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RimWorld is a colony-building simulator developed by Ludeon Studios, inspired by games like Dwarf Fortress and Prison Architect, and science fiction settings like Dune and Firefly. The game officially left Early Access and entered full release in October 17, 2018.
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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. 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 may occasionally form in highly-dense stellar regions such as star clusters or nearer to the galactic core, many of the isolated colonies bomb themselves back into the Stone Age, resulting in a wide technological gap. Some ascended to become super-advanced "transcendent worlds" that appear utterly alien, while others regressed to a pre-industrial state.

Your vessel was in orbit around one of these undeveloped planets before crashing in an unspecified accident. As none of you were enterprising colonists, your group is woefully unprepared for this primitive and potentially hostile world. Luckily, your Escape Pods are well-stocked with basic tools, weapons, and supplies, giving 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 some way to get yourself back home—provided you survive, of course. 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. Or, you can make your own backstory.

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The game's 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.

An expansion, Royalty, was released on February 24, 2020. The expansion includes a new faction, The Empire seeking to settle in the planet and gather allies, in addition to royal titles, quests, and psychic powers.

A second expansion, Ideology, was released on July 20, 2021. It revolves around the introduction of intricate belief systems for individual colonists and your colony as a whole, as well as every other faction on the planet, giving additional depth to the game's story-telling. Additional features include unique leader roles for your pawns, a slavery system, a third method to win the game, and dryads, a special creature type that spawns from a mystical tree and can be bred and trained for a variety of tasks.

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RimWorld contains examples of:

  • Absent Aliens: Aliens don't exist. Humans have not encountered any despite colonizing the galactic core, and none of the Rimworlds have any either.
  • Acceptable Break from Reality:
    • The game ignores issues like blood type compatibility or tissue rejection when it comes to organ/limb transplantation - if you have a replacement organ handy regardless of its source, you can implant it into anyone without worrying about expansive post-treatment. Handling this topic realistically would make the whole feature pretty much impossible to use otherwise.
    • Clothing and armor is also one-size-fits-all, regardless of a colonist's size.
  • 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.
  • A Commander Is You:
    • The player faction — Elitist/Turtle. Regardless of playstyle and technological level, the player will always be outnumbered and forced to rely on static defense to even the odds.
    • Pirates/Outlanders — Balanced/Generalist. Attack in moderate numbers and use mainly modern firearms. Some may use cruder firearms or melee weapons early on, though they progressively use stronger gear and employ a wider variety of strategies later on, such as besieging your colony with mortars or attacking with explosive weapons.
    • Tribals — Spammer. Tribals only use primitive weaponry like bows, spears and clubs, and body armor is rarely used. However, their sheer numbers still make them a considerable threat.
    • Mechanoids — Elitist. Mechanoids attack in smaller groups but they feature thick metal armour and advanced weapons like charge lances and charge blasters. Mechanoids come in five classes with distinct strengths and weaknesses.
    • Insects — Spammer/Brute. They spawn inside caves and mountains, often directly on top of constructed furniture or store rooms, and do so in huge numbers. They attack purely with melee, using both massive Megaspiders and much smaller worker drones. Their numbers will also steadily grow over time, and they will dig outward from their hives to expand their territory.
    • Empire (Royalty DLC) –- Elitist. The Empire attacks in small numbers, but always come well equipped in mid to end game armor. Additionally, Imperial troopers are always skilled in either Shooting or Melee, making the Empire a formidable threat even in the endgame.
  • 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. However, there is nothing stopping a pacifist colonist from switching on turrets or training their animals to attack enemies.
  • After the End: The world your colonists land on was clearly once settled by an industrial civilization, before something happened, leaving nothing but a few ruined buildings, the remains of a highway network and the occasional "Ancient Danger". Taken further with 1.3, as the map can now include everything from the ruins of ancient generators and cars to the remains of destroyed Spider Tanks and ancient artillery pieces.
  • Age Without Youth: Colonists and animals can't die from old age alone. While increasing age comes with increased chances of all manner of illnesses and frailties, including heart attacks, the few that are potentially fatal can be treated by a doctor. With good enough medical care, and a survivable enough colony, your elderly colonists are effectively immortal but will probably be permanently bedridden. Even replacing parts as they fall with cybernetic versions (especially the spine, since it's one of the first to go), eventually the colonist will get struck with both Alzheimer's and Dementia, both incurable barring Mech Serum abuse. Ideology DLC includes biosculpting research, which allows the player to both heal most age-related afflictions and to reverse aging, allowing colonists to be young and healthy forever, though.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: AI are almost always dangerously unpredictable or downright malevolent.
    • Mechanoids are swarms of insectoid robots which are invariably hostile and seek only to destroy everything in their paths.
    • Zig-zagged by the AI Persona Cores. Building a spaceship with an AI Persona installed in it allows your colonists to leave the rimworld behind, acting as a soft "ending" to the game. The core has a Morality Chip installed by design to make it act in the crew's best interests, but where exactly it will take you is completely out of your hands. Other AI Personas that come with crashed spaceship parts tend to be much less friendly, from merely poisoning the land to outright psychically assaulting everyone around.
    • Also zig-zagged with Archotechs, godlike AIs who exist in the background of the setting. Most human civilizations cannot comprehend their far-reaching, complex goals or complicated morals and motives. An archotech may choose to send a ship that comes into its system on its way without any trouble and no memory of the encounter, cure diseases or degenerative conditions of the crew or simply make them disappear altogether. One can never tell.
    • Automated turrets are operated by, as the game puts it, a "dumb AI brain" that can barely tell friend from foe, has horrendous accuracy, and won't stop shooting if friendlies are between it and its target. Turrets are essential for colony defense, but they can be just as dangerous to your own pawns if you don't pay enough attention in battle.
  • 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 and also grow in smaller variants that don't do much.
  • 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.
  • All There in the Manual: The game has a fiction primer (a Google Doc accessible from the game's main menu) that has further detail about the setting regarding what types of planets there are and what kinds of technology exist from planet to planet.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Some factions just can't be reasoned or negotiated with; their opinion of you and everyone else on the planet is perpetually stuck at -100 no matter what you do. These include Space Pirates, insect hives, and mechanoids.
  • Ammunition Conservation: With the Careful Shooter trait, a character is careful not to waste ammunition, and lines up every shot before firing. Despite a penalty to the fire rate, the character more than makes up for it in accuracy. This is an unusual trait since the game does not have an ammunition mechanic.
  • 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.
  • And I Must Scream: You, the player, have more options available than anyone else on the planet to inflict such a state on human beings. You can remove a pawn's legs, arms, and most organs, leaving them a bedridden wreck of a person that's fully aware of having been gutted like a Christmas turkey, but is unable to do anything about it. It's probably the most extreme example, but there's almost no limit to the creatively cruel things one can do to make pawns' and animals' lives a living hell.
  • Annoying Arrows:
    • In general, most projectile weapons do little damage per hit and enemy forces can 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.
    • Averted with the introduction of ranged damage increasing with weapon quality. Because recurve bows and greatbows are very quick and cheap to make compared to guns you can make a lot more of them and have a better chance at getting higher-quality ones, which means they will outdamage most early guns handily and can take enemies (or colonists if you're on the wrong end of a tribal raid) down in short order.
  • Angst Coma: One of the extreme mental breaks causes catatonia to your colonist. They will need a long time to recover from it.
  • 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.
    • The infantry armaments category has the endgame Charge weapons, ultratech Energy Weapons that can make a mockery of all but the heaviest armor suits. Unlike the uranium slug turret, enemies use them too, so watch yourself.
  • 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 civilization. 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.
    • In the same vein, chocolate is immediately obtained from harvesting cocoa trees, instead of gaining cocoa beans which must be processed with a workbench in order to become edible.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Enemy attacks at each difficulty will scale directly to your colony's wealth statistic, which is a measure of the value of all materials, colonists, and other things in your colony. This way, your colony won't be facing hordes of invaders or a slew of devastating events until it is theoretically able to handle those threats. Unless you're playing with Randy - in that case, all bets are off.
    • Both Cassandra and Phoebe have a grace period of a couple days after a raid to allow your colony to treat your wounded and recover from losses without risk of another raid. Randy, however, does not have this restriction, and can launch multiple raids consecutively if you are unlucky enough.
    • In the event of a large-scale wildfire, when the fires cover a significant percentage of the map there will be an automatic rainfall to extinguish the flames so that the map isn't rendered entirely burnt-out and lifeless. This has its roots in reality - very big wildfires have been known to create rainfall by releasing enough water vapor and shaking up the low atmosphere enough to create rainfall-bearing clouds. It also limits the framerate drop from processing all that fire damage.
    • When building beds, you only need materials to craft the frame (wood, steel...), sheets and mattress are free instead of requiring wool or cloth.
    • Unfinished items can be uncrafted and you'll get most of the raw material back, so you don't end up losing a bunch of valuable plasteel because the colonist that was making it died.
    • Most items have a "make copy" button so you don't have to search through the architect menu to find where it is.
    • In Royalty, even though your nobles will occasionally demand lavish luxuries your colonists aren't capable of providing, not having them will only worsen their mood — specifically unlike Dwarf Fortress, where not fulfilling a noble's demand can result in them having random pawns thrown to jail or executed.
  • Antimatter: The Antigrain Warhead, an extremely rare and extremely powerful mortar shell containing a single grain of antimatter (hence the name) that can wipe out entire raiding parties in a single shot. It's a weapon normally used by space warships against other space warships, and you can use it to blast cavemen armed with spears and bows to smithereens.
  • Arbitrary Equipment Restriction: Pawns can only carry one weapon; a pawn with a melee weapon can't carry a handgun for range and a pawn with a gun can't carry a knife for melee.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Downplayed. The most common sources of new colonists you have are events and captives. The more colonists you get the less these events occur and the more likely a wounded enemy simply dies instead of being downed, 'capping' at 18 colonists (50 for Randy). Hitting the 'cap' doesn't disable events or recruitment entirely, though, and you can always buy slaves from traders.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: You can find advanced things like killer robots or Charged-shot weapons, but your best early-to-midgame melee weapons are still longswords or spears. In Royalty, you can access very powerful late-game melee weaponry if you have good standing with the Empire or its enemies, giving you access to things like the Zeushammer.
  • Armor of Invincibility: The Cataphract Armor (and its prestige variant) has the highest armor rating of any apparel in the game, and as a result protects extremely well. If you are lucky enough to get it at Legendary quality, then it protects so well that even the strongest weapons have a mere twenty percent of chance to do any damage at all, and they are reduced at that.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Almost any attack can be this, depending on how its penetration value rates against the target's armor. Most weapons have penetration of at least 15%, meaning they punch clean through a 15% armor rating, and late-game charge guns can reach up to 90% penetration. Powered Armor is usually the only real option you have for reliably retaining at least some protection from even the most powerful weapons.
  • Artificial Intelligence: "Mechanoid" enemies are sentient robots and come in four flavors:
    • Centipedes are big, slow, and hard to kill: they carry powerful, fast-firing ranged weaponry that can shred static defenses and massed soldiers, but are relegated to weak ramming attacks if you can get them in melee.
    • Scythers are smaller, faster, and more fragile, and have hand blades that will rip apart a colonist at close range — if they can get in.
    • Lancers are also fast and delicate, carrying "charge lances", that fire slowly but have great range and hurt a lot when they hit. Their range was nerfed in 1.1, however, relegating them to a mid-range role instead.
    • Pikemen were added in 1.1, replacing the sniping role the pre-1.1 lancer had. While not dealing nearly as much damage as the lancer, their extreme range can make them troublesome to deal with and they also shoot faster. They also have virtually no ability to fight in close quarters.
    • 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. The raider AI has improved over time to make it less exploitable, and after the 1.0 update they will often avoid obvious killboxes and try to break in along other, more vulnerable approaches.
    • Related, but Sapper AI is notoriously stupid, in that more often than not they try to tunnel through the wrong walls, be it the ruins of ancient structures or even opening up an Ancient Danger and getting themselves slaughtered by the insects or mechanoids within. This also makes them easy to bait through pointless walls.
    • Neither raiders nor your own colonists who are armed with explosive weapons will check minimum distance before firing. They have absolutely no qualms with hurling grenades, tossing molotovs, firing incendiary cannons, or shooting Doomsday rockets into friendlies or even shooting them at point-blank range to kill a melee attacker. The latter often ends up killing themselves and multiple friendlies in the process.
    • 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. They are also prone to suddenly wanting to go outside to watch clouds or take walks the instant a manhunter pack or raid shows up, and because of how the game handles recreation it can be very hard to get them to stay inside.
