If you haven’t played the comprehensive demo of Outriders before its launch date, it is available now for download and the amount of content for it basically covers the whole of chapter 1, which is quite a good chunk. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny the amount of value that the devs have laid out for you to try. You are encouraged to try out all the classes after completing the first mission, however if you have no time for that, we got you, fam!
So what would be the best class for you? Pokemon starts you off with Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur, but with the fourth class in Outriders, you can add Pikachu to the mix. So it’s Pyromancer, Technomancer, Trickster, and Devastator… which choice would be perfect for you?
To answer it simply, it would depend on your playstyle and what you’re comfortable with. If you’re an assault player, a Pyromancer would do just the trick. If you like to be strategic and play as a long range tactical character, maybe a Technomancer is for you. If you don’t like cover-style gunplay, maybe a Trickster or Devastator would work. The great thing about the classes in Outriders is that they can work pretty well whether you choose to play solo or with a team.
We’ll line up each class you can choose in Outriders and talk about their strengths, weaknesses, and what would make them optimal.
Take note that this guide is written based on the demo build released on February 25.
Technomancer — Versatile class for long-range players
Pros: Versatile tactical class that gives you options in how to engage your enemies with abilities such as the cryo turret and pain launcher.
Cons: Close-range options are limited.
Recommended loadout: Sniper rifle for long range and assault rifle or shotgun for mid-range and close-range.
I’ve enjoyed playing as the Technomancer class because they’re really easy to use and you can easily cheese your way out of difficult situations even on solo. Having the cryo turret as an easily rechargable skill actually grants you a decoy and a tactical weapon that freezes enemies upon impact, which in turn enables you to pick them off with your sniper rifle or to prioritize other enemies distracted by the cryo turret.
Having the scrapnel remote grenades allow you to set traps for crowd control that easily gives you some health insurance when things get tough. Finally, the pain launcher is great crowd control or last resort when the swarm gets larger. While the cool-down time is a little slow, the cryo turret really has your back, but take care not to let enemies get too close. Besides your melee, there’s really nothing else to protect you, so plan your ability timings well and you could keep almost anyone at bay.
While you only get two perk points on this run, I would suggest using them on your abilities and even perks that would quicken cool-time for the cryo turret. It’s a fantastic skill and definitely a staple going into more difficult missions. The blight rounds are cool, but if there’s a way to combine that with a future skill, this initial setup already got your back.
This character is fantastic on solo and probably an integral piece in co-op. I would even see whole teams built around Technos while blanketing the field with rockets, turrets, and scrapnel. It’s a great starter class no matter what your shooting ability is, easy to use, and I can say I rarely die with this character class. It’s a charm.
Pyromancer — Aggressive Crowd Control
Pros: Fast recharge powers for spammable powers to whittle out the crowd
Cons: Boss battles would take a while.
Recommended loadout: Shotgun/Submachine gun for up-close and bolt-action for long range.
Recommended skills: Crowd Control: Heatwave, Overheat, Thermal Bomb; For bosses: Heatwave, Feed The Flame, Thermal Bomb
Between the Trickster and the Pyromancer, the Pyro took a while for me to learn how to use. It’s a balanced class with a bit more hit points that the Trickster, and has the fastest cooldown for all their abilities, allowing you to spam Heatwave and Feed the Flames. What I’ve learned is that they’re the best aggressive class for crowd control.
The Heatwave ability allows you to ignite an enemy and even interrupt bosses, but it’s great as a setup ability for either Overheat or Thermal Bomb. Overheat’s true power is seen when you set a crowd on fire and then finishing them off, as it deals 102 damage for enemies with a burning status. Thermal Bomb deals splash damage when you kill the enemy that has this status switch on. I’d suggest using a sniper rifle as a combo for this to clear the area. It’s also perfect for long-range damage.
As a character, while they feel balanced, they shine with clearing out mobs but fade a bit with bosses. I would recommend having Feed The Flames when dealing with a boss as it’s great for getting a cheap healing move.
I almost gave up on the Pyro after several frustrating attempts at trying to make them work. I personally like killing bosses as a player so this class really wasn’t for me until I opened my mind. Sorry Pyro for not having any faith in you.
While it is doable, the Trickster class is much better for bosses as she only took two minutes and a bit to kill Gauss and less than a minute to take down Captain Reiner. My Pyro took twice as long to do the same for bosses.
Trickster — Tactical Boss Killer
Pros: Most efficient character for boss killing.
