RimWorld Guide

How to get more colonists

Author of the How to get more colonists: ireth92RimWorld Base

The first thing you need to know is that the amount of colonists you have in your colony is strongly influenced by the storyteller you chose when you created the game. There is no limit to the number of people you can have in a single colony, but each storyteller has 3 variables that affect the population in your colony: minimum desired population, maximum desired population and critical desired population.

Storyteller population variables

The minimum desired population is the minimum population the storyteller will aim to give you. You probably noticed that you usually get an escape pod and potential new colonists pretty soon in the game. That happens when you started a game with less than the minimum desired population defined by the storyteller you chose.

The maximum desired population is the number at which the storyteller will try to keep you at. If you have less colonists, there will be more events that will potentially result in people joining your colony (crashed escape pods, people fleeing from enemies, etc.).

On the other hand, when you reach the critical desired population number, the storyteller will trigger massive events to dampen down your colonist count. It will also become harder to recruit prisoners, though not impossible. This makes it harder to have large colonies depending on which storyteller you chose, which takes us to the next point.

Population caps for each storyteller:

Cassandra Classic

  • Minimum: 4
  • Maximum: 13
  • Critical: 18

Phoebe Chillax

  • Minimum: 4
  • Maximum: 13
  • Critical: 18

Randy Random

  • Minimum: 4
  • Maximum: 13
  • Critical: 50

Looking at these numbers we can conclude that RimWorld is meant to be played with a colony of 13-18 people, with the exception of Randy who is designed to get kind of weird. Randy will allow you to get to 50 colonists without giving you a hard time (or at least not harder than he already does on a regular basis), so you should consider choosing him if you’re planning on having a large colony.

How to get more colonists

There are actually 6 different ways of getting new people for your colony. Here is a list of events that can result in people joining you:

  1. Random person saw you needed help and decided to join. This is an event that is triggered more often at the beginning of a game, as the storyteller will try to fill in the minimum population cap.
  2. A wanderer is being chased and asks for your help. If you decide to respond to an emergency call, that person will instantly join your colony but, of course, you will have to deal with the consequences.
  3. Capture downed raiders. When raiders have been downed instead of killed during an assault to your colony, you can capture them and try to recruit them afterwards via the “Prisoner” tab that shows up when you select a prisoner. The chances of persuading them into joining you depend on the Recruitment Difficulty percentage shown in the same window and the social skills of your warden colonists. Also note that if the prisoner is of a different faction type than you are (that is, you capture a native while playing as colonist, or a spacer or pirate while playing as a tribe) there’s a very large penalty to your recruitment chance, though it is still possible.
  4. An escape pod crashes into your territory. If you rescue an injured person that crashed near your colony there is a chance that he will decide to join you (it depends on the population variables described above). If you wish to ensure that person won’t leave once he’s healed, you should capture him instead of rescue him. Then you can attempt to recruit him like a regular prisoner.
  5. Buy slaves from slavers or pirate traders. As simple as that, if you can afford it, you can buy slaves from traders that sell them. The price of a slave depends on their health and their skills, usually ranging between 2000-3000 silver. You can find slavers by going into their colonies, calling them via the comms console or waiting for them to come to your colony.
  6. Arrest friendly visitors. If this doesn’t suppose a moral concern to you, you can arrest friendly visitors and traders. Simply draft one of your colonists, right-click on a friendly visitor and then select “Attempt to arrest”. Note that there is a chance he will resist, angering his companions and the entire faction.

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