A launchable sub-orbital cargo pod capable of carrying people, items, or animals. Can be used for transport, surprise attacks, or reinforcing battles.
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A transport pod carries pawns and/or items through the lower atmosphere across the world map up to 66 tiles away, depending on fuel supply. A pod can only be constructed on a pod launcher by any constructor of level 6+. Transport pods are single-use.
Creating a Pod Group
A pod can be launched individually or with others. To select multiple pods for a launch group, use one of the following methods:
- Double-click a pod to select all pods on the screen.
- Hold shift and click each pod.
- Draw a selection box around the pods.
Once the desired pods are chosen, click the 'Load launch group X' button (X indicates the number of pods). A window appears to choose what pawns or items to load. Each pod holds up to 150 kg. Colonists will immediately proceed to load the pods. Only one colonist may load a pod at a time.
While loading multiple pods, the game intentionally ignores individual pod capacity. Instead, only the pod group's combined capacity is considered. Therefore, an item or pawn that exceeds 150 kg can still be loaded into a pod. For example, a 280 kg elephant can be added to a group of two pods because it accommodates up to 300 kg. The elephant will be stuffed into one of the pods.
Incapacitated pawns cannot be loaded. Captives who are sent to another base will land free and become hostile again, so you will need to send them through the old-fashioned way of caravans.
If a colonist is part of the load, they will prioritize loading the pod, even if they are incapable of hauling. Interrupting the loading process (e.g. prioritizing other activities) will stop the colonist from further loading the pods. Pawns loading the pods will ignore their need for food and sleep, which will result in starvation and likely lowered mood. This means that if a colonist gets too tired, they might collapse and discard their assigned load, so some items might be missing in the end. If one of the colonists, who are loading the pod is downed or killed, all of the pods will automatically unload and the loading process will be canceled. Due to the game's inefficiency in loading large stocks, it's best to create a stockpile right next to the pods and haul all desired items there before loading the pods, to reduce time spent going back and forth. Once inside the pods, pawns will keep their needs, meaning if you put them hungry or exhausted, they will collapse and eat upon arrival.
Once the pods have been loaded, clicking the 'Launch group' button opens the world map to select a destination. The maximum range, based on the launcher's amount of fuel, is indicated by a white border. Pods can either be launched at a tile (including tiles owned by a faction), or at a caravan. Selecting a faction base prompts to drop at the edge or drop at the center, whereas selecting a caravan allows you to add the contents of the pod to the target caravan. Selecting a tile not occupied by a faction base will immediately launch the pod group.
Selecting a tile with a colony or destroyed outpost (i.e. an active and loaded map) will open the map, and allow you to choose the approximate position the pods land. You can choose your own colony where the pods are launched from.
Be careful with the landing site, as the pods can go through roofs; while they don't deal any damage directly, the collapsing roof can damage nearby items.
If a pod containing only cargo is launched at an unoccupied tile, the contents are lost. This also occurs if a pirate faction on the tile. Launching at caravans will allow them to receive the contents, while launching at friendly/negotiable factions will send the contents as a gift.
Pod launchers only consume as much fuel as required for the launch. The Transport Pod is single use and will leave nothing behind after touchdown.
For extra long distance travel it is possible to load the transport pod with resources to build another pod launcher immediately upon landing. When this is done the resources ( 160 + 4 + 150) will take up 90kg for every secondary launch. This cost can be dramatically reduced by mining steel at the landing site, reducing the weight cost to 10kg of chemfuel and components per secondary pod.