    • If a colonist's recreation need is low and their work schedule allows them to fill it, they will prioritize recreation over anything else. Blight will devour your crops, patients will bleed to death, and fires will rage out of control because your colonists are too busy playing horseshoes. The only ways to bypass this are to draft the colonist and then undraft them, as this "resets" their behaviors, or select the colonist and force them to do the essential task by right-clicking on the thing that needs doing. Neither of these are foolproof though, since if their recreation need remains low they'll simply go right back to it after the bare minimum effort.
    • Colonists and pets only consider areas off-limits when calculating their starting point and their destination, not necessarily the path they take to get there. This means they are prone to taking 'shortcuts' through areas you've forbidden them from going into, which can sometimes lead to them getting shot by raiders, poisoned by toxic fallout, or worse, letting a whole pack of manhunters in through a door they opened that you forgot to forbid.
    • Faction caravans and visitors have an uncanny ability to leave your colony just in time to walk right into the crossfire of an ongoing raid. The usual result is another hostile faction on your list because all those stupid deaths get blamed on you. Unfortunately, there's no way to ask visitors to extend their stay for another day or so to prevent disasters like these. They will also blame you if a wild animal attacks and kills any of them or their animals.
    • Pawns with guns like to shoot at targets in their weapon's optimal range. This means they have a nasty habit of ignoring enemies that get close to them, meaning they'll ignore the guy rushing them with a sword in favor of plinking at his buddy hiding behind a rock despite the former being both more dangerous and easier to hit.
    • Colonists have a nasty habit of opening a door, seeing something bad on the other side (a berserk prisoner, a manhunting animal, a raider) and dropping the thing they're hauling in the doorway ensuring that the bad thing and all its friends can flood into (or out of, in the case of prisoners) your base through the newly-jammed-open door.
  • Artistic License – Geology:
    • Steel and Compacted Machinery can be mined from mountains. In these instances, the fiction primer indicates that these are the remnants of an ancient human civilization that was wiped out in a past disaster.
    • Meteorites are a common event in-game and can be made out of any of the game's normal resources such as steel, plasteel, or gold, as well as some stranger ones such as sandstone and limestone, which are sedimentary rocks and have no (natural) business being in orbit.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • Steel walls are flammable and will burn down. This was an intentional balance decision made in the early alphas to encourage people to research, cut, and use stone bricks instead of steel for their early bases. By contrast, wooden floors were not flammable until Alpha 17, which led to bizarre early building designs where wooden floors were being used to prevent the steel walls from catching fire.
    • One of the rarest and strongest construction materials is uranium, a radioactive, toxic metal. For some reason, this radioactive quality is ignored, and can be used to craft houses, beds, weapons and armor without anyone suffering from radiation poisoning. Not to mention that uranium is an extremely dense element (about 2.5 times the density of iron), making it rather impractical for most applications aside from blunt damage weapons.
      • Weirdly, one of the bionic implants introduced by the Royalty DLC is a nuclear-powered stomach that does increase the pawn's risk of developing carcinomas.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Lavish meals, at least in the early to mid game. They cost twice as much in ingredients as fine meals, while offering only a tiny benefit in nutrition. Their main benefit is the massive mood boost they offer (+12 versus the +5 from fine meals) which can be very useful to keep colonists content or to help convert prisoners. They are also the only meal that nobles will eat in the Royalty expansion.
    • Taming and breeding thrumbos would allow you to generate practically infinite wealth over time by selling them to traders or butchering them for their horns. However, due to the low taming chance without an Inspiration, the difficulty in keeping them tame, the huge food requirements, and the incredibly slow reproduction cycle of thrumbos, there are much better ways to get money. There's also the fact a lot of traders won't buy them, and those that do often don't carry enough silver to afford to pay the full price.
    • Mortars can be launched at any enemies on the same map without endangering your colonists. However, they are fairly inaccurate and require having their barrels replaced every 20 shots. The barrels can not be crafted, so your colony will never be self-sufficient while relying on mortars. Finally, targets will attack the colony once they've been hit once or twice, so you will face them head on eventually. Their best use is to take out large structures that pose an immediate threat, such as weather controllers and mech assemblers.
  • Ax-Crazy: Unhappy characters may go on a rampage, assault their fellow survivors, smash things and cause other mayhem.
  • Badass Army: Survive long enough, and your colony will eventually become 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 what body part they replace.
  • Beneficial Disease: Uncontrolled medical mechanite cultures. Leftover Glitterworld tech that has escaped its original container and subsequently degraded/mutated over the ages in the wild. Though those under the effects will possess improved biological functions, they will also have mild to severe pain and fatigue.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Kind and Bloodlust are not mutually exclusive traits. A colonist who is nice to everyone may also be the same colonist who gets off from killing raiders.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Wild Megasloths and Thrumbos are passive herbivores that will just mind their own business if left alone, but they're still massive animals that can easily maul an unprepared hunter or a tamer that got on their bad side.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Megascarabs, initially, which were generally found in desert biomes and occasionally cryptocaskets 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 random event allows your colony to rescue a refugee being pursued by raiders. Should they survive, the refugee becomes a new colonist. You can also get quests to help injured people or captives of other factions.
    • It is also invoked during a raid, where you can call an allied faction to help you out at the cost of goodwill points.
  • Big Eater: Colonists with the Gourmand trait eat 50% more than usual. They also have a habit of doing binge-eating. On the positive side, they receive a bonus to their cooking skill, and binge-eating is the only type of mental break they can suffer.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: When colonists receive age-related maladies, it always happens on the exact day their age ticks up by one. Happy birthday, enjoy your new crooked spine! To add insult to injury, colonists' birthdays are only mentioned in the feed if it results in this.
  • Black Comedy: Unsurprising, considering the game's inspiration, but there's a ton of hilarity to be had from the absurdly awful things that tend to happen to colonists, animals, and invaders.
  • 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 engravings with randomly generated descriptions.
  • Bling of War: Royalty introduces new types of Powered Armor and their respective Prestige versions. While the latter is mostly the same stat-wise, they're also much more expensive, elaborate and beautiful in their design. Combat-oriented nobles refuse to wear anything less.
  • Blood Knight: Colonists with the Bloodlust trait gain a morale boost when they kill an enemy or see an enemy die, but they are also more likely to get into social fights with other colonists.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Every shot has a chance to hit the target in the head. The brain has very few hitpoints, so while pawns can survive a headshot, it's much more likely to be a One-Hit Kill instead, and even if they do survive, the resulting brain damage usually turns them into dead meat anyway unless your colony has access to some really advanced medical assets. Notably, getting their head shot off is the only injury in the game that was visualized on pawns until the 1.3 update.
    • Having an eye ripped or shot out puts a bandage over the affected socket.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • You can't 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, you must make the upgraded bows your first research choice so you can fight with gun-toting raiders on equal footing.
    • Alpacas, muffalos and dromedaries are by far some of if not the best animal species to tame and use as livestock. Alpacas provide valuable wool for clothing production at a fast rate (100 wool per 15 days, or 6.67 per day) and have a low handling threshold that lets almost any colony tame them; muffalos provide some of the best cold-resistant wool in the game at a rate of 100 wool per 25 days (or 4 per day) and produce a lot of meat when butchered; dromedaries provide milk, which can be a vital component of meals in the hotter climates of the game where they're found in large herds, and also produce a lot of meat when butchered. All three also count as pack animals, raising the carrying capacity of any caravan they're attached to, making them invaluable for trading with other factions or mining clumps of rare resources found around the world map. Prior to Patch 1.1 muffalos and dromedaries were even better, being the only tamable animals in the game that provided meat, milk, fur and carrying capacity for caravans, before they were quietly nerfed (muffalos lost their milk while dromedaries lost their fur) seemingly to make room for the yak as the new all-rounder animal.
    • For pack animals, nothing matches horses for efficiency. They need less food than most pack animals, and are the fastest by far. They also carry more than you would expect for their size. Fitting, since that holds true in real life, was one of the primary methods of transporting goods and letters before personal vehicles.
    • For melee weapons, the gladius is 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. Maces can also be quite useful, as many armors, even powered armor, protect less effectively against blunt damage.
    • For battle animals, boars are king. They are omnivores, so feeding them is as easy as zoning them to grass or the corpse freezer, they are faster than humans, hit harder than most animals, breed fairly fast and are easy to tame and maintain. It is telling that they are one of the few prey animals able to inflict lethal wounds on wargs in the wild (the other being tortoises).
    • Really hard to go wrong with Healroot for most situations. Minor disease, healroot. Bruises and cuts, healroot. Need an anesthetic, healroot. Moderately easy to grow and one of the few plants that a cold snap will not instantly destroy.
    • Penoxycyline provides immunity every 5 days to the dreaded malaria and plague (though it cannot stop a disease in progress, only prevent it), and can be crafted with neutroamine, acquired from traders. The drug can prove incredibly useful, especially in biomes such as the Tropical Rainforest or Tropical Swamp where disease outbreaks are common.
    • Cloth is one of the potential lifebloods of any colony. It's relatively easy to stockpile since it grows from the cotton plant, it's a necessary component of the poker table and billiards table that expand on your range of recreational activities, it's the main way to produce armchairs and bedrolls, the most comfy chairs in the game and an in-between for sleeping spots and proper beds that allows your colonists to sleep comfortably when on caravans, the baseline component of clothes spun from leathers and fabrics... the list goes on. It's especially good to invest in cloth after researching carpet making, since cloth is the only way to lay down carpets that really beautify any room they're attached to.
    • Nutrient paste dispensers. Straight from the machine's description, it consumes less time and energy to produce meals than traditional cooking and it accepts almost any ingredient. Nutrient paste never confers the risk of food poisoning and does not require a trained cook to prepare, as the machine makes them automatically - place the ingredients in the hoppers and away you go. Your colonists won't be thrilled by the nasty green slop, but the mood penalty is still less than if they ate the raw ingredients, and in a desolate environment where food is scarce, this machine can save lives. And if nothing else, nutrient paste makes for great low-cost animal fodder.
    • The "Killbox" and "Roof Trap" strategies for base defense. A Killbox usually consists of a wide-open area filled with traps, firing points and turrets which enemies can be funneled 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 neutralize the threat of most invasions, and some players refuse to use them because they take out a lot of the fun and challenge of the game.
      • In more recent updates, however, raids can now spawn with sappers, who can bypass your colony's defenses by mining into weak points in your base. Raiders can also now spawn with explosive weapons such as the rocket launcher, which can be devastating to the crowded defenses within a killbox. These make killboxes less effective than they were before, though it is still a popular structure for defense.
    • 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. The only danger is that melee enemies with shields can get close enough to climb the sandbags and assault you at point-blank range.
    • Always scoop up the gear dropped by defeated raiders even if you don't need it for your colonists. There's no easier and cheaper way to improve your standing with other factions than gifting all the useless junk in your armory to them. Bonus points if it was their own raiding party that dropped the stuff in the first place.
    • Smokeleaf requires a low growing skill (4), refines into smokeleaf joints at a crafting spot with no skill requirements, stacks to a large quantity, and sells for a good price. It's also one of the few things that will be bought by every type of trader, and in an emergency can be smoked by a pawn to keep them from having a mental break with no real chance of addiction unless binged on or used regularly. Nearly any colony of any tech level can benefit from growing and selling smokeleaf.
      • Flake is the more 'advanced' version of smokeleaf. It requires a higher tech level, a bit of research, and a drug lab or two to get started, and psychoid is slightly harder to grow (6) than smokeleaf. It's also significantly less safe to use for controlling mental breaks, since while the Mood boost is higher (+35) there is no safe level that doesn't risk addiction. Its main advantage is economic, though, as it is just as profitable as smokeleaf and just as easy to sell but requires almost half the production time, freeing pawns up to do other things.
    • In Royalty, the rank of Knight/Dame. In general it's not usually feasible to get more than one colonist up to the level of Count/Countess, and the requirements for bedrooms and throne rooms are nuts at that point anyway. But Knight/Dame represents a suitable compromise for a number of your colonists to reach for. It grants up to 3 Psychic Powers and two permits for support and back up requestable from the Empire, has reaonable demands for bedrooms and throne rooms, doesn't require fine floors in either which makes them less demanding to put together, gives your colony the right to trade with Empire settlements as long as at least one Knight or Dame is in the caravan and since Knights and Dames don't give speeches from their thrones, a good Social skill rank is less of a concern. All in all, they can be a great boon to your colony.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Royalty offers an In-Universe example. If you manage to get at least one of your pawns elevated to the noble rank of Count(ess), the local High Stellarch of the empire you're subservient to offers your colonists a place on his ship if you host him for about two weeks. This is an alternate path to victory to building your own spaceship to escape the planet. Normally, attaining the Count(ess) rank requires completing quite a bit of work for The Empire, but you can also just pay the royal tribute collector a tithe in gold or slaves to increase your rank when he stops by your colony twice a year. It's an expensive approach for sure, but it tends to be a lot faster and safer than endless questing, let alone scraping together the rare resources required to build a ship on your own. And let's not forget about the numerous powerful psykers you can groom this way fairly quickly, provided you have the funds.
