Controversy aside, The Outer Worlds Spacer's Choice Edition performs like garbage on PC

Screenshot of The Outer Worlds Spacer's Choice Edition.
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Outer Worlds Spacer's Choice Edition is a new, current-gen version of Obsidian Entertainment's sci-fi RPG.
  • The game has already been criticized for charging for visual upgrades with no way to transfer save progress from the original.
  • However, the game is getting torn apart by negative Steam reviews due to generally terrible performance.
  • Even players with extremely high-end systems are struggling to get more than 30FPS, alongside other issues.

The Outer Worlds Spacer's Choice Edition is once again proving the ironic accuracy of its unfortunate name, except for entirely different reasons this time. The just-released "next-gen" version of Obsidian Entertainment's critically acclaimed sci-fi RPG is currently being bombarded by endless negative reviews on Steam, and it's all due to horrifically terrible performance.

The Outer Worlds has been begging for a current-gen upgrade since the release of the Xbox Series X|S and more powerful PC hardware, but Private Division and third-party studio Virtuos Games are being criticized for their methods of updating Obsidian Entertainment's game. The Steam version of The Outer Worlds Spacer's Choice Edition is currently afflicted by a "Very negative" review tag, with the majority of reviews lambasting the game for awful, unstable, and buggy performance on Windows PCs.

Many negative reviews are coming from players with objectively high-end systems, like one player equipped with an Intel Core i7-12700K, an NVIDIA RTX 4090, and 32GB of RAM struggling to obtain even 30FPS. Other negative reviews tell similar tales of awful performance, with flickering textures, frequent stutters, and unacceptable framerates.

The Outer Worlds in its original form was one of the best PC games at the time, and many fans were excited for a potential current-gen upgrade blessing the game with improved visuals, performance, and quality-of-life features. Unfortunately, the Spacer's Choice Edition is not living up to expectations.

In my editorial covering The Outer Worlds Spacer's Choice Edition, I heavily criticized the game for being seemingly motivated by greed. Private Division is charging full-price for the Spacer's Choice Edition and its visual upgrades without updating the original game, giving returning players and fans no way to transfer their progress, and only providing one upgrade path — $10 if you already own the original game and both DLC expansions. Now, the game is also apparently afflicted with unacceptable performance issues on PC.

Windows Central's take

I concluded that The Outer Worlds Spacer's Choice Edition is still a good option for those who have never played the original in my editorial, but even that may not be true. I encountered minimal performance issues on my Xbox Series X (fewer, really, than when I played the original), but I admittedly did not see late-game content. Still, players on PC are being met with abysmal performance even in the opening minutes of the Spacer's Choice Edition.

The Spacer's Choice Edition is, sadly, fully embracing its name, and is now difficult to recommend for any reason. Aside from controversies surrounding its high price, lack of save transfers, and the abandoment of the original version, The Outer Worlds Spacer's Choice Edition simply doesn't run well on Steam, a major platform. If you're still curious about this humorous, quirky sci-fi RPG, go play the original (it's available through Xbox and PC Game Pass).

The Outer Worlds Spacer's Choice Edition

The Outer Worlds Spacer's Choice Edition

The Spacer's Choice Edition was never for the fans due to its absurd pricing format and upgrade path, but apparently it's not for PC players, either, thanks to terrible performance on Steam.

See at: Xbox | Steam

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.