Money making guide

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There are lots of ways of "making money" in RimWorld. Depending on a colony's location, progress, and inhabitants, certain means of production will be more viable than others. Some can give profit in the long-term, but require more set-up or work. And there are (at least!) two ways to measure "best" - making the fastest profit in the least time, or squeezing the most profit out of a limited amount of starting material, even if it takes longer. This guide will give an overview of the different options.

In no particular order:

Note on trading

There is no "buy low, sell high" in RimWorld. In general, trader prices do not vary, At most, any faction base offers a +2% Trade Price Improvement, resulting in both lower buying prices and higher selling prices. But certain traders will only accept certain types of items. While a faction base will buy almost everything in their tech level, a combat supplier may not be interested in your human leather.

There is another factor discouraging buy, then sell. There is a default 0.6x price multiplier for selling, and a separate 1.4x price multiplier for buying anything. The Trade price disadvantage storyteller difficulty setting will make things even worse. Your trading disadvantage can be reduced by increasing Social skill (and other means of raising TPI).

All values in this guide assume Strive to Survive difficulty, and use Market Value instead of "actual" value. Difficulty impacts the yield of crops, as well as the trade price disadvantage. And, if you have 0 Social skill, expect things to become 233% more expensive in Strive to Survive, or 350% more expensive in Losing is Fun.

Food Crops

Crop Total Work
(per plant)[1]
Raw material
(per plant)[2]
Market Value
(per plant)
Market Value
(per hour work)
Real days
to grow[3]
plant growth
Corn plant 370 ticks (Plants) Corn 22 corn Silver 24.2 Silver 163.5 20.86 days Silver 1.16
Haygrass 370 ticks (Plants) Hay 18 hay Silver 10.8 Silver 73.0 12.92 days Silver 0.83
Rice plant 370 ticks (Plants) Rice 6 rice Silver 6.6 Silver 44.6 5.54 days Silver 1.19
Potato plant 370 ticks (Plants) Potatoes 11 potatoes Silver 12.1 Silver 81.77 10.71 days Silver 1.12
NutrifungusContent added by the Ideology DLC 370 ticks (Plants) Raw fungus 11 raw fungus Silver 12.1 Silver 81.77 11.07 days Silver 1.09
1 Time it takes to sow and then harvest. Directly reduced by Plant Work Speed. Does not account for travel/hauling time.
2 Assuming 100% harvest yield (difficulty stat) and 100% Plant Harvest Yield (pawn stat, impacted by Plants skill).
3 Time to grow, taking into account day/night cycles, but not sub-optimal light level. Assuming 100% soil fertility. Rice and Corn are equally affected by soil, but corn cannot be grown in hydroponics. Nutrifungus, then potatoes, are affected the least by both poor and good soil.

Corn is the best crop for both human food/work and cash/work. It is actually more profitable per unit work than any crop in the game, including every drug. However, it cannot be processed any further, meaning it is reliant entirely on the grow cycle. Per unit, it is less valuable than any drug, meaning more time is spent hauling. You'll might have to carry all that corn - only bulk goods traders and faction bases will buy it. And, in practice, the slow growing cycle can be a large issue. Corn is more difficult to grow in biomes with a winter. It is vulnerable to destruction, whenever by fire and blight.

Haygrass gives more nutrition/day than corn, but cannot be eaten by humans unless produced into kibble, which gives a −12 moodlet. It is also less efficient for work. Rice is good as a stable source of food, but is not efficient at all in terms of product / work. Rice, potatoes, and corn all have roughly the same nutrition per day, just that rice is the most stable, and corn saves the most work.

Make sure not to sell food that you need to eat. When cooked into simple meals or regular fine meals, each colonist will eat an effective 20 raw food per day. For reference, a field of ~25 tiles of rice, or 20 tiles of rich soil rice, is enough to practically sustain a single colonist in a year-round growing biome indefinitely. Then you can grow and sell endless fields of corn, without starving.


Raw food can be turned directly into sellable packaged survival meals, pemmican, and chemfuel. However, both packaged meals and pemmican require a source of meat, meaning they will not be covered in the table below. Both haygrass and corn can be used to feed animals, but most animals can graze in the summer (or all year, if the biome supports it).

