From RimWorld Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Basics Menus Game Creation Gameplay Pawns Plants Resources Gear Mods
Gear Menu Weapons Apparel Clothing Armor Utility

Apparel preview.png

Apparel is worn by your colonists to protect them from extreme temperatures or from damage in combat. See a pawn's Gear tab to see what apparel they are wearing.

Clothing vs Armor

There are two main types of apparel, clothing and armor. Both clothing and armor use the same basic mechanics and the distinction is largely arbitrary beyond its use in sorting items. They can be mixed and matched, as far as Clothing Layers allow.

Clothing usually:

  • is made from light materials (fabrics and leathers);
  • offers good insulation from extreme temperatures;
  • offers lower protection from damage (with the right materials, clothing can be a worthwhile "light" armor).

Armor usually:

  • is made from solid materials (metal);
  • offers less insulation from extreme temperatures;
  • offers good protection from damage;
  • gives penalties to movement speed (from wearing the armor) and to carrying capacity (from the weight of the armor).
Examples of different apparel, including both clothing and armor

Layers and coverage

Apparel combinations are limited by layer and coverage - an item cannot be worn with another item covering the same body parts and on the same layer. Thus, items covering the same parts but on different layers are compatible, as are items on the same layer but with no overlap in coverage. Items that cover multiple layers conflict with items on all layers.


Colonists wearing protective apparel have a chance of outright avoiding all damage from an attack, as the item can sometimes utterly deflect a bullet or a melee strike. This will be represented by a "tink" sound and a spark. They may also receive a mitigated blow, for only half of the damage.

There are several types of armor ratings. They are expressed as percentages. The maximum armor rating per type is 200%.

  • Name Label Description
    Sharp Armor - Sharp Protection against piercing damage like bullets, knife stabs, and animal bites. These attacks will cause cuts, stabs or gunshot wounds, which in turn are prone to cause bleeding. Even the lightest clothing material seems to offer some protection against sharp damage.
    Blunt Armor - Blunt Protection against blunt damage like fist and club attacks, rock falls, explosions, and strikes with ranged weapons at melee range. This protection is generally limited, and blunt weapons will generally have to deal with less armor than an equivalent tier sharp weapon.
    Heat Armor - Heat Protection against fire damage from natural fires and fire weapons such as molotov cocktails, as well as lightning strikes. Heat damage seems to never have armor penetration. Not to be mistaken with Heat Insulation.
  • Calculation

    The armor calculation is applied for each item of apparel the pawn is wearing that covers the targeted body part, from the outside in. Thus, if a pawn in only a duster, flak vest and tribalwear was struck in the torso, it would:

    1. Calculate the effect of duster first as it is on the outer layer
    2. If any residual damage remained it would calculate for the effect of the flak vest as it is on the middle layer,
    3. If any residual damage remained it would calculate for the effect of the tribalwear as it is on the skin layer,
    4. Finally if any residual damage still remained, it would then be applied to the pawn.

    Meanwhile if struck the arm, then only the calculation would only be performed for the duster, as neither the vest nor tribalwear cover the arm. And if they were struck in the head, then the damage would be directly applied to the pawn as nothing covers that part. Alternatively, if the pawn was wearing a item that occupies multiple layers, such as wearing Marine armor in place of the duster and flak vest, they are only calculated against on their outer-most layer, leaving the other layer(s) they occupy effectively unarmored. Thus in that example, a strike to the torso would calculate against the marine armor once, then the tribalwear, before any remaining damage being applied to the pawn. Armor that takes up multiple layers typically has higher armor values to make up for this, however, so they can often still be worthwhile, especially when armor penetration is accounted for. See the Analysis section below for details.

    In-game this is calculated as follows:

    1. The armor rating is reduced by the armor penetration value, dependent on the weapon. This gives the "effective armor rating". Note: While armor penetration is given as a percentage, it is subtracted from the target's armor, not used as a multiplier. E.g. if a target with 150% armor is attacked using a weapon with 50% armor penetration, the result is 150% - 50% = 100% effective armor rating, not 150% * (1 - 50%) = 75% effective armor rating.
    2. The effective armor rating is then compared against a random number from 0 to 100:
      • If the random number is under half the armor rating, the damage deflects harmlessly.
      • If the random number is over half the armor rating, but not higher than the armor rating, the damage is halved.
      • If the random number is greater than the armor rating, the armor has no effect.
    3. If any damage remains, then the same process is applied to the next item on a lower layer using the new damage (if halved) or full damage (if the armor had no effect) and retaining the full AP of the attack. Damage halving is applied multiplicatively - so if the two layers both half the damage, the pawn receives one quarter of the damage.

