5 Tips to Capture Raiders Alive in Rimworld

In Rimworld, peace was never an option. As you attempt to build a settlement on the planet you crash-landed on, raiders will constantly come to your doorstep. One positive about this is, you can knock down and recruit raiders. To do this, you will first have to imprison them.

One of the hardest parts about capturing and recruiting raiders is trying to knock them down without actually defeating them accidentally. This guide will give you some tips on how to capture raiders alive so that they can be imprisoned/recruited.

How to Capture Raiders Alive

Trying to capture raiders alive in Rimworld can be very difficult. With each blow you land on your enemies, you increase the change that your colonists will land a downright fatal one. Luckily, there are a few methods that you can use to minimize the risk of straight-up destroying raiders.

I will lay out a few different methods I’ve had success with. You can essentially have success with many different weapon types as long as you are careful. The general rule of thumb is that blunt weapons won’t cause as many fatal strikes as their sharper counterparts. That being said, you can employ some advanced tactics in order to capture more prisoners.


Urgent Medical Response!
Using Blunt Weapons to Capture Raiders
Getting Animal Help
Using Traps
Bleeding Prisoners Until They Are Downed
Using Temperature Traps to Capture Raiders
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Making Sure to Save Raiders Quickly

One of the most important things to note if you are planning on capturing raiders alive is that you will need to be fast in saving them. Every second counts when they are bleeding out or lying on the ground with big injuries. Make sure that you have a fast moving colonist ready to help them and set up everything first to help them. Some things you can do to provide rapid care to raiders is;

  • Try to down the raider near the prison cell they will be given medical care in
  • Keep medical supplies close to the prison to save time
  • Keep 1 doctor pawn away from the fighting, ready to jump in and save the downed raider
Setting up medical supplies near a prisoner bed in Rimworld
Keeping a medical prisoner bed quickly accessible with medicine close by is vital to saving them

By making sure you are set up to handle the injured raider, you can increase their chance of survival. So many times have I attempted to capture a new pawn but have seen them bleed out because my own colonist was too slow going to fetch medicine…

Method 1. Capturing Raiders Using Blunt Weapons

One of the most simple way to knock down more raiders rather than just straight-up defeating them is by using blunt weapons. By equipping your colonists with maces and of course clubs, you ill reduce the likelihood of dealing finishing strikes to your enemies.

Blunt damage is more likely to knock enemies down plus they are significantly less lethal than sharp weapons. That being said, your level 20 Melee brawler pawn is probably going to defeat any raider in one or two hits anyway so it may be best to send your B-grade colonists into the fight instead.

using blunt weapons to capture prisoners in Rimworld
Melee weapons are more likely to knock enemies down

Building further on the melee attack strategy, you can completely un-equip all weapons. Fighting using fists is very unlikely to kill raiders rather than knock them down. Set a large group of your pawns to melee with fists and surprise enemies around corners!

Using Animals to Knock Raiders Down

This one kind of goes hand in hand with the blunt weapon approach. If you’ve played Rimworld before you probably know that you can tame animals to join your colony. You can also train these animals to fight alongside your colonists and even send them out on their own to fight.

The cool thing about this is you can send your animals out to attack without putting your colonists in harm’s way. Usually you would send animals that can defeat enemies quickly such as bears and wolves. For this strategy, we want to tame some animals that deal low blunt damage. Some of the animals that are good for knocking enemies down in battle without killing them are;

  • Boars (tusk attacks cause heavy bleeding)
  • Deer
  • Horses
A raider being knocked down in Rimworld

A lot of animals use high blunt force attacks. These are really good to knock raiders down but not defeat them. (You’ve probably already experienced this if you’ve ever had a taming attempt go wrong!)

Using Traps to Injure Raiders

Another great way to knock down raiders without putting your own colonists at risk is to place down wooden traps. By placing wooden traps in ‘choke points’ (tight areas you create where the AI are forced to walk through), you can heavily damage your enemies before they even get to your base. It is more than likely that they will suffer either heavy damage to the legs, or heavy bleeding damage.

Once they have reached a certain point of blood loss, they will immediately fall to the ground. Make sure you are there ready to patch them up before they lose all of their blood however…

Make sure you are only using wooden traps for this as they are really easy to create if you are in a forest area, plus steel traps tend to hit a little bit, too hard. Just set up a good amount of wooden traps, wait for your enemies to injure themselves walking over them and follow them until they are downed. Easy!

Bleeding Raiders Until They Are Downed

Speaking of bleeding, another good method of fighting is to hit your enemies until they are suffering from bleeding. After a certain while they will have lost so much blood then cannot walk anymore. To make sure you are doing this correctly, fire some low damage weapon at your enemy. My personal weapon of choice is the bow as it doesn’t tend to land kill shots very early, but will generally make them bleed after one hit.

Capturing Raiders Alive in Rimworld

Select the raider and open up their health panel. Once you see they have an injury due to the bow and arrow, you can simply let them be. Stop attacking them and either run around with them chasing you, or let them run away until they fall down. You can check out this video above for an example on taking down enemies by loss of blood.

Keep in mind this can be rather risky as every shot you take at the enemy, there is a chance they could be defeated.

Creating a Temperature Trap to Down Raiders

One of the most advanced methods for downing raiders is to set up a temperature trap for them. By creating an isolated room on the way to your base you can lock your enemies in and heat up or cool down the room. Either way they will eventually succumb to the extreme temperatures.

Build a trap that will take them a long time to walk through and leave open doors. Raiders will naturally take the easiest path so if you set the doors to stay open at the start and end of the trap they will come through. You can also place sandbags along the way to slow them down.

Creating a temperate trap for raiders in Rimworld to capture them

After the raiders come in you want to wait until they have all made it inside your trap. Then, send your fastest pawn to the other side of the trap. Deselect the option to have the doors stay open and make your pawn walk through it. This will close the door the raiders walk in to and seal their fate.

Trapping raiders in using the open door trap in Rimworld

Locking Them in

Once the raiders are trapped from behind you want to have a second pawn close the front door. Again, deselect the Hold Door Open and have a pawn walk through it. Now that the enemies are trapped within the freezing/extremely hot room they will try to escape.

They will attempt to break down anything in their way including walls and doors. Make sure this room is heavily fortified otherwise they will eventually break out. You can have your best builders repairing walls while the enemies are trying to break them down.

A raider who has been knocked down due to hypothermia in Rimworld

Eventually the raiders will succumb to the extreme temperatures and collapse from hypothermia or heat exhaustion. They can then be collected and taken prisoner by your colonists!


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