Learning helper

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Some of the lessons in the Learning Helper. From earlier versions.

Learning helper sits in the top right of the screen. If something happens relating to a concept the player hasn’t learned, that lesson will be activated and shown on the learning helper. It can then be opened and read. Lessons are automatically marked as learned when the player does the necessary interaction, and can be marked as learned manually. Lessons are shown as needed by circumstance, or on a slow timer. The overall idea is that you’ll never be shown a lesson you already know, but always be shown the lessons you need to know now. It can be expanded and searched for any lesson, so you can look up how to do a specific thing at any time.

The learning helper can have custom lessons added by mods.

List of lessons

Name Content Learning opportunity
Alerts The alerts at the right edge of the screen tell you about issue that need your attention.
Keep an eye on the alerts.
Allowed areas Colonists and colony animals can be assigned to ALLOWED AREAS. This forbids them from taking destinations outside their allowed area.
This can be used to, for example, forbid colonists from going outside.
You can create multiple allowed areas and assign them to different colonists and animals.
Create, delete, and assign allowed areas in the RESTRICT tab.
Paint allowed areas onto the map using the EXPAND ALLOWED AREA and CLEAR ALLOWED AREA designators in the Architect tab.
Animals don't attack doors Manhunting animals generally won't attack doors or inactive turrets.
You can escape them by getting inside or behind a wall. But they'll wait for you. [1]
Animal taming You can assign colonists to tame a wild animal with the TAME designator.
Colonists will offer the animal food and attempt to tame it.
Beware: some animals can respond violently to failed taming attempts.
Animal training You can assign a tame animal to be trained in specific skills on its TRAINING tab.
Animals can't be trained continuously; they need time between training sessions.
Bills tab To make colonists work at a table, select the table and open the Bills tab. Here, you can say what meals to cook, what things to craft, what creatures to butcher. ---
Build orbital trade beacon To send items or silver to orbital traders, you must build an ORBITAL TRADE BEACON and place a stockpile of items near it. ---
Camera dolly Move the camera by clicking and dragging the MOUSE BUTTON 3 (middle button) or with the {Key:MapDollyUp}-{Key:MapDollyLeft}-{Key:MapDollyDown}-{Key:MapDollyRight} keys. None
Camera zoom Zoom in and out with the MOUSEWHEEL or the {Key:MapZoomIn} and {Key:MapZoomOut} keys. None
Capturing When an enemy is downed on the ground but not dead, you can CAPTURE them.
To capture, select a colonist, right-click on the incapacitated enemy, and select Capture. You'll need an extra bed marked for prisoner use.
Clicking messages You can click on the notifications in the top-left of the screen to instantly center the camera on their subject. None
Cover and shooting The most important thing to do in ranged combat is to use cover.
Cover only works if your colonist is touching it, and it is between your colonist and the enemy.
You can also place colonists behind wall corners. They will lean out to shoot.
Most things can be used as cover, but some things are better than others. Hiding behind a tree is better than nothing, but hiding behind sandbags is better than using a tree.
Drafting To control colonists directly for combat, Draft them by selecting them and hitting the DRAFT button.
A drafted colonist will do only what you tell them, and can only take combat actions. Those with weapons will use them when possible.
Don't leave colonists Drafted forever - they'll starve and become unhappy.
Door opening speeds Doors open at different speeds depending on what they're made of.
Warning: Stone doors open very slowly. Anyone passing through will be significantly slowed down.
Drug addiction You can inspect your colonists' desire to take a drug in their Needs tab.
As long as their need level is at zero, their addiction changes to a "withdrawal" state which can have various negative side effects.
However, after long enough in withdrawal, their addiction will end and the drug need will disappear.
Drug burning Drugs can be useful, but can also lead to harmful addictions.
If you want to avoid drugs in your colony, you have the option of burning them at a campfire.
Drug policies You can assign colonists to take specific drugs on a specific schedule. For example, you can make them take anti-malaria drugs regularly, or drink a beer a day to stay happy [2].

Open the ASSIGN tab and press the 'Manage drug policies' button. Create a new drug policy. Then, you can assign this policy to colonists.
Colonists can still take drugs not in their policy. You can tell them what to do, but they also follow their own desires!

Equipping weapons Your colonists arrived with some weapons. Equip them!
Select each colonist and right-click on the weapon you want them to equip.
Fire preparation Fires can easily burn down a colony. To defeat them, you must prepare before they happen.

These design elements can help reduce the damage from fires:

