Human resources

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Cannibalism, slavery, wearing human skin, corpses: most pawns have a severe distaste for these things. If you let them happen in your colony it will impart significant mood penalties on many colonists.

In dire circumstances it can be necessary to use every resource, even the human ones. A number of traits can make this feasible as a core strategy for a colony. Some might even make it the preferable way.


The three traits below make a colonist react indifferently or even enthusiastic towards human abuse. If there is more than one of the traits on the same person, the most beneficial one applies (e.g. a Cannibal will always receive +20 mood per day by eating raw human flesh, no matter what other traits that colonist has). Any of the traits remove the penalty from butchering humans.


Has no issues seeing corpses or butchering them but still suffers penalties from eating human flesh or wearing human skin clothing. Has no qualms about slavery and organ harvesting.


The only one who doesn't mind seeing rotting corpses; likes to wear human skin. Does not like cannibalism or slavery. Does not mind wearing tainted apparel (ie. taken from a dead body).


Loves to eat human flesh and also likes clothing made from skin. Does not like slavery or organ harvesting.

Table of mood effects

Trait Observes corpse Observes rotting corpse Butchers human Somebody butchers human (colonywide) Eats raw human flesh Eats meal with human flesh Wears human skin clothing Trades human flesh or leather A slave is sold (colonywide) An organ is harvested (colonywide)
None -3 Mood (0.25 days. 3 Stacks. 0.5 Stack Multiplier) -7 Mood (0.25 days. 5 Stacks. 0.3 Stack Multiplier) -6 Mood (6 days. 4 Stacks. 0.75 Stack Multiplier) -6 Mood (6 days. 1 Stack) -25 Mood (1 day. 3 Stacks. 0.25 Stack Multiplier) -20 Mood (1 day. 3 Stacks. 0.25 Stack Multiplier -3/-5/-7/-8 Mood No Debuff -5 Mood (3 days. 5 Stacks) -5 Mood (7.5 days. 5 Stacks. 0.75 Stack Multiplier)
Psychopath Immune to Debuff Normal Penalty Immune to Debuff Immune to Debuff Normal Penalty Normal Penalty Normal Penalty No Debuff Immune to Debuff Immune to Debuff
Bloodlust Immune to Debuff Immune to Debuff Immune to Debuff Immune to Debuff Normal Penalty Normal Penalty +3/+5/+7/+8 Mood No Debuff Normal Penalty +4 Mood (stack unknown)
Cannibal Immune to Debuff Normal Penalty Immune to Debuff Immune to Debuff +20 Mood (1 day. 1 Stack) +15 Mood (2 day. 1 Stack) +3/+5/+7/+8 Mood No Debuff Normal Penalty Normal Penalty

Ideology Memes


Human Butchering

Butchering humans may be either used as a last resort in a normal colony, or used as a nice mood buff for cannibals. Human meat is absolutely disgusting for non-cannibals (see above for mood debuffs), but to cannibals, raw flesh is even better than a lavish meal. In normal, non-cannibalistic colonies, human flesh can be kept for cannibals, but sometimes butchering humans is not worth the effort (trading a colony-wide -6 for a +10 or +20 for a few or single colonist). If people are butchered, they should be butchered together, as the mood debuff does not stack. It can also be kept as a last resort food, such as during a famine or a toxic fallout. Anyhow, corpses should be only hauled and butchered by colonists who don't care about corpses, and stored in shelves to stop non-sociopathic colonists from seeing the corpse before it is butchered.


Slavery is a quick way to get decent amounts of money quickly. Pawns will suffer a mood penalty of -5, stacking up to -25 for 3 days once slaves are sold. Unless you have a colony of psychos, selling slaves may bring down your colony by lowering the moods of pawns by large increments. There is no way to mitigate the negative moodlet. One way of dealing with this is to sell only 1-2 slaves every day in the late game, when pawns can take drugs and eat lavish meals, and avoiding slavery altogether in the early game. This has a downside, however. Traders generally only stay for around two days, and only appear occasionally, meaning that it will be hard making slavery the main source of profit for the colony. Alternatively, you can stuff all of your pawns into cryptosleep caskets or give them extra high accommodation to prepare for the massive mood debuff and have the best psychopath trader (if using the cryptosleep tactic, otherwise, use the best trader colonywide) sell as many slaves as possible.

