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The food production chain in RimWorld results in edible food to keep your colony sustained. There are multiple ways to obtain raw ingredients for refined food, and refined food itself.
The most common way to produce food in RimWorld is to farm it. Vegetarian ingredients are obtained by growing crops, and meat ingredients are obtained by rearing livestock.
RimWorld has five main crop types: corn, haygrass, potatoes, rice, and strawberries. Each plant in turn has their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, making them all distinguishable from one another.
Each crop will be roughly summarized here, but each crops' own pages will go into more detail on that particular crop:
- More health points than any other crop (150 vs 85)
- Less labor-intensive, particularly for growers
- Yields a lot of corn per harvest
- Corn has a long shelf life
- Grows well in rich soil
- Long time between harvests means that supply is less consistent
- More risky when it comes to crop loss
- Can't be sown in hydroponics basins
- Grows poorly in gravel
- Supplement food supply alongside other more stable food sources.
- Grow when short on growers or lack enough freezer capacity.
- Hay stacks up to 200, compared to 75 for other raw foods.
- Exceptionally good nutrition output
- Hay has a long shelf life if covered by a roof.
- Can't be sown in hydroponics basins
- Hay is only indirectly edible by humans by making it into kibble. Even then, they won't like it.
- Supplement food for grazing animals when pastures are depleted.
- Make kibble along with unwanted meats like insect or human meats.
- Grows well in gravel
- Potatoes have a slightly shorter shelf life
- Grows poorly in rich soil and hydroponics
- Grow in areas lacking fertile soil such as deserts.
- Grows quickly, so food supply is consistent
- Grows well in rich soil and hydroponics
- Grows poorly in gravel in the long run
- Yields little rice per harvest
- Very labor-intensive
- Start off your food production by growing this first.
- Grow in hydroponics basins for rapid production.
- Berries don't give any negative thoughts when eaten raw
- Inferior nutrition output compared to other crops
- Berries have a short shelf life
- Provide food for caravans taking medium-length trips.
- Grow when short on cooks.
Though plant-based foods can sustain your colonists, you will usually need animal products if you're going to make better meals for your colonists.
There are two kinds of food products that can be yielded from animals: milk and meat.
Meat is butchered from any freshly killed animal. The amount of meat obtained is dependent on each animal, and the butchery efficiency of the cook. In general, better cooks can make more out of each dead animal.
Milk can be obtained from some female tamed animals. It requires handlers to milk them occasionally.
Early-game, you're not going to be able to set up a farm straight away; foraging is your best bet for keeping your colony sustained at this point. Forage for berries and agave, and hunt wild animals.
You can also scavenge kills from predators, if they left anything behind, but be careful not to end us as prey yourself.
Different biomes have different foods available to foraging.
- Temperate forests are good in terms of food; you will have a good number of animals to hunt and berries to forage.
- Boreal forests have troves of raspberries waiting to be harvested and a decent number of animals during summer. Things get tougher during winter when animals leave and plants freeze over, making them inedible.
- Arid shrublands have large numbers of agave plants growing, providing lots of food (though agave fruit doesn't taste good raw), and large animals that yield lots of meat.
- There's little to eat in a desert and even less in an extreme desert. Foraging is not a good choice there.
- Ice sheets yield little food, with a lot of land being unable to grow plants. Hunting is usually the only choice and there's little to hunt.
- There's nothing to see on sea ice.
Between growing enough food to be self-sufficient and taming enough animals to set up a sustainable meat/milk farm, you will most likely have to resort to hunting for meats and leather.
The least efficient way to obtain food, you should only trade for food if you're desperate.
Eating raw food isn't really favorable to your colonists, usually netting them a -7 mood penalty. Besides, cooking food makes it easier to digest, allowing colonists and animals to obtain more nutrition from them.
Rough To-Do List (Temporary)
- Detail the various crop types and what situations they excel/fall behind in
- Detail some of the best options for livestock to rear
- Consider biomes for food foraging
- Risks of hunting
- Advantages and disadvantages of each means of production
- Insect farming and cannibalism