How to Get More Settlers in RimWorld

Settlers are one of the essential aspects of RimWorld. They grow food, trade with other parties, research advanced technologies, and store resources to prosper their communities. Since they are so influential, you need to increase their numbers, but how do you do it?

Luckily, there are a few different ways to get more RimWorld settlers, from changing settings to completing events. Let's see what each method is all about.

How to Get More Settlers in RimWorld

The number of colonists available is primarily determined by the storyteller chosen when creating your game. Units are not limited, but your storyteller affects your colony's population based on three variables: minimum population, maximum population, and critical population.

For example, the critical population for Cassandra Classic and Phoebe Chillax is capped at 18, while Randy Random sets the bar at 50. However, try not to reach these thresholds as the game will activate many events to dampen the number of colonists.

With that in mind, here's how you can recruit more settlers in RimWorld:

Modify the parameters

Before launching a new game, you can change the default number of settlers in RimWorld:

  1. Choose "New Game" from the menu.
  2. Select your starting scenario.
  3. Click "Scenario Editor" at the bottom of the screen to access the settings.
  4. Check "Change mode" on the left side of your screen.
  5. Navigate to the “Starting Persons” tab and enter the desired number.
  6. Exit the menu and start your game.

Buy settlers from a slave trader

RimWorld is full of trade caravans. One of the most valuable is the slave trade. This works the same way as buying or selling any other item:

  1. Find a slave trader with a question mark over his head.
  2. Start the negotiation and buy a settler. The price depends on their skill and health, but it's usually between 2 and 000 silver. Settlers with bionics are more expensive as their overall handling and health are higher.

Settlers brought in by the slave trade will not have a mood debuff. They will have a sunny disposition for a while, as they have been freed from slavery.

Convert prisoners to settlers

Enemy raids are a bountiful source of colonists, provided you can manage them properly. Specifically, invaders can be taken prisoner if you knock them to the ground without killing them.

If you're ready to convert enemies for population growth, here's what you need to do:

  1. Place a bed or other place to sleep in an area enclosed by a door and walls.
  2. Choose the sleeping object and convert it into a prisoner's bed.
  3. Once you have taken down your enemy, choose a settler, assign him the role of guardian and right click on the invader.
  4. Select the "Capture" option.
  5. The settler will now take the attacker to the previously built prison area. Each inmate needs a separate bed.
  6. Choose a prisoner and go to the "Prisoner" section of the interface.
  7. The warden will have occasional discussions with the prisoner to reduce resistance and build trust. After several sessions, they will finally be able to convert them. However, their chances of success largely depend on the difficulty of recruiting the unit.

Keep in mind that converting prisoners to settlers takes time. The higher the resistance of the prisoner, the longer your guards will need to break it. Fortunately, there are several ways to speed up the process. In addition to feeding the prisoners well, you can also improve the social skills of your colonists:


Relaxing activities go a long way towards improving your Guardians' social skills. Set up pool tables, chess boards, TV lounges and other social gathering places for them to relax. However, you cannot force your colonists to engage in these activities, so they can be difficult to use.

Interact with prisoners

Chatting with prisoners also helps improve your guards' social skills. As they have more and more conversations, their persuasion tactics will become more compelling, resulting in a higher conversion rate.

Administering the Mech Sera Neurotrainer

The fastest way to improve any skill, including social skills, is to give your colonists a Neurotrainer Mech Serum. He constantly improves their abilities, but the method is unpredictable. It can be powerful and increase the skill level by eight, but it can also be insufficient and increase it by a single point. Additionally, the item is expensive and can be difficult to acquire.

Converting a cryo-sleep token

Each map of RimWorld features territories known as Ancient Dangers. These regions can be pre-generated closed buildings or areas inside mountains. Whenever a settler wanders near the area, a pop-up will appear on your screen indicating that they are detecting a vile presence nearby. This "foul presence" is due to the fact that it houses powerful enemies, such as insect creatures and ancient mechanoids.

Once you've dealt with these threats, you may come across a cryopod in the area. They can house frozen pawns for hundreds of years. To wake them up, select your settlers and open the coffin of the pawns. Although they can become hostile, try to overpower and capture them the same way you would catch a prisoner.

Tame wild people

Sometimes the game may alert you that a wild person has reached the map. These primitive people have never communicated with other people, and taming them works the same way as taming an animal:

  1. Approach a savage with your settler.
  2. Select them and press "Tame".

To facilitate your attempts at taming, you will need to use food in your colony.

The success of this effort also depends on the Settler's Animal skills. If the settler is not very good at taming animals, there is a high risk that the person will attack them. In this case, shoot the wild person, capture them and convert them.

Complete events

If slave trading and the other options mentioned above aren't your cup of tea, you can always participate in in-game events to earn more colonists:

Help random people

Random people who need help are mostly available at the start of the game. When you assist a stranger in their activities, they can join your colony, filling your population cap.

Rescue the fleeing wanderers

Another great way to recruit settlers is to help wanderers being chased by another person. If you bail them out, they will immediately join your community.

Investigate the escape pods

Be sure to check out any escape pods crashing in your area. If you rescue the person inside, there's a good chance they'll become a member of your colony. However, try to capture them instead of rescuing them to improve the chances of recruitment success.

Stop friendly visitors

Apprehending friendly traders and visitors is a practical but morally questionable method of getting more settlers. If you have no qualms with this recruiting tactic, approach a friendly visitor with your settler and choose the “Attempt to Arrest” option.

Keep in mind that the person may resist, angering their companions and the rest of the faction.

Acquire the man in black

The final event isn't rumored, but it's still worth mentioning. This random event is triggered under specific conditions.

In particular, if all your pawns have been neutralized, RimWorld can spawn a man in black. This person instantly joins your colony and can give you another chance to save other people. Even if you manage to bail out all of your settlers, the Man in Black will remain a permanent member of the community.

Additional FAQs

Can colonists have babies in Rimworld?

Even though the game does not allow your colonists to have babies, you can install a mod called Kids, School, and Learning. It allows your colonists to have children, provide them with an education, and teach them all the skills necessary to become productive members of the community.

Keep your colony population under control

While increasing the number of your settlers is a great way to grow your community, try not to overdo it. Whether you're capturing prisoners, helping random people, or taming wild people, stay within the range recommended by your storyteller. This helps avoid unpleasant scenarios that can hinder your progress and make it more difficult for you to thrive in this captivating world.

How many settlers does your community have? What was the number at the start of your game? What is your preferred method of acquiring new settlers? Let us know in the comments section below.

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