In The Outer Worlds Companions are a huge part of the game, and can play a larger or smaller role depending on your bent. In this Guide not only will we tell you how to recruit all 6 Companions, but also what their quests are, and how to make best use of each. This Guide will contain some spoilers about the quests in The Outer Worlds, but I’ll try to not dive too deeply into them, so that you don’t ruin plot points for yourself.
Before we jump into each Companion individually I want to take a moment to explain a few things about Companions that you might not know, or that you might have overlooked in your rush to start playing The Outer Worlds. First, each Companion has three Skills that define their general “style”, and there are 3 styles. There are a couple variants, but for the most part Companions that share the same “style” have the same type of Skills. Please see the table below for values at max level (30):
You can see from looking at the table that Parvati and Felix are the same type, SAM and Max are the same type, and Nyoka and Ellie are the same type. There are a couple variances, but you get the idea. One quarter of your Companions’ Skill value is added to your own for Skill Checks, and this applies to both Companions. Knowing what these Skills are means that you can select two Companions that have different “styles” to get a more even Skill distribution, or you can pump some skill really really high. For instance, if you take both Nyoka and Felix, at max level you will add an additional 40 Sneak. Since Sneak passively increases the damage you do from Stealth, this can make you hit like a mac truck when you do.
Additionally, if you reach 60 in Inspiration you will gain half of their values, instead of one quarter, effectively doubling the usefulness of their Skills. This would add 82 Sneak to yours, based on our example, and that is a TON of extra Sneak Attack Damage. I cannot recommend reaching 60 in Inspiration enough if you use Companions for this reason, because a 50 point investment can net you an extra 120 Skill Points, and you can choose how to distribute them by deciding which Companions to bring. Note that outfitting your Companions with Armor that increases any of the Skills they have will further benefit you, even if they do not show on the Companion’s screen that they have been increased.
Companions all each have their own Ability that is unique to them, and has its own cooldown, and these can be found on the bottom left and are controlled by right and left on the d-pad. You will never see these Abilities if you do not have at least 20 Points into Inspiration, because they are gated behind this. You cannot use items or boosts to get there either, you have to actually reach this number manually to gain its unlock. I’ll be explaining what each Companion’s Ability does under their sections, but I thought I would just mention it here. With those, things out of the way, let’s begin with the first Companion you get: Parvati.
Parvati is a young women who specializes in mechanics and works at the Cannery in Edgewater inside the Emerald Vale on Terra 2. She is a very innocent lighthearted individual, with no predilection for violence whatsoever. If you are planning on playing a “Lawful Good” type of character, she makes a solid Companion.
How to Recruit Parvati
Parvati can be recruited very early in the game by speaking to Reed Tobson in Edgewater and accepting the Comes Now the Power quest. This can be done literally the second you step foot into Edgewater, which is roughly 30 minutes into The Outer Worlds.
Parvati Skills & Perks
Parvati is outfitted with Persuade, Lockpick and Engineering, and she can help shore up some of your weaker areas if you don’t have many points in these Skills. Or she can increase them to much higher values, and you really can’t have too much Persuade and Lockpicking early on.
Her unique Perks increase Engineering by a flat value of 10 for you, make it so have a 10% increased chance to loot Mods in the field, and restores 25% of your TTD Meter when you use her ability. Of the three this last one is by far the most useful because. While Engineering is nice to have, it’s perhaps the least useful Tech Skill in The Outer Worlds, and you will already have tons of Mods. I suggest taking both Bonus Support Engineering and Synchronicity, but not Mod Finder.
Parvati’s unique Ability is called Overload, and it makes her charge the target, hitting it for massive damage knocking it down and stunning it if it’s an automechanical. It’s very good against automechanicals, and targets that you just want to take out of the fight for a moment or two.
How to Gear and Setup Parvati
Because Parvati’s ability puts her in melee range, it’s a good idea to outfit her with Heavy Armor and Melee Weapons. Additionally, you’ll want to set her AI Behaviors to Close Distance, Weapon Melee and Mode Aggressive.
Should You Use Parvati?
The decision to use Parvati or not largely depends on how well you like her personality, but that aside, let’s just jump into the numbers of it. Engineering adds nothing passively to your character for each point invested, while Felix adds Sneak which increases your Sneak Attack damage and how quickly enemies can’t see you after becoming alerted to your presence. If you plan to utilize Sneak at all, then I would strongly recommend Felix over Parvati. But if not, then Parvati is the way to go.
Vicar Max is the second Companion you gain in The Outer Worlds and he is a middle aged man with a sordid past looking for answers. He generally has a negative temperament, and is prone to violence, dark humor and sermons. If you want to play a “bad” or “neutral” playthrough, he is a decent choice for a Companion.
