The faction system of Rimworld is kind of cool. NPC factions will form and expand over time, building new colonies and work sites to gain resources and expand their territory. The player is at a serious disadvantage here, as they only have a single colony to work with. There is a way to overcome this limit though. And some players may want to do just that. If you’re a slaving band of raiders, having a ton of conquered colonies is a great way to roleplay a conquering horde, or just a neat way of getting more resources.
The issue is, that the game isn’t really designed around allowing the player to expand like NPC factions do. That means having your own faction isn’t as potent as it might first seem. Players are locked by default to a single colony and aren’t supposed to expand. The game isn’t balanced around having multiple sources for items and weapons, as Raids can’t really scale properly beyond a single colony.
This guide will show you how to start a second colony in Rimworld. In fact, you can have even more than two colonies. If you have the will to manage them all.
How to Have Multiple Colonies in Rimworld
To change the maximum amount of colonies you can have, you need to change the default setting. Open the Options menu, either from the main menu or in-game, and then look for the Gameplay option. Change the slider that says “Maximum number of colonies” which is set to 1 by default. The further you slide the bar to the right, the higher the number of Rimworld colonies you may have.
It’s worth noting that having multiple colonies in Rimworld is not an intended gameplay feature. When you first activate the slider with more than 1 colony, you will get a warning dialog box about it, press OK to confirm the ability to have many colonies. Once that’s done, you now need to get into the nitty-gritty of managing your new empire.
How to Found a new Colony in Rimworld
Now, the process of founding a new colony comes to the fore. You will only want to consider doing this once you have enough pawns to actually staff the new colony, as well as a ready source of basic resources like Steel, Wood and more. You will need a ton of these to feed to your new colony, so you better be well prepared. Aside from having the resources and manpower, you also need a bit of game knowledge about caravans.
Click the World button on the UI to bring up the overworld map, and you’re ready to send out your first caravans. Click the colony that you started with, then click Form Caravan at the bottom of the UI.
Start by right-clicking on a location on the map, for a basic starter base away from your main colony, don’t put it more than a couple of days travel away. You will get a line showing the route your caravan will take, as well as estimated travel time. Be warned that random events and ambushes can happen, running a caravan, so plan ahead and don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Click Accept to begin forming your caravan. Take the time to give them resources like food, wood, steel, and a few other things. Make sure to give them some tamed pack animals as well. You will need to give them enough items to make it the first few days after building basic power and cooking infrastructure. Once you’ve formed your caravan, they will set out from your main colony after gathering the chosen supplies. They will then show up as a yellow dot on the World screen, and move towards the destination you plotted.
After the travel time expires, and assuming nothing went wrong, your new caravan will show up at the colony site. Now just open up the map again, select the Caravan and then select the Settle button. They will found a new colony right where they’re standing. Each colony shows up on the overworld map, and will belong to your faction.
To abandon/remove a colony you no longer wish to have first open up the World map screen. Navigate to the colony you wish to abandon and select it. Select the Abandon button to be rid of it.
Are There Other Ways to Create More Colonies?
And in case you’re wondering, this isn’t the only way to expand your faction. The most common way to abuse the vanilla game to get more settlements is to “capture” AI ones. This isn’t an intended feature, but in some versions of the game, you can destroy an NPC settlement (Kill all NPCs) and then claim their territory. Use the Claim order to claim all their structures first. Once you’re ready to leave, open the World map and then choose your caravan that just attacked the settlement. You should then be able to Settle them in that location and have the structures remain. This may not work in all versions of the game, as it’s not really an intended feature.
Mods are another option for improving the gameplay in this regard. Mods like Rim War, though heavy on performance impact, can massively expand the number of colonies on the world map. You can then pair this with mods like Empire that make the management of colonies much easier. You can found new settlements and command them much easier with these mods, and be much less reliant on screwing around with caravans. You have to manage the military and economic strength of your new colonies, but it’s tons of fun. You can even tax your other settlements to gain resources back from them.
When it comes to actually managing all these colonies, you’re going to need to know what you’re doing, and our guides can help. Learning how to queue tasks is just the start. You will also need to tame animals to help carry resources in caravans. Also, having a ready source of prisoners to feed as manual labor is a good way to fill in gaps in manpower. Be careful though, as too many slaves can lead to a string of disastrous revolts and escapes.