Mass Effect: Andromeda Skin Mod Finally Lets You Make Pale White People
Mass Effect Andromeda White People Mod
(Last Updated On: April 25, 2017)

One of the complaints that was drowned out during the early trial release of Mass Effect: Andromeda was that some people weren’t able to make pale whites, pale Asians, pale Hispanics, or pale mulatto people. It might seem petty, but in just about every game released in the past with a character creator, gamers were able to make pale characters, especially pale whites. Well, that option wasn’t present in Mass Effect: Andromeda save for one head each for males and female characters, and you were pretty limited with the range of character creation options for those heads.

Well, a modder released a patch to make it where you can legitimately make the characters as pale as Scott and Sara Ryder, or Cora Harper.

The 25KB mod isn’t a texture patch or a skin modifying tool, all it does is unlocks the skin tone slider feature that was already in Mass Effect: Andromeda, which in turn enables users to make pale-skinned characters.

Modder BecauseBotFed released the mod with a lot of help from another modder named Wavebend. You can download the mod from over on the NexusMods download page.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Pale Skin mod

Mass Effect: Andromeda Pale Skin mod

Mass Effect: Andromeda Pale Skin mod

Mass Effect: Andromeda Pale Skin mod

As you can see the default black, Asian and Hispanic skin tones were forcibly limited in how light they could be. They also made up for the majority of the default head options in Mass Effect: Andromeda.

What was the reason for this? Well, Mass Effect: Andromeda lead developer Ian S. Frazier lied and said that due to the scanning process they used they weren’t able to able gamers to make pale characters and that they would have to patch in pale skin at a later date.

We still haven’t received any word from BioWare on when the character customization will be patched, and when people will be able to make pale skinned characters on the Xbox One and PS4 version of the game.

Many people placed the blame on a culture fostered at BioWare that instigated racism against whites, something that became quite apparent when the former gameplay designer on Mass Effect: Andromeda, Manveer Heir, made publicly racist tweets against whites and said that the studio heads at BioWare supported him in his views. People then noticed that in the actual game it was extremely difficult to make white characters in the game, fitting in line with the perceived racism coming out of BioWare’s studio culture.

Manveer Heir left studio earlier this year, and is no longer working for BioWare.

Ian S. Frazier has a lot to answer for given that he claimed that this was something that needed to be patched in and that there were limits based on the tone range, even though clearly gamers should have at least had the option to mess around with given that it’s their character that they’re creating.

It will be interesting to see how BioWare responds to this news.

If you need help installing the mod on the PC version of Mass Effect: Andromeda, you will need to download the ME: Andromeda mod explorer and follow the video tutorial below in order to install the mod.

(Thanks for the news tip Tainted Squirrel)


Ads (learn more about our advertising policies here)



About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Mike

    There are limits on most of the skins on how dark skinned they can be. As is the case with may previous Bioware games. You cannot make a character who has the same skin tone as the darkest brown person. And there is only 1 head in the game that allows you to get somewhat near the darkest skin tone.

    Judging by these comments, this supposedly makes Bioware ideologically racist against dark skinned people because there is no option for extremely dark skin…

    • Judging by these comments, this supposedly makes Bioware ideologically racist against dark skinned people because there is no option for extremely dark skin…

      Sure.

      But there are more brown/medium brown skin tones than white. A usually common Nordic design type (pale skin, green eyes, red hair) wasn’t really possible since they only had one head that could almost come close to that.

      It’s true there’s only one really dark skinned head, but there’s a lot of other shades of brown.

      • Mike

        I think people are missing the point still. There’s no skin color that represents a person with the darkest brown skin. None. It’s not there. For males there were 3 options for White male, a couple Hispanic/Latino, a couple Asian, and a couple Black.

        But the people who complain that the palest White skin is not available don’t seem to notice that the darkest brown skin possible is not available either in the game. And it usually never is in most games.

        • But the people who complain that the palest White skin is not available don’t seem to notice that the darkest brown skin possible is not available either in the game. And it usually never is in most games.

          It’s true, but you have to think about the majority of who the consumers are. BioWare tuned the character creator toward catering to mostly Mid-East skin tones.

          Character creators usually represent who the majority of their audience is to maximize targeted market penetration. It’s why in many sports games they do let you get pretty dark skin tones, like in the NBA, NFL and boxing games. It’s why you can usually choose from a variety of white skin tones in NHL games, and you get a healthier mix of different browns and fair skin in soccer games.

          In this case, BioWare made a deliberate decision to basically take a piss on their target demographic.

