that the asari for example are much more advanced. Feb 3, 2013 at 10:47

This is what i understood of what i have learned.

The Quarians first created the Geth to do dangerous tasks or mundane tasks kinda like how we use machines, to improve them the Quarians gave the Geth a network intelligence, the more Geth that was together the smarter they were because they could share information between each other.

Over time the Quarians created patches for the Geth Software keeping in accord to Citadel Conventions on developing Network AI, Tali described what they did as possible skirting the law but the idea was never to make an AI.

One day a Geth Platform approached it's overseer and began asking question on the nature of it's existence, this ment 2 things to the Quarians

  1. The Geth were evolving to true AI status

  2. If the Geth were self aware, the Quarians would be effectively using them as slaves

an order went out to all Quarian worlds to stop production of Geth and to shut down all active units but this failed, the Geth began to gather. though their Network Intelligence they began to understand that Quarians had tried to kill them so they revolted.

To some Quarians like Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib-Qwib (can not keep a strait face with that) they saw the attempted shut down of all Geth as mass murder or genocide while other like Admiral Daro'Xen vas Moreh saw the Geth, even in their self aware state, as still tools of the Quarians like a hammer is to a blacksmith (not 100% on that line but i do remember Xen asking Shepard if he is mindful of a tool as it is used, it's hard not to think of Morrigan's face behind that mask). regardless of Quarian views the Geth drove them from their worlds and into exile.

In Mass Effect 3, the Admiralty Board voted 3-to-2 to start their war against the Geth to reclaim their homeworld, the votes were

  • Admiral Han'Gerrel vas Neema -> For
  • Admiral Daro'Xen vas Moreh -> For (only because it would allow her to experiment and possible bring Geth under Quarian control)
  • Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib-Qwib -> Against
  • Admiral Tali'Zorah vas Normandy -> Against (due to her interactions with Legion saw peace is possible)
  • Admiral Shala'Raan vas Tonbay -> For (she is known to take a neutral stance in the debate, not 100% what pushed her vote but given the other's views her's would've been the deciding vote)

Had Tali's father, Admiral Rael'Zorah still been alive, Shala'Raan vas Tonbay's vote would be unnecessary as Rael'Zorah would have voted for as he wanted to reclaim the homeworld to build Tali a house on it

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