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Saturation is the game mechanic that controls Characters' needs for Food. A character with a higher saturation value has eaten recently, and is more full than another character with a low saturation level. You can view saturation of all humans and tamed animals by viewing the "Food" bar and the corresponding mouseover text in the Needs tab.

General mechanics

The actual value of saturation is the amount of usable nutrition inside a pawn and decreases with time. When a pawn eats, the nutritional value of the food is added to the saturation value of the pawn, but is capped by the maximal saturation value, which is coincident with the creatures body size. Similarly, the saturation can't go below 0, and the creature instead starts becoming Malnourished.

Speed of animal production (wool, milk, eggs or chemfuel) is dependent on the saturation level (see Levels of Saturation below). Production is halved, when the animal becomes hungry, one third of the normal rate when urgently hungry and completely stopped when starving.

Levels of Saturation

Characters' saturation level is grouped into four thresholds: Fed, Hungry, Urgently Hungry, and Starving. Each threshold exhibits different effects on a character, especially their Thoughts. The saturation level boundaries are indicated by small notches on the "Food" bar in the tab of eating pawns.

For humanoids, the saturation levels are as follows:

Label Saturation Mood modifier
Fed Greater than 25% none
Hungry 12.5% to 25% -8
Urgently Hungry 0% to 12.5% -14
Starving 0% -22

Saturation Changes

Saturation goes down every tick (1/2500 of a game hour) depending on the character's current saturation and modifiers on their hunger rate.

The following table describes saturation changes of a common human (100% hunger rate, 1.0 max nutrition)

Saturation Change per hour Change per day
Fed -6.67% -160%
Hungry -3.33% -80%
Urgently Hungry -1.67% -40%


When the saturation reaches 0, pawns will become malnourished at a pace of 2% malnutrition per hour.

Note, that in extreme situations, when death from starvation is a primary concern, it might be advisable to not only keep in the urgently hungry state to benefit from the reduced hunger rate, but to even become somewhat malnourished.

Consider for example a human at 0% saturation and 0% malnourishment with 0.9 nutrition available (one simple meal). It takes a typical human 15 hours to deplete one unit of nutrition when in the fed state. If eaten immediately, such human survives:

Hours survived State
9.75 Fed
3.75 Hungry
7.50 Urgently hungry
50 Starving until death from malnourishment

Giving a total of 71 hours alive.

If we instead let the human starve for 13.75 hours, before eating, the pawn survives:

Hours survived State
13.75 Starving up to 27.5% malnourishment (minor)
3.75 Fed state with 27.5–20% malnourishment (minor)
2.50 Fed state with 20–15% malnourishment (trivial)
2.50 Hungry state with 15–10% malnourishment (trivial)
5.00 Urgently hungry state with 10–0% malnourishment (trivial)
50 Starving until death from malnourishment

Giving a total of 77.5 hours alive.