Slavery with Ideology

With the Ideology DLC, slaves become controllable workers. Slaves are acquired through threatening prisoners and dropping their will down to zero. Although slaves are controllable and appear in the colonist bar, they work at 85% speed and you run the risk of a slave rebellion, similar to a prison break. The frequency of slave rebellions are determined by mood, suppression, proximity of weapons, and the presence of colonists. Unlike prisoners, colonists and slaves can have intimate relationships. Colonists and slaves cannot sleep in the same bed, but they can sleep in the same room. If you want the two to sleep together, both must be made into colonists or slaves.

Organ Harvesting

Organ harvesting requires a doctor and 2 units of herbal medicine or better.

The Heart, Lungs, Kidneys and Liver are options for harvesting. If willing to organ-murder the donor, the optimum is removing:

  • 1x Lung worth Silver 400
  • 1x Kidney worth Silver 250
  • 1x Heart worth Silver 500 by installing a cheap prosthetic heart to replace the harvested one (- Silver 230)
  • 1x Liver worth Silver 500

For a total of Silver 500 + Silver 250 + Silver 500 + Silver 400 - Silver 230, or Silver 1420.

If the heart is damaged, the liver can also be supplemented for the same value. If that is also unavailable, the second lung and then the second kidney are the optimal options. If on a component shortage, the prosthetic heart method may not be available. Removing the heart (unless by installing a prosthetic heart), liver, second lung or second kidney are all fatal and prevent further harvesting.

If unwilling to organ murder the donor, the best option is harvesting the

  • 1x Lung worth Silver 400
  • 1x Kidney worth Silver 250
  • 1x Heart worth Silver 500 by installing a cheap prosthetic heart to replace the harvested one (- Silver 230)

For a total of Silver 250 + Silver 500 + Silver 400 - Silver 230, or Silver 920.

Non-psychopaths/bloodlusts get a -5 mood debuff for harvesting organs. The debuff stacks 5 times, with a debuff multiplier of 0.75.

Mitigation Strategies

It is possible to butcher human corpses without penalty for anyone if you send everybody who would be debuffed off the map (on a caravan) until all humans have been chopped up. You need a butcher who can butcher humanlikes without debuff (or else your butcher will take a severe mood penalty).

Colonists who are not on the map when a humanoid corpse is butchered do not receive the mood penalty "We butchered humanlike". It is sufficient to put all colonists who are neither Psychopath, Bloodlusted nor Cannibal on a temporary caravan (take no items), send them off the map to an adjacent tile and make the caravan rest immediately. Then have your psycho butchers chop up all the humans. Re-enter with the caravan when it is done. It is not necessary to take any prisoners off the map, as they do not receive the debuff in any case.

Alternatively, given the mood penalty is releatively low for human butchery, only -6, the penalty can just be taken. Some additional care cam be to maintain mood levels through other means to make this more palatable, this includes providing additional recreation, psychic soothe pulsers, better meals, drugs or improved bed and rec rooms. Just providing 1 lavish meal per affected colonist per day for the 10 day duration is more then enough to counter the penatly. It is recommended to use a non-affected pawn to actually do the butchery though, as the penalties stack and -12 is a significant debuf. Also keep in mind that the butchering pawn's social standing will be much reduced in the eyes of affected pawns. This can ruin relationships by causing a pawn to hate their spouse for example.

That said, doing this can be quite profitable especially on higher difficulties where you get raided a lot.

The caravan move does not work for organ harvesting or slavery; these transgressions are detected by colonists anywhere on the map, however countering the debuff with other buffs is still a viable method.

Everybody will handle human meat without complaint, as long as they do not have to eat it in any form.

Storing human corpses for butchery will result in the Observed Corpse mood debuf, this can be prevented by hiding the corpses in shelves. See that page for details.

Human leather fetches a good price. It can also be used for furniture without penalty. Human meat can be sold, fed to carnivores, turned into kibble, or converted into Chemfuel at the Biofuel refinery.