What are the best Rimworld mods? Rimworld is a colony management game with a very simple premise – you must ensure the survival of a ragtag bunch of colonists, each with their own randomly generated skills, backstories, and idiosyncrasies. Depending on the AI storyteller settings, your experience might fall anywhere between ‘wholesome farming sim’ and ‘relentless cascade of disaster’.
There are plenty of Rimworld mods out there to add extras and quality of life tweaks to your playthroughs. Some of them are basic improvements that let you organise your colony better or become more efficient, some add brand new mechanics like hygiene and children, and there are a few that completely transform the game by adding magic or space exploration.
We recommend trying the mod-free experience first, and gradually adding mods once you’ve tucked a couple of vanilla Rimworld colonies under your belt, and moved on emotionally from the harrowing tales that have emerged from your adventures. Like that time one of your ailing colonists passed away and your doctor immediately fed their corpse to the other patient, or when everyone got food poisoning on a cross country road trip and the only upright colonist, who had sworn never to do violence, was mauled to death by a mad squirrel.
How to install Rimworld mods
The vast majority of Rimworld mods are available from the Steam Workshop, so they can be added to your game with the simple click of a button. However, several of the more complicated mods require you to install Harmony and occasionally Hugslib, which are both libraries that provide functionality to your mods.
Your mods need to be loaded in a certain order, and library mods must load before the core game itself, but as of the Rimworld 1.1 update there’s an auto sort option to shuffle them into the correct order.
Some of these mods will allow you to continue playing pre-existing saves, but most recommend you start a new file. Most of these mods are compatible with the latest version of Rimworld, but a few are still waiting on updates; they’re still worth including, though, as they might just work anyway, if you’re lucky. Here’s our list of the best Rimworld 1.2 mods:
EdB Prepare Carefully
Ever spent far too much time refreshing your band of starting weirdos, looking for someone who knows not to hold a knife by the pointy end, or who is capable of slapping a bandage on someone but won’t threaten to burn your colony down? EdB Prepare Carefully lets you modify your initial colonists and items to create your ideal start – there’s also an optional points limit to prevent you from creating unfairly talented colonists.
Fluffy’s Colony Manager allows you to appoint a manager who will automatically assign jobs to colonists in order to keep the colony stocked with wood and meat, and to manage your livestock. This means you no longer need to keep an eye on dwindling supplies, as they will be topped up as soon as possible. You will, however, need to start a new save in order to use this mod, as it adds a new work type to the game.
Colonists have pretty unreasonable expectations for the size of their rooms, given they’re trying to survive a crash landing rather than picking out an AirBnB.
Realistic Rooms brings required room sizes more in line with reality, making it easier to create compact bases without upsetting your ungrateful pawns. It’s also save game compatible.
Your colonists are constantly saying all sorts of bizarre, fascinating things to one another – which you’ll most likely miss, unless you’re constantly checking the social log. Thanks to Jaxe’s Interaction Bubbles, these quips and questions will automatically appear over your colonists when they speak, so you’ll never miss an interaction again. It can be added or removed at any time without breaking your save files.
Sometimes, your colonists aren’t so smart. They won’t haul all the ingredients they need at once, or they will cook food in a dirty room – but with Common Sense, their behaviour is a little more, well, sensible. It’s safe to install or uninstall mid game.
Fluffy’s Pharmacist mod lets you choose the maximum level of medicine to be used on each level of injury – so they won’t waste your highest quality drugs on a bruise. You can also customise by patient type, allowing you to choose not to tend prisoners unless their life is in danger.
It’s a light that goes on the wall. Seems simple, but it’s incredibly useful – sleek and unimposing, Wall Light can be placed anywhere on a wall, removing the need for ugly lamps that take up space. You can also research ‘Coloured Lights’ and turn your colony into a garish nightclub.
It’s a tough life out on the Rim, but in vanilla Rimworld, even as your colonists fight for their own survival, their moods and opinions drastically plummet if they get rained on while they’re a bit hungry, or if they’ve just been rejected romantically by the same person for the fifteenth time in a row. Yeah, that super intelligent doctor might have just saved their life then cooked them a nice dinner of Ibex meat and rice, but your colonists will still pelt them with verbal abuse because their face is a little wonky.
Grim Reality brings a dose of realism to your fussy little pawns, lessening the impact of insignificant drawbacks, while also increasing the impact of truly terrible occurrences.
Dubs Break Mod
Dubs Break Mod is very straightforward – in order for a mental break to be triggered, a pawn needs to have at least one -20 thought; that means no more stabbing sprees kicking off because of a series of minor inconveniences.
Snap Out! is for when your pawns do go on a stabbing spree – your Wardens will attempt to reason with them and calm them down. Friends don’t let friends set fire to each other.
RF Rational Romance
Two words that don’t typically go together, Rational Romance is a total overhaul to Rimworld’s romance system, adding sexual orientations, improving romantic behaviour, and adding new traits and activities to the game. Though the mod’s original creator has stopped updating it, fans have created a version compatible with Rimworld 1.2.
Dubs Bad Hygiene
The one thing your Rimworld experience has been lacking – toilets. Dubs Bad Hygiene adds a hygiene system to the game. You’ll need to create sewage and plumbing infrastructure to keep your colonists clean and waste-free. The mod also adds irrigation systems, hot tubs, and central heating. It can be added to an existing save, but can’t be removed easily once added.
Children, School and Learning
Dylan’s Children, School and Learning mod adds pregnancy and children to the game, though thankfully they somehow pop out as fully formed teenagers, which we’d encourage you to avoid picturing in your head. The upside is that the kids are immediately useful. You can build blackboards and school tables where your colonists will teach skills to children – but they’re only capable of learning for one year before becoming adults.
Save Our Ship 2
The goal of Vanilla Rimworld is to build a ship and make it off the planet – but Save Our Ship massively expands the mid to late game by letting you pilot this ship yourself. You can store colonists and items on your ship and travel to distant worlds, leaving your colonies behind in the hands of allied factions – but you can always come back and visit.
While you’re orbiting a planet, you’ll encounter other ships – some friendlier than others. You can even take your pets with you by building ‘crittersleep’ capsules.
The Vanilla Expanded collection is a huge collection of mods that expands the game in several new but carefully balanced directions. As they’re all made by the same team, they’re guaranteed to work together seamlessly – and together, they add a lot of new content, including texture mods, more furniture, expanded armour and weapons, more animals, improved cooking, fishing, plants, factions, and books.
A Rimworld of Magic
A Rimworld of Magic completely overhauls combat by introducing 12 magic classes and six fighter classes to the game, each with their own abilities and development trees. There are also a bunch of new apparel and equipment options and new events. While playing about with magic is pretty fun, some users warn that it’s pretty overpowered – though you can tweak some of the settings yourself in game to claw back a little more challenge.
Combat Extended changes Rimworld’s entire combat system, rebalancing armour and shields, injuries, and melee and projectile fighting. The frustrating percentage-based shooting system is completely gone, replaced with a ballistic model. It’s a definite upgrade in all areas – with the one caveat being that it requires a new save, cannot be removed from saves, and doesn’t play nice with other mods.
Those are all the best Rimworld mods we’ve found – time to pile your digital plate high with all of them simultaneously and then try to figure out why your game won’t load. We recommend testing a few at a time as they’re almost certainly not all compatible. For more modding adventures, we’ve also collected the best Skyrim mods and best Sims 4 mods.