An outrigger system is an effective structural scheme that is commonly used in high‐rise construction to increase the stiffness of concrete core walls and to reduce the moment demand within the walls. Despite the on‐going use of outrigger systems around the world, a formal seismic design procedure is yet available. This paper presents an equivalent energy design procedure (EEDP) to design outrigger systems for seismic applications. Three prototype outrigger‐wall buildings of various heights are designed for Vancouver, Canada. Detailed finite element models are developed to assess the seismic performance of the prototype buildings and to assess the safety using the FEMA P695 methodology. The result shows that EEDP is an efficient method to design outrigger systems which results in structures that can achieve sufficient margin of safety against collapse and satisfy multiple performance objectives at different seismic hazard levels.