Creating a character in The Outer Worlds can be a daunting process. Right at the beginning of the game, you have to think about base attributes and skills, and once you're off on your adventure, levelling up and bringing peace (or chaos) to Halcyon, you've got to start thinking about perks. There are a lot of different ways to play The Outer Worlds, and finding a style that suits you can take some time.
It's a good idea, then, to visualise the kind of character that you want to be before you get started -- and this is where our character builds guide enters the equation. In this guide, we're going to highlight a wide range of character builds that will hopefully help you find success across Halcyon.
Note that the character builds featured in this guide are not the be-all and end-all when it comes to building your dream hero and/or villain. Many of these builds are designed to be expanded upon or tweaked to suit your needs, but hopefully, our character builds can give you something to work with right off the bat.
The Outer Worlds Character Builds - What You Need to Know About Attributes, Skills, and Perks
Before we dig into the character builds themselves, we need to go over how skills and perks work in The Outer Worlds. The bottom line here is that both skill points and perk points are limited. You only get enough skill points to truly specialise in a few areas, and so making an unstoppable all-round character just isn't possible. You can, of course, distribute your skill points across a load of different categories, but seeing as skill checks get higher and higher as the game goes on, you're better off picking a small set of key skills that you want to focus on. Doing so is great for replay value, too.
The level cap in The Outer Worlds is 30. Every time that you level up, you get 10 skill points, and every other level, you get a perk point. Once you hit 30, you ain't getting any more skill or perk points.
- You get a total of 290 skill points.
- You get a total of 15 perk points.
- The maximum level for each individual skill is 100.
It should also be pointed out that after assigning your attributes at the very start of the game, you're given 2 special skill points to use right away. Each of these 2 points add a whole 10 points to all skills under a skill category of your choosing. Use them wisely by boosting the key skills that you want to use.
Your starting skill levels are determined by your attributes. For example, having a high Strength attribute boosts your 1-Handed Melee skill. Having a high Dexterity attribute boosts your Dodge skill. When first creating your character, it's best to pay close attention to the skills that are listed for each attribute. Think about the skills that you want to focus on as you're assigning attributes.
How to Respec your character in The Outer Worlds
If you're not happy with how you've distributed your skill and perk points, you can always reallocate them using the Vocational Competence Respecification Machine that's located opposite the engine room aboard your ship, The Unreliable.
Using the machine costs bits (in-game currency), and the more times you respec, the more bits you'll have to pay. If you do choose to respec, you'll get all of your spent skill and perk points refunded, but you cannot alter your attributes. In other words, make sure that your attributes are to your liking when first creating your character, because there's no going back.
The Outer Worlds Character Builds
Now then, it's time to talk about character builds. Below, you'll find a bunch of builds that have recommended attributes, skills, and perks. Again, these character builds aren't meant to be the ultimate answer to every style of play, but at the very least, they should provide a solid foundation for you to work with.
Big and Dumb
Big and Dumb is a simple build that's exactly what it sounds like -- big and dumb. It's a melee-based build that hits things first and asks questions later. Heck, you might not even ask questions at all, given your lack of communication skills.
- Strength - Maximise your melee damage
- Dexterity - Swing your melee weapons faster
- Temperament - Faster health regeneration is always good for a melee build
- 2-Handed Melee - Heavier melee weapons are your go-to damage dealers, with most of them offering knockdown or stagger effects
- Block - Reducing incoming damage keeps you big and dumb for longer
- Toughness - More health is an easy choice
- Resilient - You're probably going to opt for heavy armour anyway, so additional damage resistance can't hurt
- Harvester - Restoring health on every kill gives you more freedom to act big and dumb during combat
- Armor Master - Yet more damage resistance for those tough fights
- Revenge - You're big and you're slow, so you're probably going to get hit with some status effects now and then. Revenge increases your damage when you're suffering such an effect
- Last Stand - Yet more damage. Big and Dumb is all about running in and bashing enemies with next to no planning -- being rewarded for your stupidity seems fitting
- Tit for Tat - Stacks well with Harvester. Gives you health whenever you hit with a melee attack
The Ranger build is all about patrolling the dangerous wilderness of Halcyon with your trusty rifle. You excel at mid-range combat, and your calm but serious demeanour lets you talk your way out of trouble on occasion.
