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Colonists are brave souls who decide to settle Mars and risk death and injury with no possibility of rescue. Colonists begin arriving once you create a colony with domes that can sustain human life and require care and attention. Notably, each colonist has their own personality and distinct set of likes and dislikes, which can evolve over time. Colonists require the resources Oxygen.png Oxygen, Water.png Water and Food.png Food to survive.

Applicants are potential colonists and may be chosen based upon the traits and specializations listed below. The Sponsor determines the number of initial applicants available and various technologies and sponsor traits may also influence the number of applicants available. Non-age related colonist deaths reduce the pool of available applicants by 2.

Colonist Behavior[edit]

Each colonist prefers to work in a building that matches their specialization (below). If no such job is available, then they will fill spaces depending upon the priorities that you have set. They also have characteristics such as comfort and sanity that must be managed lest the colonist become Earthsick and demand to leave on the next shuttle home.

Colonists will only work within the dome that they live in, but they can walk from dome-to-dome or take a shuttle (provided via the Shuttle Hub) to transfer from one dome to another should you choose to manually set their new home or new work in a different dome.

Colonist work assignments follow these rules, in order:[1]

  1. The player can manually assign individual workers, ignoring all rules below. Ideally we hope that there will be no reason to do so, unless the player particularly likes to micromanage. Clarification: Manual assignment is not permanent, so after a long period the colonist may decide to switch jobs.
  2. Buildings with the highest priority are fully staffed if possible
  3. If there is not enough workforce higher priority buildings will be fully staffed while lower priority buildings will be partially staffed, but the game will try to keep them operational if possible (e.g. all buildings at high priority staffed at 100%, all buildings at the medium priority staffed at roughly 50%, all buildings at low priority staffed at 0%)
  4. Specialists prefer to work according to their specialization, as long as this doesn't mess up the above rules.
  5. Keep in mind that since everything depends on the individual simulation, you may have to wait for 1-2 sols until all workers find their desired workspots, so in any current moment there may be a situation where e.g. a Botanist is working in a Bar and a colonist without a specialization is working at a Farm. This is temporary and should be resolved automatically after a while.

Note that the colonists won't try to find a job at another dome. You'll need to manually optimize the domes settings to make sure the properly specialized colonists live in the properly specialized domes.


Each Colonist has four Stats: Health, Sanity, Comfort and Morale. These Stats have a value between 0 and 100 and are modified by various factors and events (Traits, quality of life, workplace, disasters, etc.).

Stat Effects Increased by Lowered by
  • Colonists can't work at low Health unless they have the Fit Trait
  • Colonists die at 0 Health
  • High Health gives +5 Morale
  • Low Health gives -10 Morale
  • Resting
  • Visiting buildings with the Exercise or Medical Checks service
  • Having no home
  • Having no Food, Oxygen or Water
  • Working heavy workloads
  • Injury
  • Colonists can gain Flaws at low Sanity
  • Colonists have a 50% chance to commit suicide at 10 Sanity unless they have the Religious Trait
  • High Sanity gives +5 Morale
  • Low Sanity gives -10 Morale
  • Resting
  • Visiting buildings with the Medical Checks service
  • Being in a Dome if the Good Vibrations Breakthrough is researched
  • Working Night Shifts
  • Working heavy workloads
  • Working outside Domes
  • Disasters
  • Death of a Colonist from the same residence
  • Couples are more fertile at higher Comfort
  • Colonists quit their job at 0 Comfort and leave on next Rocket unless they have the Martianborn Trait
  • High Comfort gives +5 Morale
  • Low Comfort gives -10 Morale
  • Resting
  • Visiting buildings that service the colonist's Interests
  • Working in a Workshop
  • Having Farms if the Biome Engineering technology is researched
  • Dome has a Vista in its working area
  • Not visiting buildings that service the colonist's Interests
  • Not getting food from a building with the Food service
  • Morale above 50 improves Worker Performance, especially if the colonist has the Enthusiast Trait
  • Morale below 50 lowers Worker Performance, especially if the colonist has the Melancholic Trait
  • Colonists can become Renegades if Morale stays below 65% for too long
  • Having high Health, Sanity and Comfort
  • Having the Religious Trait
  • Working in a Workshop
  • Interacting with a Colonist with the Empath Trait
  • Dome having a Spire if the Inspiring Architecture Breakthrough is researched
  • Story Bits decisions
  • Having low Health, Sanity and Comfort
  • Story Bits decisions

Age Groups[edit]

Colonists are divided into five age groups according to the stage of their life.

Age Group Age Description
Child 0-5 Children are too young to work and use many of the buildings in the Colony. They can go to School and use certain special buildings such as the Playground and Nursery.
Youth 6-10 A young Colonist, able to work in all buildings.
Adult 11-30 An adult Colonist, able to work in all buildings.
Middle Aged 31-60 A middle aged Colonist, approaching retirement, but still able to work in all buildings.
Senior 61+ A senior Colonist, too old to work.


For martianborn children to be born, there should be fertile Male/Female couples in the Dome. Colonists with the Other gender are not fertile.

Each fertile couple effectively has a ((comfort-30)/10)% chance per Sol to have a baby. More technically, all fertile couples contribute (comfort-30) points daily to the shared pool of birth progress points in the dome. When that number reaches 1000, a baby is born.

