Used for gathering
A stockpile zone is where items are stored. Colonists assigned to hauling will bring items to stockpiles configured to accept them. Animals trained in hauling will also haul items, although only occasionally. It's advised to place your stockpiles carefully to minimize the amount of time spent hauling items.
To create a stockpile, click the Stockpile Zone button, in the Zone/Area tab of the Architect menu. Next, simply click and drag to draw the area. If the chosen area has parts that cannot be made into a stockpile, like a wall or a workbench, a stockpile will be created but they will not be part of it. Doing the same operation on an already existing stockpile will expand it. When creating a stockpile, any movable items currently occupying the designated tiles will automatically be considered part of the stockpile, even if the stockpile settings disallow those particular items. Removing a stockpile works exactly the same, but with the Shrink Zones button. This will erase the specified area.
Select a stockpile and click the Storage tab to configure it.
- Priority - Items are brought to stockpiles with higher priority that have available space. Haulers will even move items already in a stockpile that can be moved to a higher priority one.
- Hit points and quality sliders - Set sliders to restrict items based on their hit points and/or quality.
- Item list - Choose what items are allowed.
Once a stockpile has been allocated, haulers will automatically move items to the stockpile when they are available, and as long as the stockpile allows that item and has available space.
One method to ensure your crafters have raw material on hand is to place a small stockpile, set to a higher than normal priority, next to the workbench. This will speed up production as the crafter only has to take a few steps to obtain the material (this also prevents the crafter from dragging material across the entire map). Whenever a crafter picks up material from the stockpile, your haulers will automatically fetch more material to refill the stockpile. This speeds up a queue of jobs, as other colonists performs the time-consuming distant haul whilst the crafter concentrates on actually making items.
Shelves also work well as small, high-priority stockpiles. They also have the advantage over stockpiles of not causing the penalty to beauty that random items lying on the floor do.