Outriders classes: Pros, cons, and early impressions

I've been spending some time in co-op and solo in Outriders and have some thoughts on which classes are fun for both styles of play.

JohnnyChugs

Outriders is out now, and despite server issues, my friends and I have had a lot of time to fiddle around in it. The game is fun. I enjoy it for all of the reasons I enjoyed Remnant: From the Ashes, but with the pedigree that launched Bulletstorm and Gears of War readily apparent here. This is not a review though. That's on the way. This is about Outriders' classes.

It's easy to be frozen up in the choice at the start and moreso because currently Outriders doesn't let you change your class after you've made your decision. You're stuck with it on that character. Bummer, and I think that will change in time, but for now it is what it is. And so I thought I'd lend some aid in choosing by discussing what are the best and worst aspects of each character, what makes them a firm choice and where they falter for both co-op and solo aspects. This is definitely my personal opinion, but if it helps players towards their choice, I'm happy to help out. Here we go.

Outriders classes: Pros, cons, & early impressions

Technomancer

Pros

  • The sniper class and early bonuses for long range
  • Tons of interrupt, crowd control, and cover-breaking abilities
  • Turret is great for drawing aggro from you and teammates
  • Frost makes for some delightfully easy and messy kill animations

Cons

  • Very, very limited in close-quarters
  • most early abilities need some time to set up before the fight gets near you
  • Healing factor is perhaps the weakest and most generalized without later abilities

Simply put, the Technomancer is the long range support class, and everything above should tell you why. They are excellent for offering damage supplements, distracting enemies from your friends, pushing enemies out of cover, and interrupting bosses from casting their big attacks. You can even play healer later on with an ability that heals you and your squad in a pinch. If you want to play sniper, this is the class to go as they also get lots of long range bonuses and the ability to specialize in Sniper Rifles early.

The issue, of course, is that up-close fighting is trouble for a Technomancer. They don't have a lot of means to escape, most of their abilities can't just be thrown out erratically, and their healing factor is existent, but not specialized like the other classes. It will be hard, but not impossible to play a Technomancer in solo in comparison to the other classes, but I'd argue they might be one of the most versatile and important classes for teamplay because of how much support they can deliver to teammates who are getting up close and personal.

While all classes have status effect abilities, Technomancers have access to the best variety of the bunch. Their turret and melee apply Freeze effects, they can get a Poison buff for bullets, and perhaps most imporantly, they can upgrade that poison ability to apply Vulnerability as well. Vulnerability makes enemies take more damage from all sources, be it the Technomancer or their teammates. For the ability to freeze up and weaken foes in addition to all the interference you can run, definitely consider this class a mandatory and rewarding must-have in co-op.

Pyromancer

Pros

  • Lots of area-of-effect attacks to whittle down large groups
  • Kills on marked enemies delivery tons of health restore
  • Good for both short and long-range engagements in both skills and weapon specialization
  • Turning enemies into living bombs is a blast (literally)
  • Good overall DoT

Cons

  • Doesn't quite have the stand-out specialization of long range or short range combat that other classes have (jack of all trades, master of none)
  • Most abilities and skills are simply damage-based with little actual crowd control
  • Healing is reliant on marking enemies and killing them, which can be trouble in single enemy boss scenarios
  • Has early interrupts, but not as good as Technomancer or Devastator

This is kind of the jack-of-all trades damage-over-time class. By investing in the Pyromancer, you're investing in a class that should eventually be safe to handle themselves in most situations. Burn is a great damage supplement, you can turn foes into living bombs, and will eventually get good skills to interrupt foes.

I think the main issue with the Pyromancer is that you're also investing in a class that can do it all, but isn't quite as good at it as any of the others. Technomancer can interrupt and do long range damage better. Trickster is great for burst damage and has a better heal factor up front. Devestator both buff its own defense and its killing abilities can aid whole squads. That said, Pyromancers are great for attacking whole groups at once with some of the best pure damage-over-time. On the flipside that also leaves them at odds with a strong single-target situation like a boss.

Ultimately, I think this class is a good balanced class for solo or teamplay if you just want to set critters aflame without worrying too much about specialization. Just beware your limits the stronger single-target situations.

