David is a freelance writer who primarily writes about video games and fitness topics. He is currently working on a Dark Epic Fantasy novel.
A Science Fiction Adventure
The Outer Worlds was developed by Obsidian Entertainment, the same company that created the Fallout: New Vegas game. While it's technically a new intellectual property, it does feel like a science fiction Fallout game, at least in some regards. The game takes place entirely from the first-person perspective. You can create your own character (male or female), but you can only see what they look like in the main menu.
If I were to describe The Outer Worlds to newcomers, then I would say it's an amalgamation of No Man's Sky, Fallout, Mass Effect, and Bioshock to a lesser extent. The game incorporates a lot of features and elements from other franchises, but manages to forge its own identity for the most part.
The Outer Worlds plays like a classic RPG with a moderate amount of action. Besides combat, you'll spend a lot of time in conversations with characters where you can select many different dialogue options. Instead of fighting, you can often persuade people to do things in order to avoid a hostile confrontation. The rest of your time will be spent exploring the world or going through the monumental and eclectic menu system.
This article will serve as a basic guide with tips and tricks for new players. While it will not cover every aspect of The Outer Worlds, it will explain the fundamentals and features that are vital for your success in the game.
Note: No major spoilers will be present in this article.
Starting a New Game
The first thing you'll do is assign points to attributes and select a game difficulty. Be very careful when choosing attributes, as they affect your character's skills and cannot be changed. There are six attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Perception, Charm, and Temperament. If you want a charismatic and smart character that can talk themselves out of almost any predicament, then assign points to Charm and Intelligence. If you want a physically superior character, then spend points on Strength and Temperament. For example, having a high Temperament will allow your character to regenerate health quicker. Strength increases maximum carrying capacity.
Below Average Stats
Note, you'll be penalized if you have an attribute that's below average. For instance, a character with low Intelligence will have dumb dialogue options. They also will do less critical damage to enemies in combat.
Unless you want your character to be extremely adept at two attributes, don't take a point away from any of the attributes. Keep some attributes at average. Personally, I put my Charm on very high because I want a charismatic character.
After choosing attributes, choose what skills you think you'll use most in the game. When you level up in The Outer Worlds, you'll get 10 points to spend on each skill. Initially, one point can level up three subcategories, but once you reach level 50, you'll need to level that skill up individually.
Even though you might not want to level up certain skills, you should get to at least level 20 with all of them because you'll unlock new features or bonuses. After every other level, you'll get to choose from a list of indispensable perks. Perks usually affect you, but some affect your companions. Many of the perks have a passive effect that is permanent.
Looting in The Outer Worlds
Looting is a fundamental aspect of The Outer Worlds. While the game is not a fully open world like Horizon Zero Dawn or Skyrim, it does feature hub worlds that vary in size. After defeating enemies, you can loot their corpses for weapons, ammo, currency, quest items, medicine, and other miscellaneous items. Containers, shelves, tables, and other objects throughout the world can be looted too. Some locked containers can be opened up if you have the required items and skills. Exploring almost every nook and cranny can be beneficial if you're patient, for there are rare weapons hidden in the world. Use your map to look at the hub world. The game features exterior and interior areas.
Bit Cartridges are the currency system in The Outer Worlds. Search for them because they can be utilized to purchase ammo, weapons, medicine, and other items from vending machines or merchants in settlements. Bandits and other enemies often carry Bit Cartridges on them. While you won't get rich looting one or two enemies, it makes a difference over time. Lastly, you can sell their junk or weapons for money.
Scraping Weapons and Armor
Weapons and armor degrade over time with consistent use. If you hover over a weapon or armor piece in the menu, you'll see the condition of it via a percentage number. The lower the percentage, the less damage the weapon does. Ideally, a weapon should be in good condition to maximize effectiveness in combat. If a weapon is damaged, swap it for another or repair it at a workbench. It's probably a good idea to keep multiple weapons or armor pieces as backup. You need weapon parts to repair.
If your Engineer skill is 20 or higher, you can scrap weapons or armor when looting corpses. It's a lot more convenient to breakdown weapons and armor via the loot menu. You also won't have to worry about carrying capacity as much. Level up Engineer early on to reap the benefits.
Healing Items and Health
As you level up in The Outer Worlds, you'll acquire more maximum health. Your health regenerates over time, but it's slow. You can increase the speed of health regeneration with a high Temperament, but you'll still need healing items while in combat.
Adreno Syringes are used to heal your health, but various consumables can be added to Adreno Syringes for an added effect. For example, some consumables add temporary speed or damage output. It's possible to take a consumable by itself via the menu. Both Adreno Syringes and consumables can be found in the world or purchased with Bit Cartridges.
When not in combat, it's usually better to wait for your health to regenerate instead of wasting a health item. When in tough combat situations, the Adreno Syringes are indispensable. Press L1 (PS4) or LB (Xbox One) to heal.
During your adventures, you'll encounter companions that can aid you in combat. They also have their own opinions, morals, and ideologies about different situations. Make sure to equip your companions with better weapons and armor. They will level up over time. You can choose whether they are aggressive or passive in the menu. Additionally, you can choose how close they follow you.
You can have two companions at a time. They will have different dialogue depending on how you match them up, so be sure to switch them out occasionally.
Companions in The Outer Worlds have powerful special abilities that recharge. Use their special abilities to turn the tide in combat. Press the D-Pad buttons to issue commands to them. If a companion takes too much damage, they will go down. On the highest difficulty, Supernova, they can die permanently.
Tactical Time Dilation
Having trouble in combat or want to feel like a badass? Use the Tactical Time Dilation, the slow-motion ability in The Outer Worlds. Time Dilation is reminiscent of the V.A.T.S. system from the Fallout franchise. Pressing R1 or RB slows downtime to make it easier to target enemy weaknesses. Time Dilation is ephemeral and needs to be recharged. If you're stationary, the ability lasts longer. Use the ability wisely in combat.
There are numerous side quests in the game. Look for characters that have a specific name. Some characters are minor, but others will have a plethora of unique dialogue. Certain characters offer quests that give experience points and monetary rewards. Completing side quests may increase your reputation with factions.
Some quests have morally ambiguous situations that may make you feel conflicted and ambivalent. Not all the characters in the game are inherently benevolent or malevolent. Some enemies or characters are more evil or dangerous than others, though. There are many conflicts of interest in The Outer Worlds. It's up to you to decide what to do. Your actions and dialogue choices will have implications and consequences. You might want to save before making certain decisions or taking drastic actions that can significantly affect the outcome of the game and the characters.
In many regards, The Outer Worlds is a very personal experience. Your character can be aggressive and the guns blazing type who shoots and asks questions later. Or they can be a stealth character that prefers to rely on their charisma and intelligence to resolve issues. Characters in the game can permanently die, so be careful. You can actually attack random people in towns, but I would not recommend that if you want to do certain quests.
It's universally accepted that stealing is immoral under most circumstances, but you can literally steal items in the game and sell the items for money. In fact, you can steal items right under people's noses. If you want to make more Bit Cartridges, steal from the settlements. Just make sure not to get spotted! Close doors to prevent characters from seeing you if possible.
Completing the Game
The story will take roughly 25–30 hours to complete, but it can take longer if you complete side quests, explore, loot frequently, and play on a higher difficulty.
If you're unhappy with your attributes and skills in The Outer Worlds, then you can redistribute them by going to Alex Hawthorne's ship, The Unreliable. Redistributing your points initially costs 500, but the cost doubles each time. Look for a Respecification machine that is in a cargo hold area. It's not that far from the entrance of the ship.