- Intelligence - Perfect for the bonuses to both Long Guns and Persuade
- Perception - More Long Guns gains, and the bonus headshot/weakspot damage is great for an accurate rifle user
- Charm - Not as necessary as Intelligence and Perception, but if you're looking to specialise in the Persuade skill, it's worth it
- Long Guns - Long Guns, like hunting rifles and assault rifles, are your weapons of choice due to their solid performance and additional bonuses to headshot/weakspot damage
- Persuade - Violence is sometimes a last resort for The Ranger, who'll often try to convince aggressors to stand down if possible
- Slow the World - Longer Tactical Time Dilation means more time to pick your shots
- Strider - Strider increases your base movement speed, which is great when you're trying to keep a reasonable distance between you and your opponent as The Ranger
- Quick and the Dead - Make the most of TDD with this perk
- Run and Gun - As The Ranger, you're going to be doing a lot of strafing to find the best angles. Run and Gun keeps your accuracy in check
- Scanner - More weakspot damage when you're using TDD
- Steady Hand - Yet more accuracy when you're on the move, although you'll have to score a kill to trigger it
- Penetrating Shots - Great for weapons like assault rifles, as each hit reduces your enemy's armour
The Walking Tank is another simple build that's hard to kill and dishes out big damage with heavy weapons. The goal is to destroy your opponents without mercy long before they whittle your health away.
- Strength - The heavier the weapons, the better, and you'll have the weight capacity to carry them along with your heavy armour
- Perception - Additional bonuses to heavy weapons, and the extra headshot/weakspot damage certainly doesn't hurt
- Temperament - Bonus health regeneration can go a long way when you're stuck reloading your machine gun
- Heavy Weapons - Big guns like machine guns, grenade launchers, and plasma casters are your instruments of mass destruction
- Toughness - More health? Yes please
- Resilient - Damage resistance so that you never have to stop shooting
- Harvester - Health gains for kills, and you're gonna be doing a lot of killing
- Confidence - Can be a big help when you're using hard hitting weapons like a grenade launcher. Confidence makes your next hit after a kill a guaranteed critical
- Armor Master - More damage resistance
- Penetrating Shots - With a heavy weapon like a machine gun, Penetrating Shots can be lethal
The Phantom Thief
The Phantom Thief build encourages you to kill your foes before they even know what's hit them -- or, if you're really committed, just sneak past them entirely. If you want to go stealthy, this is the build for you.
- Dexterity - Let's keep things quiet, eh? The bonus to melee weapon attack speed is nice, too
- Perception - You're going to be picking a lot of locks if you plan on staying hidden
- Temperament - Although you won't be needing additional health regen if you're avoiding combat, the Sneak boost is worth the investment
- 1-Handed Melee - Lighter melee weapons, like swords, are your weapons of choice. Fast swinging speed can be key to stealthy kills
- Dodge - When you need to quickly get out of sight or close the distance between you and the nearest exit, dodging can really come in handy
- Sneak - An obvious choice for this build, better Sneak means you're harder to spot, your sneak damage is boosted, and you can even move faster while crouching
- Lockpick - Make sure there's always a path forward through locked doors with a high Lockpick skill
- Strider - Your Sneak skill is already giving you faster crouching movement, and Strider makes you faster overall
- Cheetah - 20% more sprint speed shouldn't be overlooked. Great for getting out of tight spots, although you are supposed to be a Phantom Thief, remember
- Speed Demon - Increased movement speed while using TTD can really come in handy
- Tactical Master - When you activate TTD, you get an instant 70% bonus to your movement speed for 5 seconds. Perfect for avoiding sticky situations
The Diplomat build asks: why fire a gun when you can kill with words? Smooth talking your way to victory is always sweet, but sometimes charm isn't enough. That's your cue to feed the people barefaced lies.
- Intelligence - The people of Halcyon may be stupid, but you certainly aren't
- Charm - You can talk your way out of most situations, but if violence is the answer, Charm increases the damage that your allies deal
- Persuade - With a high enough Persuade skill, you can make even the most stubborn idiot listen to reason
- Lie - Sometimes the truth doesn't cut it
- Inspiration - Have your allies deal maximum damage when violence can't be avoided
- Precision - Give your allies increased critical hit chance, letting them mop up any who dare speak out against you
- Deadly Demonstrations - Ideally you won't have to do much killing yourself, so getting bonus experience from companion kills is a handy perk
- Tag Team - If you're lucky, Tag Team can potentially let you to spam your companion's abilities one after the other
- Don't Go Dyin' On Me! - How dare your loyal supporters fail in their duty to protect you. With this perk, you can revive your allies with a shot of your inhaler
The Apex Predator build is all about unrelenting savagery. Your enemies are either torn to shreds, or they're scared into submission.
