Difference between revisions of "Food production"

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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.
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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.
  
 
== Farming ==
 
== Farming ==
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=== Crops ===
 
=== Crops ===
 
RimWorld has five main crop types: [[corn plant|corn]], [[haygrass]], [[potato plant|potatoes]], [[rice plant|rice]], and [[strawberry plant|strawberries]]. Each plant in turn has their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, making them all distinguishable from one another.
 
RimWorld has five main crop types: [[corn plant|corn]], [[haygrass]], [[potato plant|potatoes]], [[rice plant|rice]], and [[strawberry plant|strawberries]]. Each plant in turn has their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, making them all distinguishable from one another.
 +
 +
If everything goes perfectly, a 7x7 field of rice on normal soil with a year-round growing season should produce just enough food for a single pawn. But if you gain more colonists or animals to feed, or if farming is hindered by misfortune or enemy action, planning ahead and planting extra can ensure your colony has enough food to eat.
  
 
Each crop will be roughly summarized here, but each crops' own pages will go into more detail on that particular crop:
 
Each crop will be roughly summarized here, but each crops' own pages will go into more detail on that particular crop:
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==== Corn ====
 
==== Corn ====
[[File:CornPlant.png]]
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[[File:Corn plant.png]]
  
 
'''Advantages:'''
 
'''Advantages:'''
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'''Advantages:'''
 
'''Advantages:'''
 
* [[Hay]] stacks up to 200, compared to 75 for other raw foods.
 
* [[Hay]] stacks up to 200, compared to 75 for other raw foods.
* Exceptionally good nutrition output
+
* Exceptionally good nutrition output.
* Hay has a long shelf life if covered by a roof.
+
* Long shelf life.
  
 
'''Disadvantages:'''
 
'''Disadvantages:'''
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==== Potatoes ====
 
==== Potatoes ====
[[File:Potato_plant.png]]
+
[[File:Potato plant.png]]
  
 
'''Advantages:'''
 
'''Advantages:'''
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==== Rice ====
 
==== Rice ====
[[File:RicePlant.png]]
+
[[File:Rice plant.png]]
  
 
'''Advantages:'''
 
'''Advantages:'''
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====Strawberries====
 
====Strawberries====
[[File:StrawberryPlant.png]]
+
[[File:Strawberry plant.png]]
  
 
'''Advantages:'''
 
'''Advantages:'''
 
* [[Berries]] don't give any negative thoughts when eaten raw
 
* [[Berries]] don't give any negative thoughts when eaten raw
 +
* Longer shelf life compared to cooked meals
  
 
'''Disadvantages:'''
 
'''Disadvantages:'''
 
* Inferior nutrition output compared to other crops
 
* Inferior nutrition output compared to other crops
* Berries have a short shelf life
+
* Shorter shelf life compare to other raw crops
  
 
'''Usage:'''
 
'''Usage:'''
 
* Provide food for caravans taking medium-length trips.
 
* Provide food for caravans taking medium-length trips.
 
* Grow when short on cooks.
 
* Grow when short on cooks.
 +
 +
=== Security ===
 +
Walls can protect your crops from hungry wildlife or arsonist raiders. They also prevent the spread of blight between fields, minimizing your losses from this event.
 +
 +
Fire can also be a problem, particularly in heavily wooded biomes such as boreal forests or tropical swamps. A roof 4 tiles or wider all around your crop fields can prevent the spread of fire, even if it is supported by stone pillars rather than a completely built wall. More well established colonies could also add firefoam poppers.
 +
 +
=== Greenhouses ===
 +
Most biomes have soil you can use to plant crops, even if they are too cold to have a growing season. Placing a sun lamp on dirt and enclosing it with walls and a roof can help you produce a reliable food supply. This also offers more crop varieties than hydroponics and is less vulnerable to power outages.
 +
 +
Even in a biome with permanent summer, setting up a greenhouse in advance can ensure you are prepared in case of a long toxic fallout that prevents you from growing vegetables in the open air.
 +
 +
If you have both winter and summer, removing the roof of your greenhouse during the growing season can conserve power. Be sure to turn your sunlamps off before doing so.
  
 
== Animal products ==
 
== Animal products ==
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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.
 
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.  
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There are three kinds of food products that can be yielded from animals: milk, meat and eggs.  
  
 
----
 
----
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[[File:Milk.png]]
 
[[File:Milk.png]]
  
Milk can be obtained from some female tamed animals. It requires handlers to milk them occasionally.
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Milk can be obtained from some female tamed animals: cows, elk, caribou, muffalo and dromedaries. It requires handlers to milk them. Cows produce 15 milk every day. Other animals produce 12 milk once every 2 days, except dromedaries who produce 10.
 +
 
 +
=== [[Eggs]] ===
 +
 
 +
[[File:Eggs.png]]
 +
 
 +
Eggs are produced most efficiently by [[chicken|chickens]]. They can also be obtained from a cassowary, cobra, emu, iguana, ostrich, tortoise or turkey.
 +
 
 +
Simple, fine and lavish meals can all use eggs as an ingredient. They can be eaten raw by humanlikes (with the "raw food" mood debuff) and by animals which are [[ovivore|ovivores]].
  
