How does that old saying go – by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail? Or, in RimWorld’s [official site] case, by failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail; and even if you prepare really, really well, you’re probably best preparing for failure all the same.
You see, even with the most meticulous preparation and planning, success is far from guaranteed in Ludeon Studios’ survival management sim. RimWorld is a game that sees even the most seasoned colonists come a cropper at the drop of a hat – not to mention established popstars who’ve otherwise enjoyed privileged upbringings – which is why it’s good to know intuitive user-made mods are there to help us through its often harsh expectations.
Edb Prepare Carefully is a nifty mod to kick things off. Instead of having you simply pick a starting location and go for it from the game’s outset, this handy leg-up lets you customise your prospective colonists – choosing their gear, backstory, stats, traits, appearance, and essentially everything else that’s worth tweaking at will. An optional points limiter affords the more adventurous players a more balanced start, however this mod caters to those who’re after limitations and strict boundaries.
Now, you and I both know there’s scant guarantee on how your mob will behave once out in the wild, but Edb Prepare Carefully lets you play God and build your starting group within rigid parameters so you’re afforded the best chance of surviving out in the wilderness. For a while, at least. Fail to prepare and all that…
Through all of that preparing to fail, Fluffy is a modder who understands your pain. He’s crafted over a dozen modifications which should help in varying degrees, but there’re some in particular which should aid your quest toward becoming queen/king coloniser.
Colony Manager is perhaps the most helpful of the lot. It ostensibly removes the majority of tedious micromanagement from your duties, and prompts your workers to get their proverbial fingers out. You’ll manually set up production lines that’ll transform raw materials to finished products autonomously, and you’ll set bills via a new ‘Manager’ tab which will assign manager skill-boasting colonists to in turn assign jobs to the rest. “In theory there is no real limit to the number of global bills that can be set,” reads the mod’s description while asserting that “you’re still the overlord.”
Furthering this idea of streamlining otherwise overly-complicated menus (something RimWorld is often guilty of), Fluffy’s Medical Tab, Relations Tab and Work Tab mods all simplify their respective criteria by way of handy graphs, indicators, and complete tab overhauls.
NB – Fluffy’s Steam Workshop page is probably worth checking out in its entirety.
By Sam and Rimfire respectively
Between all the tinkering and tweaking, managing and milling, you really should take some time to treat yourself. Building upon the preexisting in-game mentions of futuristic “glitter worlds”, Glitter Tech is more superficial-leaning than most other RimWorld mods but grants you access to an arsenal of advanced power generators, bionic limbs and organs, high tech energy weapons and armour, powerful turrets and automatic mortars, and wall lights and blast doors.
Be warned, though, crafting such exceptional wares is likely to attract the attention of unscrupulous corporations, says mod creator Sam. These groups of shady characters aren’t likely to turn up until the late game, but will nevertheless come packing quite the punch when they do. Sam recommends you start a new world with this ‘un in order to experience the “full Glitter Tech experience.”
With all of that surplus power, you might also want to consider a more energy efficient lifestyle while lost in the cosmos. Rimfire’s Efficient Light is a bright idea, ahem, that handles that by reducing the power usage of the standing lamp from 75 to 25. In a flash, ahem, you’ll help better maintain vital systems in the face of cursory ambience.
By [R5L] Orion
As I’m sure you’re now well aware, being lost in space can be a pretty lonely experience – particularly when your roommates have gone berserk, are gravely ill, and/or have died. Wouldn’t it be nice, then, if those non-hostile visitor types stayed for longer than that single one-off trade? What if you could provide them with guest beds and rooms? What if they even joined your faction for keeps? Modder Orion understands such desires and as such has crafted three mods to address this very point.
Orion’s Hospitality is the main one which caters to the above and establishes your colony as a regular traveller hub. If the nomads gain your trust, there’s a good chance they’ll stick around – so long as you’ve got the means to keep them from going berserk, getting gravely ill and/or dying, naturally. Orion’s Faction Discovery allows you to create new factions that can be loaded straight from existing games, as opposed to forcing you to start again in order to see them in action. Ultimately, this mod ensures you always have enough recommended bases on the map to activate “every faction you have installed.” Furthermore, a bonus Hippie Faction introduces “good old forest dwellers who don’t mean anyone harm” that are “ready to be exploited.”
By Jaxxa and skyarkhangel respectively
These mods are actually at odds with one in another in that they don’t appear to be compatible, however each adds a degree of realism to the game – as far as crash landing a spacecraft onto a foreign planet and setting up shop years into the future feasibly allows.
