RimWorld is one of those games that literally every gamer has heard of in some form or another. The community that has built up around the game after its November release way back in 2013 is something that few could have expected, let alone the development team over at Ludeon Studios.
There are many things to love about the game. Still, for me, the thing that keeps people coming back time and time again is the game’s ability to truly shock the player and produce far-reaching storylines that simply must be discussed with like-minded individuals. This is one of the main reasons that I always have the RimWorld subreddit open while playing the game.
The core gameplay loop is also relatively simple from an outsider’s perspective. The player must take command of a rag-tag group of colonists who have sadly crashlanded on some distant alien planet. Through the player’s commands and control, the colony must survive and thrive in its new environment.
You will come up against various challenges along the way that will test your gaming chops, such as extreme weather conditions, raiding parties, and other mild inconveniences, such as food and water supply issues.
All of these variables and interactions that the player will have with the game and their colonists are controlled by an amazing AI protocol (called ‘Storyteller’) that randomly generates events and challenges for the player so that every session feels new and freshly worrying. In the end, your main goal is setting up a colony that can someday escape this alien rock.
This AI system is also intelligent enough to adjust the difficulty of entire playthroughs, events, and issues such as diseases to match the player’s skill level. However, eventually, any good gamer will find a way to trick or play along with this AI system, leaving themselves at the top of the pile in gaming terms, able to master any colony, no matter the challenges are thrown at them by the Storyteller AI program.
So with this in mind, let’s take a look at the best Rimworld mods and ways to increase your time on RimWorld – a series of kickass mods developed by the amazing community that surrounds the game.
How to Install Mods for RimWorld
To get mods up and running for your game of RimWorld, follow these simple steps:
- As with most games of this popularity, the modding support is amazing for the RimWorld community. Most of the time, the player need only go onto the Steam Workshop, browse through the RimWorld collection there and then install a mod with the click of a button, not needing the playing to spend hours delving in and out of program files in the depths of your hard drive.
- Alternatively, some mods will not be available on the Steam Workshop, requiring players to venture over to other mod libraries such as Harmony and Hugslib. Fortunately for the less technologically gifted, all of the mods and processes through which you can get these mods up and running in your game are usually explained by the mod creators on their respective pages.
- When installing certain mods, the player will need to ensure their load order is set up properly, as the game may crash otherwise.
When you look around for mods to populate your next game of RimWorld, you will be smacked in the face with the passion projects of an intensely diverse and talented modding community. Therefore, in order to select the best of the best, the cream of the crop, if you will, I have imposed a series of rules to ensure that I recommend mods that will add joy or game time to your next RimWorld playthrough. So, with this in mind, let’s take a look at the selection criteria for this list:
- All of the mods included on this list must play well together. Therefore, if you decide that everything on this list is for you, it will play well together.
- Every mod on this list comes with a good pedigree, with high community ratings to ensure that everyone who reads this guide will be able to enjoy the mods.
- To be included in this list, the mods must be easy to download and free for the user.
- To make it here on this list, the mods must add some amount of replayability to the overall game. They must entice players back into the game; after all, this is why we are all here.
Now, with all the admin out of the way, let’s take a look at the wonderful collection of mods I have curated for you today.
- Creator: Owlchemist
- Mod Type: Utility
While I can promise that every mod on this list is a perfect addition to your next playthrough of RimWorld, there will be a couple of cool-looking mods that you stumble upon during your modding journey that you might want to tack onto your next experience of the game.
We have all been there with certain mods; when you first start playing and using them, everything runs perfectly. However, once you’re more than ten hours into your game, errors or annoyances start cropping up, the honeymoon period is over, and you would quite like to get this mod off your new world.
Sadly though, mods in RimWorld, and most games for that matter, don’t work like this; most games cannot keep running when a piece of content is suddenly unavailable. This forces the player to either keep the mod or abandon the playthrough. Until now, that is.
With the Mid-saver Saver mod from Owlchemist, the player can now remove mods mid-game without losing all their hard-earned progress. This mod works by handling a lot of the errors such a content deletion would usually create, solving them before they become an issue the player actually has to deal with.
I don’t know about you, but any mod that stops red flags or error symbols on my dashboard is one that I very much welcome. Give this mod a try if you are thinking about running multiple new mods at once.
- Creator: m00nl1ght
- Mod Type: Texture and Graphics
One of the things that really begins to irk you as a dedicated player of RimWorld is the world map generation. After a few hundred hours of gameplay, the same map shape and perimeter begin to get a tad stale. After all, if all you get time and time again is a flat and baron wasteland with a coastline or cliff at one corner of the map, things are bound to get a little boring.
Therefore, this mod strives to liven up the surrounding areas for your colony of intrepid explores a little. It does this by adding 32 new and unique landforms to the game. Each of these landmasses is programmed to generate its own biome so that even they can change per playthrough.
