One of the more enigmatic yet really rewarding systems in Disco Elysium is the Thought Cabinet. The game in itself is an unconventional RPG so it’s not surprising to find unconventional mechanics used in the game. This guide will help you understand what it is and how to use it and become the disco detective you’re meant to be, baby.
The words “Thought Cabinet” already gives a good idea of how it works. You basically get new “thoughts” as you progress the same. Sometimes you get one for choosing specific dialogue options, sometimes one of your skills (personalities) chimes in and allows you to get one. You’ll never get all thoughts in one playthrough and that’s fine.
Once you get a thought, it will be listed in your thought cabinet menu as a thought that can be internalised. Internalising thoughts is how you actually place them in your cabinet which means you equip them and thus derive various stat boosts and penalties from them. Just remember that internalising takes time and some thoughts can take more than 6 hours while some can just take an hour.
Keep in mind, thoughts will even have stat effects while you’re internalising them so make sure you balance them out with clothing and/or stat boost items like cigarettes, drugs, and booze.
Here’s a list of all thoughts in the game, how to get them, and the results of internalising them:
Day 1-2 part 1
- How to get: Don’t do Aces Low after doing Aces High with Kim (Pass Easy ENC check)
- While researching: 4 hours, +1 Empathy towards Kim
- Result: +1 Empathy towards Kim +1 Esprit de Corps
- How to get: Do aces low move after Kim offers high-five (ENC check??)
- While researching: hours, +2 Empathy towards Kim
- Result: +2 Empathy towards Kim Kitsuragi, +1 Espirit de Corps
Actual Art Degree
- How to get: Enough art-related dialogues (and Concep of 4+?)
- While researching: 1h 30m hours, -1 Perception
- Result: -1 Hand/Eye Coordination, Conceptualization passives heal +1 Morale and give +10 XP
Doesn’t actually work at the moment.
Advanced Race Theory
- How to get: Talk to Measurehead (The Union building doorman) and pass a Conceptualization check.
- While researching: 1hour 40m, -1 Drama
- Result: Learning Cap for Rhetoric raised to 5. +1 Conceptualization
Anti-Object Task Force
- How to get: Keep hitting physical objects with your bare hands/feet. This requires hitting 3 different items, not counting doors. The postal box and the furnace room in the Doomed Commercial area count.
- While researching: 2 hours 15m, -2 Pain threshold
- Result: Attacking physical objects heals 1 health damage. +1 Pain threshold. All FYS (Physical/Pink) learning caps raised by 1.
Apricot Chewing Gum Scented One
- How to get: Find the smell of apricot twice – Investigate your Ledger for one gum wrapper, convince PF from “The Skulls” to give you his Jacket and check the jacket pocket for another. You can also find a wrapper once you put on “Pour L’Homme Laborer Jeans”, found in Cindy the Skull’s furnace room. Interfacing check required for the Ledger and Jeans, Suggestion required for the jacket.
- While researching: 5 hours 5m, -1 Reaction speed
- Result: +2 Perception
- How to get: Make a Conceptualization check for a terrible and worthless investment idea with Mega Rich Light-Bending Guy, in the sealed container at the Union (talk to Evrart about the container to get a Rhetoric check to unlock it). Pitching a successful investment plan gets you 100 real but not thought..
- While researching: 5 hours, -1 Empathy
- Result: Int Check Failures give 1 Real
- How to get: speak to Muhotel) about his name (you might also need to research boiadeiros from Paledriver or elsewhere). Having too high an Encyclopedia score auto-fails initiating this thought? Alternately, you have to pass a hidden Inland Empire check.
- While researching: 6 hours 30m, -1 Physical Instrument
- Result: -1 Esprit de Corps, Cigarettes give +2 INT
- How to get: Open hidden compartment in ledger, throw card away, think about it immediately afterward. You gain the Ledger of Oblivion tool: +1 Authority, +1 Suggestion, -1 Inland Empire.
- While researching: 10 hours, +1 Volition
- Result: 300 XP on completion, -1 Authority, All MOT learning caps raised by 1.
