Outriders’ World Tier system works a lot like a difficulty setting in other games. World Tier determines how tough your enemies are and what kind of loot you’ll get. It’s a little more nuanced than just difficulty, though.
In this Outriders World Tier guide, we’ll explain the World Tier system, how to change the setting, and talk about the World Tier’s effects (and why you’ll usually want to play on the hardest setting you can manage).
Understanding World Tier
At its most basic, Outriders’ World Tier is the same as difficulty. It starts with story difficulty and progresses through easy and then 13 more increasingly difficult settings — for 15 total difficulty settings. Everyone starts on story, or World Tier 1.
World Tier determines things like how hard the enemies you face are and the quality of drops you’ll pick up. We’ll go into more detail on that below.
Changing World Tier
You’re in control of what World Tier setting you’re playing, and can change it whenever you want. Open the pause menu, and the first option is World Tier.
Hovering over each World Tier tile will pop up information about that World Tier’s effects.
There’s also a setting in the World Tier menu to automatically set the World Tier to the highest available — which is usually the best idea.
This menu is also where you’ll pick up rewards for unlocking new World Tiers. Hover over the chest at the bottom of the World Tier tile to claim it.
Increasing World Tier (World Tier leveling)
As you kill enemies in Outriders, you’ll earn XP toward both your Outrider’s level and the World Tier level. Only XP earned from killing enemies goes toward World Tier, so completing quests and main story missions do not add to your World Tier XP.
When you kill enough enemies to fill the World Tier bar (at the top of your HUD under your level XP gauge), you’ll unlock the next level.
Only XP earned from your highest available World Tier goes toward unlocking the next. That means that to unlock World Tier 5, you’ll need to kill enemies on the World Tier 4 setting — setting it to World Tier 3 or lower won’t add any XP toward unlocking World Tier 5.
When you die, you’ll lose some of the XP going into unlocking the next World Tier. You won’t revert back to an already unlocked level, though — your World Tier XP will only reduce to zero.
World Tier effects
Like we said at the beginning, Outrider’s World Tier is basically the same as a difficulty setting. That’s because the World Tier’s first effect is on enemy levels. Starting at World Tier 1 (story difficulty), the enemies you face are two levels below the default. This increases all the way to 12 levels above the default at World Tier 15.
Starting at World Tier 4, unlocking subsequent tiers (permanently) increases the item level cap for your Outrider’s equitable items. World Tier 4’s +1 wearable item level cap means you can equip gear that is up to one level higher than your character’s level.
Most importantly, World Tier determines the quality of loot drops from killing enemies. Dropped item level, loot rarity modifier, and Legendary drop rate modifier bonus all increase as you level up World Tier. That means that playing at higher World Tiers means you get better loot.
If you’re struggling with an encounter or quest, though, World Tiers 4 and above all have positive values for drop level and rarity. As long as you’re playing on World Tier 4, you’ve got a chance to get better gear than you already have. Playing at the highest level you can will give you the best chance for the best gear, but you don’t always have to max out World Tier to improve.