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Because Science

How MASS EFFECT’s Biotics Work, According to Science

The next installment of the fantastic sci-fi video game franchise Mass Effect is rapidly approaching. And much like a bloodrushing Krogan, I am going blind with excitement. Mass Effect is one of my favorite video game series ever, not only because they are deep and fun, but because developer Bioware gets so much of the science right. Much like The Expanse, the games include real science wherever possible, only bending physics for the sake of narrative. Probably the most physics-bending aspect of Mass Effect, however, are the so-called “biotic” powers that let users throw enemies around like armored ragdolls. Does real science have something to say about it?

In my latest Because Science, I’m taking a look at every single starting biotic power in the Mass Effect franchise. From “warp” to “singularity,” how could we explain what we see in games that are fairly faithful to Einstein and Newton? According to in-game canon, biotic powers are the manifestation over a control of dark energy — a mysterious but powerful force acting to push the universe apart. It sounds sciencey, but I think it’s a bit off. The real source of biotic powers is right there in the name: mass. If instead biotic powers were a mastery over dark matter, we’d get a lot closer to becoming Asari Commandos.

To find out the mechanics of every power, check out my latest video above!

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