Disco Elysium Best Thoughts

Disco Elysium Best Thoughts

Disco Elysium’s Thoughts are beautifully horrific. While my first experience with obtaining the Inexplicable Feminist Agenda Thought was to gape in horror and nearly leave the room, it was hard not to grow fascinated by the mish-mash of limbs swarming a lady’s face.

Though our Thought Cabinet may be more terrifying to behold than most horror movie monsters, it’s also a great way to get rich, increase our XP, and turn our drunk, miserable detective into a prosperous, neoliberal-hustling radical communist. All-in-all, Disco Elysium’s thoughts are some of the more bizarre elements of the dystopian cop RPG and interacting with the strangely eldritch design bursting with limbs, political satire, and racism was one of my most memorable experiences in the game.

In this Disco Elysium Best Thoughts guide, I’ll review how to get the ten best thoughts to increase our chances of solving the case and obtaining the good ending. As a bonus, I’ll detail what checks these Thoughts excel in and how to maximize them for Real and XP.

Unravel Revachol’s Mysteries in Disco Elysium | GOG

Dive into the award-winning narrative masterpiece of "Disco Elysium," where every choice shapes your destiny in a world brimming with intrigue and moral ambiguity. With its innovative blend of role-playing elements and noir-inspired storytelling, prepare to unravel the mysteries of Revachol and confront the demons within.

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Bottom Line Up Front

Acquire Jamais De Vu and the Fifteenth Indonotribe from Joyce Messier on day one after asking her about “wild pines’ eight percent of trading ” and “where *are* we” for a large helping of XP and Real. Later, internalize the Fairweather T-500 thought before the Mercenary Tribunal on Day 5 or before encountering Ruby to increase our odds of success in the critical fight.

The Thought Cabinet: Gateway to Madness

Thought Cabinet Thoughts Disco Elysium

A demented perk tree housing a vile interpretation of radical ideas, the thought cabinet offers a great way to alter any playthrough. We can access this menu from the bottom button of the screen to internalize new thoughts, forget old ones, and open up space for more Thoughts.

While this sounds simple, obtaining new thoughts is whimsical and strange. From kicking mailboxes to prophetizing the World’s end and claiming to be a superstar, Disco Elysium enables and rewards our self-sabotage with various powerful perks.

Also, though most Thoughts add themselves to our Cabinet after picking a specific line of dialogue, several require us to click on an orb circling our head and opt-in to that Thought. All-in-all, if we’re struggling to get new thoughts, we can stick to the spoiler-free tips below to gather plenty of them.

How to Get Thoughts

Though some thoughts require an ultra-specific set of actions, we can generally stick to a few rules below to obtain plenty of Thoughts reliably. However, be warned that some Thoughts like Caustic Echo and White Mourning are mutually exclusive and that getting one forever prevents us from obtaining the other.

Get Political!

Throughout conversations, we’ll have options to pick a line of dialogue that aligns with one of the four ideologies; liberalism, communism, moralism, and fascism. While none of these ideologies or Thoughts are exclusive, we can access particular ones if we keep picking options from that political viewpoint.

To specify, communists want the workers of the World to unite, fascists blame the World’s problems on immigrants and women, liberalists hate taxes and want to hustle, and moralists prefer the status quo (don’t be fooled, they’re the evilest faction). Though opting into a specific ideology gives us a particular thought to internalize, we’ll still face the consequences of opting into ideologies in checks that penalize our ridiculous behavior.

Take the Crazy Option

Thought Cabinet Disco Elysium's
The surrealist artwork behind Disco Elysium’s thoughts is horrific and fascinating to behold. / JT Hussey

While acting like a reasonable person and acting on our best behavior may make more sense, the game frequently rewards bizarre behavior and frequent self-sabotage. If we want to gain more thoughts immediately, we can rely on wacky options for a Thought that affirms our zealous conduct.

