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Ranking The Outer Worlds companions worst to best

Obsidian Entertainment has a long history full of RPGs. From its humble beginnings with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 to the beloved Fallout: New Vegas, the studio has proven its love for the genre time and again. On Oct. 25, 2019, they finally released The Outer Worlds, the hotly anticipated spiritual successor to the Fallout series.

The game lets you play any sort of character you want. From the brawny musclehead to the scrawny charmer, the robust character creation tool accommodates a wide variety of builds. By extension, this determines the sort of journey you'll have in Halcyon. However, you'll never be perfect at everything. That's where companions come in. Obsidian provides an assortment of colorful characters that can accompany you. They can cover your weaknesses and bolster your strengths. They also interact with you, each other, and whoever you talk to, fleshing out the world at large.

You don't need to go through The Outer Worlds alone. With all these companions to choose from, which ones are the best? Join us as we break each one down and determine who the best ones are.

Companions in The Outer Worlds

On launch, The Outer Worlds features six companions to choose from, although you can only take two with you at a time. The rest stay on your ship. In Edgewater, you'll find Parvati and Vicar Max. She's an engineer who knows how to hit nails and enemies with her hammer. Meanwhile, Max offers spiritual advice as he searches for his own truth in the universe.

On the Groundbreaker, you'll find Felix and Ellie. Felix hates "the man" and can be a little impulsive, but his obsession with tossball makes him more than adequate in close-quarters combat. Ellie takes her life as a pirate doctor seriously, and she rarely finds herself trusting anyone other than herself.

SAM the robot already lives on your ship, the Unreliable, but you'll need to find a spare part to repair it. Afterwards, you can recruit it, and it'll help you clean up the colony.

Finally, on Monarch, you'll find Nyoka, the chronically alcoholic big game hunter. She knows her way around a machine gun, and she's more than willing to help you as long as she finds out what happened to her old squadmates.

SAM lacks customization

SAM is nothing more than a walking, talking punchline. Even its name, Sanitation and Maintenance automechanical, makes fun of it. Nonetheless, SAM makes an excellent ally when you're facing other automechanicals. Its natural corrosive damage already gives it an advantage, while one of its unique perks makes it do even more damage to robots. All in all, SAM can be a real powerhouse.

Yet, that's only limited to specific situations. Put it against non-robot enemies and it becomes far less useful. Sure, it might melt the heavy armor of some foes, but beyond the armor, it doesn't do as much damage. To make matters worse, you can't swap out any of its gear. You can't give it more armor, and you can't modify its weapons to do a plasma damage, for example.

The boosts to your Intimidate, Hack, and Science are nice, especially for builds based around science weapons. However, Vicar Max provides the same bonuses and can be customized. SAM's lack of versatility makes it only useful in specific circumstances. Paired with the fact that its personality is a bit lacking, and you've got a pretty unimpressive companion in The Outer Worlds.

Felix strikes out of The Outer Worlds

Considering The Outer Worlds has a fairly anti-capitalist narrative, it only makes sense that one of your companions would take that sentiment to the extreme. Felix Millstone hates the Board and its authority, although you get the sense that he just needed something to rebel against.

Felix has a thing for tossball, so putting a tossball stick in his hands feels thematically correct. Really though, any melee weapon works well on him, and it complements his ability, Dropkick. Essentially, he leaps into the air and smashes a single enemy with both feet. It's as painful as it is hilarious, and it pushes back enemies while lowering their stats. Yet, compared to the other companions' attacks, it's nothing special. Furthermore, it puts him in the middle of a bunch of dangerous enemies.

His unique perk Rebellion makes him do more damage to corporate military enemies, making him useful if you're going against the Board. If you're going for a sneaky or charismatic character, he boosts your Sneak, Lockpick, and Persuade skills. In that sense, he's a fairly helpful ally to have in the party.

However, his lack of utility in combat makes him a less useful companion.

Nyoka brings the big guns

In the same way that SAM destroys any automechanical, Nyoka shreds through any wildlife you find. That fits her character, too, considering she's been hunting creatures on Monarch all of her life. Luckily, you'll pick her up while on Monarch, and she'll make the rest of your stay a breeze.

She starts off with a really powerful plasma machine gun, but you can swap that out for any other ranged weapon if you'd like. However, she'll always bring that gun out during her ability, Barrage. If the enemy has armor, there's a high chance she'll absolutely destroy it with her attack. Beyond that, she'll leave a nasty burn on them (and surrounding enemies).

By shredding armor, she opens the door for her plasma bullets and burn effect to do even more damage. It's a neat one-two punch packed into a single ability. However, she doesn't provide much in terms of crowd control. Essentially, if you're looking for raw long-range power, Nyoka has that (and only that).

Ellie buffs your healing

Ellie Fenhill treats others fairly coldly, and she isn't quick to trust most others. Fortunately, you can still trust her in combat, as her bonuses to your passive skills can be the difference between life and death. Just by having her in your party, she boosts your Lie, Engineering, and, most importantly, Medical skills. The latter bonus improves your inhaler's healing power.

Furthermore, her perk First Responder gives you another bonus to your inhaler. If that doesn't make you feel safe enough, CPR restores a quarter of your health when you take a fatal hit. When you need a breather in combat, her ability, Quick Draw, disarms the target (if they can be disarmed).

It all sounds peachy, but Ellie does have a few limits. For one, Quick Draw only disarms enemies that can drop their weapons. Creatures and robots — both of which you fight often — can't lose their weapons, making her ability a little useless. Additionally, on the normal difficulty, you'll rarely find yourself challenged enough to benefit from Ellie's full Medical potential. She comes in handy on the higher difficulties, but for the average player, most of her advantages will go unnoticed or unused.

Vicar Max uses science to his advantage

Much like SAM, Vicar Max provides bonuses to your Intimidate, Hack, and Science skills, with his own Science score being fairly high. However, unlike SAM, you can actually alter Max's gear, and that makes a big difference for this Outer Worlds companion. For one, you can actually equip plasma or shock weapons on Max, both of which benefit from higher Science skill levels.

Furthermore, his perk Mad Max makes him do more damage with science weapons. Surely, you can imagine what skill those weapons synergize best with. If you're playing a build that doesn't use science weapons, put Max in your party. He can use them to their full potential, making him the perfect supporting ally in combat. Give him the shrink ray or gloop gun and he'll set up foes for you to knock down.

Even his ability, Trickshot, focuses on making enemies vulnerable. It applies the Weaken status effect, which causes your attacks to do more damage. As the cherry on top, that foe also gets knocked down, giving you a tactical advantage. To put it simply, Max opens the door for you to do more damage.

Parvati knocks out the competition

Parvati likely will be the first companion you find, and she can't be missed, either. Out of combat, she boosts your Persuade, Lockpicking, and Engineering. Granted, Felix offers similar bonuses, but Parvati outweighs him because of her powerful ability, Overload.

Overload might be the flashiest ability in The Outer Worlds, but it has the bite to back up the shock and awe. When she hits an enemy, there's a high chance she'll straight-up knock them out. This doesn't just push them back like Felix's Dropkick, nor does it just knock them down for a second like Max's Trickshot. Overload completely knocks them out, making them lifelessly collapse to the ground for a long time.

No matter who the enemy is, this gives you ample time to secure the kill or keep a threat at bay while you deal with another foe. Additionally, Parvati's area of effect has a chance of stunning enemies, particularly automechanicals. Essentially, Parvati has the ultimate crowd control ability, letting you control any battle