Announcing update 1.3 and the Ideology expansion

Posted July 4th, 2021 by Tia Young

Hello everyone! I’m Tia, an insect lover and spelopede sympathizer at Ludeon. Today, I get to share some big news!

Soon, we’ll be releasing RimWorld update 1.3 with new free content and a variety of improvements including animal fences, breach raids, beards, and many quality-of-life improvements.

You can play 1.3 now on the Steam branch 1.3-preview. (To access it, go to your Steam library, right-click RimWorld and select “Properties”, then select the BETAS tab and choose branch 1.3-preview. Restart Steam if needed.)

The beta is to give modders ample time to update, as well as help us fix those final bugs. As a reminder, RimWorld supports multi-version mods, so anyone should be able to continue playing 1.2 as long as they like and change over when desired, as long as modders don’t remove 1.2 support.

We worked to ensure mod updating would be as easy as possible. Modders who tested the update process said it was quite easy, some reporting zero changes required, others 5 minutes, an hour, a few hours. Of course it’ll depend exactly what a mod touches.

We’re looking at releasing 1.3 in about 2 weeks, though this could change.

With the 1.3 release, we’ll also be releasing a new expansion called RimWorld – Ideology. This expansion focuses on belief systems, social roles, rituals, hunts for ancient relics and cross-cultural interaction. See below for more info and screenshots, or wish list it on the store page here! 

About 1.3

There are 15 months of improvements in 1.3, so it’s a pretty big one.

There is a new pens-and-fences system for animals. Now animals are more productive, with more focused roles, but some of them need to be kept in fenced pens and led around by your trusty farmers. It gives the colony a more ‘ranchy’ look and feel, as opposed to just having random cows always wandering through bedrooms or staying in pens via mind control. You’ve also got egg boxes and a new straw matting terrain type to build true-looking farms that actually work.

There are search bars all over the interface now, so you can type in text on the architect menu, stats dialog, research menu, stockpile filter, and elsewhere to jump directly to exactly what you want. No more hunting through lists – even with lots of modded items!

The faction goodwill system has been reworked so neighbors keep a record of what you’ve done and why they feel the way they do about you. You’ll have a better idea of why exactly they want to destroy or reward you.


Enemies will now use a new style of breach raid to get through your defenses. They’ll bring special wall-breaking tools and tunnel into the side of your base instead of using the main entrance. Tribals do this with a new breach-axe, while pirates use grenades, and mechanoids use a new mechanoid type called the termite. This new strategy option for the AI adds more variation and dynamism to the defensive combats – fighting through bedrooms is very exciting! Making the AI analyze bases, find good breach paths, and follow them effectively was an interesting and novel problem. Of course, all the old raid strategies still exists and the breach raids only show up from time to time to add variation.

Drag-move formations allow you to order your fighters to arrange themselves in a line using a single mouse command.

You can order a fighter to pick up a downed person, then carry them wherever you wish using the normal movement controls. No more harrowing and unnecessary rescues directly to bed!

Your colonists can now carry medicine in their inventory and use it directly on the battlefield.


Beards! Beards. What more do I need to say? People have beards, and they look beardy and awesome.

Characters now render more efficiently (the game prints them onto a texture and render that in one pass, instead of rendering each body layer separately on every frame). We punched up their look with visible wounds, bandages, and body modifications, so you can really see when someone (or your pet guinea pig) has taken some hits.

We also consulted with modders, collected their requests and made a bunch of technical changes to make modding easier.

There’s tons more than this. For those interested, here is the full 1.3 change log.

Next, Tynan would like to talk about the Ideology expansion and why he decided to make it.

Why Ideology?

Hey all – Ty here.

RimWorld has always been about role-playing. For many years I’ve seen players create colonies with their own special themes – minimalist nomads, raiding pirates, mad cannibals, drug-worshippers. People want to have a sense of authorship over their stories.


I thought: What if we made the system that let players explicitly express all those different ways of life?

That’s what we’ve spent the last 15 months working on with Ideology. This expansion lets you create a new belief system and act it out in your colony. You can play as tree-worshipping cannibals who carve skulls into every piece of furniture, or blind tunnelers who shun the light, or transhumanists obsessed with perfecting the human form using exotic technology. Or be nudists, or drug-stupor mystics, or piratical raiders, or charity-focused givers, or pain-loving animal sacrificers, or dance-party techno ravers, or rustic ranching cowboys, or many many more.


You can mix and match different core elements of your belief system, and also customize every individual precept, ritual, special social role, venerated animal and weapon, culture and style, unique building, tattoo, clothing, background narrative, god, and beard preference.


Ideology makes your story into your story more than ever before.


This comes with a bunch of extra content. There is a whole new quest category that presents a sort of Indiana Jones roguelike-type challenge of breaking into ancient structures and facing unknown dangers inside to get ancient treasure.


There are new dryad creatures who have symbiotic relationships with special trees, and who can be controlled and grown in different castes to do different things. There is spacedrone hacking and terminal-worshipping tribal villages and the new archonexus ending.


The whole thing is super moddable too. Modders tested Ideology and said it is quite easy to update in general. The expansion adds a lot of new stuff, but doesn’t affect much of the old stuff. Of course, it depends on what your mod is.


I’m really excited to put Ideology in front of you.

More info coming soon

Tia here again!

I am so ready for the fantastic stories that you guys will be making with 1.3 and Ideology. There is so much for both new and old players to discover. And to think — we didn’t even get to all of the content in this announcement!

So in the future, I’ll be posting teasers of the upcoming stuff in Ideology. Be sure to check back here for your sneak peek.

See you soon,


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