NieR: Automata is a game that subverts players' expectations all while delivering a thought-provoking narrative about existence and religion.
Much like any other game from legendary creator Yoko Taro, NieR: Automata offers players full liberty to make crucial choices without explaining the repercussions. Players' choices in the game can range from insignificant ones to those that determine which outcome they will get out of all 26 possible endings.
Like the Drakengard series and the original Nier (Replicant) titles, Automata offers endings that correspond to the letters of the English alphabet, starting from A and going all the way to Z. However, only the first five endings are real or canonical, with the other 21 being either joke endings or accidental "game over" screens.
Here's a comprehensive guide on how players can obtain each ending in NieR: Automata.
Note: This article contains major spoilers for NieR: Automata.
How to unlock every ending in NieR: Automata
Yoko Taro's titles, from the Drakengard series to the Nier franchise, have never followed traditional game design norms.
The original Nier title is apparently a spin-off to the Drakengard games, stemming from one of the possible endings of the last title.
As such, NieR: Automata also has the same narrative and gameplay tie-ins that fans of Yoko Taro-san's work have come to expect. The game might show the credit screen as and when players acquire a certain ending. However, it does not inherently end then since the first five endings are basically different chapters of the broader narrative.
Thus, players are recommended not to put down the controller after getting the first ending. Every subsequent playthrough will reveal new and crucial information about the narrative. More often than not, they will also introduce new gameplay elements and even different playable characters.
Here is a rundown of how players can get the first five (A to E) endings in NieR: Automata:
- Ending A: flower for m[A]chines - Beat the main story for the first time.
- Ending B: or not to [B]e - Beat the story again after continuing the game post ending A.
- Ending C: meaningless [C]ode - Continue after ending B and choose A2 during the final boss battle.
- Ending D: child[D]hood's end - Continue after either ending B or ending C and choose 9S during the final boss battle.
- Ending E: the [E]nd of YoRHa - This is the game's true ending and one that will require players to sacrifice their save file. After ending C or D, the Pod 153 will be able to do a data check. Players must accept the pod's offer and select "wish for them to survive." A really bizarre yet fun mini-game will then start. Players will be required to be connected to online services on their platform in order to get help during the very challenging mini-game. They will then be given the option to sacrifice their save game to aid other players who might need help with the same mini-game. This marks the true ending of NieR: Automata.
The remaining 21 endings are basically accidental "game over" screens that players can trigger at any point. They can do it by going against the objectives, dying before the prologue finishes, or even removing 2B's OS chip at any time during the game.
Here is a quick rundown of all the 21 endings players can get in NieR: Automata:
- Ending F: mission [F]ailed - In Chapter One of the game's second playthrough, after Engels knocks 9S down to get the ending, players should not repair 2B's system and wait for the timer to run out.
- Ending G: hun[G]ry for knowledge - In Chapter One of the game's second playthrough, when players take control of 9S for the first time, go to the crane and do not continue with the mission.
- Ending H: a mountain too [H]igh - In Chapter Five, players should not do the mission to intercept the Goliath. Instead, they should go from Pascal's Village to the Amusement Park.
- Ending I: no [I] in team - In Chapter Eight of the game's first playthrough, walk away from 9S after beating the Copied City boss.
- Ending J: bad [J]udgement - In Chapter Nine, killing any of the machines when entering the factory will trigger this ending.
- Ending K: aji wo [K]utta - In Chapter Six, eating the mackerel that Jackass gives 2B in the Desert Camp will trigger this ending.
- Ending L: [L]one wolf - In Chapter 10, players should either leave the Resistance Camp or Pascal's Village when they are under attack to get this ending.
- Ending M: break ti[M]e - In Chapter 14, (as A2) not going to Pascal's Village when it is under attack and heading to the Factory, Resistance Camp, or Amusement Park will trigger this ending.
- Ending N: [N]o Man's Village - In Chapter Five, killing all the machines in Pascal's Village will give players this ending in NieR: Automata.
- Ending O: just y[O]u and me - In Chapter 11 of NieR: Automata's third playthrough, instead of going to the City Ruins, go back to the Factory. Alternatively, instead of hacking 2B when she falls to the EMP, walk away or hack YorHa units until the mission fails.
- Ending P: corru[P]tion - In Chapter 11 of the game's third playthrough, letting 2B perish from the virus will initiate this ending.
- Ending Q: [Q]questionable actions - In Chapter 11 of the game's third playthrough, going to the desert or the Resistance Camp instead of 2B at the commercial facility will give players this ending.
- Ending R: mave[R]ick - In Chapter 14, attacking the robots near Pascal will give players this ending.
- Ending S: city e[S]cape - In Chapter 17 of the game's third playthrough, abandoning Popola and Devloa when they try to help will trigger this ending.
- Ending T: fa[T]al error - Removing 2B's OS chip at any time during the game will give players this ending.
- Ending U: deb[U]nked - Using self-destruct any time while in the Bunker will give players this ending.
- Ending V: reckless bra[V]ery - In Chapter 17, fighting with Popola and Devloa instead of hacking the Tower will trigger this ending.
- Ending W: broken [W]ings - In Chapter One, letting 2B get killed in the factory prologue before being able to save the game will give players this ending.
- Ending X: time to rela[X] - In Chapter 11, running away as A2 instead of helping 2B at the commercial facility will give players this ending.
- Ending Y: head[Y] battle - Letting Emil self-destruct at the end of the boss fight during the quest "Emil's Determination" will trigger this ending.
- Ending Z: over[Z]ealous - In Chapter 14, killing Pascal when he is encountered outside the Resistance Camp will give players this ending in NieR: Automata.
This wraps up all the possible endings players can get in NieR: Automata. The majority of the endings are basically glorified "game over" screens that players can stumble upon. However, they still provide some depth to the narrative while showcasing the themes of action and consequence that NieR: Automata is trying to convey.
Initially a PlayStation 4 exclusive, NieR: Automata is now available on basically all major console platforms. NieR: Automata End of YoRHa edition was just recently released for the Nintendo Switch.