Even choosing the “sorry” or “boring” option comes with their own Thoughts, so let’s take heed of our behavior. I advise watching our Morale and Endurance to make sure we don’t accidentally kill ourselves out of shame.

Thoroughly Explore Dialogue

Even if we feel like we’ve finished with a character’s quest and have no further practical use for them, we can comb through all of their dialogue for several thoughts hiding in plain sight. I advise going over main characters like Joyce Messier, Klaasje, and others if we want to pick up several Thoughts in a single conversation.

Disco Elysium 10 Best Thoughts

While there are arguably better thoughts for a given kind of build (i.e. drug users won’t appreciate the Opioid Receptor Antagonist that removes drug buffs), we can generally rely on the Thoughts below to maximize our checks, XP gain, and Real. I recommend picking up these thoughts if we want the good ending or want to create an overpowered character with more exciting interactions and wacky insight from our brain.

10. Detective Costeau

Detective Costeau Thoughts Disco Elysium

  • Benefits: +1 Savoir Faire, +1 Esprit de Corps
  • Drawbacks: N/A
  • Time: 2h 30m

Barely scraping its way onto this list, Detective Costeau earns 10th place for two free points in Savoir Faire and Esprit de Corps with an eminently ridiculous process to obtain. Though the thoughts below, like Wompty Dompty Centre and Fifteenth Indotribe, offer greater XP and Real for purchasing more skills and paying rent, Detective Conteau is hilarious. 

I rarely had more fun than insisting against all odds that our name was Raphaël Ambrosius Costeau until our partner Kim Kitsuragi and everyone else gave up and accented. Also, gameplay-wise, the extra point in Savoir Faire is excellent for making the rooftop jump atop Cuno’s shack, and Esprit de Corps clues us more about our precinct and finding our inner cop.

We can start to obtain this Thought after failing the Conceptualization check we take with Kim Kitsuragi when he asks us our name on Day 1. After gifting ourselves with the name Raphaël Ambrosius Costeau, we can keep calling ourselves that until our brain gives us the Thought. I advise interacting with our case file in the whirling-in-rags dumpster with medium Logic and insisting that our name is Raphaël Ambrosius Costeau despite the passive advice against it.

9. Col Do Ma Ma Daqua

Col Do Ma Ma Daqua Thoughts Disco Elysium

  • Benefits: +3 Perception
  • Drawbacks: -1 Encyclopedia
  • Time: 7h 10m

A suitable thought for a widely used skill, Col Do Ma Ma Daqua makes it to the 9th spot on the list with a heavy boost to Perception, which is vital to finding hidden clues and secret areas for our investigation. Still, we can get more XP to purchase more points of Perception with Jamais Vu and increase our skill cap with Regular Law Official, so Col Do Ma Ma Daqua deserves to remain lower on the list.

We can get this Thought by passing a Suggestion check with Lena, talking to her about invisible cryptids, and heading outside with at least 3 Inland Empire to trigger a sequence that rewards the Thought. Though we don’t find the cryptid, we substantially improve our hearing for the investigation. Maybe the real cryptid was the murder investigation we solved along the way.

8. The Bow Collector

The Bow Collector Thoughts Disco Elysium

  • Benefits: +3 Shivers
  • Drawbacks: N/A
  • Time: 6h 10m

Easily making 8th place, while the Bow Collector is less valuable than Thoughts that drastically increase our XP and Real like Jamais Vu and The Jamrock Shuffle, it leads to more interesting situations with a significant increase to our Shivers. Though Shivers is generally less valuable in checks than skills like Authority and Inland Empire, speaking to the city of Revanchol and learning about its Dystopian post-communist World was my favorite part of the game.

Overall, if we want a more exciting playthrough with the Bow Collector, we can start by reading the entire note in our ledger. After promptly passing out, we can interact with our Ancient Reptilian Brain with a Conceptualization check to access secret Bow Collector dialogue to gain the Thought.

