Alpha 15 – Tutorial and Drugs released!

Posted August 28th, 2016 by Tynan Sylvester

I’m happy to announce that we’ve just released RimWorld Alpha 15! This version adds a rich tutorial, an intelligent learning helper to help you pick up the game, a new drug system, deep drilling to provide resources in the end game, and a giant pile of other smaller improvements and fixes. A full change log and detailed info is below.

For Steam players, if you want to continue with Alpha 14 for any reason, you can get on the ‘alpha14’ beta branch in Steam. In the Steam Library, right click RimWorld, click Properties, go to the Betas tab, select alpha14 in the drop-down list, and restart Steam.

Non-Steam players who wish to update can simply download from the same download link as before; it has been updated to the new version. They should install the new version in a clean empty folder.

Save compatibility: As usual, Alpha 15 will not load Alpha 14 save games by default. However, a user did put together a guide that allows you to manually update save files with some text editing. Check it out here if you really want to try to continue that Alpha 14 colony.

Mod compatibility: Some purely XML mods will be compatible between versions. However, most significant mods will need to be adjusted and recompiled. Beware: If a mod author updates their existing mod to the new version, it’ll stop updating on the old version. You may wish to turn off Steam auto-updates if you really want to avoid this.

Change list:


  • Added new rich tutorial with step-by-step instructions.
  • Tutorial teaches the basics of setting up a game, building a small self-sustaining colony, and defeating the first
  • Tutorial locks out irrelevant controls and highlights relevant controls.
  • At the end of the tutorial, the player can continue the game with a normal storyteller.

Learning helper

  • Added new learning helper system to replace yellow pop-up messages and yellow learning alerts.
  • Learning helper sits in the top right of the screen. If something happens relating to a concept the player hasn’t learned, that lesson will be activated and shown on the learning helper. It can then be opened and read. Lessons are automatically marked as learned when the player does the necessary interaction, and can be marked as learned manually. Lessons are shown as needed by circumstance, or on a slow timer. The overall idea is that you’ll never be shown a lesson you already know, but always be shown the lessons you need to know now.
  • Learning helper can be expanded and searched for any lesson, so you can look up how to do a specific thing at any time.

Drugs system

  • Added new drugs system. It’s not just beer any more!
  • Drugs typically create up to four effects. Not all drugs have all effects.
    • Primary – The valuable short-term effect, whether it improves mood or work focus or combat effectiveness or makes one immune to a disease.
    • Overdose – Excessive drug usage in a short time can build up blood toxicity, leading to unconsciousness and possible death.
    • Tolerance – Long-term usage of a drug can build up a tolerance which makes subsequent usage less and less effective in producing the high.
    • Addiction – Drug use can form an addiction. This generates a new need for the drug which the pawn will try to feed regularly. If the need isn’t fed, the pawn will develop withdrawal symptoms (low mood, reduced consciousness). Eventually withdrawal will pass and the addiction will go away.
  • Drugs can be assigned for regular taking through the drug policy system. Similar to Outfits, drug policies are an assigned schedule for taking drugs. You can set any number of drugs, each with a frequency. For example, you can assign a colonist to drink 2 beers every day, and take one Malari-Block every 5 days.
  • The drugs are:
    • Beer – Improved mood but worsened capacities. Addictive.
    • Malari-block – Prevents malaria infection for 5 days.
    • Yayo – Stimulant pleasure drug, addictive.
    • Flake – Cheap, short high, very addictive.
    • Wake-up – Improves work performance, addictive.
    • Smokeleaf – Improved mood but worsened capacities. More hunger, slower movement. Can form dependence.
    • Go-Juice – Synthetic futuristic combat drug. Boost speed and fighting capacity tremendously. Addictive.
    • Luciferium – Glitterworld mechanites that give huge bonuses to most capacities. However, without repeated doses the user goes insane and dies. It is impossible to clear the addiction, and the drug is 100% addictive on one dose.
  • Drugs are produced in various ways, typically at the new Drug Lab building, from various precursor chemicals and growable crops. They require research to create.

Deep drilling

  • The map now spawns with clusters of underground resources. These can be accessed by building a deep scanner to find them, and then building deep drills on top of them, and then working the drills. This slowly produces the resource.
  • Deep drilling tech is at the end of the tech tree. This should mitigate late-game resource exhaustion problems.


