The Outer Worlds Carrying Capacity – when does it begin to matter?
Perhaps you have taken a hit to your Strength Attribute because the difference between the 80kg from Average and 60kg from Below Average isn’t that big of a deal.
Perhaps you prefer travelling without your companions because you prefer quiet and clear view.
Or, honestly, perhaps you haven’t done anything from the above and you honestly don’t bother sorting through loot on the dead bodies and in containers and just pick it all up (heavy equipment can bring in quite a few bits!). Perhaps you crawl into every corner to steal all you can, as well (The Outer Worlds seems to play much easier if you do).
Regardless, one of these times you will get excited about a great kill, pick up everything you can and… you can’t run. If you don’t have a perk that allows you to do so, you can’t fast travel. If you don’t have your Hack skill at least up to novice, you can’t sell to a vending machine nearby. Well… ouch. Time to break things down… I guess those marauder rags weren’t worth much anyway…
So, how do you effectively avoid situations like these without wasting resources like perk and initial attribute points? (Albeit these two might be worth it for you as well, in certain situations.)
In this guide we will cover many ways for making your inventory serves you more effectively on your longer trips so that you don’t have to get frustrated over constantly getting over the limit and not over-invest into fixing the issue as a result.
Why Should I Care?
“But… I kind of don’t loot much, really. I am okay with bits that come from quest rewards.”
Do you realize how much currency you are missing out on? Around Level 5 or so an average weapon can be sold for 20-50 bits. Imagine bringing in 20 of these and having a +20% Vendor Buying Price perk (Snake Oil Salesman, Tier 2)! Around Level 14 you will see that number going up to 40-90. And if you were paying attention to the tutorial, you know about the Pristine items (diamond symbol) that can make a Level 5 weapon cost 90 bits alone (Lockpick’s Master rank will make the chance of finding them in containers 100%!). Junk weighs little and can cost quite a bit as well. With weapons and armor combined, the more you can carry the better.
What do you use all of these excess bits for? Energy Cells (and other ammo, honestly – it doesn’t weigh anything), because those heavy weapons eat them up. Adreno, because if you are playing on higher difficulty, you will most likely need it. Purchasing information about science weapons and quests from “black market” NPCs like Gladys. And, if you try tinkering either your favorite low-level equipment or do so for your companions, you will see your bits take a huge dip. For some items, like unique and science weapons, however, it can make quite a difference.
Then, consider cheaper costs of repairing your equipment. The harder your battles (or, maybe you took a hit to your Dexterity Attribute), the faster your equipment will lose durability. It’s a bit costly to do with the vendors, so what is the better alternative? Weapon and armor parts. Seriously – the parts don’t weigh anything and you can break down all of those shovels and tossball sticks and repair your equipment at the first workbench you encounter or back at your ship (or in the field if you have the Engineering skill unlocked). Fixing will become much cheaper, especially with more points in the Engineering skill. The key to that is having space in your inventory to stuff them alongside items you want to sell, of course, unless you want to waste time breaking each of these down as soon as you pick them up.
Using your inventory space effectively can make the game significantly easier for you.
Directly Increasing Your Carrying Capacity
If you are a melee build, you have alternative reasons to invest into your Strength attribute, and this way you can get your starting carrying capacity as high as 140kg (and at that point you should be pretty much set for long travels):
(Taken from our The Outer Worlds Attributes guide.)
- Below Average ▼
- ▼ -10% Melee Damage
- ▼ 60kg Carrying Capacity
- ▼ -100% Tactical Time Dilation Move Time
- Penalty: Tactical Time Dilation drain for movement is doubled.
- Average ⁃
- 0% Melee Damage
- 80kg Carrying Capacity
- Good ▲
- ▲ +10% Melee Damage
- ▲ 100kg Carrying Capacity
- High ▲▲
- ▲ +20% Melee Damage
- ▲ 120kg Carrying Capacity
- Very High ▲▲▲
- ▲ +30% Melee Damage
- ▲ 140kg Carrying Capacity
However, you will notice many alternative ways of compensating for melee damage in the game (critical damage will make a huge difference), so don’t worry if you want to invest into other attributes as a non-melee, hybrid, or an alternative melee build, especially since there is no way for you to change your attributes later in the game.
So, in the end this method can be very costly resource-wise (attribute bonuses are very useful!) if you don’t rely on Strength bonuses for your build.
There are perks that directly affect your carrying capacity or otherwise improve your ability to deal with it, from companions or player:
(Taken from our The Outer Worlds Perks guide.)
Player Perks Tier 1
- Pack Mule: +50kg Carrying Capacity
- Traveler: Unlock the ability to Fast Travel when Encumbered
Player Perks Tier 2
- Hoarder: -50% Consumable Weight
- Pack of Pack Mules: +40kg Carrying Capacity Bonus from Companions
Player Perks Tier 3
- Super Pack Mule: +100kg Carrying Capacity
Now, consider this: each of these is worth exactly the same amount, 1 perk point. There is no limit to how much you can purchase per tier, so there are no additional costs purchasing a perk at tier 1, versus tier 3 aside from levels you will have to go through before you can afford it.
And here is the thing: would you rather spend a perk point (and there is a reason why the game offers you flaws in exchange for perks – some perks are extremely powerful!) on 50kg of Carrying Capacity (Tier 1) or 100kg of Carrying Capacity (Tier 3)? All immediate usefulness aside, you probably can understand a small hesitation there, especially if you have a solid list of perks in mind that you will want to eventually acquire (we have listed many good ones for you to get in our Ultimate Perks guide!)
It’s really not the best nor cheapest method of fixing the issue.
