So, you’ve decided to take a trip to Halcyon, and you are a little nervous about what to do (or not do). First things first: don’t panic. The Outer Worlds is a fairly intuitive and forgiving game, and it is tailor-made to allow you to do whatever you want without punishing you too badly. There’s very little you can do that will really screw up your play through; unless you play the way my 17-year-old plays Skyrim – basically running around like genocidal maniac – and even that is somewhat acceptable.
Nonetheless, we’ve put together a few The Outer World tips that might help you get started in your journey through the system of Halcyon. Of course, you don’t have to follow our advice. The Outer Worlds is all about choice, and we aren’t trying to make your choices for you. That would be downright corporate of us.
Don’t Sweat Your Starting Stats
The character builder in The Outer Worlds will look pretty familiar to seasoned gamers. While you can take an enormous amount of time fiddling with the different appearance levers – adjusting your hair and changing your nostril size – don’t forget that this is a first-person game. You aren’t going to be seeing yourself too much, so don’t worry if your character looks a little off. Just throw a helmet over your face as soon as you get one and never look back.
In addition to appearance, you will have the chance to assign some starting stats to your character. Unless you are going the “dumb as rocks” route (in which case you will want to push your intelligence all the way down), don’t stress about these stats too much. Any way you choose to go, you will end up with a perfectly viable and playable character.
I went with a Dexterity heavy build, sinking a lot of points into Dex, with most of the rest going into Perception and Intelligence, while almost completely ignoring Strength. In my playthrough, I was still able to wield melee weapons just fine, and a couple of well-placed Perk points ramped up my carry limits to an acceptable level.
Additionally, you will be given a generous ten skill points with every level gained, so you will be able to supplement any shortcomings in your build relatively quickly. You don’t begin The Outer Worlds made of glass like you do in some other first person RPGs. So regardless of your choices, your survivability will be decent.
And of course, there is a respec terminal right on your spaceship, so the devs at Obsidian have given you a quick way out if you feel you have gone too far off the rails in assigning your points.
Pick A Dialog Path And Stick To It
The Outer Worlds spends a lot of time with your character talking to others, whether they are your companions, quest givers, or your spaceship itself. In conversation, it is best to have a way to trick fools into doing what you want. In The Outer Limits, you are able to sink points into Lie, Persuade, and Intimidate, which all help you in certain conversational situations. All three of these are perfectly viable, so it is up to you to decide which one amuses you.
The skill point system in The Outer Worlds is interesting. Skills are divided into categories, so Lie, Persuade, and Intimidate are all gathered under the Dialog banner. Until skills hit level 50, you are able to put skill points into categories. Therefore, placing one skill point into the Dialog skill will raise all three skills simultaneously.
However, after level 50, each skill needs to be tended to individually, making it a fool’s errand to try to raise all three Speech skills. At that point, it is best to pick one and push forward.
I’m an Intimidate guy, as I enjoy staring the inhabitants of Halcyon dead in the eye and saying awful things to them. But whatever your choice, all of your Speech skills will be at least level 50 by the time you need to get specific, giving you a fighting chance to pass many dialogue skill checks.
Steal, Steal, Steal!
There is a ridiculous amount of stuff laying all over the settlements of Halcyon. Seriously, stuff is everywhere. Almost more loot than in any other game I’ve ever played. It gets a little silly. Plan on stealing everything that isn’t nailed down.
We all know that stealing is wrong. But in The Outer Worlds, it only counts if someone is looking at you. And these people are just begging for it. You can sometimes steal right from under people’s noses. Most of the weapons that I used throughout the game were stolen. If you are a hoarder that wants to pile up as many lockpicks as possible, you are gonna have to steal some of them.
Not to worry. Stealing in The Outer Worlds is easy. Items that will need to be stolen have descriptions in a red font, making it simple to see if the object is something you can just pick up or if its something that might get you in trouble. And if so, you can probably take it anyhow.
If you are in a building, simply glance around before taking something. If no one is looking (even if they are right next to you), go ahead and take what you want. If you are worried about people lurking in the hallway outside, just close the door and help yourself.
If people are looking at you (or you are outside), then it is up to you if you want to take something. The worst that happens is that someone wanders over and gets a little angry at you, and you take a small reduction in reputation for whatever faction that person represents. It’s really no big deal.
Most items are fairly disposable (money, ammo), so probably not worth taking the reputation hit. But if you see a sweet weapon in a crate, go ahead and take it for yourself. When the random patrolling goon wanders over and demands to know what you are doing, stare them in the eye and say “What do you think I’m doing?”, and take the rep hit. Shrug.