First, More Vanilla Turrets does exactly what you might expect by adding more turrets that are in-keeping with the base game’s style and design. Expect more turret and mortar variations (and a shallow moat), alongside some refined balancing. The full list of particulars can be found in this direction, however this mod also requires you up your research game in order to realise its full potential. Specifically, you’ll want to look into gun turret cooling; military grade turrets; shredder and precision turrets; vulcan cannons; mortars; and devastator mortars.
Again, Combat Realism sadly doesn’t play nice with the above, however it does straighten out RimWorld’s bendy-physics firearm shootyness which I personally find a touch frustrating. Instead, this mod facilitates some pretty extensive changes to combat and weapons by way of rebalancing, shooting ranges in relation to line-of-sight, fire rates, cooldown time periods and a whole host of other considerations which are designed to mirror real life.
Also see: Abrexus’ SuperiorCraftingA11b – an at times overly complicated mod which nonetheless adds a nice layer of realism, by way of logical thinking, and challenge to RimWorld’s research tree.
By Blitz and EnterElysium respectively
And so onto the scenarios because, let’s face it, that’s what RimWorld is all about. If you’ve reached this far in the list, I know that you know the longevity of your life out in the intergalactic wilderness is often a roll of the dice and that’s what makes it so darned great. Stick your ‘fail to prepare’ axiom!
Anyway, the first scenario worth turning you head towards (and then most likely sharply away from) is Blitz’s The Exiled Tribe. Things kick off when your tribe decides to swipe the current chief’s magical shield and ceremonial dagger, which in turn prompts a witch hunt with you and your pals as the star prize. Your entourage quickly realises this so-called “magic shield” is pretty damn useless, thus you “decide to pack up the village’s elephant and flee in the middle of the night.” Good luck!
EnterElysium’s The Hangover From Hell, on the other hand, stars five chums who awake with killer hangovers/an 80 percent chance to start with the ‘Chemical Interest’ trait (and a 100 percent chance of being hungover, duh) and must evacuate a burning ship. The writing’s on the wall with this one, really, as you’re tasked with making your way to the lifeboats – “with all the booze you can carry of course” – before making a break to an unknown land. I’d say good luck here too, but I reckon you’re doomed from the outset to be brutally honest.
By Vindar and Justin C
Hear ye! hear ye! Vindar’s Medieval Times mod is essentially an expansion to RimWorld which introduces two new medieval factions, and appropriate clothing, weapons, armour and building items. Beyond three new settlements, new maps also include two medieval societies and one medieval warband – the former of which act like outlander towns, the latter of which functions in similar nature to raiders. If part of the base game is about observing power struggles within initially unassuming colonies, adding a dash of the Middle Ages into the mix brings brutality to the table from the off.
And if you think power-hungry monarchs pose a challenge, try combating brain-hungry undead in Justin C’s Zombie Apocalypse. As “mindless killers”, zombies don’t just pose a threat physically – singularly and/or in hordes – but also promise widespread infection if you wind up the wrong end of their bite. Worse still, they can even endanger colonies via airborne viruses. “This incident never ends,” says the mod’s blurb of the latter. “Once the virus goes airborne, everyone is infected.” Lovely.
By [R5L] Orion
If ya like it then ya shoulda put a wig on it.
Bring a splash of Stardew Valley to RimWorld with Tilled Soil.
Another couple of fun scenarios based on Walter White’s adventures and a reality television show.
Orion’s Big Family
By [R5L] Orion
I think it’s probably best to let the mod’s creator field this one:
“Have you been waiting years and years for your brother-in-law to show up and he just walks past, just to be never seen again? Plot twist! One Big Family solves this problem by changing the odds! Everyone is related… somehow, right!? That spacer you found in a 2000 year old casket? Plot twist! Turns out to be the son you never knew of!
“Just settled down, built a little house with your wife and kids? Plot twist! Your step-mother comes on a visit with your secret lover who is also your wife’s daughter to sell you dog meat! Getting raided by a horde of savages? Plot twist! They brought their whole family tree, including your evil sister who turns out to be their leader and grandmother!
“After all, we’re now One Big Family!”
And that marks the end of our best RimWorld mods. Surviving the harsh realities of the space jungle while herding a temperamental group of colonists requires a very select skillset, though – one which is indefinitely subject to constant change. Which mods are you enjoying? Tell us in the comments below.