The highly-praised space exploration game Outer Wilds, initially developed as a University thesis project by Alex Beachum, is getting a 4k 60fps update for next-gen consoles. The game has been lauded for its remarkably flexible open world, which allows players to explore in any direction and at any pace and still find their way to the game’s epic conclusion. It also boasts an emotionally affecting narrative despite there being very few in-game cutscenes.


RELATED: Beginner Tips For Outer Wilds You Should Know

With this new update, many players will be jumping into the game for the first time. While it’s best to look up as little as possible about the game so that players can preserve the experience of uncovering its secrets for themselves, Outer Wildsdoesn’t hold its players’ hands. Sometimes, it’s easy to waste precious time by making little mistakes that are avoidable with the right understanding of the game’s many mechanics. There are the most common of those mistakes.

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8 Forgetting The Space Suit

In the excitement of exploring a new planet, or thinking up a solution to one of the game’s many puzzles, it’s easy for players to forget that, before leaving the ship, they need to be wearing a space suit. While Timber Hearth has air that is safe to breathe – as do some (intact) space stations – the rest of the game’s planets are hostile environments that will result in immediate death without the protection of a suit.

Therefore, the best practice is to make it a habit early on to take the extra moment in the spaceship and put on the space suit that’s provided before stepping out into the wilds. Even better, plays may want to just throw on the suit right after entering the ship. It’s still possible to pilot the craft while wearing the suit, and it will prevent any unprotected forays into the void.

7 Ignoring Autopilot

Another easy mistake to make is to ignore (or not fully understand) the autopilot function in the spaceship. Without it, traveling from planet to planet can be a nightmare when trying to pilot the craft manually, given the game’s mostly accurate representation of Astrophysics.

Targeting a planet and then engaging the autopilot is almost always the most surefire way of reaching that planet safely. There are exceptions, like trying to fly to the Sun Station, but, for the most part, the autopilot is the safest way to travel and will only occasionally result in disaster when it plots a course that leads the ship right into the path of The Interloper, or through the system’s Sun.

6 Never Exploring All Of Timber Hearth

Given that it’s the starting planet, it’s understandable if players would rather venture out into the stars once they gain access to their spaceship, rather than spending more time wandering around the very Earth-like homeworld of the game’s main character.

RELATED: Best Cinematic Sci-Fi Games

However, there are a half dozen other locations on Timber Hearth outside the starting village, and each one teaches a fundamental rule of the game’s mechanics that can be essential for solving puzzles on the other planets. Rather than trying to understand these mechanics while simultaneously trying to survive the perils of space, learning the ropes on Timber Hearth is a much less stressful way of preparing for what awaits in the rest of the solar system

5 Trying To Go Slow

In a game like Outer Wilds, it can be tempting to go slowly and take in every sight and sound that the world has to offer. There are locations where this is possible, and some where it is even recommended, but there are also planets where this can be dangerous.

Places like Brittle Hollow do not respond well to a slow approach. The bridges beneath the surface – as well as the surface itself – are prone to crumbling away under the feet of the player, and moving slowly only increases the likelihood of this happening. Not to mention the ever-present 22-minute time loop, sometimes it’s best to make haste to the next destination rather than worrying about seeing everything along the way. The perk of a time loop is there will always be an opportunity to go back and check out anything that may have been missed once the clock resets.

4 Visiting Planets Once

With a world as wildly varied and fascinating as Outer Wilds, it’s natural to want to clear out a whole planet in one go so that in the next loop, that focus can be turned to a new planet. While that temptation is understandable, it’s not the way to go about exploring the solar system.

RELATED: Games With A “Groundhog Day” Style Time Loop

The thing with the game’s time loop is that the environment will change as the loop progresses. This is most obvious when looking at the sun, but each planet will be different at the end of the loop from how it was at the start. It may seem like there is little to be found on Hollow’s Lantern, but more will be uncovered later in the loop once the amount of lava present has decreased. This goes for pretty much every planet in the game. Returning to them at different times in the loop will result in new discoveries, with some being essential to progressing towards the game’s conclusion.

3 Visiting Explorers Once

Similar to the game’s planets, the Outer Wilds Ventures astronauts that are found on each of the planets can seemingly say everything they need to say after a single conversation. This is very far from the truth.

Each of these explorers will have more to say as each loop progresses. Going even further, several of them are trying to solve a mystery regarding the planet they’re stationed on. Once the player finds a solution to that mystery, they can return to that explorer and have a conversation about it. Even if it’s just to provide comfort when an astronaut realizes their Sun is about to explode, it’s a worthwhile endeavor to return to these characters for a few more conversations.

2 Solving Puzzles By Force

Being primarily a physics-based game, Outer Wilds will present several puzzles throughout its campaign that will seem to have a solution that’s just out of reach. In certain cases, players may think they can bypass finding those solutions by simply building up enough momentum to “rocket jump” over to their desired destination. While in some cases – such as climbing the Tower of Quantum Knowledge – this may eventually be successful, there is always a much easier solution.

Without exception, every puzzle the game presents has an answer that is both satisfying and accessible no matter what stage of the game players find themselves. Sometimes it involves waiting until further along in the loop, approaching from a different angle, or using the flashlight or Scout Launcher in an out-of-the-box way. In every case, these solutions will take up much less time than the “brute force” approach, and that time can be better spent elsewhere in the game.

1 Giving Up

At the other end of the spectrum, sometimes a puzzle or mystery may become frustrating in its density and prompt a player to throw in the towel. Simply put, there is no bigger mistake one can make in Outer Wilds than giving up. While the solution to a player’s current struggle may not be immediately apparent, it will eventually reveal itself through further exploration of the game’s world. Nothing is ever out of reach, it may just require some more knowledge to understand how to reach it.

The rule of thumb for situations like this is to return to the Ship’s Log. Any entry in the Log that states “There is more to discover here.” will have something to add to the player’s understanding. Until the Log is fully completed, there is always another solution lingering just at the fringes of the player’s understanding. Discovering these solutions is one of the best parts of the Outer Wilds experience, and the only way to ruin that experience is to give up before it’s complete.

Outer Wilds was released on May 28th, 2019, and is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

MORE: How To Start Outer Wilds: Echoes Of The Eye Expansion



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