The Distress Signal is one of many engaging side quests of The Outer Worlds with special rewards and XP. In order to start this quest, you must start the “Passage to Anywhere” side quest first.
After completing a quest called “Stranger in a Strange Land” where you have to bring out the Unreliable from Terra-2 and get it flying again, you’ll be approached by Phineas Welles. Phineas will ask you to get a Stellar Bay Navkey from a woman called Gladys.
Gladys is located in Groundbreaker, so you’ll have to go there in order to talk to her. Talking to Gladys will eventually lead to a point where you’ll have to buy the Stellar Bay Navkey from her for a total worth of 10,000 Bits.
You probably won’t have that much dough on you, so to compensate for that, Gladys will offer you a deal where she’ll assign you a task to complete for which she’ll give you the Bits required to buy the Navkey. Talking to her will unlock the side quest: The Distress Signal.
The task that Gladys offers you is quite a lengthy one. Gladys informs you an Engineer called Edna sent her a Distress Signal from an outpost called Roseway.
She wants you to investigate the Distress Signal and look for any secrets that are worth selling to the highest bidder. Handing over the secrets to Gladys will provide you with enough Bits to purchase the Navkey from her.
The Outpost: The Distress Signal Quest Guide
Once you have unlocked the side quest: The Distress Signal, you’ll have to go through a series of steps to complete it. We have broken down these steps below into simple parts for your convenience. Now, there are two ways how you can complete this quest.
Gladys made a deal with you to Investigate the Distress Signal and offer her any secrets that you find along the way. Giving her those secrets would complete the quest and grant you 10,000 Bits to purchase the Navkey from her.
Alternatively, you don’t necessarily have to give her the secrets, you can sell the secrets to any bidder that you want, and then tell Gladys about it. Either way, you would still have enough Bits to purchase the Navkey and complete the quest.
Listen To The Distress Signal
Head back over to the Unreliable and interact with ADA to play the Distress Signal that Gladys sent you. After viewing the Distress Signal, ADA will inform you that you are now capable of accessing the Roseway Landing Pad. You’ll also be notified about a couple of people of interest, namely; Anton Crane, Vaughn Cortes, and Orson Shaw.
Head Over to Roseway
Once you get the nav coordinates of the Roseway Landing Pad from the Distress Signal, it’s time to head over to Roseway. Go to the Unreliable Navigation Terminal, Select Terra-2, and then select the Roseway Landing Pad from the options provided. In a few moments, you’ll be in Roseway. Go to the exit of the Unreliable and land on the place.
Acquire the Secrets
The secrets that you need are in the form of research and schematics. Remember the three people mentioned by ADA before? Well, these three people own a research paper that you’ll have to find for them.
Anton Crane’s Research
Anton Crane’s Research is the first Secret. Head over to Anton Crane in the Comms building in Roseway. Interact with and talk to Anton and ask him if he needs a hand.
Talking to Anton will unlock two new side quests; “The Doom That Came to Roseway” and “By His Bootstraps”. Completing these side missions will lead you to acquire Anton Crane’s Research
You can find Anton Crane’s Research in the Covert Lab. The Covert Lab is overrun by outlaws and raptidons. You need to eliminate all of them.
In the end, you’ll encounter the chief of the outlaws, a woman called Cassandra O’ Malley. She has stolen Anton Crane’s Research and you have to acquire that from her.
You can either do that by persuading her to give it to you or killing her, either way, you’ll get the research. You can then sell this Research/Secret back to Anton or to Gladys, it’s your choice because you’ll get the Bits either way.
Vaughn Cortes’s Research
Vaughn Cortes’s Research is the second secret. Visit Vaughn Cortes in the Roseway Luxury Apartments. Talking to him will unlock an extra side mission: Amateur Alchemist. You need to complete this side mission to acquire Vaughn Cortes’s Research.
Vaughn Cortes’s Research is also located inside the Covert Lab. Upon finding his workstation, you’ll be provided with three options; purge, complete, or recalibrate. If you choose either complete or recalibrate, you’ll acquire the Research, but if you choose to purge it, it will be destroyed.
It’s better to choose the complete or recalibrate option so you can acquire Vaughn Cortes’s Research – the second secret. You can then either sell the Research back to Vaughn or to Gladys, either way, you’ll get the Bits.
Orson Shaw’s Weapon Plans
Head over and talk to Orson Shaw. Talking to Orson Shaw and asking if he needs a hand will unlock a side mission called Vulcan’s Hammer.
He will also inform you of his Weapon Schematics. The Weapon Schematics is the third secret in Roseway.
Head over to Orson’s Lab and there you’ll find the “FORCE Pistol Schematics”, the Schematics are posted on a paper, on a wall. You can then sell this secret to Gladys.
Head Back Over to Gladys
The final step to completing the side quest: “The Distress Signal” is to head back over to Gladys in Groundbreaker and exhaust all options regarding the secrets that you found in Roseway – and also sell them to her if you want to.
You can also go ahead and buy the Stellar Bay Navkey from her if you want.