7. Cleaning Out the Rooms

Cleaning Out The Rooms Thoughts Disco Elysium

  • Benefits: +1 Suggestion, +1 Inland Empire, +1 Rhetoric
  • Drawbacks: N/A
  • Time: 5h 35m

A dependable addition of three decent skills, Cleaning Out the Rooms earns a sold 7th place for its three decently valuable skills without any drawbacks. While the skills are less concentrated than the Bow Collector, Inland Empire and Rhetoric are more practical skills that allow us to gain clues from the Hanged Man and convince people to give us more Real.

Still, this Thought doesn’t offer more XP or Real like the Wompty Dompty Centre or Jamrock Shuffle and is only valuable for a rare few checks. I advise picking up this Thought to pad our skills rather than specialize.

We can obtain this blatant reference to a song of the same name produced by British Sea Power after investigating the void of sound in the middle of the church. Next, we can talk to Soona, a nearby radio programmer, and pass a difficult Logic check to gain the Thought. I advise checking out the Thought (and the song if you enjoy easy-going alternative rock) after crossing the water lock on day 3.

6. Regular Law Official

Regular Law Official Thoughts Disco Elysium

  • Benefits: All Caps raised by 3
  • Drawbacks: -1 Shivers, -1 Inland Empire
  • Time: 1h 20m

As boring as it is useful, Regular Law Official earns its 6th place by raising all our skill caps by 3, allowing us to skirt the use of drugs and other Thoughts to get past a skill’s learning cap. While this Thought doesn’t offer more XP or Real like the Wompty Dompty Centre or the Jamrock Shuffle, Regular Law Official provides more utility over thoughts that boost our skills and can help specialist players overcome dangerously low ceilings on neglected Skills like Intelligence or Conceptualization.

Also, despite the vast benefits, this skill comes at the cost of Inland Empire and Shivers (my favorite two skills), which create more interesting playthroughs that bring Revanchol, the Hanged Man, and our Horrific Necktie to life. Still, if we want to get around unwieldy specialist builds with high Physique and low Intelligence, this skill offers an excellent workaround that remains forever helpful.

To get Regular Law Official, we must continually choose the non-wacky, most straightforward answer to get this skill. Eventually, our brain will contact us with an orb above our head, chastise us for being incredibly dull, and give us the Thought.

Be warned that Kim Kitsuragi will call us brain-dead in the finale if we have him around to confront our old squad and have taken this Thought. It’s oddly humiliating and made me feel like acting like a deranged detective was the good ending of Disco Elysium.

5. The Wompty Dompty Dom Centre

The Wompty Dompty Dom Centre Thoughts Disco Elysium
The Wompty Dompty Centre has to be the most absurd name throughout Disco Elysium. / JT Hussey
  • Benefits: – Encyclopedian passives give +10 xp and +2 reál
  • Drawbacks: -2 Suggestion
  • Time: 42m

An excellent thought with a tricky caveat, the Wompty Dompty Dom Centre earns 5th place by being an outstanding but highly late source of XP and Real. While this Thought offers more XP than Jamais Vu and more Real than the Fifteenth Indotribe, it’s available on Day 3, after we’ve managed to pay for our rent and build a somewhat functional detective.

Even if we’re poor, we can live in the free house by the riverside on Day 3 and rely on an ample supply of drugs and clothes to pass most checks. Still, if we feel underpowered or go with an INT playthrough with several points in Encyclopedia, the Wompty Dompty Dom Centre more than lives up to its ridiculous name.

We can acquire The Wompty Dompty Dom Center Thought on day three after crossing the watergate, heading to the massive dilapidated building, and obsessively talking to Trant Heidelstam about the Mural. After discussing enough of the artsy gibberish, we can enjoy the wompty-dom-di-dommiest Thought of them all!

