Rimworld 1.2 guide

This is a guide for both new and experienced players. It contains build orders, tips, and other information on how to beat vanilla Rimworld version 1.2 on "Strive to survive" and "commitment" mode (or possibly harder).

World initialization

This guide is targeted for the following settings:

Starting site choice

The difficulty of the game can be greatly augmented by which tile you choose. The main factors that determine the difficulty of a certain tile are shown in the "Terrain" tab. You should carefully examine this tab before starting your game, as it greatly affects each playthrough. I have listed below the most important factors that affect difficulty. I will discuss recommended biomes at the end of this section so feel free to skip ahead.

Select Site Screen
Select starting site

Growing season

This is denoted as a fraction (e.g. 20/60) of the days of the year that provide optimal growing conditions in a tile. Having a short growing season can greatly limit the amount of food and medicine your colony can produce in a given year. As your colony attains more technology, the growing period becomes less relevant.

Disease frequency

Having a high disease frequency can cripple your colony and cause you to run out of medicine quickly. IF you choose a tile with high disease frequency make sure to have a pawn who can grow healroot early on.

Movement Difficulty

This may not seem that important at first glance, but it can greatly affect the productivity of your colony. It also makes rescues much more likely to fail. If you are playing in a tile with high movement difficulty, you will need to micromanage where your colonists go much more.


This will decide what type of base you are going to build. If you want to build a mountain base obviously pick mountainous. Terrain with hills will provide plenty of resources to main. With flat terrain you may have a more difficult time acquiring minerals.

Stone types

This will decide what building materials are available to you. I recommend choosing a site with Granite and Marble. Granite is the strongest stone, and Marble is the most beautiful.

Other features

Tiles can also include features like rivers, roads, and caves. Rivers can provide a great source of power. Roads can be great if you want to send out lots of trade caravans, or for doing quests quickly. Caves are good for doing strip mining, but usually contain insects.

The easiest tile to choose would have the following attributes:

I prefer to build "super structure" bases, but if you prefer mountain bases, choose mountainous. I just don't like dealing with infestations.

Biome anecdotes

Here is a list of the biomes and their pros and cons

Colonist choice

Your colonist choice is dependant on your biome choice. Read above anecdotes to decide which skills are important for each biome. If you're using my recommended biome, then my suggested pawns should have the following skills.

A cook is nice to have but isn't necassary due to nutrient paste dispensers. I highly recommend using a nutrient paste dispenser in the early game unless you have a cook with high skill level or burning passion. It will free up a colonist to do useful work and you won't get any food poisoning. Mining is not needed unless you are doing a mountain base, in which case you should have a pawn with a burning passion for mining and at least 7-8 skill level. Crafting is nice to have but not needed for the first couple seasons usually.

If you want a bit of an extra challenge, don't reroll the pawns you get with your map seed. I usually try to use the ones I roll unless they are really bad.

Base building

This section will cover how to start your early game base and how expand it into late game. Your base can be the deciding factor of whether you succeed or fail in rimworld. It dictates how happy your colonists are, how fast they work, and how safe they are. I recommend building a "super structure" base. Infestations in mountain bases are annoying for two reasons: 1. they can come at random, e.g. in the middle of a mechanoid raid. 2. They make a huge mess of your base, sometimes taking days of cleanup time.

Quick tips

If you don't want to read the whole base building tutorial, here are some quick tips that have helped me build my base. See the screenshot below for examples.

Super Structure Base
Super Structure Base
Super Structure Base Closeup
Super Structure Base Closeup

Case study: late game base

The main components this base are as follows, going from left to right, and top to bottom:


I didn't leave much room for the courtyard. It's not a huge problem, but I had trouble fitting in a large transport pod group. So this base only has a transport pod group of three (beneath storage room 3). Since my courtyard is filled with equipment it is "ugly" and will drain my colonists "beauty" meter when they walk through it. If I could redesign it, I would have two larger courtyards in my base, one for equipment that they won't usually walk through, and one that is "beautiful" in a central location.

The walkway in my secondary workshop is messed up. If I install chairs for the workbenches, they will block the walkway and cause pawns to route around them. So when I planned the room, I should have added 2 more vertical tiles of space to account for chairs.

Experienced players will probably cringe at my killbox. I'm not a killbox expert but this killbox has been pretty good for me. I've defeated plenty of mech raids including ones with centipedes and inferno cannons. The biggest issue I've had is turret friendly fire. My autocannon turrets have shot a couple of my animals. I realized my killbox is good enough where I don't need animals as a meatshield anymore, so I just put them in a safe spot during raids. Also sometimes I tell the turrets to "hold fire" if necassary.

My hospital is a bit far from any entrance way. When seconds count, having to walk through half of my base to rescue a colonist is not great.

I just realized as I'm writing this tutorial that I forgot to install workbenches in my workshop. D'oh

A common route for colonists is through my kitchen. This can cause it to get dirty quickly. I should have made a seperate hallway to route colonists through.

Choosing where to start building

There are a couple things to consider when you are choosing where to start building.

Fertility Overlay
Fertility Overlay. Seed: purple

The first thing I do when a land on a tile is toggle the "fertility overlay" in the bottom right. This will show you where the best land to grow crops is. If you're playing in a swampy biome, you should also look at the terrain affordance overlay, which will show you where you can build "heavy" structures like stone walls.

If you look in the bottom right of the above screenshot, you can see an abandoned structure with fertile land right outside of it. It also has a geothermal vent nearby. The anima tree is far away so the base won't block its pyschic power. This is a good candidate for a base location. This spot doesn't have great natural barriers, and it's at the edge of the map, so the base will need to expand towards the middle. Alternatively, the structure can be used as a starting base and then colonists can relocate later. If you decide to switch base locations, make sure to do it early on before you build too much infrastructure. Relocating can be a big waste of resources and can cripple your colony.

It's hard to find a tile with a perfect base position, so try to work with what's given to you. Also note that you can cut down the anima tree and it will grow back, but it will cause a -6 mood debuff for everyone, and it grows back in a random spot.

First structure

Your first structure will be multipurpose. It should contain:

If you're starting with a natural structure like the one in the screenshot, make sure to "claim" the doors, otherwise wild animals and raiders can freely enter your base.

Night 1
Night 1