Top 10 Tips for New Players – A RimWorld Guide

It's time to build something wonderful.

RimWorld is a unique experience. Developed by Ludeon Studios, this top-down colony management game first found its following through the crowdfunding service Kickstarter. Since its release, however, RimWorld’s audience has only grown. With new players constantly pouring in, we have decided to offer some quick tips for new players.

We go over some of the best tips to get started, but don’t forget! You can always adjust the game’s difficulty with a variety of mods and plugins. We suggest playing vanilla at the start, but if you have too much trouble you can always change anything in the game via mods.

1. Choose Your Landing Spot Wisely

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Once you have plummeted down to your initial landing zone, you will have to fight hard for survival. Luckily, you will get to choose where you first land.

There are several biomes you can choose from when picking a landing zone. That being said, all of the biomes were not created equal. Depending on which biome you choose, the initial parts of the game could be incredibly challenging or comparatively easy.

For instance, the temperate forest biome is considered the easiest starting location. After all, this biome hosts the tamest weather and environmental conditions. If you choose the mountains or the plains, you will have to endure a more challenging environment. However, the toughest biomes are the extreme deserts and the ice sheets.

Do you want an exciting challenge or would you prefer to learn the basics with minimum difficulty? Choose your landing zone accordingly.

2. Set up a Kill Box


The pathfinding and general movement of enemy units will become somewhat predictable as you continue to play RimWorld. Take advantage of that fact.

Enclose your colony with an expansive wall. Then, build a hallway that will lead to the only entrance for your colony. Within this hallway, you will make your kill box.

The concept of a kill box is to funnel all of your enemies to a single, predictable location so that you can unleash a massive fury of armaments their way. Set up sentries, turrets and everything else you can throw at them. This will make defending your colony a breeze, when it comes to the average assault.

3. You Always Need More Snipers

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Snipers are wonderful sentries to have for almost any occasion. If you need to have fighters posted at your colony gates to keep your people safe, snipers will be able to engage oncoming enemies faster than most. Beyond that, you will be happy you have a small hoard of snipers when mechanoid enemies begin assaulting your territory.

It is also important to note that mortars can be an alternative to having a surplus of snipers. You can use mortars to compel your enemies to rush into your kill boxes.

4. You Are Going to Lose

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Unless you are playing in one of the easier biomes, it is likely that RimWorld will eventually defeat you. This game is tough.

Do not be afraid to experiment. Try new strategies each time you build a colony. Take on problems in new and inventive ways.

Part of the fun of RimWorld is learning how to best beat the system. That being said, it is likely that the system will first beat you a few times.

5. Always Monitor the Health of Your Colonists

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Keeping your colonist healthy is a priority. Luckily, simply keeping your people well fed is enough to heal small wounds.

More deeply wounded colonists, however, will require a medical bed. Keep at least one of these beds handy and make sure it has its own room with plenty of space. Lastly, spruce up your colony with as much entertainment and tasteful art as you can. Doing this will help prevent mental health issues within your colonist down the road.

6. Know How to Set up a Proper Shelter

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There are essentially three steps to setting up your first settlement. You need to concern yourself with shelter, provision and then protection.

First, you need to build sleeping quarters for each of your colonists. Next, do everything you can to ensure that you can properly preserve rations of food. You will need a storage room, if not also a freezer.

Next, send a few colonist hunting for food. Meanwhile, start up a small growing zone. Always make sure that you have food coming in from more than a single source. It is also important to note that you cannot allow your colonists to consume raw meat. Make sure to cook every meal.

Lastly, build some turrets around your colony to ensure your people’s safety. In time, you will be able to afford building a wall and to post up snipers. Until then, a few turrets should do just fine.

7. Be Careful When Choosing Your Colonists

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There are quite a number of colonists to choose from, and each one will offer a unique set of skills. That being said, there are some things you should look out for.

For instance, you will need a doctor, shooter and a grower immediately. Make sure to have each of these skill sets covered when the game begins. You want to avoid non-skilled laborers as long as you can.

Not being able to haul goods from place to place can be frustrating, but not as frustrating as your colony’s inability to grow at a steady rate. Beyond that, avoid pyromaniacs. When you start out, much of your settlement will likely be wood. Having a pyromaniac on board can easily spell catastrophe.

8. Prioritize Your Work


You can assign work for your colonist based on a numerical system of 1-4. Each colonist will complete each task labeled within the one category, before moving on to the two category. After making it all the way through the four category, your colonist will begin the process all over again.

Luckily, you can manually categorize your daily tasks to each of the four systems. If you want your colonist to immediately drop their task and start doing their chores from the top of the list, simply un-draft and then re-draft the selected colonist.

Make note of your work zones. Your colonist will not pursue a task if the task is outside of their work zone, so you may prioritize a task and later realize it was ignored.

9. Keep Your Colonist Happy

This tip is perhaps the most obvious. But, it is also an important one. Keep your colonist happy.

The less happy your colonist are, the more stressful managing them will become. To take care of this problem before it strikes, make sure you are maintaining an ample supply of food, shelter and a clean environment at all times. Keep in mind that the sight of corpses or the death of a fellow colonist will have a negative effect on the happiness of your group.

10. Choose Your Skills With Care


You can learn new skills in RimWorld to improve your abilities throughout the game. That being said, it is important to choose your starting specialization skills wisely. Here is a list of some of the most useful primary and auxiliary skills to start with down below.

Primary Skills: Mining, growing, construction and cooking

Auxiliary Skills: Social, Animals, Crafting, Research and Combat

Hunter Boyce is a writer, which probably seems pretty obvious with "author" prominently displayed. He mostly writes about video games. However, he was previously a mixed martial arts news writer. When not writing about people pelting each other in the face or about leveling up in the latest RPG, he tends to spend his time as a web producer in Atlanta. You can shout all of your MMA and video game related quandaries at him at @SomthinClever on Twitter. Feel free to make your demands to him in ALL CAPS. He loves that.


  1. Frozenheart

    There are some good tips and there is some bad ones too. Post up snipers? What the fuck? Newbies will think they need to draft people and just leave them in a spot all day. This is a big NO, you dont “post up snipers”, you only need to draft on a invasion event. Kill boxes are stuff of middle to late game also, you won’t be able to make an efficient one earlier without sacrificing the development of your colony. Also, why the love with ranged and specially snipers? Assault Rifles and Charged Rifles are better most of the time. Youre also ignoring the power of melee, they are just as good if not better, put a shield belt on him, bionic legs and 2x power claws and watch him insta killing stuff. I recently just made a game on naked brutality starting with a melee and I was able to thrive much easier than a ranged one. Also, you didnt mention tips to crafting as well, there are some conditions that will make your colonists create a masterwork or legendary gear easier and this can make a difference on the outcome of a battle.

    • Hunter Boyce

      Hey, Frozenheart. Thank you for your feedback.