THE FIX – Mass Effect 3 “diplomat terminal” bug

I’d been finding bits of time here and there to play Mass Effect 3 – quite a good game thus far, though it suffers from the same issue as other BioWare games… every so often you’ll have a quest in your log that can’t be completed.

In this case, the bug revolves around the following mission:

Citadel: Hanar Diplomat
Salarian Spectre Jondum Bau suspects that a member of the Hanar diplomatic staff is indoctrinated. Find evidence on the hanar in the Presidium Embassies.

If you’re stuck here and have played ME2, you already know why it’s particularly frustrating that you can’t proceed. It’s worth noting that the only way *not* to trigger this bug in the first place is to do this entire mission as soon as you get it – don’t leave the Citadel, don’t talk to anybody else, etc.

In any case, if you’ve hit the bug, the fix is to edit the saved game. Here’s how you do it (thanks to Fasalina from the thread in BW’s forums here: Bioware Link Down, Web Archive Here: ):

1) Just to be safe, back up your savegame directory first. Head to your Documents folder, and find it within BioWare/MassEffect3. I’ll assume you know how to either zip it or make a copy elsewhere.

2) Run the game, and head to the location on the Citadel shown in the image below (click for a larger version):

Note that the terminal is actually near #5 on the map (even though it looks like it should be near #4). Verify that it’s not working/clickable, then create a new save. Remember the save game number. Exit Mass Effect 3.


3) Grab  Gibbed’s Mass Effect 3 Save Editor. If that site is down at some point or <insert-other-problem-here>, I put up a local copy here:


4) Unzip it, and run the program (the icon is pink). Note that it requires Microsoft’s .NET framework – in my case (running Windows 7), trying to run the program simply brought me to the download page and I had it downloaded & installed in under a minute.


5) With the program running, look at the following image (click for larger version):

You start by hitting OPEN – for me, it found the save game location automatically and I simply had to choose the Career and Save  Game number.

Then you go to the RAW section – it may be selected by default.

Head to the Uncategorized section, and select Streaming.

Now that you’ve selected STREAMING, at the location of #5 in the image above, there will be a little button with 3 dots (…). Select that button.


6) A new window will pop up:

Click ADD. A new entry will show up, called Gibbed.MassEffect3.FileFormat (as seen in #7 above). It should already be selected. Move the mouse to the circled region by #8, click, and start typing….

The entry you are adding (typing in) is as follows:


It’s probably case-sensitive. Once you’ve entered it, you’ll be changing the “Active” section from False to True. The image below should help:

Now that you have SS_HanarPlot (#9), set to TRUE (#10), verify that it’s showing up correctly in the left pane (#11). Once that’s done, hit OK (#12).


7) You’ll be back in the main program window. Hit SAVE. It should present a list. I suggest making a new save-game, though I suppose you could overwrite an existing one if you wanted to (hopefully you backed up just in case!).


8 ) Fire up Mass Effect 3 again. I WOULD NOT hit “Resume” because I have no idea whether it would load your newly created save, or load a previous one. Instead, manually load your new save.


9) The terminal should now be clickable (again, on the in-game map it’s closest to the #5 point of interest – NOT the #4). Make sure to follow the entire quest chain through immediately (don’t pick up other quests, don’t leave the Citadel). Basically, after you’ve used the terminal mentioned, you’ll have to use a couple terminals in the Docks:HoldingArea and then return to the Embassy area again.



Hopefully BioWare manages to patch this bug out soon. In the meantime, editing the save-game is the only method I’m aware of to currently fix it, and let’s be fair – not everyone is comfortable dabbling in an editor, and others don’t want to lose hours of progress by reverting to a save that took place before the bug was triggered.


If you have additional tips, or have found another way to work past the bug, feel free to leave a comment below.


Otherwise, hopefully this has helped you to continue enjoying ME3 !

35 Comments | Leave a Comment

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  1. Belford on March 27, 2012 - click here to reply
    Thank you!!! It works fine!
  2. Whimsy on April 4, 2012 - click here to reply
    Alas, I have the XBox version, so all I can do is wait to see if Bioware decides to fix this bug or leave us hanging. I hear there's rather dire consequences for not completing this quest too.
    • RC on June 17, 2019 - click here to reply
      7 years late this reply is, but I ran into this bug for the first time today, and then saw your comment. You actually can do this fix for the 360 version!

      In addition to the save editor, you need a program called Modio. Here is what you do

      1. Download both Gibbed's save editor and Modio.

      2. Insert a flash drive into your 360, format appropriately, and move (can't copy) the bugged ME3 career file to it.

      3. Plug into PC, and open the career file with Modio. The career file is basically a container that has the individual, actual save files. Only Modio can access them; the save editor can't. Open it up, see the list of saves, including autosaves and mission restart saves, and right click the one you want to fix, and extract it.

