Temperature is an important consideration in colony management. In some biomes temperature can reach extreme highs and lows. Temperature also plays a major role and is affected by many things in world generation. The temperature in the outdoors stay fairly consistent. Temperature can be used as a weapon for any player with adequate power to burn in a raid.
There is an orange glow when hovering over very hot areas to help you identify them. In these areas, it is so hot that flammable objects will spontaneously catch fire, and pawns will be burnt by superheated air.
Temperature affects many aspects of your colonist's life. Cold temperatures will preserve food and freeze your colonists to death, while hot temperatures will rot food, cook colonists, and can even start fires. Temperature is determined by the climate of your biome and is managed through structures in the temperature menu.
All indoor rooms have their own temperature which can be seen by mousing over it. Temperature equalizes through roof and walls, with higher temperature differences and more connecting tiles having a stronger effect. Larger rooms have more "mass" to maintain their temperature and will have more authority over smaller rooms.
Temperature transfer inside a room is instantaneous regardless of room size. This means long hallways can be used to transfer hot or cold quickly through a large base. Double thick walls act as an insulator to reduce heat transfer between rooms. Any room that borders an outdoors area will try to match the outdoors temperature, even if the room borders solid rock. Rooms with extreme temperature differences can be buffered with an intermediate room, such as by using a cold hallway to protect a warm bedroom from a frozen outdoors.
Try not to build long thin hallways connecting outside your base, or leave large solid rock clusters inside your base. This will increase your surface area against outdoor temperatures and make it more difficult to manage. Cut off the hallways using doors and mine the rock until all traces of outdoor area are gone.
For the most part your colonists do not require an ideal temperature all the time to be happy. They only become unhappy with sleeping in an overly cold or hot bedroom and only suffer damage if they lack proper clothing for a hot/cold day. A colonist at risk of injury will first suffer unhappy thoughts about their temperature and will attempt to find more suitable clothing to be comfortable.
Temperature management is important for any colony, regardless of climate. It can be simply managed with a good power supply and the following structures:
The cooler is primarily used to lower the temperature of a room. It has two states of power consumption: low and high. In its low state, the cooler produces no heat or cold but still requires 20 W. It can be used to lower the temperature of a room to a comfortable 20 degrees Celsius (room temperature) in the summer or create a walk-in freezer for your food. In hot biomes such as desert or rainforest, having comfortable air conditioning is a necessity for any base.
Coolers are heat pumps that produce both a cold side and a hot side. The hot side is rarely useful and should be directed to an outdoor space to not inconvenience your colony.
A cooler is theoretically able to cool a single square by about 1800 kelvin [K]. But this is not a linear relation as a room always exchanges heat with adjacent rooms and/or the outside. Example: In a realistic setup, this means it can cool a room with 50 squares by an average of about 36 K per square. So a room with 50 squares and an outside temperature of 60 °C / 140 °F can be cooled down to comfortable 24 °C / 75 °F or something near that with a single cooler.
A freezer is the most straightforward use of coolers for a starting colony. Building one is as simple as making a room and replacing some wall tiles with coolers. Direct the cold "blue" zone of the cooler inside the room and the hot "red" tile to an outdoor area. Select the cooler temperature settings and reduce their target temperature so that they continue running below 0 °C / 32 °F. As the room cools down any food left inside will decay more slowly until it freezes. Frozen food will stay fresh indefinitely and incurs no other benefit or penalty when eaten.
- Building freezers that can tolerate extreme heat, due to the biome or heat waves, can be challenging. The type of material used to build the walls does not matter because they all have the same insulation values. However, increasing the walls from 1-thick to 2-thick dramatically improves the insulation, but thickness beyond 2-thick does not have a noticeable effect. Never block a cooler's intake or exhaust port or else it won't function.
- Freezers lose a great deal of cooling through doors as pawns open them. This loss can be offset by having doors arranged in sequence, one after another, at points of egress, in an "airlock" like fashion. The loss can be examined by mousing over the sections of the airlock to see the temperature. Using doors rather than autodoors can help reduce the cooling lost, though this slows down colonists.
- The hot end of the Cooler is useful for climates where the temperature rarely gets above 20C and almost never above 30C. Instead of pointing the freezer's hot end outside, point it directly into your base. This will increase your energy efficiency and may save a few components on Heaters.
The passive cooler is a very low-tech option automatically unlocked for tribal starts. They operate at the same strength as a Cooler and will cool rooms to a very comfortable 15 (59 ) for 5 days.
