Best builds and character creation in The Outer Worlds

Learn everything about creating the perfect character build in The Outer Worlds, from Attribute point assignment to skills and your aptitude.


The Outer Worlds has an extremely detailed character creation process. This lets players craft the perfect character, capable of smooth-talking their way out of a jam, or shooting their way out if that's the preferred path. The Attributes and Skills play a huge role in crafting your character, so understanding these is critical. Similarly, the Aptitude is also important for small bumps in skill.

Character Creation – The Outer Worlds

At the start of The Outer Worlds, you will be greeted with a plethora of stats to tweak and points to assign. It can be overwhelming at first, but bask in that because this is the most important step of your journey.

There are three main areas to focus on during this process: Attributes, Skills, and Aptitude. These areas heavily influence how you will experience the first several hours of The Outer Worlds. Keep in mind, decisions you make here can be slowly altered later by leveling up, but it will take a while.

Attributes – Body, Mind, Personality

The Outer Worlds Attributes

The Attributes page is the first one you will see in The Outer Worlds. This page shows three headings (Body, Mind, and Personality) each with two sub-headings (Strength and Dexterity, Intelligence and Perception, Charm and Temperament). You can increase these attributes along a 5-point scale from Below Average to Very High.

Each attribute directly affects six skills. You will want to assign points to an attribute that is related to how you want to play. Remove points from attributes that do not interest you and assign them areas that do. However, having a stat at Below Average incurs a penalty.

As for how Attributes affect Skills, it’s rather simple. For every point you place in an Attribute, you gain points in the skills it affects. However, it’s not linear. The greatest jump comes from the fourth point:

  • 1 Attribute point = 3 skill points
  • 2 Attribute points = 6 skill points
  • 3 Attribute points = 10 skill points
  • 4 Attribute points = 15 skill points

If you really like a specific skill, you can potentially assign 8 points to it by increasing the two Attributes that govern it. For example, Lie is affected by both Charm and Temperament. If those are both raised by 4 points to Very High, you can have the Lie skill at 30.

You can always jump back and forth between the Attributes and Skills page. Assign all the Attribute points, see how they affect the Skills, and then jump back to change it around.

Strength Dexterity Intelligence Perception Charm Temperament
1-Handed Melee x x
2-Handed Melee x x
Handguns x x
Long Guns x x
Heavy Weapons x x
Dodge x x
Block x x
Persuade x x
Lie x x
Intimidate x x
Sneak x x
Hack x x
Lockpick x x
Medical x x
Science x x
Engineering x x
Inspiration x x
Determination x x

Body – Strength

Strength affects Melee Damage, Carrying Capacity, and Tactical Time Dilation Move Time. The penalty for Below Average Strength is that Tactical Time Dilation drains twice as fast. At max Strength, you gain 30% Melee Damage and 140kg Carrying Capacity.

Body – Dexterity

Dexterity governs your Melee Weapon Attack Speed, Ranged Weapon Reload Speed, and Weapon Durability. At Below Average, your weapons will degrade faster. At maximum Dexterity, you’ll gain 30% Melee Weapon Attack Speed and -3% Ranged Weapon Reload Speed.

Mind – Intelligence

Intelligence’s main effect is Critical Damage. To make matters worse, having a Below Average Intelligence makes your character exceptionally dumb, unlocking dumb dialogue options. At max, you gain 35% Critical Damage.

Mind – Perception

Perception affects your ability to deal extra damage on headshots and weakspots. With minimum Perception, these hits do no extra damage. At max, you gain 35% Bonus to Extra Headshot and Weakspot Damage.

Personality – Charm

Charm dictates your Companion’s abilities, the amount of positive rep you gain in each faction, and how much reputation you lose whenever you piss off a faction. At its worst, you have a significant penalty to your rep gains. When maxed out, you gain 40% Companion Ability Refresh, 35% Positive Faction Reputation Reactions, and a 35% decrease in Negative Faction Reputation Reactions.

Personality – Temperament

Temperament governs your health regeneration. This is extremely useful during and between combat. A Below Average Temperament means you gain no health regeneration while at max you gain 7.5 points per second.

Skills and Special Effects

The Outer Worlds Skills

There are 18 different skills in The Outer Worlds, and each one can be upgraded from 0 to 100. As mentioned above, if you’re particularly interested in one skill, it can be raised to 30 before you even reach the Skills page.

