The Outer Worlds Tips Guide – 17 Things the Game Doesn’t Tell You

Who needs commerce when you can just break down your gear into repair parts?

Our tips for The Outer Worlds have been handcrafted and slow roasted in the content mines for your enjoyment! We’ve got everything a growing, indentured, and possibly rebellious space colonist needs to survive life on the fringes of deep space. Wanna know how to tell if someone can see you picking a lock? Need the best ways to counter encumbrance — everyone’s favorite RPG mechanic? We’ve got all that and so, so much more in our The Outer Worlds tips guide. Let’s take a look!

More of The Outer Worlds:

Health Regenerates (Slowly) – The Outer Worlds Tips

Assuming you don’t play on the highest difficulty, don’t worry too much about your health. The Outer Worlds is pretty generous with it! You can sleep or use your inhaler to raise it right back up. You don’t really need to, though, unless you’re in dire straits in combat. That’s because health regenerates automatically in The Outer Worlds — albeit extremely slowly. This goes for both you and your companions! Even falling in battle won’t keep them down for long. Once the scuffle is over, they’ll stand right back up and start to regenerate as well.

There Are ‘Secret’ Menu Shortcuts – The Outer Worlds Tips

The Outer Worlds has menus, on top of menus, on top of menus. Luckily, you can navigate them a bit more quickly with some handy shortcuts. The game doesn’t make it obvious, but if you go into the control settings you’ll see what I’m talking about. You just need to hold down the pause or inventory button (whatever those happen to be on your controller or keyboard). Holding down the inventory button and then releasing it will bring you straight to the map. The same goes for the pause menu button — except holding it down will take you straight to the journal.

Stealing is Mostly Harmless – The Outer Worlds Tips

Stealing only hurts you if someone sees it happen! There is no system like “Karma” from the older Fallout games, despite the obvious similarities between New Vegas and The Outer Worlds. That means you can pick up garbage to your heart’s content. Even if you do get caught, you can talk or bribe your way out of the situation (if you have enough skills or cash) for bonus XP. The only downside is that you will build up “negative” reputation with whatever faction catches you. Although even that doesn’t hurt you very much! Negative and positive rep are two different bars in this game. You can continue to build up one without losing the positive effects of another (like shop discounts).

Close All the Doors – The Outer Worlds Tips

This one is pretty simple: people can’t see you through doors. Duh, right? But unlike in some games, NPCs won’t come to check on you if you sneak past them and shut yourself in a room. So long as the door isn’t in their usual path, you can safely shut any door in the game and scoop up all the valuables on the other side. Make sure you keep an ear out for the opening sound, though! Besides NPC citizens on patrol, your own A.I. companions will open doors to follow you, if you get too far away. You can mitigate that by telling them to stay put (tap down on the D-pad with controllers). Then grab the loot.

Explore Your Ship ASAP – The Outer Worlds Tips

Your journey through The Outer Worlds begins in Edgewater. It’s a very sizable area, but it has nothing on the rest of the star system. You should try to get off that rock — and get access to your ship — as quickly as possible. There are a few good reasons for this. First is that you don’t really lose anything. Despite a major decision that you need to make at the end of your story in Edgewater, you can still come back and complete side quests later. The second reason is that you want to explore your ship. It’s full of useful info (mostly in your captain’s quarters) and free storage space for gear. Make sure you explore your ship just as soon as you unlock the ability to fly it!

Visit Phineas ASAP – The Outer Worlds Tips

This tip is an extension of our last one. Once you gain the ability to fly the Unreliable, don’t progress with the story right away. Go and visit Phineas at his secret headquarters (assuming you didn’t betray him) instead. There’s a little goodie waiting for you there.

Breaking Down Objects Reduces Weight – The Outer Worlds Tips

The Outer Worlds, much like Fallout before it, has a weight restriction. Nearly everything you carry in the game counts toward it. That includes armor, consumables, junk (which can be instantly sold at any vendor), and weapons. However, Armor Parts and Weapon Parts have zero weight! That makes it often a good idea to just turn unwanted gear into scrap while you’re out in the world. You can’t sprint or fast travel when you’re encumbered (unless you have a special perk) and walking all the way back to your ship is awful. Whereas parts can be used to repair your equipment for free.

The Outer Worlds Tips Guide

There’s a Respec Machine on Your Ship – The Outer Worlds Tips

Here’s another reason to get to your ship quickly: It’s the only place you can respec your character. The game doesn’t really draw attention to it, but you can find the a respect machine in the cargo bay. ADA will remark upon it if you get close enough. This also means that you don’t have to worry too much about building the “wrong” kind of character. You’re free to experiment!

Kill the ‘Sprats’ – The Outer Worlds Tips

Here’s another thing innocent people in-game don’t seem to care about. You can pull out your weapons, even in populated areas, without any consequence. Not only that, but melee weapons won’t attract attention unless you actually hit somebody with them! And “somebody” does not include sprats: those rat-like critters that roam a number of settlements in The Outer Worlds. Sure, they’re not worth a lot of XP. But it’s basically free. Always take a second to stomp out these rodents whenever you get the chance!

Choose How to Deal with Encumbrance – The Outer Worlds Tips

By the way, if you don’t want to deal with weight limits, I suggest throwing in your lot behind one of two options. The first is to dump a ton of points into strength when you build your character, as well as pick perks that increase how much you can carry. This will mostly save you from ever having to worry about your pockets getting full! Just make certain you regularly sell, break down, or drop off unneeded items on your ship.

The other option is to pick a very specific perk. There’s a certain one that lets you fast travel even while encumbered. This is great, since even on the hardest difficulty you can always fast travel to the Unreliable. And there is a row of infinitely deep lockers inside your front door. Just transfer stuff into there if you can’t bear to part with it.