4. The Jamrock Shuffle

The Jamrock Shuffle Thoughts Disco Elysium
Who said we needed a warrant? Let’s break in anyway! / JT Hussey
  • Benefits: Doubles the amount of Real found
  • Drawbacks: N/A
  • Time: 1h 5m

Standings at 4th place on the list lies Jamrock Shuffle, an excellent moneymaking Thought that doubles the amount of Real we find in containers. While this thought nets us more Real than the Fifteenth Indotribe, it takes extensive time to earn and relies on us not having looted any containers before internalizing it.

Still, I highly recommend this Thought as a great way to secure our financial prosperity for the remainder of the game without internalizing neoliberal or moralist Thoughts that provide Real at the cost of skill points. Also, the Jamrock Shuffle delivers a bit of lore that foreshadows Harry’s gym teacher background.

After breaking into three separate residences, excluding the Doomed Commercial Area or Church, with a Savoir Faire of 2 or more our brain reaches out to us with this Thought. I advise breaking into the two locked areas in the Capside Apartments and Gary’s Shack near the Hanged Man for easy access to this Thought.

3. Fairweather T-500

Fairweather T-500 Thoughts Disco Elysium

  • Benefits: +2 Hand/Eye Coordination in Mercenary Tribunal
  • Drawbacks: Only helps in one situation
  • Time: 3h 30m

Towards the top of our list lies Fairweather T-500 an excellent thought for confronting the violent mercenaries. While this Thought doesn’t garner extra XP like The Wompty Dompty Dom Centre or more money like Jamrock Shuffle, I cannot stress how important those two points of Hand/Eye Coordination are for surviving the Mercenary Tribunal.

Specifically, the amount of clothes and drugs for boosting our Hand/Eye Coordination skill is rare, and losing this fight can mean Kim’s death and getting the bad ending if we’ve failed to sober up or recruit Cuno. If we want an assured boost in this crucial fight, I highly recommend internalizing Fairweather T-500.

We can obtain this Thought after finding and equipping one of the power armor pieces. We can either steal the greaves off the Hanged Man in the dead of night, snag the cuirass from Gary the Cryptofascist with a Perception check, or investigate the sand castle after talking to Cindy, then the small girl on the other side of the water lock.  

2. The Fifteenth Indotribe

The Fifteenth Indotribe Thoughts Disco Elysium
We can obsess over Joyce’s company if we want a Thought to make us rich. / JT Hussey
  • Benefits: 10 cents per green orb, Savoir Faire cap raised to 6
  • Drawbacks: N/A
  • Time: 5h 55m

Standing in second place, the Fifteenth Indonotribe offers a vast source of Real for the entirety of the game. Essentially, this Thought turns every green orb into a source of .10 Real. While it doesn’t live up to the skill-boosting power of Jamais De Vu, The Fifteenth Indonotribe makes more money earlier on than the Wompty Dompty Dom center and is incredible if we’re still struggling to pay Garte for the night’s rent or want more Real for clothes, drugs, and other accessories.

We can get this Thought while talking to Joyce Messier about her company Wildpines. After picking an option asking about the company owning 5% of trade worldwide, our brain gives us the Fifteenth Indonotribe Thought.

1. Jamais Vu

Jamais Vu Thoughts Disco Elysium
Arguably the best Thought, we can access Jamais Vu right at the game’s start if we know where to look. / JT Hussey
  • Benefits: +1 XP for every orb clicked, All INT learning caps raised by 1
  • Drawbacks: N/A
  • Time: 3h 25m

Widely considered the best Thought in all of Disco Elysium, Jamais Vu earns its spot at the top with its enviable amounts of XP. Specifically, this Thought commenting on the strangeness of Disco Elysium’s pale-ridden parabolic World rewards us XP for each orb we click on, allowing us to amass 8-10 level-ups for the hundreds of orbs available.

Better yet, this Thought is available at the beginning of the game, allowing us to bulk our Endurance, Inland Empire, and other skills before the first significant check. We can also use it alongside The Fifteenth Indonotribe to gain 10 cents and 1 XP for each orb we click on!