    Sharp damage

    If the damage is Sharp, and any layer halves the damage, then any resulting damage to the pawn will be changed to Blunt damage.

    Note: despite the common misconception, the armor effect of layers below will still be calculated against the sharp armor rating of those layers, not against the blunt armor rating. So if a pawn wears a duster over a flak vest, and the duster halves the damage of an incoming sharp attack, converting it to blunt damage in the process, the flak vest will still use its sharp armor rating for its attempt at mitigating the damage.

    Flame damage

    Heat armor works to prevent Flame damage from injuring the pawn using the same process as any other armor and damage type, but any Flame damage that actually deals damage to the pawn has a chance to set the pawn on fire. This ignition chance is the same regardless of the damage dealt to the pawn, so long as some damage is actually dealt. Thus if the Heat Armor does not outright negate the damage, it otherwise does nothing to prevent the pawn from being ignited.

    While Burn damage is otherwise identical to Flame damage, including its interaction with heat armor, it cannot ignite pawns.


    Thus each effective point of armor gives 0.5% to harmlessly deflect damage, and another 0.5% chance to mitigate it, instead receiving half the damage as blunt damage. Each effective armor point below 100% results in a net 0.75% reduction in damage, while each point above results in a 0.25% reduction. This means that at 200% effective armor rating, colonists will be completely immune to damage; this currently works only on heat damage which lacks armor penetration, and can be seen on mechanoids. Cataphract armor at Legendary quality comes at a close second, reaching 200% sharp rating, but all sharp attacks have armor penetration meaning that even a pawn hit too many times will fall.

    Armor is calculated per item of apparel, from the item occupying the outermost layer in. Armor mitigation does stack multiplicatively, e.g. two pieces of armor layered on top of each other can each mitigate the damage by 50%, reducing it to 25% of the base damage. Each layer also has an independent chance to entirely negate the damage, using the above calculation steps.

    Armor Penetration is applied identically to each layer. This means that, while multiple layers of armor each have more chances to mitigate the damage, layering apparel with low armor values may do little or nothing against projectiles with high armor penetration, while a single layer of high armor value may be able to mitigate it.

    For example a pawn with both a devilstrand shirt with sharp armor of 28% and a toughskin gland with sharp armor 35% would always receive full damage from a charge rifle, as its armor penetration of 35% completely nullifies the protection of both items. This is why higher armor values may be preferable over multiple layers of much lower armor values. However there is little reason not to stack the best protection on your pawns when the items not mutually exclusive. A hyperweave shirt might still stop an assault rifle bullet that penetrates a flak vest, and it could be the only thing protecting the pawns arm.

    Note that armor does not stop weapons with sufficient stopping power from staggering colonists, even if the damage is deflected.


    Apparel, including armor, takes damage from several factors. It takes 1 HP of damage for every 4 points of damage dealt to the wearer, provided the damage is applied to that layer and location. Thus, if an attack hits a pawn's torso and is stopped by apparel on the Outer layer, such as a Duster, the duster will receive damage, but a torso-covering item on Middle layer, such as a Flak vest will receive no damage. If the duster were to halve the damage instead, then the flak vest would receive half of the durability damage, while the duster would receive full damage.

    The damage to the item is the same regardless of whether it deflects all the damage, half the damage, or no damage, just so long as the attack is calculated against that item. The durability damage is calculated off of the raw damage as it reaches that layer, before that layer's mitigation is applied. Therefore, as quality does not affect an item's HP, high-quality armor lasts about as long as low-quality armor in combat, but will better protect lower layers from damage.

    Apparel also takes damage when the pawn wearing it is on fire. Each time the fire deals damage to the pawn, it deals the same amount of damage to a random piece of worn apparel.

