Give yourself some breathing space with our The Outer Worlds tips
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5 lifesaving tips to survive Outer Worlds as a beginner

It's a brave new world out there. Here's how to make the best of it.
Written by Ian Stokes
Published on
Welcome to Halcyon Colony, the only colony owned and operated entirely by corporations. As part of your induction package, you’re required to read through this article highlighting our best tips and tricks for surviving in The Outer Worlds.

1. Be Your Best Self

The Outer Worlds attribute screen is dense, but easy when you know how
The Outer Worlds attribute screen is dense, but easy when you know how
Jack of all trades, master of none. It’s a cliché as old as time, but it’s never been truer than in The Outer Worlds.
If you scatter your skill points evenly across all the available skills, you’re going to end up with a bit of a dud character. What you really need to do is specialise.
Ideally, you want to know what kind of character you’re building right off the bat. It might seem unfair that you must choose your entire career path before you’ve even had a chance to play the game, but hey, life’s not fair.
The Outer World’s character creator lets you choose two different skill groups and give them 10 bonus points each at the beginning of the game. You can also choose your body type, mind type (that’s a thing) and personality type.
So, if you’re wanting the specialise in melee combat, a strong body type is the way to go. Conversely, don’t give yourself the charisma of a damp towel if you’re planning on talking your way through the solar system. You can also choose an aptitude which gives you a unique upgrade based on your previous career.
These aren’t earth-shattering, but they offer a nice little bonus while satisfying that roleplaying itch. So, if you were a chef before travelling to Halcyon, you’ll receive a skill point in the one-handed melee skill due to your sick knife skills.

2. I’ve got Skills, they’re Multiplying

The Outer Worlds' skill system can give you stellar perks
The Outer Worlds' skill system can give you stellar perks
When you first start levelling up your character, you’ll notice that you upgrade all skills within a group at once, i.e. levelling up your melee skill increases your aptitude for both one-handed and two-handed weapons at the same time. It’s a nice touch that lets you upgrade your skills without locking you into a specific path in the early game.
Be warned though, this doesn’t last forever. Once a skill group hits level 50, you will have to invest points into the individual skills within the group. This means you’ll have to specialise your character further as you level up.

3. Talk to everyone, read everything, loot everything

Loot this man's pants, for humankind
Loot this man's pants, for humankind
You know that weirdly friendly person at the bus stop who tries to strike up a conversation with everyone? Yeah, you’re going to need to be that person.
Sure, it’s against every fibre in your body, but it pays dividends to talk to people in The Outer Worlds. Plenty of folks will have side missions for you, while others will have information that will unlock new paths within your existing quests. You should also take every opportunity to read the various terminals, datapads, and letters scattered around the world.
These often contain information that will help you complete missions or find hidden stashes of loot. Speaking of loot, it’s everywhere: boxes, cupboards, bodies – if it’s got a glowing outline, there are goodies inside. Loot everything you see, as it’s either useful or sellable. If you are planning on becoming Halcyon’s greatest salvager, be sure to unlock the Traveller perk which allows you to fast travel while encumbered. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the middle of nowhere with pockets full of junk weighing you down.

4. Look after your buddies and they’ll look after you

The Outer Worlds is full of new companions to be your friend
The Outer Worlds is full of new companions to be your friend
It’s a tough life out on the frontier. Luckily, The Outer Worlds features a roster of faithful companions to help ease the burden. They’ll offer advice and unique dialogue options, assist you in combat and even boost your skills.
That is unless you get them all killed by space monsters. Now, on the lower difficulties, your companions will just get incapacitated when they run out of health. But on Supernova difficulty, they really will just die if you don’t look after them.
You can take up to two companions out on missions with you. The first thing you should do is upgrade their equipment.
Companions come with some basic gear as standard, but you should be upgrading their weapons and armour as often as you do your own. You can also set their combat behaviour in the companion menu – it’s the furthest tab to the right. Here you can choose their preferred combat distance, weapon and aggressiveness. So, for physically weak characters, you should set their preferred distance to “far” and their weapon preference to “ranged”. Technically, you can set your companion to prefer ranged combat with melee weapons. Don't do this.
Actually, yes, do this. Who knows how that will go.

5. Organise missions by location

The Outer Worlds sort by location feature is a godsend
The Outer Worlds sort by location feature is a godsend
The default view for the Journal shows your missions organised by type (Main Quest, Side Quest, Companion Quests, etc.). While this makes sense, it’s not particularly efficient as you’ll end up hopping back and forth between various planets. Thankfully, you can change the settings on the Journal screen to sort by location. Just hit the corresponding button on the journal page (it’s X on Xbox or Square on PS4) to switch the sort mode over to location. Now all the quests in a single region are grouped together, allowing you to easily identify them and clear them out without a bunch of needless, boring space travel. There are also other sort modes available that you can cycle through, such as newest first and alphabetical order, but location is definitely where it’s at for the efficient spacer.