Coach Physical Instrument:
- How to get: Fail to make throw in the petanque game south of the hotel. Observing the game first helps you fail.
- While researching: 40m
- Results: +2 Physical Instrument if shirt slot is empty, -1 Encyclopedia
Col Do Ma Ma Daqua
- How to get: Talk to Lena (Wheelchair lady) about the invisible Phasmid (Requires Suggestion) then go outside and listen closely
- While researching: 7 hours 10 m, no other changes.
- Result: +3 Perception, -1 Encyclopedia
Cop of the Apocalypse
- How to get: Keep warning people about the coming apocalypse
- While researching: 6 hours 55 m, -1 Rhetoric
- Result: Learning cap for Inland Empire raised to 6, Learning cap for Shivers raised to 6
Date of Birth Generator
- How to get: Wonder when you were born after questioning Klaasje about the dead merc.
- While researching: 7 hours 15 m
- Result: Learning Cap for Logic raised by 4, -1 difficulty to all FYS (Physical/Pink) passives
- How to get: Keep referring to yourself as Detective Costeau (fail conceptualization check when meeting Kim), refuse your real name.
- While researching: hours, -1 logic (or -2 conceptualization?)
- Result: +1 Savoir Faire, +1 Espirit de Corps
- How to get: Equip at least one piece of ceramic body armor.
- While researching: 3 hours 30 me, -1 Savoir Faire
- Result: +2 Hand/Eye Coordination against enemies in FT-500 armor
Finger on the Eject button
- How to get: Keep talking about your suicidal desires. Just having a single big breakthrough with a gun in your mouth is not enough.
- While researching: 2 hours, +2 Authority, +2 Suggestion
- Result: Suicidal ideas every evening.
Finger Pistols (9mm)
- How to get: Talk to Siileng after the racist Lorry driver accuses him of drug smuggling and successfully pass a composure check.
- While researching: 1 hour, -2 Savoir Faire
- Result: +1 Reaction Speed Empty hand slots give Suggestion +1
Guillaume Le Million
- How to get: Pass an Encyclopedia check with the Mirror in your room regarding “the Expression”
- While researching: 4 hours 30m, -1 Logic
- Results: +1 Pain Threshold All PSY (Purple) Learning Caps raised by 1
- How to get: Become homeless or refer to yourself as homeless – I got it while checking the board next to Garte. Possibly mutually exclusive with Lonesome Long Way Home?
- While researching: 4 hours 20m, -1 Composure
- Result: Reveals extra Tare bottles on the map, more money from selling tare bottles, Learning cap for Shivers raised to 6
- How to get: Pass the Composure check for the smoking man you meet on the apartment building balcony and ask him if he’s in the underground movement
- While researching: 8 hours
- Result: Stopped obsessing about sexuality (Pointless?)
Indirect Modes of Taxation
- How to get: Pick up shoes in the Apartment buildng. (apartment 10, accept the cleaning lady’s quest to investigate) and wear them. Alternately, support Capitalist ideals, talk to the pawn shop owner, accept Bribes from Joyce (Rich Lady) and Evrart (Union Boss), basically any dialogue choice that supports just you making money.
- While researching: 1 hour 45m, -2 Empathy
- Result: Ultraliberal dialogue options (Pro-Capitalist, Anti-Working class, Anti-Taxes, Hustle for money) give +1 Real, -1 Empathy
Inexplicable Feminist Agenda
- How to get: Support Feminism in the early parts of the game. Just talking to Garte, asking why Silvie left, and loudly proclaiming yourself a feminist should be enough.
- While researching: 3 hours 45m, +2 Authority vs Males
- Result: +1 Empathy, -1 Electrochemistry
Day 1-2 part 2
Jamais Vu (Derealization)
- How to get: Talk to Lena (Wheelchair lady) about understanding your reality- she will refer you to Joyce (Rich Boat Lady) who can give you a “reality lowdown” to unlock this (ask about where we are and Revachol specifically).
