Alpha 16 on public unstable branch (updated)

Posted December 12th, 2016 by Tynan Sylvester

UPDATE: Unstable version is being updated more or less (week)daily. The forum thread has the ongoing discussion and update details.

Alpha 16 release is upcoming. If you are on Steam, and in the middle of a game, please use the Steam betas feature to set your game to the “alpha15” branch. This will prevent it from automatically-updating to A16 upon release and breaking your save games.

If you’re willing to play with bugs and imbalances, and to have your saves broken randomly and without warning, you can now test the unstable version of Alpha 16! Just load the the ‘unstable’ branch on Steam. (To access the unstable branch, right-click RimWorld in the Steam library, open Properties, go to the Betas tab, select the ‘unstable’ branch, and restart Steam.)

This isn’t a ‘real’ release, and if you want to play the bug-free update you should retain your hype and wait until it’s properly released!

Please leave balance and design feedback in this forum thread. I’m especially interested in play stories around the new world system. Bugs should please be reported in the Bugs forum.

Modders can use this opportunity to prep their mods for the new update! Translators can use it to translate (there is a new translations tool; access it by turning on dev mode and hitting / in the main menu).

I’m also requesting that video makers, YouTubers and streamers please not make videos of this release. I don’t want to leave false impressions with a buggy and unbalanced unstable version.

There’s no change list yet; I plan to release that with the stable Alpha 16 release. Note that not all player content is included yet.

Thanks to all those who test and give feedback!

(I am deliberately not announcing this everywhere at once because I want to be able to draw in more fresh testers later as needed.)

48 Responses to “Alpha 16 on public unstable branch (updated)”

  1. skice

    HELL YEAH ! i wasn’t expecting the update this early !

  2. skice

    Where can we have a list of the new features by the way please? 🙂

  3. Megabyite


    Call of Cthulhu mods can wait, cause this will be epic


    Cant wait to test and give feedback

  5. Dukkha

    Test update released within the hour of creating a fourm profile? Clearly a sign I wasn’t suppose to get any work done today.

  6. Natanael

    Sério? Já?! OMG!

  7. Zirilyth

    I love the new map system. I’m wondering if you are considering adding a a condition on the scenario editor that can force you to leave an area after a set time. This could inspire some really cool stories such as a faction that moves to avoid a certain threat.

  8. Spetse

    Ive never bothered with testing before the release, Is there a way for people who don’t have steam to test this update?

  9. ScottS

    PLEASE leave A14 available on Steam as well. Some mods (Hardcore-SK) are still in the process of upgrading to A15. Thank you!

  10. RubenGass

    That new research screen is great! Sometimes it’s the little things that excite me the most.

    Haven’t had the chance to go on much of an explore yet but I would love to finally have a purpose to building an armory of glitterworld armor

  11. Jose

    Very good!!!

  12. McThornz

    Having-h-heart attack, too m–much to bear. agh.

  13. I’m excited about the new release! Unfortunately all my playing now goes to YouTube so I’ll have to wait until the stable version. That’s good tho, I wasn’t quite ready to let my current one go. Thanks for all your work Tynan and team!

  14. Douglas

    Pretty lame that he asked people not to stream and they still are.

  15. Zero

    when the stable will be out?

  16. Thundercraft

    Q: Why not do like Starbound does and have separate “Stable” and “Unstable” branches on Steam? Separate, as in having Steam treat them as separate games? That way, this complicated procedure to opt-in to the beta branch (or forgetting to opt-out later) can be avoided entirely.

  17. zepitou

    Any chance for a patch note or I’m just plain blind not to find it?

  18. BugPowderDust


    Tynan wrote “There’s no change list yet; I plan to release that with the stable Alpha 16 release. Note that not all player content is included yet.”

  19. Viktor

    Thank Tynan, you gave a second wind to the game. I would like to see in the final version of a large and advanced settlement (sorry for the mistakes, I’m Russian)

  20. Bier00t

    alpha of the alpha?

  21. Bergil

    “Bier00t said: alpha of the alpha?”

    Works for me!

    Thank you Tynan. Looking forward to trying this out. and don’t worry, I don’t do any of that youtube stuff.

  22. MarkJerue

    So is this the ALPHA ALPACA? Or the… BETA ALPHA?

  23. Groot

    No testing for users boycotting steam? I would love to help, but steam is a no-go.

  24. Spetse

    @Groot I know right? I can’t stand steam, mainly due to it’s rapid decline into being the 4chan of greenlight games. so people like us are stuck waiting for the official release.

  25. Tyrone

    @Groot and @Spetse I assume you guys already know, but just in case you don’t, you can get a steam key and keep your drm free download if you want, it’s free to have both. It’d be a massive pain for Tynan to update on sendowl every time there were tweaks to the unstable release, so it’d be rather counterproductive for Tynan to spend a few hours extra – and send out an email to everyone, annoying some (not that Tynan sends the sendowl emails, but anyway) that steam sadly really is the only way to efficiently release an unstable build. Hope this helps 🙂

  26. Spetse

    @Tyrone Yeah I am aware of the free steam keys, if it was for quite literally any other launcher I would be for it. Steam is just not worth trying for imo. thanks anyway for the info

  27. Tyrone

    @Speste No problem, and Fair enough too, I use it but sometimes I wonder why ? I think it’s mostly to keep all my games in one place of if I move computers ? Cheers

  28. Sorry for being ignorant on this. I’ve been playing for awhile, but this is my first time with an unstable me build. Where can I give feedback and bug reports? I’ve got at least one I can report with pretty good detail. Not sure if random bug reports like this are actually helpful here tho.

