Raiders are essentially the main antagonists of RimWorld. They are predatory enemies who attack in groups when the storyteller's threat cycle is active (or any time, for Randy Random). The group size and strength of a raiding party is determined by 'points', which will be explained in-depth further down this article.
Raiders have several strategies when a raid event is spawned. Raiders will attack, destroy, or burn random targets without any visible strategy or tactic. They will not attack natural rock walls (except sappers), wild animals, or unpowered turrets. They will, however, engage prisoners from enemy factions.
If the raiders cannot find any structures to destroy, or undowned colonists to attack, the behavior will change into other goals: stealing valuables that are not properly stored in closed locations, kidnapping downed colonists to demand a ransom of silver or to recruit them into their ranks, leaving after being satisfied with the damage done, or giving up and retreating due to exhaustion and starvation.
Once you have downed or killed half of their crew, the remaining will flee in panic, running as fast as they can towards the map edges.
Raiders who survive may return to attack again in future raids or ambushes. This includes prisoners abandoned from caravans who are in restraint, making them unable to attack properly.
This Google Sheets spreadsheet shows the spawn rates of weapons and apparel across all raider kinds. Valid as of 1.0.2057. Figures are taken from a modified version of the 'Pawn Kind Gear Sampled' dev tool with a sample size of 10,000 rather than 400.
Raiders have limited equipment possibilities; dependent on their weapon and apparel budgets, and what equipment 'tags' they are allowed to equip. Usually on Cassandra Classic and Phoebe Chillax they come equipped early on with mostly autopistols and crude melee weapons, some bolt-action rifles and pump shotguns later down the line. In the late game they can come equipped with things such as frag grenades, sniper rifles, incendiary launchers and machine pistols. Rarely some will have assault rifles or LMGs.
A raiding party may include members equipped with melee weapons and shield belts. When a raiding party includes grenade throwers, the AI is intelligent enough to run way from grenades thrown by their own faction (though this does not apply to other explosives). Raiders wielding rocket launchers will attempt to avoid friendly fire.
Counterintuitively, they can and will quite often spawn with melee weapons that result in them having a lower DPS than unarmed combat.
Also, raiders do not always use weapons appropriate to their skills, as the weapons are randomly chosen. They are often seen equipped with ranged weapons when they are better at melee (completely disregarding the Brawler trait), and vice versa.
They come in different clothing depending on their type and the outside conditions. If it's cold at your colony, they will come wearing parkas and tuques, but they don't usually wear dusters and cowboy hats in the heat.
There are multiple types of raiders in RimWorld, each with their own sets of equipment and budgets which the game uses to 'buy' their equipment. Similarly, the game 'buys' raiders by deducting the raiders' Combat Power rating from the amount of raid points.
Raider types are exclusive to their faction - mercenaries being exempt.
Tribal fighters, weak but expendable. They never carry silver or medicine. They carry pemmican as food.
|Pawn Type||Image||Combat Power||Gear Health (%)||Avg. Gear Quality||Clothing Budget||Weapon Budget||Available Weapons||Age Range|
|Penitent||35||20-110||Poor||50-100||90-150||Club Knife||Up to 60||15% chance to have one of the following prostheses: Peg leg Wooden foot Wooden hand|
|Archer||48||50-180||Poor||180-350||80||Short bow||Up to 60||3% chance to have one of the following prostheses: Peg leg Wooden foot Wooden hand. Can never have the Brawler trait.|
|Breacher||55||50-180||Poor||200-300||150||Breach axe||Up to 60||Always has a veil.|
|Warrior||60||50-180||Poor||200-300||150||Ikwa||Up to 60||Always has a veil.|
|Hunter||65||50-180||Normal||200-300||100||Recurve bow||Up to 60||Always has a veil. Can never have the Brawler trait.|
|Trader||65||50-180||Normal||200-300||100||Recurve bow||Up to 60||Always has a tribal headdress. Can never have the Brawler trait.|
|Berserker||90||100||Normal||200-550||300||Spear||Up to 60||Always has a war mask.|
|Heavy Archer||90||100||Normal||200-550||250||Greatbow Pila||Up to 60||Always has a war mask. Can never have the Brawler trait.|
|Archer chief||130||100||Normal||450-750||500-1000||Greatbow||At least 30||Always has a tribal headdress and plate armor. Difficult to recruit (90% base). Can be faction leader. Can never have the Brawler trait.|
|Berserker chief||130||100||Normal||450-750||500-1000||Longsword Spear||At least 30||Always has a tribal headdress and plate armor. Difficult to recruit (90% base). Can be faction leader.|
These units are encountered most frequently in the early game, but you'll see these units throughout the game. All easily dispatched once you get armor and high-grade weapons.
