Transport pod

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Transport pod

Transport pod

A launchable sub-orbital cargo pod capable of carrying people, items, or animals. Can be used for sending gifts, transporting people or supplies, surprise attacks, or reinforcing battles.

Base Stats

Market Value
152 Silver [Note]


1 × 1
pass through only
Cover Effectiveness
Terrain Affordance


Required Research
Transport pod
Skill Required
Construction 6
Work To Make
1,600 ticks (26.67 secs)
Resources to make
Steel 60 + Component 1
Deconstruct yield
Steel 30 + Component 0 - 1
Destroy yield
Steel 15 + Component 0 - 1

Transport pods, or drop pods, are single-use miscellaneous structures launched through the lower atmosphere by pod launchers, and used to carry pawns and/or items across the world map up to 66 tiles away. They can also be used by factions and raiders alike.


Transport pods can be constructed once the Transport pod research project has been completed. Each pod requires Steel 60 Steel, Component 1 Component, 1,600 ticks (26.67 secs) of work, and a Construction skill of 6.

A pod can only be constructed on a pod launcher, in the position indicated by the white icon and where the umbilical is present on the launcher sprite. Constructing the pod launcher requires the Transport pod research project to be completed, Steel 50 Steel, Component 1 Component, 3,000 ticks (50 secs) of work, and a Construction skill of 6.


Each transport pod can hold up to 150 kg of items or pawns. For comparison, an adult human weighs 60 kg before equipment. They can be launched up to 66 tiles away. Pods can be launched as a group, if their pod launchers are directly adjacent. When in groups, the game intentionally ignores individual pod capacity: for example, a group of 2 transport pods (300 kg) can hold a 280kg elephant in 1 pod, while the other pod will have 20 kg of capacity remaining. It is possible to load prisoners and downed pawns.

When items are selected, haulers will immediately proceed to load the pods. Only one colonist may load a pod at a time. If a colonist is part of the load, that colonist will prioritize loading the pod, even if they are otherwise incapable of hauling. The system is not without some quirks:

  • Pawns loading the pods will ignore their need for food and sleep, which will result in starvation and likely lowered mood. This means that if a colonist gets too tired, they might collapse and discard their assigned load, so some items might be missing in the end.
  • If one of the colonists who are loading the pod is downed or killed, all of the pods will automatically unload and the loading process will be canceled.[Fact Check]

Once the pods have been loaded, clicking the 'Launch group' button opens the world map to select a destination. The maximum range, based on the launcher's amount of fuel, is indicated by a white border. Pods are single use.

Launch targets[edit]

Pods can be launched at empty tiles, to caravans, or at a faction base, player colonies, or event locations. Manned pods can choose to form caravans at their drop site or, if targeting a base or event location, choose to drop at the edge or center. Note that this is always considered an attack if performed on a faction base.

All pods, even manned ones, can be gifted to faction bases resulting in a goodwill proportional to the market value of the items and pawns in the pods. All unmanned pods dropped onto faction base are considered a gift. Prisoners and downed pawns being returned to their faction's bases also provides an addition goodwill bonus.

All unmanned pods dropped on to any other location that is not currently visible (e.g. any tile that isn't a player colony and does not have any colonists present) will be lost. Toxic wastepacks Content added by the Biotech DLC disposed of this way will cause pollution on the given tile, annoying nearby factions. Dropping wastepacks directly on other faction bases causes goodwill penalties, as well as retaliation in the form of raids or wastepacks sent back.

When dropping into a player visible map, including event maps, colonies, and/or the map the launcher itself is on, players can choose the pods' exact drop point. Be careful with the landing site, as the pods can go through roofs; while they don't deal any damage directly, the collapsing roof can damage nearby items and pawns. They cannot land on overhead mountain.

When pods, manned or unmanned, are dropped on caravans their contents are instantly merged into the caravan.

Creating a pod group[edit]

A pod can be launched individually or with others. Grouped pods must be connected to pod launchers that are all touching along one of their borders.

To select multiple pods for a launch group, make sure their launchers are connected, and use one of the following methods:

  • Double-click a pod to select all pods on the screen.
  • Hold ⇧ Shift and click each pod.
  • Draw a selection box around the pods.

NPC transport pods[edit]

Other factions can use drop pods as a way to immediately get to you:

  • Trade ships will use drop pods to send items to you.
  • Used for quests, both for the reward and for certain objectives, like prisoners and monument markersContent added by the Royalty DLC
  • Asking for military support for outlander or empireContent added by the Royalty DLC factions, where allies will drop in.
  • Raids can arrive from drop pods. They often drop directly on your base, but can also arrive normally or scatter throughout the map. Sieges get supplies from drop pods.


Due to the game's inefficiency in loading large stocks, it's best to create a stockpile right next to the pods and haul all desired items there before loading the pods, to reduce time spent going back and forth. Once inside the pods, pawns will keep their needs, meaning if you load them hungry or exhausted, they will be hungry and exhausted upon arrival.

For extra long distance travel it is possible to load the transport pod with resources to build another pod launcher immediately upon landing. When this is done the resources (Steel 110 + Component 2 + Chemfuel 150) will take up 64kg for every secondary launch. This cost can be dramatically reduced by mining steel at the landing site, reducing the weight cost to 9kg of chemfuel and components per secondary pod.


Version history[edit]

  • 1.1.0 - Downed pawns can now be loaded into transport pods like prisoners.
  • 1.4.3528 - Fix: Mechs not entering transport pods. Fix: Lifters can try to haul themselves to a transport pod.
  • 1.4.3555 - Fix: Pawns ignore allow zones when hauling to transport pods.