          • Mike

            That doesn’t add up. You don’t limit skin art resources because there are less people who play your game from that skin color group. It takes a trivial amount of time to add the new skin textures.

            Bioware has almost always had pale skin textures in their games. They have rarely had the darkest or richest brown skin color in their games.

            In the case of the palest skin texture not being the visible choices in ME: A it was likely a mistake. In the case of the darkest or richest brown skin colors not being in ME: A or many previous Bioware games it’s probably a combination of mistake, complete ignorance of the full range of skin color, and just not caring about representing that those darker skin tones.

            That being said Bioware is better than the *vast* majority of other game developers in giving options to represent the widest range of skin colors possible. They have to be given credit for that. Especially considering there were (and are) still huge developers who just ignore that there is any issue at all. At World of Warcraft’s peak popularity Blizzard refused to even consider having an option for a dark skin color human, despite complaints. The darkest option for a human was about the color beige and it abruptly ended there. This was common practice.

          • In the case of the palest skin texture not being the visible choices in ME: A it was likely a mistake.

            How was it a mistake when Ian Frazier said it wasn’t in the game when it was? Don’t be daft. It was deliberate. The modders unlocked the option that was already in the game. BioWare could have done this when they released the last two patches for the game but they didn’t.

            just not caring about representing that those darker skin tones.

            It’s this. It takes time and resources for different skin colors. As I mentioned, games targeting specific demographics always add skin tones based on who buys the games the most, which is why it’s really hard making diverse white people in NBA games.

            That being said Bioware is better than the *vast* majority of other game developers in giving options to represent the widest range of skin colors possible.

            Yukes, Volition Software and Pearl Abyss would all like to have a word with you.

          • Mike

            No, if you look at the mod pictures the lighter textures look bad. It looks like the character fell in a container of chalk. That’s not how pale skin is supposed to look in real life. That’s not what they wanted to release. There’s more to a convincing skin texture than just lightening it. There’s luminosity, and other things that need to be adjusted.

            It also doesn’t take a significant amount of time. A couple days at most, if even that for one artist. Maybe less than a day if they can modify something they already have constructed.

            Games that are not RPGs tend to have limited skin color options anyway. It’s not really about who buys the game. It’s more about who the game is targeted to. Those two things are not the same. Bioware targets their game to a wide variety of customers. Probably wider than most other, non-casual games. NBA games are probably targeted to a narrower group of customers. The racial makeup of actual NBA players probably influences what characters they make available. However there are still options to make characters with White skin tones.

            I don’t know the companies you listed. Saying “better than the vast majority” means if you take all games and compare the skin color options Bioware will be better usually for 17 years now. However you will always have some that have more options.

            There are still RPGs and MMORPGs releasing now that have skin color customization but have no options for non-White skin colors or limit the skin color to beige at the darkest.

          • , if you look at the mod pictures the lighter textures look bad. It looks like the character fell in a container of chalk. That’s not how pale skin is supposed to look in real life. That’s not what they wanted to release. There’s more to a convincing skin texture than just lightening it. There’s luminosity, and other things that need to be adjusted.

            Who cares? It’s a character creator. The skin tones don’t always look perfect in WWE games but they still let people muck around with them. It’s the PLAYER’S CHOICE.

            Saying “better than the vast majority” means if you take all games and compare the skin color options Bioware will be better usually for 17 years now. However you will always have some that have more options.

            Uh no, it’s not. It has fewer options and range than Skyrim, and Skyrim has a pretty fugly character creator, same with Morrowind and Oblivion, but both those games let you make really dark and really light skinned characters.

            Every wrestling game out there made within the last 15 years has a better character creator.

            Almost every boxing game out there has a better character creator (or more specifically, the Fight Night series).

            Fallout 4 has a better character creator, TERA has a better character creator, Black Desert Online runs absolute circles around anything BioWare has ever done.

            The list goes on and on and on. The only game BioWare made with a fairly robust character creation utility was Dragon Age: Inquisition.

          • Mike

            Actually it’s not the player’s choice. Games are designed by a group of artists and developers. They probably don’t want a certain standard if possible. Those skins in the lighter tones looked bad. If a skin tone is changed to the extremes of paleness or darkness certain other things have to be changed as well, like luminosity, reflection, etc. That mod makes the character heads look like someone dipped them in liquid chalk. For a mod? Sure it’s fine. For someone you release as part of your game? Hell no.

            I can also list 20 or 30 games with better skin color ranges (because that’s what we’re talking about, not entire character customization) than some of Bioware’s games. Still Bioware is better than the the vast majority, meaning of the thousands of games that are released in a decade. And I know because I’ve played many of them. A huge chunk of them give you no choice at all and you are forced to play a set character, which is by default 80% White skin toned.

