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Books are a category of items with similar mechanics that provide recreation and additional bonuses. There are four types of book:


Books come in three different basic forms: novels, textbooks, and schematics, plus a fourth, Tomes (see below), if the Anomaly DLC is installed. They can be read by colonists for Recreation purposes, as long as the colonist is not blind (sight capacity above 0%). Additionally, reading any book will train intellectual at a rate of 0.1 XP per 1 tick (0.02 secs), or 250 XP per in-game hour. Lastly, each different type of book has a different additional effect when read.

ChildrenContent added by the Biotech DLC will sometimes want to read books to fulfill their learning need.[Detail needed]

Pawns with a passion for intellectual get a mood bonus from reading.[Detail needed] +4 mood buff only active while reading confirmed for pawn with 1 flame passion for intellectual.

Books can be placed in bookcases to provide a reading bonus to a room.


Colonists will only read books that are allowed by their reading policy. These policies can be configured and assigned via the assign tab.

When choosing a book to read, colonists will consider the benefits of available books, and will try to avoid books that are not useful to them. This includes textbooks that teach skills the colonist is incapable of, and schematics for completed research projects.


Colonists can read books to gain "Reading" recreation. All books have an inherent recreation power of 1, placing them on par with the chess table and horseshoes pin, but behind more advanced diversions such as the billiards table, poker table, or any form of television.

Unlike most forms of recreation, the recreational effectiveness of books can be affected by external factors, as the rate at which recreation is gained is multiplied by the room's reading bonus. Additionally, novels gain a large multiplier on recreation based on their quality.


You can choose which types of books colonists read by configuring their reading policy in the assignment tab. Policies can control what types of books colonists are allowed to read, the minimum and maximum quality of the books allowed, and which skills colonists should prioritize when selecting textbooks.


Novels have a recreation gain multiplier. They will fulfull the pawn's need for recreation faster.

  • Awful: recreation gain multiplier x120%
  • Poor: recreation gain multiplier x140%
  • Normal: recreation gain multiplier x160%
  • Good: recreation gain multiplier x180%
  • Excellent: recreation gain multiplier x200%
  • Masterwork: recreation gain multiplier x225%
  • Legendary: recreation gain multiplier x250%


Pawns can read textbooks in order to increase their skills. The quality of the book determines their XP gain per hour. This is modified depending on whether the book teaches one or two skills (when teaching two skills the number seems to be divided by 1.6).

  • Awful: 125 XP / hour (max level 2)
  • Poor: 188 XP / hour (max level 5)
  • Normal: 250 XP / hour (max level 8)
  • Good: 312 XP / hour (max level 10)
  • Excellent: 375 XP / hour (max level 12)
  • Masterwork: 438 XP / hour (max level 14)
  • Legendary: 500 XP / hour (max level 16)


Schematics increase research points in a certain research. Schematics can be found for research projects that have not been completed, unless all projects are completed. When two topics are touched the points gained per topic is lowered.

  • Awful: 20 / hour
  • Poor: 30 / hour
  • Normal: 40 / hour
  • Good: 50 / hour
  • Excellent: 60 / hour
  • Masterwork: 70 / hour
  • Legendary: 80 / hour


Tomes function similarly to schematics, except that they progress Anomaly research and have a chance to cause mental breaks while being read. They are generally harder to obtain than other varieties of book.

Version history[edit]

  • 1.5.4062 - Books and reading system added.