Disco Elysium: How to Use the Thought Cabinet and Unlock All Thoughts

Disco Elysium: How to Use the Thought Cabinet and Unlock All Thoughts

We show you how to open your mind and unlock new thoughts in Disco Elysium.

Disco Elysium essentially reduces your character to a blank slate in the opening scene, wiping their memory and even their identity in a brain-mangling mixture of drugs, liquor and self-loathing. We'll show you how to use the Thought Cabinet and where to find all the thoughts, rebuilding your personality over the course of the game.

Unlocking and Internalizing Thoughts With the Thought Cabinet

The Thought Cabinet is basically a metaphorical landscape of your character's mind, a diagram showing what they're thinking about and what thoughts make up their core personality. As the game starts, your Thought Cabinet is empty, reflecting the fact that you've chemically erased your own psyche and have to remake it. As you explore the world, take certain actions and encounter particular events, you'll begin to have new thoughts that you can internalize, making them core parts of your identity. When thoughts are internalized, they give permanent stat changes, unlock new dialogue options, or give additional bonuses appropriate to the thought.

It's a hell of an expression, but what's going on behind it? | Joel Franey/USGamer, ZA/UM

How to Access the Thought Cabinet

Your Thought Cabinet is at the bottom of the screen, marked by the symbol of a diamond with the silhouette of a head in it. Simply click on it, and you'll see all the thoughts you're aware of, those you've internalized, and those you're yet to find.

How to Discover New Thoughts

There are 53 thoughts in total, listed on the right side of the screen when you enter the Thought Cabinet. Those that are faded you have yet to discover, while those that are white have been discovered, but not yet internalized.

Different thoughts arise in different ways, but many are a result of patterns in your speech. For example, referring to yourself as homeless enough times will prompt a piece of dialogue with yourself. Pick the right dialogue options, and you'll unlock the "Hobocop," thought, which you can now choose to internalize if you so wish via the Thought Cabinet. Once you do so, you'll get a permanent modification to your stats, and possibly some additional effects and extra dialogue options going forward.

Disco Elysium is full of thoughts to be considered, discarded, or made the core of your very being. | Joel Franey/USGamer, ZA/UM

Full List of All 53 Thoughts in Disco Elysium

The following is a comprehensive list of all 53 thoughts and how to access them. As a result there will be minor spoilers in the table below, but we have written it to minimize the chance of giving away any of the game's largest plot points.

