Create your perfect Outer Worlds character with these perks

the outer worlds perks
(Image credit: Obsidian)

The Outer Worlds' perk system lets you be pretty much anyone you want as you wander the capitalist colony of Halcyon. You can lie and steal to your heart's content, and then get away with it all as a charismatic mischief-maker. You could also prefer be a grumpy science type who is handier with a sniper rifle than they are chatting people up. Or you could be someone so stupid they can hardly utter a coherent sentence.

Much of this you will have decided before you were awoken from cryosleep by shifty scientist, Phineas Welles, but perks in The Outer Worlds are a nice way of hammering your perfect build into shape over the course of your story. You can ameliorate some of your character's weakness, go full min-max, or just see where your mood takes you. Here are all The Outer Worlds' perks, and which you should choose.

The Outer Worlds perks list

Below you will find all the perks you can select to upgrade your adventurer. You gain a perk point not every level as you'd expect, but on every even level. Levels 2, 4, 6, and so on. Perks also come in three tiers, each ascending in effectiveness. After spending five points you'll have the freedom to pick from the subsequent tier. Here they are:

Tier 1

  • Toughness: Base health increased by 50%
  • Slow the World: Max Tactical Time Dilation meter increased by 25%
  • Lone Wolf: Damage when alone increased by 25%
  • Strider: Walk speed increased by 25%
  • Cheetah: Sprint speed increased by 20%
  • High Maintenance: Armor/weapon durability loss slowed by 25%
  • Precision: Companion crit chance increased by 15%
  • The Negotiator: Vendor prices decreased by 20%
  • Deadly Demonstrations: XP from companion kills increased by 50%
  • Traveler: Unlock the ability to fast travel when encumbered
  • Quick and the Dead: Tactical Time Dilation recharge rate increased by 50%
  • Pack Mule: Carrying capacity increased by 50kg
  • A Few Bits More: Additional ammo stock on vendors increased by 100%, additional consumable and general stock on vendors increased by 100%
  • Resilient: Base armor rating increased by 5

Tier 2

  • Run and Gun: Movement penalty to accuracy reduced by 65%
  • The Reaper: Tactical Time Dilation restored per kill increased by 25%
  • Weird Science: Science weapon damage increased by 50%
  • Speed Demon: Movement speed during Tactical Time Dilation increased by 25%
  • Scanner: Bonus to headshot/weak spot damage increased by 20%
  • The Collector: Interactable highlight range increased by 5 meters
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Vendor buying price increased by 20%
  • We Band of Brothers: Chance to reset companion ability cooldown on critical hit increased by 25%
  • Tag Team: Chance to reset companion ability when using another companion’s ability increased by 25%
  • Rolling Thunder: Companion ability cooldown for each of your kills decreased by 20%
  • Harvester: Health restored per kill increased 15%
  • Hoarder: Consumable weight decreased by 50%
  • Pack of Pack Mules: Carrying capacity bonus from companions increased by 40kg
  • Soliloquy: Dialog skills increased by 10 when alone

Tier 3

  • Wild Science: Science weapon damage increased by 50%
  • Steady Hand: Ranged weapon sway and movement penalty to accuracy decreased by 100% after killing an enemy
  • Confidence: Your next attack after killing an enemy is a guaranteed critical hit.
  • Armor Master: Armor rating bonus increased by 10% and skill bonus increased by 100% from an armor worn
  • Super Pack Mule: Carrying capacity increased by 100kg
  • Tactical Master: Movement speed increased by 70% during Tactical Time Dilation for 5 seconds
  • Revenge: Damage increased by 20% when affected by a harmful combat effect
  • Last Stand: Damage increased by 30% when under 25% health
  • Boom, Headshot!: Headshot kills deal 25% damage to enemies within 2.5 metres.
  • Don’t Go Dyin’ On Me: Using the inhaler revives companions to 25% health on a 15 minute cooldown
  • Penetrating Shots: Ranged attacks inflict -1 armor rating for 10 seconds and can stack multiple times
  • Thick Skin: AoE damage and plasma damage received decreased by 15%
  • Tit For Tat: 15% of melee damage returned as health
  • Solo Sneaker: Detection radius of enemies decreased by 33%

As you can see, pretty much of all the perks in the game are fairly simple, so there are clear ways to amplify your character's strengths or make them more well-rounded. I went for an intelligent hero who specialises in hacking and ranged weapons. I gave myself an extra perk point by reducing his strength. Frequently being encumbered became annoying, so I invested in Traveler to allow myself to fast travel when encumbered, and increased my carrying capacity with Pack Mule.

Equally, given my proficiencies in ranged weapons, I boosted those Penetrating Shots and Confidence to focus on damage dealing. And with my anemic stature in mind, Last Stand was a pretty handy way of scraping through a tough scrap.

There's plenty here when it comes to companions, too. If you prefer to role solo, make sure you pick up Soliloquy to up your speech abilities and Lone Wolf to make up for the damage your traveling chums will have been doing for you otherwise. If you're a people person, check out Tag Team and Rolling Thunder in the Tier 2 category to beef up the unique combat abilities of your squad. Whichever role you choose to play, The Outer Worlds' perk system complements its skills system well enough to offer something for you.

Harry Shepherd

UK — After collecting and devouring piles of print gaming guides in his younger days, Harry has been creating 21st century versions for the past five years as Guides Writer at PCGamesN and Guides Editor at PC Gamer. He has also produced features, reviews, and even more guides for Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and Top Ten Reviews. He's been playing and picking apart PC games for over two decades, from hazy memories of what was probably a Snake knock-off on his first rig when he was seven to producing informative guides on football simulators, open-world role-playing games, and shooters today. So many by now he steadfastly refuses to convey information unless it’s in clickable online form.