 
=== Livestock rearing ===
 
=== Livestock rearing ===
  
Rearing livestock is a good choice for constantly providing these animal products for use. Milk in particular can only be obtained by milking livestock, outside of trading.
+
Rearing livestock is a good choice for constantly providing these animal products for use. Milk and eggs in particular can only be obtained by milking livestock, outside of trading.
  
 
There are two factors you will want to consider for livestock (solely for food production): nutrition efficiency and production rate.
 
There are two factors you will want to consider for livestock (solely for food production): nutrition efficiency and production rate.
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==== [[Biomes]] ====
 
==== [[Biomes]] ====
  
Different biomes have different foods available to foraging.
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Different biomes have different foods available to forage.
  
 
*Temperate forests are good in terms of food; you will have a good number of animals to hunt and berries to forage.
 
*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 (though that doesn't stop you from harvesting berries).
+
*Boreal forests have troves of raspberries waiting to be harvested and a decent number of animals during summer. Things get tougher during winter when plants freeze over, making them inedible. However, berries that ripened during the summer can still be harvested for a short time after the plants have turned brown and wilted. Hunting will sustain you at first, but in the coldest weeks of winter, the animals leave as well.
*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.
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*Arid shrublands have large numbers of agave plants growing, providing lots of food, though agave can't be eaten raw like berries. Large animals yield lots of meat, though many are tough or aggressive.
 +
*Swampy biomes all have berries and lush tree and plant coverage. This is great for foraging.
 
*There's little to eat in a desert and even less in an extreme desert. Foraging is not a good choice there.
 
*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.
+
*Tundra has very few trees and even fewer berries. Migrating herds of animals may pass by, but you will need to shoot them quickly to collect any food.
 +
*Ice sheets do not have plants. Hunting is the only choice, and there's little to hunt.  
 
*There's nothing to see on sea ice.
 
*There's nothing to see on sea ice.
 
If you're lucky a herd of migrating animals will pass by, regardless of biome, providing valuable food especially in food deficient areas.
 
  
 
=== Hunting ===
 
=== Hunting ===
  
 
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.
 
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.
 +
 +
Only colonists equipped with a ranged weapon will hunt. If the hunter has a bolt-action rifle or similar long-range weapon, hunting them from the weapon's maximum distance minimizes the animal's chance of seeking revenge when harmed. Colonists assigned to hunt will do this automatically. Each animal's revenge chance is listed on its Info screen. The more shots the hunter has to take to down the animal, the more possibilities that it will seek revenge.
 +
 +
The best options to hunt are the 0% revenge chance animals such as deer, gazelle, alpaca and dromedary. If a more aggressive animal has an injury or health condition which weakens its movement, it may be an acceptable risk for a less skilled hunter. An animal that is a member of a herd might turn manhunter by itself, or its entire herd may seek revenge along with it. So before designating an animal to hunt, it's worth asking, "would I rather have my best shooter get chased by a single murderous grizzly, or 17 vengeful caribou?"
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If a hunter has high skill and a good quality weapon, they may be able to down even a tough animals in just a few shots. A hunter will automatically carry the corpse of their prey back to the best available stockpile, even if the colonist is incapable of hauling.
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 +
Any animal that is designated to be hunted will be un-forbidden if it dies. Otherwise, animal corpses are forbidden by default.
 +
 +
It is a bad idea to send your colonists to hunt with an incendiary weapon.
  
 
=== Trade ===
 
=== Trade ===
  
The least efficient way to obtain food, you should only trade for food if you're desperate.
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Trading gives lots of food instantly without much work from your colonists, but is more expensive marketwise than growing your own food.
 +
 
 +
For colonies growing lots of food crops, trade can help obtain animal products such as meat in bulk for cooking quality meals in exchange for crop produce which is often in excess.
  
 
== Processing food ==
 
== Processing food ==
  
 
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.
 
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.
 
 
Raw food can be made into several varieties of cooked meals or processed foods.
 
Raw food can be made into several varieties of cooked meals or processed foods.
  
=== Simple meal ===
 
 
As its name goes, it is a simple meal made from any ingredients.
 
 
It provides 0.85 nutrition from 0.5 worth of ingredients, giving 170% efficiency.
 