|Pawn Type||Image||Combat Power||Gear Health (%)||Avg. Gear Quality||Clothing Budget||Weapon Budget||Available Weapons||Age Range|
|Drifter||35||20-60||Poor||90-280||60-200||Club Knife||Any||Never carries food. Has a 15% chance to carry 1x Herbal medicine. 15% chance to have one of the following prostheses: Peg leg Wooden foot Wooden hand|
|Scavenger Gunner||45||40-110||Normal||300-500||200-300||Autopistol Bolt-action rifle Machine pistol Pump shotgun Revolver||Any||Has a 5% chance to carry 1x Medicine. Has a 4% chance to have one of the following prostheses: Peg leg Wooden foot Wooden hand|
|Scavenger Thrasher||45||40-110||Normal||300-800||100-160||Axe Club Gladius Knife Mace Warhammer||Any||Has a 5% chance to carry 1x Medicine. Has a 4% chance to have one of the following prostheses: Peg leg Wooden foot Wooden hand|
|Pirate Gunner||65||70-230||Normal||400-1000||250-345||Autopistol Bolt-action rifle Incendiary launcher Machine pistol Pump shotgun Revolver||Up to 65||Has a 10% chance to carry 1x Medicine. Has a 4% chance to have one of the following prostheses: Peg leg Wooden foot Wooden hand. There is a 20% chance that their weapon is biocoded to them.|
As friendly units, they show up in caravans or friendly reinforcements. Rough outlander unions will also send these to attack your colony in the early game.
Elite units typically encountered from mid-game onwards. Joins the Outlanders or Pirates in their ranks.
These people don't appear in normal raids but are found in ancient shrines. This variety is always hostile to the player's faction.
|This section relates to content added by Royalty (DLC). Please note that it will not be present without the DLC enabled.|
Mechanical enemies that neither feel pain nor seek cover.
|Pawn Type||Image||Combat Power||Gear Health (%)||Avg. Gear Quality||Clothing Budget||Weapon Budget||Available Weapons||Age Range||Additional Info|
|Centipede||400||100||Normal||-||9999||Heavy charge blaster, Inferno cannon, Minigun||Any||-|
Added in Royalty was the "Mechanoid Cluster" event, which may be associated with quests or drop on their own. During this event, a fleet of drop pods will land and deploy mechanoids, walls, turrets, and assorted buildings. These mechanoids will initially be dormant. They are eventually awakened by either the player attacking, a Proximity activator being tripped, or a Count-down activator finishing its count down.
The message from the event will detail how the raiders from the hostile faction will raid.
They are attacking immediately.— Description
Raiders, upon either landing in their drop pods or arriving on the map sides, will proceed to instantaneously converge on your colony and attack. The best thing to do is to defend.
Mid-base drop pods
Raiders will drop pod right into the middle of the base, circumventing all exterior defenses. They may drop into roofed rooms, punching a hole in the roof. They do not care if the room is occupied, and in such cases colonists may only have a few seconds to stop what they were doing and get into fighting positions. If the raiders drop into an enclosed room without colonists they will start randomly attacking the contents of the room and most likely begin lighting fires. Extreme caution is advised if this type of raid occurs, as it can quickly cause large amounts of damage to your base or any colonists unable to leave the room in time, and can be difficult to defend against.
