Why the Nutrient Paste Dispenser Isn’t Terrible in Rimworld

The infamous nutrient paste dispenser, a device that has a small group of die-hard users who swear by it and tons of others that have never even built it. If you’re reading this you likely fall into the 2nd category or the less popular but still large group that has built it and immediately deconstructed it. I am here to tell you that the nutrient paste dispenser is one of the best things in Rimworld and can fit almost any situation.

  • Got a prison? You need a nutrient paste dispenser.
  • Not a lot of food? Nutrient paste dispenser.
  • Bad cook? NDP.
  • No cook? NDP.
  • Don’t want to task a pawn with making food all day? N. D. P.

You get the picture. The nutrient paste dispenser is a very versatile device and by the end of this, you’ll be building one every game.

What is a nutrient paste dispenser?

nutrient paste rimworld

Maybe you fall into the second category, i.e. you never built this strange looking device before and you are wondering what it exactly does. In a nutshell, the nutrient paste dispenser takes raw food and turns it into tasty, pasty meals. Tasty is a bit of a lie, but we will get into that later.

In order to build one, you need 90 steel and 3 components. It takes up a 3×4 space and can act as a wall. This means that you can have one half of it in your dining area where colonists can get meals from and one half in your freezer so your raw food doesn’t rot. It also requires 200W. A wood-fired generator produces ~1000W so you have no excuse by saying “it takes up too much power”. The electric stove takes 350W, so you’re actually saving power by using a dispenser!

How does it work? You simply attach hoppers to the sides of the dispenser. The hopper will turn green when it is being placed properly. These hoppers are where your raw food will be stored. Hoppers should be located in your freezer so your raw food doesn’t spoil. If you need help visualizing it, look at the below image of an in-game example.

example nutrient paste setup

What Are the Benefits of the Nutrient Paste Dispenser?

There are quite a few benefits! One is that it increases raw foods’ nutritional value by 200%! This means your food can go twice as far. This is very important for people that want to build a colony in a biome where the growing season is short or non-existent and there are not a lot of animals to hunt. When you’re strapped for food, extending its nutritional value should be your #1 priority and the dispenser is easily the best way to do that.

Another plus is that your colonists can’t get food poisoning from nutrient paste. So if your cook keeps poisoning your pawns, maybe its time to look into building one of these. Food poisoning is easily one of the most annoying things in the game and the dispenser completely gets rid of that problem.

Maybe you have a different problem. Do you have a level 20 cook? Do you also have 15 other pawns and none of them can cook? The dispenser can produce meals instantly as long as there is food in the hopper. If your cook can’t keep up with all the hungry mouths, build a dispenser! Sure you can have him keep making lavish and fine meals, but the dispenser will help feed colonists that can’t get their hands on one.

If you have an organ harves- I mean prison, a nutrient paste dispenser can help relieve some of the warden’s duties. Simply place the dispenser in a common prison area and the prisoners will feed themselves. Your own colonists will not try and take food from it since it is inside the “prison”. You also aren’t wasting as much food feeding your prisoners since dispensers get 200% of the nutrition. There, now your warden is free to do other tasks and your prisoners are always being fed!

What Are the Downsides of This Great Device?

Well, like all good things there are some cons. Most notably the -4 debuff your pawns will receive from eating a paste meal. However, this -4 can easily be offset by having a nice dining area for your colonists. Some players feel that the -4 debuff is easily manageable with drugs, better bedrooms, etc. The debuff is still better than the -7 your colonists will receive from eating raw food!

There is one camp that thinks it should be considered a -9 to -16 debuff since fine meals can give you +5 and lavish meals can give you +12. Your pawn is missing out on that mood buff, therefore it should be seen as an added deficit. However, if you can’t make lavish or fine meals don’t take this into account.

If you can make lavish or fine meals, maybe you should analyze your situation and really weigh the pros and cons when it comes to the nutrient paste dispenser.

For those of you who think that you can now feed your colonists their dead friends or dead raiders – you can’t. Colonists will still be able to tell that they are eating human or insect meat so don’t think this solves your cannibalistic tendencies. If you do that, not only will they get the -4 debuff from eating the nutrient paste, they will also get hit with the -25 from eating human flesh.

The other major downside is that nutrient paste is entirely dependent on power. If you lose power, you lose food. There is a workaround to this.

example nutrient paste stockpile

There are some steps you need to follow and they are as follows.

  1. Find a hungry pawn
  2. Draft them and bring them to the dispenser
  3. Undraft them
  4. When they grab a meal from the dispenser, redraft them
  5. Forbid the meal that they just dropped
  6. Undraft
  7. Redraft
  8. Repeat until you have as many meals as you want

This trick works because your pawn will continually drop nutrient paste meals onto the forbidden pile every time you undraft and redraft them. Some consider this method a bug. Some consider organ harvesting and human leather immoral. We don’t listen to those people.

That is just about everything you need to know about the wonderful invention known as the nutrient paste dispenser! Feel we left something out? Let us know in the comments! Interested in more Rimworld tips and tricks? Check these other posts out!