How to Recruit Vicar Max
You can recruit Vicar Max after you leave Terra 2 if you completed The Illustrated Manual quest. This quest is found by speaking to him inside Edgewater inside the Emerald Vale on Terra 2.
Vicar Max Skills & Perks
Vicar Max excels in Intimidate, Hack and Science. He is a great choice if you are weak in those areas, or even if you are high in them and just want more. It is hard to have too much of those Skills because they all do something passively, but Intimidate can get over 100 later on with him in your party, which may be unnecessary. His Perks increase your Hack by a flat 10, add 20% duration to Dialog Combat Effects like Cower, Scramble and Terrify, and he increases Science Weapon damage for you and your party. Of these 3 the last one is by far the best, but only if you’re using a Science Weapon. I suggest taking Bonus Support Hack and Mad Max, but not Sermon.
Vicar Max Ability
Vicar Max’s unique Ability is called Trickshot, and which shoots an enemy with a shotgun and knocks them down. It also weakens them, and makes them more susceptible to non-physical damage. It’s a great ability for taking out a single target or weakening a more powerful one so that it can go down faster.
How to Gear and Setup Vicar Max
Because Vicar Max’s Ability is mid to short range with a Shotgun, consider outfitting him in Heavy Armor and with a Long Gun of some kind. Set his Behaviors to Distance Medium, Weapon Ranged and Mode Aggressive.
Should You Use Vicar Max?
Personality aside, he has virtually the same stats as SAM, just with lower Intimidate. However, you can equip him with Armor that boosts any of his 3 Skills further boosting your own, and SAM’s gear is not changeable. This means if you want Intimidate SAM is the better pick, and if you’d rather have more Science or Hack Vicar Max is the way to go. Keep in mind too that Science passively increases your Shock and Plasma Damage, so you really can’t have too much of it, making him a good choice if you use either of these types of damage.
Ellie is a young woman who is brash and impulsive, but also kind of a bad ass. If you are looking for a “Chaotic Neutral” type companion, she is definitely that, as she doesn’t care for many more people than herself.
How to Recruit Ellie
You can recruit Ellie on the Groundbreaker by completing the quest Worst Contact. This is the second location you’ll go to, so is still relatively early on in the game.
Ellie Skills & Perks
Ellie’s Skills are Lie, Medical and Engineering. This makes her one of the worst Companions in the game from a Skill standpoint because neither Medical or Engineering are particularly good. Her Perks increase Medical by a flat 10, increase your healing from your Inhaler, and prevents you from dying once every 5 minutes if damage would kill you. Of the 3 this last one is the best for obvious reasons, and I’d recommend only taking this one if you’re using Ellie.
Ellie’s Ability is called Quick Draw which fires off a series of bullets from her pistol setting Bleeding and Disarming the target. Since automechanicals cannot be disarmed or bleed and many creatures can’t be Disarmed, this is one of the worst Abilities for any of the Companions.
How to Gear and Setup Ellie
Because Ellie uses a Pistol for her Ability outfitting her with Heavy Armor and a Pistol are ideal. Additionally, set her Behaviors to Distance Close, Weapon Ranged and Mode Aggressive.
Should You Use Ellie?
Again personality aside, you are better off using Nyoka than Ellie if you are planning to utilize Sneak in any way. Additionally, Ellie has a shit Ability that isn’t very good, and even though Nyoka’s is not great, it’s still better. I think these are the weakest two characters in the game in terms of the Skills they provide, mostly because Medical is not that good, but if you have to pick one, choose Nyoka.
Felix is a young man who has a penchant for getting into trouble, but he has a good heart. If you’re looking for a “Chaotic Good” type of Companion then Felix fits the bill nicely.
How to Recruit Felix
Felix can be recruited at the docs in Groundbreaker, after you have talked to Udom Bedford and your ship is no longer impounded in Passage to Anywhere. Simply approach him and talk and he will offer to join. You can let him read you his credentials and perform an interview.
Felix Skills & Perks
Felix’s Skills are Persuade, Sneak and Lockpick. These are all very good if you’re planning on playing a more “rogue-like” character. His Perks increase your Persuade by a flat 10, make him deal more damage to Cowering enemies, and increases the party’s damage to Corporate Military. Persuade is a nice boost and increasing your group damage against Corporate is decent if you are playing a “good” playthrough. I suggest just taking Bonus Support Persuade though.
Felix’s Ability Dropkick Staggers the target, reducing it’s Attributes and attack speed, as well as increases the Physical Damage the target takes. It is less than useless and often gets Felix killed instead of helping, making it the worst Ability of any Companion.