They have a 10% chance to choose to do so. Tribes do not have the technology to start a drop pod attack.
Immediate attack smart
Like Immediate Attack, but the raiders are unusually clever in their tactics because they try to avoid (some) traps and turrets, as well as simply steal some of your items and run. This can be devastating in early game, because a raider may steal your stockpile of components, leaving you without any means of using electricity.
Despite their description, they can still be funneled into a killbox with relative ease.
Raiders, upon either landing in their drop pods or arriving on the map sides, will proceed to stand around in a small group near-by where they spawned for a period of time and then proceed to attack. It is possible and a completely viable strategy to attack them while they are "preparing". This preparation has no effect on their attack other than the fact that it gives you more time to prepare yourself.
It looks like they want to use sappers to tunnel around your defenses.— Description
Instead of attempting to kill your colonists by traditional attack, sappers will mine or blast their way inside rather than hitting your walls or doors as usual. Their ultimate goal is to reach one of your colonists' assigned beds. They will run around for a short time and continue to dig afterward if they are under attack.
The attacker with the best mining skill is chosen to dig. If that digger is killed the next best digger continues digging, and so on.
They can be fairly dangerous to those who tunnel into mountains as their defenses are usually concentrated at the entrances. The best thing to do is instantly assault them before they can mine too much. The other members will then carry on the normal assault. They seem to avoid digging through high-health ore veins or into the areas within the range of improvised turrets and don't mind much about other security traps (spike trap and all kind of IEDs). It's possible to create such an trap area to kill them before hand.
However, in open bases they are even worse than regular raiders as they come in smaller numbers.
Sappers can find one tile defenses, either natural rock or built walls. This may cause them to open ancient shrines unintentionally.
These raiders intend to breach your walls. They'll determine their own path into your colony and destroy anything in their way.— Description
Much like the Sapper strategy, raiders will utilize their tools to easily breach past the walls more. Compared to Sappers, Breachers comes equipped with tools designed to destroy walls more easily (Tribals access to breach axe, Royal, Pirates and Colony uses frag grenades, and Mechanoids utilizes their Termite wielding thump cannon) regardless of their mining skill. Unlike the Sappers, they mostly target after colony-built walls in their direct path, rather than mining to the shortest route. Any raiding pawns nearby will always follow the breaching pawn in question, only attacking within range.
They ignore walls that are not owned by the colonist unless there are no other pathway around them and the walls, making it more difficult to trick the breachers into unintentionally opening the ancient shrines.
Unlike sappers which usually come in small numbers of raiders, breachers are always followed by a ton of raiding pawns, or Centipedes in the case of Termite, which covers the disadvantageous issue that the Sapping raid in the open has with. These kind of raids will appear more frequently if the wealth is high enough.
It looks like they want to besiege the colony and pound you with mortars from a distance. You can try to wait it out - or go get them.— Description
Raiders enter your map from an edge and head towards a point well outside your base to set up a makeshift siege base. Once there, drop pods supply them with ample resources to construct 2 mortars (steel, components, and both high-explosive shells and incendiary shells). They also get some cloth to create sandbags as cover, and packaged survival meals. Two random raiders will begin constructing the mortars (one each), and a few more will throw the sandbags down while the rest stand guard.
You can engage them before they finish building up if timing is favorable to you. They will always attempt to construct only two mortars regardless of the number of raiders. The layout of the mortar base is somewhat random - they might decide to place a mortar where some trees need cutting first, slowing the process considerably, and the sandbags are rarely well placed. The siegers rarely use their best constructors when building (it's random), so sometimes fail the construction process and waste that mortar's resources. As they will not get additional components, this will make any bombardment half as damaging.
Once a mortar is ready, they will start to bombard you, guarded by those not busy manning the mortars or still building the second one. Drop pods will continuously resupply 12 packaged survival meals and more mortar shells, as needed. They can receive different types of shells during the siege, which can be less or more dangerous to your colony, depending. After causing enough destruction, they will proceed as a normal raid to converge on your colony.
The siege team will not engage friendlies while heading towards their future base until they actually start constructing or you assault them first.