Without accounting for technologies, considering a 55 year fertile life and an ideal men/women ratio, you can expect these population trends based on comfort:

Average comfort Sols per child Children per couple per 55 sols Trend
55 (minimally fertile with Medical Checks) 40 1.375 inevitable extinction (-1.1%/Sol)
66.4 27.5 2 stable population
70 (min without Medical Checks) 22.2 2.475 steady growth (+0.85%/Sol)
100 (max) 13.3 4.125 rapid overpopulation (+7.5%/Sol)


Citizens perform better at workplaces that match their specialization. All colonists receive a penalty if working the wrong type of work. Colonists with no specialization can learn one at Martian Universities. Specializations also determine a colonist's main interests.

Specialization Ideal Workplace Interests Description
No Specialization Non-specialized work (Diner, etc) Social, Relaxation, Shopping A brave citizen of Mars, ready to tame the final frontier.
Botanist Farms Relaxation, Shopping, Luxury A trained botanist, dreaming of a green Mars.
Engineer Factories Relaxation, Shopping, Dining A trained engineer, building a better future for humanity.
Geologist Extractors Social, Shopping, Drinking A trained geologist, securing vital resources for the Colony.
Medic Infirmary, Medical Center Social, Shopping, Luxury A trained medic, facing new challenges on the red planet.
Scientist Research Lab, Science Institute Social, Relaxation, Gaming A trained scientist, eager to discover the mysteries of the Cosmos.
Officer Security Station Relaxation, Social, Exercise A trained security officer, protecting our Utopia.


Traits are the defining characteristics of a colonist and can give various bonuses or penalties. Some Traits will also add an additional interest to colonists unless their specialization includes it already. Each Colonist can have a maximum of 3 Traits.


Perks are beneficial traits and should always be sought amongst applicants. Colonists can gain Perks when visiting Playground or School buildings as Children or by visiting a Sanatorium spire that has the Behavioral Melding upgrade. The Project Morpheus Wonder also gives colonists new Perks.

Perk Effect Interests
Celebrity Generates Funding when at high Confort.
Composed All sanity losses are halved.
Empath Raises the Morale of all Colonists in the Dome. The effects of multiple Empaths stack.
Enthusiast Increased performance boost when at high Morale.
Fit More health recovered when resting. Can work when health is low. +Exercise
Gamer Recovers Sanity when gaming. +Gaming
Genius Generates Research when at high Sanity.
Hippie Gains twice as much Comfort in gardens and parks.
Nerd Gains a temporary Morale boost every time a new technology is researched.
Party Animal Gains additional Comfort when satisfying social interest. +Social
Saint Raises the Morale of all Religious people in the Dome. Benefits stack with each additional Saint.
Sexy Greatly increased birth rate.
Survivor Loses less Health without food, water, oxygen or when living in an unpowered Dome.
Religious Higher individual base Morale. Low Sanity never leads to suicide.
Rugged No Comfort penalties when eating unprepared food or having no residence.
Workaholic Individual performance increased by 20. No penalty for heavy workloads. -Relaxation


Flaws are detrimental Traits and should always be avoided amongst applicants. Colonists can lose flaws by visiting a Sanatorium spire.

Flaw Effects Interests
Alcoholic Work performance lowered by 10. Can be caused by Sanity breakdowns. +Drinking
Chronic Condition Loses Health each day.
Coward Double Sanity loss from disasters. Can be caused by Sanity breakdowns.
Gambler Has a 50% chance to lose 20 Sanity when visiting a Casino. Can be caused by Sanity breakdowns. +Gambling
Glutton Eats double rations. Can be caused by Sanity breakdowns. +Dining
Hypochondriac Will randomly visit Medical buildings and take Sanity damage if unable to do so. +Medical
Idiot Can cause a malfunction at workplace (10% chance). Malfunctioning buildings stop working and require maintenance.
Lazy Individual performance decreased by 20 at all jobs.
Loner Loses Comfort every day while living in a Dome with population over 30. -Social
Melancholic Increased performance penalty when at low Morale. Can be caused by Sanity breakdowns.
Whiner Loses Sanity when low on Comfort.


Quirks are Traits that don't fit into other groups or that are generated by events or Mysteries.

Quirk Description Source
Guru Randomly spreads other traits of this colonist to persons in the same Dome with less than 3 traits. Applicants
Tourist Doesn't work. Grants $10 Million Funding on arrival. Leaves at first opportunity after 5 Sols. More Tourists appear when Tourists successfully return to Earth. +Gambling Applicants
Vegan Has decreased Comfort when living near a Ranch and won't work in such buildings. Has increased Comfort when away from Ranches. Applicants
Founder One of the first Martian Colonists. First Rocket Colonists
Martianborn Martianborn Colonists never become Earthsick. The Martianborn group of techs can improve this trait significantly. Born on Mars
Biorobot Synthetically created humans that function similarly to us - they breathe, they eat and they sleep. However they do not age and cannot reproduce. Biorobot
Clone Has half the lifespan of a naturally born human. Clone
Dust Sickness Loses Health during Dust Storms, even when inside a Dome. Dust Storm Disaster
Infected Loses Health each day. Spreads to other Colonists in the Dome. Wildfire Mystery
Dreamer The Dreamers have emerged from the Mirages with renewed hope. +15 performance Inner Light Mystery
Refugee Untrained for life on Mars, which results in decreased performance at all jobs. Cannot be Earthsick. High chance to become a Renegade. The Last War Mystery
Refugee Crisis Story Bit
Renegade Performance decreased by 50 at all jobs. Can cause crime events when there are not enough Security Stations in the Dome. Low Morale


Game concepts