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RimWorld is a colony-building simulator created by Ludeon Studios, inspired by games like Dwarf Fortress and Prison Architect and science fiction settings like Dune, Firefly, and Warhammer 40,000.
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About three and a half thousand years in the future, humanity has spread itself across the galaxy, colonizing thousands of worlds and developing new technologies often beyond the comprehension of our own "modern" society. However one obstacle has proven to be insurmountable—the light barrier. Thus, each colonized planet has largely been left to its own devices; worlds develop at their own pace with limited contact between them.

While small interstellar empires of a few systems may occasionally form in highly-dense stellar regions such as star clusters or nearer to the galactic core, they are exceptions. This, and the fact that many of the more isolated colonies have frequently bombed themselves back into the Stone Age shortly after crossing certain technological thresholds, means there is often a wide technological gap between colonies: some few have ascended to become super-advanced "transcendent worlds" that appear utterly alien, while others have regressed to a pre-industrial (or even a pre-agricultural) state.

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The vessel you and your fellow passengers were on was in orbit around one of these undeveloped planets just before it was destroyed in an unspecified accident. As none of you were enterprising colonists before this moment, your little group is woefully unprepared to build any sort of lasting settlement on a primitive and potentially hostile world.

Luckily you aren't starting entirely from scratch; your Escape Pods happen to be well-stocked with basic tools, weapons, and supplies. They should give you the means to provide for yourselves. Rescue is unlikely, as it'll probably be years before anyone even knows you're gone, but perhaps you can find or make some way to get yourself back home—provided you survive, of course...

As of Alpha 14, there are also options to play as the tribal descendants of a Lost Colony who had survived from an attack from reactivated but malfunctioning robots, or a Bold Explorer who is on an adventure on a remote planet in search of fortune and glory.

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Its unique spin on the genre comes in the form of an "AI Storyteller"—in addition to a standard set of difficulty levels—which allows the player to determine what sort of experience they want from their game: whether it be the more traditional progression of increasingly difficult challenges; a relaxed setting for base-building without the constant worry of having to defend against attackers; or a totally unpredictable sequence of events dictated by the whim of random chance.

In addition, a massive number of Game Mods are available, along with a large and active modding community.

RimWorld officially left Early Access and entered full release in October 17th, 2018. The current version is 1.0.


RimWorld contains examples of:

  • Achey Scars: Poorly-treated injuries often leave behind scars that constantly cause a small amount of pain.
    • Colonists with the "Masochist" trait will actually get a mood boost from these scars, because they like being in pain.
  • Actual Pacifist: Some characters have backgrounds which prevent them from being able to use a weapon at all, even for hunting or in self-defense.
  • After the End: The world your colonists land on was clearly once settled by an industrial civilisation, before something happened, leaving nothing but a few ruined buildings, the remains of a highway network and the occasional "Ancient Danger".
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In keeping with the science fiction genre, AI in the game is almost always portrayed as dangerously unpredictable or downright malevolent.
    • First, there are the mechanoids, which are invariably hostile.
    • Second, there are the AI Persona Cores. Building a spaceship with an AI Persona installed in it allows your colonists to leave the rim world behind, acting as a soft "ending" to the game, with a text scroll that doesn't even attempt to hide the fact that your peoples' lives are in the hands of an artificial consciousness that might take them to a dazzling "Glitterworld" or might just decide to go hide in some icy comet for a few millennia.
  • The Alcoholic: Some characters have traits like "Chemical interest" and "Chemical fascination," making them more prone to drug addiction. Complete withdrawal is possible, but it's a lengthy process that requires micromanagement and which renders the addict less efficient and much more prone to mental breaks for the duration. Characters with interest/fascination traits will also ignore drug policies and frequently go on uncontrolled binges, so the only way to keep those characters clean is to either wall off the drug stash or keep a drug-free environment at all times.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Characters who have gone on a drinking binge will ignore all other responsibilities they have, ignore your attempts to forbid them from drinking more beer, and vomit in inconvenient places (which ruins the room's attractiveness until it's cleaned up).
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Downplayed. Most animals can be tamed, but only dogs and a few other particularly intelligent animals can be trained to do certain tasks.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: They replace trees as the default source of wood in Deserts.
  • Alliance Meter: NPC factions can have varying relationship values with your colony which can improve or worsen depending on actions taken like imprisoning their members or giving them gifts of silver. Those listed as "hostile" will attack you on sight, while those whom you have good enough relations with can be called on for help if you need it (on rare occasions they'll come of their own accord).
  • All Planets Are Earthlike: Justified. All habitable planets were terraformed and seeded with genetically-modified plant and animal life, so all flora and fauna present are recognizably derived from Earth life (if often somewhat altered). Also, crash-landing on an airless rock would make the game very short indeed.
    • Forthcoming updates are expected to add a bit of variety, including the possibility of landing on a couple of varieties of Single-Biome Planet: Desert and Ice worlds have been shown so far and there may be others. They're still all presumably going to have a breathable atmosphere, however.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Limbs can be damaged, shot off or destroyed in the course of normal combat, and they can also be amputated to be replaced with prosthetics.
  • Annoying Arrows: In general, most projectile weapons do little damage per hit and enemy forces can potentially pelt each other with slugs for awhile until blood loss and combined pain threshold finally takes someone out of the fight. On the other hand, there's always the chance a projectile could strike something vital and cripple or kill the target instantly. Additionally, any bleeding wound carries the chance of an infection if improperly treated, which is far more serious.
  • Anti-Armor: Uranium slug turret. It has very high armour penetration and causes a lot of damage, so is very good for killing mechanoids and pirates with powered armour.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: There are a few, especially when compared to the obtuse complexity of Dwarf Fortress
    • Your colonists never have to worry about seeds or irrigation when growing crops.
    • Steel never needs smelting from base ores to create—though this is partially justified by all the metal you mine being ruins from a preexisting civilisation. Likewise, Gold and Silver are instantly turned into workable currency upon mining.