Product Total Work Cost Market Value Added Value @ Corn
(per hr work)
Added Value @ Human
meat (per hr work)
Chemfuel 2500 ticks (no skill) Stuff 3.5 nutrition (Corn 70 raw food) Silver 80.5 < Silver 0.01 Silver 24.5

Corn-turned chemfuel in a biofuel refinery is barely profitable when compared to selling raw corn. You can use less desirable food, like human meat and insect meat, though it is still less profitable than growing rice. Haygrass cannot be used in the refinery unless first turned into kibble.

Chemfuel has its advantages: it is lighter and never rots.

Cash crops

Crop Planter Work
(per plant)[1]
Raw material
(per plant)[2]
Market Value
(per plant)
Market Value
(per hr work)
Real days
to grow[3]
plant growth
Cotton plant 370 ticks (Plants) Cloth 10 cloth Silver 15 Silver 101.35 14.77 days Silver 1.02
Devilstrand 600 ticks (Plants) Devilstrand 6 devilstrand Silver 33 Silver 137.5 41.54 days Silver 0.794
Healroot 1200 ticks (Plants) Herbal medicine 1 herbal medicine Silver 10 Silver 20.83 12.92 days Silver 0.773
Hops 370 ticks (Plants) Hops 8 hops Silver 10.4 Silver 70.27 9.23 days Silver 1.127
Smokeleaf plant 370 ticks (Plants) Smokeleaf leaves 9 smokeleaf Silver 14.4 Silver 97.3 12.92 days Silver 1.115
Psychoid plant 370 ticks (Plants) Psychoid leaves 8 psychoid Silver 15.2 Silver 102.7 16.62 days Silver 0.914
Cocoa tree 4400 ticks (Plants) Chocolate 20 chocolate Silver 60 Silver 34.09 29.54 days Silver 2.031
Ambrosia bush[4] 200 ticks (Plants) Ambrosia 4 ambrosia Silver 60 Silver (750) N/A N/A
1 Time it takes to sow and then harvest. Directly reduced by Plant Work Speed. Does not account for travel/hauling time.
2 Assuming 100% harvest yield (difficulty stat) and 100% Plant Harvest Yield (pawn stat, impacted by Plants skill).
3 Time to grow, taking into account day/night cycles, but not sub-optimal light level. Assuming 100% soil fertility. Psychoid has the least Fert. sensitivity, and hops are less than the other plants.
4 Ambrosia bushes cannot be planted, only appearing from the event. You cannot control where the ambrosia sprouts, meaning that travel time is highly variable. Note that these bushes can be harvested multiple times.

Psychoid and cloth are the clear winners when selling raw. Psychoid has lowered fertility sensitivity, so it is weaker per day in hydroponics.

Devilstrand gives more $/work, but it grows nearly twice as slow as corn. As corn gives even more $/work, it is the superior option. Ambrosia blows all plants out of the water and requires no process work afterwards, but is limited to the event.

Cloth and devilstrand can be used as textiles for both Crafting and Construction items. The rest of the plants are drugs, and can be processed with either Cooking or Intellectual.

Drug Production

Drug Synthesis Work
(per plant)
(per plant)
Market Value
(per plant)
Market Value
(per hr work total)[1]
Added Value
(per plant)
Added Value
(per hr work)
plant growth
Beer 320 ticks (Cook)[2] Beer 1.6 beer Silver 19.2 Silver 69.56 Silver 8.8 Silver 68.75 Silver 2.086[3]
Smokeleaf joint 1012.5 ticks (Cook) Smokeleaf joint 2.25 smokeleaf joint Silver 24.75 Silver 46.22 Silver 10.35 Silver 25.56 Silver 1.916
Psychite tea 800 ticks (Cook) Psychite tea 2 psychite tea Silver 20 Silver 42.73 Silver 2.4 Silver 7.5 Silver 1.316
Flake 500 ticks (Intel.) Flake 2 flake Silver 28 Silver 80.46 Silver 12.8 Silver 64 Silver 1.842
Yayo 350 ticks (Intel.) Yayo 1 yayo Silver 21 Silver 72.92 Silver 5.8 Silver 41.43 Silver 1.381
1 Combined work from both planting and synthesis. Controlled by Plant Work Speed and either Drug Cooking Speed (Cook) or Drug Synthesis Speed (Intel.).
2 For beer, hops need to be converted into wort, then put into a fermenting barrel to make beer. This extra hauling work is not accounted for.
3 Beer takes 6 days to ferment from wort in a fermenting barrel. Fermentation can be done concurrently with plant work, so this is ignored.