The skills are separated in several groups. From this point on, to upgrade a skill you must upgrade an entire group. Once a skill within a group reaches 50 points, you must upgrade each skill individually.

For every 20 points in a skill, it unlocks a special effect. These can be seen on the right-side of the screen when a skill is highlighted. For example, when Sneak reaches 40, you can pickpocket humans while sneaking, which is one of our tips for The Outer Worlds.

Before you even start The Outer Worlds, it’s possible to get a skill to 40. The reason for this is that during the Skills part of the character creation process, you get 2 Skill Points to assign. These raise a group of skills by 10 points. Using the example from above, if you managed to get your Lie skill to 30, you could increase it to 40 by assigning a Skill Point to the Dialog group.

Skills Noice - 20 Points Competent - 40 Points Adept - 60 Points Expert - 80 Points Master - 100 Points
1-Handed Melee Power and Sweep Attacks TTD location hit effects 1-Handed Melee Weapon reach +30% 1-Handed Melee Weapon TTD drain -50% Power and Sweep attack chance to stun +25%
2-Handed Melee Power and Sweep Attacks TTD location hit effects 2-Handed Melee Weapon attacks are unblockable 2-Handed Melee Weapon TTD drain -50% Power and Sweep attack chance to knockdown +25%
Handguns TTD location hit effects Handgun critical damage +50% Minimum armor penetration damage +10% Debuffed enemy critical chance +20% Handgun critical hits ignore 100% armor
Long Guns TTD location hit effects Long Guns critical damage +50% Long Guns headshot/weakspot damage +20% Deadly Focus: No weapon sway for 5 seconds after each kill Long Gun critical hits ignore 100% armor
Heavy Weapons TTD location hit effects Heavy Weapons critical damage +50% Heavy Weapons reload speed +30% Heavy Weapon Frenzy: Critical hits increase rate of fire +30% for 3 seconds Heavy Weapon critical hits ignore 100% armor
Dodge Unlock abiliity to Leap (dodge forward) Dodge recovery speed +100% Dodge Protection: +30% armor rating for 5 seconds after every hit Dodge Force: After dodging, your next melee attack gains damage +50% Dodge Penetration: After dodging, your next weak spot hit within 5 seconds has a 50% chance to ignore armor
Block Perfect Block: Block just before you get hit to stagger your attacker Weapon durability loss from blocking -25% Walk speed while blocking +100% No weapon durability loss on a perfect block Perfect blocks weaken opponents, increasing the damage they take by +100% for 5 seconds
Persuade Cower: Humans have a 20% chance to cower in fear for 3 seconds after the first time you hit them Cower duration +7 seconds Cowered target's armor -50% Human cower chance +10% When a human cowers, you gain +25% armor for 10 seconds
Lie Scramble: 15% chance automechanicals will slowly attack other enemies instead of you for 10 seconds Scramble duration +7 seconds Scrambled automechanicals attack at their normal speed Automechanical scramble chance +10% Scrambled automechanicals weakspot damage +30%
Intimidate Terrify: 20% chance creatures will become terrified and flee for 10 seconds after you kill one Terrify's area of effect +100% Terrified creature movement speed -30% Creature terrify chance +10% Terrifying a creature gives 10 seconds crit chance +5% and critical damage +25%
Sneak Sneak Attack: Attack unaware enemies while crouched to deal bonus damage Pickpocket: Steal from humans while sneaking Crouch move speed +25% Sneak attack weakspot damage +20% Sneak attacks ignore +50% of the target's armor
Hack Unlock the ability to sell goods to vending machines Unlock access to Restricted Items in vending machines Hack automechanicals: Turn them off for 3 seconds Automechanical detection range -30% Hack automechanical distance +2.5m (5m total)
Lockpick Doors and containers requiring 1 Mag-Pick to unlock are free to open Find +25% more bits in containers Lockpick Preview: See what is inside locked containers Lockpicking speed is increased to nearly instant Find Pristine Item Chance +100%
Medical Unlock the second drug mixing slot for the Inhaler Unlock the third drug mixing slot for the Inhaler Hostile effect duration on targets +50% Unlock the fourth drug mixing slot for the Inhaler Damage bonus vs humans +20%
Science Tinker: Improve your weapons and armor in the workbench Tinkering cost -50% Corrosion damage +25% and N-ray damage +25% Tinkering cost for Science Weapons is capped Further reduce tinkering cost to -90%
Engineering Field Repair: Repair weapons and armor in the inventory Break down weapons anda rmor for a 20% chance to extract a basic mod 20% chance items you repair will become Pristine, increasing value and durability Break down weapons anda rmor for a 10% chance to extract a rare mod Damage vs automechanicals +20%
Inspiration Compaion Abilities: You can order companions to do special attacks Companions gain +20% armor rating Companion skill bonus to player skills +100% Inspired Precision: When companions kill an enemy, the party gains critical hit chance +20% for 5 seconds When companions kill an enemy, all companion ability cooldowns -20%
Determination The Inhaler heals you and your companions, but they get 30% of the healing effect Companion critical damage +20% Companions get an additional 25% of the Inhaler's healing effect Resolve: If a companion is downed, party gains +50% armor rating and damge +50% for 10 seconds When companions kill an enemy, the gain 50% health

