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Holds resources for use by machines like nutrient paste dispensers.
- 1 ˣ 1
- pass through only
- Cover Effectiveness
- Terrain Affordance
Hoppers can only be constructed next to, and with the side spout facing, a nutrient paste dispenser. The hopper blueprint will turn from red to green to indicate proper placement.
Hoppers can be installed along any side of the nutrient dispenser, except the interaction spot (front center). As such, with diagonally connecting walls, a total of 13 hoppers could service a single nutrient paste dispenser, resulting in a maximum total amount of 975 foodstuffs being available for processing through the dispenser, or almost 100 meals.
Hoppers are a specialized type of Stockpile Zone for foodstuffs only. Once a hopper is selected, you can click the "Storage" tab which opens a menu where you can set the priority and resources of choice, similar to any zone.
Despite the limitations in the stockpile selection, the machine will consume any type of food (except hay), including all biological corpses and kibble, if the food happens to be dropped on top of an existing hopper or if a hopper is built on top of them. Unbutchered corpses, along with any equipment will be entirely consumed by the machine, and only a single meal will be produced making this an incredibly wasteful production method. Make sure to clear any space for a new hopper if you do not want this to happen.
It is possible to force food on top of a hopper by taking it to a pawn's inventory, positioning the pawn directly north of the hopper, and then manually dropping it in front of the hopper. This allows for reprocessing meals as well as producing meals out of kibble. In both instances, this will also remove any ingredient penalties at the same time.
A single hopper can only hold one type of food at a time, and the normal stack size restrictions are observed, so multiple hoppers may be desirable, and at least 2 are recommended. With few hoppers, small quantities of food can be placed in all of the hoppers, preventing sufficient food being available to the dispenser to produce a meal by disallowing stacking. This can occur even when there is enough food present in the colony as a whole. Having multiple hoppers allows small stacks of foodstuff to be consumed by the machine, which has no problem combining sources from different hoppers, and makes it less likely that every hopper will have a small quantity of food added to it. Should this "jamming" occur and adding hoppers be infeasible, the existing hoppers will need to be emptied before more of a different foodstuff can be added.
Meals draw from hoppers in priority of food that is the closest to spoiling at the time the meal is prepared. The NPD has no problem drawing from multiple hoppers to total "10" foodstuff to create a meal.
Pawns with hauling jobs will treat the hoppers no differently from any other "storage zone", and cooks may take raw food from them in order to cook meals.
Since neither hoppers nor NPD's can be uninstalled but only deconstructed, plan carefully for placement of both the NPD and your preferred number of hoppers, plus room for haulers to load the hoppers.