ThoughtBonusesResearch TimeTemporary Research BonusHow to Find
Ace's High+1 Empathy to Kim, +1 Esprit de Corps4h+1 Empathy towards KimAfter shooting down the corpse, attempt Ace's High with Kim but don't do Ace's low.
Ace's Low+2 Empathy to Kim, +1 Esprit de Corps2h 45m+2 Empathy towards KimAfter shooting down the corpse, do Ace's low with Kim.
Actual Art Degree-1 Hand/Eye Coordination, passive Conceptualization checks heal 1 morale and grant 10xp1h 30m-1 Perception Choose multiple art-based dialogues options.
Advanced Race Theory+1 Conceptualization, learning cap for Rhetoric raised by 51h 40m-1 DramaTalk to Measurehead on the closed gate blocking the harbor, and pass the Conceptualization check to subscribe to his theory.
Anti-Object Task Force+1 Pain Threshold, learning cap for all FYS-based skills raised by 1, attacking objects restores 1 health2h 15m-2 Pain ThresholdHit or kick numerous objects.
Apricot Chewing Gum Scented One+2 Perception5h 5m-1 Reaction SpeedAfter finding your ledger in the Whirling-in-Rags dumpster, smell the note attached to it. You must also check the jeans in the coal room near Cindy the Skull, and take Pissf****t's leather jacket on Day 3+.
Arno Van EyckAll MOT white checks unlocked, reveals Arno Van Eyck posters across Martinaise50m+1 InterfacingAfter setting up the church nightclub, Egghead will ask you to find a tape. It's in a tree near Siileng, the clothes vendor - bring it back to him to trigger this thought.
Bankruptcy SequenceFailing an INT check gives the player 1 real5h 15m-1 Empathy Successfully pitch a bad idea to the man in the locked Harbor container.
Boiadeiro-1 Esprit de Corps, cigarettes give +2 INT6h 30m-1 Physical Instrument With a low Encyclopedia score, pass an Inland Empire check when taking to Manana (the man on the stairs watching the strike).
Bringing of the Law (Law-Jaw)-1 Rhetoric, learning cap for Hand/Eye Coordination raised to 6, all passive Hand/Eye Coordination checks automatically succeed2h 55m-1 RhetoricChoose multiple law-enforcement dialogue options, and refer to yourself as a Lawbringer to Lilliene the Net Picker.
Caustic Echo-1 Volition, learning cap for all MOT skills raised by 1, grants 300xp when first internalized10h+1 VolitionOpen the secret compartment in your ledger and throw away the card.
Cleaning Out the Rooms+1 Suggestion, +1 Inland Empire, +1 Rhetoric5h 35mNone After investigating the mysterious lack of sound in the church at Land's End, talk to Soona and pass a logic check.
Coach Physical Instrument+2 Physical Instrument, -1 Encyclopedia40m-2 EncyclopediaTalk to Rene, the old man playing pentanque outside the Whirling-in-Rags. Observe rather than play, ask questions, then fail the check to play at the end. You need at least 2 points in Physical Instrument.
Col Do Ma Ma Daqua+3 Perception, -1 Encyclopedia7h 10mNone Talk to Lena about the invisible Phasmid, then go outside, where a thought will prompt you to listen closely.
Cop of the ApocalypseLeaning cap for Inland Empire and Shivers raised to 6 6h 55m-1 RhetoricHave numerous apocalyptic thoughts and dialogue choices.
Date of Birth Generator-1 difficulty to all passive FYS checks, learning cap for logic raised by 47h 15mNone Wonder when you were born in dialogue or thought.
Detective Cousteau+1 Savoir Faire, +1 Esprit de Corps2h 30m-2 Conceptualization Refuse your real name when it is offered to you, fail the Conceptualization check to consider your name and refer to yourself over and over as Detective Costeau.
Fairweather T-500+2 Hand/Eye Coordination against enemies wearing Fairweather T-500 Armor3h 30m-1 Savoir FaireFind and equip at least one piece of the dead man's armor.
Finger on the Eject ButtonTriggers suicidal thoughts in the character every evening2h+2 Authority, +2 SuggestionHave numerous suicidal thoughts and dialogue choices.
Finger Pistols (9mm)+1 Reaction Speed, empty hands grants +1 Suggestion1h-2 Savoir FaireTalk to Siileng the clothes seller and do finger guns at him (you must have 5 points in Composure).
Guillaume le Million+1 Pain Threshold, all PSY leaning caps raised by 14h 30m-1 LogicInteract with the mirror in your room and pass an Encyclopedia check.
Hardcore Aesthetic+1 Volition, +1 EnduranceUnknown-2 InterfacingManage to form the church nightclub, sync your sines with Noid, and pass the white Conceptualization check in his dialogue.
HobocopLearning cap for Shivers raised to 6, reveals extra special collector's edition Tare bottles, grants extra money from selling Tare bottles 4h 20m-1 ComposureRefer to yourself as homeless in dialogue or sleep outside for a night.
Homo-Sexual UndergroundAllows you to discuss sexuality with Kim, stops you obsessing over sexuality8hNone Speak to the smoking man when he goes to the Whirling-in-Rags and pass the Composure check. Ask if he's in the underground.
Indirect Modes of Taxation-1 Empathy, Ultraliberal dialogue options give you 1 real1h 45m -2 EmpathyAccept multiple bribes from anybody, support capitalist ideas in dialogue and emphasize earning money above all else.
Inexplicable Feminist Agenda+1 Empathy, -1 Electrochemistry3h 45m+2 Authority against male charactersChoose multiple feminist dialogue options.
