Character Types

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Character Types Colonists Animals Mechanoids Prisoners Raiders Visitors

Throughout your play of Rimworld you will come across several different types of characters. Some of these characters will be friendly such as drifters who just wander through your colony and other hostile, such as the mechanoids, looking to destroy you.

As of version 0.14.1234 (15 July 2016) traders, visitors, raiders, kidnappers, animals, etc. will now escape if surrounded by walls with no way out.
As of version 0.16.1393 (21 December 2016) rescued people (especially space refugees etc.) should sometimes join the colony. If the environment isn't survivable (e.g. bad temperature, toxic fallout) they should always join the colony.


Animals preview.png

Animals are a type of nonplayable, nonhuman pawn in Rimworld with their own needs, stats, capacities, and actions. They come in dozens of species, all of which can be wild or tamed. Wild animals occasionally spawn at the map edges according to the biome and sometimes from random events.

Animals usually wander the map aimlessly and feed when hungry, even eating player-grown plants. Like humans, animals don't require water and generate filth on Rimworld. All animals on RimWorld will fight back if melee combat is initiated. With just a little luck, even a small rat or squirrel can take down and even kill a casually armored colonist. The most dangerous species regularly hunt humans or can immediately turn manhunter out of revenge. Some animals can be trained to Guard your colonists and Attack enemies.

Animals are an important source of food by the meat they provide once hunted and butchered.

Colonists assigned to Handle receive 90 XP towards their Animals skill per training or taming attempt. When tamed "cute" animals nuzzle a colonist, the colonist receives a +3 mood thought for 16 hours. Animals can also form bonds with colonists, providing a permanent +5 thought.

Friendly fire can happen with domesticated animals.


Main Article: Colonists

Colonists preview.png

Colonists are the main protagonists in RimWorld. They are living inhabitants of each RimWorld colony, and the primary goal of the game is for the player to properly manage them. 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.

When managing the colonists, the player must take note of as many of the colonists' attributes as possible. These include, but are not limited to, managing their needs at all times, utilizing their skills to help with their progress throughout the game, increasing their skills, having them research technologies and build anything that helps them the most, and defend themselves against raiders - which include increasing their defenses with each passing moment.

When possible, playing into the strengths of each colonist, as well as their likes, will increase the player's efficiency of advancing through the game.


Main Article: Mechanoids

Mechanoids are robots of all sorts, most commonly encountered as hostiles in ancient shrines and the ancient ship crash event.

Mechanoids - Autonomous intelligent robots built for domestic, industrial or military purposes. Only available to advanced cultures because such complex AI is needed to control them.

Killer machines of unknown origin. Hidden in ancient structures, under mounds of dust, or at the bottom of the ocean, mechanoids can self-maintain for thousands of years. This group of mechs seems to be unified in purpose, but not well-coordinated in action. While local scholars believe they're autonomous weapons left over from an ancient war, tribal legends describe them as the demonic servants of a sleeping god. - Faction description.

In the lore, Mechanoids are autonomous intelligent robots built for a variety of purposes. The technologies required to build them vary based on the complexity of the resultant mechanoid, with Spacer-level[1] urbworlds[2] being able to construct more simple mechanoids for companionship, combat and labor use, while only glitterworlds are capable of constructing the more advanced, quasi-conscious versions.[1] Others still are constructed and utilized by archotechs. [3][4]

In-game, mechanoids can be constructed and controlled with a mechlinkContent added by the Biotech DLC. Otherwise, only combatant mechanoids from a single, somewhat mysterious source are seen. There are some indications that the Mechanoids seen in game may have been built by, or otherwise allied with, an ancient army, perhaps that of the Ancients faction.[5]. Whatever the case however, they have since lost any allegiances they may have had and are now hostile to every other faction.

Defoliator ship parts are usually associated with orbital-drop mechanoid armies.[6]

Insectoid ecosystems were genetically engineered to fight Mechanoid invasions[7] and thus the two factions are always hostile to one another.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Cryptosleep Revival Briefing
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Keuneke
  3. Backstory of Ang 'Codex' Gao
  4. Quest descriptions
  5. Orbital mech cluster targeter description
  6. Ship part (defoliator) description
  7. Megascarab description


Main Article: Prisoners

Prisoner preview.png

Prisoners are people who have been taken captive. This usually includes raiders, but colonists can be imprisoned too.


Raiders layout preview.png

Raiders are essentially the main antagonists of RimWorld. They are predatory enemies who attack in groups when the storyteller's threat cycle is active (or any time, for Randy Random). The group size and strength of a raiding party is determined by 'points', which will be explained in-depth further down this article.


Occasionally an event is triggered that spawns a group visitors from a friendly faction at the edge of the map that comes and mills about the colony. Sometimes one member of the group has items to trade, indicated by a question mark over the pawn. To initiate trade, select a colonist and right-click the trader.
A visiting group's arrival could prove advantageous if the colony is assaulted by a mutual enemy while they are present. See Events - Visitors.

When leaving, visitors will carry away wounded members of their faction.