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Colonists are the living inhabitants of each RimWorld colony. Each colonist has specific skills, positive and negative traits, and a character backstory. In general, every human is a colonist except for raiders/travelers/prisoners. The colonists come in various outfits based on their background, which can be seen by looking at the 'Character' tab in game.


Prisoners are people, usually raiders or hostile tribals, who have been taken captive by a Colonist. They are unable to leave their prison barracks and can only use facilities (such as a food dispenser or equipment rack) on their own if they are placed inside the prison barracks. You should also notice that your colonists won't interact with objects in the prisoner's cell. For example, if you turn a recently-mined-out compacted steel vein into a cell, but there is still some metal on the ground, your colonists won't haul it away.


Raiders are enemies that spawn in groups at semi-regular intervals. Group size, health, skill, and equipment depend on both the set game difficulty and the time already elapsed in the game. Typically on Tough Cassandra Classic only one wounded raider spawns in the first group. The subsequent group has 3-5 raiders, and eventually, there are groups of more than 20 raiders with the lowest health being above 80. Raiders will invoke a message when they spawn, and an alert will come when they begin their assault.

Raiders can enter "steal" mode if they see enough valued objects lying around. In this mode, they will grab your stuff and carry it off.
When they damage your colony enough, they may also be satisfied with the damage done and will decide to leave.

Alternatively, if there are downed colonists within reach, they may try and kidnap them by letting some do the actual kidnapping and some covering them. After one of your colonists has been kidnapped, a ‘ransom demand’ incident can fire, demanding silver for the colonists that has been kidnapped.

If half of the members of a humanlike raid has been killed or downed, the rest will flee in panic, where they will run as fast as they can to the edges of the map, and will not fight back, even if they are attacked.

Pirates or Outlanders can spawn with both ranged or melee weapons, all melee with personal shields, or all ranged.
Tribals usually come in a mix of ranged and melee warriors.

Raiders will attack randomly chosen constructed objects or colonists. They will not attack natural rock walls (not the case for sappers, animals (unless the animals are hostile or tamed) or unpowered turrets. They will also engage prisoners that are from an enemy faction.

Raiders will usually set fire to crops in growing zones, power generation or conduits, walls, nutrient paste dispensers, equipment racks, orbital trade beacons; they will melee-attack lamps, beds, stools, short tables, long tables, and doors; they also use molotovs and frag grenades on turretss, sandbags, or other targets, and some use EMP grenades to stun your turrets.

As of Alpha 15 (August 28st, 2016), raiders steal a bit more often now.


Drifters are people who will randomly spawn on the edges of your map, accompanied by a message describing what their Adulthood Trait is, as well as their name. Their current status is shown as male/female drifter, and shows what equipment they have.


Colonies can trade with other factions by using caravans to buy and sell slaves/prisoners, furniture, gear, pack dromedaries, resources and other valuable items.

The trade interface shows what commodities are available to trade, the colony's stock, the trader's stock, and the prices to buy and sell.

ALL ONE positive = buy
negative = sell
<< < may type # here > >>
  • Prices listed in green are cheap (does not appear with base-game traders), while prices listed in red are expensive.
  • Items that the foreign trader has no interest in are shown grayed out at the bottom of the list; other traders may want them instead.
  • Animals that have been downed (whether due to starvation or injury) are not listed for trade.

Early game

Caravans consist of one or more faction members with most bringing pack animals and tamed animals in tow. Players can either form their own caravan or wait for others to visit their own colony. To trade with a foreign passing caravan, direct a colonist (preferably with high social skill as s/he can get better prices) to speak with the caravan member who has a yellow question mark above the head. Stored items will be eligible to sell and appear in the trade window. Purchased items will be dropped in the location where the trader was standing and will need to be hauled.

As of Alpha 14 (July 15th, 2016), the interface also now lets you type in the number you want to trade instead of dragging to the number.

Later game

Building a comms console and an orbital trade beacon will allow:

  • Satellite calls to request caravans to friendly factions at the costs of 600 silver, which can be reduced to 300 silver if goodwill is above 40.
  • Interaction with vessels flying within range which will stay around for a limited time (a blue notification will appear at the right of your screen to announce the trade ship and its type). After it's done, a simple notice at the top of the screen will prompt when the same vessel leaves comms range and can no longer be traded with. Each trade ship varies in type and which determines its inventory.

