Beauty is a Stat: How enjoyable an object is to be around and look at.
Beauty refers to one of the following, depending on context:
- Environmental beauty: cumulative beauty of a map tile; affects perceived beauty and room impressiveness
- Perceived beauty: environmental beauty as perceived by a pawn; affects beauty need level
- Beauty need level (of a pawn): the need to live in a beautiful environment (similar to rest and comfort); affects mood
- Beauty stat (of certain objects): stat of some map object determining its environmental beauty
Each map tile has an integer value that expresses its beauty. The value is the sum of the beauty values of all objects on that tile. In this case, objects include filth, clutter, flooring, furniture and other objects.
A pawn constantly perceives the beauty of its environment in an 8-tile radius (blocked by objects that break line of sight, such as walls and doors). This means that putting sculptures at the center of large living areas is better than at the edges. The average of these beauty values is the effective beauty of the environment as perceived by the pawn at this moment.
Beauty need level
The beauty need level of a pawn rises and falls with the perceived beauty. This is a delayed effect, and increases register much faster than decreases.
The level is displayed in percent. A value between 35% and 65% is considered "neutral", and has no effect on the pawn. Values outside that range, either particularly low or high, generate a positive or negative thought, influencing the pawn's mood (eg. "Unsightly environment -5" or "Pretty environment +5"). A value of 6 or higher in the beauty display will be enough to move the need towards 100%.
Keeping the colonists in beautiful surroundings will, effectively, permanently increase their mood.
Beauty need therefore works similarly to comfort need, but can only be fulfilled while the pawn is awake (while comfort need can also be fulfilled while sleeping on comfortable furniture).
Physical beauty is a stat of many structures (normally pieces of furniture or artwork) and plants. In the case of pawn-made structures, the beauty stat is calculated from a base value, the type of material it is made from, and the quality level of the item. The exact value and calculation of the beauty stat for a specific item can be viewed by mousing over the "beauty" stat in the item's information window.
Here, an example is given for a small marble sculpture of "good" quality: [(base value of small sculptures) 50 * (material modifier for marble) 1.35 + (material offset for marble) 1] * (quality multiplier for "good quality") 2 = (final value) 137. This sculpture adds 137 of environmental beauty to the tile it is installed on, a fairly high value.
The most beautiful single structure in the base game is a legendary (x8) gold (x4 +20) grand (400 base) sculpture, which has a beauty of [400 * 4 + 20] * 8 = 12,960. However, note that this is slightly less than the [100 * 4 + 20] * 8 = 3,360 * 4 = 13,440 beauty that 4 legendary gold large sculptures occupying the same 4 tiles could provide, as the offset is applied once per item independent of the base beauty value.
The formula for pieces of furniture is identical, but their base beauty values are usually substantially lower (ex. a Bed has a base beauty value of 1) than those of works of art, whose primary purpose is to provide environmental beauty.
- Satisfying the beauty need of your pawns is one of the best ways to improve the mood in your colony. A beautiful environment can provide constant, substantial mood buffs practically everywhere, with zero required maintenance.
- Bedrooms only need enough beauty to keep their impressiveness at the desired level. The beauty level of a pawn does not change during sleep, so excessively beautiful bedrooms do not have a strong effect on the pawn's mood in most situations.
- Because the beauty need level rises a lot faster than it falls, it is acceptable to have very ugly areas in your base, if the pawns do not spend long periods of time there. Short or intermittent trips into ugly zones have almost no effect on pawn mood, as long as the beauty level is kept high enough elsewhere.
- Naked floor (rough stone or soil) does not take dirt from foot traffic or animals, as long as nobody is bleeding or vomiting. This can offset the -1 beauty value from the naked floor. Your cleaners will then also not have to clean those areas. Do not do this in places where cleanliness or walk speed matters.
- Dirty floors tiles have -5 beauty, blood and vomit are a lot worse (-30 and -40). You need to clean regularly if you want a beautiful base. Because of these high negative offsets, dirty floors rapidly lower room impressiveness.
- Strive to decorate all rooms, as well as outdoor areas that are heavily frequented, or where pawns spend extended amounts of time. Examples are the hospital, most workspaces, the recreation area, and the main walkways of the colony. A cheap and easy way of outdoors decoration during the growing season is to plant roses. Decorate larger rooms by spreading the decoration evenly in the space.
- Smoothed floors and carpets can effectively raise an entire room's average beauty by 2 points, a substantial increase. Use these floors in frequented areas, if you can afford it.
- Walls should be smoothed (+2 beauty) or made of marble (+1 beauty). Jade walls have +10 beauty, but it is usually better to craft jade sculptures instead, unless you have excessive amounts of jade and no capable artist to use it.
- If you need to keep stockpiles in areas that should be beautiful, like the recreation room or the hospital, put the items on shelves. Most objects laying naked on the floor have -5 beauty, this gets absorbed by the shelf.
- A single grand sculpture of very high quality ("masterwork" or "legendary") made of jade (or gold...) can turn even a large room full of rotten corpses into a "beautiful" environment. If you can get your hands on one of these, usually from an inspired master artist in your colony, place them strategically for the best possible impact.