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Character Properties Health Mood Needs Skills Thoughts Traits Social

A Colonist's mood is the total sum of their thoughts and traits effects. It can be checked on the colonist's "Needs" tab through a bar graphic. Colonists have a base mood of 50%, which changes according to difficulty. Each difficulty has the following impacts on colonist mood:

Difficulty Mood Offset
Peaceful +10
Base builder +10
Some challenge +5
Rough 0
Intense −3
Extreme −8

With the offsets; it's reasonably easy to keep people from breaking on the Rough and Intense difficulties, but it's much more difficult to keep colonists from breaking on Extreme (as the baseline mood offset for Extreme is effectively Rough, but with colonists constantly having the 'Feeling Terrible' thought)

With a sufficiently high mood, Colonists will be more inclined to work harder if they are in high spirits; with global work speed starting to improve when they are 'Content' (mood at or above 60%), with as much as a 20% increase in global work speed if their mood is at 100%. Colonists retain their full work speed if in poor moods.

Mental breaks

A mental break may occur randomly when a colonist's negative thoughts outweigh their positive thoughts enough to push their overall mood below their mental break threshold. The severity of a mental break depends on how far below their threshold they are:

  • Below their base mental break threshold, they will have an extreme break in the mean time of 0.7 days.
  • 15% or less above their base mental break threshold (i.e. major break threshold), they will have a major break in the mean time of 3 days.
  • 30% or less above their base threshold (i.e. minor break threshold), they will have a minor break in the mean time of 10 days.

Once a colonist's mental break ends, they'll usually get the 'catharsis' thought, granting a +40 mood for the next 2.5 days. This will generally prevent a colonist from entering a spiral of mental breakdowns in all but the worst scenarios.

Mental break thresholds are affected by various traits, however the net break threshold reduction can never be above 4%- i.e. there will always be a chance for your colonist to have an extreme mental break at 1% mood or below.

The default mental break thresholds are:

  • Extreme break threshold: 5%
  • Major break threshold: 20% (Base threshold + 15%)
  • Minor break threshold: 35% (Base threshold + 30%)

While a colonist is experiencing a mental break, you have no direct control over them, - but you can draft another colonist to attempt to arrest said colonist. The broken colonist will either go berserk, or they'll come quietly and be escorted to the nearest available prison bed - immediately ending their mental breakdown. However, this will cause the loss of his/her colony membership status, removing the pawn from your colonist bar. Releasing them will return them back to the colony, but eliminates the catharsis bonus, instead yielding a 'was imprisoned' negative thought that can lead to further mental breaks.

Another more extreme way of ending a mental break is beating the colonist with blunt trauma until they are incapacitated by pain. This is the only way to stop a colonist going berserk. However, this causes the victim to have a negative opinion of the one(s) who beat him up, and you risk killing the colonist if he is already injured, or more than 1 colonist is beating up the colonist at once. It is ineffective if the colonist feels reduced pain, like those with the Painstopper implant or high on Go-juice. This also does not grant the Catharsis mood buff unless the colonist is going berserk.

Minor break

Food binge

Food Binge

If a colonist is stressed, they may decide to pig out on whatever meals they can get their hands on. During this time, you have absolutely no control over the affected pawn other than getting another pawn to arrest them - which could cause the binging pawn to go berserk.

A binge will end as soon as the affected colonist gets back to bed, or after a certain amount of time has passed.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.3 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 20,000 ticks (333.33 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 40,000 ticks (666.67 secs)
Commonality: 1

Hide in room

Hide in Room

Colonists who hide in their room will wander about in their room, refusing to come out and refusing to satisfy their needs. This event is relatively short, and usually does not put the colonist in harms way. The worst that one can come off with from this sort of mental break is mild starvation and possibly exhaustion.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.6 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 30,000 ticks (500 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 60,000 ticks (1,000 secs)
Commonality: 0.75

Insulting spree

The colonist becomes resentful and starts to insult others around, making moods worse for everyone

Mean time between Recovery: 0.1 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 8,300 ticks (138.33 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 13,000 ticks (216.67 secs)
Commonality: 0.22

Targeted insulting spree

The colonist starts to hate one person and particular, and will proceed to bombard that person with insults. This can totally ruin mood with an up to -33 mood penalty through 10 stacked insults, and can potentially trigger another mental break.

