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Surviving Mars: All About Colonists

There will be challenges to overcome. Execute your strategy and improve your colony’s chances of survival while unlocking the mysteries of this alien world. Are you ready? Mars is waiting for you.

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All About Colonists

Colonists are brave souls who decide to settle Mars and risk death and injury with no possibility of rescue.


Colonists begin arriving once you create a colony with domes that can sustain human life and require care and attention. Notably, each colonist has their own personality and distinct set of likes and dislikes, which can evolve over time. Colonists require Oxygen, Water and Food to survive.

Applicants are potential colonists and may be chosen based upon the traits and specializations listed below. The Sponsor determines the number of initial applicants available and various technologies and sponsor traits may also influence the number of applicants available. Non-age related colonist deaths reduce the pool of available applicants.

Colonist Behavior

Each colonist prefers to work in a building that matches their specialization (below). If no such job is available, then they will fill spaces depending upon the priorities that you have set. They also have characteristics such as comfort and sanity that must be managed lest the colonist become Earthsick and demand to leave on the next shuttle home.

See also:  Surviving Mars: Sponsor and Commander Perks List

Colonists will only work within the dome that they live in, but they can walk from dome-to-dome or take a shuttle (provided via the Shuttle Hub) to transfer from one dome to another should you choose to manually set their new home or new work in a different dome.

Colonist work assignments follow these rules, in order:

  • The player can manually assign individual workers, ignoring all rules below. Ideally we hope that there will be no reason to do so, unless the player particularly likes to micromanage. Clarification: Manual assignment is not permanent, so after a long period the colonist may decide to switch jobs.
  • Buildings with the highest priority are fully staffed if possible
  • If there is not enough workforce higher priority buildings will be fully staffed while lower priority buildings will be partially staffed, but the game will try to keep them operational if possible (e.g. all buildings at high priority staffed at 100%, all buildings at the medium priority staffed at roughly 50%, all buildings at low priority staffed at 0%)
  • Specialists prefer to work according to their specialization, as long as this doesn’t mess up the above rules.
  • Keep in mind that since everything depends on the individual simulation, you may have to wait for 1-2 sols until all workers find their desired workspots, so in any current moment there may be a situation where e.g. a Botanist is working in a Bar and a colonist without a specialization is working at a Farm. This is temporary and should be resolved automatically after a while.

Age Groups

Colonists are divided into five Age Groups. These are Children, Youth, Adult, Middle Aged, and Senior. Children and Seniors cannot work. Children may attend school, however, where they can acquire the traits taught there.

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Citizens perform better at workplaces that match their specialization. Non-specialized colonists never receive a bonus to job performance, and all colonists receive a penalty if working the wrong type of work. Specializations also seem to determine colonists’ interests.

Specialization Ideal Workplace Interest
None Non-specialized work (Diner, etc) Social, Relaxation, Shopping
Botanist Farms Relaxation, Shopping, Luxury
Engineer Factories Relaxation, Shopping, Dining
Geologist Extractors Social, Shopping, Drinking
Medic Infirmary, Medical Center Social, Relaxation, Luxury
Scientist Research Lab, Science Institute Social, Relaxation, Gaming
Security Security Station Relaxation, Social, Exercise


Colonists are separated into three categories for Sex: Male, Female, and Other.


Beneficial traits, representing various talents and abilities of the Colonist:

Perk Description
Celebrity Generates Funding when in the Colony.
Composed All sanity losses are halved.
Enthusiast Increased performance boost when at high Morale.
Fit More health recovered when resting. Can work when health is low. +Exercise
Gamer Gains sanity while gaming. +Gaming
Genius Generates Research when in the Colony.
Hippie Gains twice as much Comfort in gardens and parks.
Nerd Gain a temporary Morale boost every time a new technology is researched.
Party Animal Gains additional Comfort when satisfying social interest. +Social
Saint Raises the Morale of all Religious people in the Dome. Benefits stack with each additional Saint.
Sexy Greatly increased birth rate.
Survivor Loses less Health without food, water, oxygen, or when living in an unpowered Dome.
Religious Higher individual base morale. Low sanity never leads to suicide.
Rugged No comfort penalties when eating unprepared food or having no residence.
Workaholic Individual performance increased by 20, no penalty for heavy workloads. -Relaxation
See also:  Surviving Mars: Guide to Comfort


Detrimental Traits, representing various flaws and disabilities of the Colonist:

Flaw Description
Alcoholic Work performance lowered by 10. Can be caused by Sanity breakdowns. +Drinking
Chronic Condition Loses Health each day.
Coward Double Sanity loss from disasters. Can be caused by Sanity breakdowns.
Idiot Can cause a malfunction at workplace (10% chance). Malfunctioning buildings stop working and require maintenance.
Gambler Has a 50% chance to lose 20 Sanity when visiting a Casino. Can be caused by Sanity breakdowns. +Gambling
Glutton Eats double rations. Can be caused by Sanity breakdowns. +Dining
Hypochondriac Will randomly visit Medical buildings and take Sanity damage if unable to do so. +Medical
Lazy Individual performance decreased by 20 at all jobs.
Loner Loses Comfort every day while living in a Dome with population over 30. -Social
Melancholic Increased performance penalty when at low Morale. Can be caused by Sanity breakdowns.
Whiner Loses Sanity when low on Comfort.


Traits that don’t fit into any of the other groups:

Quirk Description
Guru Randomly spreads other traits of this colonist to persons in the same Dome with less than 3 traits.
Tourist Doesn’t work. Leaves at first opportunity, but will stay if Comfort is high.
Vegan Don’t worry. They’ll tell you.
Empath Unique quirk gained via Breakthrough that increases Sanity of all Colonists in the Dome they are housed.
Dreamer A quirk acquired through the Inner Light Mystery. Taught to children at schools, grants +15 productivity.

It’s end. I hope “All About Colonists” guide helps you. Feel free to contribute the topic. If you have also comments or suggestions, comment us.

Written by Pontifex Maximus

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