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Neurotrainer mech serum.png

A one-use super-dose of mechanites tuned to train a specific skill. The dose is administered through the orbit of the eye. Once released into the brain, the mechanites quickly improve the subject's skills in a specific area, transmuting themselves into neural tissue as needed.

Exotic Item
Stack Limit

Base Stats

Market Value
Max Hit Points

Stat Modifiers

The neurotrainer is a rare item that will substantially increase a single, specific skill of the colonist using the serum. It will then be used up and disappear. Each serum is attuned to one specific skill and will increase this skill only, which is given as part of the name, as in "melee neurotrainer mech serum". The skill can not be chosen, it is a property of the item and chosen randomly when the item is generated by the game.

To use the device, select a colonist, right-click the neurotrainer, then click "Use neurotrainer". The skill will increase immediately, the game will display an on-screen message to this effect, and the serum will disappear.

Using the device gives 50,000 base experience, modified by the passion the colonist has for the skill, effectively giving either 35%, 100% or 150% of the base XP, depending on the passion. It will have no effect on a colonist that is incapable of using that skill, but the item will still be used up. As the amount of XP granted is fixed, the effect on the skill level of the colonist varies, depending on how skilled the character already was.

Traits like "Too smart" or "Fast learner" have no effect when using the neurotrainer.

The learning penalty from reaching the "soft cap" of 4000 XP per day is ignored; the serum always provides the same amount of XP for a given character.

A skill upgraded above or beyond level 10 is still subject to decay, as if the skill was learned in the natural way.

Effect on skill level

Since this item gives a fixed amount of experience points, its effect on the skill level of a pawn depends on both the passion for the skill, and the skill level already reached at that point.


  • With an "interested" passion and 0 XP in a skill (no knowledge), a pawn will be at skill level 9 ("solid professional"), halfway through level 10, after using the serum.
  • The same pawn without any passion would be at level 5 ("significant familiarity"), about halfway through level 6.
  • Starting at exactly skill level 16 ("region-known master") and 0 points, the same pawn would get to level 18 ("planet-known master") and no points to spare (ie. decay would immediately take them back to level 17).


The item can be bought from traders, obtained as a quest reward and found in item stashes.


  • Skill passions are in effect when learning from this item, so it is most effective when used by a colonist with a low skill level but high passion for the skill. This gives the highest number of effective levels, which is usually the most impactful change for the colony.
  • The serum is very valuable if naturally training the skill in the field would be difficult, be it for lack of opportunity, or because it would require spending resources or a lot of time. It will allow you to make a colonist immediately viable and productive for a given task: for example, using a serum to train a passionate, but low-skilled miner would instantly allow you to mine valuable ores without wasting yield from the ore mine.
  • Skill increases in general have diminishing returns. The lower the current skill level, the more valuable a given amount of XP points is. Since the serum gives a fixed number of XP points, as opposed to increasing the skill level by a percentage, it is usually more effective to raise low skill levels with it (as this translates into more levels). Getting a character from level 0 to level 9 in a skill is worth – a lot – more than getting somebody from level 16 to 18. This is amplified further by every skill point from level 10 onward being subject to decay.

Version history

  • 0.7.581 - Added as Neurotrainer
  • Beta 18 - name was changed from Neurotrainer to Neurotrainer mech serum, and its description was changed.
  • 1.1 - the name was reverted back to Neurotrainer.
  • 1.2 - Renamed yet again "skilltrainer" and gave them their own category similar to psytrainers.