Unskilled shooters will fail miserably at hunting or fighting, risking their life in the process. You can avoid this situation by training their shooting skills in safe grounds before you send them out to the battlefield.
There are multiple methods to train your colonists in shooting. The most ridiculous of them all: playing horseshoes. Yes, playing horseshoes actually increases the shooting skill, though it increases it in such a vanishingly slow rate that it might as well be zero. Playing billiards also increases the shooting skill at a really low rate.
In this guide we will explain how to increase the shooting skill in a more elegant and effective way.
Build a Shooting Range
The most effective way to increase the shooting skill is to, well, shoot at things. Shooting at live targets will give you XP by the hundreds, while shooting at inanimate objects will give you 6XP per shot (burning passion), 4XP (interested) or 2XP (no passion). But despite the low rates, if you want to keep your colonists safe, you can set up a shooting range within the grounds of your colony.
Set up a line for your shooters to stand on and a stone wall for them to shoot at. Use stone walls for their superior durability. You can also use sleeping pots as a target, as they are indestructible (as of Alpha 16).
Using walls as a target will require you to repair them constantly, but this isn’t all bad. Using this method you can also have other colonists train their construction skill simultaneously by assigning them to repair the walls. But beware of friendly fire! If your colonists walk between the line of shooters and the wall, it is likely they are going to get hit. An easy solution to this problem is to isolate the firing range from the rest of your base and never use orders in the region without holding fire. To prevent workers from repairing the wall entirely, remove the wooden wall from the “home area” zone. When you want it repaired, put it back in the home area.
Increasing the number of shooters increases the rate at which the walls are damaged. It is important to have a balance of shooters and repairers. Giving repairers a personal shield will help them catch any “stray” shots, as bullets can occasionally get through walls.
Watch the shooter’s morale, if they are drafted too long a mental break becomes likely.