- While researching: 3 hours 25 m
- Result: -1 Encyclopedia +1 XP for every orb clicked, All INT (Blue) learning caps raised by 1
Kingdom of Conscience
- How to get: Pick up pants near the fishing village (just north of the drunks) and wear them or choose neutral/moderate dialogue options (Don’t commit to any political philosophy [communism, fascism, libertarianism], whether “I don’t want to get involved” or “can’t we all just get along?”)
- While researching: 1 hour 25m, -2 Half-light
- Result: Moralist Dialogue options heal +1 Morale, Learning Cap for Volition raised to 5, Learning cap for Logic raised to 5
Lonesome long way home
- How to get: Wonder where your home is. Once again, easiest to do so during your HQ call.
- While researching: 6 hours 5m, +1 Encyclopedia
- Result: Perception learning cap raised to 5, Speed (the drug) gives +1 PSY (Purple Stat)
- How to get: Check Cuno’s shack. Talk to Cuno about the Magnesium residue, be positive about it, and pass a Composure check after talking to him.
- While researching: 1 hours 15m, -1 Shivers
- Result: +2 Volition -1 Logic
- How to get: Communist dialog options. I got a major boost by asking Garte for the garbage disposal key, and selecting the most communist “are you really guarding your garbage from the homeless?” option.
- While researching: 3 hours 10m, -2 Visual Calculus
- Result: Left-wing Dialogue options give +4 xp (Communist) -1 Visual Calculus -1 Authority
- How to get: Talk to Joyce about the Pale (pass the conceptualization check in the reality dump) and then the old driver lady about the her passing out and traveling through the Pale. (You might need to talk about Gabriel earlier and say you’ve lost your memory due to heartbreak?)
- While researching: 8 hours 10m, -1 Visual Calculus
- Result: +1 Inland Empire, All INT White Checks unlocked
Opioid Receptor Antagonist
- How to get: Make anti-drug related comments, don’t use drugs, confiscate drugs. Simplest way – tell Klaasje that Narco Mania is no laughing matter during her interview.
- While researching: 55m, -2 Electrochemistry
- Result: No positive effects from drugs No negative effects from alcohol
Overproductive Honour Glands
- How to get: Get enough honor points (5+?). Refusing bribes definitely gets you some – keeping your word and stuff for more points?
- While researching: 20m, -4 Drama
- Result: Learning cap for Authority raised to 5
Regular Law Official
- How to get: Be as normal and boring as possible, avoid wacky options.
- While researching: 1 hour 20m, -2 Inland Empire
- Result: -1 Shivers, -1 Inland Empire, All learning caps raised to 3
Remote Viewers Division
- How to get: Keep insisting that the case may have supra-natural complications.
- While researching: 6 hours, -1 Perception
- Result: -1 difficulty to all PSY passives, -1 Drama.
- How to get: Support Facism (stand against women and immigrants)
- While researching: 9 hours 10m, -1 Composure
- Result: Nationalist dialogue options damage -1 Morale, Alcohol gives +2 FYS (Physical/Pink)
- How to get: Constantly apologize / dunk on yourself (4 times?)
- While researching: 6 hours, -1 Authority
- Result: Int and Psy red check failures heal 1 morale. Fys and Int red check failures heal 1 health. Pain Threshold learning cap raised to 6.
Some kind of Superstar
- How to get: Keep referring to yourself as a superstar. If you start doing so at the mirror, you should get the thought after talking to Garte for the first time with Kim along.
- While researching: 1 hours 10m, -2 Logic
- Result: -1 Logic, Learning caps for the following raised to 6: Visual Calculus, Suggestion, Electrochemistry, Composure
The Bow Collector
- How to get: You get it in the same dream where you get White Mourning, but it requires a conceptualization skill check. Make sure to pick the dialogue option that mentions the bow collector when you’re talking to the Ancient Reptilian Brain.
- While researching: hours, -1 Authority, -1 Hand/Eye Coordination
- Result: +3 Shivers
The Fifteenth Indotribe
- How to get: Talk to Joyce (The Rich lady) about her company Wild Pines (Specifically the option about “8 percent of *all* cargo in the world”).