    All apparel worn by a pawn has a 40% chance to take 1 HP of damage each day (so on average, each piece of apparel takes about 0.4 HP of damage per day). This effect is only applied to pawns in a map - pawns in caravans, transport pods etc do not suffer apparel damage in this way.

    Finally, when a pawn is killed by an attack, all worn apparel takes anywhere between 15% and 40% of its current hit points in damage.


    In-game insulation stats from a legendary muffalo wool parka

    Insulation offers protection against extreme temperatures like freezing cold and scorching heat. Every pawn and every animal has a natural range of acceptable temperatures. By default a naked human has a very narrow acceptable temperature range of 16 °C – 26 °C (60.8 °F – 78.8 °F), so you'll need to wear apparel to survive in the harsh environment of a rimworld.

    Insulation from a single piece of apparel

    Apparel can offer "Insulation - Cold", which protects from extremely cold temperatures, and "Insulation - Heat" which protects from extremely hot temperatures. The amount of insulation a piece of apparel offers is equal to:

     Insulation = Material insulation * Apparel insulation_factor * Quality multiplier
    • Material insulation: the material used to create an article of apparel has a large impact on how much insulation a piece of apparel offers. For example, muffalo wool offers 28 °C (50.4 °F) of insulation from cold, while birdskin only offers 10 °C (18 °F). See textiles for a full comparison of clothing options.
    • Apparel insulation factor: each type of apparel has an insulation factor associated with it. For example, parkas have an insulation factor - cold of 2, so a normal muffalo wool parka offers 56 °C (100.8 °F) of insulation from cold. See clothing for a full comparison.
    • Quality multiplier: the quality of an item influences it's insulation as well. For example, legendary quality offers a 1.8x increase in insulation, so a legendary muffalo wool parka offers 100.8 °C (181.4 °F) of insulation from cold. See quality for a full comparison.

    Total insulation for a pawn

    Total cold insulation for a pawn wearing a legendary muffalo wool parka and a poor quality cloth button-down shirt

    The total insulation for a pawn is the sum of the insulation from each piece of apparel. A pawn's minimum comfortable temperature is reduced by their total Insulation - Cold, while their maximum comfortable temperature is increased by their Insulation - Heat.

    For example, consider a pawn wearing a legendary muffalo wool parka and a poor quality cloth button-down shirt. By default, humans have an acceptable temperature range of 16 °C – 26 °C (60.8 °F – 78.8 °F). We can find the new temperature range by computing the insulation from the clothing, then adding to the base insulation:

    Computing insulation from clothing

     Parka cold insulation = muffalo wool cold insulation * parka cold insulation factor * legendary modifier
     = 28°C * 200% * 1.8
     = 100.8°C
     Parka heat insulation = muffalo wool heat insulation * parka heat insulation factor * legendary modifier
     = 12°C * 0% * 1.8
     = 0°C
     Shirt cold insulation = cloth cold insulation * shirt modifier * poor modifier
     = 18°C * 26% * 0.9
     = 4.2°C
     Shirt heat insulation = cloth heat insulation * shirt modifier * poor modifier
     = 18°C * 10% * 0.9
     = 1.6°C

    Adding to base insulation

     Minimum acceptable temperature = default minimum acceptable temperature - parka cold insulation - shirt cold insulation
     = 16 - 100.8 - 4.2
     = -89°C
     Maximum acceptable temperature = default maximum acceptable temperature + parka heat insulation + shirt heat insulation
     = 26 + 0 + 1.6
     = 27.6°C

    So the new comfortable range is: -89°C to 27.6°C


    How likely the item is to burst into flames while in storage. Often Heat Protection and this value are related. It is entirely dependent on the material.

    It is unclear if it affects the chance for a Pawn to catch fire while standing in a burning tile.

    Damaged apparel

    Apparel suffers wear and tear when worn causing it to lose hit points over time. They also become damaged when the wearer is attacked, and the apparel absorbs some damage as armor.

    A colonist wearing badly damaged apparel will have one of the following thoughts. These debuffs do not stack, only one is given based on the apparel with the worst condition.

