People Can Fly's latest looter shooter follows in the studio's lineage of expressive and fast-paced combat afforded through its four classes. Each class lays host to a range of playstyles and tactics. Beginners wanting to dip their toes into Outriders' gameplay loop without too much of an adjustment period might find comfort in the Outriders Devastator class. This guide should help players better understand how to use the game's signature tank.
Note: This is a basic guide meant for starting players. While Outriders' loot game begins much sooner than its contemporaries, end-game expedition strategies will require more precise min-maxing. This guide is meant for the core content.
Outriders Devastator Basics
The Devastator's healing mechanic is identical to the Trickster in that you refill health from close-range kills. This range is denoted by a skull with a green plus sign underneath enemy health bars. Unlike the Trickster, however, its armor pool consists of a single health bar rather than the segmented health and shield system. Its beefy, tank-like nature makes it perfect for solo players. While there are nuances players can discover with regard to differentiating between optimal solo and co-op Devastator builds, those differences won't manifest until the end-game expeditions. Until then, most players will be playing the Devastator very similarly. You'll know your stats and build are working if you're able to remain in combat with few breaks for cover.
Melee is the best tool to reinforce the game's aggression. Standing melee attacks push out a cone-shaped anomaly-fused blast, meanwhile running melee attacks cover a large AOE. In the Devastator's case, these attacks inflict the bleed status. Whether being rushed by large groups or rushing into a group yourself, bleed becomes a necessity. It drains enemy health bars more quickly, allowing for more kills per second. This in turn means the Devastator can spend more time in the open.
In the long run, the Technomancer or Pyromancer may prove to be the most powerful classes during the end-game grind, but for average players looking to finish the game, Devastator is the simplest to run through the core content with from the start without a rough adjustment period.
Outriders Devastator Class Trees
The Devastator's three class trees are: Vanquisher, Warden, and Seismic Shifter.
- Vanquisher - This tree is for those looking to deal the most damage possible with several nodes increasing general and close-range damage along with more specialized nodes with the after-effect of allowing higher DPS
- Warden - This is the general tank tree, introducing passive health generation along with health and armor increases.
- Seismic Shifter - This tree leans heavily on the anomaly powers with increases to anomaly power damage, skill leach, and reduced cooldowns for damage dealing powers along with the more specialized nodes.
Solo players don't need to stick exclusively to the Warden tree for a fighting chance. At best, acquire one Anomaly in Veins (health regeneration) node. Considering how much the Devastator relies on its anomaly powers for both damage and healing, the Seismic Shift tree is where players will want to invest most of their class points if they want the best ratio between DPS and health regeneration.
Increases to skill leach in combination with the recommended passive health regeneration node and reduced skill cooldowns provide an absurd level of health regeneration per second. You'll be almost unstoppable. The Vanquisher tree shouldn't be entirely glossed over, though, as, unlike some other classes, both Shotgun Master and Assault Master fall under the same tree.
Efficient DPS builds won't want to acquire both masteries. Because the Devastator's weapon choice is less integral to success than other classes, invest in the weapon type you enjoy the most and save that extra class point for another node.
Outriders Devastator Skills
The Devastator's skills come in a few flavors: protection, kinetic, seismic, and interrupt.
Protection skills help players survive longer. Kinetic and seismic skills deal damage in different ways and interrupt skills do as their name suggest. If nothing else, every Devastator should use Gravity Leap. It's a kinetic/interrupt skill, but beyond that, it offers breathing room. Gravity Leap morphs players into a boulder formation suspended in mid-air. From this vantage point, an enemy can be targeted for a ground smash. Players can't take damage in that mid-air phase. Health regeneration is also possible in this state, making Gravity Leap a vital reset skill.
Between the two protection skills, Golem is more useful for its greater versatility. It offers a straight 65% damage reduction and remains active during any other player action. Reflect Bullets stops every bullet in its path as long as the barrier is held, then reflects that damage back after the barrier goes down. It also reflects a portion of melee damage immediately.
This presents two problems. It's only especially useful against an arena primarily filled with foes hurling traditional bullets. Because it doesn't bank damage from melee attacks before unleashing, it doesn't do much to melee wielding enemies. Reflect Bullets also doesn't protect against weaponry like flamethrowers. To make matters worse, players can't shoot while the barrier is deployed unless installing a specific mod, which then reduces incoming damage by 50% instead. Golem is more active and protects against more kinds of damage without a hindrance.
Concerning the third skill slot, avoid Impale. Single-target skills without AOE don't make sense in a game like Outriders. For builds emphasizing beefing up the Devastator's tankiness, Tremor is your best bet. It creates a series of explosions over a period of time which also drains enemy health with each pulse. With some mod tinkering, this effectively makes it a second protection skill with even more versatility than Reflect Bullets.
Players wanting to invest in a more damage-focused Devastator are just fine with Earthquake or Endless Mass. Boulderdash is powerful when it works as intended, but it's too unreliable. Activating Boulderdash sends the player charging forward before unleashing a deadly ground smash. Unfortunately, unlike many other skills across the classes, Boulderdash's activation isn't so simple. You can't cancel the charge into the ground smash whenever. You're at the mercy of the game's behind the scenes elements determining when that ground smash pops off. In a game whose loop is as laser-focused as Outriders, you can't waste time on working out kinks like that.
Outriders Devastator Weapons
If variants are included, Outriders has dozens of weapons, but delving into the minutia of weapon variants is better saved for end-game. For the core content's purposes, the game's weapon types are distinguished as follows:
- Sniper Rifles
- Lightmachine Guns
- Submachine Guns
- Assault Rifles
- Double Guns
Unless some off-kilter late-game build is discovered, revolvers and pistols are basically useless. Always equip the best sidearm Outriders drops, but don't invest progression into it. Primary weapons will be your bread and butter.
In that regard, selecting an optimal primary weapon isn't as exact of a science for the Devastator as other classes. Sniper rifles should only be relegated to Technomancers and Pyromancers, but beyond that, players are free to pick whatever they have the most fun with. The Trickster's weak armor pool made a high damage auto shotgun a necessity for one of its primary slots. The Devastator, however, has such high health with access to so many forms of health regeneration and that reset tool across its anomaly powers that nailing a specific weapon isn't needed for the core content.
With effective use of skills and class tree progression, players are free to run with any mix of shotguns or assault weapons to their heart's content.
Playing as Outriders Devastator Class
The Devastator is the most straightforward class to understand, making it a good entry point for beginners just wanting to enjoy Outriders without fussing too much with its systems. This makes it more viable for players wanting to experiment as deviations in builds don't have clear-cut disparities in terms of utility. By the same token, it doesn't have enough tools in its kit to match the potential afforded by the other classes. Regardless, players wanting to enjoy Outriders on a first playthrough without too much resistance are best served by the Outriders Devastator. Check out our beginners guide for more tips.