Clearance

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Clearance is the unseen game mechanic that controls Characters' needs for space. A character with a higher clearance value sees more clear space around them, and feels less cramped than another character with a low clearance level.

Levels of Clearance

Characters' clearance level is grouped into three categories: spacious, normal, and cramped. Spacious and cramped correspond to thoughts which grant +5 and -5 mood respectively.

The thresholds of total visible clearance are as follows:

Thought Clearance Mood effect
Spacious interior Greater than 48.5 +5
Cramped environment Less than 21 -5

There is also a "Very cramped" thought when visible clearance is less than 1, but this is effectively impossible unless a colonist is trapped in a one-by-one room with a structure such as a standing lamp.

Measuring Clearance

Clearance Sight Range

Humanoids take regular looks around their environment. Each time, they look at squares of flooring within their clearance sight range - a radius of 4.9 squares (69 observed squares). Squares outside the room the humanoid is in are not observed.

Calculating

For each square of flooring, the humanoid looks at every object in that space and determines its passability: Blocked, Walkable, or Standable and Walkable.

For all squares observed in the perspective zone, the humanoid...

  • Adds 1 to clearance for a Standable and Walkable square.
  • Adds 0.5 to clearance for a Walkable square.
  • Does nothing to clearance for a Blocked square.

Once calculated, the clearance value turns into one of the four threshold labels and an appropriate thought is applied.

Some Objects' Effects on Clearance

Here are a few objects' passability:

Object Passability
Sleeping Spot Standable and Walkable
Bed Walkable
Standing Lamp Walkable
Table Walkable
Equipment Rack Blocked
Plant Pot Blocked
Wall Blocked

Room stats display

The "space" metric reported by the "room stats display" tool shows the total area of the room, which has no direct effect on colonist mood, but can be useful for comparing rooms. Unlike clearance considerations, it fully includes tiles which can be walked on (such as beds), and all tiles which block movement which are in or adjacent to the room (such as walls and tables).

Label Space
extremely spacious 350 or more
very spacious 130 to 348
spacious 70 to 129
rather spacious 55 to 69
average size 29 to 54
rather tight 13 to 28
cramped 1 to 12

Strategies

Because clearance is based on the humanoid's perspective, and not the actual size of the room, this creates some unintuitive considerations when laying out a room. For example, a humanoid standing in the corner of an enormous square room will get the "cramped" debuff because they're surrounded on two sides by walls, even if the room itself is very large. This means that whenever possible, you want to construct rooms so that your colonists will stand in the center of the room, and not on the sides or corners of the room, such as by placing workbenches and chairs should in the middle of the room.