While there are plenty of more obvious threats to deal with in Rimworld, it is quite easy to forget about pollution while completing other tasks like gathering steel. Pollution can become an overwhelming threat to a colony if mismanaged due to how hard it is to dispose of. However, with the right planning and equipment, pollution can not only be managed but even become a potential benefit.
What is pollution in Rimworld?
In Rimworld, pollution is a toxic substance that accumulates on terrain and is detrimental to colonists. Its toxicity damages colonists and eventually leads to death if exposure lasts long enough. However, it also changes the landscape, and not always in a negative way. It strengthens insects, allows pollution-based species to live within it, and can even be used to create useful technology.
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How to deal with pollution in Rimworld
Though it can be beneficial with the right technology, pollution is usually a detrimental problem that needs to be dealt with. Using colonists to clean up pollution is the simplest way, but it is a short-term solution that begins to accumulate waste packs. Waste packs are accumulated pollution storage units. There are several ways to deal with waste packs that vary from short-term to long-term:
- Freezing: Typically, piling up waste packs is about as detrimental as leaving pollution alone because they will eventually break down, letting loose the pollution they held. However, if you store waste packs in a freezing temperature environment, they will be completely harmless. Unfortunately, this is also a short-term solution as, eventually, you may run out of room to store waste packs.
- Exporting: While it is an easy way to make enemies of your neighbors, exporting your waste packs is an extremely effective way of getting rid of them. Sending a caravan loaded with waste packs far away to dump them or delivering the waste packs as a gift to an enemy are surefire ways to reduce pollution.
- Polux trees: Polux trees sort out pollution themselves when it begins to run rampant, as they will sprout from pollution and slowly cleanse nearby land of pollution. However, because they cannot be replanted and only three can spawn on any given map, they are not a stable or reliable response to pollution buildup.
- Atomizers: Atomizers are the most effective way to deal with pollution, but they come at a steep cost. Unlocking the tech required to make one requires a dedicated researcher in your colony, and they are very expensive in terms of materials. However, this trade-off is beyond worth it late-game as the Atomizer can destroy waste packs safely.
- Ignore it: While this solution can be very dangerous, if pollution is far enough away that it doesn't pose an immediate issue, it can be best just to ignore it until it does become a problem. Furthermore, pollution can create unique wildlife that can be beneficial given that it is cleaned correctly.