- Strength - What kind of Apex Predator ignores maximum melee damage?
- Dexterity - Super strength doesn't mean you have to be slow. Pump that melee attack speed as high as possible until your foes have been smashed into a fine paste
- 1-Handed Melee - Rip and tear through your enemies with blades of your choosing
- 2-Handed Melee - When you need to stop something big in its tracks, bring out the bulkier weapons
- Dodge - With a high Dodge skill you can weave in and out of danger, finding the perfect opportunities to strike
- Intimidate - When someone isn't even worth your time, just scare them off with your terrifying presence
- Strider - Faster movement, faster kills
- Cheetah - Ah, the noble cheetah, a quick and deadly predator just like you
- The Reaper - The Reaper restores TTD when you kill an enemy, which is perfect for such a violent build
- Speed Demon - With his perk, you'll be but a blur to your unfortunate enemies
- Harvester - This is how you sustain yourself -- healing through the blood of your foes
- Confidence - Yet more lambs to the slaughter as your critical hits keep piling up
- Last Stand - The Apex Predator never dies, but if you're close, you deal extra damage
The Space Cowboy build is all about staying mobile, shooting from the hip, and bringing justice to the hellscapes of Halcyon. With a reliable revolver at your side and a charming persona, you're here to save the day while cracking wise.
- Dexterity - Increased reload speed makes revolvers pretty darn deadly
- Perception - With only six bullets to work with, you'll want to make each shot count, so bonus damage to weakspots is a good investment
- Charm - Your trusty handgun is all you usually need, but some situations require a little more tact
- Handguns - Quick and accurate kills are how Halcyon knows your name
- Dodge - Being such a bigshot isn't so easy when everyone's out to bring you down, so being able to dodge your way out of trouble can be a huge help, especially if you're up against multiple opponents
- Persuade - Convincing people that you're in the right when you've just gunned down their friends is an underappreciated skill
- Slow the World - You've been playing too much Red Dead Redemption, and now you can't possibly fire a revolver without entering slow motion first
- Strider - Works well with a high Dodge skill, giving you better movement across the board
- Quick and the Dead - How can a gunslinging cowboy possibly pass up a perk with a name like this?
- Run and Gun - The Space Cowboy build focuses on quick movement and stylish gunplay, so reducing accuracy penalties while you're hopping around is a big help
- Steady Hand - Less accuracy penalties equals more fun when shooting from the hip
The Commander build is all about letting your allies do your dirty work as you look to control the battlefield from a preferably safe distance.
- Intelligence - If you're going to be a commander, you need to be able to analyse situations and plan accordingly. Bonuses to Medical (for your own sake) and Determination are the main points here
- Charm - Your allies will be doing most of the heavy lifting, but you can still use your words to navigate tricky situations
- Temperament - As a commander it's your duty to stay alive and maintain morale, so the additional health regeneration definitely comes in handy if any enemies do manage to get to you
- Persuade - You've persuaded your crew to lay down their lives in your service, so persuading the locals shouldn't be too hard
- Inspiration - Maximise the damage output of your allies and ensure that you have full control over their abilities, which you'll be making use of more often than not
- Determination - Your allies are going to be soaking up a lot of punishment, so ensuring that they can walk away in one piece is productive leadership
- Precision - Make your allies even more deadly
- Deadly Demonstrations - Gaining more experience from your allies' kills is a nice bonus when you're sitting back and watching the chaos unfold
- We Band of Brothers - You may be The Commander, but that doesn't mean you can't let off a few potshots here and there with your favourite gun. Get lucky with a critical hit and you have a chance of resetting the cooldown on your companions' abilities
- Tag Team - More opportunities to reset ability cooldowns. Coupled with the previous perk, you can have your allies dishing out one ability after another
- Rolling Thunder - Look, you're probably not getting many kills for yourself, but if you do happen to finish off a straggling foe, then you contribute to your companions' ability cooldowns
- Don't Go Dyin' On Me! - Ideally your allies aren't going to be dying under your command, but if they do, this perk has your back
The Big Brain build makes use of your extensive scientific knowledge. Your mind operates on a completely different level to those around you, allowing you to get the most out of your equipment. Particularly crazy science weapons are yours to play with, too.
