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How to Get More Colonists in RimWorld

How to Get More Colonists in RimWorld

RimWorld is a survival game based on ensuring survival, expansion, and other things for your colony. The number of colonists you have in your colony is dependent on the storyteller you chose when creating the game. 

There is no limit to the number of people present in a single colony, but each storyteller has three factors that influence the population in a colony. The three factors are minimum desired population, maximum desired population, and critical desired population. 

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With this factor, the storyteller will aim to give you the minimum population. When you start a game with the minimum desired population defined by the storyteller, you will notice that you usually get potential new colonists and an escape pod quite early in the game.

Maximum Desired Population

With the maximum desired population factor, the storyteller will keep you at the maximum number of colonists. It means that there will be more events than usual which will help in people joining your colony. The events could be crashed escape pods, people fleeing from enemies, etc.

Critical Desired Population

When you reach the critical desired population number, the storyteller will make massive events happen in the game to reduce your colonist count.

It will become challenging for you to get prisoners in the colony. Due to this, it will also become quite hard to have larger colonies and will depend on the storyteller you choose.

Population Caps for Storytellers

There is no hard cap in RimWorld, but there is a soft cap. This means that things will start to get a bit worse for your colony and colonists if you go over the limit or reach the critical desired population. This will result in the game giving you a more challenging time recruiting more colonists and minimum events to help you grow your number of colonists. 

Four is the minimum population of colonists you can have, and 13 is considered the first soft cap, and 18 is the second except for randy, whose second cap is 50. Here are the population caps for each storyteller:

Cassandra Classic

Minimum Population: 4

Maximum Population: 13

Critical Population: 18

Phoebe Chillax

Minimum Population: 4

Maximum Population: 13

Critical Population: 18

Randy Random

Minimum Population: 4

Maximum Population: 13

Critical Population: 50

By observing these numbers, we conclude that RimWorld is supposed to be played with medium-sized colonies of 13-18 people. Randy Random, however, is designed to have more colonists, which means that it will let you have 50 colonists before giving you any hard time.

Picking Randy Random might be considered if you are planning to have a large colony.

There are different ways to have more colonists in RimWorld, but most of these methods depend on chance and the type of storyteller you have chosen for your game which will also affect the difficulty. 

Let us see the various ways through which you can acquire colonists in the game.

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Colonists in the game can be acquired through in-game many random events. This method is mainly based on luck, but you end up with a new colonist if you execute the circumstances right. 

There are multiple events where you can get colonists as rewards, like the ‘Prisoner Rescue quest.’ When this quest starts, you are informed about a prisoner in a camp nearby who has stolen a radio to contact you about rescue. 

If you succeed in getting to his position on the map or have them flee the camp, that person will join your colony. There is a chance that an injured person has a crash landing near your colony. 

They can be put in a faction or be left on their own. If you help this person by rescuing and healing him, then there is a big chance that he might join your colony. If they don’t, you get a relation boost instead.

Slave Traders

In RimWorld, slave trading is allowed among the trading caravans. Buying slaves in the game is the same as buying any other item. Similarly, you can choose to sell your colonists to slavery, but this will give all the colonists a massive mood debuff. 

Buying new colonists is the same as any other thing you will buy from the trading menu. You can have one of your colonists approach the trader and start the trade. Colonists will have different prices as well, which are based on their skills, health, and traits. 

Colonists with bionic have high health and general traits, so that they will be more expensive. Buying a slave will not give your colonists a mood buff, and the colonists you do buy will have a positive mood buff for a short time because you just freed them from slavery.

Converting Enemy Prisoners

Your colony can have occasional enemy raids, which can be a great source of acquiring new colonists if you know how to handle them. You will be able to take an enemy prisoner if you can knock an enemy to the ground without killing them. 

For this, you will need to make an area with a bed or sleeping spot in a room enclosed by walls and a door. It would help if you changed the bed to a prisoner bed. Once your prisoner is captured, you can select your colonist, then right-click the prisoner and click the option “Capture.” 

Your colonist will be able to take the prisoner to the holding cell (the area you built) after selecting the capture option. Each prisoner will need their bed. Then you click your prisoner and select the “Prisoner” option, which will show you the difficulty of a prisoner and how long it will take to break their resistance. 

Once that is done, you can convince them to join your colony with a random chance of success.

Cryo-Sleep Pawns

An area known as “Ancient Danger” will be present in every map in RimWorld. This area may be inside the mountains or will be closed-in buildings already present on the map. 

If your colonist walks by these areas, a message pops up on your screen telling you that they got a bad feeling of something present around that area. You will find enemies like ancient mechanoids or insect creatures inside old danger. 

After you have succeeded in dispatching these enemies, you will find cryo-pods inside the room. These pods will have pawns that choose to stay on ice for hundreds of years. You can awaken the instruments by selecting your colonist and opening the pods. 

Be careful as these pawns have a chance to turn hostile against your colonist. You can capture these pawns in the same way you capture and recruit the prisoners. 

Tame a Wild Person

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You may get an alert message that a wild man or a woman has entered the map. This happens quite occasionally. These are wild people who have never encountered a human before and hence never interacted with people. 

You can tame these wild people the same way you can tame animals. To interact with these people, you can click on them and choose the ‘Tame’ option. Wild people progress the same as animals so. You will need to make taming attempts with some food in your colony. 

The colonist’s Animal skill is what will determine the chance for taming the person. Keep in mind that unsuccessful attempts will make the wild person attack your colonist. 

If this happens, you can try to knock out the wild person and take them, prisoner, then recruit them as you would a prisoner.

Friendly Visitors

Friendly visitors and traders will show up from time to time at your colony. You can arrest these people and take them, prisoner. 

You can draft a colonist from your colony, right-click on a friendly visitor or trader, and select the “Attempt to arrest” option. Keep in mind that there is a good chance that he might resist, which could result in him angering his friends and the whole faction.

The Man in Black

This is an event where a random man in black will join your colony under the right conditions. For this event to happen, most of your colonists need to be deprived of strength. 

This is a pawn that instantly joins your colony and gives you a second chance at rescuing people. Even after you have recused your colonists and have enough people, the man in black will remain in your colony. It is a rare event that can happen, but it does count as a way to get more colonists.


These methods will eventually help you grow into a large colony. The occasional events could take time to trigger, and your colony will also take time to build the strength it needs to win battles against enemy raids to capture prisoners and recruit them as colonists. So, be patient!