"The Outer Worlds" Level Up System: Skills, Perks, and Reputation
A Unique Experience
Do you want to play a role-playing game that gives you a ton of options and difficult choices that often involve moral ambiguity? Look no further because The Outer Worlds gives you multiple ways to experience the story. The game offers an array of skills, perks, and items at your disposal. Want a stealth character that is adept at picking locks and eliminating enemies quietly? Or perhaps you want a charming character that knows how to persuade, lie, and intimidate others to gain favor or prevent an unfortunate outcome. The choice is yours. Play the game multiple times for different experiences and endings.
As with any role-playing game, The Outer Worlds rewards you with experience points when you perform almost any action. Completing quests, eliminating enemies, finding new locations, and using certain dialogue options gives you experience points.
Before you start a new game, you can get a head start by applying points to attributes. Choose carefully because they will drastically affect how you play the game.
If you're playing on Supernova difficulty, then Temperament will be useful because it helps your health regeneration. Charm is good if you want to earn experience points by persuading, lying, or intimidating others in conversations
Skills in The Outer Worlds
Each time you level up, you'll acquire 10 points that can be applied to one of the skills. In total, there are seven skills, but each skill has a subcategory. The system is slightly unconventional because spending a point on a skill upgrades every single subcategory until you reach level 50 with one of the subcategories. For example, spending a point on dialog will increase Persuade, Lie, and Intimidate. Technically, you can distribute up to 30 points each time you level up in The Outer Worlds, at least before you reach 50. Once a skill is competent, you must decide what to specialize in. I think Obsidian Entertainment created the system like that to create balance. Ideally, you should make sure every skill is at least level 20 to receive bonuses.
Higher Skills with Companions and Equipment
You can give a temporary boost to your stats if you have certain types of armor or bring a specific companion with you. Parvati boosts your tech stats because she's an engineer.
When viewing your skills, look for numbers that have a parenthesis next to them. A parenthesis by your base skill level indicates a stat boost from equipment or a companion. When your skills are too low in something, consider using equipment that boosts your stats or bring a companion that is adept at something.
You'll receive a perk at every other level. Tier 1 perks are available right away, but you must level up and unlock more perks to gain access to tier 2 and 3. Most of the perks make you inherently more powerful or provide a boost to something. For example, Toughness adds 50% to your health, and Resilient boosts your armor rating.
If you're traveling with companions in The Other Worlds, I highly recommend getting the Deadly Demonstrations as soon as possible. The perk provides you with 50% more XP when a companion kills an enemy.
Besides leveling up, The Other Worlds will occasionally offer you a free perk, but only if you accept a penalty or a type of handicap. They are called flaws. For instance, I received a free perk, but only if I accepted 25% more damage from plasma. It's an interesting dynamic because you can obtain more perks, but only if you accept a flaw that negatively affects something. If the flaw is too bad, don't accept the perk because it might significantly increase the difficulty of the game (unless you want an extra challenge).
Reputation in The Outer Worlds
During your adventures, you'll encounter different factions with their own opinions, morals, motivations, and ambitions. Many conflicts of interest are present in The Outer Worlds. For example, there is a quest where you must reroute power to either Edgewater or a small community called Botanical Labs. Your choice will impact the lives of people and your reputation with them, either negatively or positively. Not every choice is intrinsically good or evil, but there will be consequences to major decisions you make.
Stealing can be a lucrative endeavor, but getting caught can lower your reputation with a faction. If a reputation with a faction becomes too low, then they can become hostile and attack you on sight.
Completing quests and favors for characters in factions will positively increase your reputation. When you're revered by a faction, vendors will offer lower prices because you earned respect and admiration.
It is actually possible to kill major characters in The Outer Worlds that are not inherently hostile like the creatures or bandits. The game does not really feature a crime and punishment system like in Grand Theft Auto, but killing innocent characters can cause monumental problems. Some characters give you side quests, so don't kill them if you want to earn experience points and other rewards from them. If you cause too much chaos and mayhem, guards and other people will attack you on sight in major areas. Your reputation can be destroyed if you attack faction members.
The Outer Worlds provides you with a lot of freedom, but I would not recommend causing too much chaos during your first or second playthrough of the game. If you just want to mess around, save the game before doing something you might regret. The game has multiple endings and numerous outcomes to side stories.