  
=== Fine meal ===
+
There are a few common considerations when picking the meal(s) to produce:
 +
* *Work Efficiency* How much work each full unit of 1 Nutrition takes; relevant if cooking time is limited
 +
* *Nutrient Efficiency* How much output nutrients can be obtained from input raw nutrients; relevant if food sources are limited
 +
* *Spoil Time* How long food lasts if not frozen. Especially relevant for low tech situations, hot climates and caravans
 +
* *Storage Efficiency* How many nutrients fit into one stack, useful if [[Temperature#Freezer|freezer]] space is limited. However non- and slow-spoiling food does not need Freezer space to begin with.
 +
* *Weight Efficiency* How much it weights/nutrients, relevant for Caravans
 +
* *Mood Effects* Food can change the mood of Humanoids dependent on the food given
  
A better meal that requires a mixture of animal and plant ingredients and some skill to make.
+
{| class="wikitable sortable"
 +
|-
 +
! Meal Name
 +
! data-sort-type="number" | Work Inefficiency (Work/1 Nutrition)
 +
! data-sort-type="number" | Nutrient output (Nutrition out)
 +
! data-sort-type="number" | Raw Nutrients (Nutrition in)
 +
! data-sort-type="number" | Nutrient Efficiency (Nutrition out/Nutrition in)
 +
! data-sort-type="number" | Units/Full Stack
 +
! data-sort-type="number" | Storage Efficiency (Nutrition/Tile)
 +
! data-sort-type="number" | Weight/Unit
 +
! data-sort-type="number" | Weight Efficiency (Nutrition/Kg)
 +
! Others
 +
|-
 +
| Simple Meal || 5.5 c. || 0.9 || 0.5 || 180% || 10 || 9 || 0.44 || 2.045 c. ||
 +
* Trivial Production
 +
* Can be made at Campfire
 +
* Short Spoil Time (4 days)
 +
* High Work Efficiency
 +
|-
 +
| Fine Meal || 8.8 c. || 0.9 || 0.5 || 180% || 10 || 9 || 0.44 || 2.045 c. ||
 +
* Slight Upgrade of Simple Meal (+5 Mood)
 +
* Needs 2 kinds of Resources (one Vegetarian)
 +
|-
 +
| Lavish Meal || 14 || 1 || 1 || 100% || 10 || 10 || 0.44 || 2.27 c. ||
 +
* Slightly better Storage/Weight Efficiency and Mood at worse Nutrient and Work Efficiency
 +
|-
 +
| Pemmican || 15 || 0.8 (0.05) || 0.5 || 160% || 75 || 3.75 || 0.02 || 2.5 ||
 +
* Yields 16 Units per cooking action (per unit value in Brackets)
 +
* Can be made at Campfire
 +
* Very long Spoil time at low tech, making Freezing largely unnecessary
 +
* Needs 2 kinds of Resources (Meat and Vegetarian)
 +
* Abysmal Storage but good Weight Efficiency
 +
|-
 +
| Packaged Survival Meal || 8.8 c. || 0.9 || 0.6 || 150% || 10 || 9 || 0.30 || 3 ||
 +
* Does not Spoil
 +
* Best Weight Efficiency at slightly worse Nutrient and Work efficiency
 +
* Needs 2 kinds of Resources (one Vegetarian), pawn skilled at Cooking, and Stove but have simple taste (no Mood boost)
 +
|-
 +
| Nutrient Paste || 0 || 0.9 || 0.3 || 300% || 10 || 9 || 0.44 || 2.04 ||
 +
* Counts as Awful Meal
 +
* Does not cause Food Poisoning
 +
* No work required
 +
* Extremely high Nutrient Efficiency
 +
* Not intended for Storage/taking along
 +
* Produced on demand from a Nutrient Paste Dispenser, making it unsuitable for animal feed and vulnerable to energy outages and "Zzztt..." events
 +
|-
 +
| Kibble || 2 || 2.5 (0.05) || 2 || 125% || 75 || 3.75 || 0.02 || 2.5 ||
 +
* Does not spoil
 +
* Yields 50 Units per cooking action (per unit value in Brackets)
 +
* Needs 2 Ingredients (any 2 different)
 +
* Edible by most animals and humans (with a mood penalty)
 +
|-
 +
|}
  
It is more efficient than the simple meals, providing 0.9 rather than 0.85 from the same amount of ingredients, at an efficiency of 180%. It also provides colonists with a mood buff.
+
Do note that pawns will eat before their hunger reaches 0% or even 10%. That means that a relevant part of the nutrients/meal will be lost. Foodstuff that comes in discrete units of 5% each, can thus be more effective then the raw numbers might indicate.
  