Along with loads of other possible landmasses, this mod adds the possibility of settling and colonizing these formations:
- Coast, Cove, Cove with Island, Secluded Cove, and Fjord
- Peninsula, Isthmus, Tombolo and Coastal Island
- Island, Atoll, Archipelago, and Skerry
Hopefully, with all these new areas to explore and set up in, you will find a little bit of extra spice in RimWorld. However, please do keep in mind that all of these landmasses are designed to work best on a standard-sized map (250×250). While they do work with other map sizes, the whole experience and area generation may not be as slick.
This modder has also released a series of mods to help further improve the map generation of RimWorld, including one that helps to bridge the gap between biomes. You can check this mod out here!
- Creator: Krimpus Perinium
- Mod Type: Utility
The best thing about mods is that it lets you correct the things that developers may have thought were a good idea to include in their game at the time but simply do not play well with your certain style or is just flat-out annoying.
This mod deals with an issue that is more annoying than anything else. In a regular game of RimWorld, the player will encounter this issue several times, and without the ability to stop it yourself, you usually just soak up the consequences as the cost of doing business on this alien planet. However, with the Not My Fault mod, the player no longer has to pay for the stupidity of the AI visitors on your land when they inevitably get themselves into bother without giving you a chance to save them.
Usually, when these visitors enter your map tiles, they will somehow manage to come across or hunt a crazed bear, resulting in their death and a -5 penalty for your colony. Trust me, this little fix helps to reduce your stress levels tenfold and allows the player to think that the AI currently running their entire experience actually knows what it is doing.
Please do keep in mind, however, that this mod does not allow the player to go crazy and kill visitors on their tile during their visit without any reputation penalties. This mod only helps to stop this deduction when there is simply nothing you can do to prevent the issue.
- Creator: Zetrith
- Mod Type: Utility
This mod will probably be the most used/downloaded mod on this list. Not only does it have great reviews on Steam and a full community on Discord to help with any issues that may arise with the game, but it also ensures that your favorite game gets a new breath of life as you gain the ability to share your experience with some friends.
Think of this mod as the communities answer to a demand which has been present on RimWorld forums since the game’s inception – the need for multiplayer support. As we saw with the recent multiplayer update for Project Zomboid, the ability to play one of your favorite games with some friends is nothing short of revolutionary, effectively allowing the seasoned vet to start all over again, enjoying the game like a fresh newbie.
This mod allows players to manage and set up colonies cooperatively with as many of their friends as they wish. However, for lag purposes, the developer recommends playing with a maximum of 7 others.
In my opinion, one of the best things about this mod is that it allows multiple colonies to be set up in one game. All of these colonies can also run on separate time scales, allowing players to fully personalize their experiences.
Lastly, the mod also supports the inclusion of other mods on the multiplayer game by actively downloading enabled workshop mods from the host’s library to other players. However, this amazing feature is only for Steam users.
- Creator: Orion
- Mod Type: Gameplay
As with the Not My Fault mod that we covered earlier, this mod also works to solve some of the issues that come with visitors to your colony. Something I really dislike in any game is something that breaks my immersion. Whether this be a silly cameo from a character long forgotten in a franchise or the inclusion of the wrong type of musical track. For me, the biggest immersion breaker in RimWorld was the inability to manage or control the visitors that came to my land.
I believe that it just makes a lot more sense to be able to control visitors in some minor ways while on my property. Thankfully the creator of this mod, Orion, had the same opinion. With Hospitality, the player gets a brand new suite of controls and capabilities that can help you manage and deal with your visitors in a manner more in-keeping with RimWorld.
In addition to being able to build guest rooms and hotels for these guests, you can also designate areas that they can and can’t visit during their stay. Also, you can manipulate visitors to your own advantage during their stay by treating them warmly or coldly. Doing either will change your relationships with their respective tribes.
Of course, this wouldn’t be RimWorld if you couldn’t also manipulate this mod to get up to some interesting adventures with your guests. I even saw on Reddit someone using this mod to help set up a human trafficking ring – how delightfully frightening.
- Creator: Fluffy
- Mod Type: Gameplay
One of the main reasons why people begin to lose interest in a game of RimWorld and a colony that they have poured their very heart and soul into is that you end up getting bogged down in the nitty-gritty of it all very quickly.
While you want to be fighting back the tide of oncoming enemies or dealing with the results of disastrous climate events, you are pulled to another area of the map to click several buttons that result in the gathering of a couple of berries. However, with the colony manager mod by Fluffy, your colony starts to be more about the good times and less about the mundane.
Instead of the player having to degrade themselves to carrying out these mundane and terribly boring day-to-day tasks, this mod allows the player to appoint a colony manager who will work by selecting individual colonists to keep up to date with all these jobs, completing them for the player.
While this mod is amazing and is truly one of the best things to hit the Steam Workshops shelves in a long time, you will need to start a new game to get the mod up and running properly.