  • Why Drugs?

Despite having a lower value/work ratio than raw plants, drugs have several major advantages.

All calculations assume that a drug is constantly being planted, harvested, and synthesized by 1 pawn, before travel time. These tables are comparing 1000 leaves-turned-flake to selling 2315 raw leaves, not 1000 to 1000 leaves. If your planter is not constantly harvesting and resowing every day until the first batch of drug finishes growing, then you have time to synthesize.

If you are able to plant every day, drug synthesis allows you to get more value from the same growing space. Creating drugs allows 2 pawns, perhaps with different skills and passions, to "work" at the same sized field at the same time. This shouldn't need to be said, but if you have a pawn that's bad at plants but great at intellectual, then they are better off creating drugs. Certain biomes may be limited in grow space. Other biomes can let you grow in the summer, and synthesize in the winter. And even in a tropical rainforest: fields this large can be difficult to protect from fire, raiders, and blight - not even considering walk distance. With Plants 8 and an 8 hour work day, this would be 897 tiles of psychoid.

The other advantage is with logistics. More traders accept drugs than raw plants. Drugs are much lighter than their raw materials, meaning caravans and transport pods can carry much more at a time. In addition, plant matter will rot when unrefrigerated; drugs don't.

  • Drug Comparison

Flake is the absolute winner for almost every relevant stat, considering beer's fermentation time. Yayo takes less work per leaf, but selling flake + excess leaves is more valuable than selling yayo. However: if work time is not an issue, but hydroponics space is, then smokeleaf is the superior choice. If Psychite Refining has not been researched, then Beer (requires Beer Brewing) and smokeleaf (requires Drug Production to not be half speed) have their merits.

Psychite tea is clearly the worst available drug for selling. However, colonies may produce it to drink. Psychite tea can be safely drank by adult colonists every 2 days, giving Recreation and decreasing the Rest each colonist needs. As calculated in psychite tea's analysis section, it is virtually always positive in terms of work gained : work required ratio. Excess psychite tea can be sold to traders for a decent profit.

  • High LifeContent added by the Ideology DLC

The high life memeContent added by the Ideology DLC multiplies yield of drug plants by x1.5, drug creation speed by x1.5, and gives +10% Trade Price Improvement when selling drugs. Psychoid leaves alone becomes very comparable in Value / Planter Work to corn.

While psychoid (and other drug crops) are still worse in optimal value / work time than corn, creating drugs has its advantages, listed in "Why Drugs?". Therefore, high life flake tends to be better in practice than corn, let alone flake without an ideology.

Neutroamine drugs

Some drugs require neutroamine, which can only be reliably obtained via trade. This is subject to the various Trade Price Improvements, but under the default difficulty settings at 0% TPI, you buy at a x1.4 markup and sell at a x0.6 loss. Neutroamine is a finite resource at any one point in time, so you are often better off using it for the actual drugs

Drug Synthesis Work
Cost (Silver @ 0% TPI)[1] Market Value Profit @ 0% TPI
(per drug)
Profit @ 0% TPI
(per hr work)
Profit @ 30% TPI
(per drug)[2]
Profit @ 30% TPI
(per hr work)[2]
Penoxycyline 600 ticks (Intel.) Neutroamine 2 (Silver 16.8) Silver 18 Silver −6 N/A Silver 2.28 Silver 9.5
Medicine 900 ticks (Intel.) Neutroamine 1 + Cloth 3 + Herbal medicine 1
(Silver 8.4 bought + 14.5 other)
Silver 18 Never N/A Never N/A
Go-juice 600 ticks (Intel.) Neutroamine 2 + Yayo 1
(Silver 16.8 bought + 21 other)
Silver 53 Silver 2.4 Silver 10 Silver 13.2 Silver 55
Wake-up 900 ticks (Intel.) Neutroamine 2 (Silver 16.8) Silver 35 Silver 4.2 Silver 11.67 Silver 15.54 Silver 43.17
1 Assuming neutroamine is bought, at 140% markup. Anything that can be produced in your colony is assumed to be produced at your colony, and is worth regular market value. The trade disadvantage is taken account when calculating profits for not-neutroamine goods (i.e. yayo is 21 * 0.6 for the 0% TPI profit column).
2 30% TPI is reached at 20 Social skill with no other modifiers, or 8 Social skill with a trading inspiration (you may need to have multiple inspirations). You sell at x0.78 and buy at x0.98.

