RimWorld – Best Defense to Build in Your Base

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Most RimWorld players will end up having to restart their playthrough due to incredibly difficult raids.

Yes, lack of food can be a problem. Yes, you do need to keep your pawns warm and happy. But the main reason that you will lose the game and get angry is your lack of defense.

Recommended Read: How Many Days Are in a Year in RimWorld?

Having a powerful defense around your base can make the difference between life and death.

So, we are going to help you survive by telling you how to build the best defense around your base in RimWorld.

Table of contents

Understanding Raider AI Mechanics in RimWorld

Most raiders in RimWorld will appear from the edges of the map and either attack instantly or give you time to prepare.

The raiders’ first target will usually be your pawns. The second on the priority list will be animals, and the third will be structures built by you.

This is why players will have to abuse the raiders’ mechanics to make sure that they are in control of the raid.

RimWorld Killbox

The most efficient way to defend a base in RimWorld is by using killboxes. A killbox is a special area that raiders will have to go through to get to your base that is full of traps and vulnerable to shots from your pawns.

You can see how a killbox usually looks in RimWorld in the image above. Since raiders don’t see traps, you will have to leave them a way to get into your base that isn’t blocked by doors.

However, you should put some doors in your killbox, as shown above, so that pawns can get through without the risk of activating the trap by mistake.

Best Early Game Defense in RimWorld

The best defense in the early game is a simple killbox with wooden traps. Since wood is abundant on most maps, building a huge wall around your base that has a killbox “entrance” will keep you safe for a relatively long time.

RimWorld Killbox Barricade

Since there is still a chance that one or two raiders will have the “Nimble” trait, which will allow them to bypass traps, it would be a good idea to set up a barricade at the exit of the killbox into the base to position your pawns to shoot.

If someone manages to get through the traps, your pawns will just shoot them as they try to attack.

The material you use for your outer wall and killbox can be wood at the start. However, you should try to convert to any stone type as soon as possible.

If you have resources and time, you should also make the wall at least 3 tiles deep in case raiders start throwing grenades at them.

Another thing you can do to defend your base in the early game is to put up dumping stockpiles of rock chunks around your walls since this will protect them from fires.

Luckily, in the first months in RimWorld, the worst attacks you could get are from people with guns, so just building a few barricades where your pawns can shoot from should be enough.

Make sure that the battle location that you choose doesn’t offer the raiders any cover. Trees, stone blocks, and walls can help raiders defend from your long-range attacks.

If you have the number superiority, make sure to overwhelm the attackers when they get in close range. Also, control which raider your pawns are shooting.

They tend to shoot the same person at the same time, which can be inefficient if the enemies are advancing quickly in your position.

Best Mid Game Defense in RimWorld

Once raiders start using grenades and rocket launchers, the simple killbox won’t be as efficient anymore.

One of the things that you might want to do is to add barricades or sandbags in the trap side of the killbox, in between traps, to slow the raiders down.

You will need to do this since, otherwise, they will likely get past that part in seconds, and you will be overwhelmed.

RimWorld Killbox With Turrents

To improve your killbox, you can add turrets at the end of hallways to also shoot at the raiders while they walk through the traps.

If you do this, you should remove the sandbags from the maze, as they would just end up helping the raiders instead.

The last bit that you can improve on is the end of the killbox. The place where raiders would exit and meet your pawns.

RimWorld Killbox Exit With Turrents

At this location, you can build a big, wide space with no cover for the raiders, where you put up turrets on both left and right.

Turrets should be surrounded by stone walls, as they can explode and instantly destroy your other turrets. They will also distract the raiders, giving your pawns time to shoot at them.

The last piece of advice for your killbox would be to improve the barricade where your colonists are sitting. You can build a wall between each barricade, as shown in the image above.

This will increase the cover of your pawns if the raiders or mechs start shooting at your people.

Best Late Game Defense in RimWorld

In the late game, you will almost only get mech raids, pod raiders, and huge armies of raiders. For the mech raids and huge raider armies, you only need to improve your killbox even further.

Just make the trap maze longer and wider, make the killing grounds where your pawns are waiting for larger and fuller of turrets, and that should get the job done.

For pod raiders and sappers, you will need to also put up turrets and traps along your base. Since their landing zones are so unpredictable, there is no way to properly prepare for an attack.

You will have around 8 seconds until they come out of their pods, so prepare during that time.

The problem with the late/end game in RimWorld is that raids are almost impossible to defeat. Until now, you didn’t necessarily have to use a killbox.

You could have gone by using tactics and highly skilled pawns. But now, the sheer size of the attacks is impossible to defeat without a killbox.

Other Fun Defense Ideas for RimWorld

The Heat/Cold Chamber

An interesting take on the popular killbox is to just place fences or barricades all over the maze, to make the raiders waste their time walking through it and increase the temperature in the killbox to insane numbers using coolers.

Either bring the place to minus degrees or hundreds of degrees Celcius and see how your enemies faint from just walking around the killbox.

If you want to quickly kill them, making a “cold chamber” might be the way to go. A “heat chamber” would be better if you want to capture the raiders after the battle.

Death by Roof

You can also just build a column where you know raiders will pass and build a roof in the whole area where possible.

When the raiders come, you can either try to shoot the column to bring the roof down over the raiders or use IED traps to explode it.

Shooting it can be risky, as you have a high chance of missing. However, IED traps are expensive.

Make sure you bring down the health of the column before the battle, so you only need one or two shots to bring the roof down over the raiders.

You can implement this amazing strategy in a normal killbox. Place the falling roof in the last space of the killbox, where the raiders should meet your colonists. Bring it down over them when they get closer to you.

Animal Kingdom

Animals can be extremely powerful in RimWorld. And, if you are not afraid they might die here and there, they can defend your base themselves.

In the last part of your killbox, at the location where the raiders would get past the traps and into the fighting grounds, you could send your animals to fight them at the chokepoint.

Using bears, megasloths, and elephants can easily win you most raid battles. In the worst-case scenario, you can also have your pawns sitting in the back, ready to shoot if all your animals meet a grim end.

That’s everything you need to know about the best defense to build in your RimWorld base!

Have any input or suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

Adrian Oprea

Based in London, United Kingdom, Adrian Oprea is a Guides Writer. As a professional single-player RPG player, Adrian has often been stigmatized. He has decided to pour his frustration into writing guides!

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