How to Get More Colonists in RimWorld

Colonists are one of the essential aspects of RimWorld. They grow food, trade with other parties, research advanced technologies, and stockpile resources to prosper their communities. Since they’re so influential, you need to increase their number, but how do you do it?

How to Get More Colonists in RimWorld

Fortunately, there are various ways to get more RimWorld colonists, from changing the settings to completing events. Let’s see what each method involves.

How to Get More Colonists in RimWorld

The number of colonists available is primarily determined by the storyteller chosen when creating your game. The units aren’t limited, but your storyteller affects your colony’s population according to three variables: minimum population, maximum population, and critical population.

For instance, the critical population for Cassandra Classic and Phoebe Chillax is capped at 18, whereas Randy Random sets the bar at 50. However, try not to reach these thresholds since the game will activate numerous events to dampen the colonist count.

With this in mind, here’s how you can recruit more colonists in RimWorld:

Change the Settings

Before launching a new game, you can change the default number of RimWorld colonists:

  1. Pick “New Game” from the menu.
  2. Select your starting scenario.
  3. Click “Scenario Editor” in the lower part of the screen to access the settings.
  4. Tick “Edit Mode” in the left section of your display.
  5. Navigate to the “Starting People” tab and enter the desired number.
  6. Exit the menu and begin your game.

Purchase Colonists From a Slave Trader

RimWorld is packed with trading caravans. One of the most valuable ones is slave trading. It works the same as buying or selling any other item:

  1. Find a slave trader with a question mark above their head.
  2. Start the negotiation and buy a colonist. The price depends on their skills and health, but it usually ranges between 2,000 and 3,000 silver. Colonists with bionics are more expensive because their general manipulation and health are higher.

Colonists purveyed through slave trading won’t get mood debuffs. They will have a sunny disposition for a certain amount of time, as they’ve been freed from slavery.

Converting Prisoners Into Colonists

Enemy raids are an abundant source of colonists, provided you can handle them properly. More specifically, invaders can be taken prisoner if you knock them to the ground without slaying them.

 If you’re up for converting enemies for population growth, this is what you need to do:

  1. Place a bed or another sleeping spot in an area enclosed by a door and walls.
  2. Choose the sleeping object and convert it into a prisoner bed.
  3. Once you down your enemy, choose a colonist, assign them the Warden role, and right-click the invader.
  4. Select the “Capture” option.
  5. The colonist will now take the attacker to the previously built prison area. Each prisoner requires a separate bed.
  6. Pick a prisoner and navigate to the “Prisoner” section from the interface.
  7. The Warden will have occasional chats with the prisoner to reduce their resistance and build trust. After several sessions, they’ll finally be able to convert them. Still, their chances of success largely hinge on the unit’s Recruitment Difficulty.

Keep in mind that converting prisoners into colonists takes time. The higher the prisoner’s resistance, the longer your Wardens will need to break it. Luckily, there are several ways to expedite the process. Apart from keeping the prisoners well-fed, you can also enhance your colonists’ social skills:

Relaxing Activities

Relaxing activities go a long way towards improving your Wardens’ social skills. Set up pool tables, chess boards, TV lounges, and other social gathering spots to allow them to wind down. You can’t make your colonists engage in these activities, though, so they can be hard to utilize.

Interacting With Prisoners

Prisoner chats also help improve your Wardens’ social abilities. As they have more and more conversations, their persuasion tactics will become more compelling, leading to a higher conversion rate.

Administer Neurotrainer Mech Sera

The fastest way to improve any skill, including social skills, is to give your colonists a Neurotrainer Mech Serum. It permanently enhances their abilities, but the method is unpredictable. It can be potent and increase the skill level by eight, but it can also be inadequate and raise it by just one point. Furthermore, the item is expensive and can be tricky to acquire.

Converting a Cryo-Sleep Pawn

Every RimWorld map features territories known as Ancient Dangers. These regions can be pre-spawned enclosed buildings or zones inside mountains. Whenever a colonist walks near the area, you’ll get a pop-up window on your display, indicating they sense a foul presence nearby. This “foul presence” is because it’s home to powerful enemies, such as insect creatures and ancient mechanoids.

Once you’ve dealt with these threats, you may happen upon a cryo-pod within the area. They may harbor pawns frozen for hundreds of years. To awaken them, select your colonists and open up the pawns’ casket. Although they might turn hostile, try to subdue and capture them the same way you’d catch a prisoner.

Taming Wild Persons

Sometimes, the game may alert you that a wild person has reached the map. These primitive persons have never communicated with other people, and taming them works the same as taming an animal:

  1. Approach a wild person with your colonist.
  2. Select them and press “Tame.”

To facilitate your taming attempts, you’ll need to use food in your colony.

The success of this effort also depends on the colonist’s Animal skills. If the colonist isn’t very good at taming animals, there’s a high risk that the person will attack them. In this case, knock down the wild person, capture them, and convert them.

Completing Events

If slave trading and other abovementioned options aren’t your cup of tea, you can always complete in-game events to gain more colonists:

Helping Random Persons

Random people that need help are predominantly available at the start of the game. As you assist a stranger in their activities, they may join your colony, filling in your population cap.

Saving Escaping Wanderers

Another great way to recruit colonists is to help wanderers being chased by another person. If you bail them out, they will immediately join your community.

Investigating Escape Pods

Be sure to check out any escape pods that crash into your region. If you save the person inside, there’s a great chance they will become a member of your colony. However, try to capture instead of rescuing them to improve the odds of successful recruitment.

Arresting Friendly Visitors

Apprehending friendly traders and visitors is a practical yet morally questionable method of getting more colonists. If you have no qualms about this recruitment tactic, approach a friendly visitor with your colonist and choose the “Attempt to Arrest” option.

Bear in mind that the person may resist, angering their companions and the rest of the faction.

Acquiring the Man in Black

The final event isn’t widespread, but it’s still worth mentioning. This random event is triggered under specific conditions.

In particular, if all your pawns have been incapacitated, RimWorld may spawn a Man in Black. This person instantly joins your colony and can give you another chance at rescuing other people. Even if you manage to bail out all your colonists, the Man in Black will remain a permanent member of the community.

Additional FAQs

Can Colonists Have Babies in Rimworld?

Even though the game doesn’t allow your colonists to have babies, you can install a mod called Children, School, and Learning. It enables your colonists to have children, provide them with education, and teach them all the necessary skills required to become productive members of the community.

Keep Your Colony Population in Check

While increasing the number of your colonists is an excellent way to grow your community, try not to go overboard. Whether you’re capturing prisoners, helping random people, or taming wild persons, stay within the recommended range of your storyteller. It helps avoid unpleasant scenarios that can hinder your progress and make it harder to thrive in this captivating world.

How many colonists does your community comprise? What was the number at the start of your game? What’s your favorite method of acquiring new colonists? Let us know in the comments section below.

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