    • Cotton plants and animal wool immediately create cloth when harvested. The butchering process automatically converts animal skin into leather.
    • Ammunition, for personal weapons at least, isn't a thing: have ranged weapon, can shoot all day.
    • Medical supplies can be used to treat all illnesses and injuries equally.
    • Your colonists never have to worry about drinking regularly, nor do they have to concern themselves with sewage handling and treatment. Naturally, there are mods to fix this.
    • Roofs can be built for free almost anywhere.
    • Tools for mining, tilling the soil, chopping down trees, building structures and assembling electronics aren't represented.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: You can find advanced things like killer robots or Charged-shot weapons, but your best melee weapons are still longswords or spears.
  • Artificial Intelligence: "Mechanoid" enemies are sentient robots and come in two flavors; Centipedes which are big and slow but carry powerful weaponry and are hard to kill; Scythers and (as of Beta 19) Lancers which are smaller and faster, easier to kill but but carry hand blades and "Charge Lances" (essentially sniper rifles), respectively. There is also an "AI Core" item—needed to build a spaceship for getting off the planet—which used to drop from crashed ship parts in earlier alpha releases of the game, but are now only available after going on an expedition.
  • Artificial Limbs: Available to replace lost (or simply "inferior") limbs. Options range from simple peg legs to full-on cybernetic prostheses with enhanced functionality.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Raiders will stop at nothing to get to your base. Including walking through raging wildfires, running into traps in plain sight, or even releasing ancient dangers.
    • Likewise, your own colonists have only a marginal sense of self preservation and see absolutely nothing wrong with running out into a firefight to tame a muffalo or pick up some random supplies in the middle of an enemy attack.
  • Ax-Crazy: Like in Dwarf Fortress, unhappy characters can potentially go on a psychotic rampage, assaulting their fellow survivors, smashing things, and generally causing mayhem.
  • Badass Army: Your colony is essentially this compared to the outmoded, rusted and poorly equipped armies from other colonies across the planet. Space Pirates couldn't agree more.
  • Badass Transplant: Higher-tier prostheses that turns your existing colonists into Cyborgs with greater speed, strength, or accuracy, depending on exactly what body part they're replacing.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Megascarabs, initially, which were generally found in desert biomes and occasionally cryocaskets as a nasty surprise. Alpha 13 introduced a more extensive line-up with spreading underground hives (which makes underground bases more risky than before) and which can be difficult to eradicate, though one could also elect to farm them for the valuable insect jelly.
  • Big Damn Heroes: A new random event introduced with Alpha 11 allows your colony to rescue a refugee being pursued by raiders. Should they survive, the refugee becomes a new colonist.
    • It is also invoked upon during a raid, where you can get to call an allied faction to help you out of the pickle at a cost of goodwill.
  • Big Eater: Colonists with gourmand trait eat more than normal people. They also have a habit of doing binge-eating. For positive side, they receive a bonus to their cooking skill.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: You can make melee weapons from beautiful metal like gold or silver, but they are not so effective. Also, high-quality weapons tend to have the engraving with detailed description.
  • Blood Knight: Colonists with the "Bloodlust" trait have shades of this, gaining a morale boost when they kill an enemy or seeing an enemy die, but they are also more likely to get into social fights with other colonists.
  • Boring, but Practical
    • You can't really go wrong with the Bolt-Action Rifle. Sure, the Assault Rifle shoots faster, the Sniper Rifle can reach across half the map, and the Charge Rifle deals more damage, but the Bolt Action Rifle deals good damage, out to goodly range, and is 'cheap' enough to stockpile several up to counteract the relatively-slow rate of fire. You even start with one in one starting scenario.
    • The Recurve Bow deals damage comparable to the Revolver at all but the very closest of ranges, but it can out-range all of the guns except for the precision rifles and the rocket launchers. It is effective even in the hands of only moderately-skilled shooters, and extremely easy to make—it only needs wood and it doesn't even require a smithy to build, a crafting spot will do. In addition, it leads to the Greatbow, a ranged option that completely outclasses any other non-firearm and can even compete with the Bolt-Action Rifle! In the Lost Tribes scenario it is recommended you make the upgraded bows your first research choice so you can fight with gun-toting raiders on equal footing.
    • Muffalo: By far, one of the best animal species to raise. They provide meat, hide, wool, milk, as well as ample carrying capacity for caravans and such. In addition, they are found in almost every biome.
    • For melee weapons, the gladius a jack-of-all-stats deal: more damage than the knife, faster than the longsword, and cheap enough to be a good choice in most situations.
    • The "Killbox" and "Roof Trap" strategies for base defence. A Killbox usually consists of a wide-open area filled with traps, firing points and turrets which enemies can be funnelled into through a single tight passage and then destroyed easily by overwhelming firepower coming from multiple angles. A Roof Trap is effectively a giant single-use deadfall trap consisting of a single wooden pillar supporting a roof; when enemies stray under it, the pillar can be destroyed with concentrated gunfire or an IED, collapsing the roof and injuring all of them in one go. Good use of these two traps can easily neutralise the threat of any invasion, and some players refuse to use them because they take out a lot of the fun and challenge of the game.
    • Bunkers. Build a room from stone walls in any shape (or re-purpose a ruin) with some single-tile shooting holes to be filled with sandbags, and finish with a roof and concrete or stone flooring. Voila, you now have a defensive structure that gives your shooters full protection from gunfire from every angle (thanks to the cover calculations from the walls), protection from rain (so no accuracy malus when firing) and lightning strikes and even some protection from thrown explosives as long as the grenade landed outside the wall. Bunkers are cheap, easy to build, easy to upgrade and effective at all stages of the game.
  • Brutal Honesty: Characters with the "Abrasive" trait always speak their mind and don't care what others think. Other characters get a mood penalty from socializing with them.
