RimWorld Guide to Lighting | Accuracy, Mood, Movement, & More

Guide Info

Light and Dark are effecting your RimWorld run more than you think! In this quick RimWorld guide I go over lighting and darkness and its effect on mood, movement speed, accuracy, and work speed. Whether you are a beginner looking for a tutorial or an advanced player looking to hone your knowledge of RimWorld through Guides, I am confident this video will change the way you play!

[ROUGH TRANSCRIPT from the video is below. This may contain many typos and errors.]

Lights Guide

Hey everyone, Adam here with another Rimworld guide. Often times while I’m streaming people come in and ask why I have lights or lamps all over the place. So I decided to make a quick rimworld guide that goes over the mechanics of light in rimworld and its effect on mood, combat, and productivity.


Let’s start out with the quick, practical reason. Then we can go over some more specifics as well as some counters to the rule.

When a normal pawn is in darkness, which is any light level below 30%, they become unhappy. They also move and work more slowly.

In full darkness, a normal pawn basically acquires the pessimist trait and a peg leg until they are back in the light. In addition, their global work speed is reduced to the same level as a pawn with the Lazy trait.

Would you want an entire colony of lazy, peg-legged pessimists? Of course not. Luckily you can prevent all of this by simply placing light anywhere your pawns visit regularly.

In the early game this can be simply placing a few torches or lamps out in your growing areas or where you’re mining. Just note that raiders will destroy these if they are not enclosed. In addition, rain can put out torches or campfires. But no, rain does not effect normal lamps. Only sun lamps will short-out in the rain.

Later on you can run an entire grid of lamps, spaced roughly 12-13 tiles apart, to ensure that no matter where a pawn travels within your base’s footprint, they’re not getting any of the debuffs.

I have been asked if this is way too power intensive, but thanks to the research change in patch 1.4, not really. Researching ‘efficient lights’ gives you access to colored lights as well as cuts lamps power consumption in half, meaning a standard lamp only requires 15 wats of power.

Now, for some  numbers.

Darkness reduces mood by 5 and drops movement speed and global work speed to 80%.

Darkness does not impact the movement speed of mechs or animals however.

To put this speed drop into perspective, a colonist can easily outrun a muffalo during the day time. In the dark, however, the muffalo outruns a normal colonist.

Another example is the fact that a scyther is just barely faster than a standard pawn in the light, giving you a chance to grab your pawns and run away to safety. In the dark, your head start won’t matter and someone’s probably going to die.


Now I’m going to run through a couple rapid-fire frequently asked questions that I get on the topic.

– Does light level impact accuracy?

No, it does not. It doesn’t matter if your colonists or the enemy are in light or not, accuracy itself is unaffected. You do want your shooters to be in the light, but that is due to the mood and movement increase, nothing to do with accuracy. In addition, you want your human enemies in the dark in order to slow them down.

The only exception to this is if you have the Ideology DLC Precept ‘Combat in Darkness Preferred’

– Speaking of Ideology precepts, Darklight Preferred removes all 3 downsides to darkness – the mood, movement, and workspeed penalty.

– Does the Biotech DLC gene ‘Dark vision’ get rid of any of the three downsides? – Yes, it gets rid of all three.

– Does anything else remove the penalties? Oddly, if a pawn has no eyes or if they are blinded OR blindfolded, they are no longer unhappy about being in the dark nor do they move more slowly. Their workspeed is still impacted, though.



And I think that does it. Just remember that unless a pawn has an ideology precept or gene implant then try to make it so they spend as little time in the dark as possible. It is an incredibly cheap way to increase mood, movement speed, and productivity across your colony.

If you enjoyed this Rimworld guide to light or it helped you at all please consider subscribing to the channel, liking the video, leaving a comment down below, and sharing it with others. If you’d like to reference a written version of this guide be sure to head over to my website at adamvseverything.com/guides.

And, as always, thanks for watching!

Developer(s) Ludeon Studios
Publisher(s) Ludeon Studios
Designer(s) Tynan Sylvester[1]
Tynan Sylvester
Piotr Walczak
Ben Rog-Wilhem
Rho Watson
Ricardo Tomé
Composer(s) Alistair Lindsay[2]
Engine Unity
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Release October 17, 2018
Genre(s) Construction and management simulation
Mode(s) Single-player

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