  • Brutal Honesty: Characters with the Abrasive trait speak their mind and don't care what others think. Other characters get a mood penalty from socializing with them.
  • But Thou Must!: Normally there's nothing obligating you to help refugees or prisoners, even if they crash-land in the middle of your base. This does not apply to pawns with paralytic abasia, who will automatically join your colony the instant they arrive whether you want them or not, forcing you to either care for them (they're a pure resource drain until they recover, which can take over a quadrum) or kill them (causing a colony-wide mood debuff). Of course you can also capture them as a prisoner and ''then'' execute them without anyone complaining
  • Cabin Fever: Zig-Zagged. When your colonists spends days indoors or in darkness, they get gradually increasing mood debuffs. However, characters with the Undergrounder trait will never feel this way.
  • Captain Obvious: The combat logs can occasionally fall into a darkly humorous form of this. "Colonist Alice slashed Pirate Bob in the neck, severing his head. Lack of a head caused Pirate Bob to die."
  • Career-Ending Injury: A pawn getting a non-fatal headshot or an injured spine will usually spell the end of their time as a useful member of the colony, the former from brain damage and the latter from being immobilized; both are impossible to heal unless you have Luciferium or the extremely rare Healer mech serum or a replacement spine.
  • 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.
  • Catch-22 Dilemma: The Fabrication Bench can produce many advanced resources, including the rare advanced components, but requires two of these itself. Hence, you must acquire them from a quest, some events such as ship parts, or trade them with a friendly town.
  • Challenge Seeker: The Adventurer scenario starts you off with only one single well-equipped pawn who left their glitterworld home in search of an adventure on the frontier. Choosing this scenario extends the trope to the player as well due to how challenging it is to get a working colony up and running with just one pawn.
  • Child Soldier: There is nothing stopping you from sending 15-year-oldsnote  into combat. There are also a few childhood backstories that have your colonists be former child soldiers.
  • Collateral Damage: Any shots that are fired will damage whatever happens to be at their point of impact, regardless of whether it was their intended target or not. This can result in copious amounts of shredded animals, crippled colonists, damaged infrastructure or, worst of all, dead visitors that got caught in the crossfire of a raid.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Colonists who have "Bloodlust" and "Masochist" trait are this. They can become ecstatic from killing enemies and receiving pain from their own injuries, respectively.
  • 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. 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.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: A minor case, but manhunter animals will path directly to the nearest target even if they have no logical way of knowing where it is, such as colonists who are indoors behind multiple walls. While the tooltip says they won't attack doors unless they see one open, that's not quite true - If they ever have a valid path to a target but that path becomes blocked by a door closing, they will attack the nearest door regardless of the relation between the door they're attacking, the door they had a path through, and their line of sight.
  • Constantly Lactating Cow: Milk-producing animals can be milked regularly, regardless of climate, season, or even if they're pregnant. However, most animals who produce milk only do so a wide number of days apart, apart from actual cows ironically.
  • Construct Additional Pylons: Electricity is needed to power all Industrial or post-Industrial technology, including electric workbenches, standing lights and temperature regulators. To use it, players must construct power generators to draw electricity from natural resources in the area. They include:
    • Woood-Fired Generator: Available from the start, this generator is powered by wood. It's a good starting generator but loses usefulness as the colony becomes more established.
    • Chemfuel-Powered Generator: Available from the start, although the Chemfuel that powers it is not. More resource-efficient than its little sibling, but the player can't use it consistently without maintaining some Boomalopes to milk Chemfuel from or researching Chemfuel Refining and building the necessary building to convert wood or food into Chemfuel.
    • Wind Turbine: Available from the start. This generates power from the wind, but requires the player to keep its lines of wind clear or it won't work, so build concrete flooring or plant your crops underneath to ensure trees don't grow in its place. They also won't work if the wind doesn't blow, so go for batteries.
    • Solar Panels: Unlocked through Research. These generate power as long as the sun's out, making them vulnerable to eclipses and in need of batteries to store their power.
    • Watermill Generators: Unlocked through Research. These generate power from flowing water, be that rivers or the ocean. Their great weakness is that they need a certain level of flat land to build on that supports heavy structures and will reduce each other's power output if built too close together, though thankfully they can have bridges built through their areas of effect.
    • Geothermal Generators: Unlocked through Research. They generate a lot of power, but can only be built over holes in the ground where heat and steam rise up. Fortunately, they're also the only generator that doesn't either lose power or require a special condition or fuel to keep going.
  • Control Freak: Neurotic and Very Neurotic characters 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.
  • Controllable Helplessness: The game can throw a lot of things at you that you can do absolutely nothing about aside from hoping that you can hold out while it lasts. Prime examples include malevolent AI mind-raping your colonists from beyond your reach until they go insane, solar flares shutting down your power network, or a volcanic winter making agriculture impossible for years on end.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: In the early builds of the game, Packaged Survival Meals and pemmican were virtually identical in terms of weight, nutrition, mood impact, and shelf lifenote  so gameplay-wise they were about the same. However, Packaged Survival Meals required a lot more research and ingredients than pemmican, giving little incentive to bother with them. That changed after the game was released. Packaged Survival Meals are no longer as ingredient-intensive, requiring only 20% more nutrition while providing the benefit of efficient storage (items stack up to 75 units per storage space, and a single meal has more nutritional value than one small piece of pemmican) and less required work to make one unit (easier to mass-produce). This, along with a slight advantage in weight, makes them more worthwhile to produce for industrial colonies.
  • Cool Pet: Pretty much any animal in the game can be tamed if a colonist is good enough at it, which means you can have a plethora of uncommon animals as pets, from friendly genetically engineered killer dogs to massive fluffy megasloths.
  • 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 the "Slothful" trait. This makes him a very useless character.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Some pawns are geared so tightly to one job that putting them to work elsewhere is somewhere between foolish and detrimental to the colony. That said, what they can do, they do really well. Pikeman mechanoids are dangerous at long ranges but completely helpless in melee combat.
  • Crisis of Faith: With Ideology active, unhappy pawns will gradually lose faith in their chosen ideoligion, eventually reaching a breaking point where they just give up on it and adopt a new one. The whole point of the conversion mechanic is to trigger such a crisis in nonbelievers by chipping away at their convictions until they're ready to accept your ideoligion as theirs.
  • Critical Failure: Most skills eventually reach a point where they can't outright fail a task, they only succeed less effectively. Surgery is not one of them. There is always a chance for catastrophic failure no matter how good your colonists, materials, and conditions are, and any failure when installing a bionic also destroys the bionic. It's always impressive watching a Skill 20 doctor with the Inspired Surgery bonus using Glitterworld medicine in a fully-geared sterile surgical suite accidentally decapitate a patient while trying to install a peg leg. Operating on a valuable pawn or installing a very rare bionic tends to cause a lot of Save Scumming because of this irreducable chance of failure.
  • Cryo Sickness: Cryptosleep Caskets can keep just about anything indefinitely alive in suspended animation, but leaving it will leave colonists and anyone else with "Cryptosleep Sickness", which slows them down, makes them woozy, and gives them nausea. It usually only lasts a few hours though.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Some quests which ask you to build a monument also demand you to protect the structure for up to a few seasons, or face an attack as a punishment. As a result however, advanced players have learned how to use them to invoke Let's You and Him Fight on another threat. Whichever faction wins has been considerably weakened and is easy pickings for your defense. This strategy works with Mech Clusters as well.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Played around with.
    • Played straight by characters with the Body Purist trait. They get ever-mounting mood penalties for having any of their body parts replaced with bionic ones, up to -35 at six parts, and have lowered opinions of other colonists with bionics. The Flesh Purity Meme from Ideology adds this opinion to every colonist who shares an Ideoligion with it.
    • Inverted by characters with the Body Modder trait. They feel limited by their flesh and want to be bionic. As such, they get ever-mounting mood boosts for having any of their body parts replaced with bionic ones, and have increased opinions of other colonists with bionics. Again, the Transhumanist Meme from Ideology spreads this opinion to any pawn who believes in it.
    • 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. This can be especially useful for dealing with aging colonists who become more and more likely to develop issues with their sight, hearing and motor functions. It's also a great way to keep pawns with the Transhumanist trait happy since they gain escalating mood boosts for every implant they have installed, up to +13 at five parts.
  • Cycle of Hurting: Used as a balance element. A pawn who is in a melee and tries to run away will be slowed to a crawl every time the melee pawn attacks them. Fortunately (or not, depending which pawn is yours) this means a ranged pawn who gets stuck in a melee is trapped in one of these, as they move away only to get slowed down with each attack, letting the melee pawn catch up and make another attack, slowing them down again.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Although nothing in the game actually forbids you from using it, the Neuroquake psycast should be treated as such. It mind-rapes the entire planet so hard that every living thing on the map outside a small area around the caster goes violently insane, plus it instantly incurs serious reputation drops with every faction on the world map. It also takes a long time to cast and makes the caster fall into a multi-day comanote  after the fact. Extremely powerful without a doubt, but only to be used under the direst of circumstances (unless you're so well established that you can use it For the Lulz without having to worry much about the fallout).
  • Dead Guy on Display: Ideology lets you stuff human corpses into gibbet cages to decorate your base, break prisoners' will, and terrorize slaves into obedience.
  • 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. The Empire is also quite fond of doing this due to their high tech level.
    • All factions including the player can make use of mortars to rain devastation on the enemy from across the map.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Critters like rats or squirrels deal Scratch Damage at best, but their tiny size makes them very hard to hit even with crowd control weaponry, and the numerous bites and scratches accumulate pain and blood loss quickly. Encountering a pack of manhunting squirrels, as hilarious as it may sound, can be more dangerous than a pride of rampaging lions.
  • 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. And if all the above don't get you, there's solar flares randomly shutting down your power network, super-volcano eruptions darkening the sky, toxic fallout poisoning all life on the map, psychic rain letting your colonists age at a massively increased rate, and malevolent AI mind-raping your colonists or simply sending hordes of Killer Robots after you just because. All things considered, it's borderline miraculous your rimworld is as densely populated as it is. By rights, everyone should've been long dead by the time you arrive.
  • Decadent Court: The Empire's various royals act like this, and can turn your own colonists into such with the appropriate royal titles. While the nobles themselves are useless in day to day affairs, and typically can make unreasonable demands for lavish throne rooms and meals, their titles give them access to Imperial troops and gifts of psionic powers that can save your colony from an impossible situation.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Ideology adds the option to extract skulls from corpses in order to create skullspikes. Whether your colonists like this depends on their ideologion.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship:
  • 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.
  • Dented Iron: Physical damage taken by your colonists will linger if not properly treated, and in some cases only high-level surgeries can fix the damage. Have an eye gouged out by an angry bear? Enjoy reduced vision and a nasty scar until you can install a bionic replacement. Get shot in the spine? You're now an invalid until a bionic spine can be sourced to replace your ruined backbone. Lose an organ? Better hope it's one you can live without, unless you're rich enough to buy a replacement, or ruthless enough to harvest organs from captured enemies. Aging colonists have it worst of all, though, because on top of loss of sight, hearing and motor functions, they also have to deal with mental conditions like dementia that you can't use bionics to bypass.
  • 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.
  • Developers' Foresight: Several ways to cheese the game and get powerful rewards easily have been designed against:
    • Armor, weapons, and clothing:
      • Armor and weapons are fairly expensive to buy, but are very common to obtain after defending from raids. Weapons have a hidden selling price multiplier that makes them less valuable to sell so that the colony doesn't become rich too easily.
      • Clothing and armor also become tainted if someone dies wearing it, meaning you can't just take them off of raiders without incurring a mood penalty.
      • Taking quests for The Empire often involves them sending mercenaries your way that can die without affecting faction relations. However, their weapons are biocoded, meaning you can't use their weapons. Taking their weapons and armor before they die will also damage faction relations.
