Would Outriders even be able to call itself a looter-shooter without giving you a choice of four classes, each with their own specialist abilities and varying approaches to combat?
Luckily, that’s exactly what you get, as Outriders does indeed feature four character classes for you to choose from:
- Devastator: The Tank class. Specialises in close-up combat.
- Pyromancer: The Conjurer class. Specialises in mid-range combat.
- Technomancer: The Tech/Support class. Specialises in long-range combat.
- Trickster: The Assassin class. Specialises in hit-and-run combat.
One thing to bear in mind is that while there are four classes, multiplayer parties are limited to three members. Therefore, you’ll never be playing Outriders with a representative of every class, and some skills and mods will be unavailable to the party as a whole. This makes it all the more important to go in with a character build that makes the most of your preferred playstyle and your character’s abilities.
Outriders Character Builds
Each Outriders character class has its own branching tree with three unique areas of focus. Choosing to specialise in one of these sub-classes brings its own benefits, though you have the option to mix and match between the class trees as well.
I’m always an advocate of finding your own playstyle and tailoring your character builds around it. I’m personally partial to going in as tanky as possible, but who can resist the siren call of wielding elemental magic from your bare hands? Fortunately, Outriders doesn’t present you with a straight choice between the two, with multiclassing characters surprisingly common in the class tree builds.
If you’re looking for more information on each build to help you make an informed choice, read on below for a closer look at each class tree, plus our picks of some of the coolest builds we’ve seen so far.
Outriders Devastator Sub-Classes
Going down the Vanquisher class tree gives you the most purely aggressive Devastator. The Vanquisher aims to deal maximum damage while minimising cooldown times to support fast-paced, offensive combat. Advancing down this tree, you’ll see regular improvements to weapon performance and armour durability.
Best skills for Vanquisher: Gravity Leap, Boulderdash, Endless Mass.
The Warden class tree essentially allows your tank to multiclass as a healer of sorts. The main focus is on keeping health and health regeneration high, as well as healing and shielding allies. Wardens are far from non-combatants, though, as they also make the best use of attacks that cause enemies to take Bleed damage.
Best skills for Warden: Golem, Gravity Leap, Impale.
A Seismic Shifter is still primarily a tank, but possessing a suite of mage-like elemental abilities. Like the Vanquisher, their focus is on reducing cooldown times and improving damage dealing, but with a focus on seismic attack skills over weapon-based combat (though they enjoy improvements in that area too).
Best skills for Seismic Shifter: Gravity Leap, Impale, Tremor.
Recommended Devastator Build
One of the major downsides to the Devastator is the class’s performance in the late game, especially the post-campaign Expedition chapters. Since the Expeditions carry a clear time requirement in order to get the best loot, the tanky but lumbering Devastator has come to be seen as a bit of a liability.
To offset this reputation, however, check out the Solo Gold 15s build by Steam user Zanarkand. As the name suggests, the user was able to complete the final Expedition at Tier 15 in Gold time while playing solo — a tough proposition no matter what class you’re playing as. It’s a compelling argument for the Devastator being able to keep up with the other classes at any stage of the game.
This build focuses on the Seismic Shifter class tree, but dips into the Warden tree too. Equipping the skills Gravity Leap, Earthquake, and Golem ensures that the player doesn’t need to keep too close an eye on their health, freeing them up to focus on damaging enemies.
Outriders Pyromancer Sub-Classes
The Ash Breaker class tree prioritises increased ranged weapon damage. There’s also a strong focus on inflicting Ash to immobilise and harm enemies. A major benefit of this sub-class tree is that your character will become a hardcore weapons specialist, able to wield just about any gun to the most devastating effect.
Best skills for Ash Breaker: Feed the Flames, Volcanic Rounds, Ash Blast.
If your idea of Pyromancer is someone who can shoot balls of flame from their hands, the Fire Storm class tree is the one you’ll want to follow. This may well be the classic elemental power wielding mage type of your dreams. Attack efficiency and damage from Ignite skills are the main focus of this sub-class.
Best skills for Fire Storm: Thermal Bomb, Volcanic Rounds, FASER Beam.
The Tempest sub-class is similar to the Fire Storm, but with a focus on Explosive rather than Ignite skill attacks. Given that you’ll often be standing right in the centre of a blast of nuclear proportions, it makes sense that health boosts receive a bit more focus on this class tree as well.
Best skills for Tempest: Overheat, FASER Beam, Eruption.
Recommended Pyromancer Build
The Fire Witch build for the Pyromancer class is pretty heavily modelled on the Tempest sub-class, but with elements borrowed from the Fire Storm class tree as well. It makes use of all the class’s most powerful pyrotechnics, coupled with the Inferno Seed as the main weapon, to turn your character into an elemental force to be reckoned with.
