Characters in The Outer Worlds have six customisable attributes and tonnes of stats

The Outer Worlds, in development by Obsidian, looks and feels like a shooter but is, at its core, an RPG. Nothing makes this more evident that the six attributes that characters in The Outer Worlds are governed by. If you’ve ever played an RPG, tabletop or digital, you’ll be familiar with the various attributes and stats that govern your character’s skills and abilities.

One of the most famous examples if Fallout’s S.P.E.C.I.A.L. ruleset. SPECIAL stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck.

Players add or subtract points from each attribute to build the kind of character they’d like to play. In The Outer Worlds, the six attributes are split into three groups; Body, Mind and Personality.

The Outer Worlds Attributes

Body attributes are Strength and Dexterity. Mind attributes are Intelligence and Perception and Personality attributes are Charm and Temperament. Each of these six attributes can be one of four proficiencies; Below Average, Average, Good or High.

When attributes are Good or High, they grant bonuses but when they are average they grant no bonus. If you choose to set one attribute Below Average, you’ll be given a penalty. These penalties will make playing the game and performing certain actions more difficult, though they will make the game different when it comes to story and role-playing.

At a recent hands-on session, a representative from Private Division explained that if a character is of Below Average Intelligence, responses to questions and conversation options will be totally different.

An example we were given was the player character responding to an NPC saying something “wasn’t their cup of tea” by getting excited about having a tea party. The Private Division representative also said that the reactions by NPCs to these stupid responses were very funny.

Playing with a character like this though will severely restrict your combat options, Though, the challenge may be worth the comedy.

When attributes are Good or High, bonuses will improve things like Melee Damage, Carrying Capacity, Attack Speed, Reload Speed, Critical Damage, Bonus Headshot/Weakspot Damage, Companion Ability Refresh Rate, Faction Reputation Reactions and Health Regeneration.

Each character also has one Aptitude that provides a specialisation and adds points into a skill or skills.

Sitting underneath each of a character’s attributes are their skills and subsequent subskills. Increasing the base stat of these skills and subskills unlocks abilities and bonuses in addition to increasing critical chance with weapons, gun sway, armour rating and more.

The skills tree includes the following;

  • Melee
    • 1-Handed Melee
    • 2-Handed Melee
  • Ranged
    • Handguns
    • Long Guns
    • Heavy Weapons
  • Defense
    • Dodge
    • Block
  • Dialog
    • Persuade
    • Lie
    • Intimidate
  • Stealth
    • Sneak
    • Hack
    • Lockpick
  • Tech
    • Medical
    • Science
    • Engineering
  • Leadership
    • Inspiration
    • Determination

Each of the six Attributes affects six skills. Some Attributes affect the same skills are others and increasing or decreasing attributes gives players an enormous level of customisation.

1-Handed Melee1-Handed MeleeLong GunsHandgunsPersuade2-Handed Melee
2-Handed MeleeHandgunsPersuadeLong GunsLieLie
Heavy WeaponsDodgeHackHeavy WeaponsIntimidateSneak

Obsidian is giving players a huge amount of choice in creating characters in The Outer Worlds. It is also making sure that The Outer Worlds is a proper RPG experience with Attributes, Stats and Skills all being governed by one another.

If you’re a stat nerd, a tabletop player or just someone who loves the nitty-gritty of RPGs then you’re definitely going to love The Outer Worlds.

It will be available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One on October 25, 2019. It will release for Switch at a later date.

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Leo Stevenson
I've been playing games for the past 27 years and have been writing for almost as long. Combining two passions in the way I'm able is a true privilege. PowerUp! is a labour of love and one I am so excited to share.

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