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The Outer Worlds supernova - tips to survive the hardest difficulty

No Leeroy Jenkins's allowed

Did you find the main campaign in The Outer Worlds just a little too easy? Well the Supernova difficulty is where the real challenge is and if you're not prepared for the worst, you can easily die over and over, or even worse - lose your companions. Of course, you don't want that to happen, so we've played a little bit of the game and scoured the internet to get tips to help you survive supernova difficulty in The Outer Worlds.

The Outer Worlds supernova survival guide

We have lots of survival tips for The Outer Worlds supernova difficulty. These range from how to build your character if you're trying the mode out for the first time, as well as important ways to keep your companions alive.

The Outer Worlds supernova survival guide contents

The Outer Worlds supernova tips

What is Supernova difficulty?

Much like the other open-world exploration game with time-slowdown effects, The Outer Worlds has a survival difficulty known as "Supernova". This is for those who want a brutal challenge, having more consequences for things that go wrong, and more difficult enemies to fight. In summary, Supernova difficulty changes the following:

  • Enemies have more health and deal more damage.
  • You must eat, drink, and sleep to survive. This is represented by three bars underneath your other stats which we've circled in the image below this list.
  • Companions can die permanently.
  • Crippled body and limb conditions can only be healed by sleeping in beds.
  • You can only sleep inside your ship.
  • You can only fast travel to your ship.
  • You can only manually save inside your ship.
  • Autosaves are more limited than in other difficulty modes.
  • Weapons and armor work very poorly at zero durability.

The other big caveat is that unlike other difficulty settings, you can't change back to Supernova if you reduce to an easier difficulty. This means that you're stuck in Supernova for the duration of the game.

The Outer Worlds Supernova tips 1

The Outer Worlds Supernova survival tips

Now you know what Supernova difficulty is, these are some tips to get you started and ensure you and your friends don't get shot by marauders, eaten by a Mantisaur, or worse - be turned into Cystypig feed.

  • Complete quests and avoid combat when in the early game. Some locations have overwhelming numbers of enemies, so it's best to leave them alone rather than go in guns blazing.
  • Play a ranged character if you're starting Supernova for the first time. It's just a lot more difficult to survive combat while using melee weapons.
  • Invest in Intelligence, Perception, and Temperament when building your ranged character. These maximise your damage output with guns.
  • Have everyone equip the heaviest armor when you find it. Extra Armor Rating can make all the difference in combat situations.
  • Tinker with everyone's armor at the ship. That extra little bit of Armor Rating might ensure a companion lives to fight another day.
  • Scrap surplus weapons and armor when you find them. Having extra Weapon parts and Armor parts will allow you to repair on the fly.
  • Do the quest-line "The Illustrated Manual" as soon as you physically can. Then immediately head to the ship and put him on your team as you'll have extra firepower, keeping companions a little safer.
  • Increase your Leadership skill early on. Both Max and Parvati can use companion skills that hit like a truck and have crowd control effects.
  • Set companion behaviour to defensive. This makes it so that they don't rush in like good ol' Leeroy Jenkins, getting everyone killed.
  • Take the perk "Don't Go Dyin' On Me!" as soon as you can. This works even on Supernova, along with the companion ability Second Wind.
  • For damage output, you'll also want to take "We Band of Brothers" and "Rolling Thunder" perks. This reduces cooldown time on your companion's abilities, ensuring bigger enemies get locked into multiple companion ability combos.
  • The following Companion perks should be obtained for each character:
    • Tier 1: Healthy
    • Tier 2: Battle Hardened/Sneaky
    • Tier 3: Stonebreaker
    • Tier 4: Shake It Off
    • Tier 5: Stand Your Ground/Second Wind
  • Stock up on Water items from vending machines. Dehydrated Water, Plain 'n Pure Water, or Glacier Water are the best drinks.
  • If you're on a planet with multiple landing pads, move your ship. This makes backtracking take a lot less time.
  • Don't head into Tartarus until you are Level 30 and your gear is at level 35. It's the most difficult area in the game, so you'll want to be at full power before heading in.
  • Don't be afraid to steal items. Provided you're not caught, you can pinch everything in The Outer Worlds, and having more items to scrap or consume is always a positive outcome.

The Outer Worlds guide series

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About the Author
Dave Irwin avatar

Dave Irwin


When Dave was guides writer for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, it was his privilege to understand how to play certain games well, so that newer players can understand the more complex things about them.

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