  • Cabin Fever: Played straight usually when your colonists spends days isolated indoors, they will get increasing uncomfortable inside.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Characters can survive a headshot, but if they take damage to the brain, that usually spells the end of their time as a useful member of the colony, as brain damage both severely affects their ability to do anything and is impossible to heal without Luciferium. They can also suffer injuries to the spine or legs, which immobilize them almost permanently, at least until you either acquire them a bionic replacement or feed them a steady supply of Luciferium (which slowly regenerates damaged body parts, albeit at the price of permanently addicting them).
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Because all humans are procedurally generated, they end up with not only very distinct personalities and behavior patterns, but with enough variation in body type and skin tone to be fairly distinct visually as well. If you don't micromanage their wardrobe, the random ensembles they put on can distinguish them further. Given the game's overall minimalist art, this is impressive: the sprites have no limbs and no facial features except eyes.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Colonists who have "Bloodlust" and "Masochist" trait are basically this. They can get ecstatic from killing enemies, and receiving pain from own injuries.
  • Comically Inept Healing: Poorly-treated wounds may produce permanent scars, impairing a character's abilities and making the affected body part more vulnerable to future damage. Also, low-skill doctors performing an operation are likely to carve up their "patients" like jack-o-lanterns.
    • A Running Gag in the community is the tendency of unskilled doctors to decapitate patients in the process of installing a peg leg.
  • Command & Conquer Economy: Characters will perform some basic jobs semi-automatically (like harvesting fields), but most of the more elaborate ones (such as construction projects or crafting items) require an order from the player.
  • Control Freak: Neurotic and Very Neurotic characters tend to obsess over everything being just right. In game terms, this means they do their jobs faster than other characters at the same skill level, but they're also more likely to break when things aren't going their way.
  • Creator Cameo: Tynan Sylvester (A lead developer of the game) may appear in the game if you were really lucky. However, his stats are very low, and he always has "Slothful" trait. This makes him a very useless character.
  • Crush. Kill. Destroy!: As the game unfolds, the Storyteller may decide to throw hostile mechanical creatures at your colony. They're a fair bit more dangerous than the groups of other humans that have come before.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: An in-universe belief for some characters, who are labeled as "body purists" (or "prostophobes" in older versions of the game). They get a mood penalty for having any of their body parts replaced with bionic ones.
    • Luciferium is a drug that permanently turns a colonist into a host for nanotech drones that render them immune to disease, enhances their minds and bodies, regenerates any body part (even brain damage!), and makes them move at superhuman speed... at the cost of being forever addicted to it and going berserk and dying if they ever get off their fix.
  • Cyborg: Your colonists can replace some of their limbs and organs with bionic equivalents that upgrade their performance with that body part significantly.
  • Deal with the Devil: Not literally, but invoked by name with Luciferium. It's actually a nanite pill that provides significant health benefits (including the ability to repair brain damage, regenerate lost limbs, and reverse the effects of aging), but at the cost of giving the patient and incurable addiction with potentially lethal withdrawal symptoms... and you can't make any yourself, so you're limited to whatever stockpiles you can scavenge.
  • Death from Above: Mechanoids and (rarely) pirate raids can arrive via drop-pods and will often smash through your ceiling, or at the very least circumvent your carefully placed defenses by arriving in the middle of your garden.
  • Death World: The planet your colonists crash-land on is inevitably chock-full of hostile tribes, aggressive Space Pirates, and wildlife that has an occasional tendency to go berserk. In extreme climates, you may also have to contend with a lack of conveniently arable land and the local weather: Extreme Deserts are scorching hot and largely devoid of life, but there are some patches of gravel where you can maybe grow small potato crops; Sea Ice, places where it's so cold that the sea has frozen over, have almost no wildlife and no arable land whatsoever—all food must come from Muffalo herding, trade or cannibalism until hydroponics and moisture pumps can make greenhouses possible.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: If your survivors take prisoners from an attack on the colony, they can potentially be recruited into the community. Starting with the Alpha 8 series of updates, you can also release prisoners for goodwill points with the factions they belong to, applying the trope on a larger scale.
  • Deflector Shields: The Shield belt can protect the wearer from incoming projectiles, but they will not be able to use firearms because the shield also blocks bullets from inside.
  • Deus Est Machina: "Transcendent" worlds are planets where unrestricted archotech AI development has lead to the creation of unfathomable machine intelligences that create technologies like Dyson spheres, convert entire worlds into computing machines, unlimited power generation, and psychic technologies. Bits and pieces of these godly AI inventions show up as phenomenally dangerous artifacts or ship components that threaten your colony.
  • Dig Attack: Sappers are capable of digging through mountains, just like your miners. They'll also breach your defensive walls.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Characters with the "Brawler" trait are more skilled at and deadly in melee combat, but will suffer mood penalties if forced to carry ranged weapons.
  • Does Not Like Men: Colonists with the "Misandrist" trait dislike and distrust men. Male colonists with the said trait do exist, but they are much rarer.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Hunting wildlife for food and leather is a great way to keep your colony stocked up. However, most animals have a small chance of becoming "manhunters" when injured, especially at close range, and running down the attacker without mercy. Worse, if there's a pack of that animal nearby, they may all become enraged simultaneously.
  • Due to the Dead: Leaving human corpses lying around (either unburied or not tossed into an incinerator) produces negative thoughts, especially if they're of former fellow survivors. Giving them a proper burial will help remove negative thoughts, and placing them in a crafted sarcophagi will actually give the colony positive thoughts.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: A "planetkiller" may impact the world you're on, vaporizing it with the force of "a trillion hydrogen bombs" and ending the game instantly as, obviously, you do not survive. Thankfully this can only happen if you enable it in the config menu, turning it into a sort of time-based Self-Imposed Challenge.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: You can go for one of these if the map you choose has sufficient mountainous terrain. Slower to construct since digging takes time, but the mountain can help your colony withstand mortars and force attacking enemies to run into your only entrance to get slaughtered in your kill zone (unless they brought sappers).