I don’t recommend choosing both of these options, though. They kind of cancel each other out. So it really comes down to personal preference. Carrying more stuff all the time means less hassle (you don’t have to return to your ship as often). Whereas the ability to fast travel whenever saves you perks and attributes. The choice is yours!

The Outer Worlds Tips Guide

Swap to Choose All Available Weapons – The Outer Worlds Tips

This one is another “hold to bring up a secret menu” tip. You can carry up to four weapons at a time in The Outer Worlds. However, by default, you just swap through all four of them — one after another. That’s not very efficient. It can even get you killed, in some cases! Thankfully, there’s a more convenient way to go about things.

Just hold down the swap button. This tip is actually hidden in a random loading screen menu, but otherwise isn’t totally obvious. Pressing and holding will slow down time (similar to Tactical Time Dilation) and let you specifically select any of your four weapons. It’s a much smoother experience.

Speed Upgrades Are Great for Melee Builds – The Outer Worlds Tips

There are two perks that I basically recommend for everyone: walking speed up and running speed up. You can basically never go wrong with either of them. Who doesn’t want to get from point A to point B faster? But those who use melee builds should especially take note. The biggest danger for close-up builds in The Outer Worlds is getting shot before you reach your target. More speed mitigates that.

Check the ‘Quest’ Section of Shops – The Outer Worlds Tips

If you’re on the hunt for Science Weapons (those unique items that are one-per-playthrough), you want to check with vendors. The game will kinda-sorta point you in this direction when searching for the Prismatic Hammer. But the wording is… awkward. Basically: vendors have a sub-section of stock for quest items. You can literally just buy quest markers to special gear! When speaking to them, just tab over to that specially marked section and see if anything is for sale. If not, no worries! But if there is something, odds are good that you want it.

You Can Turn Off Helmets – The Outer Worlds Tips

This might be less of a “tip” and more like a… nice little detail? Basically, you can turn off helmets for both your own character and your companions. The former doesn’t really do much. You almost never see your own character’s face. But I personally like to see my cool, friendly characters when we’re just walking and talking around the world. It looks odd to see two static, metal masks jabbering at each other when characters decide to pipe up with — and against — each other. Just head to the game’s settings and adjust the helmet situation however you like. Or leave it! It’s up to you, but it’s also an option.

The Outer Worlds Tips Guide

Companion Abilities Really Wreck Shop – The Outer Worlds Tips

Your allies are powerful, uh… allies. I mean it! They give fantastic boosts to your passive skills (hacking, lockpicking, etc.), increase your weight limit, and add much-needed context to story beats. You can choose not to use them, but that’s really doing yourself a disservice. And that’s doubly true in combat. The Outer Worlds doesn’t really tutorialize companions’ active abilities (they’re tied to right and left on the D-pad on console). But they’re still way more useful than you might think.

Besides doing damage, active skills almost always apply some kind of debuff. Knockdowns and reduced armor are especially good. Using an ability also freezes time for you, the player, but not your enemies! That way you can avoid taking a big hit that might otherwise kill you. At the same time, your other ally will continue to attack as if nothing has changed. The cost of all this power? It’s basically nothing! Abilities are on a cooldown. That’s about it. That means they can also save you ammo and weapon durability. Make sure you use these skills as often as possible.

Play on Hard Difficulty – The Outer Worlds Tips

The Outer Worlds is not a tremendously hard game. That’s kind of a shame, really! Many elements of the combat (like the aforementioned ally abilities and Tactical Time Dilation) kind of fall by the wayside when things get too easy. If you’re not here for the combat, that’s totally fine. However, if you’d rather not sleepwalk your way through the game, you should definitely bump it up to “Hard.” The game itself will even say that those who play other first-person shooters should take advantage of this difficulty setting.

On the bright side: you can adjust the difficulty up and down mid-game! That means you can adjust things either way, if it doesn’t feel right for you. The only thing you can’t alter at will is the special survival mode difficulty. That’s the setting which makes you get hungry, thirsty, need to sleep, and so on. Everything else is fair game.

Tap, Tap, Tap Those Locks – The Outer Worlds Tips

When surrounded by hostile enemies, the game will notify you if someone can see you. There are stealth notifications over each of their heads. But what about when you’re the one starting shit? Specifically, how are you supposed to tell if someone can see you trying to steal something? Well, it’s pretty hard to do for items that are just laying on the ground (or on shelves, tables, counters, etc.).

But that’s not true for locked doors! Any locked object or entrance that you’re not supposed to access will take at least one second to pick. If you try to do so, but only tap the action button instead of holding it, you will get a very quick indication of who can and cannot see you doing this heinous action. They won’t interrupt you right away, either! It takes a second or two (usually the time it takes to finish) before anyone reacts. Therefore, by tapping away at locks, you can tell if you’re in the clear or not.

And there you have it! Those are our tips for playing The Outer Worlds. We hope they help you get a head start on your journey to overthrow late capitalism… in space. Best of luck out there, stranger!


Steven Strom

Senior Managing Editor of Fanbyte. Everyone else at the site should listen to their recommendations sooner, honestly.

Related Articles


  1. How do you switch weapons? You mentioned the swap button…but I can’t find it! It won’t let me unequip my first gun.

    1. It’s Triangle on PlayStation and Y on Xbox One. For the PC, you can spin the scroll wheel of your mouse to swap between weapons, or click the wheel in to bring up the slow-mo menu!

  2. I’m in awe of how quickly you guys get these tips articles up when a game releases. Very impressive. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Thanks very much! Getting the games ahead of release helps, lol. But it’s still a lot of work sometimes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.