Commonality: 0.2

Sad wander

Sad Wander

Like the dazed and wandering event, but shorter.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.3 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 30,000 ticks (500 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 60,000 ticks (1,000 secs)
Commonality: 0.75

Major break

Corpse obsession

Colonists with a corpse obsession will go to a grave or sarcophagus, dig up a corpse and drop it on a high-traffic spot, such as a table in a dining room. The obsession will then proceed to end.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.2 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 40,000 ticks (666.67 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 5,000 ticks (83.33 secs)
Commonality: 0.11

Psychotic wandering (Daze)


Colonists who become dazed will wander around and will eventually recover on their own. Dazed colonists can also be arrested, which can be useful if they are in imminent danger. Your colonist must be drafted (hotkey R) to bring a dazed colonist to a cell (just like a prisoner). Once imprisoned they may immediately be set for release. When released by a warden they will revert from a prisoner back to a colonist, with a mood debuff. Dazed colonists may resist arrest, at which point they will go berserk.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.8 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 30,000 ticks (500 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 80,000 ticks (1,333.33 secs)

Sadistic rage

The colonist becomes sadistic and takes pleasure in hurting your prisoners until they are downed from pain.

Maximum time until Recovery: 14,000 ticks (233.33 secs)
Commonality: 0.21

Social drug binge

Social Drug Binge

If a colonist gets very stressed, they may drink or smoke their problems away by binging on social drugs (i.e. beer, smokeleaf joints. This can only happen if you have social drugs present in your colony.

Social drug binges will also occasionally happen for those with the chemical interest trait regardless of mood, and still gain the catharsis thought afterwards.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.6 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 20,000 ticks (333.33 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 60,000 ticks (1,000 secs)
Commonality: 1


A stressed colonist decides to vent his anger out on the structures in the colony, randomly punching at them.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.078 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 6,200 ticks (103.33 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 9,000 ticks (150 secs)
Commonality: 0.29

Bedroom tantrum

The colonist hides in his bedroom and wreaks havoc on the furniture inside.

Commonality: 0.29

Targeted tantrum

The colonist focuses his rage on a single structure. The tantrum ends if that structure is destroyed.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.15 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 30,000 ticks (500 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 45,000 ticks (750 secs)
Commonality: 0.23

Extreme break



When a colonist goes berserk, they become a danger to themselves and anyone nearby. They may use doors that are locked/forbidden. Berserkers don't close doors behind them, auto-doors included. Doors they open will remain open until another pawn passes through. They will melee attack the nearest living creature until their target is either subdued or killed. Due to the risk of death or permanent injury for both the psychotic colonist and any that happen to be nearby, a psychotic colonist is a very real threat. If the berserk colonist poses or is in direct danger, a colonist with bare fists or a blunt weapon works best to quickly subdue them with the least risk of killing them. Once a berserk colonist is subdued they do not need to be arrested, rather they can and should be rescued to recover from their injuries.

If the berserker is not in danger and can be safely avoided, it's best to leave them to rampage by themselves until their berserk rage wears off to avoid injuries and the associated pain mood debuff.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.3 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 10,000 ticks (166.67 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 60,000 ticks (1,000 secs)
Commonality: 1.5


When colonists enters a catatonic break, they become incapacitated and need to be rescued.

This is one of the least harmful of the extreme breaks as it does not result in injury or damage to both the colonist and others. However, since the affected colonist will be down for quite a long time, you will need to find a way around that. This is especially if the colonist performs a vital task in the colony.

Since catatonia is technically a health condition, usage of the healer mech serum can instantly bring the affected colonist out of the mental break.