    • However, tunneling increases the chance of burrowing insects appearing and making nests in your halls. They will attack colonists and chew through walls, but they also produce valuable, nutritious, and tasty insect jelly, so it's possible to farm them.
  • EMP: EMP grenades can be used for temporarily disable turrets, or Mechanoids.
  • Endless Winter: One possible random event is a massive eruption that triggers a volcanic winter, which can last for years.
  • The Engineer: Raider groups may include sappers, who will try to bypass your defensive strongpoints by blowing up walls or tunneling through mountains to clear a path for their comrades.
  • Everything's Better with Llamas: The game features alpacas. Wild ones are peaceful and can be hunted for their meat or tamed. Tamed alpacas produce wool, one of the many materials you can craft clothes with. Also, alpacas can be added to a caravan, raising the maximum weight cap of what you can take to trade with neighbour settlements.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Done somewhat realistically. Most outfits have insulation values that help characters resist extreme heat or cold better. Depending on the climate, wearing the right clothing can make the difference between feeling a little chilly and dying in the snow from hypothermia.
  • Eye Scream: Eyes can be damaged or destroyed, impairing a character's perception.
  • Fantastic Drug: The game has plenty of drugs, but none of them are real (except beer) . However, some drugs are rather similar to real life drugs.
    • Smokeleaf joints are very similar to marijuana joints. It makes people happy and hungry, and it's green.
    • Yayo is similar to cocaine. People use it by snorting it, and it can make people really happy, and suppress pain.
  • Fed to Pigs: Pigs and other non-herbivorous animals will eat human corpses as long as they are not rotting.
  • Fingore: Individual fingers and toes can be damaged or lost by injuries, though it's usually less of an inconvenience than losing a full limb.
  • Future Food Is Artificial: Not all of it is, but you can build Nutrient Paste Dispensers that render raw foodstuffs into, well, nutrient paste. It's apparently bland and unappetizing since it gives a slight morale penalty, but it's the most efficient way to prepare raw food and can save your colony until you somehow get a decent cook if you don't already have one.
  • Future Primitive: The year is 5500, yet you can find multiple tribes in Rimworld. The game sometimes states they are the remnants of old civilization.
  • Game Mod: This game can be easily manipulated with a variety of mods, is encouraged for those who wanted to expand the colony.
  • Gatling Good: Miniguns. High rate of fire, good stopping power, horrendous accuracy at anything other than point-blank range. They are however the perfect tool for breaking up waves of tribal raiders or packs of man-eating animals.
  • Gendercide: A rare combination of this trope and Hate Plague is the Psionic Drone, an event where one gendernote  undergoes Mind Rape to a degree that they must be unhappy with a tendency to draw others to harm.
  • Genuine Human Hide: In addition to the meat, butchered human corpses also provide leather that can be fashioned into apparel.
  • Geo Effects: Terrain is an important gameplay element. The local climate determines what sort of crops you can grow and how well they'll flourish. As of Alpha 8, temperature is modelled in the game as well; leave your colonists in extreme temperatures for too long, and they may succumb to heatstroke or hypothermia.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: If you're under imminent attack but have good enough relations with either other settlements or native tribes, you can ask for help.
  • A Handful for an Eye: Melee combatants can fling sand or dirt into eyes of enemies. It can reduce the efficiency of their eyes.
  • Hard-Coded Hostility: Mechanoids and Space Pirates cannot be appeased or negotiated with at all. The latter can be voided by personally incapacitating and recruiting them on your behalf.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • Merciless is the hardest difficulty. Compared to previous difficulty, raids are much tougher, selling prices are low, crop yields are low, and there are more diseases.
    • Sea ice is the hardest biome. This land is extremely cold, and there is no soil to grow plants or trees. Animals are almost no existent, so your colonists probably need to cannibalize raiders (or visitors...) to survive.
    • Naked Brutality is the hardest scenario. You can pick only one person, and they have absolutely nothing. At least, they know some technologies like electricity, though.
      • You can combine these three difficulty factors if you want, but it will become virtually impossible.note 
  • He-Man Woman Hater / Female Misogynist: Colonists with the "Misogynist" trait dislike and distrust women. Female colonists with the said trait do exist, but they are much rarer.
  • Heroic BSoD: A character whose morale drops low enough may break down and begin wandering aimlessly in a daze.
  • Heroic Dog: Trained dogs will defend the handler they're assigned to, and with some more specialized training can also rescue downed allies.
  • Hold the Line: In later versions, launching your space ship needs a long activation sequence. Space pirates will notice this, and they will start to send hordes of their raiders into your colony periodically.
  • Hostile Weather: Heat Waves can strike during summer, making your colonists much more likely to succumb to heat exhaustion. The inverse, Cold Snaps, happen frequently during winter with an equivalent risk of hypothermia. Lightning strikes during thunderstorms will periodically set bits of the map on fire; if it's a dry thunderstorm, the fire will often have a chance to grow quite large; flashstorms don't last as long but can be very damaging directly if it happens to spawn near your base or colonists.
  • Human Popsicle: In addition to their use in the aforementioned Sleeper Starships (see their entry below), cryptosleep caskets can also be used to put people in a deep-freeze sleep for other purposes (such as until the colony can get medical supplies to cure a serious illness). Some maps may even start with a few already placed on the map, though their current inhabitants often get cranky if you wake them up ahead of schedule... assuming the casket hadn't been infested with bugs.
  • Hungry Jungle: Jungle biomes are always hot, and colonists have a much higher risk of infection from various diseases. They're also usually home to dangerous wildlife.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Some characters may have the "Cannibal" trait, meaning they're not bothered at all by eating human flesh—they'll just wish they also had some fava beans and a nice Chianti.
