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Outlast Trials beginner's guide: Tips and tricks for staying alive

You will (hopefully) survive

An Outlast Trials beginner’s guide might seem unnecessary at first glance. You flip some switches, get out fast – what could go wrong? A lot, actually, and pretty frequently. The Outlast Trials is a brutal horror game that demands quick thinking and good planning, and it’s a bit overwhelming to dive into unprepared.

Our Outlast Trials beginner's guide offers some handy tips and tricks to help get you up to speed and enjoy your time in the Cold War hellscape a bit more.

Soft and quiet

Your foes are annoyingly perceptive and will almost inevitably hear when you make a sound. Avoid running unless you’re already being chased, and keep an eye on the environment around you. Broken glass and other sound traps litter every map and point out your location if you step on them. Even closing doors with force or, sometimes, vaulting over objects will make enough noise to cause trouble.

Hey, listen

The good thing is that your enemies make noise too. Footsteps, shuffles, conversations with themselves – keep a listen out for these and other noises so you have an idea of where not to go and where else might be safe while you know your foe is occupied.

Close the door behind you

Close doors as you go through them to slow any pursuing enemies down. Check if there’s a lock, assuming you have the time and space to, and if there is one, lock it. That’ll slow enemies even further, though you shouldn’t get complacent. They’ll still bust the door down and carry on after you. It just takes a little longer.

Don’t get ahead of yourself and lock a door you might need to open later. Leave all paths open until you’re being chased.

An Outlast Trials monster attacks one player character in a narrow hallway, as two more look on

Keep an eye out for escape routes as you move around, in case you get ambushed.

Hello, darkness

The upside to being chased in the dark by a bunch of bloodthirsty mutants is that most of them can’t actually see in the dark. You, however, can, at least while your implanted night-vision goggles have juice. You can often hide in the dark, and enemies will pass by without a clue that you’re near.

Brick it

Bricks are your friends. So are bottles and basically anything you can throw. A well-placed throw deals with some weaker enemies, but it can also create openings for you to slip by unnoticed. As long as Mother Gooseberry and the rest aren’t chasing you or fully aware of your location, you can throw something to create a noise distraction and lure them away from wherever you don’t want them to be.

Just make sure you don’t do like I did more times than I care to admit and accidentally toss something too close. That’s a real good way to break your cover fast and then die.

RIG the match

RIG abilities give your characters a role of sorts – healer, debuffer, scout, and so on – and while that’s handy in teams of four, two RIGs are much more important than the rest. They’re also deceptively deep. Heal sounds pretty self-explanatory, but it does more than just restore your health. It reduces psychosis – always handy, especially when the literal psychosis monster is just over the horizon – and leaves behind a mist that slows pursuing enemies down.

Using it well takes practice and some quick thinking, and it’s often better to wait until you’re being or will soon be chased to heal, so you can slow your foes and restore health in one go.

Stun does what it says on the label, which is particularly handy if you’re waiting for the exit shuttle and have enemies on your tail, but it also recharges your night-vision goggles.

An Outlast Trials character uses a taser on an enemy

Not fun for them, but life-saving for you.

Failure is fine

It’s okay to lose in The Outlast Trials. Well, it’s grisly, disturbing, and maybe something you’d want to avoid having imprinted in your mind, but emotional well-being aside, there’s no major penalty for failing. And you probably will fail – a lot, initially at least. Every failure helps you figure out how enemies function, understand map layouts, and get a better idea of how your RIG abilities work in specific situations.

Take it slow

The Outlast Trials is fun while it lasts, but in its launch form, it’s pretty easy to burn through the game in short order. Trials only has five stages and two main bosses. Sure, a match can play out in any number of horrible, hilarious ways, but if you go too hard, it’ll all get a bit stale pretty quickly – the same as pretty much every live-service game. Red Barrels said the team is working on a roadmap for future updates, which will likely include new maps and trials, though there’s no anticipated timeframe for any new updates yet.

Strength in numbers

You can play The Outlast Trials alone, but it’s tough. Almost all of its challenges are easier to contend with if you’re in a group of at least two people, so if you’re struggling, consider joining other players. Multiplayer does take some of the tension out of each round, but it’s also much less frustrating.