Minimum time until Recovery: 100,000 ticks (1,666.67 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 300,000 ticks (5,000 secs)
Commonality: 0.3

Fire starting spree

Fire Starting Spree

Colonists with the pyromaniac trait can go on a fire starting spree, targeting flammable materials. Their mental breaks occur regardless of mood (though will happen less frequently as mood increases). As of Beta 18, pyromaniacs no longer gain the Catharsis thought after fire starting sprees. Fire-starting sprees are very short and can easily be dealt with by having somebody else 'babysit' the pyromaniac, putting out fires as the pyromaniac pawn starts them.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.1 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 4,000 ticks (66.67 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 15,000 ticks (250 secs)
Commonality: 1.5

Hard drug binge

Hard Drug Binge

Colonists on a hard binge will binge on hard drugs (i.e. flake, yayo), go-juice and wake-up). Hard drug binges are considerably more dangerous for the affected colonist's health than soft drug binges, as hard drugs contribute towards overdoses which are potentially lethal. As with soft binges, hard binges will either end when the affected colonist goes back to bed, or after a certain amount of time has passed. Colonists taking penoxycyline and luciferium have nothing to do with the drug binge they are on.

Colonists with the chemical fascination trait will occasionally have a hard drug binge regardless of mood, and still gain the catharsis mood afterwards (if they don't die from an overdose).

Mean time between Recovery: 0.6 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 20,000 ticks (333.33 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 60,000 ticks (1,000 secs)
Commonality: 1



A colonist has a mental break down and is going to induce prisoners to escape. The pawn can be stopped before reaching the cell.

Minimum time until Recovery: 40,000 ticks (666.67 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 40,000 ticks (666.67 secs)
Commonality: 0.45

Murderous rage

Murderous rage.png

A colonist becomes maddened, and will attack a randomly chosen colonist or prisoner with melee until they are dead.

This requires intervention from other colonists if the life of the victim is to be saved. The murder streak can be interrupted by attempting an arrest. If it is successful, the colonist will quietly submit and go to prison along with the warden. Otherwise, the colonist will instead go berserk and will lash out at nearby colonists instead, which may be easier to deal with as the colonist is no longer hellbent on killing one colonist.

Minimum time until Recovery: 40,000 ticks (666.67 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 40,000 ticks (666.67 secs)
Commonality: 0.68

Run wild

The colonist runs into the wild and starts to act like an animal. While acting like an animal, the colonist will subsist on wild sources of food, usually raspberry bushes.

Unlike other breaks, this one lasts indefinitely without intervention. The only way to end it is to have a colonist tame the broken colonist and convince them to act like a human again. Taming a wild man is equivalent to taming an animal of 87.5% wildness (between a polar bear and a rhinoceros), except there's no minimum required handling skill to tame a wild man.

Damaging them until they are downed isn't a viable option; since they don't belong to your faction anymore, they will most likely die upon receiving enough damage to incapacitate.

Commonality: 0.05


A colonist becomes maddened, and will start to slaughter animals at random. If you have a lot of tamed animals this usually won't cause major losses, but there's a chance the maddened colonist may decide to butcher a bonded animal or your favorite tamed thrumbo.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.12 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 5,000 ticks (83.33 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 15,000 ticks (250 secs)
Commonality: 0.68


These mental states aren't mood-related, and have certain circumstances required to trigger them.


Confused and wandering

Similar to the 'Sad Wandering' mental state, except confused wandering only occurs on a pawn with Alzheimer's and/or Dementia. This mental state bears a similarity to psychotic wandering in the respect that confused pawns are prone to wandering into dangerous situations, they do not strip off their equipment. This mental state ends after a certain period of time, or when the affected pawn is downed or killed. All normal thoughts are blocked during this time frame.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.2 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 3,500 ticks (58.33 secs)

Social fighting

Traders social fighting

Social fighting is triggered when one pawn slights, insults another (significantly more likely with insulting than slighting), and the affected pawn gets angered. While very brief and usually only resulting in minor-moderate injury, social fighting can also end up with much worse results including a pawn getting downed, disfigured, or uncommonly even outright killed. Social fighting ends after a very short time, or when one of the fighting pawns gets downed or killed.

Interestingly, kind words can start fights at around the same rate as insults.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.02 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 420 ticks (7 secs)

Fleeing in panic

Fleeing in panic

This sort of mental break happens when half (rounded up) of a group of non-colonist humanlikes are killed; whether it be hostiles, traders, or the likes. Pawns affected by this mental state will attempt to leave the map by any means possible as soon as they realize that they're not going to win whatever battle they got caught up in.