Jamais Vu (Derealisation)-1 Encyclopedia, all INT leaning caps raised by 1, +1xp for every orb clicked on3h 25mNone Speak to Lena about reality, then speak to Joyce about the same.
Kingdom of ConscienceLearning caps for Volition and Logic raised to 5, moralist dialogue options heal 1 morale 1h 25m-2 Half-LightChoose multiple neutral/moderate/tempered dialogue options.
Lonesome Long Way HomeLearning cap for Perception raised to 5, taking Speed gives +1 PSY 6h 5m+1 EncyclopediaWonder where you live in dialogue or thought.
Magnesium-Based Lifeform+2 Volition, -1 Logic1h 15m-1 ShiversGo into Cuno's shack, see the magnesium stored there, then talk to him about it.
Mazovian Socio-Economics-1 Visual Calculus, -1 Authority, communist/left-wing dialogue gives +4xp3h 10m-2 Visual CalculusChoose multiple left-wing/communist dialogue options.
Motorway South+1 Inland Empire, all locked INT white checks unlock8h 10m-1 Visual CalculusSpeak to Joyce about reality, then question her about the Pale. Then go to the elderly woman by the statue and ask her the same thing.
One More Door-1 Half-Light, all locked PSY white checks unlock45m+1 Half-LightTry to open the bunker door North of the Church and fail.
Opioid Receptor AntagonistNo positive stat changes from drugs, no negative stat changes from alcohol55m-2 Electrochemistry Choose multiple anti-drug/narcotic dialogue options.
Overproductive Honour GlandsLearning cap for Authority raised to 520m-4 Drama Take no bribes, do things honourably, keep your promises.
Regular Law Official-1 Shivers, -1 Inland Empire, all learning caps raised to 31h 20m-2 Inland EmpireChoose multiple boring or non-committal dialogue options.
Remote Viewers Division-1 Drama, -1 difficulty to all PSY passive checks6h-1 PerceptionChoose multiple dialogue options claiming to be psychic.
Revacholian NationhoodAlcohol gives +2 FYS, choosing nationalist dialogue options damages your morale by 19h 10m-1 ComposureChoose multiple pro-fascistic dialogue options.
Rigorous Self-CritiqueLearning cap for Pain Threshold raised to 6, failing INT and PSY red checks heals 1 morale, failing FYS and MOT red checks heals 1 health 6h-1 AuthorityApologise repeatedly and feel constantly sorry for yourself.
Searchlight Division+2 Perception3h 15mNone Volunteer to find multiple missing people (even if they're not actually missing).
Some Kind of Superstar-1 Logic, learning caps for Visual Calculus, Suggestion, Electrochemistry, and Composure raised to 61h 10m-2 LogicChoose multiple dialogue options where you claim to be a rock star.
The Bow Collector+3 Shivers6h 10m-1 Authority, -1 Hand/Eye CoordinationRead the note in your ledger and choose "Bow Collector" when talking to your Ancient Reptilian Brain.
The Fifteenth IndotribeLearning cap for Savoir Faire raised to 6, you gain 0.10 real for every green orb clicked on 5h 55mNone Talk to Joyce about Wild Pines and how they control so much cargo.
The Insulindian MiracleUnlocks all locked white checks7h 45mNone Talk to Joyce about the Union's objective, then let her tell you about the history of the islands.
The Jamrock ShuffleFind better loot in locked containers1h 5m-1 Esprit de Corps Break into 4 areas.
The Litany of Contact MikeUnlocks all locked FYS white checks15m -1 Logic, -1 Conceptualization, -1 DramaTalk to Acele (next to the tent at Land's End) about Contact Mike. You will need an Encyclopedia skill of 8 at least.
The Precarious WorldCritical Success and failure thresholds are reduced by 14hAll red checks fail automaticallyTalk to the Dice Maker above the bookstore, and pass the Shivers check in her dialogue.
The Suicide of Kras Mazov+1 Rhetoric, failing white checks heals all morale 4h 45-1 RhetoricBreak into the apartment in the building behind the crime scene and examine the bust of Kras Mazov.
Torque Dork+2 Interfacing, unlocks all locked Interfacing white checksUnknown-2 ConceptualizationPerform three or more of the following: Exhaust all actions relating to Kim's police car, speak to Tommy Le Homme about his truck, go to the old brown car near the statue and prompt the thought relating to it, climb onto the debris past Cuno's shack and have a high enough Encyclopedia skill to admire the crane's mechanism.
Volumetric Shit CompressorLearning cap for Endurance raised to 4, unlocks all locked Endurance white checks 30mNone Throw up twice while studying the hanging corpse and wish you could quit.
Waste Land of Reality+1 to all PSY skills, -1 Physical Instrument, -1 Inland Empire, -1 Suggestion20h-2 Physical InstrumentGet sober, either by subscribing to Advanced Race Theory and talking to Measurehead, or by talking to the Crab Man in the church and saying you want to give up drinking.
White MourningLearning cap for all MOT skills raised by 1, can zoom out 20% more 5h-1 AuthorityRead the note in your ledger and pass the Interfacing check.
Wompty-Dompty Dom Centre-2 Suggestion, succeeding on passive Encyclopedia checks gives you +10xp and 2 real42m-1 SuggestionGo to the building next to the boardwalk on Land's End, and talk to the man admiring the mural with his kid.
Internalized thoughts vary wildly, with effects to your stats, dialogue and how you interact with the world. | Joel Franey/USGamer, ZA/UM

