I have been spending some time with Obsidian’s new action RPG, The Outer Worlds, and I can tell you that it is a blast to play. Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, it made the number three spot on my most anticipated games list a while back, finishing behind Jedi Fallen Order and Pokemon Sword and Shield, and it looks like I may have to put those two games on hold as I finish up my first playthrough of TOW. If you’re in a similar boat, then I’ve got your back. Check out The Outer Worlds launch trailer, followed by my 10 tips to get you started in The Outer Worlds. I’m still learning the game, so be sure to let me know of any tips or tricks you have in the comments below.
It’s Not Stealing, It’s Extended Borrowing
Like most other RPGs, The Outer Worlds allows you to steal just about anything that isn’t tied down. Unlike other games, though, you don’t have to find a fence to slow you down when selling off your ill gotten goods. When using the 5 finger discount there’s always the chance that someone will see you and confront you, but this isn’t the end of the world. First off, closing any doors means potential narcs won’t even see you taking all their stuff. And on the side chance that someone does see you, if your Dialog skill is high enough you can bribe, lie, or intimidate your way out of trouble (and earn a little extra XP in doing so). Or stab a plasma cutter into their voice box. That keeps them quiet too.
Companions Can’t Die
When it comes to combat your companions will never be able to deal out damage like you do. On the plus side, they never die. At worst they will be incapacitated for the remainder of the fight and then pop back up like nothing ever happened when the last enemy bites the dust. Use this to your advantage by letting them get a little aggro before you start firing off shots. The extra time the enemy is focused on your party members can be used to thin out the herd before enemies start taking shots at you. If you’re feeling like you don’t even need their help, companions are optional. Even more, you have some perks to choose from that aid you if you decide to get all anti-social and go through the game solo.
I know you think you are invincible and The Outer Worlds doesn’t present you with the most difficult combat around, but unless you are playing through the game on the easiest difficulty there’s going to be a time where you find yourself on the wrong end of a headshot. It’s at these times you realize you hadn’t saved for an hour or two, and now you have to waste a bunch of time getting back to your current place in the game. Saving may not be as important in Story or Normal mode, but Hard mode adds a little oomph to your foes, and taking the jump to Supernova is guaranteed to find you reloading from a previous save. If you don’t take anything else away from this article, please, please, please, remember to save often.
We’re All Flawed
As you play The Outer Worlds, Spacer’s Choice may detect a flaw in you. These flaws impose a negative effect upon your character and that can mean trouble. You always have the option to turn down the flaw, especially if it would negatively impact the focus of your character build. On the other hand, if you are willing to take on the burden a flaw will inflict upon you, you will get a free perk out of the deal. It’s a fair trade-off and can even unlock new perk tiers earlier than you otherwise would be able to.
For some reason, many people feel like they have to do the ‘right’ thing when playing an RPG. What is right and wrong is such a gray area, so don’t feel too bad if you decide to save one group of people at the expense of another. Obsidian starts throwing these moral dilemmas at you almost immediately in the form of an injured dude in a cave. Aid him or leave him to die and he may later report you to the authorities. Killing him will prevent that and put the sorry fool out of his misery. Easy choice if you ask me. Just remember that the obvious choice isn’t the only choice, and sometimes choosing the right dialog can lead you to a win-win resolution. Choosing to kill everyone in sight also works if that’s your thing, and we all know it is.
Don’t Forget To Go Sightseeing
OK, maybe sightseeing is the wrong word to use, but make sure you explore every inch of the area you are in. There are hidden gems just waiting to be found by someone willing to put in the time and with the main story only taking 30-40 hours tops you have time to spare. While you’re at it, make sure to run through all the dialog options when you are talking to an NPC. Hitting on the right line of questioning can often open up a new side quest or offer up an alternate ending to your current quest you would have missed otherwise.
Jack Of All Trades Or Master Of One
Spreading skill points and perks around is always a personal choice. Some people like to splash their points into multiple skills to ensure they are ready for any situation. Others may want to make a character that’s dumber than a box of rocks but can Hulk Smash better than the green guy himself. No matter which style suits your fancy, be sure to check out all the skills available. You never know what skills will add a bonus you hadn’t considered, such as Tech adding plasma damage to the melee brawler you have using a plasma cutter.
Be A Hoarder
One of the most frustrating things about RPGs is encumbrance. There’s nothing worse than coming across some shiny loot and having to let go of some other useless piece of junk (there is no such thing in my book) to make room for it. Becoming encumbered is a double penalty since it not only slows your movement but also prohibits the use of fast travel. Luckily, TOW gives a few ways to deal with this problem.
You can still use fast travel when encumbered if you take the Traveler perk. Using up a perk may seem like a steep price, but maxing out your carrying capacity takes three perks. Last I checked, one is less than three, meaning you can fast travel back to town to sell your junk and use the extra perks on something else.
The other, less favorable option is to break down weapons and armor while out in the field. This is a quick way to reduce the weight you are carrying but yields fewer components than you would get if you waited until you were at a workbench. It’s not optimal, but it will get you moving without having to leave items behind. You’d never leave a kitten on the side of the road, and we all know that loot is more precious to you than some little kitty.
Dress For Success
It may cut into your carrying capacity, but keeping a few sets of armor in your inventory can help you out when you’re not in combat. Many pieces of armor add or subtract points from your skills, making it easier or harder to perform certain tasks. For example, my heavy armor gives a -5 to my stealth, while a different set I carry around gives a +5. It sure comes in handy when I want to go unnoticed. And if I am a point or three below the level needed to pick a lock, throwing on a different helmet can give me the boost I need to crack that safe. You’ll also pick up a bunch of mods that can be applied to your gear, allowing you to push your skills to levels you never imagined possible.
You are able to have two companions in your party at any time with any others staying back on the Unreliable, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. Each of your companions has perks that give increases to your skills, so be sure to use these boosts to shore up any deficiencies you have in your build. If you find yourself in a position where one of your teammates would help you through a sticky situation, feel free to make the trek back to your ship to swap them out.
As I mentioned under Companions Can’t Die, your partners in crime aren’t always the best in combat, but you can help them out if you want to use them as more than a meat shield. They all come with a basic weapon and armor, so feel free to hand over upgrades as you get them. You are also able to change their behaviors, setting weapon preference, engagement distance, and overall aggressiveness.