    HP Thought Debuff
    20% - 50% "Wearing worn-out apparel" -3
    below 20% "Wearing tattered apparel" -5

    Durability does not affect stats such as protection and insulation.

    Quality Effects

    Quality Armor
    Market Value Max Market Value Gain Deterioration Rate Beauty
    Awful 0.6 0.8 0.5 - 2 -0.1
    Poor 0.8 0.9 0.75 - 1.5 0.5
    Normal 1.0 1.0 1.0 - 1 1
    Good 1.15 1.1 1.25 500 0.8 2
    Excellent 1.3 1.2 1.5 1000 0.6 3
    Masterwork 1.45 1.5 2.5 2000 0.3 5
    Legendary 1.8 1.8 5 3000 0.1 8


    In RimWorld Core, male colonists are considered naked when their legs are not covered, while female colonists are considered naked when either their legs or chest are not covered. Most colonists will receive a -6 mood penalty from being naked, triggering an alert prompting the player to seek suitable clothing.

    For Nudists the opposite is true - they receive a +20 mood bonus while naked and a -3 mood penalty while clothed.

    With the Ideology (DLC) installed and active, Nudity, both in required coverage and the reaction to it, instead depend on the IdeoligionContent added by the Ideology DLC of the pawn and its precepts.

    Special Values

    Clothing can have very specific secondary values. The more common ones are:

    • Negative movement Speed. This is mostly seen with armor
    • Bonus to social skills. This is a extremely common stat for any form of headwear that is not armor
    • Pain Threshold. Specific to Tribal clothing, this increases when a character will collapses from damage

    Tainted Apparel

    Clothing stripped from corpses is considered tainted apparel and is noted with a T. Colonists wearing tainted apparel gain a persistent mood debuff as long as they're wearing it- colonists with Bloodlust do not seem to mind, however.

    Number of items Debuff
    1 -3
    2 -5
    3 -7
    4+ -8

    Disposal is usually the only option as traders do not buy them (as of 0.19).


    Apparel can be destroyed using a crematorium or a campfire. Simply create a "Burn apparel" bill, and be sure to uncheck anything you want to keep.


    A number of Materials is available for Clothing and Armor. Not every piece supports every material and a lot of the protective power of armor and insulation of clothing actually comes from the used material, rather than something unique to the item.

    Armor Materials

    These materials are primarily used for armor. It includes any metal and in rare cases, even wood. (Note that even though jade has armor and insulation modifiers, it can't be used for any type of apparel.)

    MaterialStuff CategoryMarket ValueBeauty FactorBeauty OffsetWork To Make FactorMax Hit Points FactorFlammability FactorArmor - Sharp FactorArmor - Blunt FactorArmor - Heat FactorInsulation - Cold (°C)Insulation - Heat (°C)

    Clothing Materials

    See Textiles#Material Effects.

    Common combinations

    Apparel combinations are limited by layer and coverage, and this selective incompatibility leads to trends in combinations that are discussed and compared here.

    On Skin Layer

    The skin layer combinations are consistent throughout the life of a colony as the early options are not replaced in the late game, and are worn under armor for the entire game.

    This layer is dominated by two options: Tribalwear or Button-down shirt + Pants

    Tribalwear offers the best thermal insulation. Meanwhile, Button-down shirt + Pants in turn has better armor values and coverage. The advantages of the button-down combo are only relevant when protective textiles are used, as lower tier textiles will offer so little armor as to be outright ignored by enemy weapon AP and rendering the armor and coverage advantage moot. The T-shirt is an inferior version of the button down shirt and should be avoided as a t-shirt and pants offers identical coverage and worse stats and material cost than tribalwear of the same quality and material. The formal shirt Content added by the Royalty DLC will replace the button-down for nobles Content added by the Royalty DLC of a certain rank but there is little reason to do so otherwise. The eltex shirt Content added by the Royalty DLC is similarly useful for psycasters Content added by the Royalty DLC but cannot be crafted and provides less protection - however, as noted the protection offered by shirts is fairly minor in most circumstances.


    The middle layer is primarily the realm of Armor, with the Eltex vest Content added by the Royalty DLC and Corset/Formal vest Content added by the Royalty DLC being the only Clothing items that use it. What option is selected here will depend on the stage of the game and military strategies employed.