            This is the typical situation for the majority of games (popular and unpopular) that actually do have skin color customization: https://youtu.be/frJzMiqrqAA?t=567

          • For a mod? Sure it’s fine. For someone you release as part of your game? Hell no.

            But that’s personal preference. As I mentioned, in a lot of games you can make absolute freaks, like in the Fire Pro titles. I don’t see why people can’t make what they want because it’s not up to some arbitrary standard of quality. And come on now, you’re defending a skin tone choice in a game where they didn’t even have the lip-synch in right until two patches after the release, and they’re still missing a number of other quality design standards that were already present in the original Mass Effect 1 from a decade ago.

            Would a too pale or too dark skin tone really have been that far outside the quality standards of Mass Effect Andromeda when measured against everything else that’s broken or sub-par in the game?

            A huge chunk of them give you no choice at all and you are forced to play a set character, which is by default 80% White skin toned.

            And sure, as I mentioned, that’s because majority of the time the main demographic are white or Asian, which is why most Korean/Chinese games center their character creators around making Asian looking people. And Japanese usually do just enough to include what they imagine “Westerners” to look like.

            Once certain territories start becoming the majority for certain titles or brands, then they’ll begin to cater toward that demographic. That’s just how it works. As I mentioned, there’s a large black/Hispanic demographic for sports games, so unsurprisingly you get more black/Hispanic/Brazilian character creation options in those games.

          • Mike

            Except it’s not up to a consumer of a product to say “Well this car had some really lackluster cheap fabric on the seats, so give me the option to have a cheap and faulty gps too if I want”. It’s the game designers choice how they want their game to be presented, even if other parts aren’t up to a specific players standards. So I guess it’s good there are mods available, so people can install a skin even if it looks bad.

            And skin color selection is not decided by demographic. It’s why when the games are boycotted they finally acquiesce and allow an actual true wide selection of skin color in their game. When it comes to not having darker skin colors in their game it’s do to choice. They don’t want them in their game. It’s idiotic to pretend that the game designers and artists have never seen dark skinned people. It took many years of complaints and petitions to Blizzard from thousands of customers for them to put a dark skinned tone for the human characters in their game.

            It’s not that they’re following some rulebook for demographics, or that they’re clueless that people would want the option. Instead it’s either: 1) They don’t care or 2) They don’t want those skin tones in their game. I have not seen one sports game that does not have an option for White skin tones.

          • It’s the game designers choice how they want their game to be presented, even if other parts aren’t up to a specific players standards. So I guess it’s good there are mods available, so people can install a skin even if it looks bad.

            Except they’re not installing a skin… it was ALREADY IN THE GAME!

            It’s not that they’re following some rulebook for demographics, or that they’re clueless that people would want the option. Instead it’s either: 1) They don’t care or 2) They don’t want those skin tones in their game.

            Sure they don’t care enough to add it because of costs. Most South Korean developers aren’t going to add skin, face and body textures for a wide range of nationalities. They usually have a few default white heads, no black people, and a bunch of Asian skins. But adding variance to a game does cost money. In the case of ME: Andromeda, the pale skin — even if it doesn’t look great — was already in the game, they literally didn’t want it in their game after they had already added it in the game.

            I have not seen one sports game that does not have an option for White skin tones.

            Of course they have white skin tones, but I never said they didn’t… I said they focus more on the black skin tones. If you play those games they have more skins and skin tones for different shades of blacks, especially in NBA and NFL titles. For soccer games you get a huge variety of different ways to create tanned looking characters since they’re really popular with gamers in Latin America.

            In some cases the choices are limited by budget and estimated market reach. In other cases, like BioWare, the choice was ideologically driven, especially since… as mentioned… those skin tones were already in the game.

          • Mike

            Of course the skins were already in the game resources. Lots of things are in game resources. That’s what game resources are there for. It doesn’t mean the game designers and artists want it to be used in the main game. Bethesda games have all kinds of crazy stuff in the game resource files that would look bad and ridiculous if used in the actual game. It’s not that the skins the modder made available were too pale, it’s that they are not well done. Or either unfinished, or glitched. They’re not at the same finish quality as the other skins. That’s what modders are for… to add things that may not look great but satisfies some gamers. Add to the fact that Bioware immediately said it was a mistake and are patching it. They are patching several things in character customization, which I hope includes adding more options for dark skin tones. Because people seem to not notice that there are 3 White skin tones in the game, 2 skin tones on Asian heads, 2 skin tones on Hispanic heads, and 2 darker skin tones on Black heads. So I don’t know where the title “There are no White skin tones!!!!!!” came from.

