Outriders is set in the 22nd Century, where humans have developed advanced technology and are capable of long-distance spaceflights. Despite technology advancing to such heights, Earth has become a wasteland, and humanity must find its future amongst the stars.
Humankind has to survive by colonizing another planet to escape its dying world. One such planet, known as Enoch, was discovered, and a long interstellar voyage must be undertaken.
Two colony ships leave earth, as they are humanity's best hope for survival. Despite all the odds and the 83 year-long journey, one of the ships reaches Enoch. Upon arrival, an advance scout is sent planetside to investigate the alien world, where the player's adventures begin.
Outriders lore and story analyzed
Once planetside, players assume the role of an "Outrider" and are tasked with being an advanced team sent to scout the planet Enoch and send back valuable information.
Perhaps taking inspiration from Mass Effect Andromeda's pathfinders, the Outriders are tasked with recovering probes that contain data. Probes are usually sent years ahead to collect data and check if the planet can indeed support life.
However, much to their surprise, there is a drastic turn of events when it is revealed through in-game dialogues that the group of pathfinders are not really there to scout the planet but are rather mercenaries.
This discovery leads to tension between the Outriders and other factions within the colonization effort. The Enoch Colonization Authority is the brain behind this mission. They are also in charge of overseeing the colonization process and the docking of the colony ship.
After recovering the data probe and processing the information, the Outriders discover that something was not right about Enoch. Despite warning the ECA, the organization approves of the full landing of the colony ships.
A short while later, while on a mission to recover yet another probe, the Outriders encounter "The Anomaly," a kind of storm. Following the discovery, it kills many of the colonizers and infects the players as well.
To save themselves, the characters are put into cryogenic sleep and left in that state for thirty-odd years.
In the meantime, those affected by the Anomaly develop all manner of unique powers and split into different warring factions that kill on sight. Eventually, the players wake to this apocalyptic future, caught between warring factions, and left to figure out what went wrong.