SolvedProton Mass Effect 3 N7 Digital Deluxe Edition (1238020)

Compatibility Report

  • Name of the game with compatibility issues: Mass Effect 3 N7 Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Steam AppID of the game: 1238020

System Information

I confirm:

  • that I haven't found an existing compatibility report for this game.
  • that I have checked whether there are updates for my system available.



After installing Origin, linking accounts, and launching the game I was faced with this error:

Installing PhysX either via winetricks or manually does not appear to fix the issue.


  1. Install the game via Steam.
  2. Launch the game, Installing Origin and completing setup.
  3. Launch the game.
17 Answers

✔️Accepted Answer

Ok guys, i think i fixed this. for real this time.
As I said in my previous comment proton completely ruins the prefix, specifically the physx part.
Every time you hit play on Steam, it runs the "First time setup" which deletes a lot of files and some registry keys.
I tried installing the physx drivers and disabling this script but if I delete the "installScript.vdf" Origin would not start.
So I had to figure out which files proton deletes. Here is my solution:

Some of these steps might be useless. As soon as the game started after pressing the play button on steam i stopped tinkering around. this is a list of all of my tests

  • I am using Proton Experimental (might work on other versions, too scared to try xD )
  • Make sure you hit once play and do the actual "First Time Setup", so it will install Origin and the other prerequisites.
  • Install the "PhysX_9.09.0814_SystemSoftware.exe" contained in the redist folder of MassEffect2
    WINEPREFIX="write here your mass effect 3 prefix path" wine start "PhysX_9.09.0814_SystemSoftware.exe"
  • Update the PhysX drivers with the "PhysX-9.11.1107-SystemSoftware.msi" located in the folder /__installer/physx/redist of Mass Effect 3
    WINEPREFIX="write here your mass effect 3 prefix path" wine start "PhysX-9.11.1107-SystemSoftware.msi"
  • Go to steamapps/compdata/1238020/pfx open a terminal there and type this command, it will make the registry files immutable:
    sudo chattr +i *.reg
    ATTENTION: Now you will not able to install programs on this prefix (other games will not be affected)
    if you want to revert this, just use: sudo chattr -i *.reg
  • Go to drive_c/windows/syswow64
  • open a terminal window and type these commands:
    sudo chattr +i PhysX*
    sudo chattr +i AGEIA/
    sudo chattr +i AgC*
    cd AGEIA/
    chmod 555 *
  • Go back to drive_c then go to ProgramFiles(x86) and use chmod 555 on "NVIDIA Corporation" and "AGEIA Tecnologies" and recursively use the same command on all other folder they contain. By removing the writing privileges on a folder will prevent removing/adding any files/folders to that.
  • Restart Steam and hit play! Should work perfectly every time!

I hope i didn't miss some steps, Let me know if this fixed the problem :)
Soon i will report this to protonDB.

Other Answers:


I came across this thread while trying to get Mass Effect 3 N7 Digital Deluxe Edition to work on Ubuntu 20.04 with Steam 1608507519 and Proton 5.13-4.

After looking into it, I discovered that the game breaks because Steam is attempting to update PhysX using PhysX-9.12.1031-SystemSoftware.msi before launching the game, and while this attempted update does successfully uninstall the older version of PhysX, it crashes before it can install the new version, leaving the game without the libraries it expects. The crash is happening because the new PhysX installer attempts to create a WbemScripting.SWbemNamedValueSet object as part of its installation script, and Proton does not support that yet, at least as of version 5.13-4. This issue has already been reported to the wine developers at

The least invasive fix I could find was as follows:

  • Install the game normally.
  • Run the game once to perform normal first time setup (running installers, Origin account stuff, etc.). The game will fail to load with a PhysX error.
  • From a terminal, run the following:
    ** cd /path/to/steamapps/common/Mass Effect 3/__Installer/physx/redist/
    ** WINEPREFIX="/path/to/steamapps/compatdata/1238020/pfx/" wine start PhysX-9.11.1107-SystemSoftware.msi # This will cause the PhysX installer to appear. Proceed using the default options at each step until it finishes.
    ** cd /path/to/steamapps/compatdata/1238020/pfx/drive_c/windows/syswow64/
    ** mv msiexec.exe msiexec.exe.bak
    ** touch msiexec.exe
    ** sudo chattr +i msiexec.exe
  • At this point, the game starts from within Steam and loads the main menu without apparent issues.

This is not a perfect fix for a couple of reasons:

Apparently, Valve and/or EA think that Mass Effect 3 benefits from PhysX v9.12.1031, and this fix prevents that software from being installed. If that particular version of PhysX is necessary to fix a bug in the game, then that bug will go unfixed.

Also, setting the immutable bit on msiexec.exe (after replacing it with an empty file) should prevent it from being deleted or upgraded using the normal process. I don't know for sure whether this is necessary, but because msiexec.exe was a symlink to the real msiexec.exe in the Proton 5.13-4 directory on my system, I was concerned that a future update of proton that does not fix bug 48879 might replace the empty file with a semi-working version of msiexec.exe, which would then cause Steam to blow away the working PhysX installation and make the game to stop working suddenly.

It's also possible to leave msiexec.exe alone and trick Steam into thinking that PhysX 9.12.1031 is already installed so it won't try to install it every time the game is launched, but that opens up the possibility that a newer version of the installer will be released, Steam will attempt to install it automatically, and PhysX will break.

This comment is going on a Valve repo, so my suggestions to Valve are, in descending order of desirability:

  1. Fix wine bug 48879, merge the changes into Proton, and make Mass Effect 3 a great experience on Linux.
  2. Ask NVIDIA to revert the changes they recently made to the PhysX MSI installer VBscript so that it works equally well under Windows and Proton.
  3. Find a way to prevent Steam from attempting to install PhysX MSI files newer than 9.11.1107 in Proton environments.


just finished mass effect 3. barring base-game issues. it ran without issue and almost no performance issues for the entire course of the game. I'm pretty sure I came close or did 100% it. so barring the DLC that I didn't get through EA play, it worked like a dream, even multiplayer worked. I uninstalled the game today to make room for the fourth game

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