As the trade price disadvantage is increased for difficulties past Strive to Survive, all neutroamine drugs cease to become (very) profitable.

Apparel and Armchairs

All the uses for cloth and other textiles. Both buildings and apparel have a quality value. The higher the quality, the higher the value. As a reference: you average normal quality at Crafting / Construction 6. You average good quality at Skill 13. For all effects of quality, including price multi. per quality, and the chance of each quality at a given skill level, see the Quality page.

Each product is made out of cloth, for comparison.

Product Total Work[1] Cost Net Value @ Normal Added Value
@ Normal
(per unit material)
Added Value
@ Normal
(per hr work)
Net Value @ Good Added Value
@ Good
(per unit material)
Added Value
@ Good
(per hr work)
Tribalwear 1800 ticks (Craft) Cloth 60 (Silver 90) Silver 97 Silver 0.117 (+7.7%) Silver 9.72 Silver 121.25 Silver 0.521 (+34.7%) Silver 43.4
Duster 10000 ticks (Craft) Cloth 80 (Silver 120) Silver 156 Silver 0.335 (+22.3%) Silver 9 Silver 195 Silver 0.938 (+62.5%) Silver 18.75
Armchair 14000 ticks (Constr.) Cloth 110 (Silver 165) Silver 150.5[2] Silver −0.13 (−8.6%) Silver −2.59 Silver 188.1[1] Silver 0.34 (+22.8%) Silver 4.13
CorsetContent added by the Royalty DLC
Formal vestContent added by the Royalty DLC
12000 ticks (Craft) Cloth 45 (Silver 67.5) Silver 111 Silver 0.97 (+64.7%) Silver 9.06 Silver 138.75 Silver 1.58 (+105.5%) Silver 14.84
1 Crafting speed is not increased by Crafting skill; skill only impacts quality. However, Construction Speed is impacted by the skill.
2 All constructed buildings are sold at at x0.7 price, in addition to the regular TPI and difficulty penalties. This is reflected in the armchair's value and profit.

For nearly every crafted / consructed item in RimWorld, market value is calculated directly with (Ingredient Value) and (Work to Make). This means that there's no particularly 'bad' or 'good' apparel item for the purposes of craft -> selling. The listed items are just the most optimal for a desired goal; do you want more profit per material, or do you want more profit per work time?

Depending on installed DLC, dusters Content from Rimworld core game only or corsetsContent added by the Royalty DLC / formal vestsContent added by the Royalty DLC require the most Work : Material, and therefore the most profitable in terms of Value/Material. However, they are poor in terms of $/Work. You should make them if textile supply is limited, or if crafters can spare the work. Alternatively, you can sell any low-quality dusters you've accidentally made to any traders that show up.

Tribalwear is the polar opposite; best in $/work but worst in value/material. If you have a lot of spare material but need extra money fast, then create those. Quality has a huge impact on profit. The empireContent added by the Royalty DLC will not buy tribalwear; top hats will become the best for $/work.

Armchairs are in a similar, but worse position to dusters. Only make them if you have the textiles to spare, have an idle constructor, and have a much better constructor than crafter. With poor quality armchairs, it is more convenient to just deconstruct armchairs than sell them.

  • Ideology RolesContent added by the Ideology DLC

Production SpecialistsContent added by the Ideology DLC have +50% general labor speed and +1 quality on all items. Masterwork items, worth x2.5 as much as normal, can become incredibly common. A level 20 specialist making tribalwears creates an average of Silver 283.3 silver/hour. This should be compared to a level 20 Plants Specialist churning out corn at 308% speed and 143% yield, for Silver 720 silver/hour. The amount of space required and amount of corn produced for maximum efficiency will be absurd, but so is the cloth required for max efficiency production specialist.


