Skills in The Outer Worlds provide boosts to the character's abilities in seven areas:
These seven core skill areas contain multiple skills within them, each one allowing a maximum of 100 points to be invested. Each point in a core skill area will significantly increase all the skills within them, up to 50 points each. After 50 you can specialize by adding points directly to the individual skills in that area.
Although skills enhance the character's abilities, they will also have a wider effect. Dialog skills, for example, will open dialog options in conversation; however, it all also affect combat performance. Points can be distributed to create different character archetypes, such as one that is good at sneaking, or a firearms expert.
Skills will also impact what dialog options can be selected, including a "dumb" dialogue option if the right stats have been selected, which should provide some comic relief.
For every 20 points put into a skill, a tiered perk for that individual skill is earned. There are 5 tiered perks for each skill. The tiers are Novice (20), Competent (40), Adept (60), Expert (80), and Master (100).
Flaws give a permanent decrease to certain skills.