=== Lavish meal ===
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== Food usage guide ==
  
The best tier of meal available, it provides a significant mood bonus at a cost.
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=== Colony meals ===
  
It provides 1 nutrition from 1 worth of ingredients at 100% efficiency, making it less efficient than preparing other meals, so this should be done if you have excess materials.
+
* '''Simple meals''' are usually the first stop. They can be made from everything humans can eat raw. They do, however, spoil almost as quickly as raw ingredients. Setting your work bill to make 3-4 meals per day per colonist should help avoid both spoilage and hunger.
 +
* Consider an upgrade to '''Fine meals''' as soon as possible, if the worktime (+60% over Simple Meals) is available. It offers a small mood bonus, and requires meat, milk or eggs in addition to vegetables.
 +
* '''Lavish Meals''' should only be undertaken after careful consideration. While they offer a substantial mood bonus and are very satisfying, they have a very poor nutrient and work efficiency. They are a good investment for an established colony with "High expectations" in order to keep colonists' moods stable. If food sources get scarce, downgrade to Fine Meals or Simple Meals.
 +
* If no refrigeration is possible, '''Pemmican''' can be used. It is less efficient to produce than most meal types. However, pawns will only consume it when they are hungry and will eat exactly as much as they need, which minimizes waste. It is an excellent choice for caravans due to its long shelf life, and is slightly more efficient to make than packaged survival meals.
 +
* If space, food sources, cooking time or even cooking skill are at a premium, '''Nutrient Paste''' can be used. However, the negative mood effect can offset its convenience. The [[nutrient paste dispenser]] also requires electricity, so at least some reserves of other food should be prepared in case of power outage.
 +
* In a biome with winter, stockpiling food to last until the next growing season must be done every year until the colony has enough dirt-floor greenhouses or hydroponics to feed its entire population. A proper winter at sub-zero temperatures can make food storage much easier, however. A vent in the wall of a food storage area can keep food freezing without needing to use any electricity.
 +
* After the first year, it is always a good idea to have a forbidden stockpile of packaged survival meals. In case of long-lasting toxic fallout or a disaster that destroys the colony's main refrigerator, greenhouses etc, this backup food will keep colonists fed while they rebuild.
  
=== Nutrient paste meal ===
+
=== Fodder (Herbivore) ===
  
An extremely efficient way to make meals out of any raw ingredients.
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* '''Grazing''' is the option picked by most Herbivores by default. They will simply eat wild plants within the allowed area. As long as it is not off-season or there is a truly large amount of animals, most maps can sustain Herbivores with ease. Automatically done in caravans if possible.
 +
** Animals can also eat raw plants from your crop fields. This however is extremely ineffective as the plants themselves yield a whole lot less than harvesting them.
 +
* '''Kibble''' allows Herbivores to eat nutrient sources not normally part of their diet. In particular, excess meat (especially Human/Insect meat) and animal products can be turned into animal feed. The only real advantage towards meals is that it last forever, can be made with Hay and has a stellar work efficiency.
 +
* '''Simple Meals''' and '''Pemmican''' may sound odd, but are a viable option if it is nutrition - rather then worktime - efficiency you are after. They do give the same option to mask the use of Flesh. They also do not need management of pops actually working the butchers table.
 +
* '''Hay''' has same nutrition per Unit as Kibble and most Vegetables but is more then twice as Weight and Storage efficient and it grows rapidly. Use it to supplement herbivore food when the map is not supplying enough grass to feed everyone, during winter or on caravans.
  
It provides 0.9 nutrition out of only 0.3 worth of ingredients, giving a massive 300% efficiency rating, but colonists generally dislike eating nutrient paste, so leave nutrient paste for food shortages.
+
=== Fodder (Carnivore) ===
  
=== Pemmican ===
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* Most carnivores by nature can eat '''raw corpse'''s. While doing so provides Nutrition, it removes bodyparts and thus meat yield from Butchering.
 +
** This is a good way to get rid of corpses without butchering, especially human corpses left behind after raids- butchering these leaves a mood debuff.
 +
* '''Raw meat''' is another natural Option. Butchering may not yield a higher effective Nutrition than eating the corpses, especially when done by inept cooks.
 +
* Simple meals and pemmican are an option as they are with herbivores.
 +
* '''Kibble''' is slightly more interesting for carnivores. It allows the use of vegetables - including the very effective Hay - for feeding them.
  
A mixture of animal and plant ingredients makes this long-lasting food.
+
== Caravan Food ==
  
It provides 0.8 nutrition from 0.5 worth of ingredients for a lackluster 160% efficiency. Its advantage lies in its long shelf life allowing it to be stored for long periods without using freezers, making it perfect for tribal starts or caravans.
+
When sending out a Caravan, spoil time and weight are of the utmost importance. Easily spoiled foodstuffs (most meals, raw meat) is utterly unsuitable for anything but short distances. Be warned that time until rotting is affected by ambient temperatures during the travel.
  