    • Quests:
      • Quests where you have to host a prisoner, colonist, or animal for a certain period of time could theoretically become very easily if you could just place them into cryptosleep caskets for the duration of the quest. However, the option to do so is disabled to prevent the quest from becoming trivial.
      • If you decide to defend a crashed shuttle, you cannot control your allies or move them to a safer position. This is to prevent you from using a killbox to defend from the raiders.
      • During most quests where a psychic user temporarily joins your colony, you cannot use their psychic powers or their special permits to summon supplies or mercenaries.
      • The Archotech ending from Ideology requires you to ally with certain factions and trade colonies to them in exchange for map pieces. If you've destroyed or removed every faction that it's possible to ally with from that particular game then you instead trade the settlement to 'wild men.'
  • Dig Attack: Sappers are capable of digging through mountains, just like your miners. They'll also try to breach your defensive walls.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Some mental breaks have a colonist take their pent up feelings out on a structure or piece of furniture. Some raiders will focus on targeting specific usable items that they can easily reach, like furniture and power generators, if they're outside your base's perimeter. This can prove detrimental in rare occasions, such as a colonist destroying a mortar or turret, causing it to explode and kill themselves.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Several aspects of the game are very difficult to master or learn about, but also essential to running a successful colony.
    • Geothermal Generators. They are large, take a lot of reasearch and are expensive, but one can make a fully functional greenhouse and still have energy to spare. Furthermore, they are one of the few sources of power that will never fluctuate with no input.
    • An Elaborate Underground Base take a long time to dig out, but they are fully immune to mortar fire and are easy to defend. They may however be attacked by burrowing insects, although savvy players can build with this in mind as well.
    • While extreme biomes such as ice sheets and extreme deserts are difficult to survive in at first, after you're properly settled, their innate hostility becomes an extra protection for your colony.
  • Dirty Coward: Your first quest with Royalty installed will almost always be to "rescue" a noble who is being menaced by a terrible threat. Said terrible threat is a single small, nonthreatening animal. The quest name will lampshade this with a derogatory term for the hapless noble you are rescuing from a furious rabbit or squirrel, such as "The Wimpy Duke."
  • 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.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Royalty-exclusive Zeushammer is a massively powerful melee weapon that inflicts both physical and EMP damage, making it eminently suited for fighting mechanoids and shielded opponents. Acquiring it can be tricky, though.
  • Druid: There exists on every single map a unique tree called an Anima tree. Having people meditate near it causes Anima Grass to grow around its base, and once enough grass has grown its possible to have a pawn link with it and gain the ability to casts Psycasts. It helps that the description of it read like a shoutout to Avatar
  • 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 increase their recreation value, indirectly improving mood.
  • Dug Too Deep: Mining or drilling for resources can sometimes release a swarm of giant insects. The event is even called "Too deep!" in the alert message.
  • Ear Ache: It's possible to lose ears in battle. Without ears, colonists can't do social-based work well, like recruiting prisoners or trading items with traders. The only way to fix this is to install bionic ears as replacements.
  • 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 with the scenario editor menu.
  • Easily Forgiven: Ziggzagged.
    • On a personal level, relationship modifiers take a long time to decay (one year by default). For instance, the negative moodlet for being insulted may fade after a few days, but the relationship between the two pawns will take much longer to recover. Same goes for incidents like botched surgeries, Friendly Fire, or break-ups between lovers.
    • Relations on the faction level are much easier to handle. Slaughter a faction's people, raid their caravans and burn down their bases as much as you want, if you can get gifts to them (usually by cargo-podding), all it takes is launching a pile of useless junk their way for all previous transgressions to be forgiven. The only challenge tends to be getting all that stuff into pod launcher range.
  • The Eeyore: Pessimist and especially Depressive pawns have a permanent flat malus to their mood, making them less happy than average.
  • 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.
  • Electric Instant Gratification: Joywire in a nutshell. When it's irreversibly installed, the pawn receives a mood buff large enough to offset all but the most horrific trauma entirely, but also a consciousness debuff that makes them much slower and less useful in general. Lore states that joywires are illegal on most worlds and have destroyed entire civilizations.
  • EMP: EMP grenades can be used to temporarily disable turrets, Mechanoids and Deflector Shields. The Royalty-exclusive Zeushammer melee weapon has the same effect as its unique feature, with the added benefit of dealing tremendous damage on top of the EMP.
  • Empathic Weapon: Persona weapons have a sentient AI bound into them that can have various effects both beneficial or detrimental. Many persona weapons constantly talk to their wielder, with friendly AI lifting their mood and mad ones making them unhappy. Most bond permanently with the first pawn who picks them up, refusing to be wielded by anyone else. A large number of their possible traits turns them into Amplifier Artifacts in the hands of psychic pawns, which in combination with their ludicrous damage ratings makes them extremely valuable gear, even more so in light of most psycasts' rather short range forcing your psykers to get close to the enemy, anyway.
  • Enhanced Archaic Weapon: Royalty DLC introduces melee weapons that use very advanced technologies, like Plasmaswords and electrical Zeushammers.
  • 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. As of Ideology they pack special weapons that deal massive bonus damage to structures, making them even more dangerous than before. Worse, mechanoids get in on the fun as well with a new unit, the Termite.
  • 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.
  • Evil Is Easy: Most of your colony's supply woes can be solved by having a reliable source of income, allowing you to purchase what you need from other settlements or caravans. This poses a problem to moral players because the game's most lucrative businesses all lie somewhere between amoral (growing and selling drugs) and outright evil (harvesting organs from non-consenting victims). If you have a well-equipped militia, you can raid other settlements, steal all their stuff, butcher their dead and sell the survivors into slavery for a very tidy profit. Compare that to the only "legal" activitiesnote  like animal husbandry, farming, or crafting art and high-quality items to sell, which takes much more time for a fraction of the returns.
  • Explosive Breeder: Really, any animal can be this if you are not careful, but the prize goes to Chickens, who if you are not careful will breed hundreds of chicks and kill your framerate and food reserves in a matter of weeks.
  • Explosive Stupidity: Insecure storage of explosive materials will sooner or later end up in a big explosion. Even secure storages aren't immune to the occasional pawn deciding to calm themselves by destroying your chemfuel pile. Or the antigrain warhead.
  • 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 or removing a character's perception. The only way to correct this is to install bionic or archotech eyes, and the scars left by the process disfigure the pawn in question. The Blindsight Meme from Ideology alters your colony's perception (Ha!) of blindness to view the partially or wholly blind as spiritually-enlightend figures, adding a special ritual that allows them to be permanently blinded by having both eyes gouged out by the colony's Moral Guide and making it so blind colonists gain 30% extra psionic sensitivity.
  • 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 is very similar to marijuana and tobacco. It can be rolled into joints then smoked, and it makes people happy, hungry and slow. Plus it's green. It also has the side effects of causing asthma or lung cancer if not managed responsibly.
    • Psychite is basically the coca plant. Eating it raw or drinking psychite will give you a soft boost of energy and good humor with little addiction potential. When refined and purified, it becomes a snortable powder called "yayo" - as they called cocaine in Scarface - with the same effects of extreme energy and happiness as well as pain suppression. Its ghetto sibling is "flake"; like crack, it provides the same high, but much shorter and with nastier side effects, and is smoked in a pipe.
    • Wake-Up, a highly addictive stimulant which greatly increases move speed and removes the need to rest, is essentially meth.
  • Fantastic Plastic: Plasteel can be used for a lot of high tech devices needed for the spaceship to escape from the planet.
  • Fantastic Religious Weirdness: Ideoligions can be descended from Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism, and share many of their origin faith's symbols and naming conventions. That does not mean they will share the faith's actual precepts, and the generated narratives for ideoligions of all four classes suggest heavy distortion even when the precepts are akin to those of a modern sect.
  • Fed to Pigs: Pigs and other non-herbivorous animals will eat human corpses as long as they are not rotting. Setting up a walk-in freezer connected to the pigsty/pasture is a popular method for corpse disposal that also cuts down on animal feed costs in winter.
  • Feel No Pain: The Painstopper implant causes a pawn to cease to feel any pain. This makes them much more dangerous in combat, as while they are still as fragile as before, they can't be slowed or stopped by simple physical shock, only critical damage will impede them. As well, and lingering pain from old injuries will be removed. However, pawns with the Masochist trait who receive this will find that they can no longer derive joy from their pain either.
    • Inverted with colonists with the "Wimp" trait. Their pain sensitivity is so high, so they can become incapacitated from the slightest pain.
  • Feudal Future: The Empire in a nutshell. Royals that rule over entire star clusters? Check. Knights wearing Powered Armor and wielding plasmaswords? Check. Stratified society built on honor and obedience? Fleets of void warships? Space megastructures? Check, check and check. A general tech level leagues ahead of everyone else on the planet even when reduced to a shadow of their former power? You bet. This has a lot to do with the lack of FTL travel; it can be years before the Emperor knows what's happening in his remote colonies, so the Stellarchs need to make decisions now.
  • Fictional Geneva Conventions: There's no such thing on the Rim, and the sheer number of horrible things you can do to your enemies is a big part of the game's memetic, affectionate reputation as a war crime simulator. If the GC says you're not allowed to do something, chances are you can do it here, have probably done so already out of sheer necessity, and will do it again without serious repercussions. However, as of Ideology, your faction's ideoligion may mean your pawns will revolt against such crimes... or demand they be performed regularly as a demonstration of supremacy.
  • 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.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Pawns that get an Inspired Taming buff will get a 100% success rate on their next taming attempt. This includes thrumbos and megasloths, which are giant animals that hit like a truck when angered and have an extremely low chance of being tamed by normal means.
  • For Want of a Nail: Almost any colony wipe can be traced back to some incredibly minor event, like a pawn opening the wrong door or being insulted at the worst possible moment. Other times your colony's best fighter, clad head to toe in Powered Armor and wielding your biggest BFG, gets taken out by some caveman raider landing an insanely lucky hit with a thrown rock, which then results in the collapse of your defensive line and in turn your colony getting zerg-rushed into oblivion. All because of one rock.
  • Fragile Speedster: Among the three late game armors, the Recon Armor is this, offering the worst protection of the three, but having no movement penalty.
  • Freak Out: Colonists who have their mood lower too much will eventually suffer a breakdown. This can range from relatively harmless (hiding in their room) to outright disturbing (digging up a corpse and dumping it somewhere everyone else will see it) or worse, verbal and physical violence (going on insult sprees that may well make the other character snap out of their own lowered mood or random acts of violence against anyone and anything in sight).
  • Friendly Fireproof: Nope. Shots hit what's at their point of impact regardless of faction affiliation. Be very careful where you send your melee fighters lest they get accidentally shot In the Back by their own comrades.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Colonists with combat-related disfigurements or the Ugly, Annoying Voice, Creepy Breathing, or Abrasive traits will often turn into this; the more of them they have the quicker the whole colony hates them. This can also be true if they're a Misogynist in an otherwise all-female colony or a Misandrist in an otherwise all-male colony. Interestingly, these aren't bad to have around - Because nobody likes them the whole colony gets a mood boost if they just happen to die, so making them fistfight a bear or attack a raid by themselves is a quick way to get a mood boost.
  • Future Food Is Artificial:
    • Not all of it, but you can build Nutrient Paste Dispensers that render raw foodstuffs into, well, nutrient paste. It's bland and unappetizing, so it gives a slight morale penalty, but it's the most efficient way to prepare raw food and can save your colony until you get (or train) a decent cook. In Ideology, the Transhumanist Meme removes the penalty; colonists with that belief see nothing wrong with eating something healthy and efficient regardless of taste.
  • 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.
  • Full-Boar Action: Be very careful around wild boars. They are single-handedly the most dangerous prey animals in the game, due to being pack animals that can take down Wargs solo. A manhunting pack of boars can easily slaughter a colony faster than a pack of elephants, and are only beaten in this category by Thrumbos.
  • Game Mod: Rimworld has a rich library of mods to be used at the player's discretion. It ranges from quality-of-life mods that vastly improve the experience, the "Vanilla Expanded" series that has grown into entire unofficial expansions of the base game, mods that add entire sets of mechanics such as Combat Extended, Rimatomics or Rimefeller, or total conversions that turn the game into Old World of Darkness or The Lord of the Rings.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: According to its flavor text, chocolate is processed from "cocoa seeds ground together with sugar and vanilla". According to gameplay, you sow cocoa trees and harvest premade fully edible chocolate tablets.
  • 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.