Aptitude Test

The Outer Worlds Aptitude

Part of creating a character in The Outer Worlds is taking an Aptitude test. While this isn’t actually a test, you do get to choose your character’s aptitude based on a small story. There are 15 options to choose from, and you can only pick one. Each option affects your character in some minor way:

  1. “No Discernable Aptitude” – Determination +1
  2. Beverage Service Technician – Drink Effect Duration +3%
  3. Bureaucrat, Rank 0 – Block +1
  4. Cashier, Sub-Grade, Non-Supervisory – Persuade +1
  5. Construction, Electrician Class, Wire Spooler – Shack Damage Received -3%
  6. Elevator Operations Specialist – Engineering +1
  7. Factory Worker, Conveyor Operator – Dodge +1
  8. Farmer, Dirt – N-ray Damage Received -3%
  9. Food Additive Tester – Food Effect Duration +3%
  10. Janitor, Sanitation Class – Corrosion Damage Received -3%
  11. Tossball Team Mascot – Inspiration +1
  12. Medical Technician, Junior Grade – Medical +1
  13. Safety Inspector – Plasma Damage Received -3%
  14. Scientist Assistant, Level 0, Class A – Science +1
  15. Sub Sous Chef – 1-Handed Melee +1

Best Builds – The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds Best Builds

In terms of the best builds in The Outer Worlds, there are an infinite number ways you can go. How you choose to play will be different to every other player out there, but there are some good starting points.

Keep in mind that if you don’t like your character’s stats, you can always change them over the course of the game when you level up. Alternatively, start a new character!

Sneak Build

A build that centers on sneaking is one that will allow you to avoid combat wherever possible. For this build, focus on your Dexterity and Temperament, as this will allow you to get to 30 Sneak, 40 if you assign points to Stealth. From here, some points in Lie could help you be a thief or points in the Long Gun stat could help you be a sneaky archer type.

Brawler Build

For those that like to get in and play the melee game, points in Strength, Dexterity, and Temperament are the way to go. These three govern the 1- and 2-Handed Melee abilities, as well as block. There are a lot of melee weapons, each with some interesting effects, making this a viable option.

Dialogue Build

Anyone that wants to go the route of a conversational silver-tongued master should dump points into Intelligence and Charm, for the ultimate persuasive character. Persuade falls under the Dialog skill, of which Lie and Intimidate also call home. These are affected by Charm, Temperament, and Strength. However, for the really funny build, avoid Intelligence altogether, in fact, reduce it to Below Average and you’ll unlock bonus “dumb dialog”.

Gunman Build

A Gunman build is your classic first-person shooter, gun-solves-problems type. There are three skills that govern guns: Handguns, Long Guns, and Heavy Weapons. The Perception attribute affects all three, while Dexterity and Intelligence affect Handguns and Long Guns respectively. Depending on how you’d like to play, pick a mixture that suits you.

Regardless of the type of build you want to use in The Outer Worlds, there are a few skills that are pretty valuable. Any Dialog-based skill is going to help you in conversations and any Stealth skill is going to help you with hacking and lockpicking.

Designing the perfect character build in The Outer Worlds takes a bit of work. In saying this, the time you invest into crafting your character will be paid off when it comes to actually playing. Take the time to really dig into the Attributes and Skills during the character creation, as these will play a huge role in your build. Check out the Shacknews The Outer Worlds guide and walkthrough for even more resources.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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