Raiders may choose to attack one of your caravans. In this case, they will charge right at your caravan without giving a second thought to strategy.
Multiple group attacks
Enemies can split up their attacking forces, attacking using multiple groups at once. Each group attacks from a different direction, and flees on their own accord.
Drop pod scatter
Enemies capable of drop pods have a chance of launching a raiding party onto the map via said pods. This can range from them dropping at totally random points scattered around the map to all of them dropping directly into a room inside your base right next to a colonist. Due to the fact they can drop through roofs, this type of attack can be incredibly devastating, as they can bypass all of your external defenses and immediately start setting fires, attacking colonists, and destroying furniture. The layout of your base and the room they choose to drop in can also make it very difficult to set up a sufficient defense, as they may drop into an extremely unfortunate location, such as a cramped storage room with lots of things to burn and destroy, and no good way to attack them beyond filing all of your fighting colonists into the room and hoping for the best or attempting to shoot through the door. While the raiders themselves will most likely be easy enough to kill, it is likely they will have ample opportunity to cause tons of damage before they can be stopped. Setting up ample fire defenses and having a defense plan for all potential drop points can help limit the amount of damage they can cause, although it’s almost guaranteed they will be able to cause at least some damage if they drop directly into a room.
Humanlike raiders have the ability to send raiders with a specific kind of weapon only.
Pirate or outlander raiders have the chance to attack your base with mercenary slashers only, meaning everyone will be shielded and have a melee weapon. Tribals can do the same with their melee units, except without shields.
Mechanoids have their own rendition of the melee rush with scythers only.
Pirates or outlanders have a chance to send snipers only, meaning that all attackers will have long-ranged attacks.
Pirates or outlanders have the chance to send a party consisting of either grenadiers or heavy mercenaries. While this makes them extremely destructive, it also makes them particularly prone to friendly fire.
A raid's size and strength is determined by the amount of colonists you have, your wealth, how many big threats you've had (for the early-game), how long your faction's been around for, how long it's been since one of your colonists were downed or killed, and your difficulty.
The actual raid strength is determined by points, which is calculated by taking into account the above factors that affect raid strength.
For a full technical breakdown; see Raid points
For a more comprehensive list of strategies, see Defense tactics.
For constructed defenses to hold against raiders, see Defense structures.
It is recommended to keep power generation, eating areas, lighting, doors, and walls near or behind a protected entrance, as raiders tend to set fire to them, potentially causing huge damage. Raiders will prioritize firing on colonists or turrets when those colonists or turrets are firing on them, but will otherwise prioritize random objects, meaning you can put doors or walls near your defenses to temporarily distract them.
Raiders will sometimes start by standing around in a group where they spawned and will continue this until they see a colonist nearby or they hit a certain preparation time limit, at which point they begin the assault. Because a colonist can set them off early, you can plan out the time you want them to attack. It is generally best to set them off early if you're well-prepared, to avoid potentially troublesome scenarios such as having no power when their timer runs out. Conversely, you should not set them off early if your defense is not prepared. Note that raiders usually take less than one day to begin, meaning that if there is an eclipse and you rely on solar generators, you should not wait for them and should instead set them off early while you still have some power left. Also it's good to note that raiders will remember where your traps are. This doesn't apply to other factions, though—if, say, the Vipers of Power come in and sets off your traps, then they would remember that. But, if the Rippers of Fire later attack, they won't have that knowledge and will still set off the same traps.
When faced with a siege, there are a few coping strategies you can use.
You can choose to either to assault the mortar base or wait it out and repair the damage as best as you can. The choice mainly depends on the surroundings of the mortar base and your base's position. If your base is located under a mountain (your base tiles will read Overhead Mountain when you hover your cursor over them), the mortar shells won't be able to hit those tiles at all! This makes deep mining a very effective strategy against heavy bombardment. If you don't build your base into a mountain, you should at least consider digging out at least one panic room for your colonists to hide within from the shells.