To trade, order a colonist to interact with the comms console. Only items located within range of an orbital trade beacon will be eligible for trade. Purchases will be sent via drop pods to a beacon's open-air tiles, drop pods will phase through constructed roofs otherwise. If all beacon tiles are covered, drop pods will land at the nearest eligible tile.

Prisoners can be sold directly from their cell even if not in range of a beacon and tamed animals can be sold from anywhere on the map. The trade value of a prisoner or animal is based on their capabilities, injuries and skills.

Types of Traders

Physical Presence

  • Visitors are small groups that carry all of their goods on their person. They may or may not have items for trade; even if they do, they often have few items and little silver to trade with.
  • Trade caravans are large groups that carry their goods on pack muffalo or dromedaries, depending on climate. They have a moderate amount of items and silver to buy trade with.
  • Orbital traders are traders which have no physical presence. They have large amounts of items and silver to trade with.

Technological Level

  • Neolithic traders are tribal in nature and will be limited to selling neolithic level items.
  • Outlander traders come from other colonies on your rimworld and are not restricted to a specific technology level of items.

While the game does not specify where orbital traders hail from, the technologically advanced nature of items that they carry generally indicates that they are from midworlds, urbworlds or glitterworlds.

Inventory Types

  • Bulk goods traders buy and sell basic materials such as steel, wood, components, gold, textiles, and food.
  • Combat suppliers buy and sell melee weapons, ranged weapons, armor, medicine, and implants.

Outlander or Orbital

  • Exotic goods traders buy and sell artifacts, apparel, non-craftable joy items, furniture, and some other exotic items.
  • Pirate merchants buy and sell slaves, armor, implants, medicine, and rare animals.


  • Slavers are essentially renamed pirate merchants (see above).

Trader Inventories

As of Alpha 15 (August 28st, 2016), traders carry and accept more sensible items for their type.

Orbital Bulk Goods Trader

Orbital bulk goods traders deal in foods, textiles, and materials.

Individual items:

Name Price Min Stock Max Stock Avg Stock
Silver N/A 4000 6000 5000
Component normal 5 30 17.5
Steel cheap 800 1500 1150
Wood cheap 800 1500 1150
Plasteel cheap 300 700 500
Cloth normal 0 600 400
Chocolate random 0 Silver 2000 worth Silver 650 worth
Beer random 0 Silver 2000 worth Silver 650 worth
Medicine expensive 10 30 20

Groups of items:

Group Price Min Stock Max Stock Avg Stock Items
Textiles cheap 1 kind
2200 silver total
2 kinds
4000 silver total
1.5 kinds
3300 silver total
Raw resources cheap 2 kinds
1500 silver total
4 kinds
3000 silver total
3 kinds
2250 silver total
Raw food cheap 2 kinds
1600 silver total
8 kinds
5000 silver total
5 kinds
3300 silver total
Meals cheap 1 kind
500 silver total
2 kinds
1500 silver total
1.5 kinds
1000 silver total
Standard animals random 2 kinds
10 qty total
4 kinds
20 qty total
3 kinds
15 qty total
Template:Trade row/standardanimals

Exotic Goods Trader

Exotic Goods Traders deal in rare and valuable items such as AI Persona Cores, sculptures, televisions, telescopes, apparel, bionic body parts, neurotrainers, some Furniture, gold, uranium, and Glitterworld Medicine. May also carry animals of the wilder variety.

Pirate Merchant

Pirate Merchants deal in slaves/prisoners, weapons, body parts, medicine, and beer. The chance of a trade ship carrying prisoners should go down as colony population goes up.

Combat Supplier

Combat Suppliers deal in weapons, armor, mortar shells, and medicine.


See: Events - Faction Visit

Visitors are friendly faction members that come and mill about the player's colony. Sometimes one of the them has items to trade, indicated by a question mark. Their arrival could prove advantageous if the colony is assaulted by a mutual enemy while they are present. When leaving, visitors will often rescue their own downed pawns.