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Mass Effect: Andromeda guide: How to solve remnant decryption puzzles

It’s like sudoku, but with gibberish

Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

If you’re familiar with the logic puzzle with the Japanese name that was designed by a 79 year-old guy from Indiana (we had to force ourselves to close that Wikipedia tab to keep from falling down that rabbit hole), you’ve got a big head start on interacting with remnant tech. The only real trick is filling in the blocks with the unfamiliar glyphs rather than (presumably) familiar numbers.

In case you’re struggling, we’re here to help. We’ll give you the basics to get you used to thinking about these puzzles. We’re going to use the first one you encounter — the one on Eos you find during the "A Better Beginning" mission — as an example.

Rows, columns and blocks

The ultimate goal of these puzzles it to make sure that no glyph repeats within each row, column and block. There are four of each for you to work with, and these are your basic tools for the process of elimination.

The number of glyphs in each of these units is the same as the number of glyphs available to choose from — four glyphs per row, column and block means you have four glyphs to choose from.

Find the nearby glyphs

The very first step for these puzzles is to fill in those question marks. Use your scanner to follow the yellow power conduits to the nearby glyphs. Scan them, and the puzzle will update accordingly.

Fill in the blanks

The first thing to look for is any row, column or block that already has three glyphs filled in. This makes your job much easier — just fill in whichever glyph isn’t there.

If it helps, name the glyphs so they’re not just abstract shapes. We named these "E sitting down," "square wearing a hat tipped back at a rakish angle," "bucktoothed snake" and "triangle vending machine."

Fill in the new blanks

After you drop in a few glyphs, check again for rows, columns or blocks with three glyphs filled in and repeat the process. You’ll often have multiple ways to check your work — in the image above there are three glyphs already filled out in the row, column and block we’re working on.

Process of elimination

Sometimes the solution is more about knowing what can’t go there. In the example above, the red glyph in the bottom left is one of the provided clues, so it’s definitely right. Because we know that’s the only place in that row or column that glyph can appear, we also know where it can’t appear in adjacent blocks.

The bottom two spots on the right were blank, but the presence the "triangle vending machine" glyph in the bottom left means there’s only one place the same glyph can go in the bottom right block.

Bring it all together

The first puzzle is a pretty gentle introduction, but the steps are always going to be the same.

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