- Intelligence - Intelligence governs all of the Big Brain build's key skills, so pump it as high as possible
- Charm - For whatever reason, the Science skill can also be influenced by Charm, so you don't have to be a totally unlikeable nerd
- Persuade - Your vast intellect lets you see the truth and convince others that you're right
- Hack - No one's going to keep you out with the pathetic security systems. No secret is safe
- Science - Increases you damage with plasma and shock weapons by a significant amount, while also boosting the effectiveness of science weapons, which are fantastic fun in the right hands
- High Maintenance - Keep your beloved science weapons in better shape with this perk
- Weird Science - A lovely 50% boost to the damage you deal with science weapons. This perk alone can turn them into especially lethal toys
- Wild Science - Another 50% boost to science weapon damage
The Professional build is all about getting the job done. You don't talk much, but with your pinpoint accuracy and underhanded tactics, you're the perfect agent for hire.
- Dexterity - Bonuses to handguns and sneak are worth it for this build, and the increased reload speed keeps you dangerous
- Perception - Nothing much gets past you, and every shot that you take is potentially lethal with increased headshot/weakspot damage
- Handguns - Fast and accurate, you pick your enemies off with precision. The bonus critical damage that the Handguns skill has to offer is no laughing matter
- Sneak - You don't always have to be stealthy with this build, but sneaking around lets you survey your surroundings and formulate the most efficient plan of action. Plus, you can get the jump on your enemies
- Lockpick - As if locked doors are going to stop The Professional
- Precision - With this perk, your allies will be much more professional
- Quick and the Dead - Get your TTD back much faster, allowing for more precise killing
- The Reaper - Great for cutting through whole groups of enemies via TTD
- Scanner - Stacked with the previous two perks, Scanner gives you some real damage via TTD
- Boom, Headshot! - With some practice, TTD is going to net you a lot of headshots, and this perk spreads the damage around to other enemies
The Survivalist build is all about getting the most out of your limited resources. Halcyon's a dangerous and often decrepit place, so you've adapted to your surroundings by prioritising your survival. You try to stay out of trouble, you're good at patching yourself up, and you're unmatched when it comes to equipment maintenance.
- Dexterity - Being fast with your hands can mean the difference between life and death, and you're not against sneaking around tough opponents
- Intelligence - Bonuses to the Medical skill is the main reason to be a smart Survivalist
- Temperament - More Medical bonuses, and the health regeneration is an obvious choice
- Sneak - As a Survivalist, you know when you're outmatched. Sneak around your troubles instead of facing them head-on
- Medical - If you do happen to get into a nasty scrape, the Medical skill lets you restore more health, and you gain quick access to all kinds of helpful drugs
- Engineering - Engineering lets you repair your weapons and armour with parts while you're out in the field
- Determination - It's not just you that wants to stay healthy, and so you use your survival skills to look out for your companions as well
- Toughness - More health is a must when you're desperate not to die
- High Maintenance - Take better care of your equipment with this perk
- Traveler - Weighed down with all that salvage? No problem, with Traveler you can fast travel even if you're over the weight limit. Sometimes survival is cheap
- Pack Mule - Must. Carry. More. Junk. Might. Come. In. Handy. One. Day
- Resilient - You take good care of your armour, and now it's taking good care of you
- Hoarder - Minus 50% consumable weight?! It's time to stockpile an insane amount of food and drugs
- Pack of Pack Mules - Now you've got your companions carrying your crap
- Super Pack Mule - An additional 100kg carrying capacity. It's Christmas for The Survivalist
- Thick Skin - You know what sucks? Splash damage. Thick Skin keeps you that little bit safer
The Deadeye build stacks headshot and weakpoint damage with critical hits, allowing you to pick enemies off from long range before they even know where you are.
- Intelligence - Intelligence cranks up that critical damage significantly
- Perception - Maximise your headshot damage while also boosting your Long Guns skill
- Long Guns - Long range rifles are your bread and butter -- that's hunting rifles or any other accurate long gun that you can slap a scope onto
- Dodge - In the event that enemies do manage to survive your initial assault, Dodge is great for repositioning yourself so that you can once again take aim from a safe distance
- Slow the World - More TTD to help you place your shots
- Quick and the Dead - Faster TTD recharge so that you can aim for the head in slow motion as often as possible
- The Reaper - Additional TTD whenever you pop someone's melon
- Scanner - Damage bonus while using TTD? Yes please
- Confidence - One shot, one kill. Over and over again
- Boom, Headshot! - You'll be getting plenty of these with a scoped rifle, so you might as well make the most of them
The Outlaw build is all about being a rough and tumble gunslinger. You're here for the bits, and you're more than happy to dirty your hands to get them. Whether it's taking on dangerous jobs or spilling innocent blood, you're a real piece of work.
