The Outer Worlds endings can conclude in one of three ways, all of which require you to complete specific actions in order to achieve.
As this comes at the end of the story, consider this a spoiler warning before we continue.
Needless to say, it's recommended that you complete the game first before coming back to see all the ways the story can conclude!
Though there is a montage that reflects what happens based on your actions and relationships with the likes of factions and companions, the main The Outer Worlds ending you get is determined by your actions during the final 'Keep Secret but Not Forgotten' main quest, where you must choose what happens to the colonists of The Hope.
The decision you make here determines what happens during the final mission on Tartarus, and has a gigantic impact on the game's epilogue montage.
We explain how these three endings play out, and the many choices you can make which change the ending montage.
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How does The Outer World's ending choice work?
The destination you chose to send The Hope during the 'Kept Secret but Not Forgotten' main quest will lock in what ending you will receive.
- To get the 'Save The Hope' ending, you must tell Ada to take The Hope to Terra 2 once you reach the colony ship's main computer.
- To get the 'Sacrifice The Hope' ending, you must tell Ada to take the Hope to Tartarus once you reach the colony ship's main computer.
- To get the Joke ending, your character must have at least a below average intelligence and decide to manually take The Hope to either location - it doesn't matter which you choose.
Remember, once you make jump The Hope to one of these locations, there is no going back. So make sure your certain on what ending you want before you do so.
How to get the 'Sacrificing The Hope' ending in The Outer Worlds
After you complete the main quest 'The City and the Stars' you will be contacted by Adjutant Sophia Akande who will ask you to send a tracking signal from Phineas Welles' secret laboratory. This will start the quest 'Long Distance'.
Go to Phineas' lab and then to his computer terminal on the right side of the room. Send the tracking signal from this terminal, then return to your ship.
Once on your ship and you'll be invited to visit Sophia at her offices on Terra 2, land at Adjutant Akande's Landing Pad and go speak with her.
If at the start of the game you decided to send the power to the Botanical Labs rather than Edgewater during the 'Comes Now the Power' quest, she'll ask you to wipe out the town using mechanicals.
Follow her instructions and kill the people there, then return to her offices. If you didn't choose the Botanical Labs you won't be offered this quest, as Edgewater won't be a drain on The Board's resources.
She'll then tell you to take The Hope to Tartarus, where The Board can use it to enact their plot to save the colony. Return to your ship and fly to The Hope.
Once you make your way to The Hope, fight, sneak, or talk your way past the enemies within until you reach the ship's main computer.
Then, when given the option on where to jump the ship, choose Tartarus as your destination and let Ada make the jump rather than doing it yourself, as doing so may lead to you accidentally getting the Joke ending if your character has below average intelligence.
Once you've done this a cinematic showing The Hope arrive at Tartarus will play, once it's finished return to your ship.
You'll get one last chance to talk to your crew before you descend to the planet, where Phineas has started a riot in one last ditch attempt to save the colonists on The Hope. In doing so, he has Akande held hostage deep within the prison.
Going onto Tartarus is your point of no return, so make sure to complete any side quests you've not done before heading there. Once you're ready, land on the planet make your way through the prison.
After fighting your way to Phineas he'll confront you through a computerYou can either convince him to give up with high speech skills, or you can fight your way to him.
Afterwards The Board's employment program will go into full affect, the smaller colonies will dwindle and collapse, and the citizens of Byzantium continue to live their lives of excess. As for the people in The Hope, they all get jettisoned into space. Good Job!
How to get the 'Saving The Hope' ending in The Outer Worlds
After you complete the quest 'The City and the Stars' ignore Akande's request to put a tracking signal in Phineas' lab and speak to him instead. He will tell you about his plan to jump the The Hope to Terra 2 where he will begin reviving colonists on the ship.
Fly to The Hope, then fight or sneak past the corporate guards and robots within until you reach The Hope's main computer.
When you get there, Ada will talk to you and ask if you are ready to skip The Hope. When she does, select the option to jump to Terra 2 and then let Ada make the jump. If you have a low intelligence stat and decide to make the jump yourself, you'll accidentally get the Joke ending.
Make your way back to your ship. Once you arrive you'll be informed that Ada cannot reach Phineas, and she asks you to go and check on him.
Travel back to Phineas' lab. When you arrive, you'll find his lab overrun with Corporate soldiers and that Phineas missing. Kill or sneak past these enemies, then proceed to the room behind bulletproof glass.
Access his computer (either with a hacking skill of 90 or with the passcode found on a dead cystypig in the same room) and you'll discover that he's been taken to the prison planet of Tartarus.
Using his computer, unlock a panel in his room which has a Tartarus Navigation key inside. This permits you to travel to the planet, where the final mission of the game takes place.
From Phineas' lab return to your ship. As you approach the navigation terminal on your ship you'll be given an opportunity to talk to your crew before heading to Tartarus. Going to Tartarus is the point of no return, so if there's any side content you've left undone - now's the time to do it.
Once you reach the prison, make your way through the complex until you come across Chairman Rockwell. He will confront you and your party, and you can either convince him to let you go or kill him.