  • Gender Is No Object: In the base game, this is played straight, with female colonists or pawns possibly having backgrounds in military or the like, with little to no distinction. Ideology gives factions 'ideoligions' that play with this trope. This system allows for certain factions to favour men or women, with effects ranging from "married couples always take the man's last name" to "this gender must always be fully covered up/completely nude", as well as making it so that their leader must be of that gender.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: One of the Always Chaotic Evil factions on the rim are the various insect hives, swarms of Big Creepy-Crawlies that were genetically engineered as biological weapons meant to combat the rampaging mechanoid clusters everywhere. At some point their creators lost control over the creatures so thoroughly that they can now be found on countless worlds, their hives presenting a lethal threat to anyone in their territory.
  • Gentle Giant: Thrumbos are massive creatures that occasionally pass through your territory in small groups. They're generally peaceful and make for extremely powerful attack animals if you can manage to tame them, but their enormous power can also backfire on you if your animal handlers aren't up to the challenge.
  • Genuine Human Hide: In addition to the meat, butchered human corpses also provide leather that can be fashioned into apparel. One of the running jokes within the fandom is to dub useless colonists or prisoners "hats", since the amount of leather provided by a corpse was about enough to make a cowboy hat. In fairness, most colonists who aren't Cannibals or Psychopaths get a mood debuff from wearing clothing of human leather.
  • 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. Temperature is also modeled in the game; leave your colonists in extreme temperatures for too long, and they may succumb to heatstroke or hypothermia.
    • Temperate Forests are the most comfortable biome to settle in, possessing plenty of trees to fell, fertile soil and diverse animal life big and small, as well as cool winters and mild, pleasant summers.
    • Arid Shrublands and Boreal Forests are the next most desirable. Shrublands are open plains of dry grass and bushes with the occasional grove, populated by hardy plants and animals accustomed to the heat which persists throughout the year; Boreal Forests have freezing winters and cool summers, with limited potential for farming but diverse wildlife ripe for hunting.
    • Tropical Rainforests are more challenging. Intense heat, choking overgrowth, thick mud, aggressive wildlife including deadly snakes and large predators, and conducive conditions for disease all combine for a "Green Hell" that will put survivors to the test. One the plus side, wood will never be in short supply, since you will be spending a great deal of time removing trees.
    • These types of biomes also have swampy variants. Besides these areas being ripe for disease, there's also very little space for bui.
    • Desert and Tundras are on the slightly hardier side of comfortability. The Desert heat support little life; only hardy potato crops can grow in the small patches of gravelly soil, and animals for hunting are few and far between. However, moisture pumps could be used to prepare soft sandy soil for farming other crops. Tundras are on the opposite end of temperature with no trees and little vegetation, very short or non-existent growing seasons made up for by large herds of migratory grazing megafauna and the predators that hunt them. The harsh conditions are also not at all suitable for diseases to propagate, drastically lowering their chances of happening.
    • Extreme Desert and Ice Sheet, as their name implies, are Deserts and Tundras taken Up to Eleven. Extreme Deserts are devoid of life, with limited prospects for survival without hydroponics farming. Ice Sheets also have this issue, and any animal found here will be either migrating or badly lost; hunting, trade, and cannibalism will be the main source of food here, but at least geothermal vents can be used for free heating. The silver lining of these two biomes is that any raiders foolish enough to attack your colony will likely die from heatstroke or hypothermia quickly.
    • Sea Ice is a permanent ice sheet where the cold has caused the sea itself to freeze over. There is no soil, no animals to hunt and no minerals to mine. Sea Ice is technically not intended for building a colony, but that hasn't stopped a few players from trying.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: If you're under imminent attack but have good enough relations with either other settlements or native tribes, you can radio for help.
  • Gonk: Pawns with the Staggeringly Ugly trait are described as being so visually repulsive that other people have to make a conscious effort just to look at them. These poor souls have a very hard time making friends due to nobody wanting to socialize with them. Similarly to Abrasive pawns, it's usually best to assign them solitary jobs or stick them in the night shift.
  • Guns Are Worthless:
    • Downplayed; guns are quite effective against enemies using melee weapons like knifes at range, but the delay between each shot means that melee attackers can close in and skilled archers can match their rate of fire. Notably, in a 1v1 battle between a hostile animal and a gunman, the animal has a surprisingly decent chance of winning, often able to charge into melee range to pummel your pawn to death before they are able to down them.
    • It's a smart idea to forgo low-tier firearms like revolvers and autopistols and give your colonists bows instead, which have a significant range advantage and can be crafted at a Crafting Spot for a small amount of wood, no machining or advanced technology necessary (and as the performance gap between high and low-quality weapons is also significant, premium bows will outperform low-tier rifles too).
  • 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:
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • Losing is Fun is the hardest difficulty level. 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 nonexistent, 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. The only saving grace (if it's even enough) is that they at least know some technologies like electricity.
    • You can combine these three difficulty factors if you want, but it will become virtually impossible.note 
    • Still not difficult enough? Pick up Ideology and choose one of the highly disadvantageous memes like Blindsight, Tree Connection or Transhumanist. Or take all three. It's not like you had any chance to survive, anyway.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Extremely cold or hot environments are very dangerous for an unprotected pawn, but this often includes your biological enemies, which will not even manage to reach your base before dying.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: It's possible to get colonists with the "Misogynist" and "Misandrist" traits. They will hate every single person they meet.
  • Hate Plague:
    • Hostile AI occasionally blasts your colony with psychic dronesnote  that incur such heavy mood penalties that at least some of your pawns are almost guaranteed to snap and go on a rampage. The event description outright mentions an "ancient engine of hate" stirring in the distance.
    • With Royalty installed, psychic pawns can emulate a Psychic Warhead detonation with the Berserk Pulse psycast, although its fairly short range makes it mildly more dangerous to your colonists than an artillery shell fired across the map.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Or 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.
  • Hide Your Children: There are no children in Rimworld. Even when you raid a faction base, you won't see any children in their base.
  • High-Tech Hexagons: Ideology's "Techist" style is full of these. Dining tables, ritual graphics, potted plants, and hex tile floors all come with the style. While the techist style is automatically associated with the Transhumanist meme, there's nothing to stop a player-made ideoligion from imitating the style at tribal tech levels.
  • Home Nudist: The "Nudist" trait makes the pawn have no body modesty and will prefer to walk around their base naked, even to eat or sleep. They lose the mood penalty they have for feeling humiliated when naked, gain a mood boost when nude and get a small mood penalty if they wear clothes for too long (except for specific types of headgear and belts). As of Ideology, nudism may also be mandated by a character's ideologion regardless of whether the pawn has the trait themselves or not. Either way, they will put on warmer clothes on their own if the temperature gets too low.
  • Hold the Line: In later versions, launching your space ship needs a long activation sequence. Space pirates and mechanoids will notice this, and they will start to send hordes of combatants into your colony periodical
  • Hostile Weather: Comes in both natural and artificial flavors.
    • 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.
    • Certain events and quests may result in someone targeting your colony with a distant Weather-Control Machine, usually with bad results like three weeks of constant toxic rain, or a month of heavy snowfall at the onset of the harvest season.
  • Hot Blade: Ultratech plasma swords straddle the line between this and Flaming Sword. Their flavor text describes them as having a metal blade at its core that's wrapped in a plasma sheath to cut and burn targets simultaneously.
  • 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.
    • You can also achieve a low-tech version of this by putting dead pawns inside a frozen room. This allows you to preserve their bodies until resurrectors can be found.
  • 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.
    • Cannibal is one of the high-impact memes in Ideology, with a severity adjustable from "human flesh is just meat like any other" to "hates eating anything that doesn't contain human flesh and goes ballistic if they can't get any". Ideologies without the Cannibal meme can also be tweaked to decide whereas eating human flesh is tolerated, disapproved, or abhorred.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • Archotech body parts are better than their bionic counterparts, and they will greatly increase capabilities of your colonist. However, you can only get these items from completing faction quests, and rewards of faction quests are completely random. This means getting archotech parts needs sheer luck alongside other requirements.
    • Persona weapons are the absolute top-of-the-line among killing implements thanks to their combination of powerful traits and extreme damage. The downside is that, barring mods, you can't craft them yourself, and even if you do, their traits and quality depend on the Random Number God's mood. Still, finding a few good ones in a merchant's inventory can turn your melee pawns into absolute monsters.
  • Instant Death Bullet: By default, any raider has a flat chance to die instantly if they are downed, as a balancing mechanic to reduce the number of prisoners that can be captured.
  • It's Raining Men: Your colonists will arrive in this manner in the default start via escape pods, and occasionally you'll get other colonists arriving via escape pods. Drop pod raids can hit your colony, involving a small group of pirates landing inside your colony walls, usually behind your main defensive lines. Advance far enough in the techtree and you can build drop pod launchers, allowing you to return the favour (or bribe factions you aren't on speaking terms with). In addition, reinforcements from the Empire will arrive in the same manner.
  • 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.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats:
    • Among guns, the assault rifle is this. It doesn't shoot as far, nor is as precise as the sniper rifle, does not fire a burst as strong as the LMG, and doesn't do as much damage as the charge rifle. However, it is still good in all these categories, making it a good all-purpose weapon that is also relatively cheap to manufacture in bulk, giving you a higher chance to receive high-quality examples that are even better.
    • Among armors, the Marine Armor offers a protection at the cost of a speed penalty that are intermediate between the Recon and Cataphract Armors.
  • Javelin Thrower: Tribal people often use Pila, spears for throwing. Throwing it needs a long time, but it can deal heavy damage for a 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 It with Fire: Subverted. Incendiary weapons can of course be lethal, but the extremely painful burns they inflict are much more likely to incapacitate rather than kill pawns, making them very useful tools for taking prisoners en masse.
  • 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.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: There are some high-tech energy weapons with high damage, but their usefulness is offset by their low rate of fire. For example, the charge rifle is similar to the assault rifle, with higher per-shot damage, but lower rate-of-fire and accuracy. Being much more difficult to acquire, the assault rifle is generally a better choice for a general purpose weapon.
  • Lack of Empathy: Colonists with the "Psychopath" trait don't get morale bonuses for socializing with others, nor do they get penalties for bad things that happen to other colonists like being sold into slavery.
  • Lady Land: Or No Woman's Land, potentially; both are possible options for an Ideoligion in Ideology. By selecting the Female Supremacy or Male Supremacy Memes, an Ideoligion can be shaped to grant increased rights to one gender at the expense of the other.
  • Lethal Chef: Sometimes 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.
  • The Load:
    • The game has few internal restrictions on the trait combinations pawns can spawn with. This can result in hilariously useless colonists, with some being literally incapable of doing anything productive. One of the loading screen hints specifically mentions this, but not without reminding the player that slackers like these are part of the challenge.
    • Conceited nobles are similar. They refuse to perform any manual labor at all while demanding lavish meals, ostentatious throne rooms and gorgeous bedrooms. They can be useful as negotiators if they have the appropriate skills, but even that can fall flat if the pawn has the wrong life story. However, which pawns get elevated to nobility is solely the player's choice, so if you created yourself a conceited noble, it's your own damn fault.
  • Longevity Treatment: The Ideology DLC introduces the biosculpter pod, which does wonderful things such as healing injuries and diseases, granting pleasure buffs, and the most significant feature: reversing the age of colonists. It requires a few amount of nutrients to have it work and once a colonist is inside a pod, the cycle process can range from a few days to a whole week depending on the treatment. The pod is especially important for those whose ideoligion is centered towards transhumanism as they seek to stay young and essentially become biologically immortal, though it can be built by anyone without transhumanist beliefs. Unfortunately, the pod cannot treat certain diseases such as dementia/Alzheimer's or restore missing body parts above a certain size (eyes, ears, noses, tongues, fingers or toes), though it can cure internal injuries and less severe health conditions such as brain damage, back problems, asthma and blocked arteries.
  • Love Hurts: Being in a healthy relationship can significantly improve the mood of colonists, but a relationship ending, either becouse one of them dies or because of a divorce, induces a rather big mood penalty that lasts for a long time. Also, failure to establish a relationship can lead to small but repeated mood penalties that can leave your colonist at the edge of breaking for a long time.
  • 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 a Slave: Ideology officially introduces the option to enslave prisoners instead of recruiting them. Slaves behave like a middle ground between prisoners and free pawns, being easy on the upkeep but somewhat less effective workers and prone to rebellion if you don't constantly terrorize them into obedience.
  • 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.
    • Mortar shells, unsurprisingly. If their item hitpoints reach zero for whatever reason (deterioration due to storage outside a building, or because someone shot at them, or because a fire broke out nearby), they'll explode with their appropriate effects. This scales with the shells' stack size, meaning a full stack of 25 high-ex shells going off in your base is something you want to avoid at almost any cost.