This mental state will end once the affected pawn leaves the map, or when they're killed.

Pawns in this state will run indiscriminately towards the closest edge of the map, completely disregarding any hostiles in the way (such as your colonists firing at them).

Given up and leaving

This mental break only happens with friendly fighters in-game, where they will be fed up and leave if they do not engage in fighting. Pawns affected will slowly walk towards the edges of the map.

It ends when the pawn leaves the map, or is killed.


Animals may suffer a manhunter mental break, similar to berserk. A manhunter animal will seek out and attack any humans on the map it can reach. The mental break can be triggered by the death of their bonded master (only applies to tamed animals), via a random event (mad animal or psychic wave), being injured by any humanlike pawn or a failed taming attempt angering the animal. A player should take care about what animals they hunt, because although some species rarely turn manhunter, others have no tolerance. If one animal in a herd is angered, the entire herd may turn manhunter. Manhunter animals will attempt to break down doors if they see a colonist hide behind them, so they are not completely safe against them.

An animal's manhunting rampage will end after a certain amount of time, or once forcibly subdued.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.3 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 10,000 ticks (166.67 secs)

Manhunter Permanent

Permanent manhunter is randomly applied to animals that are part of a manhunter pack. Affected animals will never snap out of this mental state under normal circumstances, and completely neglect their own needs. Animals in this state will generally leave the area within a few days.

Some manhunter animals, such as boomrats, will typically starve to death due to their hunger rate combined with the typical manhunter animal duration.

Minimum time until Recovery: 99,999,999 ticks (1,666,666.65 secs)

Mental inspirations

In Beta 18, colonists with a high mood can randomly have mental inspirations, giving a stat boost for some time. Unlike mental breaks, you retain full control of that colonist. Like them, however, incapacitation will end the inspiration.

At 100 mood, colonists have an inspiration on average once every 10 days.

Work frenzy

Colonists suddenly becomes significantly more productive, and will work 2.5x as fast for the duration of the inspiration.

Base duration: 1 day

Go frenzy

Colonists' great mood lifts them up and makes them walk 1.5x as fast, as long as he feels inspired.

Base duration: 1 day

Shoot frenzy

Colonists are somehow inspired to shoot more accurately, and will shoot as if they have 10 more shooting levels than they do.

This is more useful if the colony frequently receives raids or if the inspired colonist is a hunter.

Base duration: 3 days

Inspired trade

Colonists are inspired about how to obtain great deals. They will get a great 18% boost in trade prices, essentially meaning 12 more levels of Social.

After a successful trade deal, the inspiration ends.

Base duration: 8 days
Minimum skill: Social 6

Inspired recruitment

Colonists gain insight on how to recruit prisoners into the colony. They will successfully recruit the next prisoner they attempt to recruit, regardless of difficulty.

To make the most out of the recruitment, you may manually have the warden prioritize the recruitment attempt on a specific prisoner. If the prisoner has been talked to recently, you will need to disable warden interactions for that prisoner, and wardening for the inspired warden, then wait a while before enabling them both.

The inspiration ends after a prisoner is recruited.

Base duration: 8 days
Minimum skill: Social 6

Inspired surgery

Colonists become more concentrated in surgeries after being inspired, and as a result the failure rate for the next surgery will be 10 times smaller (0.1x). This will have little effect if your surgeon's base surgery success chance is already very high, and none if somehow it is above 100%, but can make a great difference for those with lower Medicine skill who are not good surgeons yet, or operations such as carcinoma removal that have a lower chance of success.

The inspiration ends after a surgery is performed, even if the surgery fails.

Base duration: 8 days
Minimum skill: Medicine 6

Inspired art

A sudden burst of inspiration gives colonists a great idea for a piece of art, and after it is completed that piece of art will be 3 levels higher than it is supposed to be.

The inspiration is only good for 1 piece of art.

Base duration: 8 days
Minimum skill: Artistic 6

Mood is a Stat: How happy or stressed someone is.