            And again, I keep coming back to this, it’s not about resources. When talking about other games, it costs next to nothing to add some darker skin tones. It would take an artist much less than a day to modify some heads and bodies to show darker tones. Basically the artists time would be close to $40 /hr max. That’s peanuts.

            We also keep going in circles about sports games. It’s less about the demographic and more about representing the actual players in the game in sports games. An NBA title that didn’t have a lot of dark skin tones would be ridiculous because are a lot of Black basketball players. Same with the NFL. With soccer there are large numbers of professional Hispanic players, so they should have those skin options in character customization. These are basically like sports simulations, not RPG sci-fi fantasy games. RPG sci-fi fantasy games are a completely different matter.

            And this has nothing to do with budget. It’s like saying, “well we could have green eyes in the game but it would break our budget so all the characters will have brown eyes.” lol No… Just no. That would take an artist 30 mins max to do. Like $20 out of the budget. And yes, for skin tones it’s not as simple as just lightening or darkening the texture. Other factors like luminosity, reflection, etc have to be changed as well to get it to look right. But it’s still cheap and time inconsequential to do.

          • It’s not that the skins the modder made available were too pale, it’s that they are not well done. Or either unfinished, or glitched.

            We’ll just have to agree to disagree. The unlocked pale skins don’t look any worse on the characters than the already hideous looking skins they have. So, for me it didn’t make that much of a difference.

            Other factors like luminosity, reflection, etc have to be changed as well to get it to look right. But it’s still cheap and time inconsequential to do.

            Depends on the team. Remember, in places like Asia they don’t have regular access to blacks, Hispanics or Brazilians when 3D scanning people/objects for their games. This was something Capcom mentioned during the development of Resident Evil 7 — the location was set in the bayou where certain American furniture and paraphernalia would be present but they didn’t have access to those things in their studio for scanning. So they had to send a separate team to the U.S., to specifically scan those objects.

            In BioWare’s case there really is no excuse since they’re in a location that’s quite diverse. It was pretty obvious they were simply being racist and made restrictions based on ideology rather than technical limitations.

          • Mike

            I still get the feeling it’s like jumping through hoops to find some reason why it’s not related to racial bias. There are several companies that sell high resolution, high quality scans (including 3D scans) of people of all skin tones. Much higher quality and resolution than game actually use in gameplay. There’s no reason a company would ever need to personally travel to another country to scan individuals to get these scans. That’s ridiculous. 3D scanning is pretty ubiquitous now. It’s like saying “I need a high resolution 3D scan of an American style cup. I know! Let me send a team to the United States to 3D scan an American up!”

            These scans are available for any game company and are not expensive.

            Also the majority of games aren’t using 3D scans for their characters. Like the video I posted: https://youtu.be/frJzMiqrqAA?t=567 Those are probably not 3D scans. They simply chose to not put dark skin tones in their game that they are marketing worldwide… This is the usual situation in a lot of sci-fi fantasy RPGs.

            And then compare this to Bioware. It just seems hilarious to call them racist because they screwed up and didn’t get the palest of the range in White skin tones. The game has been out for a month and they released a message that they were patching character customization a week after the game released. If that’s racist then what do you call the multitude of games that have never to this point released darker skin tones in their games and ignored any emails or petitions that point that out? lol Where is the balance at? I mean wow, if Bioware is racist now then Blizzard must be pure Hitler.

          • There’s no reason a company would ever need to personally travel to another country to scan individuals to get these scans. That’s ridiculous. 3D scanning is pretty ubiquitous now. It’s like saying “I need a high resolution 3D scan of an American style cup. I know! Let me send a team to the United States to 3D scan an American up!”

            They thought about it for Resident Evil 7 but realized it was too expensive, so they just hired modelers to do it by hand:
            http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-08-29-heres-some-of-the-delightful-folks-youll-meet-in-resident-evil-7

            It just seems hilarious to call them racist because they screwed up and didn’t get the palest of the range in White skin tones.

            Nah, they didn’t screw up… they just had a racist agenda, as outlined by Manveer Heir and others at the studio.

            The game has been out for a month and they released a message that they were patching character customization a week after the game released.

            It was actually a few days before the game released. They could have included it in the second patch, but they didn’t. It seems unlikely that they’ll include it at all at this point.

            If that’s racist then what do you call the multitude of games that have never to this point released darker skin tones in their games and ignored any emails or petitions that point that out? lol Where is the balance at?