To begin the process of obtaining this terrific Thought, ask Lena, the wheelchair lady in the Whirling-in-Rags, about where we are. While Lena confesses that she does not know, she directs us to Joyce Messier at the docks for a reality lowdown.

After asking Joyce for a reality lowdown, choose the “where are we” section of dialogue. After proceeding through this line of dialogue, a second prompt appears to select “where *are* we.” Picking these options grants us the Jamais De Vu Thought, with our brain immediately hinting that this is the best. I recommend passing the time for three and a half hours, then extensively clicking on every orb in sight for a massive pile of XP.

Honorable Mentions

Though the Thoughts mentioned above are great for maximizing our XP, Real, and likelihood of obtaining the good ending, there are a few notable Thoughts worth mentioning even if they didn’t make the cut. While these thoughts can still offer a powerful buff, they usually come at the cost of a vital skill or are only applicable with a limited resource.

Caustic Echo

Caustic Echo Honorable Mentions Thoughts Disco Elysium

  • Benefits: 300XP on completion
  • Drawbacks: -1 Authority
  • Time: 10 hr

Caustic Echo would have made an excellent buff of three level-ups if it didn’t come at a cost to Authority, the best skill in Disco Elysium. Still, it offers more agency for spending our points than Detective Costea, the Bow Collector, and Cleaning out the rooms and is excellent if our player character is low on XP.

I would have added this practical Thought were it not for the check during the mercenary tribunal that requires a legendary investment in Authority that takes away Kim and potentially gives us the bad ending if we fail. All-in-all, while three skill points aren’t worth Kim’s life, we can gain Caustic Echo by tossing away the special note in our ledger.


Boiadeiro Honorable Mentions Thoughts Disco Elysium

  • Benefits: Cigarettes give +2 INT
  • Drawbacks: -1 Esprit De Corps
  • Time: 6h 30m

An excellent INT buff for smokers, Boiadeiro reliance on limited consumables and drug consumption reduces its usefulness. To be fair, this Thought is fantastic if we’re running a low Int playthrough, and we can mostly get by without Esprit De Corps, but the scarcity of cigarettes compromises the viability of this Thought.

Overall, if we’re in hardcore mode and want to boost our Visual Calculus and Drama and don’t mind the use of drugs, this could be an excellent thought for us.

Actual Art Degree

Actual Art Degree Honorable Mentions Thoughts Disco Elysium

  • Benefits: Conceptualization passives heal +1 Morale and give +10 XP
  • Drawbacks: -1 Hand/Eye Coordination
  • Time: 1h 30m

A great, early source of XP, Actual Art Degree would have bested the Wompty Dompty Centre Thought were it not for losing a point in Hand Eye Coordination, the second-best skill in Disco Elysium. Though the trade-off could be worth it if we have a higher skill cap for Hand Eye Coordination, the limited sources of boosting the given skill without Thoughts are drastically low.

While taking this Thought lowers one of the most critical skills in the game, it’s great if we’re more interested in leveling up quicker and have a +3 cap for Hand Eye Coordination and +4 Conceptualization or more. We can get Actual Art Degree (the Thought, not an actual degree) after picking art-related dialogue options while talking to Joyce Messier, Cindy the SKULL, the Horseback Monument, and Annette with +4 Conceptualization or more.

Thoughts to Avoid

Meanwhile, some Disco Elysium Thoughts intend to troll, frustrate, and mock us, providing no benefit or enfeebling our chance to win. I don’t advise internalizing the thoughts below unless we want our subconscious to root for our death or want to disappoint Kim Kitsuragi.

The Precarious World

The Precarious World Thoughts to Avoid Disco Elysium

  • Benefits: Rarely pass hard checks
  • Drawbacks: Can fail easily passable checks; all white checks and red checks fail while researching.
  • Time: 4 hrs

An extremely Dangerous thought that, upon learning, fails every check we attempt; I highly advise against the Precarious World unless we want to roleplay as a drunken failure of a detective. Even after learning, the Precarious World makes it easier to fail white and red checks we would have customarily failed beforehand.

