Click above to watch this guide


RimWorld Guide - What to look for in a Starting Map

by AdamVsEverything | RimWorld Guides

Click above to listen this guide

RimWorld Guide – What to look for in a Starting Map

 This RimWorld Guide is from Patch 1.2 but is still applicable to the current version of the game in many ways. One big note is that granite is not as important as it used to be as breachers break through all stone types very quickly. As such, I now recommend sandstone and marble for complete min-max. Marble for the beauty, and sandstone for the fast building speed. I also no longer recommend the river bisects any of the mountain unless you are already proficient at handing insect infestations.

(Video Transcript)
Hey everyone, Adam here with a quick Rimworld guide.

So, one of the most common questions I’ve been getting on stream lately is – “What is the best map to start on?”

So, in this guide I’ll tell you the five things to look for when choosing a starting map for your colony in order to give you the highest chance at success.

In this video I am only going to go over map choice. I’ll do another video on storytellers, difficulties starting pawns, etc as I don’t want this one to get too long.

Once you have the world created, we’re going to be looking for a combination of five main things that will give us the greatest chance at survival. I’ll also put a few nice bonus things at the end of the list.

One – The first thing we are going to look for is the Temperate Forest biome. – Temperate forest is one of the easiest, if not the easiest biome to build a base on for many reasons and I highly recommend it if you are just starting out or if you want to maximize your chance of success in general.

This biome has plenty of trees and animals, enough rich soil for thriving agriculture, tons of grazeable areas for your livestock, a lower disease chance than many of the other maps, a nice temperature range, and much more.
You can find this biome on the world map by searching for light green areas – usually a bit north or south of the equator.

Two – The next thing you want to make sure of if you want the easiest map possible is that your tile has permanent summer. Permanent summer. You will see this by clicking a tile, then clicking terrain, and looking at the growing season. It will say ‘Year Round. Not only does this give you a much easier time with food, but you’ll have to worry about fewer types of clothing, heating, etc most of the time. It is important to note, though, that even permanent summer maps can have cold snaps. These are events that will severely drop the temperature for a while, making it so you’ll have to keep your colonists warm for a bit. This event will also kill all of your outdoor crops and much of the wild growth on your map.

Three – The next thing I recommend you look for in order to have the easiest time is a mountain map or at least a map with large hills. You can find these by looking at the little elevation markers on the tiles. If you’re not sure if the map is mountainous or not, you can always look in the terrain menu.

Maps with mountains are awesome for three main reasons.
First, these maps generally contain canyons or other features that are easy to wall off for a relatively easily defendable position.

Second, you’ll have plenty of mineable areas to find things like stone blocks, steel, components, gold, uranium, etc. If you were to start on a completely flat map instead, you would have far less access to these resources.
Third, which I won’t get into fully in this video, is the ability to build a base under the mountain. These are the absolute best defensible positions in Rimworld but do come with their own dangers – namely infestations.

Four – The next criteria I look at when trying to find a perfect map is if it has a river or not. River maps are awesome and I highly recommend trying to find one. I prefer large rivers that bisect the map either vertically or horizontally.

The first reason that rivers are amazing is that you can use them for defense. Putting a kill tunnel around a river and forcing enemies to walk slowly through water as you shoot them from a good safe distance is a great defensive strategy throughout an entire playthrough.

The next reason is due to the amount of power you can get from the river. In Rimworld there are several different types of power sources – one of my favorites is hydro-power. You can research hydro-power relatively early and then build generators along the river. Generators produce about 1/3 of the power as geothermal but can be accessed earlier, cost less, and, if you have a long river on your map, you can build way more of them than geothermal generators. Also, just like geothermal, they are a constant source of power and do not rely on the wind, sunlight, or fuel from a colonist.

Five – The last thing I want to mention is caves. If you want a map that gives you the highest chance at success, you do not want one with caves. You can see if a map has caves by clicking the terrain tab and looking toward the bottom for ‘special features’ If caves are listed, I advise moving on.

Although caves do provide a few unique plants in the game, it’s just not worth the risks. Generally, cave maps will have several places in which insects are already active. These little mini infestations can grow to be a pain in the right circumstances. Even if you are super careful not to allow any of your colonists or animals within range of these insects, a random visitor can easily pull a bunch of bugs across the map and give you an early game over. Another note about caves is that they have ‘overhead mountain’ as their roof type. These are tiles where new infestations can spawn.

Those are the five most important things in my opinion.

There are a couple more quick things I will mention that are good if you can swing them, but are probably not necessary unless you are min-maxing. Of course this guide IS about the absolute best starting maps, so here we go.

In the terrain tab you can also see what types of stone are on the map. The best combination in my opinion is granite and marble. Granite is the base stone with the highest HP and makes for amazing defensive walls, whereas marble is the most beautiful stone and is amazing to use in statues.

Also, roads can be important in Rimworld. Caravans do get a travel time bonus when traveling on a tile with roads.

Lastly, it is generally good to be close-ish to several other settlements, especially if they are able to become allies, so that you’ll have an easy time caravanning for trade, negotiations, etc when the time comes.

Alright, that’s it! If you are looking for the best map to give you the edge on Rimworld try to find one that is temperate forest, has a year-round growing season, is mountainous or contains large hills, and has a large river bisecting it vertically or horizontally. If you can get one of these that also contains marble & granite, is near a road, and has a few befriendable factions around, even better!

If you are interested in me making more Rimworld guide videos like this, please let me know by subscribing, hitting the like button, sharing the video with others, or commenting below.

If you have any questions about map choice or Rimworld in general, feel free to ask in the comments or hit me up on my Discord server.

And, as always, thanks for watching!

Subscribe to MY Newsletter

Want to know as soon as a new guide is posted? Sign up for my email newsletter and receive a notification straight to your inbox when I release new content. Your email address will never be shared.

No spam ever, Just awesome content. What are you waiting for?