Trickster

Pros

  • Best burst damage in the game
  • Gets the most out of shotguns
  • Healing factor offers a shield to sponge up damage
  • Can zip out of danger in a pinch
  • Time abilities create breathing room in even the tightest spots

Cons

  • Time abilities have some of the longest cooldowns, leaving close combat dangerous without them
  • Somewhat limited in both skills and abilities for long range engagement
  • Most abilities require diving directly into the middle of danger and risk, especially with bosses

The Trickster is a time and slow based class that specializes in quick entry, devastating burst damage, and exits out of a situation. Their healing factor is one of the best in the game because they build up a damage soaking shield in addition to restoring health. However, perhaps most important is that they have an ability that casts a bubble in their immediate area that slows everything caught in it to a crawl and even slows enemy gunfire being shot into the bubble for easy dodging.

Pair this ability with one where you can zip behind a targeted foe, immediately gain a shield, and deploy the slow bubble in tandem and the Trickster becomes a deadly and versatile close-range combtant. Tricksters especially shred with shotguns, which you can specialize in with a skill pretty early in your build. Meanwhile, the quick cooldown on the teleport means you can zip to a lone enemy in a hurry to get out of danger.

The issue is that not only is a Trickster limited at long range engagement, but their time bubble ability has some of the longest cooldowns in the game. That means you have to hold out for a bit longer than other classes before you can jump back into another full-strength engagement. If you zip in without being ready, especially on bosses, you might find yourself in serious trouble.

All of that aside, I think the strengths of mobility and close range power on the Trickster make them one of the easiest classes to play solo. They will undoubtedly provide star burst damage for a team to take advantage of, but the shield factor with all of these other things provides them with a good blend of self-contained survivability and damage.

Devastator

Pros

  • Best survivability in the game with high health, good normal healing factor, and lots of defensive and vamp buffs
  • A variety of close range interrupts almost on par with Technomancer
  • Killing ability that heals and buffs both Devastator and whole team
  • Reflect Bullets allows them to soak up gunfire and reflect it back at a single foe for big damage

Cons

  • No status effect bullet ability such as Pyromancer's fire, Technomancer's poison, and Trickster's slow
  • Reflect bullets is reliant on large amounts of incoming damage
  • Lots of abilities to jump into close range and very little to escape trouble

The Devastator is Outriders' earth-based class utilizing rock-based abilities and skills to damage and shake up foes, as well as boost and buff the Devestator and their team. This is the tank of the group, with both abilities that will throw them into the heart of combat while also soaking up damage without dying. Of course, that means they'll generally be suited to close combat.

The Devastator has some great and unique tools in their kit. There's Impale, which will make a zone of healing and armor buffs for the whole team if it kills a foe, and Reflect Bullets, which gathers up all incoming fire for a moment before blasting it off in a target direction. The opportunities are grand, but the drawbacks should be obvious. Impale is reliant on killing a target to be effective while Reflect Bullets is reliant on lots of incoming damage.

Like the Trickster, the Devastator can jump into the heart of combat when they feel like it,  but the Devastator doesn't have readily available options to jump out of a tight situation once they're in it, and that means having to commit more and hoping your higher defense holds out. Because of that, I think the Devastator falls a little bit behind the the Trickster as a self-reliant class, sacrificing some versatility for survivability. Even so, the Devastator has the means to become a fortress and provide endless close range utility to a squad and I think that's great if you want to take a more up-front approach to a support role with potent survivability to go with it.


With all of that in mind. Here's a list of my top recommendations for a number of qualities in Outriders:

  • Best damage-over-time: Pyromancer
  • Best burst damage: Trickster
  • Best group damage: Pyromancer
  • Best solo target damage: Trickster
  • Best support class: Technomancer
  • Best shotgun class: Trickster
  • Best sniper class: Technomancer
  • Best balance of close/long range: Pyromancer
  • Best solo play class: Trickster
  • Best team utility class: Technomancer (long range)/Devastator (short range)
  • Best self-healing: Trickster
  • Best overall health/defense: Devastator
  • Best status effects: Technomancer (Poison/Slow/Vulnerable)
  • Best team buffs: Devastator (Impale)

And there you have it. I hope this aids you in your approach to classes in Outriders. Again, these are my opinions for what I've played of the game so far in solo and teamplay. Is there a particular aspect of a class you enjoy/hate that I missed? Let me know! Outriders is great and I'm really enjoying sharing and seeing plenty of the game. Can't wait to see what secrets and fun we all dig up and discover as we continue to play the game.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 5, 2021 1:44 AM

    Let me help you pick an Outriders class.

