20 Balanced Mods for Rimworld 1.0 (Updated April 2019)
There was a time when I had nearly 100 mods installed in Rimworld. Some things have been tossed with the b19 and 1.0 updates, but I'm slowly building that list back up.
One of the biggest boons to Rimworld as a game is that it's so moddable and, should you so choose, you can mod it to your exact specifications so you can play exactly the way you want to. It took me maybe three days of playing until I cracked and started piling mods on, but it may take you longer. Everyone's different.
One aspect of mods that many newer players and some experienced players aren't too keen on is the idea of severe balance changes. It's true -- some mods toss all semblance of balance out the window in the name of game customization.
The mods listed here are those that I've found to be both useful and minimally impactful on the game's overall balance. Many of these are purely cosmetic, but some, such as Animal Tab or Centralized Climate Control, add a lot more than shiny new things to look at. All in all, these are quality of life mods that are suitable for even new players.
There are definitely more mods you can install that will boost your enjoyment without making your pawns and colonies overpowered, but the ones mentioned here are those that have treated me best within this category over my 200+ hours in Rimworld. Hopefully, you will enjoy them just as much as I do.
Vanilla Furniture Expanded mod
Even if you're not keen on mods that directly add items to the game, Vanilla Furniture Expanded is still hard to not click "Subscribe" on. Despite how great it looks, its furniture is balanced and versatile.
This mod adds a special branch to your research tree for new furniture pieces, so you don't get all the mod's greatness for no effort. Balanced and probably the best furniture mod for the game.
Previously I had listed More Furniture here, but More Furniture has been causing more problems than it's worth. I recommend Vanilla Furniture Expanded over More Furniture.
More Furniture mod
More Furniture has been around for several of Rimworld's betas and is still going strong in the 1.0 version. Its goal? Just to make your colonies look better.
The furniture found in this mod works similarly to the game's base furniture and has no large impacts on how your colony runs. A safe bet for anyone who wants the game to look a little better without changes to how it plays.
Level Up! mod
Another little quality of life mod that you quickly learn to love. Information is power.
Level Up! notifies players when their pawns level up in a skill, making it much easier to keep track of how they're progressing individually. You can toggle to mod to notify you via message, notification letter, an animation on the pawn, or a sound effect -- heck, you can have it do all of them if you so choose.
This mod has the double benefit of being able to notify you when your pawns level down in a skill, which can be toggled in the mod options.
This was the first mod I installed back when I first starting playing Rimworld, and I've never been able to look back.
RimFridge adds new refrigerators to the Furniture menu that can be placed about your colony for your pawns to easily access, rather than running into the freezer room each time they need to eat.
Recently, this has gotten the addition of wall refrigerators, which are just as useful as their standalone brethren.
RimFridge is, by all accounts, a must-have and it does not particularly affect the difficulty of the game. It just keeps your pawns fed more easily.
Show Draftees Weapon mod
If you're like me and have trouble keeping track of the weapons your pawns have equipped once you've got several pawns running around, this mod can be a lifesaver.
Show Draftees Weapon does exactly what it sounds like: It displays the weapons your pawns have equipped when you draft them for battle.
This is great if you've got a variety of weapons spread across your pawns, especially if you keep forgetting who's got the grenades or molotovs.
Interaction Bubbles mod
This is one mod I'm fairly new to myself, but it adds one feature that's hard to live without once you get used to it: floating bubbles showing how your pawns are interacting on the spot.
This is a big improvement from having to check each pawn's Social tab, which is something I only find myself doing once every so often unless someone is mentally breaking often.
Getting a front-row seat to your pawns' interactions is a nice touch that adds some flavor to times of peace.
EdB Prepare Carefully mod
How this mod affects your save games is entirely up to you, but I have always and will continue to consider this a mandatory Rimworld mod.
Prepare Carefully allows you to customize your landing party before you crash land, giving you complete control over their history, traits, skill allocations, health, and looks.
Though this can be extremely overpowered (such as starting a pawn or two with Shooting level 20), it includes a point system that tallies up as you make your party to let you know how balanced your start is. A flexible mod every player should have installed.
Work Tab mod
It took a little bit to get to one of Fluffy's mods, but here we are -- and it's not the last one.
Work Tab is a must-have mod if you want complete and utter control over your pawns' priorities. It adds a whole new layer to work priorities, literally: you can manually prioritize every little task.
Newer Rimworlders may find this amount of flexibility overwhelming, but in time anyone could come to find this mod to be an utmost help in running an efficient colony.
This is one mod that you just get used to having and in time forget it was a mod at all.
Hospitality adds a number of features for dealing with visitors to your colony. Visitors can and will stay in your colony provided you've built and set new guest beds, and will help out with chores if your hospitality is above and beyond. This isn't all, of course, but it's certainly my favorite aspect of this mod.