    • On Tundra, Ice Sheet and especially Sea Ice biomes, cannibalism of incoming raiders (or visitors) may become a requirement to simply survive.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: General base layout is obviously an important consideration. Roomy and well-decorated living spaces make your survivors happier, while cramped and ugly rooms affect their mood negatively.
  • Javelin Thrower: Tribal people often use Pila, spears for throwing. Throwing it needs a long time, but it can deal heavy damage for low-tech weapon.
  • Jerkass: Any colonist with the Abrasive trait is likely to rub wrongly against the others and hit them with a mood penalty. It's generally recommended if possible to put these guys working on the night shift.
  • Killer Rabbit: One of the random events in the game can drive members of the local wildlife insane with homicidal bloodlust. Tales abound on the official forums of colonies being overwhelmed by such things as hordes of enraged squirrels.
  • Kill Sat: The planet that your colonists are on has several abandoned satellite arrays which can serve this function though only one of the the three current types is purpose built for it. Your colonists can activate one of them with one-use targeter items, hacked not to require security credentials from someone who's been dead for centuries. They can be orbital weapons which drop tons of bombs, solar collection satellites which shoot a massive beam of intense heat to the target, or weather manipulation satellites which create tornadoes.
  • Knife Nut: Characters with the "Brawler" trait prefer melee weapons to ranged ones, to the point they get a boost to their Melee skill, a matching penalty to their base Shooting skill, and a negative thought for having guns, bows, or other ranged weapons equipped.
  • Lack of Empathy: Colonists with the "Psychopath" trait don't get morale bonuses for socialising with others, nor do they get penalties for bad things that happen to other colonists like being sold into slavery.
  • Lethal Chef: Potentially literally. If someone with poor Cooking skills tries to prepare a meal, there's a good chance it'll end up tainted with food poisoning.
  • Liquid Courage: Beer, introduced with Alpha 9, is a downplayed example. A character who consumes a bottle gets a minor, temporary morale boost. Combined with mechanics that allow you to tell a character to use a specific consumable immediately, you can use this to bolster a character's morale immediately before drafting them for a fight.
  • Literal Disarming: It's possible to capture a raider, replace their healthy limbs with Seadog Peg Legs and/or Hook Hands, and release them. Your doctors will get experience from performing the amputations and the raider will be significantly less threatening if they ever attempt to attack your colony again.
  • Low Culture, High Tech: Played with.
    • On the one hand, since your own tech level is no hindrance to using items far more advanced than you can make yourselves, if you get hold of them by scavenging or trading. On the other hand, the same applies to high-tech factions using low-tech products. For example, a space-faring colony can drink all the beer they want, but if they want to brew it themselves, they'll need to research how, and they'll even find the research harder than a tribal colony would.
    • Averted in the strictest sense of the term "culture." Every band of survivors has access to the Sculptor's Workbench, and thus the capacity to create works of art, from the very beginning. The ability of a colony to produce "culture" in the form of art has less to do with its abstract tech level than it does with its ability to adequately provide basic needs (such as food, shelter, and security) with enough abundance that they can afford to have members spend their time doing things other than desperately foraging for tomorrow's meal.
  • Made of Explodium: The aptly named boomrats and boomalopes explode when killed. They can be a good source of fuel if domesticated, but for heaven's sake, don't keep them all together in a wooden barn.
  • Made a Slave: Pirate trading ships travel the stars, and you can buy fresh colonists from them or, at the cost of a little morale, sell them your prisoners.
  • Made of Iron: Colonists can survive getting riddled with bullets, having limbs blown off, and even getting heart-shot. Can cross over into Dented Iron, as wounds don't always heal properly if they're poorly treated, which usually impairs their function slightly and subjects the character to constant (though minor) pain.
    • Colonists with the "Tough" trait reduce all incoming damage by half.
  • Mind Rape: Every so often, your colony will be bombarded with psychic probes. Sometimes they'll drive the local wildlife insane; other times they'll try to do the same to your colonists by inflicting them with a significant mood penalty (though thankfully the effect is temporary). The one exception is the psychic wave caused by the crashed spaceship part, which is not only persistent but steadily gets worse until you finally destroy the part itself.
    • Interestingly you can do this yourself to enemies with two incredibly rare and expensive artifacts: the Psychic Insanity Lance drives a character berserk (which means a chance to attack their friends), while the Psychic Shock Lance stuns and has a high chance of causing permanent brain damage.
    • There's also the more mundane options, like taking someone prisoner, locking them in a tiny, dark room, and letting them stew until they go insane.
  • Minimalism: At its most basic, the design sensibility is similar to DwarfFortress—baroque gameplay, minimalist visuals. Living things are generally not animated, per se, having just a few poses and otherwise gliding around. They also are always drawn without limbs or facial features, and are thus often referred to as "pawns". Other visuals are also simple, and details tend to be more informational than pretty. For example, a glance might convey how fully-grown a plant is, or how damaged a structure is, but otherwise they look plain and undistracting.
  • Molotov Cocktail: A favourite weapon for enemy sappers, for obvious reasons.
  • Morale Mechanic: Every character has a mood meter, which reflects their general satisfaction with the state of the colony and their personal quality of life. Too many negative thoughts can push a colonist into a mental breakdown.
  • Mundane Dogmatic: While it's a far-future setting, technology is restricted to the plausible (if obviously very advanced). Faster-Than-Light Travel and true aliens are noticeably absent.
  • Nanomachines: Mechanites are microscopic mechanoids, and they are used for medical purpose in advanced planets. But in Rimworld, they are uncontrolled state and treated as painful yet somewhat beneficial diseases.
  • The Natives Are Restless: Low-tech human tribes populate most planets, and many (though not all) of them start out hostile to your colony. They'll often send out raiding parties to cause what havoc they can. Players can also play as them, if they choose one of the default starting options which became available as of Alpha 14.
  • Never My Fault: Other factions outside your colony can put a blame on you whenever their visitors get killed or injured by anything that is not your doing. Fortunately, if said victims returned fully recovered from the incident will give a significant boost to your relationship.
