Disco Elysium

From Before I Play
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  • Click to walk, double-click to run.
  • Soft locks and crashes happen. They'll probably still be a thing even after the game is patched. Save manually every so often (or even obsessively) so you don't have retrace your progress.
  • Succeeding in checks isn't always good. Failing checks isn't always bad. Your skills don't necessarily have your best interests in mind.
  • Inland Empire in particular often advises you to stop investigating things that might shed a light on your past.
  • Don't obsess too much over your build. First of all, failing skill checks can be more rewarding than passing them. Second of all, you can get a lot of situational bonuses to your skills for things you do in gameplay. Your build goes a long way but there’s always a way to reach your goal, regardless of your stats.
  • Psyche and Phys are the less-safe stats to set to 1 because they (specifically the Endurance and Volition skills) give you your health bars; you heal when you sleep (in a bed) and also from some events, but that doesn't matter if you have 1 health out of a maximum of 1 and are thus entirely reliant on healing items auto-rescuing you from death. (You can improve your health directly with skill points though)
  • When you get a Critical health/morale warning, you have a few seconds to use a healing item to prevent your death.
  • Every point your Health or Morale is below maximum is a -1 to Endurance or Volition checks, so it's a good idea to stay topped up on health/morale.
  • Most "bottleneck" main quest checks are white, and can be retried when you increase the relevant stat / when you change something in the game world to make the check easier. Don't keep reloading until you nail that 17% check - chances are that you'll be able to get back to it in time, possibly with enough modifiers from exploration and interaction to turn it into a 97% success.
  • If you really want a huge boost to your xp / $$$ over the course of the game, you may want to prioritize three particular thoughts:
    • Lena, the cryptozoologist's wife (in the wheelchair) will tell you that your amnesia may be helped by a "reality lowdown" from some rich person.
    • Such a person is Joyce Messier, the Wild Pines representative (in a boat in the north-western part of the map). She has a huge lore dump for you, to the point that the game outright recommends you don't read it all at once. But you only need to ask about two things - Wild Pines, and how it handles 8% of the world's cargo, and reality lowdown - "where are we?"
    • These two thoughts (+ "Wompty-Dompty Domp Center", which can be found on day 3, at the south-west end of the island, from a man admiring a mural) will give you a lot of extra resources as you explore.
  • Equip a prybar as you run around - there are a few locked containers that don't actually tell you a tool is required to open them unless you have one equipped.
  • Green outlines indicate either doors, or objects with a dialogue interface. Yellow outlines indicate objects detected with Perception. Grey outlines indicate locked objects. They turn from Grey to Blue if you have an item in your hand which can open them.
  • Equip new clothes and tools as you receive them, in case doing so helps acquire a new thought or quest.
  • Time only advances by choosing dialogue options (and only if you haven't read these options before). It is completely paused when walking around and during mid-dialogue (so you can take as long as you want to read, or go back through previously triggered dialog). Time stops advancing at 2 AM though, at that point you need to sleep to move on to the next day.
  • Money is hard to come by, especially during the second day, when you have to raise 20 réal to pay for a hotel room or be unable to proceed to the next day.
  • You can't really scrounge enough money to pay your hotel bill on day 1, unless you succeed in some checks and scour every corner of the map. Instead, you will have to ask Joyce Messier (Wild Pines representative on a boat in the north-west part of the city) or Kim to help cover your bill.
    • Higher Perception lets you see additional containers, which can contain money, healing items and such.
    • One way to make some money is to internalize the
      Hobocop
      thought, find a plastic bag, pick up bottles and take them to Frittte.
    • If you can't afford rent on the first two days, even after picking up all the money and selling things at the pawnshop, you're out of luck and will need to reload.
  • At one point the game will ask you to investigate three locations where a certain event might have occurred. Two of these locations are behind plot-doors, you can't go there before the investigation develops further.