Afterwards, proceed upwards to the final section where Phineas is being held. Here you will be met by Sophia Akande, who is the final barrier between you and the end of the game. You can either convince her to give up, or fight R.A.M - a powerful mech that acts as the game's final boss.
Regardless of which you do, after you're done proceed to where Phineas is held and release him. Note that If you kill Akande before you board The Hope, Chairman Rockwell takes her place. He cannot be negotiated with, forcing you to fight with R.A.M.
After a brief final conversation with Phineas you and him get to work saving Halcyon from starvation. The smartest minds on The Hope are revived and The Board's stranglehold on the system dwindles.
How to get The Outer Worlds secret 'joke' ending
The Outer Worlds secret joke ending has you crash the only chance Halcyon has for survival into the sun.
To achieve this brilliant ending, you must have a low enough intelligence stat to unlock the dumb dialogue options.
The easiest way to get this is to create a character with this in mind, which is a real pain if you've already gotten to the end of the game before realising this.
If you haven't done this there's another way to achieve below average intelligence, but only if you left you initial intelligence as average.
Run into as many land mines as you can find until you have the option to obtain the 'Permanent Concussion' flaw. This will lower your intelligence to the necessary level for dumb dialogue options to be unlocked, thus allowing you to get this ending.
If you have dumb dialogue options available, go to Phineas' lab after you complete 'The City and the Stars' questListen to his plan and agree to take The Hope to the belt around Terra 2.
Fly your ship to The Hope and make your way to the ship's main computer.
Once you arrive, choose to jump the ship to Terra 2 and try to make the jump manually instead of letting Ada do it for you. She'll advise you that it's a bad idea, but pick the dumb dialogue option and do it anyway.
Then, watch as The Hope slowly drifts towards the sun. The screen will fade to white and you'll get a single 'The End' screen.
There's no ending montage, no faction or companion recaps. Just a funny easter egg for players who think they know better than a spaceship AI on how to fly a spaceship.
The Outer Worlds begins on Terra-2 where you can complete The Frightened Engineer quest and decide whether to divert power to Edgewater or the Botanical Lab. Once you’ve fixed The Unreliable, you can complete Weapons From the Void to unlock the Science Weapons.
How The Outer Worlds choices affect the ending montage
This montage covers what happens to the Halcyon, and the fate of the factions and companions you met through your time playing. Note that while the factions and companions are affected by what ending you get, they're also affected by your choices throughout the game.
For example, getting the 'Saving the Hope' ending in a playthrough where you help the town of Edgewater will be slightly different than if you got the same ending while helping the Deserters in the Botanical Gardens.
After your assault on Tartarus, the ending montage will play which details the consequences of all your actions. The ending montage proceeds as follows:
- Epilogue opener - introduces your character as the stranger, and how your actions changed the course of history.
- Ending specific scenes. If you saved The Hope colonists this section explains how Phineas started reviving colonists to start saving the Halcyon system.
- It also notes how the settlements come together to pull through tough times without The Board.
- If you chose to sacrifice The Hope colonists it details how the Lifetime Employment Program goes into effect, and how the smaller settlements in Halcyon collapse.
- The next section covers the fate of the Iconoclasts and the Monarch Stellar Industries faction.
- This is affected by your choices made during the main quest 'Radio Free Monarch', specifically whether you decide to negotiate peace between factions, support either MSI or the Iconoclasts, or do nothing at all.
- Next is Sublight, which is affected by whether you decide to stick by Lilya Hagen during the 'The Chimerist's Last Experiment' quest.
- The following section covers Edgewater and The Botanical Labs on Terra 2. This is affected by your choices during the quest 'Stranger in a Strange Land'.
- The Groundbreaker comes next. Whether the future of the Space system is bright or not depends on whether you helped Junlei in the quest 'Happiness is a Warm Spaceship'.
- The final faction to be covered is The Board - specifically the people of ByzantiumIf you chose to save The Hope their life of excess and wealth comes to an end, with some people even having to get jobs.
- If you Sacrifice the colonists on The Hope however, the people in Byzantium continue to live their lives of excess for years to come.
- The next six sections cover your companions, and are affected primarily by whether or not you've completed each of their companion quests. To get the best ending for your crew, you'll need to complete these, although it's worth noting that if you chose to sacrifice the colonists on The Hope - the endings for Parvati, Vicar Max and Felix will be bad regardless.
- The next section covers Minister Clarke, which varies depending on whether you decided to help him during the quest 'The Lying Earth'.
- Next comes Sophia Akande, who's section changes depending on which ending you chose (granted she survives during the Saving The Hope ending).
- This next section is exclusive to the ending where you save The Hope, and covers the life Phineas Welles has following the events of the game. It can be changed slightly depending on whether or not you steal the chemicals from the labs on Byzantium during the 'The City and the Stars' quest.
- There is then a small section that explains what the future of Halcyon is going to be, which is determined entirely by what ending you chose.
- There is then a few pages dedicated to what your character does following the events of the game. If you chose to sacrifice the colonists on The Hope, you earn a cozy senior position in Byzantium. If you choose to save the colonists, you run the system either through Chairman Rockwell if he survived or yourself.
- The montage concludes stating that stories of The Unreliable and its captain will be told for years to come. This is the same regardless of what choices you make.