This build comes with quite the high seal of approval: a guide video for the build was shared by the official Outriders Twitter account.
Introducing – The Fire Witch! A devastating Pyromancer nuke-based build that relies on you weaving skills together to maximize its effectiveness.
Ultimate Loadout Week has officially begun. Running everyday until March 26.
— Outriders (@Outriders) March 22, 2021
Further notes on the build reveal that it equips the Lava Lich armour set, with a mod set that focuses on the Eruption skill. Rule of thumb: if it’s named after a real-life volcano (see ETNA and Pompeii), it’s a mod you want to prioritise for this build.
The recommended skills for the build are Eruption (naturally) as well as Overheat and FASER Beam.
Outriders Technomancer Sub-Classes
The Pestilence sub-class, as the name suggests, focuses primarily on Decay skills and dealing Toxic damage to enemies. Their technical expertise isn’t neglected, though: they’re also the class’s main weapon specialists, with access to the biggest boosts to offensive attacks from traditional ranged weapons.
Best skills for Pestilence: Blighted Rounds, Tool of Destruction, Blighted Turret.
The Tech Shaman is perhaps more what you’d expect from a Technomancer, with a focus on Gadget skills and support activities such as healing allies. They’ve also got a bit of a thing for inflicting Freeze damage on enemies. While their weapon proficiency stays pretty low, they get regular boosts to armour durability, ensuring they’re far from vulnerable.
Best skills for Tech Shaman: Cryo Turret, Fixing Wave, Cold Snap.
The Demolisher walks the line between offensive and defensive action. Their main specialism is Ordinance skills, so this is the class tree to follow if you really want to play with a rocket launcher. They also get to sample some of the best bits of the other two Technomancer sub-classes, with regular boosts to Toxic and damage resistance.
Best skills for Demolisher: Scrapnel, Blighted Rounds, Tool of Destruction.
Recommended Technomancer Build
Outriders can be infamously stingy with the Legendary gear sometimes, so it’s refreshing to see a build like the Technomancer Anomaly, which can be put together without Legendary weapons and with only Tier 1 and 2 mods.
Posted by YouTube user Emil Boström with further notes on Reddit, the build aims to minimise weapon usage. Instead, there’s a focus on dealing melee and Toxic damage to groups of enemies — the larger the better.
The essential skills for the build are Scrapnel and Blighted Turret, leaving you with the third skill slot to play to your preferences (consensus is that Tool of Destruction is a strong choice).
Of course, there’s no reason not to use Legendary weapons and Tier 3 mods to take this build even further, if and when you have them, but at that point they’re really just the icing on the cake.
Outriders Trickster Sub-Classes
Assassins specialise in teleporting to and from locations to speedily take down their enemies. They aren’t a stealthy class, however, as evidenced by the fact that their weapon of choice is the shotgun. They’re quite proficient with other weaponry, too, since their method is to zip in, deal as much damage as they can, and quickly zip back out again.
Best skills for Assassin: Slow Trap, Hunt the Prey, Borrowed Time.
The Harbinger’s class tree is focused almost exclusively around keeping the Harbinger safe from harm. They can accrue frequent, powerful boosts to health, shield, and armour. Combat is primarily defensive, built around putting distance between the Harbinger and their enemies. This is an especially good build to play if you’re exploring the game and concentrating on increasing World Tier.
Best skills for Harbinger: Slow Trap, Venator’s Knife, Time Rift.
The Reaver sub-class is a bit like the Assassin; but instead of focussing on a single target, the Reaver aims to take down as many enemies at once as they can. While the other two Trickster class trees focus on either guns or knives, the Reaver makes use of both in devastating area-of-effect attacks.
Best skills for Reaver: Temporal Blades, Twisted Rounds, Cyclone Slice.
Recommended Trickster Build
Following a Trickster class tree with no deviation leads to a character build that is very single-minded, focused either on pure damage or pure survival. The Shield Maiden build shared by Redditor u/BeardedWonder0 bucks the class’s whole trend to provide a balance between the two.
In an unexpected move that Loki would be proud of, the Shield Maiden build begins by following the Assassin class tree, before jumping off down one of the midway branches and ending with a focus on the Harbinger sub-class instead. This results in a Trickster build that’s able to mix offensive and defensive combat strategies to surprising effect.
Equip the Time Rift and Venator’s Knife Deception skills to disrupt enemy attacks, coupled with the Twisted Rounds skill for pure damage dealing.
Another great benefit of this build is that it doesn’t rely on you picking up specific equipment. The recommended main weapon is the Grim Marrow, but any LMG will do, while the mods you equip to support the build’s skills are far more important than the armour you equip them on.
If you’re new to the game and are wondering which class you should pick, check out our beginner’s guide to character class in Outriders.
Or for a comprehensive run-down of all our Outriders guides, visit our guide hub for the game.