  • Noble Wolf: While man-eating wargs are almost always Savage Wolves (for which see below), most non-event-spawned warg packs are harmless unless otherwise provoked. With the appropriate skills they can be tamed to serve as animal companions for your colonists and can perform most of the same roles as dogs.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: One of the options available for butchering and preparing meat from corpses? Human. It's usually best reserved for an absolute last-ditch emergency to fend off starvation, as butchering and eating human meat impacts most characters' moods negatively (unless they're cannibals by nature themselves). If you start in a sufficiently freezing biome then resorting to this might be a requirement to survive.
  • Organ Theft: If you're squeamish about literally cannibalising your prisoners but still want to use them as a "renewable resource," you can have doctors surgically remove certain organs such as their lungs, kidneys, and heart (the latter of which obviously kills them instantly). This causes a mood penalty for most colonists though.
  • Paint the Town Red: Late-game raids have a large number of attackers, and killing all of them will paint the ground red. This is not very good, because things like pools of blood or corpses decrease the beauty rating and give bad feelings to colonists.
  • Panthera Awesome: Taming cougars or panthers is obviously dangerous, but they have potential to become fragile yet very agile attack animals.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Dog: Starting with Alpha 12, your starting group includes a dog that can be trained to help defend your colony and serve as a Canine Companion for one of your survivors.
  • Power at a Price: Luciferium is a very powerful glitterworld "drug" that enhances colonists to superhuman workers who are immune to disease and remain in perfect health... but they have to keep taking it or the nanomachines in the drug will break down, drive them insane, and eventually kill them.
  • Powered Armour: A late game research allows you to build suits of power armor, or it can (rarely) be scavenged off pirates. While it does slow your colonists down, it has a chance to completely negate any damage taken, with better quality suits being nigh invulnerable.
  • Procedural Generation:
    • Since Alpha 7, the surface of planets are created with this, each one given a name based on a four-character seed inputted by the player.
    • People are also generated by routines that build a variety of physical and mental makeups, as well as a social history. This includes raiders, refugees, and other random-event people, as any of them has the potential to join your colony.
  • Psycho Party Member: Certain traits will make a particular colonist more likely to break under the strain by giving them either a higher breakdown threshold, a permanent penalty to their mood, or increased susceptibility to psionic attacks.
  • Pyro Maniac: Colonists with the "Pyromaniac" trait have a chance to start fires in anytime. They can feel good by having an incendiary weapon, but they can never extinguish fires.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Push a character hard enough and drive their morale down low enough and they may fly into a rage, attacking any people and objects in their path until they're subdued.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Your first survivors will usually come from widely diverse backgrounds, with some of them possibly being almost ridiculously incompetent at performing basic survival skills.
  • Random Encounters: Alpha 16 introduces caravans that can travel the world. As they're moving, they can be ambushed by roving pirates and mad animals, which creates a temporary map to deal with the threat and regroup before reforming the caravan and moving again.
  • Random Events Plot: The "Randy Random" AI Storyteller option invokes this, throwing out random events with no real rhyme or reason to their sequence or intensity (unlike the other two AI Storyteller options, who at least follow some sort of logical progression).
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: One possible mental break a colonist can undergo is the "insult spree", where being pushed over the edge provokes the colonist to launch a stream of invective at everyone they can get within earshot.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Raiders will attempt to burn crops, destroy property, and abduct wounded colonists if there aren't any active defenders to engage.
  • Reality Ensues: This can happen, sometimes rather often.
    • Assign a colonist as a chef with mediocre cooking skills, or use a filthy room as a kitchen? Some meals will be tainted.
    • Forget to treat a Colonist's wound? They'll be incapacitated if they haven't died from blood loss. Do a poor job treating a wound, they'll have scars and will be susceptible to future damage.
    • Survive a headshot or a shattered spine? The victim becomes a literal deadweight to your colony unless you can get them some Luciferum (which comes with its own costs).
    • Make a body purist wear a cybernetic limb? They will likely revolt.
    • Infections are much deadlier than the wounds that caused them. Sometimes amputation is the only answer to a bad one.
    • Almost every goods and resources decay if left lying outside (the exception being rock blocks). Most food (and some other goods, like herbal medicine) eventually goes bad if they aren't kept in a frozen room.
    • Smoking too much smokeleaf can eventually lead to asthma or lung cancer. Likewise, excessive alcohol can lead to cirrhosis of the liver even setting aside the effects of addiction.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Starting with Alpha 9, the game draws a distinction between a character's biological age (how much time they've actually spent as a growing, self-aware being) and chronological age (the amount of time that has passed between their birth and the present day). In some extreme cases, physically young characters may often be anywhere from several decades to a few millennia old due to extended stays in cryptosleep. It's also possible, because of this, for parents to be biologically younger than their children.
  • Refining Resources: Characters harvest basic raw materials such as crops, wood, stone, and metal ore, which are used as construction materials or as ingredients to craft other goods.
  • Relationship Values: Starting in Alpha 13, characters (both in your colony and in other factions) have individual values with each other on a scale, which can be looked at on the Social Screen. These can start out positive or negative depending on their relationships (lovers, exes, parent-child, etc.) and go up and down as characters interact during the course of the game.
  • Rhino Rampage: Rhinoceroses are one of the most dangerous animals on Rimworld. They are rather slow, but they have massive attack power and thick skin.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: With the right training, your colonists can sic their dogs on distant enemies instead of simply keeping them near to defend their handlers from harm.
  • Robinsonade: Your first three characters are the survivors of some unspecified disaster that destroyed their visiting spacecraft, leaving them stranded on a planet with just the right supplies to allow them to get off to a good start.
  • Savage Wolves: A pack of man-hunting wargs may occasionally ravage your colony, forcing you to either fight them off or hide indoors until they go away.