- While researching: 5 hours 55 sec,
- Result: +10 cents for each green orb clicked, Learning Cap for Savoir Faire raised to 6
The Precarious World
- How to get: Pass the Shivers check with the Dice Maker inside the abandoned business building behind the Bookstore.
- While researching: 4 hours, All red checks fail
- Result: Critical success/failure thresholds lowered by 1
The Suicide of Kras Mazov
- How to get: Examine the Bust of Kras Mazov in the student’s apartment in the apartment building and insist to Kim that you look just like Kras.
- While researching: 4 hours 45m,
- Result: White check failures heal morale, +1 rhetoric (?)
- How to get: Throw up twice while looking at the Hanging Corpse (i.e, fail the endurance check, get ammonia salts, then fail again).
- While researching: 30m, Learning cap for Endurance raised to 4
- Result: All currently locked white Endurance checks unlocked (literally only useful for examining the corpse, waste of 2 skills points)
Waste land of Reality
- How to get: Research Advanced Race theory then talk to Measurehead (racist Union guard) and tell him you need to get sober.
- While researching: 20 hours, -2 Physical Instrument
- Result: -1 Physical Instrument, -1 Inland Empire, -1 Suggestion ,+1 to all Psyche skills (PSY/Purple), No positive effects from Alcohol
- How to get: Read the entire note inside your Ledger, pass an Interfacing check.
- While researching: 5 hours, -1 Authority
- Result: +20% Zoom Out Distance, All MOT (Agility/Yellow) learning caps raised by 1
Day 3 onward
Arno Van Eyck
- How to get: Speak to Egg head in the church about making his beat more hardcore, then fight the right tape. In order to speak to him, say nothing till you get to the ALL CAPS dialog, then keep selecting it till you get “THE QUESTION IS”
- While researching: 50m, +1 Interfacing
- Result: All white checks unlocked, you can spot Arno posters in the environment.
Bringing the Law (Law-Jaw)
- How to get: Keep referring to yourself as “the law” when introducing yourself, refer to yourself as “the Lawbringer” to Lilienne, the Net Picker (In the Fishing Village, Day 3 and beyond)
- While researching: 2 hours 55m, -1 Rhetoric
- Result: Learning Cap for Hand/Eye Coordination raised to 6, Automatically Succeed all Hand/Eye Coordination passives, -1 Rhetoric
Cleaning out the Rooms
- How to get: pass the logic check from Soona in the Church after solving the hole quest
- While researching: 5 hours 35 minutes,
- Result: +1 Suggestion, +1 Inland Empire, +1 Rhetoric
- How to get: Presumably something to do with the music guys?
- While researching: hours,
One More Door
- How to get: Try and fail to open the bunker door north of the Church, Red Interfacing Check (Day 3+)
- While researching: 45m, +1 Half-light
- Result: -1 Half-Light All PSY (Purple) White Checks Unlocked
- How to get: Talk to the fishing woman about missing people
- While researching: hours,
- Result: +2 Perception
The Insulindian Miracle
- How to get: Tell Joyce about the Unions ultimate end goal and then listen to her explain how these islands were discovered
- While researching: hours,
- Result: All white checks unlocked.
The Jamrock Shuffle
- How to get:
- While researching: hours,
The Litany of Contact Mike
- How to get: Talk to the girl by the Tent about Contact Mike (near the Boardwalk, after day 3)
Requires a passive Encyclopedia Check of 10+ and possibly a passive physical Instrument check of 10+ afterwards. Ends the conversation with “this is about your lack of respect”.
- While researching: 15m, -1 Logic, -1 Conceptualization, -1 Drama
- Result: All FYS (Physical/Pink) White Checks unlocked
- How to get: Nerd out about machines enough times? Interfacing is the required stat. You nerd out over Kim’s car, and….
- While researching: hours,
Wompty-Dompty Dom Centre
- How to get: Talk to Trant, the guy with the kid admiring the Mural on the Boardwalk (south-eastern end of the map), ask him how a tape computer would work.
- While researching: 42m, -1 Suggestion
- Result: Encyclopedia passives give +10 xp and +2 Real, -2 Suggestion (Possibly broken – doesn’t actually provide the benefits listed?)
Credits to naguide.