Outer Wilds is one of the most innovative puzzle games of any generation — and with the new Echoes of the Eye DLC available to everyone, its a great time to revisit the vanilla adventure. In Outer Wilds, you’re given a spaceship and only one objective; explore before a supernova wipes out all life in the solar system. You’ve got a tight 22 minutes to learn as much as you can about the various weird (and fully simulated) planets, uncovering the secrets of a vast and ancient alien project to discover an anomaly in deep space.
Outer Wilds is a strange puzzle game, because there are no traditional puzzles. Instead, this game is all about discovery. Learning how the alien technology works, and the mysteries of the solar system, so you can finally reach your true goal. It can take 22 hours, or 22 minutes if you know exactly what to do. And guess what — I know exactly what to do. After many replays, I think I can confidently explain exactly what you need to do to complete Outer Wilds in a single cycle.
Not that you should. If you’re struggling to reach the end game, or if you’re just curious what steps are absolutely 100% required, we’ve got a guide explaining how to complete the game from the beginning — no prior experience necessary. Though, I really do recommend practicing. There’s basically no way to actually win in a single cycle. But, you can win in record time just by knowing all the steps to reaching the mysterious anomaly.
Step #1: Obtaining The Anomaly Coordinates
Before you can travel to the anomaly — your final goal — you need to obtain the coordinates. The coordinates are located in a probe trapped in the core of Giant’s Deep. The core of the planet has an impassable ocean current.
- How To Get Through The Giant’s Deep Currents: To reach the core of Giant’s Deep, find the counter-clockwise tornado.
- Most tornadoes are clockwise — watch the tornadoes and check to see which forces islands to sink instead of fly into the sky.
- Entering this tornado in your ship will launch you through the impassable current and into the depths of Giant’s Deep.
Once you’re in the center of the planet, you’ll have to pass through a second electrified barrier to reach the core.
- How To Get Through The Electrified Core: To enter the Core, exit your ship and float inside one of the jellyfish bodies. While inside a jellyfish, you’re immune to the electrical effects of the core. While inside, wait for the jellyfish to slowly lower into the core.
- To hide inside a jellyfish, float under it and up into the tentacles. You’ll have to move carefully inside the electrified “cage” to avoid taking shock damage.
Now that you’re in the Core, find the crashed section of the Orbital Probe and enter it. Target the giant glowing blue ball in the tube, and move it to the last spot — translate the floating text to get the Ash Twin Coordinates.
This step does NOT need to be repeated. Once you have the Ash Twin Coordinates, you have them forever.
Step #2: Collect The Advanced Warp Core
WARNING: From this point on, all steps have to be repeated if you die. The following steps must be completed in the same cycle, on the same life. This is the trickiest part of the adventure. Before attempting, I highly recommend fully exploring the Dark Bramble and finding the Ash Twin Project facility on your own.
Next, we need to travel to The Hourglass Twins. On the Ash Twin (the smaller planet covered in Sand) the player needs to wait for the sand to lower enough to reveal Two Warp Towers on the equator of the planet — part of a long raised bridge.
- How To Enter The Ash Twin Project: Entering the smaller / ruined tower will teleport you to the Ash Twin Project facility — but only as the sand suction tower passes by.
- Entering the taller tower teleports you to a site near a lab on Ember Twin.
- Hide under the bridge connecting the two towers or inside the room in the small alcove, then step out onto the warp platform right as the Ember Twin is directly overhead.
Once you’re inside the facility, find the glowing blue control balls. Use the two balls on the far end to expose the Advanced Warp Core, then disable gravity to reach it. Take the Advanced Warp Core and leave.
WARNING: Taking the Advanced Warp Core will disable the project, meaning death is permanent! Before doing this, I highly recommend practicing the next step. Next is the most difficult part. You’re also on a time limit. Return to this step after reading and collect the core ASAP.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before entering the Ash Twin Project Facility, make sure to park your ship on the poles of the planet — NOT THE EQUATOR. If your ship is sucked into the sand funnel, you’ll have a much harder time reaching it safely.
Step #3: Take The Advanced Warp Core To The Vessel
The final step is in the Dark Bramble. This is a terrifying and dangerous location filled with enormous Angler Fish enemies — they’ll eat your ship whole if you make noise. The Dark Bramble consists of massive pocket chambers filled with Angler Fish.
NOTE: To get the Escape Pod Distress Signal for your Signalscope, you need to activate one of the Escape Pods. You’ll find crashed escape pods on Brittle Hollow and Ember Twin.
- How To Find The Vessel: Inside the Dark Bramble, you need to follow an Escape Pod Distress Signal with the Signalscope.
- Move toward the red light in the distance. You’ll reach a red threshold — which leads into a deadly area that’s packed with Angler Fish.
- Inside the core, when you’re far enough away from the anglers (don’t hear breathing) you use the Signalscope to find the Escape Pod.
Once you find the Escape Pod, follow the trail of bodies and lights to the Vessel. There are no more Anglers once you reach the Escape Pod crash site.
- How To Survive the Angler Fish Ambush: Give yourself a small amount of speed so you float into the node without having to use your thrusters. The sound of thrusters will activate the enemies.
- Float by the three (without using thrusters) — it is okay to reorient yourself. Once you’re far enough away that you don’t hear their breathing, you can use thrusters sparingly again.
You can also exit your ship and travel via spacesuit without your ship to cutdown on thruster noise, but this isn’t strictly required. Follow the Distress Signal with the Signalscope straight to the Vessel.
Step #4: Reach The Eye Of The Universe
Once you find the Vessel, travel to the Control Room. Underneath, remove the broken Warp Core and input the working Advanced Warp Core to power the facility.
Next, go to the Control Room and input the Anomaly Coordinates — once the portal is activated, all you need to do is step through it to enter the end game.
The rest is a BIG SPOILER. The ending leads to some very strange places, but you can’t fail once you reach the anomaly. You’re free to explore as much as you need to. You’re no longer under a time limit. You’ve broken the cycle and discovered the truth!