            Sure, but that doesn’t really take away from BioWare purposefully going out of their way to be racist, especially when they had a previous track record of not being racist. Those other companies are usually known for not including extremely dark skin, so it’s par the course. But in all previous BioWare games they had different shades for different colors.

  • Cat

    Bioware/EA should be sued for fraud or something. Obvious bullshit discrimination is obvious.

  • Joaquin

    Sadly, character “selector” limitations are not due to technological constraints. BioWare may have intentionally hobbled a fully functioning character creator late in the development process. This theory is consistent with the feature that lets fans upload their creations for others to use, right in-game. Why include such versatile functionality if fans have no significant ability to modify the character models? I suspect that, at one point pre-release, a dizzying array of customization options were available, but later blocked. If so, this is a wasted opportunity to let the fans have some fun. “Unshackle” the character creator!

  • Disqusted

    That took a lot longer than it should have.

  • Raging Papist

    At this point, I don’t think they will patch it. A color tone shouldn’t take much. They had similar patch disasters with Inquisition in relation to PC controls, but never did anything if I recall. They will be even less inclined to do something that attacks their political narrative. Face it: In the future, there are only brown people.

  • fnd

    Why can’t i make blue skinned humans in the current Mass Effect year?

    • Disqusted

      I’m actually really surprised they don’t let you play as other races. I guess that would be way too much work, considering they couldn’t even be bothered making believable character animation/eyes/etc.

      • Yeah… when their custom character humans look like the leftovers from a genetic skin fair, I tend to doubt they would know the first thing about making customizable aliens that didn’t look like down syndrome incarnate that managed to escape from its host and grow into a tumorous sentient being.

      • fnd

        They could make it work with a humanoid race like the asari, i mean u can breed with them right?

      • fnd

        They could make it work with a humanoid race like the asari, i mean u can breed with them right?

      • Send in the Killer Clowns

        Not to mention when they say they’ll “explain it on the way”, they mean they’ll go full-on sprinting away from you. Yeah, very realistic; trying to catch up just to have a conversation with them.
        I hated the animation throughout the entire game. I found it worse than the previous ones in a way.

    • Disqusted

      I’m actually really surprised they don’t let you play as other races. I guess that would be way too much work, considering they couldn’t even be bothered making believable character animation/eyes/etc.

  • ParasiteX

    Doesn’t help that the faces are still butt ugly. And piss-poor ingame lighting makes them even uglier..

    • Modders are diligent but gosh dangit man they aren’t miracle-workers.

      • ParasiteX

        No amount of modding is gonna help shine this turd.

    • Send in the Killer Clowns

      Having to play as the protagonist freaked the shit out of me every single cutscene thanks to that.

  • Bioware should ask Koei Tecmo to teach them on how to model female characters.

    • Disqusted

      Bigotware should ask any decent character modeler how to model female characters.

    • Disqusted

      Bigotware should ask any decent character modeler how to model female characters.

  • GodBowser

    That feature was already in the game?… I wonder was he part of the development team from the start or did he come in at a later date

    Since E3 will be open to the public will there be any representatives from EA and BioWear at the event?

    • EA isn’t part of the standard E3 festivities. They’re hosting their own separate event in conjunction with E3 at another location called EA Play. I don’t think EA Play will be open to the public, but I would have to check again.

  • Pratim Gupta

    White or not, the human models are still the worst of the worst i have ever seen, for the love of Kyne i have seen NES games with better models than that

  • SevTheBear

    Their real name is Crapware. Bioware died along with ME3.

  • Vrenna

    The way the modders did it pretty much proves their excuses to be false, I wonder if they did it that way on purpose just to prove it and shove into the devs faces.

    • Comment section on NexusMods has everyone saying the same thing. That this literally proves BioWare gave a BS excuse. They literally told a bold faced lie to the public. There was nothing to patch… it was already in the game.

  • John27
  • John27

    Still not a white girl. That’s a black girl with makeup.

    • fnd

      Black albino maybe?

  • mikebrand83

    The “limits on the tone range” excuse already sounded pretty suspicious, now modders have proven beyond a doubt that the limitation was ideological in nature and not technological.

    Fuck Bioware.

    • ThuleNord

      Fuck EA too, but mostly fuck the jewish racial networking cabal that has taken control of every facet of our civilization. Even games.

    • Disqusted

      It’s obvious they were talking about the limited tone range of their racist mindset.

    • Disqusted

      It’s obvious they were talking about the limited tone range of their racist mindset.