    • 'Royalty' introduces Unstable Power Cells, lesser versions of the Vanometric power cell that provide a significant amount of infinite energy, but blow up with enough force to disintegrate a Centipede if something so much as sneezes at it.
  • 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.
    • Most impressively, unless a body part has been completely destroyed, pawns can heal from anything just by resting long enough. This includes things like maimed inner organs and limbs shredded by artillery fire.
  • Madness Mantra: If you let a Psychic Ship increase in power for too long, this thought appears:
    Pawn: My heart pounds and I'm sweating. All I can think of is hurting and suffering and all these enemies around me. They're my nightmare, my nightmare, my nightmare...
  • Mêlée à Trois:
    • It's entirely possible to be raided by two or more mutually hostile factions simultaneously. If they spawn in at the same edge of the map, it'll result in either this trope or a massive Evil Versus Evil brawl, depending on whether or not the raiding parties catch sight of each other before they reach your base. Playing under Randy's supervision makes situations like these more likely due to his lack of restrictions on concurrent raids.
    • Alternatively, humanoid raiding parties may get mauled by manhunter packs that were about to overrun your colony. This is also more likely to happen with Randy.
  • Mighty Glacier: Cataphract armor is a class of heavy Powered Armor suits that provides unrivalled protection at the cost of a massive speed penalty, making the wearer nearly invincible but very, very slow. Fortunately, bionic legs can offset the penalty and turn your fighter into a Lightning Bruiser.
  • 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.
    • The most extreme version of this is the psycast "Neuroquake". It causes every living thing on the map outside a small radius around around the caster go violently insane, and reduces your reputation with every single faction on the planet regardless of where they are located. Incedently the caster isnt immune either; they go into a three day coma after casting it.
  • Minimalism: At its most basic, the design sensibility is similar to Dwarf Fortress and Prison Architect — 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.
  • Minmaxer's Delight: Certain Traits can make a game easier. Hard Worker and Industrious shave off work times, Fast Walkers and Joggers run circles around others, Sanguine and Optimist are permanent mood boosts, and Transhumanist gets a sizeable mood bonus for each artificial part they have. Getting several of them on the same pawn can be extremely powerful and makes for a pawn most players will sacrifice half their colony to protect, especially if they also have an interest in a valuable skill like Crafting.
  • 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.
  • Mordor: It doesn't matter how lush your colony's map used to be when a Toxic Fallout event happens - if it drags on for more than a few days, all that's left is a barren wasteland choked with dead trees and rotting animal carcasses. It takes a very long time for nature to recover after such a disaster, which can easily result in a colony wipe if you're dependent on hunting for survival or failed to construct roofs over your crop fields.
  • 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.
  • Mutual Kill: Very common among wild animals. They have no way to patch up bleeding, so if they manage to kill an opponent but suffer too many wounds in the process, the blood loss will eventually kill them. It's not uncommon to see a predator lying dead next to their half-eaten prey.
  • Nailed to the Wagon:
    • One way of dealing with a colonist who has a crippling addiction? Literally cripple them by removing their legs. They will be unable to leave bed, and thus unable to get their drug of choice. Other colonists will bring them food while they recuperate, and once the addiction has been thoroughly broken, their legs can be restored using bionics. It's ugly Video Game Cruelty Potential, but it works.
    • Arrested prisoners will never leave their room, even to feed an addiction, and you can arrest your own colonists (though failure to arrest can lead to violence). Colonists can keep your addicted prisoners fed til they get over their drug addiction. Downsides can include them being unhappy when they're finally let out due to being arrested by their own colony, or possibly a prison break, which can potentially render the entire thing pointless if you can't re-arrest them before they find their drug supply.
  • 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.
  • Nerves of Steel: Steadfast and Iron-willed pawns have a lower mental break threshold than normal.
  • Nervous Wreck: In contrast from above, Volatile and Neurotic pawns (as well as their stronger variants) have a higher break threshold than normal, making them highly sensitive to dips in mood.
  • Never My Fault: Other factions outside your colony will put the 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, it will give a significant boost to your relationship with them.
  • Nice Guy: Colonists with the Kind trait will occasionally say nice things to improve the moods of other colonists, will never insult others and don't judge anyone by their appearance.
  • 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 Bisexuals: The game was originally coded rather simplistically, which while it worked well enough resulted in amongst other things, the impossibility of a colonist turning out to be a bisexual; they are always strictly gay or strictly straight. Strangely, the behaviour was opposite for women where even ostensibly straight women could be attracted to other women all the same.
  • No Body Left Behind: Nuking an area with an Antigrain Warhead leaves absolutely nothing but empty ground behind - no plants, no bodies, no items of any kind remain at the site of impact. Don't do this if you intend to take prisoners or scavenge animal resources. Makes sense; starship grade weapons tend to be overkill on tribals.
  • Nobody Poops: Although the game simulates a great many things, the sanitary needs of humanoid beings are not among them. Unsurprisingly, intricate and highly popular mods exist to scratch that particular itch. Strangely, animals do poop, often, everywhere they go.
  • No Conservation of Energy:
    • The Vanometric power cell generates electricity without using any fuel, forever. This technology was developed by archotech AIs, and no humans can understand how this technology works.
    • Rats produce more offsprings than the amount of nutrition they consume, essentially allowing them to generate mass out of thin air. You can take advantage of this to power your chemfuel generators infinitely. Testing has shown that even a full hydroponic setup supplying food for the rats can be maintained indefinitely by the offsprings of only 18 (12 females and 6 males) of them.
  • 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.
  • No-Sell:
    • Some people in Rimworld have the "Psychically Deaf" trait, and they aren't affected by psychic phenomena. They don't receive bad feelings from psychic drone or attacks from Psycasters, but they are unable to get good feelings from psychic sooth.
    • Sufficiently strong armor can completely negate incoming attacks. For instance, top-tier Powered Armor makes the pawn wearing it practically Immune to Bullets, with only dedicated anti-armor guns and Energy Weapons being able to punch through the plating.
  • No Such Thing as Dehydration: Establishing a constant food supply is one of the first challenges a new colony needs to overcome. The only drinks in the game are late game drugs (beer and go-juice) which can be avoided entirely.
  • Not the Intended Use:
    • There's a brain implant called Mindscrew that inflicts constant, considerable pain on the wearer. It's meant for punishing criminals on core worlds, but since rimworld colonies generally don't have justice systems more sophisticated than "death penalty for anything", they find it very useful for keeping masochists happy at all times.
    • Drop pods are meant solely for transporting items over vast distance. However, many players use them as storage boxes instead since the game lacks dedicated item containers.
    • Similarly, drop pods can be used as 100% accurate mortar shells by filling them with explosives and boomalopes. When launched at the enemy, the boomalopes will be shot to death upon landing, setting off the explosives in the process. This is especially devastating when used with antigrain warheads, as drop pods never miss and thus ignore the one balancing factor that the warheads have.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: The Consciousness stat directly affects almost every single stat that governs activities related to work and combat. Even minor reductions in consciousness significantly reduce a pawn's capabilities in just about anything, which makes sense of course - your fine motor skills won't be the best if you're only half conscious.
  • Organ Theft: If you're squeamish about literally cannibalizing 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.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Bleeding creatures leave fairly large bloodstains on the ground wherever they go, and if the wound isn't serious enough to kill them quickly, they can lose what looks like hundreds of liters of blood before they finally succumb. Happens most often to animals wounded by predators or stray gunfire.
  • 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.
  • The Pollyanna: Optimist and Sanguine colonists have a permanent mood bonus, and are happier than normal on average due to this.
  • 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.
    • Mountain bases are virtually impervious to mortar bombardment and drop pod attacks, easy to defend from ground assaults, and mostly unaffected by outside temperatures. You pay for these perks with most of your pawns going nuts after being stuck underground for too long, and the not-insignificant threat of massive swarms of Big Creepy-Crawlies tunneling into your base out of nowhere, setting up nests and overrunning your colony from within.
  • Powered Armour: A late game research allows you to build suits of power armor, or it can (rarely) be scavenged off pirates. It comes in three varieties too. Recon Armor is the cheapest, and does not slow down the pawn at all. Marine Armor is in the middle of the pack, able to soak a reliable amount of damage and negate the rest of the damage taken, with better quality suits being nigh invulnerable. Cataphract Armor needs the most requirements, locked behind two reasearch locks and slows the pawn down a lot, but nullifies most attacks completely, and the best quality suits make their wielder practically invulnerable to anything without armor penetration.
    • To compliment this, there are also alternate version of all three armors that each have additional abilities with less protection as a trade off. Locust Armor is Recon Armor with a built in Jetpack, Grenadier Armor is Marine Armor with a Built in Grenade Launcher with two shots, and Phoenix Armor is Cataphract Armor with a single use Incendiary Launcher that makes the wearer near fireproof. All of these need more materieals and research, but can make already deadly colonists able to wipe out small groups with ease if they are kitted out right.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: Using psychic powers causes a buildup of "neural heat" in the caster; too much and they're increasingly likely to pass out from the strain. The only way to avoid this is to let it dissipate, either naturally (the rate of which can be boosted by various bits of equipment, with the potential for casters to be a Squishy Wizard with Eltex Robes & Staves, or a Magic Knight thanks to Prestige Power Armour) or by shunting some of it into a willing ally (who will immediately pass out).
  • Perilous Old Fool: Enemy factions sometimes send very old raiders into your colony. They are usually weaker than younger raiders, because they often have bad health conditions like cataracts, bad back, or frail.
  • 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.
  • Psychic Powers: The Royalty DLC adds psychic powers to the game. Psycasters can use various psychic powers, both for offensive, defensive, and utility purposes. Abilities range from briefly stunning a single target to creating temporary cover to driving all humanoids within a small area into a berzerk rage (with predictable results if cast into the middle of a mob of raiders). Outside of combat, a range of "Word of" abilities can make targets fall in love with the caster, end an mental breakdown at the cost of knocking the target unconscious for a few hours, and so on.
  • 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.
  • Pyromaniac: 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. Their propensity for incendiary incidents makes the trait extremely undesirable, and some players may rather banish a colonist or send them on a Uriah Gambit than deal with the constant 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).
  • 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. If they destroy enough, they'll eventually get fed up and go home.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: The Rancher Meme from Ideology is centered around the principle that true strength and virtue is displayed by hunting, taming and slaughtering animals to eat their meat, and that eating vegetables is a sign of weakness. Unlike most colonies, they don't incorporate veg into their higher-quality meals, instead mixing different meats together to produce the same result. They generally don't eat animal products like milk or eggs either, instead receiving bonuses to sales prices.
  • 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.
  • Rock Beats Laser: You might expect that a group of raiders, or colonists, armed with firearms and body armor would easily clean up tribal colonists or raiders armed with only throwing spears and recurve bows. You'd be wrong. It doesn't help that tribals usually outnumber the other party.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: With the Royalty DLC installed, only a specific subset of pawnsnote  will turn into stereotypical freeloading nobles that spend their days slacking off and being obnoxious. The majority continues to fulfill all their usual tasks without complaint, and the vast array of psychic abilities at their disposal makes them invaluable assets in peace and war alike.
  • 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 an injury is left too long or 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. There's also "compacted plasteel", which is exceptionally rare, but one of the few free sources of the precious blue metal - it's stronger and lighter than common steel, making it a great choice for armour, shields, and low-tech melee weapons. It's also a key ingredient in power armour and many other high-tech devices.
  • 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 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. The Royalty DLC throws in The Empire, or at least what's left of it, and the Ideology DLC reveals a hint of the terrifying power of the Archeotechs.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • This is one possible break state for survivors with very 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.
    • The Caravan system also allows this. If that last siege was just too much, and your base is swarming with mechanoids, bugs, raiders or what have you, you can always just pack what you can with your colonists and leave for a nearby location on the world to try again instead of starting a new save. You get to keep colonists and research that way, and the Wealth reset makes sure you don't get hammered too hard in your new try.
  • 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 it's still faster than hopping.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: You can get a combat-proficient colonist, pour your resources into giving them top-tier weapons and Powered Armor and cybernetic implants all over their body, hook them on Luciferium to drive their superhuman combat ability Up to Eleven, and then inter them in a cryptosleep casket, only ever waking them up in case the colony is under attack.
