We'll all be playing the main story in Mass Effect: Andromeda, but having great side missions makes a huge difference between a good game and a great game. BioWare has stated that we won't be doing non-stop fetch quests in Andromeda, but that we'll have great unique stories on each world that offers up fun side quests and activities. BioWare said that the side missions will be worth doing, and we'll even encounter secrets by doing them. Planets will vary in size with some bigger than anything BioWare has done before & others that are smaller and won't require the Nomad to traverse the land. These planets will house things like colonies, hidden dungeons, minerals & other secrets that we'll unlock along our journey. BioWare has stated that even though there are quite a few different areas, they want us to remember them once we've visited. Let's look at what some of the fun activities will be in Mass Effect: Andromeda as detailed by Game Informer: Loyalty Missions If you loved the loyalty missions in Mass Effect 2, then you'll be happy to know that they're back for Mass Effect: Andromeda. These are missions that are heavily narrative focused, and you'll learn more about your allies by doing these (if you actually choose to do them). All of these missions will be completely optional, however. BioWare has stated that this is the only time individual characters have the spotlight solely on them, allowing you to get their backstory. Game Informer mentioned that during their trip they saw a loyalty mission related to a Krogan & it brought them to a new planet they wouldn't have encountered if they had just stayed on the critical mission path. Driving Around with the Nomad The planets you'll encounter in Andromeda are much more larger than what you've seen in previous Mass Effect franchise entries. To get the most out of each planet, you're definitely going to need the Nomad to search the majority of these planets. Planets will have biohazards on them, like sulfur pools and magma flow, and the Nomad will be your primary protection from those threats. The Nomad will have the ability to boost & jump around or over hazards, but you'll also want to fit it in nooks and crannies to find hidden items. Don't worry, it's way more nimble than the Mako. Finding Drop Zones Drop zones are essential in Mass Effect: Andromeda, so you'll want to make sure you take the time to find them. When you find a drop zone, they'll have a forward station. Using the forward station's tech, you can reveal all of the points of interest on that map. Best part? You'll even get a fast travel point by doing this & you can change your loadout here too. While the points of interest you'll unlock will give you a hint of where to explore, you'll still need to do some exploring as they aren't exact markers. Destroying Enemy Bases Oh, you thought every alien was going to love you? Danger can always be right around the corner in Mass Effect: Andromeda, so don't be surprised when you come across an enemy hideout. Taking these enemy bases down will typically reward you with some worthwhile items. BioWare has said the bases are pretty lengthy to take out, so if you do end up approaching one, be prepared for a fight. If you look around the base too closely and tip-off a few enemies, they'll start sounding alarms and you'll need to go shut them off while fighting them. There's typically narrative tied around these too, don't worry. Epic Optional Creature Fights If you're in the mood for intense battles, you'll definitely have plenty to choose from. You may come across two factions fighting and be able to join in, take them both down, and take advantage of the rewards. Each planet contains their own super bosses, which are huge creatures that you can typically spot from a distance. These really aren't battles that you can expect to win at a low level or without some serious upgrades. You'll often find creatures that are so overleveled compared to you that you'll naturally know you can't beat them right away, meaning you'll want to come back when you've leveled up to take them on. Scanning Planets & Things You Find This is a galaxy that's completely foreign to you, and part of your job as Pathfinder will be to learn more about each & every planet that you visit. You could stumble upon new technology or rocks that you can scan, and you'll be able to send that data back to your ship. The more objects that you scan, the quicker you'll have access to better technology, so it's pretty much essential that you do this to help your cause. Best part? You can even get access to crafting pieces if you scan the right objects which will allow you to craft better weapons and armor. There's a ton to love here, and I'm excited to learn more about Mass Effect: Andromeda. Don't forget about the Vaults which we saw in the PS4 Pro trailer released earlier in the year. They're apparently more puzzle-based, but they're tired closely to the game's narrative... hopefully we'll here more closer to launch!