In Rimworld, you occasionally may find yourself making a caravan. Whether you need to trade with a neighboring village, go check out an abandoned base, or simply get out of dodge caravans are a great tool to use during any playthrough. Sending out a caravan to trade with other tribes has a number of benefits. For one, the tribes will have a larger inventory and you get a 2% trade bonus for direct trading. You can also use caravans to escape toxic fallout! This is not a guide about how to use caravans. You should have a basic knowledge of how to form a caravan before reading this. With that said, here are 15 caravan tips you can use on your next Rimworld playthrough.
1. Bring or Have a Doctor On Standby
Caravans are not immune to diseases and injuries. If one of your pawns gets the plague while out on a caravan, you might as well start counting them as dead. Your caravan needs to have a pawn with some sort of medical skill and medicine. We’re not saying bring your glitterworld surgeon, we’re just saying make sure there is a pawn in the caravan that can patch up wounds without killing the pawn.
If you have dropships researched, then you’re in luck! You don’t even really need a skilled medic. You can simply drop ship them to the caravan with some extra food and medicine. Make sure when you do this though that you are not leaving your whole colony unattended. Your colony more than likely needs a medic more than the caravan.
2. Bring Non-Perishable Food
This should be a given but we’ve seen so many YouTubers and players bring regular meals with them on caravans. Caravans almost always take longer than what the game estimates and those meals will spoil after just a few days. You are better off investing those ingredients to make packaged survival meals or pemmican. Make sure you have one of the two researched or a lot in stock from trading before you launch a caravan. Sure, your colonists can forage for berries while traveling, but it will not be enough in the long haul.
3. Lighter Load = Faster Travel
Another given, but a common enough mistake that it needs to be said – the closer you are to your caravan’s maximum carry weight the slower they will move. While your caravan can carry 500kg of weight, it isn’t always in your best interest to hit that limit. Instead, you might be better off taking less or simply bringing more pack animals to share the load.
If you decide to simply bring less and not increase the size of the caravan, you’ll get the added bonus of being less visible on the map! So, remember – that max load is not always an open invitation to slap on as much flake and smokeleaf as possible.
4. Escape Bad Random Events
You can use caravans to escape random events that would prove deadly to the survival of your colony. Toxic fallout raining down on your herd of muffalo and you can’t afford to keep them inside for the whole duration? Maybe you don’t have enough food saved up to feed them and relied on them grazing, well simply throw them in a caravan with a pawn or two and move them to the next tile over. Let them graze and live one tile away without worry of losing your cash cows.
5. Use Caravans to Stockpile Rare Items
If you settled near a road with a lot of settlements around it, you can use a caravan to travel from town to town and check their inventory for rare items. Trade ships and traveling caravans can be rare, by going to the villages themselves you are directly controlling when you get to trade.
You will also find when you go to other tribes and villages that they have a wider range of goods and often higher amounts of goods they normally have. This means you can stock up on healer mech and resurrector serums or even a soothe pulser.
6. Use and Abuse the Trading System
An easy entry on our list of the best Rimworld caravan tips, if you’re going for a trade empire playthrough, put your caravan next to a road with multiple friendly bases nearby. The road will help your caravan’s move faster! Once your colony is set up and you have the basics down, pick an item to mass manufacture. This could be a piece of clothing, beer, chocolate, or the iconic flake/yayo. You can either manufacture the raw resources yourself or use your profits to buy more of them. You should also use your profits to purchase materials and resources you can’t manufacture or have depleted the map of in your own colony.
7. Ambushes Scale to the Wealth of Your Caravan
Remember, your caravan is a target for ambushes and raids while on the road. The size and difficulty of these raids is directly related to the wealth of the caravan and the visibility of the caravan. If your caravan is carrying a lot of wealth, you should reinforce it with additional colonists to defend it. Typically, killing 1-3 ambushers is enough to cause the rest to flee.
We hope you found this list of the best Rimworld caravan tips helpful and that you learned something for your next playthrough!