=== Packaged survival meal ===
+
* Weight efficiency is almost completely uniform, with all produced food offering about the same 2.0-2.5 Nutrition/kg and raw food being equally uniform
 +
* '''Raw vegetables''' have a surprisingly long shelf life so they should not be underestimated if the mood penalty for Raw Food can be taken
 +
* '''Pemmican''' is a natural Solution for Caravans. It offers very good spoil time at acceptable weight and Nutrient efficiency. It's biggest downside is the poor work efficiency.
 +
* '''Packaged survival meals''' last indefinitely and count like simple meals, but have hands down the worst work efficiency and even worse Nutrient efficiency then raw food.
 +
* '''Grazing''' once again, Herbivores can Graze. However this option is dependent on the Tile and Season so it can change during Travel.
 +
* If no Grazing is possible, '''Hay''' is somewhat preferable over Kibble for Herbivores, if you can gather enough of it.
 +
* '''Kibble''' is useful for feeding carnivores and even Herbivores during really long stretches of non-grazing world tiles.
 +
* '''Chocolate''' or '''insect jelly''' can fulfill the recreation needs of pawns on a caravan and help prevent mental breaks. However, neither has enough nutrition on its own to replace meals.
  
A packaged and sealed meal that never goes bad.
+
== Storage ==
 +
''See also [[Cooler]] and [[Temperature#Cooler]]''
  
It provides only 0.9 nutrition from 1 worth of ingredients, making it the least efficient with only 90%; nutritionwise it is even more efficient to directly eat the raw ingredients.
+
Food can be stored in a walk-in freezer. Colonists will automatically harvest mature crops and bring the produce to the appropriate storage. Set the priority of the stockpile in the freezer higher so colonists will haul food to the freezer instead of anywhere else.
  
While it gives a mood boost similar to that of fine meals, its poor efficiency makes it only suited for caravans going extremely long distances beyond the shelf life of pemmican.
+
Keep in mind that some foods are less, or not, temperature sensitive. Corn, [[Pemmican]], and to a lesser extent, Eggs can be kept at room temperatures much longer than most foods, and [[Packaged survival meal]]s need not be refrigerated at all.
  
== Rough To-Do List (Temporary) ==
+
== To-Do List ==
  
* Detail the various crop types and what situations they excel/fall behind in
 
 
* Detail some of the best options for livestock to rear
 
* Detail some of the best options for livestock to rear
 
* Consider biomes for food foraging
 
* Consider biomes for food foraging
Line 224: Line 332:
  
 
To ensure that no information added is outdated, data could be extracted from the following spreadsheets:<br>
 
To ensure that no information added is outdated, data could be extracted from the following spreadsheets:<br>
Animals[https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Tjsa_Rw_sDz0IOsFY5WMZ_DAs_sx0iAVS0EfgNOU3Ns/edit#gid=0]<br>
+
Animals [https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Tjsa_Rw_sDz0IOsFY5WMZ_DAs_sx0iAVS0EfgNOU3Ns/edit#gid=0]<br>
Plants[https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VnLHxjYRPSBY_24kOhRq7snnR16QNVn9bLLmTzzxqNU/edit#gid=0]
+
Plants [https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VnLHxjYRPSBY_24kOhRq7snnR16QNVn9bLLmTzzxqNU/edit#gid=0]
  
 
{{nav/guides}}
 
{{nav/guides}}
[[Category:Gameplay]]
+
[[Category:Game mechanics]]

Latest revision as of 14:24, 24 August 2020

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.

Farming

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.

Crops

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.

If everything goes perfectly, a 7x7 field of rice on normal soil with a year-round growing season should produce just enough food for a single pawn. But if you gain more colonists or animals to feed, or if farming is hindered by misfortune or enemy action, planning ahead and planting extra can ensure your colony has enough food to eat.

Each crop will be roughly summarized here, but each crops' own pages will go into more detail on that particular crop:


Corn

Corn plant.png

Advantages:

  • 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

Disadvantages:

  • 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

Usage:

  • Supplement food supply alongside other more stable food sources.
  • Grow when short on growers or lack enough freezer capacity.

Haygrass

Haygrass.png

Advantages:

  • Hay stacks up to 200, compared to 75 for other raw foods.
  • Exceptionally good nutrition output.
  • Long shelf life.

Disadvantages:

  • 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.

Usage:

  • Supplement food for grazing animals when pastures are depleted.
  • Make kibble along with unwanted meats like insect or human meats.

Potatoes

Potato plant.png

Advantages:

  • Grows well in gravel

Disadvantages:

  • Potatoes have a slightly shorter shelf life
  • Grows poorly in rich soil and hydroponics

Usage:

  • Grow in areas lacking fertile soil such as deserts.

Rice

Rice plant.png

Advantages:

  • Grows quickly, so food supply is consistent
  • Grows well in rich soil and hydroponics

Disadvantages:

  • Grows poorly in gravel
  • Yields little rice per harvest
  • Very labor-intensive

Usage:

  • Start off your food production by growing this first.
  • Grow in hydroponics basins for rapid production.

