Sitting somewhere between a looter shooter like Destiny 2 and a third-person shooter like Gears of War, Outriders asks the player to juggle a lot of concepts very quickly. Not only do you have to learn how the basic mechanics work, but then there are the deeper systems like skills, abilities, classes, loot, and more to get a grip on. The beta was a fantastic way to introduce the basics of how the game would function, but if you held off on playing until the full release, jumping in could be a little intimidating.
What sets Outriders apart from other games of its kind is that it isn’t designed to be played forever. Outriders features a fully complete story that you can tackle alone, or with friends, that can be replayed if you find yourself hooked. If you are playing with friends, then knowing how to be most effective on the battlefield will lead to some awesome moments of teamwork and synergies that are some of the most satisfying you can get. To make sure you’re ready to throw down with your pals online, take a moment to read up on these essential tips for starting out in Outriders.
Somewhat like a hero shooter, or the classes in Destiny 2 to make another comparison, Outriders gives you the choice of four different classes to choose right off the bat. Each one has their own strengths, weaknesses, abilities, roles, and suits a different playstyle. While the names do give a general idea of what you can expect from each, it isn’t until you dive into their actual abilities and skill trees that you understand which one is best suited for what. Plus, you have to consider each of the classes’ three subclasses and the unique skill tree each one of these unlocks. Keep in mind that you are never locked in to whatever points you spend in a skill tree and can reset them at any time.
The Devastator class is built for all of you who love playing the tank role in parties. Your main focus is to get in close and dish out as much damage as you soak up. Most abilities you get with this class are focused around AOE damage, reducing the damage you and your team take, and interrupting foes. This class comes with the three subclasses of Vanquisher, Warden, and Seismic Shifter. Pick the Vanquisher if you want to be more deadly on the field by focusing on damage, Warden if you really want to tank up and boost your armor, health, and regen stats, or Seismic Shifter for a balance of skill and damage buffs primarily.
The closest comparison to make for the Pyromancer would be a high damage spellcaster, but you’re not quite as fragile or limited thanks to always having a gun. This class does best in the mid-range, launching wide AOE spells that focus on dealing damage over time by igniting enemies with flames. This class does great for crowd control, but also has some very strong single-target abilities thrown in as well. The Ruler of Ashes subclass is all about upping your damage with everything from your weapons to skills. The Scorcher buffs your pyro focused skills, such as duration and damage. Finally the Tempest subclass is focused on survival. Skills in this tree grant you more armor, damage reduction, and resistances to specific damage and enemy types.
Next up we have the Technomancer. This class is all about keeping your distance from the fight and providing buffs and support to the rest of your team. Somewhat like the Pyromancer, this class also has some good crowd-control abilities, plus healing, damage over time, and AOE. The first subclass to pick from is called Pestilence. This class focuses primarily on reducing skill cooldown timers, increasing range, and overall damage-dealing potential. Tech Shaman doubles down on the support aspect of the class by buffing your health and armor, but also buffing the skills like the one that summons turrets. Last up is the Demolisher, which is a bit less focused. You get some nice damage resistance options, as well as improved ability to bypass enemy resistance, and get buffs whenever you activate ordinance-type skills.
Last up we have the quick and deadly Trickster. Based on the name, you probably guessed that the Trickster’s skills are going to be rather unique to say the least. Focusing on close-quarters combat, this class is all about controlling space and time to control the flow of combat and deal heavy damage in a short amount of time. This class can deal the most damage of any in the game in the right hands. The first subclass you can choose is Master of Space, which lowers all your movement-related skills’ cool-down timers, buffs your overall and critical damage, and improves specific weapon types suited to the class. The Harbinger trades off damage buffs for more health, armor, resistances, and supports your teammates by improving their shields. Last is the Assassin, a subclass that focuses on giving bonuses to your anomaly powers, ability to inflict statuses, and weapon damage.
If you’re coming at this game as a more traditional third-person shooter, you might be overwhelmed by all the RPG elements it expects you to learn and monitor. Stats are fairly easy to understand based on their names, but are a bit deeper than they might seem at first.
The firepower stat focuses on how much damage your guns will deal. Each gun comes with their own firepower rating, with higher numbers obviously being the more powerful. This stat isn’t limited to how much damage each bullet can do, though. It also impacts your critical hit chance, critical hit damage, bonus damage dealt to enemies up close and at range, and how much armor piercing your gun deals.
Anomalies are what Outrider calls your class’ skills, so naturally this stat will determine how much damage you deal using said skills. This includes how much more damage you deal with melee skills, status effects, as well as their duration, the length of their cool-downs, and how much enemy resistance is ignored by your skills.
Armor is about as straightforward as it gets. The higher your armor rating, the more damage you can take in a fight. That includes resistance to physical attacks, anomaly attacks, and status effect damage.
Again, pretty much self-explanatory on the surface, but health has a bit more depth to it than armor. Your health doesn’t just amount to how much total HP your character has, but also how much health you regenerate per second, how healing abilities affect you, and how much health you steal with weapon life leach and skill life leach.
You can dish out eight different status effects on your enemies through skills or upgrading your weapons with different mods. Some are better for certain classes or builds, but they all have a purpose and can change how you approach encounters, depending on what you have and what you’re facing. At the same time, these statuses can be put on you as well, but there are specific things you can do to minimize their impact.
- Ash covers enemies in, well, ash — interrupting them and preventing them from attacking for a few seconds. If you get hit with ash, use your melee attack to shake it off.
- Freeze is very similar to ash. It does the same thing to enemies, stopping them in place — but for a bit longer. If you find yourself frozen, just like ash, melee to free yourself.
