Orbital trade beacon

From RimWorld Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Orbital trade beacon

Orbital trade beacon

Required for orbital trading. You can only sell goods to orbital traders if they're near an orbital trade beacon. Can be placed indoors.

Base Stats

Market Value
111 Silver [Note]
5 kg
Path Cost


1 × 1
Cover Effectiveness
Terrain Affordance
-40 W


Required Research
Work To Make
800 ticks (13.33 secs)
Resources to make
Steel 40 + Component 1
Deconstruct yield
Steel 20 + Component 0 - 1
Destroy yield

An orbital trade beacon is a miscellaneous structure that allows items stored within its range to be used for trading with orbital traders.


Orbital trade beacons can be constructed once the Microelectronics research project has been completed. They require Steel 40 Steel, Component 1 Component and 800 ticks (13.33 secs) of work.


Orbital trade beacon range. 15 tiles in diameter. Also shown: max distance for conduit for power.

Powered orbital trade beacons are required to engage in orbital trade. A comms console is required to find and contact trade ships. Beacons can be used to pay factions for ransom or persona core information. All silver and other tradeable items within a beacon's radius are available to offer. Animals don't need to be within the beacon's radius to be traded away.

Trade beacons will work both when outdoors and under a roof, and do not need to be placed in range of a comms console. Solid walls will break the area of influence of a trade beacon, but columns and other passible objects don't block it. Items purchased from a trader will be dropped within range of a beacon if unroofed and not inside a pen, otherwise they will be dropped as close to the beacon as possible, avoiding the roofs.

40% of center drop pod raids will target a powered, unroofed orbital trade beacon if one is present, but will default to regular behavior otherwise.


Orbital trade can be very useful to a colony's progression. Trade ships are uncommon compared to caravans, but provide vast amounts of buyable materials, from steel and plasteel to components to neutroamine, without having to create your own caravan. Lacking these types of materials can impede a colony's advancement. The further away neutral/friendly faction bases are, the more useful trade ships become. Trade ships will often buy and sell items that are impractical with caravans, including large supplies of stone blocks, which can save a tremendous amount of time in constructing a base. Of course, a means of making money is almost required to actually buy things from trade ships.

For ease of use, it may be best to place your stockpiles with beacons in mind - shaping them such that places are left for the beacons and the beacons cover at the very least anything that will likely be sold, if not everything in storage. Shelves will triple the amount of space you can store inside each beacon.

Raid Manipulation[edit]

Orbital trade beacons can be used to exploit the spawning behavior of drop pod raiders. By building a beacon outside of your base, a percentage of drop pod raiders will be spawned there outside your defenses instead of in the middle of your base. This can be further exploited by placing defenses such as IED traps around the landing site. Note that received trade goods will still be sent to this "bait" beacon, so it must still be safely accessible to colonists. Alternatively, the bait beacon can be powered off just before receiving trade goods and then switched back for daily operation, ensuring that the goods will land in a safe place inside your base. However, the player should decide if this is worth it as this causes additional micromanagement during already time-sensitive orbital trades.

Version history[edit]

  • 0.3.410 - Landing pad replaced by Orbital Trade Beacon.