If you assault their base, one possibility is sniping either the shells or the mortars, hoping an explosion kills many of the raiders. If you want to leave those intact, you can snipe the raiders themselves. Keep in mind that killing enough of them prompts them to assault your colony directly instead of continuing their siege.
Mechanoids come in four types, lancers, scythers, pikemen and centipedes. They have much differing stats and weapons, meaning different tactics may be used.
In most raids where they come/ drop in at the edges, the scythers will outrun the centipedes by a great margin, giving plenty of time to deal with them before the centipedes.
Lancers are capable of mid-long range high damage attacks. If fighting it from a distance, cover along with mid-long ranged weapons such as assault rifles or bolt-action rifles are vital.
Due to the lancers' weak melee ability and low health, melee fighting it is always the better choice.
Scythers are dangerous melee fighters; they deal significant melee damage while forcing your gunners into melee combat. Usually, a 1v1 fight with a scyther and a gunner will result in the scyther emerging victorious.
Melee fighters are useful in guarding against scythers, being able to 'peel' them off from more vulnerable allies. A thrumbo could beat up one easily, they are strong enough that even a calf could kill one in a 1v1.
Pikemen can snipe your colonists from a very long distance, though their damage output is abysmal.
Due to the pikemen's weak melee ability and low health, melee fighting it is always the better choice.
Centipedes, on the other hand, specialize in crowd control and area denial; the minigun and heavy charge blaster can annihilate groups of colonists, while the inferno cannon sets your colonists ablaze and burns down your base if not careful. They are incredibly durable, sporting thick armor and high health, and can take many hits before they can be downed.
The inferno cannon is not as directly destructive towards your colonists, but is dangerous due to the fire it spreads - destroying defenses and bases, causing burning pawns to run out of cover, and preventing movement. Keep watch on your colonists at all times, and remember to send them back into cover when needed. As a precaution, build your base out of non-flammable materials to prevent large-scale fires erupting all over your colony.
Engaging it in melee is not recommended due to its armor, high health and heavy damage.
Tribal raiders come in large numbers, but with relatively poor equipment; as such, it may require different strategy compared to pirate or outlander raids.
Overall, they can deal heavy damage to your colonists; they do not have good weapons, but compensate with their sheer numbers.
However, as tribalwear does not provide protection and they do not wear any form of regular armor, they are easier to kill individually than other raiders.
Crowd control is an important aspect in defeating tribal raids. The minigun or LMG is an effective weapon to use as it can easily mow down groups of raiders.
Explosive weapons are also useful in crowd control.
Explosive mortars, while inaccurate, can easily destroy a sizable group of tribals at once if they hit.
Grenades can hit archers hiding behind cover, though you have to risk a colonist or two in order to even get close enough to throw them.
Their archers are dangerous; their bows can be fired from a somewhat long distance, their pila can easily kill or incapacitate a colonist, and they always come in a large volley. As with most defensive strategies, cover is essential when fighting them.
Removing rock chunks also helps in dealing with tribal raiders hiding behind them, making them much easier to hit.
- 0.0.245 - Sniper squad and mercenary squad added.
- 0.3.410 - Raiders come from specific factions and don’t always drop from orbit. Tribal raiders now spawn and attack.
- 0.5.492 - Sieges added.
- 0.11.877 - Sappers added. Raiders now opportunistically ignite crops on fire.
- A11B - Siegers can never use melee weapons. Enemies (especially wargs) now ignore unpowered unmanned turrets and mortars.
- 0.12.906 - Sappers now avoid mining through high-health ores and barriers. Siegers will never be sent with only melee weapons ... again?
- Beta 19/ 1.0 - Heavily reworked the selection weights of raider factions, raider strategies (sappers, siege, etc) and arrival modes (walk-in, drop pods) to make the more difficult ones appear more consistently against stronger colonies.
- 1.3.3066 - Added new raid type: Breaching. Breaching raids will attempt to reach your colony by breaking through walls with unique weapons.
- 1.3.3159 - Reduce prevalence of breach raids at high points levels.
- 1.4.3524 - Fix: Breach raids not spawning.