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Used for gathering
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Stockpiles are where colonists store items of various types. Colonists with the corresponding "hauling" job on will seek out items that aren't already on a stockpile that accepts them and carry them to an appropriate stockpile, if available. It's advised to place your stockpiles carefully to minimize the amount of time spent hauling items.
In order to place a stockpile, use the Stockpile Zone button, in the Zone/Area tab of the Architect menu . Next, simply click and drag to draw the area. If the chosen area has parts that cannot be made into a stockpile, like a wall or a workbench, a stockpile will be created but they will not be part of it. Doing the same operation on an already existing stockpile will expand it. When creating a stockpile, any movable items currently occupying the designated tiles will automatically be considered part of the stockpile, even if the stockpile settings disallow those particular items. Removing a stockpile works exactly the same, but with the Delete Zones button. This will erase the specified area.
Once a stockpile has been allocated, colonists with the right job setting will automatically move items to the stockpile when they are available, and as long as the stockpile has available space.
One method to ensure your crafter colonists have raw material on hand is to place a small stockpile next to the workbench. This will speed up production as the crafter only has to take a few steps to obtain the material (this also prevents the crafter from dragging material across the entire map). Whenever a crafter picks up material from the stockpile, your hauling colonists will automatically fetch more material to refill the stockpile. This speeds up a queue of jobs, as other colonists perform the time-consuming distant haul whilst the crafter concentrates on actually making items.