Hospitality is one mod I always have installed because I'm just used to its features. Be sure to read the Workshop page for the mod first as it is incompatible with a handful of more complex mods.
Recipe Icons mod
Why not make browsing through the game's menus a little easier? This mod adds icons to Rimworld's in-game menus to make it easier to tell what you're choosing, before you click.
This mod is useful for most players and most definitely makes UI navigation faster. This is one that's hard to learn to live without once you get used to it.
Glowing Healroot mod
This is a simple visual mod that alters healroots to glow, making it easier to tell when they're ready for harvest and adding a pleasant glow to their general area.
Glowing Healroot looks even better with the following mod installed.
Realistic Darkness mod
I didn't know I wanted this mod until I finally had it installed. This affects the world's overall light level at night and during certain weather conditions, giving the effect of it actually being nighttime or for there actually being a storm brewing.
Below is a comparison of the same colony at the same time of night. On the left is nighttime with Realistic Darkness and the right is mod-free nighttime.
This mod does affect your gameplay to some extent, in that it's basically pitch black outside during foggy rain -- unless you have outdoor lighting installed. Which you should.
Animal Tab mod
This is another mod that you install and eventually forget it's not part of the base game.
Animal Tab adds new features to the Animals tab in the UI for you to more easily keep track of and maintain your domesticated animals. This makes it easier to keep track of their production (such as cows, alpacas, birds, etc.), assign their masters, designate for slaughter, and more.
This is just a huge quality of life mod that most Rimworld players should have installed, whether they run animal-oriented colonies or not.
Everybody Gets One mod
The concept behind this mod is one any colony would be happy to work with.
Everybody Gets One alters the crafting bill interface and makes it so you can set your orders to make as many as there are pawns, or even a set amount per pawns in the colony.
Whether you like to build up massive colonies over time or start on Tribal and try to survive, this mod saves time. The more pawns you have, the more time it saves; but it's useful for any colony.
If you've played Prison Architect and got used to its blueprinting feature or are just tired of having to manually build every single room, this is the mod for you.
Blueprints works very simply: you select the tool and then select the area you want to copy. Then plop the blueprint down where you want it and watch your pawns get to work.
This is just another huge quality of life mod from creator Fluffy. Don't forget you can export blueprints in one save game and then import them into another to use the same designs across multiple saves.
Verge of Galaxy mod
If you haven't gotten tired of Rimworld's music yet, just wait. Your time will come.
Verge of Galaxy is one of a handful of mods that stuff new, more engaging music into the game for you to listen to while your pawns go about their lives. It's as simple as that.
Custom Mote Maker
Ignore the anime ears on this preview image, this mod is suitable for any player.
Custom Mote Maker is small mod that adds a little more flavor to the game by displaying a pawn's mood via emote when you click on them.
This is a nice pair with Interaction Bubbles since both bring pawn personalities more to the forefront of the game.
A Dog Said mod
If you want your animals to have more longevity and not be completely crippled after a bad raid, this is a mod you should add to your subscriber list.
A Dog Said adds the ability to install prosthetics onto your animals when in need, as well as the ability to craft those prosthetics at a new workstation.
This is a valuable mod if you care a bit more about your animals than your average player, but it does change the balance a bit as your animals will no longer be crippled or sentenced to death upon receiving certain injuries. Nonetheless, there is nothing wrong with taking care of your colony's animals as well as you can, and the only way to do so is through this mod.
As a side note, a fair number of animal mods do have additional mods to make them work with A Dog Said.
Stuffed Floors mod
Previously I had the mod MoreFloors listed here, which is still fine but has just been blown away by Stuffed Floors over time.
This mod is simple: It adds new floors for you to use in your colony. The base game's floor options leave a little something to be desired, making floor mods like this one a must-have for most players.
Centralized Climate Control mod
Now that we're down to the bottom of the list, we can get to my bar-none favorite mod: Centralized Climate Control. I remember what Rimworld was like before I installed this mod, and I don't want to go back. Ever.
Rather than putting an air conditioner or heater in each room or enclosed space with vents, you can instead work up a complex air temperature control system for your colonies using air intake vents, temperature control units, and air output vents into your buildings.
This mod completely changes how you deal with internal temperatures in your colonies, but it doesn't do it in a way that feels to easy. It's up to you to put together a functional system once you've completed the research, but once you do it's completely worth it.
Imagine a rim where pawns don't just drop stuff in your doorways. It's nice, isn't it? Now, download this mod.
Don'tBlockDoorMod has one function, and that is not to block doors. No longer will you lose control of your rooms' temperatures to pawn negligence, never again shall a cougar slip in your base and maul your llamas. A boon to all Rimworld players.
As I mentioned when we first started with this list, there are far more mods you can delve into and subscribe to that won't totally break your game's balance. These are simply those that are newbie-friendly and without significant effects on overall balance. Welcome to the wild world of Rimworld mods!