RimWorld: How To Deal With Diseases (2024)

There are a lot of things to manage when it comes to sustaining a settlement in RimWorld, and one of those things is health. Your pawns can quite easily get injured, catch diseases, and succumb to the slightest graze if you aren't being careful.

RELATED: RimWorld: How To Deal With Chemical Hunger

The game has a rather in-depth system when tracking how diseases are affecting your pawns and it can be very handy to know what to expect if you end up with cases of malaria or even the plague spreading through your colony. Most important is knowing which diseases may actually cause deaths.

Disease Overview

RimWorld: How To Deal With Diseases (1)

A health menu of a pawn with Sleeping Sickness in RimWorld

Diseases in RimWorld can largely be broken down into two different categories: fatal and non-fatal. A disease being fatal doesn't necessarily mean that contracting it is a death sentence, but those that do end up with it will require treatment.

Non-fatal diseases are largely inconsequential in the grand scheme of things but they can severely hamper a colonist's output. Then again, some of them can actually be beneficial!



Potential Treatments

Fatal Diseases

Blood Rot

Reduced blood filtration, reduced blood pumping, vomiting

Medicine, Surgery (Medical skill of 5+ required)


Pain, vomiting



Reduced breathing, loss of consciousness, pain

Medicine, Amputation (if possible)


Loss of consciousness, pain, vomiting



Reduced breathing, loss of consciousness, vomiting



Going berserk

Surgery (Medical skill of 8+ required)

Sleeping Sickness

Loss of consciousness, pain, vomiting


Non-Fatal Diseases

Fibrous Mechanites

Improved manipulation, improved movement, improved blood pumping, pain

Medicine, naturally disappears with time

Gut Worms

Pain, vomiting, extra hunger

Medicine, Stomach replacement surgery

Muscle Parasites

Reduced manipulation, reduced movement, pain


Sensory Mechanites

Improved manipulation, improved sight, improved hearing, improved talking, pain

Medicine, naturally disappears with time

How To Treat Diseases

RimWorld: How To Deal With Diseases (2)

A hospital layout in RimWorld

One thing to know about treating diseases is that every pawn has a statistic known as the "base immunity gain rate" which signifies their natural ability to deal with diseases. This can be bolstered with medicine to help a pawn survive less fatal diseases and get better quicker, but with low base immunity gain rates, you will need specific tools and medicines to treat them.

  • Once a pawn's immunity to a disease reaches 100 percent, the disease's severity will start ticking down to zero at which point it will disappear.

When a pawn is unwell, they can be taken to a bed designated a Hospital Bed to rest. There, they will be treated by pawns who are able to assume the role of Doctor. This role relies on their Medical skill, so make sure that the best pawns for the job are assigned higher priorities for it.

Most diseases will disappear after a certain number of days and will thus require treatment from a Doctor simply to stave off more severe stages of the disease and eventual death. Treatment efficacy depends on the Doctor's "Medical Tend Quality" which will be recognized as a percentage that pops up upon treating a patient. Tend Quality depends on a few things:

  • The Medical level of the Doctor
  • The Doctor's current capacity for Manipulation and Sight
  • The actual medicines used
  • The cleanliness of the room
  • Pure luck

To improve your Tend Quality in a very easy way, try to source better medicines by either crafting them or buying them from traders. The table below details the three types of medicine that your Doctors can use.

Medicine Type

Medical Efficacy


Herbal Medicine


Harvested from healroot and wild healroot



Crafted at a drug lab from cloth, herbal medicine, and neutroamine

Glitterworld Medicine


Random events, traders, or quests only

Once you can source a large amount of neutroamine, it may be worth using it to convert your entire supply of Herbal Medicine into regular Medicine for the large boost in medical potency.

TIP: If the most severe ailment a pawn has is a disease, you can also use Healer Mech Serum to instantly cure it. This is an exotic good that can be awarded from quests.

It is also possible to set pawns to be able to tend to their own injuries. This is vastly inefficient, however, and should only be enabled in emergencies.

NEXT: RimWorld: Tips For Getting Components

RimWorld: How To Deal With Diseases (2024)
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