Passive coolers are a life saver in extremely hot climates as they can be quickly built, are immune to electrical events and are easily massed in a heat wave. Use passive coolers to keep your living spaces survivable and chill rooms surrounding a freezer to further protect the products inside.
The heater is used to raise the temperature of a room. It has two states of power consumption: low and high. In its low state, the heater produces no heat but still requires 18 W. It can be used to raise the temperature of a room to a likable 20 degrees Celsius (room temperature) in the winter or create a walk-in heat trap for your foes. In any cold biome, such as the Tundra, the heater is a necessity for any base.
A heater (in theory) is able to heat a single square by about 1800 kelvin [K]. But this is not a linear relation as a room always exchanges heat with adjacent rooms and/or the outside. This heat conduction effect can be pretty noticeable in extremely cold or hot environments. Example: In a realistic setup, this means it can heat a room with 50 squares by an average of about 36 K per square. So a room with 50 squares and an outside temperature of -10 °C / 14 °F can be heated up to comfortable 26 °C / 79 °F or something near that with a single heater.
Campfires are a quick and dirty solution to produce heat in a hurry. They require no energy, but are temporary structures and must be refreshed with wood every few days. Otherwise they produce the same amount of heat as an electrical heater.
They cannot raise the temperature to over 30 degrees Celsius.
A vent conducts some of the temperature from one room to another room. It structurally acts like a wall to separate rooms and it supports a roof. Placement of a vent requires open space on its two sides (no solid structures such as walls). The blueprint can be laid atop an existing wall; the wall is replaced upon construction. The placement of multiple vents along a wall increases the temperate transference. Requires the Complex Furniture research to build.
Vents can have any building in front of it, but no walls. Vents work best when connecting directly to a climate controlled room. Trying to chain vents across smaller rooms will lead to each successive room getting less effective climate control, and connecting to a hallway won't work well if the hallway is blocked with doors. A vent can be designated to be closed, an action carried out by colonists assigned to flicking.
A steam geyser will heat up a roofed room even when covered with a geothermal generator. They are extremely useful for staying warm in frozen climates but can overheat an indoors space in warmer biomes.
Weapons that generate fire such as Molotov cocktail and Incendiary launcher can be used to quickly generate heat inside your colony. Under normal conditions this is a bad idea because fires will quickly bring your base to intolerable temperatures. However in a bitter arctic climate with no wood and inadequate heaters, these weapons are your last defense against freezing to death. Draft your colonist and force them to open fire on an empty space, or burn spare corpses and rags to increase heat output.
Similar to double thick walls, double doors (not side-by-side, rather, both in the path of travel) improve insulation and reduce temperature equalization. A door can be left permanently open (mark the door to 'hold open' and have a pawn pass through) to help control temperature. Open doors allow temperature to more quickly equalize between rooms, or outdoors for exterior doors. Equalization through open doors is less potent than vents.
Extreme Temperature Effects
The maximum temperature is 2,000 absolute zero. The minimum temperature is not encountered during normal unmodded gameplay, but fires in small enclosed spaces can reach the maximum temperature. The gear tab also shows aggregate stats about comfy temperatures.(3,632 ) and the minimum is -270 (-454 ), very close to
Temperatures below a pawn's minimum comfortable temperature or above their maximum comfortable temperature will cause them discomfort with mood debuffs and in extreme cases can cause death. The simple cure for any afflicted colonist is to return them to a normal temperature environment. This process can be sped up by forcing the colonist into the opposite extreme, such as putting heatstroke victims in a freezer to cool off.
- Heatstroke - caused by prolonged exposure to heat.
- Burns - caused by exposure to extreme heat or contact with fire.
- Hypothermia - caused by prolonged exposure to cold.
- Frostbite - injury to extremities caused by prolonged exposure to cold.
Objects such as wooden structures and furniture will ignite once they reach a high enough temperature, depending on their material's flammability. All stone types and uranium have their flammability set to 0% and therefore objects made from them will not ignite or burn in any temperature. Steel, plasteel, silver, gold and jade are flammable as materials, but not as items.
Extreme cold has no negative effect on objects; most food and plant matter items spoil depending on temperature, and become refrigerated at temperatures below 10 (50 ), slowing down the spoiling process. When temperature reaches freezing (0 (32 )), they become frozen and completely stop spoiling.
It is important to know where Temperature might become an issue. Often multiple aspects have to be considered with Temperature: Pawn Limits, Sleeping Pawn Limits (which exclude clothing values), Workbench Limits, Plant Limits.