  • Scars Are Forever: If a particular injury is poorly treated, it has a chance of leaving behind a permanent scar that slightly impairs the functionality of the injured limb or body part permanently.
  • Scavenger World: The two most important non-food resources in the game are found as deposits of "compacted steel" and "compacted machinery", strongly implied to be the wrecked remains of buildings or vehicles from The Beforetimes.
  • Schizo Tech: A direct result of being on a rimworld. The population of the planet consists of the descendants of crashed spacecraft survivors and some hardy explorers, pirates, and luddites. Many of them either devolved to tribalism over the centuries or millennia, and a few managed to retain pieces of more advanced technology, resulting in a mixture of ancient and medieval weapons, modern firearms and technologies, and science-fiction machinery.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In earlier alpha releases of the game, this was one possible break state for survivors with low morale. They got so fed up with how things were going that they simply abandoned the colony and sought to make a new life elsewhere. This is also your likely choice if you decided to launch unfitting colonists to space with a Sleeper Starship instead of your best ones.
  • Seadog Peg Leg: If one of your colonists loses a leg and you don't have a prosthesis available, you can literally attach a piece of wood. There is a significant movement penalty, but at least now they can move again.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Ancient cryptosleep compounds are almost literally this—big, sealed metal or stone chambers full of cryptosleep caskets. When opened, these caskets could disgorge anything from a spare suit of Powered Armor to a swarm of Big Creepy-Crawlies.
  • Serial Prostheses: Can happen to especially injury-prone colonists who keep losing their limbs, assuming they survive and you care enough to give them prosthetic limbs in the first place. Transhumanists (also called "prostophiles" in older versions of the game) actually enjoy having all their limbs converted to bionic ones.
  • Settling the Frontier: The basic idea of the game, though it wasn't (necessarily) your colonists' intention since the starship they traveled on tore itself apart for some reason and they just barely got to the escape pods in time.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Chain shotgun can deal massive damage, but it also has worst effective range.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Murderous elephants are unusually common and will appear even in regions that don't normally have them. The fiction premir also mentions "gravity dwarves" who are extremely short and stocky and strong and show a preference for living underground.
    • Colonists with the "Cannibal" trait will mention "fava beans and a nice chianti" when they ate cooked human meat.
    • Colonists with the "Transhumanist" trait will say "I asked for this." when they have many advanced body parts.
  • Solar Flare Disaster: One of the random events in the game is a solar flare that knocks out all electrical devices for about a day or so. If you live in an inhospitable biome and rely on a greenhouse to grow crops, then that can be very bad.
  • Sleeper Starship: The chief means of space travel, as humanity is restricted to slower-than-light propulsion. The end goal of the game is to jury-rig one for your castaways to escape in.
  • Snow Means Death: Naturally and Ice Sheets biomes deliberately invoke this at the game's deadliest extremes. Food is very hard to come by: there's no wildlife to hunt or tame, and growing crops is generally not an option unless you construct a special greenhouse where hardy potatoes can possibly be grown in the underlying gravel; trading for food will be your main lifeline, and cannibalising slain raiders (or even visitors) may be a requirement to survive. On the upside, snow brings death to all; the sheer cold makes diseases rare, and human enemies rarely show up and when they do, the elements usually deal with them even if your defences don't.
  • Space Pirate: One possible enemy. Pirate settlements will occasionally dispatch small groups of well-armed soldiers in an attempt to destroy the colony.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The game has several explosive weapons and explosives, and notable ones are:
    • The Doomsday Rocket Launcher is an one-use weapon that shoots a single rocket. It will cause large explosions and flames. Needless to say, this weapon is very effective against flammable things.
    • The Antigrain Warhead is a very rare mortar shell. It will cause vast and devastating explosion. This explosion is big enough to annihilate an entire raiding party.
  • Subsystem Damage: Damage is recorded by individual body part and with varying levels of severity, though sufficiently traumatic injuries are often instantly lethal.
  • Taking You with Me: Boomrats and boomalopes go up in a fiery explosion when killed—attack them in melee at your peril. Conversely, improvised turrets can do this on enemies dumb enough to attack them with melee weapons (usually Tribals) as they spark and explode when they take too much damage.
  • The Teetotaler: An actual trait. Characters with this trait will stay away from alcohol.
  • Thirsty Desert: Deserts are at the hot and dry extreme of the biome scale. The main challenges there come from heat exhaustion and a relative lack of timber and quality soil for farming.
  • Tower Defense: The game wasn't designed to fit into this genre from the start, but certain tactical considerations (defending a single colony against multiple waves of enemies with a focus on using carefully-placed turrets and traps to bolster your defenses, where losses on your side take time and investment to replace but the enemy can keep throwing more and larger waves at you) mean that it edges into this during raids.
  • Transhumanism: Espoused by characters with the appropriate trait. They get mood bonuses if you replace their limbs and organs with improved bionic parts.
  • Trigger Happy: Characters with the trait that share this trope's name love shooting guns, which results in a higher rate of fire than normal (at the cost of a significant accuracy penalty).
  • Troperiffic: There are tons of references the game possesses by far. All you can do now is to find them all.
  • Underground City: A possible colony build, usually inside mountains, but it reeks with Difficult, but Awesome investments which requires a lot of man-hours digging through and a ton of resources to build a sustainable habitat inside. Colonists will also grow increasingly weary if they stay too long inside. This is a viable strategy, on the other hand, if your colonists get stranded in the middle of an Ice Sheet. Too much digging can lead to another kind of hazard: hostile insects building hives in your tunnels. Fortunately, leaving them alone for a while will cause them to generate valuable insect jelly.