Try Not To Murder Your Quest Givers
We all understand what it’s like to be sent on a quest by some irritating lunatic. It happens in The Outer World, just like it does in every other game. Sometimes these people are questionable. Sometimes you don’t agree with their politics or corporate policies. Sometimes it’s been a while since you’ve done a random murder, and this guy is looking at you funny.
If you really have to do some random killings, try not to murder your quest givers. Generally, any named characters (with a real name above their head instead of a generic title) is likely to be involved in a quest somehow, even if it isn’t immediately apparent. When talking to these folks, you should pursue every line of questioning even if it gets long. Often, quests lie deep within conversation trees, and you will never see them unless you keep the chatter going.
Anyone else is fair game. Go on a rampage out in the street (warning: your reputation will plummet). But leave your quest givers alone. So long as they are alive, you can wait for an hour or so until the heat in town cools down, then come back and turn your quest in.
Even if they are the last person you leave standing in a blood-covered desolate town of corpses, your quest givers will still accept your quests upon completion. Just…don’t murder them.
Go Off The Beaten Path
I probably don’t have to say this, but go explore. Even though some of the planet-side areas seem small-ish, there are still plenty of cool things hiding off the beaten path to discover.
In most settlements, you will likely pick up a bunch of quests that will lead you to an area’s highpoints. But through exploration you will find caves, abandoned buildings, even entire cities to explore. And sometimes those places will contain even more quests, which in turn will take you even further off the beaten path.
You will be surprised at some of the secrets you uncover through exploration.
Don’t Hoard Your Weapon And Armor Mods
If you are anything like me, you suffer from “Super Elixir Syndrome.” This is a condition in which you gather items in videogames that are so rare and powerful that you hoard them in your inventory and never use them. Then at the end of the game, you have a pouch full of powerful junk you will never use. In my mind, this is known as “winning.”
Don’t be that way with your Outer Worlds weapon and armor mods. They just aren’t that powerful, and they aren’t that rare.
Don’t get me wrong, weapon and armor mods are helpful, and they can make a cool weapon into a super cool weapon. With fun effects like larger ammunition clips, reduced firing spread, and faster reload, your weapons will certainly be improved. You will soon figure out which mods are commonplace and which ones are more elusive.
But even when you think a mod is really rare and you want to save it for later in the game – don’t. The Outer Worlds is a very well-designed game. It will provide you with more mods when your current weapons and armors become obsolete. And if you sink enough points into your Science skill, you will unlock the ability to Tinker – which means you can make your own mods.
So go ahead and slap those mods onto your weapons if you like. You will soon have more than you know what to do with, so there’s no point in keeping them.
Don’t “Get Out Of White Orchard”
No, the opening zone of The Outer Worlds isn’t named White Orchard. But RPG gamers will likely remember White Orchard as the opening zone in The Witcher 3, where many a gamer flamed out while trying to accomplish everything offered. The zone just seemed endless with quests within quests, and it seemed as though it would never end. The cry went out to new gamers to “get out of White Orchard” to allow the game to really get started.
For The Outer World, I would suggest the opposite. Scour the opening world, and finish everything you can before moving on. Doing this will leave you well-equipped, flush with cash, and ready to rock & roll.
The first world in Halcyon is a good microcosm for the game in full, and finishing it will give you a good idea of what to expect when you move forward. Plus, you have to resolve the main quest before you get access to your ship, so you might as well grab everything else along the way.
Companions Are Great – Find Them And Use Them
There are six companions in The Outer Worlds, and it isn’t tough to find them. Just follow along with the story and your travel buddies will appear. You don’t have to recruit them, but you totally should.
Companions don’t use ammo from your supply, so you can load them up with ridiculous heavy weaponry and watch them spray death at your enemies. Certain perks will give you extra XP for enemies killed by companions, so you want to make them as lethal as possible.
Additionally, companions have individual sets of perks that unlock as you play through the game. These perks can either benefit you, or more optimally will make your companions even more deadly. By the end of the game, you can wander into a crowd and just let your companions rain fiery death down while you hang out in the distance eating apples.
As a bonus, companions are funny. They talk a lot and say goofy things. Everyone loves that.
There is a lot to love in The Outer Worlds. We hope you find these starter tips helpful. If you have any more tips, be sure to share them in the comments. Now get out there, and have fun storming the solar system!