For example, the highest and lowest temperature pawns can survive is way above and below the temperature for plant growth and the temperature range of most workbenches. In extreme heat, even the spontaneous Combustion of Building Material becomes an issue.
- 2000°C maximum value
- ~235°C Items spontaneously catch fire
- 50°C Animals max temperature
- 44°C Plant growth slowed
- 30°C Campfire max temperature
- 26°C default human upper limit
- 21°C Heater and Cooler default target
- 16°C default human upper limit
- 15°C Passive Cooler min temperature
- 10-1°C Plant growth and food spoiling slowed
- 5°C bad temperature bench modifier
- 0°C Plant growth and food spoiling stopped
- -270°C minimum value
Room Temperature Mechanics
Equalisation calculations happens once every 120 game ticks.
All internal calculations are done in celsius. Fahrenheit is simply a different way to display the same absolute value.
Temperature seems to be measured to a extreme precision. A outdoor of ~9°C and a room of 2000 °C have a difference around -9555.292C
Spaces that are not enclosed are simply considered "outside". The outside temperature is defined entirely by the climate. No amount of heat adding/removing can change it, not even the Mod Tools can change it by simply adding/removing heat to the outdoor "room" - unless they set it, nothing will happen. Proximity to heatsources does not mater. Instead the "room" value is used.
Despite this "outdoor" is still used like any other neighbouring room for wall equalisation. And often the most important room for that mater.
Rooms can be in one of 3 states:
- Unroofed (not a single roof tile). This means it will simply use outdoor temperatures. It does still count as a "room" for most game mechanics, but for game mechanices the next active tick will set it to outdoors
- fully roofed (all tiles in the room have a roof tile)
- partially roofed (uses outdoor temperature) while this room seems to maintain temperature while paused, the next equalisation tick will simply set it to outdoor temperature
- partially roofed (not use outdoor temperature) While there will be significant equalisation via the (lack of) roof, the room still has its own temperature calculation. The exact flipover point between this and "uses outdoor" is not static and seems to change with roomsizes. Possibly something based on the summed "no roof equalisation" value. < 1/4 of all roof tiles seems to be the limit.
This is equalisation via walls and roofs.
Walls will equalize towards the room on the other side. This can be another fully realized room or simply the outdoors. If the other side is not outdoors, that room will also equalize towards this room.
- The material of the walls does not matter. Wood is as isolating as any stone or metal. And unmined rocks are equally effective.
- The surface area does seem to matter. Basically, the game is using a 2D variant of the square/cube law, with walls taking the place of "surface area" and room size taking the place of "volume". As such square rooms are the most efficient at keeping temperatures.
- A 2nd layer halves the temperature equalisation via walls. Adding more than a 2nd layer of wall does not seems to have any effect.
- Furniture acts highly variable for this and even just the definition what is a room. Nutrient dispensers are one of the few items working fully like walls for equalisation purposes
Example wall equalisation values at -9555.208C difference:
- 1x1: -161.470°C
- 2x2: -81.235°C
- 3x3: -54.157°C
- 4x4: -40.618°C
- 5x5: -32.494°C
- 6x6: -27.078°C
- 7x7: -23.210°C
Example double wall equalisation values at -9555.208C difference:
- 1x1: -81.234°C
- 2x2: -40.617°C
- 3x3: -27.078°C
- 4x4: -20.309°C
- 5x5: -16.247°C
- 6x6: -13.539°C
- 7x7: -11.605°C
Roof is a major part with equalisation with the outdoor temperature. It will always equalize with the outdoor temperature, regardless what the room borders. However, the equalisation rate is also constant for all room sizes at the same temperature difference. There are 4 basic types of roof:
- Constructed (Thin Roof)
- Thin Rock (Thin Roof)
- Thick Rock
- Thin Roof at a difference of -9555.208C it is -57.331°C.
- unroofed tiles are looked at in relation to the total count of roofed tiles. With at least 1/4 unroofed the room will simply equalize to outdoor temperature on the next tick.
- thick roof isolate the same as thin roof. However, they also add a cooling effect if indoor temperature is above ~15°C; this effect is extremely small compared to other sources, however
While Vents, Coolers and open doors still keep rooms separated, they also equalize temperature at a very high rate. This rate is unfortunately not shown on any tooltip.
Torches, Campfires, Heaters and Passive coolers will directly modify the room temperature instead, adding/removing heat every equalisation tick as appropriate for their settings/current state.