How to Build a Refrigerator/Freezer in Rimworld

Rimworld is a story-generator/colony creation game. In order to build a thriving colony you will have to survive some rather trivial struggles. Along with random events you will have to survive basic problems as well. One of the most important parts of Rimworld is keeping your colonists fed. A well fed colony is a happy colony. A happy colony is a well-working colony. A hungry colony is prone to mental breaks.

You will notice very fast in Rimworld that food is a perishable item. This means it will eventually break down if not stored properly. One of the best ways to keep food fresh over a long time is to keep it cool! This guide will show you how to build a working fridge/freezer in Rimworld!

How to Create Fridge/Freezer in Rimworld to Store Food

To create a fridge and store food in a cold area you will need the following things:

  • A source of power
  • A closed room with a roof
  • An air-conditioner unit. (Or multiple units depending on the location)

Build a room out of any material through the structure tab in the architect menu. Keep in mind that different materials will have different insulation effects. Stone walls will keep the cold in a lot better than wooden ones. Build a room with a door in it so your colonists can move in and out of the room. Now, open up the build menu and select the Cooler items from the Temperature tab. This can control the temperature of the room. With this in the room, connect it to a power source and set the temperature as low as desired. You can view a step-by-step tutorial of this below.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating a Refrigerator in Rimworld

This will break down all of the steps mentioned above if it was all too much information. Understandably, the UI of Rimworld can be a little confusing at times. This longer part of the guide will show you each step of the way and go into more detail on how to do everything.

Step 1: Research the Tech

To begin with, your colony may not be able to build air conditioners. The correct technology may first have to be researched by your colonists. To do this, make sure you build a research table somewhere in your colony and at least one of your colonists is assigned to do research. Now, go to the research tab at the bottom of the screen and research the topic Air-Conditioning and Electricity if it isn’t already researched.

Researching how to build an air conditioner in Rimworld to make a fridge
You’ll have to research the technology before you can use it

Wait for your researchers to finish researching the technology. Now, you will be able to build the Cooler item from the menu!

Step 2: Build the Cold Room

Now that we have the technology researched it’s time to build the room. As aforementioned on the page you can use any type of material for the room. That being said certain materials are going to keep the cooler temperatures inside better than others. Stone blocks are denser than other materials, with wood being the worst insulating material. If you do have a choice on what to build with, try to use stone blocks for this. You can make the storage room as large as you want but keep in mind that the larger the room, the more power that will be required to keep it cold! We are just building a simple room in our colony in the image below.

Creating a cold room in Rimworld
Try to keep the freezer as small as possible to save power

For my cold room I have used slate as the main resource. I am unsure whether or not the flooring helps keep the cold in the room but I have used flooring anyway as it gives a movement speed bonus to the colonists. Now we have the main room for the fridge built. It’s time to move onto putting in the technology.

Step 3: Add Coolers to the Room

Now that we have the room set out we are going to make it cold! You will have to add Coolers to the room in order to drop the temperature. To build a cooler, open up the architect menu from the bottom left of the UI. Select Temperature and then find the Cooler item in this list. You will see two colors when you are placing down the blueprint for the Cooler. The blue will indicate that you are making that side of the wall colder. The red indicates the exhaust of the cooler. As this is a powered unit, creating a cold room requires a hot room on the other side. This is negated if you plan on building towards the outside. Build this onto wherever you want on the wall. Make sure you point the blue area towards the inside of the room.

Adding a cooler to a freezer in Rimworld
Make sure you keep the blue side on the inside

As you can see in the image above, along with steel you will also need 3 components to build a cooler. I’ll add some helpful guides below to help those stuck trying to find these materials in the game. You may need multiple coolers in order to keep larger rooms cold. Now that we have a cooler built into the side of out fridge area, it’s time to power up the air-conditioner with electricity!

Step 4: Adding Electricity

Now that we have the room laid out and a cooler inside it is time to fire that baby up. In order for your coolers to run, they will need a constant power supply. You should already have electricity researched which will allow you to build one of the most basic power sources, which is the wind generator. You should also think about researching batteries in order to store electricity over time and another source of power. For example, solar power.