  • Mood is now drawn subtly behind the pawn on the colonist readout at the top of the screen.
  • You can now produce medicine from herbal medicine, neutroamine (a precursor chemical you buy), and cloth. Requires research.
  • Added passive cooler building. Made of wood and low tech, it cools a room for a short time. Good for passing heat waves as a tribe.
  • Added a ‘copy building’ tool which lets you quickly select the designator for a building through an existing copy of that building.
  • Beer production now takes several stages: Colonists make wort (unfermented beer) at the brewer table, then leave it in fermenting barrels for a while, after which they can harvest it as beer.
    Infestation can now only spawn under a thick roof.
  • Gear tab now shows aggregate stats about armor and comfy temperatures.
  • Raider steal a bit more often now.
  • Factored MapGeneratorDef apart into separate GenStepDefs which can be modded or inserted individually. This will allow modders to change the MapGenerator without blowing away each others’ changes.
  • Added alert: Need warm clothes.
  • Mods can now be dragged to reorder them in the mods page.
  • Re-tuned food finding algorithm.
  • Hunters will no longer hunt without a ranged weapon.
  • Debuffed corn a bit.
  • Reworked trade interface to clearly state what kind of trader they are, and to list items they’re not willing to trade.
  • Reworked trader stock generators so traders carry and accept more sensible items for their type.
  • You can now request traders by calling allied factions. It costs silver.
  • Chance to spring known traps is reduced from 2.5% to 0.4%.
  • Friendly fire chances reduced by 60% for fly-by shots (shots that miss and land in the cell with a pawn have the same chance to hit as before).
  • Added a message when food spoils in storage.
  • Fix: Pawns don’t get ‘catharsis’ mood gainer thought after a mental break.
  • Rename PDW to Machine pistol.
  • Torches and campfires are no longer destroyed near-instantly by rain/snow. They instead consume fuel faster.
  • Torches consume fuel a bit faster overall.
  • Fueled generator consumes fuel faster and holds less fuel.
  • Plant sow and harvest are now slower.
  • Debuffed fists.
  • Reduced volume of idle animal calls at high time speeds.
  • Smithing is now a prerequisite for Machining research.
  • Added a toggleable view that shows roofs in glowing green.
  • Hundreds of other balance changes, text fixes, redesigns, and bug fixes.

30 Responses to “Alpha 15 – Tutorial and Drugs released!”

  1. Alexander

    Thanks. U have any plan about releases or u go for mood and work on elease may got various time?

  2. Mossy piglet

    Waaa I cant use my computer for a bit.

  3. pluhi

    Grat! My translation had an important correction this morning and a few useLabels were added later, both missed the release. I guess I can hope for a patch within the next days:P.

  4. pluhi – I may do a translations update, but not really soon. Need to give others a chance to catch up too.

  5. esotericist

    You may wish to turn off Steam auto-updates if you really want to avoid this.

    There is no way to turn off steam auto-updates short of going into offline mode and staying there. 🙁

  6. PotatoeTater

    @esotericist – You can turn off autoupdates for a specific game within that games properties. It isn’t that hard to do.

  7. Collic

    @PotatoeTater. I see people saying this a lot so, I I’ll just write this here and invite you to go check that the accuracy of that yourself. What you wrote USED to be true.

    The option to completely disable updates has been removed from steam.

  8. Yakobro

    @Collic You can select A14 from the betas tab if you want to undo the update for now.

  9. esotericist

    @PotatoeTater You cannot. You can only request it try not to update until you launch it, but even then, that’s mostly a suggestion.

    It also doesn’t help you with workshop mods.

  10. Nerxis

    I’m really impressed how fast the the Alpha came out! :O Great work guy’s keep on rollin!

  11. Guido

    Well done Tynan!
    Great release this alpha 15:)

  12. Arrvi

    Why would every resource tile have the same amount? I think it would be more realistic if resources peaked at center and fade on edges.

  13. Tobias

    Cool update. Love it

  14. Madman666

    A little question for you, Tynan, if you have the time to answer 🙂 You mentioned something about “trash rock” when you was talking about deep drills. Does that mean, that when deep resource cluster is depleted you can continue to work the drill to get some stone chunks? It would be very awesome actually, because rocks are kinda non-renewable right now, not counting the tradersm which only sell ready-made blocks.

