Outer Wilds, from the time I have spent with it, is a pretty stunning game. You travel from planet to planet, trying to find answers to life’s big questions, and also trying not to get booped off into space. One way that the game eschews modern design sensibility is the way it saves. If you have been a little confused, this guide will run through how it all works.
How To Save Your Game In Outer Wilds
First up, you can’t. There is no option to manual save. The game will only autosave, and it will only seem to do it under certain circumstances. Outer Wilds is about trying to find answers before the sun blows up, which happens every 20 minutes. Due to apparent cosmic shenanigans, you relive the same 20 minutes over and over again.
The game will only save under two circumstances that I have discovered so far. The first, the sun explodes. It sounds dramatic purely because it is, I mean, it’s an exploding star. When this happens, the loop resets, all discovered information is saved, and you start again at the launch platform.
The other circumstance that will cause the game to save is when you die by other means. Maybe you smash into a rock floating through space (I’ve done it), or you go too far from safety and run out of oxygen (I’ve done that too). My favorite death so far has been falling through a black hole, getting chucked out into the far end of the solar system and slowly drifting off until I eventually ran out of oxygen and died. It really gives you time to think about the various mistakes you made during life, namely, falling into a black hole.
As such, when sitting down to play Outer Wilds, you probably want the free time that can be measured in 20 minutes blocks. If not, you can always just throw yourself into a black hole to juke the reset in your favor.