Creature Handling

In Outer Colony, some creatures can be tamed and used by your expedition, serving in simple combat and guard duty roles.

A video tutorial showing how to tame a creature and assign it to guard duty.


  • After trapping a creature, you can use a creature handler to tame the animal.
    • Creature training is a work-shift activity like any other.
    • In order for a creature handler to tame and train a creature, he’ll need a taming prod.
    • Only some creatures can be tamed. Creature species marked as exotic cannot be tamed…by conventional means.
    • Creatures can be tamed whether they’re in cages or roaming free. I recommend taming creatures while they’re caged.
  • Once a creature is tamed and is part of your colony, you can assign it to patrol duty in a patrol area. It will then guard the specified area, attacking any entities it deems to be threatening.

Taming Captured Creatures


A wild durnista, searching for food in a rain forest. Note that it is not tame.

Once you’ve captured a creature, it becomes eligible for taming. Most creatures that are naturally roaming a world, with a few exceptions, are not tame. Creatures that aren’t tame can be captured and integrated into your colony (as livestock, for example), but they can’t be assigned any work duties, and they will behave like wild animals. This is to say that, if you capture a frostbull and release it into a pen, then send workers into that pen for some reason, the frostbull will probably kill and eat them, if it’s hungry.

In order to tame a creature, click the creature orders button in the main interface.


The creature orders button.

Next, select the creature training tool.


The creature taming tool.

With this tool selected, click on the creature you want to tame. The creature can be caged or not, but it’s easier to tame creatures that are still caged. Caged creatures that are in stockpiles cannot be tamed, so you’ll have to deploy the cage somewhere before taming can begin. Also, make sure that a taming prod is available to the creature handler, as this is needed for creature training.

A worker with the appropriate creature handling activity enabled will then acquire a taming prod, proceed to the wild creature, and work on training it until it becomes tame. Once it’s tame, its behavior will be altered, and it will become eligible for certain kinds of work in your colony. It’s important to note that tame creatures can go through doors, while wild ones typically cannot.

Using Creatures for Guard Duty


A tamed woodgrunt, guarding an assigned location.

To use a tame creature to guard an area, start by creating a patrol area. Once a patrol area is created, click the combat orders button in the main UI.


The combat orders button.

Then select the patrol assignment tool and click the area you want patrolled.


The patrol assignment tool.

Then, view the appropriate Z level for the patrol area and click a tile it contains. This will present you with an entity assignment dialog, from which you can select the creature that you want to patrol the area.


The patrol assignment interface.

Once you’ve clicked OK, the creature will be assigned the guard duty. It’s important to note that even the best creatures won’t be able to guard the given location at all times. When the creature becomes sufficiently hungry or tired, it will abandon its post to get food or take a nap. Still, guard creatures can be very useful supplemental defenders, since their maintenance requirements are far lower than humans.

Posted in Game Design, NPCs