Strawberries

Strawberry plant.png

Advantages:

  • Berries don't give any negative thoughts when eaten raw
  • Longer shelf life compared to cooked meals

Disadvantages:

  • Inferior nutrition output compared to other crops
  • Shorter shelf life compare to other raw crops

Usage:

  • Provide food for caravans taking medium-length trips.
  • Grow when short on cooks.

Security

Walls can protect your crops from hungry wildlife or arsonist raiders. They also prevent the spread of blight between fields, minimizing your losses from this event.

Fire can also be a problem, particularly in heavily wooded biomes such as boreal forests or tropical swamps. A roof 4 tiles or wider all around your crop fields can prevent the spread of fire, even if it is supported by stone pillars rather than a completely built wall. More well established colonies could also add firefoam poppers.

Greenhouses

Most biomes have soil you can use to plant crops, even if they are too cold to have a growing season. Placing a sun lamp on dirt and enclosing it with walls and a roof can help you produce a reliable food supply. This also offers more crop varieties than hydroponics and is less vulnerable to power outages.

Even in a biome with permanent summer, setting up a greenhouse in advance can ensure you are prepared in case of a long toxic fallout that prevents you from growing vegetables in the open air.

If you have both winter and summer, removing the roof of your greenhouse during the growing season can conserve power. Be sure to turn your sunlamps off before doing so.

Animal products

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 three kinds of food products that can be yielded from animals: milk, meat and eggs.


Meat

MeatBig cropped.png

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

Milk.png

Milk can be obtained from some female tamed animals: cows, elk, caribou, muffalo and dromedaries. It requires handlers to milk them. Cows produce 15 milk every day. Other animals produce 12 milk once every 2 days, except dromedaries who produce 10.

Eggs

Eggs.png

Eggs are produced most efficiently by chickens. They can also be obtained from a cassowary, cobra, emu, iguana, ostrich, tortoise or turkey.

Simple, fine and lavish meals can all use eggs as an ingredient. They can be eaten raw by humanlikes (with the "raw food" mood debuff) and by animals which are ovivores.

Livestock rearing

Rearing livestock is a good choice for constantly providing these animal products for use. Milk and eggs in particular can only be obtained by milking livestock, outside of trading.

There are two factors you will want to consider for livestock (solely for food production): nutrition efficiency and production rate.

Nutrition efficiency

This refers to how effectively the animal converts nutrition consumed to nutrition produced (either by milking or butchering). The grass on the map contains plenty of nutrition which in inaccessible to colonists, and requires you convert them to meat or milk before being consumable by colonists.

For meat:

  • Megaspiders have the highest efficiency of all animals with 0.716 nutrition generated per unit input. However, colonists don't like insect meat, and megaspiders can't be farmed.
  • Foxes have the highest efficiency for regular meat with 0.561. They need to eat meat, thus there is significantly less food available.
  • Pigs or wild boars have the highest efficiency for herbivores with 0.246.

Production rate

This is pretty straightforward. It is affected by the reproduction and growth rate of meat-producing animals.

Other methods

Foraging

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 up as prey yourself.

Biomes

Different biomes have different foods available to forage.

  • 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 plants freeze over, making them inedible. However, berries that ripened during the summer can still be harvested for a short time after the plants have turned brown and wilted. Hunting will sustain you at first, but in the coldest weeks of winter, the animals leave as well.
  • Arid shrublands have large numbers of agave plants growing, providing lots of food, though agave can't be eaten raw like berries. Large animals yield lots of meat, though many are tough or aggressive.
  • Swampy biomes all have berries and lush tree and plant coverage. This is great for foraging.
  • There's little to eat in a desert and even less in an extreme desert. Foraging is not a good choice there.
  • Tundra has very few trees and even fewer berries. Migrating herds of animals may pass by, but you will need to shoot them quickly to collect any food.
  • Ice sheets do not have plants. Hunting is the only choice, and there's little to hunt.
  • There's nothing to see on sea ice.

Hunting

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.

Only colonists equipped with a ranged weapon will hunt. If the hunter has a bolt-action rifle or similar long-range weapon, hunting them from the weapon's maximum distance minimizes the animal's chance of seeking revenge when harmed. Colonists assigned to hunt will do this automatically. Each animal's revenge chance is listed on its Info screen. The more shots the hunter has to take to down the animal, the more possibilities that it will seek revenge.

The best options to hunt are the 0% revenge chance animals such as deer, gazelle, alpaca and dromedary. If a more aggressive animal has an injury or health condition which weakens its movement, it may be an acceptable risk for a less skilled hunter. An animal that is a member of a herd might turn manhunter by itself, or its entire herd may seek revenge along with it. So before designating an animal to hunt, it's worth asking, "would I rather have my best shooter get chased by a single murderous grizzly, or 17 vengeful caribou?"