      4. Once extracted, THEN you can open the newly extracted save file in the save editor.

      5. Once changed and saved, you must delete the original still in Modio. Then, right click somewhere blank on the list of saves, and hit Inject into current folder. This will put the altered one in the container.

      6. INPORTANT. Go back to the main Modio screen, and hit Rehash and Resign. This is crucial. This will essentially put the career file container back together.

      7. And that's it. Take your flash drive, put it back in your 360, move the save back onto your system drive, boot up ME3, and voila; FIXED.
  3. Phil on April 4, 2012 - click here to reply
    Works great! Thank you for this fix!
  4. niico on April 6, 2012 - click here to reply
    thank you very much.. saved my day!
  5. alex on April 7, 2012 - click here to reply
    thank you sooo much. it works fine !
  6. umut on June 17, 2012 - click here to reply
    works like a charm <3 thanks.
  7. Bandoolero on June 26, 2012 - click here to reply
  8. qwertyuiop on September 5, 2012 - click here to reply
    I was able to click the first terminal but the ones in refugee area wouldn't let me interact. I tried the fix but I still cannot click on the ones in the holding/refugee part...
  9. qwertyuiop on September 5, 2012 - click here to reply
    The fix worked, I forgot to save it the first time. Thx
  10. Gaby on January 22, 2013 - click here to reply
    It works! Thank you so much! "not everyone is comfortable dabbling in an editor" haha, like me, for example. But I could do it with your explanation!!! THANKS :DD
  11. Anonymous on July 18, 2013 - click here to reply
    Thank you so much!
  12. Anonymous on September 8, 2013 - click here to reply
    It dont seem to be working for me :/
  13. Håvard on January 14, 2014 - click here to reply
    This guide worked like a charm! just follow each step as directed here and you'll be able to complete it!
    The only thing that was a bit wierd was that when I started the game again, it just kept saying "Checking available downloads" for like 20-30 times before I got to play :P
  14. Anonymous on February 2, 2014 - click here to reply
    Is working!

  15. Vinz on July 10, 2014 - click here to reply
    Thank you so much! It worked!
  16. HorrificRandom on July 18, 2014 - click here to reply
    It's not working for me. Tried 5 times, but still no progress. What should I do? I did everything by the letter :c
    • Anonymous on August 6, 2014 - click here to reply
      In my case next terminal was "clickable" (first one on the left after exiting elevator in refugee camp), maybe that will help someone...
  17. Anonymous on August 6, 2014 - click here to reply
    Big thanks:)
    This quest broke on my first playthrough, and let it go then. Now I'm replaying the entire trilogy and it broke again, most possible because I've entered shooting range in middle of the quest...
    Fix worked well, besides the first terminal was already "clicked", and I had to go to the next one(in refugee camp, first on the left after exiting elevator)-maybe that will help someone...
  18. Anonymous on August 7, 2014 - click here to reply
    Perfect fix! Great!
    Works perfectly....note that I left the Citadel after this mission was started :)
  19. Anonymous on June 14, 2015 - click here to reply
    Hi. I got this but, all i had done was the quick sale, quick load in front of the terminal next to the terminal un number 5, and i was able to continúe the misión going to the docks!
  20. Anonymous on August 27, 2015 - click here to reply
    I am having this issue and it seems bioware made it so the editor fix doesn't work anymore.
  21. Mohamed Badry on February 24, 2016 - click here to reply
    i having an issue in Normandy elevator it's not exist ,, iam using Gibbed save and editor whta should i do
  22. Etagirl on October 23, 2016 - click here to reply
    It worked! You're a lifesaver, you know that? Thanks a ton!
  23. Shahriar Tanveer দিবস on November 10, 2016 - click here to reply
    i did what you said but after accessing terminals in refugee camp i returned to embassy and bau wasnt in front of #5
  24. jasev on March 20, 2017 - click here to reply
    You just spared me a lot of pain. Thank you.
  25. Michel van der Linden on April 2, 2017 - click here to reply
    that beautiful comment. "Hopefully BioWare manages to patch this bug out soon". Hope can destroy a man D:
  26. Anonymous on January 29, 2019 - click here to reply
    Thank you!!!! IT WORKED!
  27. SnottiOtti on April 14, 2019 - click here to reply
    Thank you so much! :D This worked perfectly.
  28. RC on June 17, 2019 - click here to reply
    7 years later, and I run into this bug for the first time.

    Good ol' Gibbed.
  29. Anonymous on May 24, 2020 - click here to reply
    Even in 2020 we still have to use Google for this, thank you, it works perfectly now! :)
  30. -FRA- on June 22, 2020 - click here to reply
    Here we are in 2020, official ME1/2/3 forums closed, fan sites deserted.. but this page is always online, the files are still downladable and this fix worked like a charm. Thanks a lot xoxoxo
  31. boo on January 2, 2021 - click here to reply
    Didn't work. Tried all terminals, but no result.
  32. Anonymous on February 11, 2021 - click here to reply
    Cant find bau after I return to embassy =(

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