  • 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, with increasing mood bonuses for receiving more and more prosthetics.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook:
    • Since wild animals have a chance to go hostile when shot, it is possible with careful timing to shoot a herd of wild animals while a group of raiders (or a friendly caravan) is nearby, turning them on each other. It is also possible, with clever construction or luck, to funnel raiders into an insect hive or sleeping mechanoid cluster and let them wipe each other out. One can even manage to trick a mechanoid cluster or insect hive to attack each other, as they are automatically hostile because the insect hives were engineered to fight mechanoids.
    • Psychic Insanity Lances exist to take advantage of this. Activating one will drive the target berserk and make them attack anyone nearby, including their allies. This is a particularly effective way to break apart a raid with someone who is wielding a rocket launcher.
    • With the Royalty DLC installed, psychic pawns can have up to two powers that induce the Berserk state in other pawns, with one being single-target and the more powerful one having a decent area of effect. The latter in particular can neutralize entire raids almost on its own. A third power also allows them to drive all animals in an area into a manhunting rage, though this is of only minor use (few if any factions make serious use of battle animals, and turning the local wildlife against raiders is probably not going to particularly effective since you'll have to clean up afterards).
  • 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.
  • Sharpened to a Single Atom: Monoswords are implied to be this. High-quality examples have penetration values well in excess of 100% and enough raw damage output to sever limbs with every blow that connects. Great for killing things dead, not so great for taking prisoners - they'll either bleed out before you can arrest them, or be short a couple of limbs in the unlikely event that they survive.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Chain shotguns can deal massive damage, but they also have very short effective ranges.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: The pump shotgun has low range but high damage and stopping power. The chain shotgun takes this trait Up to Eleven, having even shorter range but firing bursts, giving it the highest possible DPS of all ranged weapons at short ranges.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Murderous elephants are unusually common and will appear even in regions that don't normally have them. The fiction primer also mentions "gravity dwarves" who are extremely short and stocky and strong and show a preference for living underground. In addition, the hardest difficulty level is labelled "losing is fun."
    • 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.
    • The endgame technology that lets your colonists escape the planet includes an engine known as the "Johnson-Tanaka Drive", which sounds suspiciously similar to Kearny-Fuchida.
    • One of the random names for a trade ship is Stellaris Traders.
    • The Zeushammers in the Royalty expansion are powered melee weapons that hit with a burst of shock damage that can stun enemies (in this case, mechanoids), similar to the thunder hammers of Warhammer 40,000.
  • The Siege: One type of attack events on your colony consists of a band of raiders besieging your base with a bunch of mortars instead of just assaulting you directly. Depending on the map layout and your pawns' equipment, getting rid of them before they start shelling your base into oblivion can be anything but trivial. Unsurprisingly, having a battery of mortars of your own makes sieges a whole lot less threatening. Building your base inside a mountain is another good defense against mortar bombardment (has its own downsides, though), and you can return the favor by bringing mortars along for attacking the raiders' faction bases. Bonus points if those mortars are the same ones they attacked you with, captured by you after the siege was broken.
  • Single-Biome Planet: While the default setting generates planets with varied biomes, you can make single biome planets with changing settings on the world generation screen. For example, increasing Rainfall and Temperature values generates a planet covered with rainforests, and setting Temperature value to the minimum generates a planet covered with ice sheets.
  • Slow Electricity: If something knocks out your base's power, such as a solar flare, powered devices will suffer a cascading failure rather than turning off all at once. They will also turn back on over time rather than all at once after the power is restored. What makes it this trope instead of Reality Is Unrealistic is that the Short Circuit event shows there are clearly no breakers in Rimworld, so a cascading failure would be impossible without this trope being in effect.
  • 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 and need coolers to keep food from going bad, then that can be very bad. It can also spell doom if it happens to a colony reliant on automated defenses while a raid is ongoing.
  • 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: Snowfall generally heralds the beginning of winter and thus the end of the growing season, so while it's not dangerous on its own, the cold that comes with it can definitely be if you haven't stockpiled enough food to last you through the winter. Naturally, Ice Sheet 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 (assuming it's not so cold that they simply leave to avoid frostbite), 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. And hey, at least you're not short on freezer space when the entire map is sub-zero.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Several quests involve hosting colonists from other factions, either as guests or prisoners. They usually only come with basic gear, so you may want to give them better items to improve their mood or so they don't die. However, as soon as the quest is over you lose any control over them, and they will happily take whatever you gave them. Later updates averted this by making it impossible to change the equipment of visiting pawns.
  • Space Pirates: One possible enemy. Pirate settlements will occasionally dispatch small groups of well-armed soldiers in an attempt to destroy the colony.
  • Space Western: Thematically and aesthetically prominent. Most of the territory on Rimworld is "wild", settlements are small and look to their own survival, and the territory is lawless. Bolt-action rifles and revolvers are common parts of the Schizo Tech, as are stetsons and dusters in the warmer environments. The soundtrack evokes classic western films.
    • Also featured is a Spanish conquest theme: the currency seems to be the New Spaniard silver peso, and tribesmen have guaraní names.
  • Squishy Wizard: Can be played straight or inverted with Psycasters.
    • Played Straight: The duration and severity of Psycasts are modified by the target pawn's Psychic Sensitivity, whilst the caster's neural heat limit is modified by their own Psychic Sensitivity. "Eltex" gear increases this sensitivity, but somehow provides slightly worse protection against incoming damage than cloth gear of the same quality level. In the case of two casters going head to head, whoever goes first will probably win; a normal pawn might only be stunned for a couple of seconds, but a highly-sensitive psycaster with Eltex gear can use their powers more but will be out of the fight twice as long at the very least if hit by that same Stun power.
    • Averted: A Pawn with either the Psychically Sensitive or Psychically Hypersensitive traits, which provide +40% and +80% Psychic Sensitivity respectively, might not need Eltex gear to be an effective Psycaster, and there are no penalties for wearing normal armour. To top this off there is a special version of all the endgame Power Armour that increases a pawn's Psychic Sensitivity without sacrificing any protection (though not as much of a boost as Eltex gear gives).
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The game has several explosive weapons and explosives, and notable ones are:
    • The Doomsday Rocket Launcher is a disposable/single-shot weapon, firing a single rocket which causes a large initial explosion followed by a half-dozen smaller incendiary blasts moments later.
    • "Boom"-animals are like regular animals except they've been engineered to naturally produce explosive chemicals within large yellowish sacs on their bodies. These sacs will react violently if they are shot or otherwise punctured. This makes them extremely risky to hunt despite the potential of harvesting useful materials, and God help you if they become hostile and attack.
    • High-explosive shells are the standard mortar ammo for all factions, dealing a decent 50 points of damage in a 3x3 area.
    • The Antigrain Warhead is a very rare mortar shell. It will cause a vast and devastating explosion. This explosion is big enough to annihilate an entire raiding party or mechanoid nest with a near miss.
  • Subsystem Damage: Damage is recorded by individual body part and with varying levels of severity, though sufficiently traumatic injuries are often instantly lethal.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Archotech AI have developed technology that is incredibly advanced, to the point that humans do not know how it functions, let alone how to replicate it. These include psionic technologies that can either soothe or drive people insane, hyper-advanced cybernetics and infinite power generators.
  • Super Soldier: You can get one if you manage to sink the time and resources into fully upgrading a combat skilled colonist with bionic limbs and body parts (bonus points if they're archotech parts), deck them out in power armor, then give them a big heavy gun, or a plasteel sword and you've got yourself a cyborg warrior that can go toe to toe with a Space Marine from Warhammer 40,000.
    • In the Royalty DLC, you can turn this up to 11 with imperial weaponry like the Zeushammer and the Monosword, that, along with powerful psy-casting abilities, enables the creation of a spellcasting, power armour clad, heavy weapon wielding Übermensch with nobility titles to boot. Enemies won't be able to flee when you can teleport into melee range, and can't defend when stunned.
    • A more... questionable way is to use Luciferium on top of any other measures. Luciferium is, in essence, a swarm of microscopic robots that improve the user in pretty much every way possible, giving them nigh superhuman sight, speed, Strength, blood filtration, metabolism, consciousness, blood pumping, breathing, pain resistance and a slow acting Healing Factor that can even regrow limbs and heal permanent brain damage. The drawback, is that once you take the drug, you're addicted and withdrawal is painful and has a 100% mortality rate. Hence why its named after a Deal with the Devil.
  • Super Strength: All pawns, regardless of age or crippling injuries, can carry anything that's possible to be moved without more than a minor drop in movement speed. This includes all sorts of furniture and equipment, other pawns and even the largest animals like thrumbos (which weigh in at 400+kg) or elephants.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Forcibly augment a Body Purist with a cybernetic organ or limb? They will likely revolt.
    • With the exception of minerals like ore or stone, just about everything in the game will decay if left lying outside, especially if water is involved. And even if you take foodstuffs or herbal medicine indoors, unless you stick it in a freezer, it has a finite shelf life before it goes bad.
    • Quality armor will stop attacks from penetrating flesh and producing bleeding injuries, but your colonists will still have bruises and fractured bones from the impacts, and will need some time to recuperate afterward. These stopped attacks will also deplete the colonist's health bar, if to a lesser extent than if they hadn't been wearing armor, so too many blunted attacks can still incapacitate someone from overwhelming pain.
  • 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.
  • Technology Levels: The game's Tech Tree is divided into six eras, arranged in ascending order: neolithic, medieval, industrial, spacer, ultra and archotechnote , all of which follow the exact same paths even when you're playing a lost neolithic tribe that's been out of touch with Earth-like tech for centuries, if not millennia. Researching a technology outside your colony's current tech level incurs a +100% research time penalty, but that's their only meaningful distinction so far.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Antigrain Warheads are Antimatter weapons meant to be used by starships against against other starships. No other faction would even think about using them. Hitting something square on with one of these is sure to spell doom for anything that gets hit, even Centepides.
  • The Teetotaler: An actual trait. Characters with this trait will stay away from alcohol, and may dislike characters who don't. Conversely, characters who enjoy drink will look down on teetotalers, which can lead to some friction in colonies.
  • Theme Naming: Faction pawns and NPC caravaneers in particular usually have this going. Among neolithic tribes, most pawns will either have animal names, South American native names, or be called "[insert random animal]hunter"note . Pirates and bandits often have the scary-sounding call signs you'd expect from an Always Chaotic Evil band of raiders, and The Empire makes extensive use of names that evoke Ancient Grome. The only factions that break from this pattern are insectoids and mechanoids, for obvious reasons.
  • 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.
  • This Is a Drill: A colonist with the Drill Arm from Royalty DLC can bore the body of enemies.
  • Three Quarters View: For the local map where the main gameplay (player colony, caravan encounters etc.) takes place; the world map uses Top-Down View.
  • Too Awesome to Use: The various superweapons (Orbital Bombardment Targeter, Orbital Power Beam Targeter, Tornado Generator and Antigrain Warhead) are all very powerful, generally capable of wiping out big threats in a single well-aimed shot, but they are one use only, and can only be sparsely found as a reward for some quests. Care must be taken to ensure they are used only if you really need them.
    • The Healer Mech Serum can heal any health condition besides drug tolerance. While insanely powerful, it's also only available from certain quests. While it can regrow lost body parts, many parts can be replaced with bionics that are better than regular limbs/organs in every way. There is also the possibility of organ donations. Scars, while uncureable otherwise, are also generally too minor of an inconvenience to use the serum on. The serum is only debatably worth using for permanent brain injuries, which can make a colonist useless, and to cure dementia and Alzheimer's, although that won't stop the colonist from developing the conditions again.
  • 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, and view other colonists with such enhancements in a more favourable light.
  • Trigger Happy: Characters with the trait that shares 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 find them all.
  • Tsundere: It's perfectly possible for a couple to have characteristics that make them hate each other while also being in love. For example, a woman with the misandry trait might have a man as a lover, and her opinion of him will have a negative for "man" balanced by a positive for "lover".
  • Underground City: Certainly an option if you land or settle in an area with Large Hills or Mountainous territory. It's very Difficult, but Awesome — you spend a lot of time digging to get the halls and rooms set up, even more time converting the stone chunks into blocks and using them to build the walls and floors, have to set up underground farms and storage to ensure your facilities remain stocked and colonists who don't have the Undergrounder trait will suffer Cabin Fever from being underground for too long, but it can be solid, defensible, very thematic and protects you from long-range attacks by mortars. There's also the insect infestations to beware, though patient players can tame insects for animals or harvest their insect jelly for a tasty, nutrious foodstuff. Ideology adds two Memes that favour this kind of build — Tunneler and Darkness, the former of which also disables any claustrophobia your pawns may suffer, and both of which provide a specialist role in Mining.
