How to Train Animals in Rimworld


Rimworld has a lot of different elements to it that can be hard to understand. This guide will try and help new players understand the basics of one of the lesser-used systems in the game—training animals. This system can be a bit annoying to get a handle, but it’s not too bad. And with the understanding of the UI and the systems at play this guide will give you, you will be able to train animals in Rimworld anytime you like.

How to Train Animals in Rimworld

Here are the basic steps to train animals in Rimworld.

  • Have a colonist set to Handle under Work
  • In the Animals menu select the animal you’d like to train
  • Open up the Training menu and tick the skills you’d like the animal to learn
  • Have food within the colony storage that fits with the animal’s diet
  • Tamed animals may be trained depending on their trainable intelligence. Click the animal’s training tab to specify training and view progress.

Taming and Training of animals are pretty similar processes—they just take time to get done, and can be a bit of a bugbear to understand. Click on the Animals menu at the bottom to see the tamed animals you have. From there, click thee animal, then the Training tab.

How to Train Animals in Rimworld

The Training menu has a few actions attached that mark whether an animal is fully or partially trained to perform a task. If the X is greyed out and cannot be changed, that animal cannot perform that task. Be sure that the animals you have can actually do that task before doing all this. A cat won’t be able to haul, for example.

There are four basic tasks that most tamed animals can be trained to perform.

  • Guard: You will be able to assign one “Master” colonist who the animal will follow and defend when they are drafted. They will only counterattack in this mode, not seek out targets.
  • Attack: The animal can be sent out to attack distant targets when drafted alongside their master. This is a more aggressive guard action, and can lead to animals getting downed in combat much more often.
  • Rescue: Animals with this skill will pick up downed colonists within their allowed zone and take them to a free medical bed to heal.
  • Haul: Animals will help move items around and bring them to their zones. Extremely helpful.
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Reasons why Training an animal can fail

There are a few less-than-obvious reasons why going to train animals in Rimworld can fail. There are obvious things, like making sure a colonist is assigned to the Handle job in the job queue. If you have priorities turned on, be sure to check those as well. If a colonist has the cleaning skill at a higher priority than anything else, they will basically spend their whole life cleaning as it will always be dirty. But, there are less obvious elements as well—we’ll explain the most common reasons you fail when training below.

You don’t have food

Check the animals diet by clicking the i symbol in their info box. Once tamed, they will eat the other items listed in their diet section. If you right-click an animal and the tooltip says Cannot tame: No food, that’s your clue to grow some veggies. Plop down a growing zone to get this dealt with.

If you want to train an animal to haul or rescue, you need to be able to feed it extra food as a treat. Be sure to have more food on deck than you need to feed your colony before embarking on some task like turning a pack of wolves into hauling machines.

Colonist skill is too low

Just like Taming, Training takes into account the Animal skill of the pawn performing the action. Though there’s no chance of being mauled or having a tamed animal turn into a manhunter, there’s still a failure chance associated with each training attempt. Training is another exercise in patience as players need to send their pawns off to do animal-related tasks to gain skill.

The animal cannot perform the action

Check the Training menu for an animal. If the X is greyed out and cannot be changed, that animal cannot perform that task. Also, some animals will be unable to perform actions if injured too severely. If your guard animals lose a limb, they may not even be able to move anymore.

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