Prey‘s alien-infested Talos-1 space station is full of rampaging monsters, desperate survivors, and a ton of potential choices. All the way through its 30-hour-plus narrative, players are constantly making decisions about how to deal with the alien threat, the humans they discover, and much more.
All of those choices — many of which are not readily apparent — affect the game’s story. Some of those effects are obvious, like whether or not a specific character stays alive long enough alter the narrative further down the line. Some don’t pop up until the very end of the game, though, and, in fact, the number of elements Prey tracks to determine how your story will end is larger than you’d expect. Everything, from whether you fight or sneak past enemies, to how you upgrade your character, contributes to Morgan Yu’s ultimate fate.
While this makes every little thing you do very important, Prey isn’t judgmental about how you work through its story. Killing everyone you come across to contain the Typhon threat is a valid response. So is saving everyone. Completing side quests matters, but skipping or failing them also has an active impact. There are no “right” or “wrong” answers.
With so many elements at play, it can be tough to figure out how everything you’ve done has crafted the story and its ending, though. Here, we’ve compiled a complete list of all the ways you can alter the story in Prey, and all the decisions that will play a role in the ending. Here’s every factor that Prey keeps track of as you explore Talos-1.
Editor’s Note: This guide contains detailed spoilers. If you do not want to know what happens in Prey, do not read any further!
Talos-1 is infested with ghostly alien creatures that will try to rip you apart. Taking an action hero approach is a valid one in Prey, but so is sneaking your way past threats and avoiding conflict altogether. How you work your way through the station can change the moment-to-moment story, and also has an effect later in the game. Both approaches are valid and most players will probably balance the two, but how you choose to play the game all the way through matters.
Once you get access to the Psychoscope, a device that allows you to scan Typhon enemies, Morgan gains access to a new set of upgrades and abilities based on the Typhon, such as the ability to dominate machines, throw fireballs, and transform into objects. All those abilities are fun, but keep in mind — the volume of Typhon DNA you stick in your head will eventually come up.
About a third of the way through Prey, when you find the Crew Quarters on Talos-1, you’ll start to encounter humans whose minds have been overrun by certain Typhon’s psychic powers. Dominated humans don’t really attack you — instead, they kind of just toddle in your direction until they get close. Then, their heads explode like grenades. You can kill those humans or get them to blow themselves up. Alternatively, you can zap them with the Disruptor pistol to knock them unconscious, or use neuromods to unlock a Typhon power that lets you free humans from telepathic domination. You can unlock an achievement or trophy for not killing anyone on the station — and another for killing everyone.
In order to reach the G.U.T.S., players must make their way through Psychotronics. Getting there means lifting a lockdown that has sealed several doors, and the only way to do that is to complete an experiment that was running during the Typhon outbreak. Arriving at the site of the experiment, you’ll encounter a man who the staff had planned to expose to a mimic, which would kill him. Whether you choose to let him out or turn the mimic loose on him — and whether you believe the man is a former human trafficker or not — gets noted for the ending.
Not long after you awaken on Talos-1, you are introduced to January, a mysterious guide who gives you instructions to help you work through the station. Later in the game, you’ll receive a message from a second mysterious guide called December, who gives you a different mission. Though it’s marked as a side mission, December’s quest can lead to a brief (and not great) early ending if you finish it mid-way through the game. You can hold off on completing the mission until the end of the game if you want to change what happens during your final moments aboard Talos-1 later on. You can also ignore December altogether.
While wandering the Crew Quarters, you’ll receive a message from a man who wants you to clear out some mind-controlled Talos-1 crew hanging out in the cafeteria. If you do, you can meet up with the cook and trigger an elaborate sidequest. You’ll have some options on how to deal with that quest as it unfolds, and will access additional information that can open up other story branches if you choose to go that path.
In the Crew Quarters, players are required to gather up a series of audio logs in order to synthesize the voice of I.T. department head Danielle Sho. You can then use Sho’s voice print to open the way to Deep Storage. Along the way, you’ll learn quite a bit about Sho and, if you discover the right audio logs and emails, you can find her location. Meeting up with her kicks off another side quest, and there are consequences depending on how you deal with it, or whether you take it on at all.
Completing both the cook’s quest and finding Danielle Sho give you some additional information that can open up a new, lengthy optional side quest. Completing it is basically a direct favor to Sho, who never really liked Morgan or Alex Yu, so whether you decide to complete it will likely have a lot to do with how you feel about Sho after learning her backstory. The outcome is a factor in the endgame as well.