- Creator: Jaxe
- Mod Type: Utility
As you scan over your colony, one of the things you will notice, especially as it grows in size and numerous colonists begin to mix and chat in the common areas of the settlement, is that chats between these people are constantly occurring. To me, this seems like little snippets of the world I have created and is something I love to see. However, I do not constantly want to have my nose in the chat log or make the effort of actually opening the thing every time someone interacts.
With this mod by Jaxe, you can get the best of both worlds. You can go about managing your colony as you see fit, scanning the interactions between your colonists while taking in their conversations on the move via the interaction windows that pop up around them as they speak. This gives the player all the details the chat log would, without all the extra work, to find said chat when you get the chance later in the day.
The best thing about this mod is how it sublimates itself perfectly into the game’s aesthetic, showing chat bubbles for a short period of time before moving on and allowing them to fade. This ensures that chats do not stack on top of one another or that these bubbles do not block the very thing you are trying to look at.
- Creator: The Word Mule
- Mod Type: Utility and Gameplay
The Psychology and Interaction Bubbles mods are a match made in heaven and are the only two mods on this list that I insist you download and launch together. The way both mods interact with the player to help flesh out the world of your colony and the colonists under your protection is incredible.
The main premise of the Psychology mod is to create and manage a mental health and social interaction section for your colonists that the player can then manage and keep up to date with as time moves on. The main reason to download such a mod is simple – you want an added challenge.
Therefore, only download this mod if you have a good handle on the core gameplay of RimWorld already because adding in colonist mental health on top of everything else may be a little hard to deal with. Especially when you learn that the colonist who does suffer from mental illness will eventually have a mental breakdown, resulting in crazy happenings.
There are three main sections to this new psychological dynamic for RimWorld. You will need to monitor the psyche, social, sexuality, and romance of all your colonists. On top of this, the player will also benefit from an extra piece of immersive material in the form of a mayoral election once a year. In this yearly election, random members of your colony may take a stand and run for the position. The winner will gain an office that you can observe being visited by numerous colonists throughout the year.
- Creator: Edbmod
- Mod Type: Utility
Sometimes, when you look to start a new and successful colony, you will be hampered or helped by the selection of colonists that the game gives you. This mod, therefore, allows the player to customize their starting RimWorld colonists fully, giving the player control over their gear, skills, traits, and many other aspects of their lives.
My favorite aspect of this mod is how you can change the backstory of each of your colonists, allowing the player to create their own unique experience. This adds to the immersive aspect of RimWorld, something that it was never lacking in the first place, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to add a little more.
The only downside of this mod is that it can rob some of the accidental and random joy that AI character generation can come up with, ruining one of the best parts of RimWorld.
- Creator: Theinkyspoon
- Mod Type: Gameplay
One of the best things about RimWorld is the ability to go to insane limits to help or hinder the members of your colony. If you really want to, you can either save members of your colony via surgical procedures or take out some of their organs to participate in a black market exchange of bodily appendages.
However, while this service can be easily given to our human colonists, there are some issues when we try to go to the same lengths with our pets and animals of the colony. Therefore, this mod goes to great lengths to change this, adding a variety of new items and features to the medical mechanics of the game. The mod adds the ability to operate on animals, adding artificial organs, animal prosthetics, and cloning if the mood should take you.
The best thing about this mod is that you no longer have to give up on the wounded or sickly prized animals in your collection. Instead, you get the chance to save them via the magic of modern medicine. What a lovely world we may live in with this mod by Theinkyspoon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Can you get mods for RimWorld?
Answer: There are many ways to get mods up and running on your next game of RimWorld. You can go through the Steam Workshop pathway and download mods from there with a click of a button, or you can go through some other mod libraries that we have talked about in this article. Either way, the game is very moddable, and there are people out there ready to help.
Question: Is RimWorld multiplayer?
Answer: When RimWorld first launched, one of the things players quickly began crying out for was a multiplayer experience. However, this cry from the community was never answered by the developers. Therefore, embers of said community decided to take things into their own hands and make a mod that allowed just that. Multiplayer, multi-colony games of RimWorld. You can check out this mod above.
Question: Is it worth buying and playing RimWorld in 2023?
Answer: When anyone asks me whether a game is still worth playing a couple of years after its initial release, my answer (if it is a good game) is always yes. There is no reason to let age stop you from enjoying RimWorld, especially with all the extra content the community is still making for the title.
Even New Additions Must Come to an End
When I first set out to make this list, I knew how big of a challenge the process of selecting and leaving out certain mods would be. After all, the modding community for this game is massive, with hundreds of mods receiving thousands of five-star reviews from the community.
However, I think that through a lot of trial and error, I have managed to bring together a set of essential mods that any RimWorld player can use, get good amounts of extra playtime out of, and fall in love with.
With this in mind, I really do hope that you enjoyed this article and liked the sound of some of these mods. Maybe even want to give them a try yourself. Regardless, I wish you good luck in your next RimWorld adventure. Bye!