- Bleed is a damage over time status that deals damage based on your anomaly power for five seconds. If you’re bleeding, find a safe place you can stand still since the damage you take goes up as you move.
- Burn is the Pyromancer’s bread and butter. It sets enemies on fire and deals damage over time just like bleed. If you catch fire, do like you were taught and roll to put out the fire.
- Toxic is yet another DOT-type status that functions the same as burn and bleed on infected foes. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do for yourself but wait it out if you get hit with this status.
- Slow, as you no doubt guessed, slows enemies down. How much and for how long all depend on what skill or mod you’re using.
- Vulnerable makes enemies take 25% more damage for about 10 seconds.
- Weakness reduces the amount of damage enemies can deal by 30% for six seconds.
Speaking of health and healing, how you heal is actually unique per class. Sure, there is passive healing that happens automatically when you don’t take damage for a while, but you probably won’t see that happen when you need it most. Each one has their own mechanic for recovering health that encourages you to play to the strength of your class and that you will want to remember so you can keep yourself healthy in long fights. For example:
- The Devastator regains health by killing foes while at close range.
- The Technomancer utilizes life leach and gains health by dealing damage.
- The Pyromancer gains health back by killing enemies marked by your skills.
- Just like the Devastator, the Trickster regains health, as well as some shields, by killing enemies in close quarters.
World tiers is how Outriders handles difficulty and can be quite complex. World tier levels are applied to each stage in the game and are unlocked via a progress bar as you kill enemies on the highest available world tier for that mission, but progress is lost if you die. Once a new tier is unlocked, you can select it for a greater challenge, but also better loot. There are two ways you can go about setting your world tier, either automatically or manually.
If you go into the menu you can opt to have Outriders automatically set the world tier level for you, raising and lowering it when possible to give you as good an experience as possible.
Once you unlock new world tiers, you can manually select them as well to hunt for better loot and a tougher challenge. You can work your way up through 15 world tiers, at which point enemy levels will be 12 times higher than at the base level, the loot rarity will increase by 500%, Legendary drop rates go up 300%, and more. You also earn rewards such as guns and resources for each world tier you unlock, so remember to claim them in the menu each time you progress.
Higher tiers are designed for co-op, so you are encouraged to team up before hitting the more difficult tiers. Even if the party leader has selected a world tier you haven’t reached yet, the kills you get will still count towards progressing whatever tier you’re currently working on.
Going hand-in-hand with world tier levels, grinding out side quests is the best way to get those legendary loot drops you’re looking for. These quests are much faster, and generally easier, than main missions for when you just want to get that item as quick as possible. One popular side quest that is great for grinding early on is called Payback. You fight a ton of enemies in this quick mission, giving you plenty of chances for a good drop.
You obviously can replay any mission you like, so main missions are totally an option to grind as well, but side quests are best if you are going for efficiency.
To clear up any doubt, yes, Outriders is crossplay-supported for all platforms. That includes the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. While the beta required you to turn this feature on, the full release has it set to enable crossplay by default. Anyone playing on PC will be able to add people on other platforms to their friends list once they play together, but everyone else will have to wait for a patch to do so as well. The option to turn crossplay off still will be available, but just be aware that if you do you can’t randomly matchmake with anyone who leaves it on, regardless of whether or not you’re on the same platform.
To start a party just select Play With Friends. Here you can select if you want anyone to be able to join, friends only, or no one. You also can generate a unique code to send to your friends they can enter to join your party, which you will need to do if they are on a different platform. Alternatively, if someone else is hosting the game, you can enter a code by going to Play With Friends and selecting Join a Game using Code. If you have friends on the same platform already playing, and they didn’t set their game to closed, you can just hop in right away from here as well.
Not all loot will be ready to use guns or mods. You’ll be picking up tons of resources used to craft your own gear and spending as currency. Here’s a quick rundown of all the materials in the game:
- Scrap is the most basic currency you get from just about everything. Kill enemies, complete quests, and selling items all reward you with scrap.
- Leather, iron, and titanium all are materials you will use to craft your own items. Leather can be dropped by enemies, but is also obtained when you dismantle armor. Iron needs to be collected from veins in the world, or from dismantling guns. Titanium is the rarest, occasionally dropping from high-level enemies or found in ore veins, but also from dismantling any epic or legendary level items.
- Anomaly shards buff your attributes when used in crafting and come from dismantling specific items that have a special crystal icon when you look in the item’s description.
- Drop Pod Resources is another form of currency, but is also required to enter the Inner Ring and Final Expedition. You only can gain them by completing expeditions.
Using your leather, iron, and titanium, you can craft your existing item rarity up and give it a random bonus attribute. Once you level an item up, or find one already at the rare, epic, or legendary level, you can use these resources to level up that item to power it up and keep it useful as the game gets harder. Be aware, though, that even though leveling up a weapon will improve its stats, the attribute value will also be randomized.
Anomaly shards only can be used with higher level or unique weapons to buff a specific attribute such as armor piercing, weapon leach, max health, critical damage, and more. If you find a weapon you like, make sure you visit the crafting menu often to keep it combat-ready.
Finally, keep yourself sane with all the loot and items you’ll be getting. Inventory screens easily can get overwhelming and tedious to sift through when it gets cluttered with weapons, mods, and items you want to sell or dismantle. If you came off the beta you know how bad it can get, but thankfully a new feature was included in the final release where you can instantly mark all items of a specific rarity at once instead of having to go one by one. That alone makes clearing out a bunch of common-level loot a breeze.
We recommend breaking down anything you aren’t currently using, or holding for specific use cases, between each mission to keep your inventory clean.
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