Once you have these you can once again open up the architect menu. Head over to the section called Power. Here you will find everything you need to get electricity running. You can build the power generators wherever you want. Be aware that you will have to run power conduit (cables) from the power source to your coolers. So don’t build them too far from each other. Place down your power generator of choice. In the image below I’ve built solar generators. It may also be a good idea to build at least 1 battery to store power. As the cooler will need a constant source of power and solar generators don’t work at night, this will keep them running.

Making electricity in Rimworld for a freezer
Connect batteries directly with the power lines otherwise they won’t work

I have built a small room where the battery is stored. You can find the battery under Power as well. Once you have a battery down you should connect it to a power generator. Excess power will be sent to the battery so even when the generators aren’t supplying electricity, there is still a backup supply. Try to build these under a roof otherwise they can short-circuit in the rain. You have to build power conduit so that it is connecting with the battery. Unlike devices which just need a power source nearby, batteries need to be connected to the power directly. Now that we have the cooler in the fridge and ready to go, we can change the setting on it.

Step 5: Setting the Temperature of the Room

With power running to the cooler we can now set the temperature. With Powered A/C units you can decide what temperature they should be. Select the cooler unit which now has power running to it. Now, you should see some controls for this cooler unit appear at the bottom of the screen. It is here that you can decide how cold the room will be. If you plan on having a freezer, (having the room remain under 0 degrees), you may need to build more units. You can see the current target temperature of the cooler on the bottom left of the UI. See the circled area in the image below.

Changing the temperature of a cooler in Rimworld
The target temperature can be seen on the left of the UI

You can adjust the temperature in increments of 1 or 10 degrees in each direction. Keep in mind that just because you choose a certain temperature for the room that doesn’t mean the cooler unit will be able to supply that temperature. Other factors will come into play here. One thing to keep in mind is every time one of your colonists opens the door the temperature of the room will change. This is because the temperature outside is conflicting with the temperature of the room. The warm air is coming into the freezer. One way to keep this in control better is to build a little “air-lock” on the way into the cold room.

Building an air-lock to a freezer in riworld
An air-lock can keep your main freezer room at a cooler temperature

By adding this small room you will have keep the temperature a lot lower. A great idea if you are having colonists constantly opening the door.

Step 6: Set Up a Food Stockpile Zone

Now everything is set up and ready for food storage. Your room should be at least cold enough to refrigerate food. In order for your colonists to start storing food here, you will need to set up a stockpile zone. Head to the Zone section in the Architect menu. Select Stockpile Zone and mark the area in your room you want the colonists to store food items in. By default the stockpile will include just about every item. To change that we are going to change the stockpile settings. We will change the settings so that only food items are going to be included in this stockpile. To do that, select the newly created stockpile. Now, Select the Storage button which can be found on the bottom left of the screen. Here you decide what is stored in the pile.

Changing the stockpile settings on a freezer in Rimworld
You need to customize storage so your colonists know what items to store here

Now, mark the items that you actually want stored here. You can press the button at the top which reads Clear all to remove everything first. Now, allow the food items only. You can decide on the priority of the storage as well at the top of this menu. For example, if you want your colonists to bring the food here before any other stockpile, set this stockpile’s priority level higher than the others. Now, your colonists will bring all of your food items to the refrigerator for long-term storage!

I hope that this guide helped you build your own cold storage in Rimworld. If you have any more questions or comments or even a suggestion on the next guide I should write leave a comment down below!


3 thoughts on “How to Build a Refrigerator/Freezer in Rimworld”

  1. The airlock becomes a must-have part of the build beyond a certain number of pawns because you end up with the door open more than it is closed.
    Personally I build a kitchen right next to it and when researched, tile it all with sterile tiles.

    • Good call! This is an older article of mine that probably needs a bit of an update. Should probably have the part about the airlock more viewable.

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