If a hunter has high skill and a good quality weapon, they may be able to down even a tough animals in just a few shots. A hunter will automatically carry the corpse of their prey back to the best available stockpile, even if the colonist is incapable of hauling.

Any animal that is designated to be hunted will be un-forbidden if it dies. Otherwise, animal corpses are forbidden by default.

It is a bad idea to send your colonists to hunt with an incendiary weapon.

Trade

Trading gives lots of food instantly without much work from your colonists, but is more expensive marketwise than growing your own food.

For colonies growing lots of food crops, trade can help obtain animal products such as meat in bulk for cooking quality meals in exchange for crop produce which is often in excess.

Processing food

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. Raw food can be made into several varieties of cooked meals or processed foods.


There are a few common considerations when picking the meal(s) to produce:

  • *Work Efficiency* How much work each full unit of 1 Nutrition takes; relevant if cooking time is limited
  • *Nutrient Efficiency* How much output nutrients can be obtained from input raw nutrients; relevant if food sources are limited
  • *Spoil Time* How long food lasts if not frozen. Especially relevant for low tech situations, hot climates and caravans
  • *Storage Efficiency* How many nutrients fit into one stack, useful if freezer space is limited. However non- and slow-spoiling food does not need Freezer space to begin with.
  • *Weight Efficiency* How much it weights/nutrients, relevant for Caravans
  • *Mood Effects* Food can change the mood of Humanoids dependent on the food given
Meal Name Work Inefficiency (Work/1 Nutrition) Nutrient output (Nutrition out) Raw Nutrients (Nutrition in) Nutrient Efficiency (Nutrition out/Nutrition in) Units/Full Stack Storage Efficiency (Nutrition/Tile) Weight/Unit Weight Efficiency (Nutrition/Kg) Others
Simple Meal 5.5 c. 0.9 0.5 180% 10 9 0.44 2.045 c.
  • Trivial Production
  • Can be made at Campfire
  • Short Spoil Time (4 days)
  • High Work Efficiency
Fine Meal 8.8 c. 0.9 0.5 180% 10 9 0.44 2.045 c.
  • Slight Upgrade of Simple Meal (+5 Mood)
  • Needs 2 kinds of Resources (one Vegetarian)
Lavish Meal 14 1 1 100% 10 10 0.44 2.27 c.
  • Slightly better Storage/Weight Efficiency and Mood at worse Nutrient and Work Efficiency
Pemmican 15 0.8 (0.05) 0.5 160% 75 3.75 0.02 2.5
  • Yields 16 Units per cooking action (per unit value in Brackets)
  • Can be made at Campfire
  • Very long Spoil time at low tech, making Freezing largely unnecessary
  • Needs 2 kinds of Resources (Meat and Vegetarian)
  • Abysmal Storage but good Weight Efficiency
Packaged Survival Meal 8.8 c. 0.9 0.6 150% 10 9 0.30 3
  • Does not Spoil
  • Best Weight Efficiency at slightly worse Nutrient and Work efficiency
  • Needs 2 kinds of Resources (one Vegetarian), pawn skilled at Cooking, and Stove but have simple taste (no Mood boost)
Nutrient Paste 0 0.9 0.3 300% 10 9 0.44 2.04
  • Counts as Awful Meal
  • Does not cause Food Poisoning
  • No work required
  • Extremely high Nutrient Efficiency
  • Not intended for Storage/taking along
  • Produced on demand from a Nutrient Paste Dispenser, making it unsuitable for animal feed and vulnerable to energy outages and "Zzztt..." events
Kibble 2 2.5 (0.05) 2 125% 75 3.75 0.02 2.5
  • Does not spoil
  • Yields 50 Units per cooking action (per unit value in Brackets)
  • Needs 2 Ingredients (any 2 different)
  • Edible by most animals and humans (with a mood penalty)

Do note that pawns will eat before their hunger reaches 0% or even 10%. That means that a relevant part of the nutrients/meal will be lost. Foodstuff that comes in discrete units of 5% each, can thus be more effective then the raw numbers might indicate.