The game encourages creating art for sale. Art sells for x1.1 its value, as opposed to x0.7 value for most other constructed buildings (a 57% increase). Wood is the only material that makes sense to build sculptures for profit in terms of value added per unit work. For materials other than wood, the ratio of work cost versus value added is so low that it isn't worth it unless you either 1) have time and material to burn, or 2) are trying for a specific high-quality sculpture and are willing to sell off the failures.

In general, small sculptures have the highest profit/material and lowest profit/work, while large/grand sculptures are the opposite. What this means is that if you have time but are short on material and want to make the most of what you do have, make small sculptures. Conversely, if you have lots of material and want to create value (relatively) quickly, make grand sculptures. Practically speaking, grand sculptures, at a size of 4x4, are not as useful in your colony as large sculptures, so many players make large and sell off their lower-quality discards.

Also, be mindful that traders may not have enough silver or even goods to buy the best large/grand sculptures. Even faction bases and orbital traders will run out of actual silver.

Size Work to process Profit @ Normal Profit / Material Profit / Work Hour
Small sculpture 12600 ticks (Art) Silver 49.5 Silver 0.99 Silver 9.81
Large sculpture 21000 ticks (Art) Silver 83.6 Silver 0.836 Silver 9.94
Grand sculpture 73500 ticks (Art) Silver 291.5 Silver 0.729 Silver 9.91

It is about 1/10th as profitable to make sculptures per unit work as to farm crops.


Most animals will not provide terribly efficient returns for the labor needed to extract their products. However, depending on biome, simply allowing the animals to breed and graze freely can be a strong source of intermittent revenue. Simply leave them alone in a large pen to breed until they exceed the grazing capacity, then call in a trader or bring them to market. Animals have the additional benefit of being able to carry themselves in a caravan!

Note that since this is designed to be a minimal-labor strategy, it may be necessary to exclude your colonists from pens containing harvestable animals. Additionally, this may make it more profitable to immediately sell a sick animal rather then spend labor and resources on helping it recover.

Ranching for profit works best in equatorial biomes (where growing hay is unnecessary), and for colonies that are more constrained by space than labor (most of them, under default map size/soft pawn limit settings). Other areas will find it far less efficient.

Material Production


The Most Money

By now, it should be established that corn is easily the most profitable per unit work. With all the DLCs, how far can it go?

With a total of 150% yield and 3367% speed, you would reach a theoretical optimum of Silver 8257 silver per hour. You would be planting 227.5 tiles per hour, or 5,460 tiles (a 73x73 area) per 24 hour day. If the entire map was regular soil and you didn't have to worry about travel time/light/food/recreation, this results in planting 113,895 tiles by the time the first corn finishes growing. This is a 337 x 337 area, much larger than a regular map.

This is before temporary modifiers like wake-up, work frenzy, and Work DriveContent added by the Ideology DLC.

How to Calculate

How to derive these numbers by yourself, in case you want to double-check this guide, or calculate values for other items.

Note: 1 RimWorld hour = 2,500 ticks.


  • Planter Work = (Work to Sow) + (Work to Harvest)
  • Market Value per plant = (Material Value) * (Material Yield)
  • Market Value per hour work = (Market Value per plant) * [ (2500 ticks) / (Planter Work) ]
  • Profit per day = (Market Value per plant) / (Real Days to Grow)

All produced items

  • Synthesis Work or Crafter Work = (Work to Make)
  • Total Work = (Work Ingredients) + (Work to Make)
  • Market Value per work total = (Market Value) / (Total Work)
  • Net Value = (Market Value) * (Sell Price Multiplier)

Added Value & Profit

  • Added Value = (Market Value) - (Ingredient Value * Ingredients required)
  • Added Value per hour work = (Added Value) * [ (2500 ticks) / (Synthesis Work) ]
  • Profit at 0% TPI = 0.6 * (Market Value - Material Value Produced) - 1.4 * (Material Value Bought)

(At 0% TPI, items sell at 60% and are bought at 140%. See TPI page for all the buy/sell multipliers)