How to Internalize and Research New Thoughts

Once you have a thought ready to go, and presuming you have an empty slot to put it in, you can click on it in the Thought Cabinet and choose to internalize it. Internalization takes a certain amount of in-game time depending on the thought, usually several hours, during which your character will often suffer some sort of stat penalty, representing his distraction as he ponders over who he is. You also can't internalize while asleep, meaning you have to deal with these penalties while you work.

Once the time has elapsed, the thought will be fixed to the slot, and you'll receive the permanent stat change associated with it.

How to Unlock New Slots in the Thought Cabinet

At most you can have twelve slots for thoughts in your Cabinet, but at the start of the game only three slots will be available. Every time you level up, you can choose to unlock a new slot rather than increase one of your skills. Rather than go into the skill menu, go into the Cabinet and click on a locked slot. You'll have the opportunity to unlock it, burning up the skill point in the process.

How to Forget Thoughts and Empty Your Slots

Sometimes you might want to forget a thought, as some of them come with negative stat changes, or maybe you just feel that your character has changed enough that he wouldn't be thinking a certain way. If that's the case, you can use a skill point to forget a thought and effectively purge your mind of it. Click on the thought when you have a skill point available, and you'll be given an option to empty the slot.

What Does the Electricity/Lightning in the Thought Cabinet Do?

Absolutely nothing that affects the game’s mechanics, at least that we could work out. Your thoughts don’t change if there’s lightning running through them, so it seems more like an artistic flourish than anything based around gameplay, perhaps symbolising the specific train of thought that takes your character from one idea to another. Don’t let it worry you, especially when there’s so much else in our protagonist's head to be concerned about.

Spending skill points to expand your Cabinet is often the superior choice, depending on what thoughts you have available. | Joel Franey/USGamer, ZA/UM

Now that you've got your own head sorted out, you can head here to see our review of the game, or check here to see how to find your clothes and shoes in Disco Elysium's opening chapter.

Joel Franey

Guides Writer

Joel loves books, games, comics and drinks that make a person feel like they just got kicked in the head by a mule. He has a Masters in writing from Sussex, which he somehow got by writing about Superman. He is absolutely NOT three children in a long coat, so please stop asking.

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