Pacific Drive all about cosmetics
Screenshot by Destructoid

Where to find and how to use cosmetics in Pacific Drive

Show your remnant some love.

Your station wagon is everything to you in Pacific Drive. It’s your transportation, your protection, and your best friend. Everything in the game revolves around its maintenance. So, why not show it some love with cosmetics?

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Cosmetics come in quite a few flavors. There are paint and decals that will customize your car’s metal exterior. However, there are also stickers, stick shifts, steering wheels, bobbleheads, hood ornaments, and things that dangle from your rearview mirror. Unfortunately, they can be pretty tough to come by, and what you get is entirely random. However, I’ll tell you how to find them consistently, but before I do, let’s look at how to use them.

Pacific Drive detailing station sitting against a wall in the garage.
Screenshot by Destructoid

How to apply cosmetics in Pacific Drive

To apply paint and decals, you just need the item itself. For everything else, like stick shifts and stickers, you need the detailing station. When you start Pacific Drive, you already have a shelf for storing paint and decals. It’s called, appropriately, the “Paint Shelf,” and it’s found on the south end of the garage near the medicine cabinet. When you open this shelving unit, there’s a quick transfer button that will suck all the paint and decals out of your pockets and arrange them there.

To use paint and decals, you simply grab what you want off the shelf and put it in your hand. You then point at the part of the car you want to apply it to, then fire away. Both paint and decals have limited uses before they break, so consider that when you pick a style. Also, the chassis of the car can be modified, so don’t forget that.

For all the specialized parts, you’re going to need a Detailing Station. You research/construct this using the Fabrication Station, which you receive after the tutorial run. It’s an early upgrade that you unlock for the garage. It doesn’t take much to construct. You’ll have it in no time.

In order to store your cosmetic doodads, you can either interact with the Detailing Station and hit the “Open Inventory” button, or you can just hold down the interact button when selecting it. You can then drag and drop all your cosmetics into it.

Now, to apply cosmetics, you interact with the detailing station. There are eight tabs on the top of the screen corresponding to all the cosmetic slots. Just pick one, and then you’ll get a list of items you have for that slot at the bottom of the screen. Select it and press “Install,” and it will instantly be applied to your car. You can then remove it by hitting “Clear Slot.”

Pacific Drive a box truck abandoned in a field. It's dusk and it's raining.
Screenshot by Destructoid

Where to find cosmetics in Pacific Drive

Cosmetics are found randomly pretty much anywhere. They show up occasionally anywhere loot is found, but in normal boxes and containers, they’re pretty rare. They’re less rare in the trunks of cars and in dumpsters, but you’re almost guaranteed to find something in abandoned Box Trucks. For that matter, you should always check a Box Truck whenever it is safe to do so, as they usually contain a lot of resources.

You can also find vending machines in some gas stations. Gas stations themselves are pretty rare, but I’ve only found one of these machines once. I could interact with it exactly once, and it spit out a random cosmetic before breaking.

The most consistent way to get cosmetics doesn’t happen until later, which is quite frustrating.

How to use the Deco-Vend in Pacific Drive

The “Deco-Vend” is one way of getting cosmetics more consistently, and you use it by spending LIM. You unlock it using the fabrication station, but while it only needs unstable energy and some resources found in the mid-section of the zone to build, it requires parts to unlock that require corrupted energy to unlock, which is found in the deep zone. As such, you’re unlikely to have access to it far later in the game.

The Deco-Vend is installed in the garage. It’s a modified vending machine. With it, you spend extra Anchor Energy (LIM), and it will spit out a random car accessory. It will build up your cosmetic collection more reliably, but whether or not the trouble is worth it is up to you.

Not to get too critical in this guide, but if cosmetic items are simply for show, wouldn’t it make sense to have this as an early unlock? It gives you no advantage in the game, so why leave it until the last section of the game?

Whatever. That’s hopefully all you need to know about cosmetics.


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Zoey Handley
Staff Writer - Zoey is a gaming gadabout. She got her start blogging with the community in 2018 and hit the front page soon after. Normally found exploring indie experiments and retro libraries, she does her best to remain chronically uncool.