  15. I’m afraid that once the deep drill runs out nothing more appears. Sorry :p

  16. Madman666

    Well thanks for your answer anyway) My hope with the modders then – that would be rather cool feature. And it is really awesome mad, man, I already sunk 165 hours of play in one month since I bought it and I still never lost interest. You always have things to do, no matter how well you developed. I love this game. You’re awesome.

  17. MeuNos

    I have a quesion for you, Tynan, if you have the time to answer 🙂 Do you happen to know if there is a way I can use mods that have been updated to alpha 15 on alpha 14? The reason I ask this is I have a alpha 14 colony that I want to finish where some of the mods aren’t updated to alpha 15 but the map won’t load mods that were updated from alpha 14 to alpha 15. Thankyou, Sincerely,

    P.S. I am using steam.

  18. nccvoyager

    MeuNos, unfortunately, it is not possible to reverse workshop mods to an earlier version via Steam.
    As such, unfortunately, I do not believe it would be possible to do what you are asking using the Steam workshop.

    However, by making Steam switch back to the old A14 version, I believe you could, theoretically, use an old version of the mods you want to use from an alternate download location.
    (Not Steam workshop.)

    If I am not mistaken, the Steam version of RimWorld should still load non-workshop mods, and this method would allow you to play your old modded A14 save again.

    Unfortunately, if the mod was only available on the Workshop, it will likely be impossible to do this, and your A14 colony will probably be unrecoverable.

    Though, that being said, using the method of changing an A14 mod to an A15 mod, you could, theoretically, change your A14 mod into an A15 mod once all the mods you were using in A14 have been updated to A15.

    In any case, I wish you the best of luck with the endeavour.

  19. Grinya

    Game about surviving with medecine, disease, food, drugs and weapons but without water, thirst, hygiene and wc.
    Strange concept…

  20. nccvoyager

    Well Grinya, maybe such a thing will come in a future update?
    You start out with a season’s worth of clean bottled water, and must figure out how to purify more, lest your colonists become dehydrated and resort to drinking dirty, and possibly dangerous, standing water?
    Do remember that new content is still being added all the time, and it is entirely possible that such a thing will, in fact, be added.

    Of course, it could be possible that some sort of handheld miracle device was invented that could instantly purify any water source, and make it safely potable for colonists, and every colonist carries one…

    Or it could just be that your colonists running around every in-game hour to take a drink of water would be an annoyance more than a strategic issue.

    But, I don’t know.
    All I really know is that half my colonists are addicted to Flake, and the other half are doing all the work because I forgot to research production for it this year.

  21. Tanis

    what the hell? why cant you produce your own neutroamine? you can build pretty much anything else in the game, but you cant really make a lot of drugs if you are limited by the amount of neutroamine you can buy :/

  22. Lady Wolf

    I like the way this update looks, though if I may suggest, allow us to build deep drills on non ore locations to harvest stone chunks?

    On flat terrain maps stone can be just a finite a resource in end game as ores, and having a way to acquire more without needing to rely on traders would be handy.

  23. VoidRaptor

    I’m having trouble getting my colonists to put the wort into the barrels. I got over 600 wort in the freezer and 20 empty barrels in the proper temperature range. Short of selecting a colonist and forcing them to ferment, there doesn’t seem to be a way to prioritize brewing. At the same time they just leave the finished beer in there.

    I don’t really know how you could fix this, because giving the barrels a task bill would be tedious with a major brewing operation, unless the tanks were much larger.

    Which task group controls brewing? is it hauling?

  24. Clark

    I’m starting to get many pet animal deaths via infections, something that I did not get in A14. Perhaps the pets are not resting when they are supposed to, or doctors are not tending to the animals when they are in their beds.

    In either case, it would be nice to perhaps get animal notifications expanded- we get information when they get food poisoning from berries (love the new notifications), but not when an infection sets in.

    Excellent work, been loving the game.

  25. VoidRaptor

    @Clark are you playing a low difficulty? I think base builder and easy have much higher chances for diseases. Also, you have to manually set animals to use medicine. I have all mine set to use herbal medicine, this should reduce the high death rate you’re seeing.

  26. DAOWAce


    The accepted term for that is ‘nerfed’.

    Would be better to list the details of the change overall.

  27. Draco

    You should add a raiding system where the player can raid pirate bases and stuff

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  30. […] [official site] continues its march through early access, adding drugs and enticing modders, almost as if it wasn’t already wonderful. We sent Brendan back to the […]