- Dexterity - You're quite content with picking locks to earn your keep, and increased reload speed lets you stay on top of your enemies
- Perception - The Outlaw focuses on quick and nasty gunplay, so extra headshot/weakspot damage is an efficient bonus
- Charm - You may be a scoundrel, but you're not necessarily a monster. The Outlaw has charisma, even if you use it to lie
- Handguns - You're an Outlaw, of course you're going to whip out your favourite little blaster to paint the walls with someone's brains
- Long Guns - When peashooters don't cut it, it's time to wheel out more impactful weaponry
- Lie - You're not out to make friends, and so you're absolutely fine with lying to people when it's your neck on the line
- Lockpick - An Outlaw who robs people? Never saw that one coming
- Toughness - You're built to last
- Slow the World - You'll take all the time you need to cause chaos
- Cheetah - You know when to get the hell out of there
- Run and Gun - Move, shoot, move, shoot, all while keeping your aim as precise as possible
- Scanner - Make the most of TTD - make sure those punks aren't getting back up
- Harvester - Outlaws live for the thrill of the fight, and that thrill's pretty useful when it restores your health
- Confidence - What good's an Outlaw without a cocky attitude? Every kill gets you a critical hit so you can show 'em who's boss
The Lone Wanderer
The Lone Wanderer build is all about ditching those pointless companions and hitting the road alone. It focuses on all-round ability and perks that bolster a totally solo style of play.
- Intelligence - Intelligence governs a varied set of skills, which is good for this solo build
- Perception - Handguns, Long Guns, and Heavy Weapons are preferable to melee weapons for this build, since you're on your own
- Charm - Alone, you can quite easily be overwhelmed by large groups of enemies. If you can talk your way out of trouble, that's a win
- Long Guns - Long Guns offer the best all-round mix of damage, accuracy, and stopping power, so they seem like the best fit for The Lone Wanderer
- Persuade - Persuade can get you out of many a tight spot
- Science - Being able to boost the effectiveness of your weapons and armour should not be overlooked when you're flying solo
- Toughness - You're doing this alone, so you've got to be sturdy
- Lone Wolf - An additional, hefty chunk of damage when you're alone
- Cheetah - With no other targets to aim for, your enemies are going to be gunning for you. Cheetah lets you run away and resposition during tough fights
- Soliloquy - Without allies by your side, Soliloquy enhances your dialogue skills, which can really come in handy
- Armour Master - Damage resistance is great, but this perk also enhances any skills that your armour has, allowing you to broaden or further enhance your talents
- Super Pack Mule - No companions means no extra carrying weight, so Super Pack Mule can be a big help
- Revenge - With no one else to aim at, enemies will be hitting you with status effects every now and then. At least with this perk, you get a nice damage buff
- Last Stand - Look, alone, you're gonna be taking damage, and the attack bonus you get from Last Stand when you're at death's door is worth it
- Solo Sneaker - Greatly reduces the detection radius of enemies when you're sneaking by yourself. Great for getting through especially dangerous areas
I've just bought this from the PS store because it was the same price everywhere. I'm well getting on it in the wee hours.
@Rick_Deckard No photo mode, sadly.
@ShogunRok thanks for this, the big brain is tempting, how good are the science weapons?
@carlos82 They typically don't do as much straight-up damage as your usual weapons, but they have weird and useful side effects (although some of them are just dumb for the sake of being dumb). The science weapon perks make them totally viable either way.
@ShogunRok Appreciate the guide, last thing I want to do when starting it at midnight is spending the hour deciding which character build I want to settle with before going to bed. After reading the review about its satisfying gun-play, I’m thinking of sticking with The Ranger.
@MaccaMUFC The Ranger's basically the build I used for my first run, although I also put points into Handguns and Lie. I found it to be quite a safe but entertaining build.
I'll probably be going for a combination of Big Brain, Deadeye, The Commander, and a bit of Diplomat. I'm going to do my best to roleplay largely as myself since there seems to be a lot of freedom to do so in The Outer Worlds. So it'll be interesting to see how that pans out. Still undecided on what difficulty I'll want to play on.
Great guide. I am going with the ranger build myself but also pumped some points into medical cause that's just me.
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