Surviving the Aftermath Wiki
Icon 128 colonists.png

Your Colonists are all individuals with varied needs and skills. They build, work, consume Food and Water and procreate to keep the colony going and growing. Having their basic needs of Water, Food and Shelter taken care of is a critical part of the game. The dangers of a post-apocalyptic world affect the colonists the most. They can get sick, contract diseases, injure themselves and generate different kinds of Needs for a variety of things. Healing the colonists with a Medic or medicine and fulfilling the Needs is crucial to a thriving colony. Having a Medic's Tent early on with a Specialist scouring the World Map for medicine goes a long way toward keeping your people healthy. Specialists are especially important as they can bring valuable medicines from the world map long before they can be produced within the colony.

Colonists come with a variety of colonist traits that affect their performance.


The Colonists handle all the construction, repairs, carrying and other work in the colony. The game automatically assigns a free colonist for the job whenever you construct new buildings or edit the work slots within. Each colonist that is assigned to a building is subtracted from Carriers. If you find yourself in a situation where nothing gets built, check that you have enough free Carriers to carry building materials to a construction site. If not, temporarily free up some by closing your buildings’ work slots.

The top bar shows a summary of your Colonists. The first icon shows the total amount of Carriers, vital for moving resources and constructing buildings. Be sure that you always have a few Carriers at hand as it will seriously slow down the logistics, construction and repairs if everyone in the colony is working in one buildings. The second icon is the Total Population in the colony. Highlighting either number gives a more detailed breakdown of your colonists.


  • Your colonists need Shelters and Water to survive. At minimum, you will need to build a Tent, Shanty or Emergency Shelter. Then select the Water category and build a Well. Note that wells can't be built on barren soil. All homeless colonists are shown with an icon floating on top of their head. Keep an eye on these icons as other dangerous conditions are shown the same way.
  • Colonists are hungry. At the beginning of the game the most convenient source of Food is Wild Berries. Gather them by moving the Work Area of your Food Storage on top of the bushes so your colonist know where to go. Berries are only a temporary solution. More permanent sources of Food can be established with Trappers, Fishing Huts and Fields.
  • Colonists start with a preference towards a certain job, but you can override this by choosing a colonist and pressing Change Preferred Job button. That colonist will now attempt to work at a job you set, if there are that kind of workplaces available. Changing the preferred job helps you direct colonists where they are needed the most based on their personal traits.
  • Remember to care for the happiness of your colonists. A happy colonist is a productive colonist.