On your way to the Cargo Bay, you’ll find you can’t reach the destination on foot. Instead, you have to go outside Talos-1 on a spacewalk. On your way back in, you’ll receive a transmission from Dr. Igwe, a Talos-1 scientist who has accidentally launched himself into space in a cargo container, which is quickly running out of air. This kicks off a side mission that gives you a chance to save Dr. Igwe — or not.
If you decide (or manage) to save Dr. Igwe, he’ll ask for more assistance. Specifically, he wants you to venture back to his cabin in Crew Quarters and retrieve the neuromod blueprint for the piano-playing skills of musician Gustav Leitner. Take or leave it, but Igwe will remember either way, further altering the story.
Your path through the Cargo Bay to Life Support is blocked by a couple of problems. First, there are a bunch of Talos-1 survivors holed up there. Second, one of the bays is packed with a huge number of Typhon monsters. The Cargo Bay survivors won’t let you open the door to the room with the Typhon unless you fabricate a bunch of turrets to help fight the enemies off. You can go through the multi-step process of creating the guns and then fight the Typhon alongside the survivors, or you can find a way to get around their requirement. What you choose to do with the battle, and how it goes for you and the humans involved, are all important elements that carry forward.
Around the time you get to Life Support and Power Plant, you’ll run across Mikhaila, an engineer friend of Morgan Yu’s. She’s suffering from a degenerative nerve disease called paraplexis, which renders her unable to move, but you can save her life with a not-so-quick, dangerous jaunt to her office for her medicine. Do so and she’ll also head to Morgan’s office, where she’ll issue you a new side quest. You’ll feel Mikhaila’s influence on the ending, regardless of your choice.
If you save her, Mikhaila will send you on another mission back to the Neuromod Volunteer Quarters, then Deep Storage. The mission: Discover the details of what happened to Mikhaila’s father, who she believes was a “volunteer” (read: test subject) on the station. Finding the information is a major choice: If you find it, choosing how to deal with it will also impact the ending.
Toward the end of Prey, a new enemy shows up to make your life harder. Commander Dahl, a soldier dispatched from Earth, comes to Talos-1 to shut down the Yu siblings and deal with the alien outbreak. When he arrives, you will have to contend with an onslaught of military robots just about everywhere you go. Dahl has to be dealt with to advance the story, but there are a couple of different ways for dealing with him. A few of your previous choices can affect how this goes, too. If you saved Dr. Igwe, for example, he’ll suggest you incapacitate Dahl instead of killing him. Both choices will change how things go from there, and affect the ending.
Depending on what happened in the Cargo Bay, Dahl will also issue an ultimatum — meet him in Life Support, or the survivors die when he remotely cuts off their oxygen. You’re on a timer, so failure is an option in this quest, as is choosing to let everyone suffocate.
As the climax of Prey kicks into gear, you’ll finally encounter Morgan’s brother, Alex Yu, in the flesh. During the dust-up of alien intrigue, there’s a chance to either save Alex’s life, or let him die. As usual, what you choose to do, and the circumstances under which you choose to do it, will alter how things go. You can let Alex die that first time, though, keep in mind that this means he won’t be present to influence the story later.
The biggest and most obvious ending choice in Prey has to do with whether you listen to Alex or to January. Throughout the game, January has been imploring you to destroy Talos-1, and its inhabitants, to stop the Typhon threat. Alex presents an alternative option if you follow his quest lines, one that involves creating a device that can destroy the Typhon while saving the station and all the ethically-dubious research on board. Making the choice can also involve killing or disabling Alex or January if both are still alive.
If you choose to destroy Talos-1 in order to stop the Typhon threat, there’s also the question of what happens to Morgan. January says your instructions to yourself are to eliminate all trace of the Typhon. If you’ve injected yourself with Typhon neuromods, then technically you have alien DNA inside you, which makes you a liability. But completing certain missions, like December’s quest line or missions related to Dahl, can give you a final way to save yourself and escape Talos-1. The situation is complicated because it hinges on a lot of actions, including how you upgraded your character. In the end, the choice comes down to whether you decide to go down with the station or make a break for Earth. Your choices during the game affect what options you may have for escaping the station, as well as whether or not you have other survivors to consider.
The real ending of Prey occurs in an interactive, post-credits scene where you’ll see the accounting of your choices. Here, you’ll aslo learn a little more about how they affected the game world apart from what you personally experienced. You’ll also get one final “A or B” choice to close out Prey, but we won’t spoil that here.
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