By the time you get to Tier 3, your skill points should be enough to manage your inventory effectively through other means, and you can make use of them much earlier.
What are we talking about? We will explain in the section below.
Selling to Vending Machines and Backpack Mod
Hack Skill and Selling to Vending Machines
Hack skill governs the hacking time and the number of Bypass Shunts needed for hacking, but what we care for here is its Novice skill unlock:
(Taken from our Skills guide.)
20 – Novice
40 – Competent
60 – Adept
80 – Expert
100 – Master
Unlock the ability to sell goods to Vending Machines
Unlock access to Restricted Items in Vending Machines
Hack Automechanicals: Turn them off for 3s
Automechanical Detection Range -30%
Hack Automechanical Distance +2.5m (5m)
Why does it matter? Well, think about the times you have encountered NPC vendors (pretty much only inside town instances). Now, think about the Vending Machines you have encountered (can be found in the wilderness and inside dungeon instances). Your issue here is the time you can travel around and loot before you get to a vendor. So, reduce that time by getting to a vendor you can sell to much more often! All it takes is 20 points in the Hack skill.
You can break down a few items to be able to move and fast-travel to a city, of course, but there are times when you can’t easily fast-travel back, especially if you are inside a dungeon instance, so this will become much more convenient. As long as you don’t have Below Average in both your Intelligence and Charm attributes, you should be able to get points into this area pretty early on, upgrading Sneak and Lockpick (and Lockpick is very helpful with looting!) along the way.
This is a very cheap and otherwise useful method of managing your carrying capacity that you can get access to very early on.
Backpack Armor Mod
Another pretty cheap method that will make a solid difference that you can get to early on.
The Backpack Mod is an armor Utility Modification that you can install on any workbench that adds +20kg to your carrying capacity. This is an equivalent of one attribute point invested into your Strength (without the Melee Damage bonus), or an equivalent of bringing two companions with you, so you will feel the difference.
Sadly, this won’t do anything for your bonus carrying capacity from Companions, so don’t bother installing this on their armor.
If you have Competent unlocked with your Hack skill (see above), you can get this from plenty of Edgewater’s vending machines. If you do use your inventory effectively, you should have enough bits to do so. If you are okay sneak-stealing inside the town, it’s also in one of the containers inside the cannery. You will probably get access to it pretty fast otherwise.
Installing a mod doesn’t cost you anything but that mod. Should you want to, you can replace it later. Just note that it will stay with the armor you put it on, so choose wisely.
This is among the cheapest ways to get a good bonus to your carrying capacity. With this bonus and the Hack skill, you will come to 100kg with your Strength on Average, 120 with two Companions in the party. With this you should have no real issues throughout the entire game.
However, there are a couple more considerations to keep in mind to make it work this way.
They are easy to do and can make a lot of difference, so keep reading on!
Effective Inventory Management to Keep In Mind
Breaking Items Down
Break. Them. Down. Extra 10 bits after early levels is simply not worth it – the repair parts cost more on vendors. The best way is to note the average Sell Value of items in your inventory as your carry capacity fills up and get rid of anything significantly below that. You will get much more value if you free up space for more valuable items.
Get into the habit of doing that and you will always have space for anything you actually want to carry around to sell.
Sometimes Pristine items are also not worth carrying around – check their Sell Value. Sometimes the value of Tossball Blocker in a Pristine condition is still a value of a… well, pristine Tossball Blocker. Break it down. It will serve you well as a repair resource and that doesn’t weigh anything.
Storing Items on the Ship
This might sound obvious, but you should store anything valuable on the ship, and empty out your inventory often. The only items that don’t weigh anything inside your inventory are ammo, General Items (Mag-Picks, Armor and Weapon Parts, and Bypass Shunts), Quest Items, and the MoonMan Helmet. If you are not sure whether you want to keep something, there are several containers on your ship, and all of them are safe to use.
Among the less obvious categories are Consumables and Modifications.
Yes, every Mod only weighs 0.50kg, but if you don’t change out your weapon and armor assembly every other level and modify them all, it will add up. I have 6 Mag-Nums, 6 Whisper Quiet Muzzlers, 6 Thug Kits, 7 SureGrips, 7 SpeedGrips, 8 Silver Tongue Kits, and 9 Gyro Sights in my character’s storage (plenty of other mods, of course) on level 17. I don’t want to sell them just yet, and carrying these around alone would take up 24.5kg! That’s 20.4% of my 120 total kg. I absolutely store these in one of the ship’s lockers instead.
Another type of items that adds up quickly are Consumables – with 0.05-0.30kg per item, accumulating them in high numbers will take a hit on your carrying capacity. (I keep selling Rizzo’s drinks as soon as I pick them up, and yet I have x20 Purpleberry Punch in storage on my ship somehow. Felix…?) Use the two fridges on the Unreliable (or any other type of a container) to sort out what you need and sell the rest. Seriously. You won’t need every type of the consumable (but certainly keep the ones that give bonuses to Attributes and use them often! They make a huge difference).
If you are a frequent Inhaler user (been there… eventually stored Adrenos and just spammed consumables. Wait… how does inhaling a can of beans or a frozen meal works…?), you might want to get the Hoarder Perk over lower-level carrying capacity perks (-50% Consumable Weight, Tier 2) and get rid of everything you don’t use. However, a 100kg carrying capacity perk might still be a better investment, if you can wait until then.
Combined, these methods are a solid alternative to using your attribute or perk points, which can be invested somewhere else.
Hope you have learned something new from this guide. If you have additional effective methods of managing your inventory, you should certainly let us know!