Colony Law

Your colony’s laws and law enforcement mechanisms are an important way of controlling your colonists’ behaviors. A variety of offenses can be punished in a variety of ways, and configuring laws can have a profound effect on the daily lives of your NPCs.


A screenshot of the law configuration interfaces, applying the death penalty to abuse of bureaucratic authority.


  • Your NPCs will react to laws that you enact in different ways, depending on their personalities, experiences, and other factors.
    • The most obvious reaction to a law is that most NPCs will avoid engaging in the criminal behavior. Depending on the punishment you impose and specific circumstances, the tendency to avoid the behavior may be very strong.
    • Some NPCs will experience negative feelings and bad moods just because certain laws exist. For example, media regulation laws will upset most intellectual and creative people
  • Even if you enact a law forbidding some behavior, NPCs can choose to disobey your directive and break the law. Rebellious NPCs are particularly prone to law breaking.
  • If an NPC is known to have broken a law, they’re regarded as a criminal and are subject to the punishment you’ve established. This can range from a brief prison sentence to execution for the transgression.
  • To carry out a punishment, you’ll need a police staff to apprehend the criminal. You may also need an established prison area and prison guard workers, depending on the punishment to be inflicted.

Using the Law Configuration Interfaces


Location of the law configuration menu item.

To establish laws for your colony, select the law configuration menu option from the colony configuration menu, at the top of the main interface, as shown above. This will open the law configuration interface.


The law selection interface is used to pick out a crime for which a specific punishment can be configured.

Here, you can select the law you want to configure. Possible crimes that NPCs can commit are listed here, and each crime has two buttons. The “Configure Punishment” button loads the punishment configuration interface. Information about specific crimes is provided below, in the criminal offenses section.


The punishment detail interface, where punishments for crimes are established.

The punishment detail interface lets you define how the crime is punished. The first checkbox lets you specify whether the crime is punished at all. Some potential offenses, like consumption of degenerate media, might be things that you don’t want to punish at all, in order reap the benefits of free speech and thought in your colony.

The next checkbox is for applying the death penalty. If you check this, any person caught committing the particular crime will be put to death as punishment. Checking this box renders all the configuration options below meaningless, since the guilty party will just be killed. Of note, applying the death penalty makes for the strongest deterrent possible to committing a crime, and NPCs will (for the most part) avoid the behavior strongly as a result. However, there are many downsides to the imposition of the death penalty, as actually killing criminal NPCs will yield negative feelings throughout entire their social network.

The next set of controls specify how offenders that have committed this crime are handled by your prison system. The incarceration time specifies how many galactic standard years an NPC is forced to spend in prison after they’re apprehended. The release criteria section specifies other criteria that must be satisfied for an NPC to be released from prison, beyond having served their sentence. This section is particularly useful for POWs and NPCs that you’re trying to integrate more thoroughly into your society. High opinion of your culture as a release criteria, in conjunction with effective media and a fitting prison culture policy, can turn enemy combatants into willing collaborators and functional members of your colony.

Criminal Offenses

Many activities can be considered crimes in Outer Colony. This section specifies what those behaviors are.

Abuse of Bureaucratic Authority

This is when one of your bureaucrats abuses his position to do something untoward. For example, if your minister of leisure decides to appropriate all of your colony’s finest items for himself, he is guilty of this crime. The nature of the abuse varies from bureaucratic position to bureaucratic position.


Theft is fairly straightforward, and occurs when an NPC takes something from your stockpiles that he’s not authorized to take. All NPCs will take food, drink, clothing, tools, weaponry, and other items as necessary, and theft only occurs when an NPC willfully takes something they don’t need.

Waging War as an Enemy Combatant

This is the crime that enemy soldiers are guilty of when they surrender. Defining punishment here specifies how prisoners of war are handled. You’ll want to make sure they have a positive view of your culture before you release them and try to make them function in your colony.

Prohibited Socialization and Prohibited Barter

These offenses are for interacting with foreign NPCs in ways that are forbidden by your diplomacy policy. Prohibited socialization is for socializing with forbidden NPCs, and prohibited barter is for exchanging personal items with forbidden NPCs.

Production and Consumption of Degenerate Media

These crimes are for making or reading media that deviates significantly from your established culture policy. Enacting these laws will help you keep control of your local culture, but it can alienate the intellectuals in your population.

Punishing Criminals & Assigning a Police Force


Assigning police duties via the prison management interface.

In order to punish criminals, you need police NPCs to apprehend them. To assign NPCs to police duties, select the prison management option from the colony configuration menu. The interface shown above will appear, and you can use it to assign NPCs to serve as police for some number of hours each day. Police NPCs will satisfy all order to apprehend criminals, which are automatically created when an NPC is detected committing a crime. Once a criminal is apprehended, it will be sent to a nearby prison area, where the prison system will process it.

It’s important to note that if you don’t have any prison areas, NPCs can’t be processed after having committed crimes. Without a prison system, there’s no real enforcement, rendering colony law fairly meaningless.

Posted in NPCs, Simulation