  29. No youdumb

    This german idiot uploaded a youtube video of the unstable update and blames the game for bugs/balance:

  30. Calahan

    @ Mo – Please go to the Bugs section of the forum to report bugs (make sure to read the “How to Report a Bug” thread first). The link to the forums can be found on the menu at the top of this blog page.

  31. Jorlem

    There’s quite a few vids up of alpha 16 on YouTube. It might have been a good idea to put a temporary event on game start asking people not to upload or stream the unstable version, as some of them were unaware of the request you made in this blog post.

  32. Osucaurs

    Well, there are some videos on youtube about this alpha 16 despite being requested not to. But they don’t give false impression in my opinion since they stated clearly that it was a teaser for upcoming feature, and that teaser teases me.

    Can’t wait to play the stable version. I’m itching to arm my pawns and command them to roam around the world map and robbing some settlements.

  33. This is some truly great work! Basic functionality is very good and everything I though the game was missing. There are some things you may want to do before the modders do it for you..
    1. Change the sizes of the different settlements across Rimwworld to have more variety. Settlements of 5 people should exist as well as large communities. Larger communities should contain larger bases with more elements built. The size should be easy to understand on the map.
    2. Give the player the option to capture and settle a base instead of only ransacking it and then leaving in 24 hours.
    3. Give the option to actually peacefully visit and interact with friendly settlements instead of trading on the map screen. This could also help people set up surprise attacks.

    Modders will do these things, but your design has always been superior in my opinion. It would be great to flush these things out before the modding community does.

  34. jobab

    awesome work so far keep up the good work! hands down my favourite game currently and i play a lot of different games 😀

  35. christianmc1101

    thanks for the unstable version!
    But I want to say one thing to the Video from @No youdumb:
    In that Video was no flame about the Game, he likes Rimworld, he played it a long time. Here is his Statement:

    Ps: You sounds not better for me how you “disagreed” him.
    PPS: I am an Austrian, but we have to learn English, but we could nerver speak english so good how natives.

  36. Geronimo

    @No youdumb

    Calling someone an idiot while obviously not understanding what he actually said is not a sign of great intelligence 😉

    The video you linked is titled “RimWorld Alpha 16 Teaser (Unstable – Public Testing) | Awesome Update!” and the content reflects that title perfectly.

  37. gargantulantula

    I can use my gamesave of the version Alpha 15c in next Alpha 16 estable?

    I have a very nice haunt I would not like having to do again especially for the legendary furnitures xD

  38. What “no youdumb” said is nothing else than just a lie. The German YouTuber did not mention even a single bug or lag. He simply said that he is totally hyped about Alpha 16 and loves the cool new features. That’s all. It’s sad to see how many disliked the video based on that comment without understanding what the video was about. The YouTuber just did not read the request not to take videos of that version.

  39. Cendar

    Really looking forward to see the new map system and features. Keep up the good work, Ty!

  40. Calahan

    @ gargantulantula – No sorry, A15 save games will not be compatible with A16.

    You can continue playing your A15 save game once A16 is released if you want to (if you are using Steam then there should be an option on the Betas tab to use A15). But if you want to play A16 and use the new features and content, then you will have to start a new game.

  41. Great Update!

    There is usually someone live streaming the game on twitch tv, and they are thrilled with the new features! Keep it up!

    I was thinking, would it help framerate if objects were registered within smaller 32×32 tile regions for searching instead of having to go through the full object list to find something? I don’t know how the game is programmed, but I know that I want more NPC’s and less lag!

  42. Kenneth

    I HAVE AN IDEA!! How about in Rimworld you allow there to be a holiday system. Holiday system that is triggered relative to time or manually set events or Holiday to commemorate or celebrate dead colonist, Christmas, anniversary of crash landing, etc. It would totally add more story element in the game and make each colonists more valuable (History element in the game). You can also have certain things happen on that event or holiday like order colonists to set fireworks, play snowball fight, mourn, etc. Lots of social elements and more flavor rather than just having marriage event and party event.

  43. Love the new updates. Just a small note: For eclipse.. This is something that effects the whole planet and should affect all colonies on the map. 😛

  44. Spetse

    Keep in mind Eddy, Eclipses do not affect the whole planet, it only can be seen by some parts of the planet. though I do agree that it should affect colonies in an area comparative to the size of a real eclipse. maybe even have other events like fallout and psychic events affect areas other than a single colony

  45. philheb

    OMG I WANT THIS UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    plz when it will be public?

  46. Matt B

    @Eddy <—- Video about upcoming 2017 eclipse! Also explains why, in fact, eclipsing only visible from certain parts of planet.

  47. @Matt B, lol! No sh!t! Although, this isn’t how it happens all the time xD.

    @Phiheb … Pirate it bro! As long as you eventuallyyy… pay for the game it’s all good and fine :).

    Kidding kidding kidding! xD

  48. Zerberus

    A brilliant next feature would be Z levels. And if combat could become turn based like Jagged Alliance 2 or Fallout 1/2. Although RW is a story generator, a main campaign of a generic story line like in prison architect.