Above: Ashley’s new peripheral vision-reducing haircut may put her at a serious tactical disadvantage, but it’s totally worth the L’Oréal endorsement
Role: Lieutenant Commander
Preference: Males only
Personality: Straightforward, strong-willed, stubborn
Everyone’s favorite semi-sexy space-racist is back, and unlike in ME2, she’ll stick around long enough to either annoy the crap out of you or become your naughty nighttime companion. All of this is assuming you did not blow her up in Mass Effect one, in which case she will be replaced by Kaidan Alenko, who has significantly smaller breasts.
Previously, on Mass Effect
Both new and imported male Shepards can romance Ashley, but actions you took in previous games can complicate things. Ashley will be suspicious of your motives early on in the game regardless of any previous relationships, but this resentment is multiplied if you ‘cheated’ on her during the second game. If that’s the case for you, make sure to follow the guide below carefully.
Ashley is part of your squad for the Priority: Mars mission, and it’s during this time she’ll repeatedly bring up Shepard’s prior relationship with Cerberus. Avoid the aggressive Renegade responses, especially if you’re making up for being unfaithful in the second game.
There’s no way to prevent Ashley from getting injured on Mars. She will be laid up in the hospital for a good chunk of the game, so it’s important to visit her when opportunities arise.
When you go to the Citadel after the Mars mission, make sure to stop by the hospital. While not absolutely necessary, you should also visit Sirta Supplies on your way and purchase the “Collected Alfred Tennyson” gift for Ashley. She’s unconscious at this time, but it will come in handy later. Don’t worry about specific dialog choices here; she can’t hear you.
After the Priority: Palaven mission, you should get a private message from Ashley, who is awake and willing to see you. Now is your opportunity to present her with that gift, and you should be generally supportive here in order to regain her trust.
Ashley will be back on her feet during the Tuchanka missions, and she’ll once again extend an invite via private message. It’s important that you visit her again at this time and continue the supportive dialog, or things could get quite messy the next time you two encounter each other.
At the end of the Priority: Citadel mission, Ashley will be escorting Udina and end up in a standoff with Shepard. If you’ve done everything you can so far to nurture your relationship with Ashley, you can get her to stand down very easily. If you haven’t followed the walkthrough up to this point, it is still possible to resolve the situation peacefully with a high enough reputation score. If you can’t get Ashley to stand down here, things get pretty ugly, and the road to romance will end.
There is a forced encounter with Ashley just before returning to the Normandy. It’s here that you actually convince her to stay on your crew. She’ll gladly join if you’ve been friendly so far; if not, it will take some serious reputation points to convince her. It should go without saying that she needs to be on your crew if you wish to see this romance through.
After completing enough missions, Ashley will send you a private message asking you to meet her and her sister at the docking bay. Offer your support during this meeting, and you’ll have nearly wrapped things up.
Closing the deal
Finally, you can meet Ashley at the Presidium Commons café on the Citadel and close the deal.
The real reason you’re here:
Once you’ve chosen to go ahead with the Priority: Cerberus Headquarters mission, the following scene between Shepard and Ashley will take place: