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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.).


Health represents physical fitness. It is lowered by working on a heavy workload (see Workplaces and Performance), having no functional home (see Residences), shock when deprived from vital resources or when the Colonist is injured. Colonists can be healed in medical buildings in a powered Dome, but only if they are provided with Food, Water and Oxygen. Colonists can't work at low Health unless they have the Fit Trait.


Sanity represents mental wellbeing. It is lowered by working on a heavy workload, in outside buildings and during dark hours, witnessing the death of another Colonist living in the same residence or various Martian disasters. It is recovered when resting at home and by visiting certain service buildings. Low Sanity (0[2]) may result in psychotic breakdowns, gaining negative Traits (Flaws) and even suicide.


Comfort represents the quality of the Colonist's life on Mars. Visited buildings improve Comfort up to their Service Comfort value, but Colonists will try to visit only buildings that correspond to their Interests (see Traits). Colonists are more inclined to have children at higher Comfort. Earthborn Colonists whose Comfort is depleted quit their job and will leave the planet at first opportunity (see Issues and special statuses).


Morale represents colonist's happiness, optimism and loyalty.

Individual colonists are not born equal and have a slightly randomized base morale in the range of 40-60.

Some morale modifiers:

Modifier Value
Religious +10
Nerd, and a tech was researched recently +10
High health, sanity or comfort +5
Low health, sanity or comfort -10

Colonists' morale directly influences their job performance, with 50 being a neutral baseline.

Colonists living in a dome with average morale consistently below 65 may become renegades. This cannot happen at the early stages of the colony (less than 50 people).

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 couples in the Dome.

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 infirmary) 40 1.375 inevitable extinction (-1.1%/Sol)
66.4 27.5 2 stable population
70 (min without infirmary) 22.2 2.475 steady growth (+0.85%/Sol)
100 (max) 13.3 4.125 rapid overpopulation (+7.5%/Sol)


Earthborn humans from the applicant pool typically immigrate as young working adults with desirable specialty and perks. Unless the colony just needs any warm body to send into that RareMetals.png Rare Metals mine.


Colonists can naturally die of old age, lose all their health due to disasters or lack of resources, or suicide due to running out of sanity.


Citizens perform better at workplaces that match their specialization. Non-specialized colonists never receive a bonus to job performance, and all colonists receive a penalty if working the wrong type of work. Specializations also determine the colonists' interests.

Specialization Ideal Workplace Interests
None Non-specialized work (Diner, etc) Social, Relaxation, Shopping
Botanist Farms. Relaxation, Shopping, Luxury
Engineer Factories. Relaxation, Shopping, Dining
Geologist Extractors Social, Shopping, Drinking
Medic Infirmary, Medical Center Social, Shopping, Luxury
Scientist Research Lab, Science Institute Social, Relaxation, Gaming
Security Security Station Relaxation, Social, Exercise


Colonists are separated into three categories for Sex: Male, Female, and Other.


Beneficial traits, representing various talents and abilities of the Colonist:

Perk Description
Celebrity Generates Funding when in the Colony.
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 in the Colony.
Hippie Gains twice as much Comfort in gardens and parks.
Nerd Gain 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


Detrimental Traits, representing various flaws and disabilities of the Colonist:

Flaw Description
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.
Idiot Can cause a malfunction at workplace (10% chance). Malfunctioning buildings stop working and require maintenance.
Infected Loses Health each day. Spreads to other Colonists in the Dome.
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
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.
Renegade Performance decreased by 50 at all jobs. Can cause crime events when there are not enough Security Stations in the Dome.
Whiner Loses Sanity when low on Comfort.


Traits that don't fit into any of the other groups:

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. Leaves at first opportunity, but will decide to stay if Comfort is high. +Gambling Applicants
Vegan Don't worry. They'll tell you. 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
Clone Has half the lifespan of a naturally born human. Cloning Vats
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
Dreamer Taught to children at schools, grants +15 productivity. Inner Light Mystery
Refugee Untrained for life on Mars, which results in decreased performance (-40 productivity) at all jobs. Cannot be Earthsick. High chance to become a Renegade. The Last War Mystery



Game concepts
Governance Main menu achievements.png Commander ProfileMain menu easy start.png SponsorsDome basic.png DomesBuilding drone hub.png BuildingsColonists.png ColonistsResearch.png ResearchMetals.png ResourcesOrbital probe.png Exploration
Utilities Drone.png DronesRc rover.png RC vehiclesRocket.png Rockets
Events Main menu quit.png DisastersUnknown.png MysteriesBuilding statue.png MilestonesMicro fusion.png Wonders
Meta Main menu mod editor.png ModdingMain menu mod manager.png ModsMain menu options.png PatchesMain menu paradox account.png Developer diariesUnknown.png AchievementsMain menu load game.png CommunitiesSensor tower.png IRC
  1. Governing Who Works Where
  2. Colonist.lua