  1. Instead of constructing one super-building, build separate buildings with spaces in between.
  2. Use less flammable materials. Wood is cheap and fast - but very flammable.
  3. Build firebreaks to stop wildfires approaching your base. A strip of concrete floor 3 or 4 cells wide will generally stop an advancing fire.
Forbidding Colonists will not interact with items marked FORBIDDEN.
Forbidden items have a small red X attached. Select a forbidden item and use the controls at the bottom to UNFORBID it.
Forbidding doors You can FORBID doors so colonists and tame animals won't go through them.
Note that this isn't a door lock. Doors are always locked, so enemies can't pass freely. Forbidding just directs your colonists not to use the door. Colonists who are going crazy might use the door anyway.
Forming caravans You can form a caravan to send groups of people traveling across the planet!
In the WORLD tab, select your home base and click the "form caravan" button.
Friendly fire safety Friendly fire never occurs if the shooter is close to their ally.
For example, you can safely put a sword-wielding colonist directly in front of a gun-wielding one. The shooter will fire over his friend's shoulder.
This is a good way to combine ranged and melee fighters.
Getting more traders More trader caravans will come to visit you if you're allied with more factions [3].
If you have no allies, no caravans will ever visit!
You can also pay allies to send trade caravans by calling them on the comms console.
Growing zones To grow food, place GROWING ZONES using the Architect menu.
They can only be placed on fertile ground [4].
History tab You can see a record of your colony's fortunes over time in the HISTORY tab at the bottom of the screen. None
Home area The HOME AREA tells your colonists which area to clean and where to extinguish fires.
Define the HOME AREA with the Zones category under the Architect menu.
Hostility response modes You can configure how colonists should automatically respond to threats like predatory animals.
Choose from FLEE, ATTACK, and IGNORE modes in the ASSIGN menu.
Info card The info card shows you detailed statistics about any item, person, or construction.
Select a person or item and open their info card with the 'i' button on the inspect pane.
Interacting with traders You can talk to people with ? over their heads.
Select a colonist and right-click on the character with ? attached to his head.
Item deterioration Items left outdoors will slowly deteriorate.
If you want to store items long-term, keep them under a roof.
Manual work priorities One of the most important parts of RimWorld is choosing good work settings for your colonists.
Poor work settings can leave essential work unfinished for a long time while colonists waste time on unimportant tasks.
To give more control over what work colonists do, you can use the Manual Priorities mode in the WORK tab.
In this mode, each colonist has a priority number for each work type. Colonists will do priority 1 work from left to right, then priority 2 work from left to right, and so on.
Intelligent use of these setting is essential for a large, well-automated colony.
Medical operations To assign a medical operation, like organ harvesting or prosthetics installation, open a colonist's HEALTH tab, then switch to the OPERATIONS sub-tab. None
Mining You can designate where to mine by opening the ARCHITECT menu and selecting the ORDERS tab.
Some mineable blocks yield STEEL, GOLD, PLASTEEL, and other useful materials.
Outfits Colonists will automatically try to wear the newest, highest-quality apparel they can.
You don't need to manually assign each piece of apparel to colonists (though you can, if you wish).
To assign colonists restrictions on how to dress, open the ASSIGN tab, use the "Manage outfits" dialog box to design a new outfit, and then assign the outfit to colonists.
Pausing Hit {Key:TogglePause} to pause or unpause the game.
You can give orders while paused.
Remember this - if things get hectic, just hit {Key:TogglePause}!
Reforming caravans After an encounter, you can easily re-form a caravan by using the RE-FORM CARAVAN command in the World view. ---
Rescuing To rescue a wounded person, select a healthy colonist and the right-click on the wounded one.
If you rescue a non-colonist, they won't necessarily join your colony. They may simply walk away after healing. If you want to guarantee that they join, capture them and recruit them.
Room stats inspector You can inspect the impressiveness, wealth, and beauty of individual rooms using the ROOM STATS INSPECT toggle in the bottom right. ---
Set what plant to grow You can set what to plant in a growing zone. You can even grow trees!
Just select the growing zone, open the Growing tab, and click the 'plant' button.
Shield belts Shield belts stop ranged attacks from coming in or out. They have no effect on melee attacks.
To fight against shield belts, either concentrate a lot of gunfire on the target, or fight hand-to-hand.
Shot accuracy tooltip You can see the exact calculations behind the accuracy of any shot.
To do so, select the shooter, then rest the mouse over the target. The tooltip will show the chance to hit, and a breakdown of the contribution of various to-hit chance multipliers.
Spoilage and freezers Most foodstuffs will spoil after a relatively short time.
To prevent this, you can build a walk-in freezer.
To build a freezer, construct a closed room, and put one or two coolers into the wall. Set the coolers to a negative target temperature [5].
Frozen foods won't ever spoil.
Storage tab You can configure stockpiles and storage buildings by selecting them and opening the STORAGE TAB above the bottom-left inspector pane.
In the storage tab of a stockpile, you can expand categories to allow or deny specific items. Click the triangles to the left of category names.
You can change the PRIORITY of storage. Colonists will fill higher-priority storage first, and move items from lower to higher priority.
Time assignments You can modify what time of day colonists should do different activities using the RESTRICT tab. None
Time control You can speed up time.
Try controlling time with the {Key:TimeSpeedNormal}, {Key:TimeSpeedFast}, and {Key:TimeSpeedSuperfast} keys, or with the time controls in the bottom right.
TV for sick people Sick people can watch TV while laying in bed. ---
Using the comms console To communicate, select a colonist and right-click on the comms console. ---
Work settings You can set each colonist's work settings in the WORK tab at the bottom left of the screen.
They will always do the highest priority work that they can find.
If nobody has a certain work type assigned, or if they are busy with higher-priority tasks, it will never get done.

World view camera movement Zoom with the MOUSE WHEEL or <Zoom in key> and <Zoom out key> keys. Pan with the {Key:MapDollyUp}-{Key:MapDollyLeft}-{Key:MapDollyDown}-{Key:MapDollyRight} keys, or by MIDDLE-CLICKING and DRAGGING. At start
  1. They will attack doors if they see a colonist go behind it to hide.
  2. Not recommended as colonists drinking a beer every day will quickly get addicted and suffer from various alcohol-related ailments.
  3. This refers to neutral or above relations with factions.
  4. 'Fertile' refers to any terrain type that can support growth of crops.
  5. Below 0°C or 32°F.