Unless we like to save scum, which would technically improve our odds with this Thought, we’re better off not taking this The Precarious World. We can avoid this dreadful Thought by refusing to attempt the white Shivers check with the Dicemaker.

Homo-Sexual Underground

Homo-Sexual Underground Thoughts to Avoid Disco Elysium

  • Benefits: N/A
  • Drawbacks: Wasted Point
  • Time: 8 hrs

Aside from some lore that lets us talk to Kim Kitsuragi about his sexuality and learn that he’s gay, Homo-Sexual Underground is useless. The Thought that mocks us about obsessing over other people’s sexuality offers zero benefits to us and comes at the cost of a wasted area of our Thought Cabinet and Kim’s respect.

We can get this Thought after talking to Tuesday man in the Capeside Apartments and asking ourselves if a homo-sexual. After some time, we learn that no, we’re not into men, but we decide to obsess after Kim’s sexuality instead.

Finger on the Eject Button:

Finger On The Eject Button Thoughts to Avoid Disco Elysium

  • Benefits: N/A
  • Drawbacks: Suicidal dialogue options appear each night
  • Time: 2 hrs

Unless we like having our subconscious encourage us to end it all, Finger on the Eject Button is a useless Thought. Like Homo-Sexual Underground, it offers zero benefits and even tries to end our playthrough if we’re not careful.

We can get this monstrously awful Thought after continuing to pick dialogue options that pertain to us killing ourselves. Failing the Authority check with the Hardie Boys and selecting suicidal dialogue options while trying to read the letter in our ledger’s secret compartment earns us this Thought.


Question: What is the Best Thought in Disco Elysium?

Answer: Jamais De Vu’s incredible versatility in terms of XP arguably makes it one of the best thoughts in the game. Offering nearly 5+ level-ups and boost to our INT caps, Jamais De Vu is great for giving us the extra point we need to pass any particular check.

Question: How do I get the Jamais De Vu Thought?

Answer: After asking confessing to Lena in the Whirling-in-Rags that we lost our memory, she directs us to Joyce Messier to give us a rundown on the World. Next, we’ll have to get rid of Kim, either with a suggestion check or by coming back at night and talking to Joyce about the Pale. After asking, “where *are* we,” Jamais De Vu enters our Thought Cabinet.

Question: How do I get Disco Elysium’s Thoughts?

Answer: While most of our Thoughts lie hidden in obscure dialogue choices and wacky actions, we can reliably gather thoughts through consistent political options and combing characters’ dialogue. However, some Thoughts require us to click on the orb around our head and opt-in to receive the Thought, so ensure we always explore every orb.

Thought Cabinet: Final Thoughts

Even after my fifth playthrough, I still struggle with our Thought Cabinet. The revolting mixture of flesh, limbs, and political satire is a nauseating, intriguing system that has gripped me in utter fascination with its surreal terror.

Regardless of its horror, however, we’ve leveraged these thoughts to create a prosperous, crafty detective ready to solve the murder and save Martinaise! While it may not make sense how our Thoughts materialize Real from thin air or make us more intelligent and agile, their benefits are irrefutable.

So, with the Eldritch powers of surrealist satire and market manipulation at our disposal, we can confront every obstacle without ever failing another check! Now let’s solve this case and prove this drunk, miserable, gym-teaching detective’s still got it!

Unravel Revachol’s Mysteries in Disco Elysium | GOG

Dive into the award-winning narrative masterpiece of "Disco Elysium," where every choice shapes your destiny in a world brimming with intrigue and moral ambiguity. With its innovative blend of role-playing elements and noir-inspired storytelling, prepare to unravel the mysteries of Revachol and confront the demons within.

Check Price Buy at GOG
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

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