Mechanics (or Gameplay Mechanics) are the foundational systems and aspects of Outward.
Achievements can be earned on all platforms, though they do not grant any in-game benefits.
Outward doesn't have a typical saving system. Instead of manual saving, the game automatically saves your progress periodically, and forces you to deal with the consequences of your actions. If you are defeated, one of many different Defeat Scenarios will occur. These scenarios range from a stranger helping you back to your home, to bandits enslaving you in their mines. This is why planning your attacks is very important in Outward.
Choices in Outward are meaningful and permanent. From large choices like which faction the player joins, to small ones like individual dialogue options, every decision in Outward can have lasting and far-reaching impact. Decisions are permanent, and players will need to make multiple characters if they wish to experience all possible outcomes.
Combat in Outward is characterized by the player's ability to outsmart and outplay their opponents, as many weapons, armor and skills accessible to the player are also accessible to enemies.
Timing and patience are key to mastering Outward's combat, as well as understanding your opponents.
Magic in Outward is ritualistic and deliberate. In order to use magic players must first unlock Mana by traveling to the center of Conflux Mountain and permanently sacrifice some portion of their maximum Health and Stamina.
Quite often spells are not very powerful when used by themselves. Skill Combinations are necessary to unleash the true potential of your abilities.
The world itself has many mechanics which will affect the player's experience. The temperature of the environment will make the player hot or cold, potentially leading to negative effects or disease. It can even rain and snow, which have their own Effects.
In-game time in Outward passes 24-times faster than in real life. In other words, one day of in-game time is one hour of real life, and one hour of in-game time is two and a half minutes in real life.
- Daytime is between 5:00 am to 9:59 pm, and Nighttime is between 10:00 pm to 4:59 am
- Multiple quests need to be completed before a certain number of in-game days have passed.
- Some quests will give you explicit time requirements (such as the 5 day limit in Call To Adventure), others will give you more implicit requirements that can result in multiple quest outcomes. In both cases the Quest Log does not track when a quest was issued to you, so it is entirely up to the player to manage their time.
- Traveling between regions will advance time ahead by 2 or 3 days depending on the regions you are departing/arriving from.
- Temperature changes occur between day and night in most regions. The Abrassar region for example is very hot during the day, but becomes very cold at night.
- Winter will arrive in the Chersonese region after a certain number of days have passed, and recede again after another long period
- Enmerkar Forest has a foggy, wet season, though it is not as cold as Chersonese winter.
The player is never truly defeated in Outward, they will simply pass out and wake up in a random scenario. This can be positive or negative - the player might receive help from a friendly passer-by, or they may be captured by Bandits and thrown in a prison. Being defeated will also move time forward by a reasonable amount.
Legacy is a mechanic by which the player can inherit items from previous characters with the use of Legacy Chests.
When creating a new character, the player must select the "Legacy" option on the character creation menu, and choose which ancestor they want to inherit from.
Certain items will be upgraded when inherited on the legacy character.
Hardcore Mode is an alternate gameplay mode, where players have a 20% chance of permanently dying when defeated. When a player permanently dies, they will see a unique defeat scenario screen, before their character is permanently deleted.
Players who choose to play in Hardcore Mode will be unable to play with non-Hardcore players, and vice versa.