    Head Layer

    This layer is dominated by three options: hats (textile), masks (wood/metal), and helmets, and in that the hats are dominated by the Broadwrap Content added by the Ideology DLC and the Bowler hat, with the masks dominated by the Visage mask Content added by the Ideology DLC

    The Broadwrap offers superior physical protection and the highest level of coverage of all headwear. The Bowler hat provides a 15% boost social impact. The Visage mask provides the highest sharp, blunt, and heat AP base modifier of 0.3

    Of note are both the masterwork and legendary wooden War mask. Both of which are highly protective with a bonus to maximum pain threshold.

    Situationally, due to heat or cold, the Cowboy hat and the Tuque offer better temperature insulation, respectfully.

    For slaves, if biome is very hot, the shadecone is preferred to the Cowboy hat, due to it not decreasing the slaves suppression. The slave collar, which increases suppression, technically occupies this layer, however it covers the neck only and thus has limited incompatibility.


    The Outer layer is primarily for armor and additional clothing layers. They can be combined with shirts, flak pants, and flak vests.

    The Parka is the perfect option for Cold Resistance, as it outright doubles the material values. Accordingly, it should be always made from whatever material has the highest base values.

    The Duster is a cowboy attire. Aside from good heat insulation, it also offers decent protection. The cape is the Noble apparel statistical equal of the duster.

    The Jacket is a common item. Crashlanded survivors start with one. It is a good balance between protection and insulation.

    For slaves, the slave body strap occupies this slot, unless the biome is extremely cold or hot, due to it increasing the slaves suppression, while providing nearly no protection.

    Suggested apparel progression

    What constitutes the "correct" apparel for pawns depends on a variety of factors including game-stage, biome both for available materials and temperature concerns, difficulty, strategies employed, the presence or absence of DLC and even what a player considers acceptable risk. The suggested loadouts presented below represent a rough timeline suitable for comfortable biomes and moderate difficulty, and with some common sense modifications will fit most playstyles.

    Industrial - Early: The synthread apparel you start with should suffice for the early game. Start hunting and begin crafting button-down shirts and dusters.

    Industrial - Mid: The best apparel combo for this stage of the game is button-down shirt and a pair of pants on the skin layer, a flak vest in the middle, and a duster on the top. This combination offers good amounts of protection without compromising the movement speed of a pawn.

    Industrial - Late: The best combo for the late game is a pair of pants and a button down shirt on the bottom layer, a marine armor set for ranged pawns, or a set of recon armor with a shield belt for melee pawns. For Royalty Content added by the Royalty DLC owners, cataphract armor is recommended for ranged fighters, and a set of locust armor and a shield belt is suggested for melee brawlers because of the installed jump pack that frees up an utility slot for the shield belt.

    Royal Fighter Content added by the Royalty DLC: Royal pawns that are also fighters should wear the prestige versions of the Industrial - Late combo.

    Royal Psycaster Content added by the Royalty DLC: Pawns that are nobles and have fighting as a secondary priority, equip the pawn with full eltex gear. The recommended combo is: an eltex skullcap, an eltex robe, an eltex vest, and an eltex shirt. This is full eltex set is hard to acquire, so they can use the Royal Fighter combo or just the normal clothing requirements for the title, such as the prestige robe and formal vest.

    Version history

    • 0.8.657 - Apparel insulation introduced with temperature system.
    • 0.9.722 - Apparel becomes damaged when owner dies from violence, takes the damage it absorbs as armor and wears out over very long periods of use. Tattered apparel thought added.
    • Beta 19 - System changed d100 system. Previously each point of armor from 1 - 50% reduced damage by 1%, each point of armor between 51 - 100% provided a 1% chance to not take damage, each point of armor beyond 100% reduced damage by 0.25% and gives a 0.25% chance to not take damage. Total protection capped at 90% damage reduction and 90% deflect chance (i.e. 260% armor rating).
    • 1.2.2753 - Apparel scoring algorithm no longer ignores heat armor, significantly shifting upgrading priorities e.g. pawns "upgrading" to Devilstrand dusters over Thrumbofur, despite the significant detriment to Sharp protection.