    Read more: Outriders classes: Pros, cons, and early impressions

    • reply
      April 5, 2021 1:57 AM

      It will be hard, but not impossible to play a Technomancer in solo in comparison to the other classes


      Not really. Level 30 kicking ass and straight destroying everything. All quests done except one, which I think is the door puzzle in the old city.

      • reply
        April 5, 2021 3:52 AM

        Yeah Agreed. I have 3 grenade charges at the moment, and 100% bonus rocket launcher ammo. and i'm just straight up entering arenas, setting the artillery thing, flinging 3 grenades to activate cooldown and lay mines around, and then just let the rocket launcher do the talking.

        I can see how some skills or equipment mods would be more useful in a party, all that party damage and party healing shit, but I just use the other things.

        • reply
          April 5, 2021 4:06 AM

          Triple nades got me from 1-27. The only reason I stopped using them was that I had finished off my Tier 5 "kill X guys with nades" thing and started in on Weapons of Destruction in its place. There are 5 mods for them, and with all 5 augmenting your grenades its pretty fantastic. The only downside to them is that its easy to overload big guys so that they can't be interrupted! Well that and sometimes where they end up gets a bit wonky.

      • reply
        April 5, 2021 4:03 AM

        I will add that this is without using Cold Snap, or whatever the healing one is.

        You NEED a good sniper. An epic bolt action that spawns mines on kills has been great for me. I bumped up toxic damage so I poped a toxic bullets mod on it. Pair that with a shotgun that either stuns or explodes guys for when things get close.

        Shockingly I found the toxic turret to be the better choice for the most part. Just mod that sucker up and toss it in choke points. With a few mods and skill points it absolutely demolishes low health guys, and puts massive dents in big ones.

        Weapons of Destruction has been great with the double ammo mod and the increased rocket damage one. There is a third mod for a single rocket, skip it. Rockets do a ton of damage and knock guys out of cover which makes them great for Sniper mobs, especially if you're playing with other folks who can smack them when they get knocked back.

        Pain Turret = Full health when it hits anything. It'll also shred anything it hits. TONS of damage once you figure out its range/placement.

        • reply
          April 5, 2021 5:20 AM

          Tools of Destruction is also my go-to mod situation with bonus rocket damage, bonus rockets, and mini gun boost to anomaly power on kills. The one I went for on the side was poison bullets double clip because there’s a perk between Pestilence and Tech Shaman that adds vulnerability to enemies affected by poison. In a team setting, a squad can knock a vulnerable enemy flat in no time with it giving everyone a 40% damage buff.

      • reply
        April 5, 2021 5:01 AM

        Hard, but not impossible in comparison to other classes was the key point. I love technomancer’s versatility. I just also think the class faces more trouble up front and early in the game without a multitude of upgrades that the other classes don’t need as much out of the gate due to better healing and armor, better damage in short range, faster deployable abilities, and/or ability to escape a tough spot.

        I think by the time one gets to weapon mods, Poison Bullets, and Tools of Destruction, the class becomes better equipped to handle everything the game throws at you. But I also think the same can also be said of any of them. It’s still the best long range class in the game by far.

        • reply
          April 5, 2021 5:27 AM

          Early on all of them are a little rough if you're pushing the world tiers up. I was kinda surprised at how much I was getting stomped on my Devastator when fighting the first captain.

          No mod slots and limited skills is pretty rough.

    • reply
      April 5, 2021 5:37 AM

      I tried the demo on PS5 and really liked it, but it kinda looked like crap (silky smooth though). Decided to grab it on PC instead and it looks a lot better. Still not an overly good looking game though.

      • reply
        April 5, 2021 7:43 AM

        Its not the best looking thing out there, but it isn't terrible either. I do like that it has crossplay, even if I haven't had great success with it so far. When they smooth out the server fuckery thats been going on I'll be able to play with the PC and PS crew!

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