  • Undressing the Unconscious: Any pawn is capable of stripping another when they're unconscious, including Raiders or neutral NPCs. Due to the mechanic where clothes and armor get a "Tainted Apparel" mood debuff when the pawn wearing them dies, this has the unintended side effect of players prioritizing their pawns to strip downed enemies during raids and then leaving them to bleed out naked on the floor, while hauling off their clothes and equipment back to base. Rescuing them is also possible, but players are unlikely to do that unless they have good stats.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: Leaning into the more brutal side of things, Rimworld is not shy on mechanics that would normally be non-existent in other sims:
    • Let someone prepare food who has a low Cooking skill, neglect to clean your kitchen before you cook, or make the noob mistake of putting the butcher's table right next to the cooking stove? Watch your colonists get food poisoning and stagger around vomitting for a day or two.
    • Surviving the immediate effect of an injury is only the start of a colonist's ordeal. Unless you actually get someone to treat that scratch or grazing bullet wound, your colonist may still pass out or even die from blood loss. If an amateur medic tends to a wound, the unlucky victim may be left with a scar or other lingering injury that causes pain and reduces the colonist's efficiency. If you try to treat an injury outside a sterile hospital room, it may become infected, and if you lack the quality medicine to help a stricken colonist build up an immunity to it, the only way to save their life may be to lop off the infected limb. And even if you help a colonist survive something like a shattered spine or serious head injury, they may be left immobilized or brain-dead (unless you give them some Luciferum, which can heal those injuries, but comes with its own costs).
    • Recreational drugs like alcohol or smokeleaf can help unhappy colonists get through the day, but regular use can lead to conditions like asthma or lung cancer, or cirrhosis of the liver. Worse, a colonist may get addicted to the drug and require regular doses of it, or suffer prolonged, crippling withdrawal symptoms until their body adapts to life without it.
    • Things generate heat, which needs places to go to dissipate. Animals' body heat can warm a barn, which can be dangerous in hot environments but a godsend in winter. Geothermal generators, if enclosed and roofed, can be used to heat surrounding rooms, but will start fires if too much heat builds up in too small a space. One popular way to deal with insectoid infestations is to place some flammable items near the hive, toss in some explosives to start a fire, and then wall off the area until the bugs have been incapacitated or killed by the heat, but once you reopen the area you better have a way to vent all that hot air.
    • Most colonists will take a morale penalty from seeing human corspes in the open, killing prisoners, butchering humans, cannibalism, or wearing human leather. Some traits (and some beliefs in Ideology) negate these morale penalties, but come with their own problems: Psychopaths are fine with death, but gain no mood boost from socialization, while keeping all the penalties from random insults from other colonists, meaning they'll eventually become an enemy with everyone around them, resulting in brawls and injuries. Those with the Bloodlust trait have no problem wearing the clothes of dead people, and get a mood boost from wearing clothes made from people, but are much more likely to start social fights. And Cannibals of course will be happy to eat human flesh, but that trait is taking up a slot that could go to something less situational. In short, the types of people who aren't bothered by morbid scenery or activities aren't mentally stable and are probably more trouble than they're worth.
    • As in real life, blasts from explosions knock flames off their fuel source, extinguishing fires. High-explosive mortars and grenades can thus be used to fight forest fires.
  • Ungovernable Galaxy: The lack of FTL makes the Rimworld galaxy this by default. In the background there's mention of political blocs that consist of up to three planets, but beyond the occasional trader frieghter all planets are on their own.
  • Universal Currency: Silver is the trade medium across the planet, and even most of space, apparently. Other precious materials like gold and jade exist and are highly valued, but all trade is measured by its value in silver.
  • 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, whose weapons are dropped when they're killed or incapacitated and can be repurposed accordingly, but played straight for mechanoid enemies. You can never get their weapons from their dead bodies.
    • Played straight with the biocoded weapons introduced in version 1.1, which are tied to one specific person and can't be used by anyone else. Enemy raiders sometimes come equipped with these. Taken a step further with "death acidifier" implants, which cause all worn clothes and held weapons to disintegrate if the character with the acidifier dies. They're mostly used by The Empire to keep that shiny Power Armour from falling into the hands of filthy tribal scum, naturally.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: You can force body purists to get bionic limbs, but they'll suffer a significant mood penalty. Don't be surprised if they snap on you if you aren't paying attention.
  • Upgrade Artifact: Neurotrainer mech serum, a Glitterworld-manufactured container of mechanites administered around the orb of the eye. They rapidly form new neural pathways in the brain to grant experience in a skill, even if the one undergoing the treatment had no prior experience with it.
  • Veganopia: The high-impact Animal Personhood meme of Ideology practically outlaws meat consumption and the slaughtering of animals, resulting in a vegetarian colony (animal products tend to be acceptable). Things get interesting when pawns with this ideology meet Ranchers or even Human Primacists, who are two variants of the opposite extreme.
  • Vestigial Empire: The Empire that the Royalty DLC revolves around is actually the splintered remnant of a much larger interstellar empire that fell to unspecified aggressors. The survivors fled and made a new home on the same rimworld you crash-landed on. However, vestigial or not, they're still an ultratech-level society with extremely advanced equipment including a fleet of space warships, so tread carefully when dealing with them.
  • Videogame Caring Potential:
    • You can rescue crash survivors and recruit them into your colony, train pets to become bonded animals, and take in refugees fleeing enemy marauders. After a battle, you can show respect to the dead on both sides by interring them in graves or splendid sarcophagi.
    • One random event has a group of desperate refugees come begging for shelter, offering to work for a season if you'll offer them safety. While the game points out that they're unaligned with any faction, and thus no-one will care what you do to them, if you treat them well, some of the group's members may decide to join your colony permanently. And even if they all leave, the group's leader will eventually give you a pile of resources as thanks for helping them in their hour of need.
    • One of the best way to get more colonists is to take care of wounded enemies. Subdue them with melee attacks rather than bullets, nurse them back to health (perhaps even replacing lost limbs with prosthetics or bionics), feed them decent meals, keep them in a nice cell with a bit of decoration and enough space to stretch their legs, and send a warden to regularly chat with them and build up a rapport. Given enough time, you can talk almost anyone over into joining your colony.
    • Alternatively, rescue and heal enemy soldiers, then once they've recovered, pack them into a Drop Pod and send them to one of their faction's settlements. The release of just a few high-value prisoners (like, say, an enemy medic) can generate enough goodwill to make a faction nonhostile, for a time.
    • If you have the Ideology DLC and took the Charity precept, you will be actually required to help other NP Cs like that. Failure to provide charity will make your pawns unhappy and could potentially lead to a revolt if done repeatedly.
  • 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 absolutely nothing stopping a willing player from, through careful choosing and weeding out "undesirable" traits, creating a colony filled mostly with psychopaths and the like.
    • 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.
    • Speaking of horrible traps, nothing stops the player from abusing the enemy A.I pawns to make them walk into obvious kill-boxes filled with turrets to blast them to smithereens or more terrifyingly, trap them into a maze and turning up(or down)the temperature to extreme levels to either scorch them to death or letting them die of hypothermia, only to use their burnt/frozen corpses as food for the colony animals and cannibals.
    • 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 are part of a permanently hostile faction such as pirates, you will not experience a decrease in relations. There is a small chance they may return as a raider, which makes them much easier to deal with. Plus, you'll be up one kidney and lung. You Bastard!.
    • Take raiders prisoner, cannibalize whatever body parts they still have until they croak, then send these parts to their faction as a gift. Body parts are valuable, so the usual result will be said faction turning friendly because you sent them back their friends in bits and pieces. Feel free to roleplay this tactic any way you like.
    • 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.
    • Nothing says dehumanizing to your prisoners more than kibble made from human and insect meat. -35 mood, all from one serving of something that you shouldn't even feed dogs.
    • Ideology allows to create a custom "ideoligion" which tenets enforce cannibalism, raiding, slavery, prisoners executions...
    • Rituals, introduces in Ideology can be simple as parties or speeches, or you could perform human sacrifice to evil gods...
  • 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, harvest their organs, or sell them into slavery. You also take a relation hit to that prisoner's faction, which may attack you. That said, prisoners have a "found guilty" phase of about one day following their capture during which you can do to them whatever you want without your colonists giving a damn.
    • Amputating limbs or harvesting organs from prisoners that are not part of a permanently hostile faction will give you a serious relation hit, even if they were replaced with inferior prosthetics. However, you can more than offset the reputation penalty by sending them some of the harvested organs as a gift. You Bastard!
    • 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, go on a murderous rage, or worse. 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.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The player can invoke this for colonists of an ideologion by tinkering with its preferred clothing settings. In fact, the Nudism meme specifies that believers should either be fully nude or wear "pants at most".
  • War Elephants: Skilled trainers can use trained elephants as attack animals. They can't ride on them, though.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: One of the special weapons you can get from quests is the Orbital Power Beam Targeter. It is capable of hacking an old power satellite so that, instead of firing into a collection dish as it should, it is fired at your enemies. The result is a massive beam striking the ground, incinerating everything in a wide radius.
  • Weather-Control Machine: They come in a number of flavors.
    • The Tornado generator is a single-use utility item that can generate a tornado. It will destroy anything nearby.
    • One event consists of a hostile faction setting up a large WCM on a tile near your settlement. It usually raises or lowers the temperature in the region by 10°C, but it may also cause unending thunderstorms or snowfall until you go and destroy it.
    • Some quests have similar effects if you accept them, but these have a fixed duration that you can only wait out.
    • On a meta level, you as the player can trigger rainfall by causing sufficiently large wildfires on the map. Pretty useless most of the time, but it might just help you save your burning colony in rare cases.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Colonists can have their limbs, organs and certain receptors replaced with bionic parts, which are better than their organic counterparts. Transhumanists and Body Modder colonists even gain a mood bonus for having bionic parts.
  • 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) appears in your colony. They act like animals, but colonists with animal skills can recruit them by taming. They are usually partially or fully naked.
  • 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, or they could successfully install a prosthetic arm... in the patient's hip. It can get even worse if your doctor gets drunk or takes drugs before starting the surgery.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Likely to occur for the player in extreme biomes, especially sea ice challenges. When wood, steel, stone, and traders are all scarce, gold and silver might be currency or might become just more materials to build that tailoring bench with.
  • 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.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: Resource management is a central challenge of the game, especially from a storage standpoint since resources that don't get properly stored and/or refrigerated in some cases will rot away into nothingness. All the game's central mechanics — construction, crafting, cooking and electrical power management — involve resources gathered in various ways, including trade. Some of the most important include:
    • Lumber: Wood is primarily harvested from trees and cacti, though Ideology adds two other ways — the non-edible crop fibrecorn and Woodmaker Dryads — to get it without damaging trees, since some Memes forbid cutting down trees. Wood is a very easy to work with, neutral to look at substance and a primary ingredient of Neolithic technology and weapons, but also weak and highly flammable which reduces how much use it can be post-early game.
    • Metal: Metal is generally gathered from metal deposits in rock formations or underground by miners. Their wide variety of uses means they're a central component of the colony at any time of the game.
      • Steel: The most basic metal. Used in the construction of power generators and electric wiring. It can also be used in floors, with Concrete, Clean Tiles, Steel Tiles and Sterile Tiles all requiring at least a little Steel to use. Most guns require Steel in their construction. Steel is also useful for late-game colonies to convert into Components if they run short of them.
      • Silver: The game's central trade resource. Silver is used in place of money when trading, but is also useful for making Sterile Tiles that assist with cleanliness in hospitals and Research rooms.
      • Gold: A secondary trade resource, its high value is useful when trading for expensive items. Gold is also a prime component of late-game furniture, Advanced Components and certain endgame structures on ships to leave the planet.
      • Uranium: An extremely hard and dense metal useful for building hardy external walls, heavy armour-piercing blunt weapons, late-game Space Marine armour and endgame ship's parts.
      • Plasteel: Exceedingly rare and expensive, this material is a component of bionic body parts, advanced components and most late and end-game structures and craftable items.
    • Stone Blocks: Converted from stone chunks, which themselves are drawn from the environment or mined. Stone Blocks can be used not only to make the same walls and fences as Wood and Steel, but also Stone Tile floors for more beautified indoor areas and flagstones for beauty-neutral, movement-efficient outdoor floors. They come in five versions — Granite, Limestone, Marble, Sandstone and Slate.
    • Jade: Harvested like metals. Jade is a weak component for walls and doors, but very beautiful, making it useful for crafting artistic Sculptures and Steles.
  • 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. Same goes for insect hives in an almost literal example - no ranged weapons, but more than enough razor-sharp mandibles and claws to make up for it.

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