RimWorld – Starting Colonists Tips

Starting Colonists Help


You want a healthy colonist, no disease.


Closer to 20 is better, above 40 I start avoiding them


No negative mood traits like depressive, no pyromaniacs (one or two in a colony can be fine but you’re playing with fire), no greedy, no gourmand, no pure negative trait. In the positives, look for Tough as it is the single best trait, sanguine/optimistic for mood, nimble, happy-trigger, quick sleeper, great memory, industrious, jogger, iron-willed are all good, ascetic is also interesting for a royal.

Work Type and Passion

You’re looking to be able to do everything, and have a burning passion in everything. Not easy with 3 pawns, but to me construction is essential, preferably on two of them, planting too, you’re most likely going to cut a lot of wood early PLUS do field work to feed yourself, and if you don’t have a really good planter or two average ones things are gonna progress too slow. You want one passionate cook, probably one good researcher (don’t make him have another important/time-intensive job because research never stops), all three capable of doctoring and firefighting if possible, more than zero is obviously necessary

Artists and crafting, tailoring etc can wait for a while, you don’t really need to look for it in the first 3. Construction, Cook and Plants is key, having a miner will be important early IF you’re making an underground base OR you’re using a lot of steel (with biotech mechs for example). Otherwise, this can wait.

So yeah, the absolute ideal start is youthful, healthy colonists that have some combination of tough, sanguine, trigger-happy, industrious, jogger or quick sleeper, and cover all of the bases with their work types, making sure you can construct your base fast, your researcher isn’t your cook or your plant worker, and your cook isn’t your plant worker either, as this may get annoying because all three works require too much time.

Someone refusing to do something like hauling isn’t bad, as long as they make up for it in some other areas. The only crippling thing is unable to fight (avoid at all cost in your starting trio), unable to doctor and firefight.

If people mentally break often and don’t have mental break traits like depressive, volatile or neurotic, the solution isn’t in the starting draft but in the way you’re running your colony. Look at what’s making them mad in the needs tab and fix it, and make sure you give them reasons to be happy too (spatious/pretty/rich environment, good food, comfortable lodging, drugs if needed, etc)

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 496 Articles
Being a big gaming fan, I believe that I have a lot to share with other gamers. I got my first official job in the game industry in 2005 and continue to develop there. It's a true blessing when your passion, hobby, and job combine into something one. My favorite console is the Nintendo Switch. I think you can all guess why. Because I just bought a Steam Deck. I love playing on PC, but my main love for me will always be Xbox. Anyway, it's complicated and simple at the same time. After all, I'm back in the days of the ZX Spectrum (1994)…


  1. It’s good that they have several things they’re good at, it’s much better than just one actually, that way you’re not too dependant on a single pawn in case he’s absent/injured/dead, and you can double the work done on any given task if needed.

    What doesn’t work is thinking they’ll be able to do all the things they’re good at at once, because there’s only so many hours in a day. If you rely on one pawn alone to do 3 different jobs, most of them will be pending forever because they’ll be too busy doing the first or couple firsts. Especially for jobs that actually last forever, like research.

  2. One of them with Cooking 10 and no negative traits, unless you like low productivity and the sound of constant vomiting. Someone with Plants 8 would be cool too, although living off rice and potatoes for a while isn’t horrible. A crafter can help get the jump on the initial raids and equipping pawns. A miner or constructor will speed up establishing a resource base and an actual base. Someone with Intelligence will help jump start tech progression, which can be especially useful in tribal starts.

    But I would say nothing is more critical than a cook who will not keep everyone constantly sick with food poisoning, who also will not spend more time in mental breaks than cooking, which is pretty much all they will be doing until you get big enough for a second cook. They can even work with incapable traits, although non violent always handicaps the colony until mid game.

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