RimWorld, the indie space colony construction and management simulation, has a passionate player community. And wherever you find passionate players, you also find inventive modders. They've created mods that are almost essential, with fixes like Smarter Construction (opens in new tab), and Real Faction Guest (opens in new tab), as well as the colonist customizer EdB Prepare Carefully (opens in new tab).
Assuming you've already installed those and any other basics you find yourself needing, here are the rest of the best RimWorld mods.
Modder Fluffy has created a number of highly useful mods for RimWorld. You may wind up wanting all of them (opens in new tab), but below are a few you should definitely try.
Fluffy has created a nice tool for your building projects that means you won't have to start from scratch every time you begin construction. You can create a blueprint by dragging a box over existing constructions (only yours—you can't create a blueprint from a building you don't own) and plop it elsewhere to more easily build an exact copy. Blueprints copy not only walls but doors and furniture too, making building less of a repetitive task. You can even export your blueprints for use in different saved games.
As your colony's population grows, you'll have to keep an eye on your colonists' relationships to one another, as well as the relationships between factions. This isn't particularly easy due to RimWorld's somewhat clunky social tab. Fluffy has come up with a much more intuitive system, letting you view your colonists in an interactive and dynamic graph you can see in the video above. At a glance you can tell who likes who, who hates who, and why. It's really neat.
You're going to be doing some terrible things to some animals in RimWorld and you're going to be treating others as cherished pets. Either way, this improvement to the default animals tab helps you keep track of the details of all of your animals. Gender and lifestage (useful for farm animals like chickens), butchery designation and body size (for meal planning), and other attributes can be easily sorted and scanned. Some of this mod has been incorporated into the game, but Fluffy's version is still more useful, and allows for the renaming of pets.
Managing a growing and bustling colony is no easy feat, but Fluffy's Colony Manager mod makes it, well, more manageable. With it, you can automate a lot of your colonists' work by setting up production lines that will lead from raw resources to completed products. This includes everything from forestry to hunting to livestock, and a colonist with the 'manager' skill will oversee the production and make changes if there's a problem.
Have you built a few thriving colonies and found yourself looking to change things up a bit in your next game? The following mods add a little spice to the formula.
Steam Workshop link (opens in new tab)
Zombies are the cilantro of video games: they get added to everything these days, whether they're needed or not. While zombie mods can be hit or miss, the idea of an infection spreading through your RimWorld colony, turning settlers into zombies capable of infecting more settlers, is a fun one. Plus, if a settler is bitten, there’s still a chance to save them: just cut off the diseased limb before they turn. There are plenty of crises in RimWorld already, but this is a fun addition.
Just because you're marooned on a desolate planet doesn't mean you can't have nice things. It's the future, after all, and Glitter Tech ups the ante, giving you access to energy weapons and armor, advanced power generators, and defenses like more powerful turrets, auto-mortars, and blast doors. Thing is, this tech is highly attractive to corporate factions, and they just might come calling to acquire your fancy new toys. Be prepared.
Naturally, a great deal of your time and focus will be on the various NPCs inhabiting and interacting with your colony. These mods make a few interesting changes to those tiny little people scuttling around below.
Expanded Prosthetics and Organ Engineering
While playing RimWorld you'll quickly become invested in the lives and problems of your colonists. This mod lets you become more involved in their limbs and organs as well. You'll be able to research and craft prostheses and bionic body parts and synthetic organs, either to help them recover from injuries or to enhance their abilities. With access to hook hands, brain implants, bionic eyes, and synthetic stomachs, you'll be able to turn each colonist into your own little science project. It even adds a new material called Vancidium which you can use for upgrades.
Steam Workshop link (opens in new tab)
As you build your colony you'll sometimes receive visitors (of the non-hostile variety). Orion's Hospitality mod gives you more options besides simply trading with the wandering faction members. Now you can entertain your visitors and spend time with them to make them happy. You can provide them with rooms and guest beds, and if they like the accommodations they may even leave you some silver or other items as a thank you (they may even buy a few of the items you leave in their rooms). If you gain their trust, and have high marks in social skills, you can also convince them to join your colony for good.
While the term 'Rimhair' personally makes me cringe, this mod does what it says on the tin. Want more hairstyles for your settlers? Here they are. You might also check out the Spoon's RimWorld Hair mod for some additional 'dos.