Drafting is RimWorld's primary combat mode, an immediate call to action for any capable pawn to begin fighting. It also allows you to direct a pawn to a specific tile.
To draft a colonist, select them, and press the toolbar gizmo marked with two crossed swords or press the R button. Multiple colonists can be drafted at a time
Capable colonists (even those incapable of violence or unarmed), slaves, and friendly mechanoids are able to draft instantly on command. Those who are downed, otherwise incapable of movement, or under a mental break are unable to be drafted. While a pawn lit on fire will still be drafted, the player will lose some control of them during the panic.
Drafted pawns are able to be ordered to a precise location. Select a pawn, and right click the desired location. A group of pawns can be sent to one location (simple right click), or ordered to create a line (right click & drag). Multiple orders can be assigned sequentially by holding shift (ex. move to place A then place B). Drafted pawns will remain at their assigned place, ignoring their needs entirely. This overrides both zone restrictions and the threat response setting.
Pawns with ranged weapons will attack enemies so long as Fire at Will remains enabled, and will take cover from adjacent buildings. You can also direct pawns to attack a specific target, structure, and for explosives, a tile. Any pawn capable of violence will begin melee with enemies 1 tile away. In addition, they will enter a state of collision, if they haven't already. During collision, opposing pawns cannot pass over each other, and 2 pawns can't stay on the same tile. If they were already on top of each other, pawns will radiate outside, even bypassing walls in extreme circumstances.
If left alone for 10,000 ticks (2.78 mins) without any threats or orders, then drafting will automatically end. Mental breaks and downing also end the draft state.
If a draftable pawn is currently sleeping or performing any action, drafting will immediately interrupt it. Any work progress they've made that is represented by a yellow progress bar will be lost, while pausable work such as crafting and construction will not be. Forced work will also be cancelled. Allowed areas, need fulfillment, and work priorities will be re-assessed once the pawn is undrafted. This can be useful to force pawns to reconsider their next action without having to wait for the next natural breakpoint.
Pawns will drop any held items and pawns they were carrying, to make use of their weapon. Babies are a special exception: the first draft will consider a held baby a draft-carried baby, and give a warning. If undrafted, the second draft thereafter will drop the baby.
The effects of fire take precedence over drafting. Whilst on fire, the ignited pawn to run around wildly instead of fighting, without collision. Drafted pawns can still be given commands, but they will go to their intended location first (which is often water, to douse the fire).
Other than move and fight, pawns must be drafted in order to:
- Arrest colonists, slaves, and allied/neutral guests.
- Douse adjacent fires, even if outside of the home area. Must be capable of Firefighting.
- Carry and/or rescue downed pawns and place them at a specific location. Possible even if incapable of Hauling or Caring.
- Tend pawns anywhere, with or without medicine, even if not assigned to Doctoring. Must be capable of Caring.
- Medicine must be carried in the inventory to be available.
- Use many abilities, such as the smokepop pack, firefoam pop pack, and most psycasts,
Drafted pawns are also able to:
- Drop any item in their inventory.
- Equip weapons or apparel, and pick up medicine or drugs.
- Consume food and take drugs directly.
- Repair damaged buildings.
This means that drafted pawns can't haul, construct new objects, etc.
Animals cannot be drafted, but those that have been trained in Guard can be assigned to follow an assigned master whenever they are drafted. This can be toggled in the Animals tab. The animal will ignore zone restrictions to do so, and will attack nearby aggressors. Animals trained in Attack can also be ordered to chase enemies with the Animals Attack gizmo.
Friendly mechanoids can only be or stay drafted if their mechanitor is not in a mental break, downed, or in a different map. From there, there is a 25-tile radius from the mechanitor which mechs are allowed to move to, and which mechs must be currently inside in order to give combat commands. Mechs can still be drafted outside of this radius, and will follow their latest command.
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Watch out for the needs of drafted pawns. Mood can quickly diminish as they starve or get tired, which is exacerbated by pain, being near corpses, or witnessing an ally's death. This can cause a deadly mental break - even minor breaks like sad wander an food binge can get a pawn out of position, and promptly shot in the head.
- Wake up a colonst, or update their work tasks, by drafting and undrafting.
- Delay certain actions, such as to prevent Ate Raw Food just as a meal is cooking.
- Move pawns to a safe location, such as a warm building to avoid hypothermia and frostbite, or to tell pawns where to run away to.
- Send pawns to extinguish fires outside of the home zone.
- Gain access to Tend (no medicine) without altering the settings. This can heal minor bruises that don't need medication, or stabilize a pawn desperately bleeding out.
- Control rescuers where to go.
- Drop carried items at a specific location.
For more long-term control of where you want your pawns to go (such as "indoors" during a toxic fallout), you may want to set a zone instead.