How to Gear and Setup Felix
Because Felix will be in melee range with his Ability it’s advised to set him up in a melee role with Medium Armor. Set his Distance to Close, Weapon to Melee and Mode to Aggressive.
Should You Use Felix?
Felix is better than Parvati if you are playing a more stealthy character, but if not there is no reason not to use her. Her Ability is stronger, and Sneak will be wasted otherwise.
SAM is a robot and the only AI Companion in The Outer Worlds. SAM is generally oblivious to what is going on and makes a good “neutral” Companion, particularly if you enjoy a bit of humor.
How to Recruit SAM
SAM is a modified cleaning automechanic that is already aboard the Unreliable. Interact with it on the 2nd Floor to begin the quest The Cleaning Machine so it may join your crew.
SAM Skills & Perks
SAM has the Skills Intimidate, Hack and Science, which are all good to have. His Perks provide a flat increase to Intimidate, allow you to kill people without receiving as much Negative Reputation, and increase his personal damage to other automechanicals. These are all not bad to have, especially if you plan to do a fair amount of murdering in your playthrough. I suggest taking all of these Perks.
SAM’s Ability Decontaminate jumps to his target and knocks it down, dealing acid damage that reduces the target’s Armor. Automechanicals take extra damage. This is a very good Skill and is effective against just about anyone.
How to Gear and Setup SAM
SAM’s equipment is fixed and cannot be changed, but you should set him up for Distance Medium, Long Range and Aggressive for some good old fashion destruction.
Should You Use SAM?
If you can get past SAM’s quirky personality and one liners, he actually has better stats and damage than Vicar Max. You cannot customize him with Armor and Weapons, so it’s really going to come down to which Companion you like better, SAM or Max.
Nyoka is a middle aged woman who is a bit of an alcoholic. She kicks ass and takes names and doesn’t take shit from anyone, but generally tries to help if it’s not too inconvenient. She’s a “Chaotic Good” type Companion.
How to Recruit Nyoka
Nyoka can be recruited in Stellar Bay on Monarch, by completing the quest Passion Pills. This is a good chunk of the way into the game, and she is the last Companion you will obtain.
Nyoka Skills & Perks
Nyoka’s Skills are Lie, Sneak and Medical. Medical is not super useful, but the other two are good to have if you’re making a Stealthy character. Her Perks increase your Lie by a flat 10, reduce the sound of your footsteps by 20%, and increases her personal damage against Creatures. All of these Perks are great, but you only need the second one if you are playing a Stealthy character.
Nyoka’s Ability is called Barrage and it damages the target, reducing its Armor by 30% and sets it on fire. It doesn’t hit very hard, and the burn effect is not very potent, making it one of the weaker Companion Abilities.
How to Gear and Setup Nyoka
I highly recommend putting Nyoka in Medium Armor, as Heavy Armor tends to penalize Sneak, which will then give you less. Equip her with a Heavy Weapon and set her to Distance Medium, Weapon Ranged and Mode Aggressive.
Should You Use Nyoka?
Nyoka is a better choice than Ellie if you plan to use Sneak, and she has a better combat ability. Still there isn’t a huge difference, if you’re not playing a stealthy character. I’d advise picking neither her nor Ellie based on Skills alone, but if you like their personalities then knock yourself out.
As you progress the game it’s very easy to reach over 100 in certain skills if you don’t pay attention to what your Companion’s bring, and much of that is wasted. For instance there is no benefit in taking Dialog Skills past 100 as there are no checks higher than that, and the same goes for Engineering. However, there is benefit in both Sneak and Science going past 100 as these grant increased damage. Try not to reach over 100 in Skills that don’t provide passive benefits per point, and select Companions that fill in the gaps in your Skill Points.
Upgrading the weapons of Companions does not increase their Ability Damage, though you can do this via the Stonebreaker passive, and I highly recommend doing so. You don’t need to use Companion Abilities to succeed, but if you’re going to take this Perk.
Again, I cannot stress how good getting to 60 Inspiration is if you’re going to use Companions. You essentially get a 240% return on your investment in Skill Points, and that doesn’t include the passive Damage boost and Armor boost your Companions receive. Get it and love it!
If you’re looking for good Perks to use on Companions, I highly recommend Healthy, Fine Aim or Heavy Handed, and Showtime. You can use any others you wish, but these are good on all Companions.
Lastly, make sure to upgrade your Companion’s Weapons and Armor regularly too to make sure they are doing as much damage they can as well. It’s not needed much on lower difficulties, but it can make all the difference on higher ones.
Stay tuned for more Outer Worlds coverage and be sure to check out our Getting Started, Character Creation, Best Weapon and Build Guides if you’re looking for more content, and check out our Review if you’d like to know our thoughts on the game.