Food usage guide

Colony meals

  • Simple meals are usually the first stop. They can be made from everything humans can eat raw. They do, however, spoil almost as quickly as raw ingredients. Setting your work bill to make 3-4 meals per day per colonist should help avoid both spoilage and hunger.
  • Consider an upgrade to Fine meals as soon as possible, if the worktime (+60% over Simple Meals) is available. It offers a small mood bonus, and requires meat, milk or eggs in addition to vegetables.
  • Lavish Meals should only be undertaken after careful consideration. While they offer a substantial mood bonus and are very satisfying, they have a very poor nutrient and work efficiency. They are a good investment for an established colony with "High expectations" in order to keep colonists' moods stable. If food sources get scarce, downgrade to Fine Meals or Simple Meals.
  • If no refrigeration is possible, Pemmican can be used. It is less efficient to produce than most meal types. However, pawns will only consume it when they are hungry and will eat exactly as much as they need, which minimizes waste. It is an excellent choice for caravans due to its long shelf life, and is slightly more efficient to make than packaged survival meals.
  • If space, food sources, cooking time or even cooking skill are at a premium, Nutrient Paste can be used. However, the negative mood effect can offset its convenience. The nutrient paste dispenser also requires electricity, so at least some reserves of other food should be prepared in case of power outage.
  • In a biome with winter, stockpiling food to last until the next growing season must be done every year until the colony has enough dirt-floor greenhouses or hydroponics to feed its entire population. A proper winter at sub-zero temperatures can make food storage much easier, however. A vent in the wall of a food storage area can keep food freezing without needing to use any electricity.
  • After the first year, it is always a good idea to have a forbidden stockpile of packaged survival meals. In case of long-lasting toxic fallout or a disaster that destroys the colony's main refrigerator, greenhouses etc, this backup food will keep colonists fed while they rebuild.

Fodder (Herbivore)

  • Grazing is the option picked by most Herbivores by default. They will simply eat wild plants within the allowed area. As long as it is not off-season or there is a truly large amount of animals, most maps can sustain Herbivores with ease. Automatically done in caravans if possible.
    • Animals can also eat raw plants from your crop fields. This however is extremely ineffective as the plants themselves yield a whole lot less than harvesting them.
  • Kibble allows Herbivores to eat nutrient sources not normally part of their diet. In particular, excess meat (especially Human/Insect meat) and animal products can be turned into animal feed. The only real advantage towards meals is that it last forever, can be made with Hay and has a stellar work efficiency.
  • Simple Meals and Pemmican may sound odd, but are a viable option if it is nutrition - rather then worktime - efficiency you are after. They do give the same option to mask the use of Flesh. They also do not need management of pops actually working the butchers table.
  • Hay has same nutrition per Unit as Kibble and most Vegetables but is more then twice as Weight and Storage efficient and it grows rapidly. Use it to supplement herbivore food when the map is not supplying enough grass to feed everyone, during winter or on caravans.

Fodder (Carnivore)

  • Most carnivores by nature can eat raw corpses. While doing so provides Nutrition, it removes bodyparts and thus meat yield from Butchering.
    • This is a good way to get rid of corpses without butchering, especially human corpses left behind after raids- butchering these leaves a mood debuff.
  • Raw meat is another natural Option. Butchering may not yield a higher effective Nutrition than eating the corpses, especially when done by inept cooks.
  • Simple meals and pemmican are an option as they are with herbivores.
  • Kibble is slightly more interesting for carnivores. It allows the use of vegetables - including the very effective Hay - for feeding them.

Caravan Food

When sending out a Caravan, spoil time and weight are of the utmost importance. Easily spoiled foodstuffs (most meals, raw meat) is utterly unsuitable for anything but short distances. Be warned that time until rotting is affected by ambient temperatures during the travel.

  • Weight efficiency is almost completely uniform, with all produced food offering about the same 2.0-2.5 Nutrition/kg and raw food being equally uniform
  • Raw vegetables have a surprisingly long shelf life so they should not be underestimated if the mood penalty for Raw Food can be taken
  • Pemmican is a natural Solution for Caravans. It offers very good spoil time at acceptable weight and Nutrient efficiency. It's biggest downside is the poor work efficiency.
  • Packaged survival meals last indefinitely and count like simple meals, but have hands down the worst work efficiency and even worse Nutrient efficiency then raw food.
  • Grazing once again, Herbivores can Graze. However this option is dependent on the Tile and Season so it can change during Travel.
  • If no Grazing is possible, Hay is somewhat preferable over Kibble for Herbivores, if you can gather enough of it.
  • Kibble is useful for feeding carnivores and even Herbivores during really long stretches of non-grazing world tiles.
  • Chocolate or insect jelly can fulfill the recreation needs of pawns on a caravan and help prevent mental breaks. However, neither has enough nutrition on its own to replace meals.

Storage

See also Cooler and Temperature#Cooler

Food can be stored in a walk-in freezer. Colonists will automatically harvest mature crops and bring the produce to the appropriate storage. Set the priority of the stockpile in the freezer higher so colonists will haul food to the freezer instead of anywhere else.

Keep in mind that some foods are less, or not, temperature sensitive. Corn, Pemmican, and to a lesser extent, Eggs can be kept at room temperatures much longer than most foods, and Packaged survival meals need not be refrigerated at all.

To-Do List

  • 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

To ensure that no information added is outdated, data could be extracted from the following spreadsheets:
Animals [1]
Plants [2]