  • Unspecified Apocalypse: What caused the civilisation that built the ancient highways, vaults full of Human Popsicles and other remnants of advanced industrialisation and technology to collapse is left up to the player's own interpretation.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Averted for human enemies, but played straight for mechanoid enemies. You can never get their weapons from their dead bodies.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: You can force body purists to get bionic limbs, but they'll get significant mood penalty. Don't be surprised if they snap on you if you aren't paying attention.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: You can rescue crashed survivors and recruit them into your colony, train pets to become bonded animals, and save fleeing refugees from enemy marauders. You're also rewarded for being kind to prisoners, housing them in good cells and keeping them well-fed and socialized with your wardens, and can show proper respect for the dead on both sides of any battle by giving them beautiful graves and sarcophagi.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: As with other base-building games like Dwarf Fortress, there is no end to the amount of cruelty you can get up to.
    • There is nothing at all stopping a player from inflicting horrifying fiery deaths upon enemies using incendiary launchers and molotov cocktails, as well as mulching them in various deadfall traps and blowing them apart with various improvised bombs. And that's not factoring in that a clever player can trigger mechanoid attacks on incoming raiders.
    • For that matter, you can easily take enemy survivors, strip them naked, and lock them up in tiny rooms in the cold or heat and leave them to starve. When they go berserk, you can beat them unconscious and throw them back in the cell, and deny them medical treatment. Note that you can also do this to colonists as well.
    • Wounded survivors of crashing escape pods can be brought back to the colony to be healed... or they can be stripped of their possessions and left to die in the wilderness. Or you can capture them and sell them as slaves to a passing trade caravan.
    • As noted above, you can take a prisoner, execute them, and then have them butchered and served as a meal while making their skin into clothing. You can also do this to a colonist's beloved pet.
    • That's right, you can harvest workable leather from fallen human raiders or even your colonists. You can craft an impressive quality leather armchair out of dead raiders that all your colonists will agree is beautiful and comfortable to sit in!
    • One of the recommended methods for training doctors is to take prisoners from a raid, then replace their legs with peg legs and harvest their organs until they die.
      • Even if you choose not to kill a captured prisoner in this way, you can still amputate both of their legs and install peg legs, remove their jaw and put in a denture, and harvest one kidney and one lung and send them on their way. As long as they have no physical injuries or infections, they are technically considered "healthy" by the game, and releasing them off of the map back to their faction will still grant you a relations bonus. Plus, you'll be up one kidney and one lung. You Bastard.
    • Certain Game Mods offer even more cruelty options. One mod expands on the number of organs and body parts you can harvest from living people, letting you take off individual fingers, hands, feet, and more, and another allows you to use prisoners you've captured as prison labour, allowing you to run a full-on slave colony. You can also get a mod that allows you to individually modify any and every aspect of your colonists on creation, perfect for creating an entire clan of incestuous, psychopathic cannibal assholes, and then the world will really be your oyster!
    • While your own colonists take a big mood penalty from eating human meat, there's nothing stopping you from feeding it to prisoners. With the right butcher (one who doesn't mind butchering humans, such as a psychopath, cannibal, or someone with the Bloodlust trait), you can force those you capture to eat the meat of their fallen comrades—in the form of extra-disgusting nutrient paste. The prisoners will of course revolt, so it might be useful to cut off a few limbs to make subduing them easier. After you get bored with them, you can release them to get a big social bonus with their tribe.
  • Videogame Cruelty Punishment: At the same time, certain actions will have negative consequences...
    • Colonist become angry and have negative moods if you unnecessarily execute prisoners or sell them into slavery. You also take hits to that prisoner's faction, who may attack you.
    • Serving (non-cannibal) colonists human meat will give them a large negative mood penalty and increase their chance of suffering a mental break, if they have to endure it for very long. Serious mental breaks can cause them to go berserk: a violent, destructive rampage. This can also happen if you butcher a colonist's bonded pet or a family member.
    • Colonists who aren't cannibals or psychopaths receive a negative mood modifier when wearing clothes crafted from human skin.
  • Video Game Geography: Alpha 16 averts the usual video game World Shapes by changing the world from a square map into a sphere wrapped with hexagons and pentagons to allow players to traverse the entire surface with caravans. Square subdivisions would cause very large areas on the equator and very small areas on the poles, which would not be viable for colonization.
  • War Elephants: Skilled trainers can use trained elephants as attack animals. They can't ride on them, though.
  • Weather-Control Machine: Tornado generator can generate a tornado. It will destroy anything nearby.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Colonists can have their limbs (and eyes, even) replaced with bionic parts, which are better than their organic counterparts. Transhumanists even gain a significant mood bonus for having a bionic part.
  • Wild Card: When it comes to the AI Storytellers, Randy Random is a rules-hating anarchist who doesn't care much for "consistency" or "fairness". He'll throw challenges of any difficulty at your colony at any time, and may even hurl multiple dangerous events at you at once or one after another with no respite. Or he might go easy on you. It's all just fun to him.
  • Wild Child: Sometimes, a wild man (or woman) appear in your colony. They act like animals, but colonists with animal skill can recruit them by taming.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Colonists need food to function. Let them go hungry too long, and they'll starve to death (if they don't get killed by someone else after going berserk, as extreme hunger creates highly negative thoughts). The quality of the food they eat also affects their mood.
    • Though it won't kill them immediately, colonists do need cleanliness badly. Dirt, blood, vomit, and animal filth will lower a room's attractiveness and result in reduced moods, and a dirty environment increases the likeliness of disease and infections.
  • Worst Aid: In-universe, a particularly poor doctor may end up inflicting lethal damage to the neck for a leg-amputation.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Beginning your colony at a higher tech level means that especially primitive technologies like brewing will have to be "re-learned", at a disadvantage. Other technologies that would reasonably be known to the people of urbworlds or glitterworlds, like carpet-making or passive cooling through evaporation, have to be relearned, but their research cost is relatively low, indicating that it's more about the colonists figuring out how to do something on their own that would have been left to factories or industries.
  • Zerg Rush: The favored tactic of hostile Tribal factions, who typically compensate for their primitive weaponry by sending out large groups of warriors in a melee rush.


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