Cons: Tricky (heh) to play.
Recommended loadout: Sniper rifle and any automatic weapon as a backup.
Recommended skills: For crowd control: Temporal Slice, Slow Trap, Twisted Rounds; Boss battles: Temporal Slice, Slow Trap, Hunt The Prey
I really want to like the Trickster but like the Pyro, they’re a specialist class. The biggest difference between the two is how they deal with either crowd control or bosses. I feel that the best starter build for them right now is to keep them mid-range with the capacity to survive a close-range battle as fighting bosses are few and far between.
There’s something inherently cool about the Trickster, the trailers show them as these teleporters who play with their opponents and catch them off guard. However, I feel that it takes a little bit more skill to pull it off in play and they’re really a more advanced class. You unlock the skill “Hunt The Prey” quite early and I’ve used the skill both offensively and defensively as I went about.
The problem is, you can only use this teleport skill if you have enemies to teleport to. When you’re being swarmed close-range with no mid to long-range enemies to teleport to, you’re at a disadvantage. I can’t count how many times I died during the McCain sub-quest dealing with a crazy mob. I’d recommend carrying a sniper rifle to whittle down the mob before going nuts with close combat.
Slow Trap is your friend and is possibly my favorite skill in the whole game. It slows down bullets ala Matrix, allowing you to easily dispatch enemies caught with the field or around the field, surprising enemies trying to shoot you but to no avail. The Temporal Slice, while is not my favorite skill, works as a good crowd control and boss interrupter. Twisted Rounds is a fantastic option for both offensive and defensive capabilities if attached to an automatic weapon with a high capacity magazine, acting as a crowd killer.
Fighting against bosses with the Trickster is a treat, as the best way to pull it off is to look for an opening, use Hunt the Prey and Temporal Slice combo to interrupt an enemy skill. Pull up a Slow Trap field to press the charge and take that automatic weapon and unload everything as a headshot.
Devastator — Close-range bullet sponge
Pros: Fun aggressive close-range battle style.
Cons: You could overestimate his defensive capabilities leading to stupid deaths.
Recommended loadout: Anything automatic with a high capacity magazine.
Recommended skills: Earthquake, Reflect Bullets, Gravity Leap
Devastator has become my favorite class to play with because of their amazing offensive capabilities. They’re being advertised as a tank, but all they really do as a tank is draw enemy fire away from other allies, which could be an asset for co-op. However, while they are easily the beefiest of the bunch, it’s really easy to overestimate their defensive capabilities, though they really excel as a close-range specialist.
Earthquake is a crowd control ability that far exceeds a Pyro’s Heatwave, and works well as a mid-to-close range boss interrupter. Reflect Bullets is an offensive-defensive skill gives you a good enough armor to help you out with moving into other cover, but also when you want to go on a full press against a dying boss or a taking out an enemy swarm. Finally, Gravity Leap is the best teleport skill in the game, and what I personally call a sniper killer. Just lock on to a sniper from mid-to-long range and just launch. Bonus points if the sniper is surrounded by friends, because the splash damage is excellent.
One thing I really like with the Devastator is that like the Techno, they’re really easy to pick up and go with it. Unlike the Trickster, which requires some finesse as their skills are more precision based, the Deva is open to improvisation and you can play it by ear on how you want to engage enemies. The Gravity Leap cuts the distance quite easy and its seriously efficient offensively. You can supplement your defense with Reflect Bullets and the Earthquake is an excellent crowd control ability.
I would suggest increasing their defenses and health points with perks because for all their tank attributes, they are actually quite soft. There’s only so much they can take before dying so use cover when you have to, there’s no shame if you’re a tank and you still have to find cover. For all your powers, you’re still human.
What Class Should I Choose?
While we could always tell you our suggestions, the demo makes it quite easy for you to test out all of them as long as you’re done with the prologue. Try ’em out and see which one strikes your fancy. Technos and Devas are easily learned and are really well designed. Tricksters would take a bit of a learning curve to pick up and when the full game comes out, maybe try some their more advanced skills to pair with their teleportation. The Pyro took me the longest to learn, because it was completely different from my play style.
These characters require some time getting used to. A Deva and Techno may seem easy while the Pyro and Trickster will depend on how you play. You may get annoyed with either, but once you figure them out, every class has its unique abilities and playstyle that can cater to almost everybody.
Outriders will be released on PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S on April 1.