So what's the basic run down for what I can do with followers?

I just busted out a couple of captives from a raider camp and I was wondering how I can put these people to work for me, however the wiki doesn’t appear to have any information on what commands/options I have available.
What are some of the tasks I can give followers? Such as:

  • Can/will they man turrets?
  • Will they mount vehicles if sufficient seats are available?
  • Can I delegate tasks to them like crafting?
  • What are ways they will mutiny? I’m a walking nightmare of bionics and mutations so I’m not all that good at persuasion, does fear affect loyalty?
  • How do camps work?
  • How long will they guard an area? What does guarding entail?
  • Is this any way I can set them loose?

Seeing as you play the stable build I will list what NPC’s can do in it. In the experimental builds NPC’s have been vastly improved and can do different things.

  • Pulp corpses for you. This is one of the more useful things they do.
  • They can help you batch craft and build buildings if they have the required skills to do so.
  • They will not man turrets but will (usually) prefer to sit in seats when available.
  • NPC’s do not mutiny once you gained their trust AFAIK.
  • Fear makes recruiting NPC’s and interacting peacefully with them harder.
  • Camps allow you to order NPC’s to work without your supervision, recruit more NPC’s and more. See the ingame camp tutorial for more information.
  • Once set to guard mode NPC’s will guard the area until you tell them to stop.
  • NPC’s do not know what “retreat” means and will charge fearlessly into a horde armed with a butter knife (this is not true in the experimental).
  • You can use them as packmules.
  • NPC’s can teach you skills if they are more skilled than you in some area. They do so very efficiently.
  • If you want to get rid of them you can send them on suicide missions, tell them you no longer need them, strip their belongings and order them to guard a (uncleared) mall or just eat them for dinner in front of your other companions.
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I see.I think I might have broke the tutorial because there only appear to be two floors. I get as far as the “fill with water stage” then get stuck because I have no containers
The second question then would be if experimental saves are compatible with stable saves?

You can try to copy your world from the ‘save’ folder into a fresh version of Cataclysm (experimental). It may be very messy (errors etc) but it is worth to try.
For me, NPCs are great in terms of immersion. Their AI is not perfect but developers have done an astonishing job and having companions is very beneficial. They will protect you when you are sleeping, they will warn you about various dangers, they will help you with crafting, constructing etc. They can learn different skills by observing your character at work. They may become your ‘friends’ after two-three months. I genuinely miss some NPCs… After a while they will have their own ‘soul, life story, background’ etc. They do not have to be seen as meat shields

The NPC camp tutorial is not the one from the games menu. That one has been broken for years.
To start the camp tutorial you need to talk to one of your NPCs and ask them about faction camps.

Can Allies teleport as in can I send them to my camp set up far away? Want to recruit some new meat, but don’t want to have to drive them all back home. Can they fast travel at all?

NPCs can be told to go to one of your faction camps, and they will walk their own their own.

Would be really helpful if there was like an NPC roadmap/progress tracker somewhere. Really impressive development work on it recently, but quite hard to keep up with where it’s at and where it’s going - which makes it harder to give useful feedback/bug reports.

Am I right in understanding that development is basically halted on the current implementation of faction camps in favour of effectively making them redundant through more general NPC functionality improvements?

Yeah, my plan at least is to make camp-building much more freeform and real-time by improving NPC activities , therefore a camp could be anywhere you decide it should be, and everything is built in real-time instead of upgraded in set paths.

I.e more like Rimworld.

Though there may be a place still for set upgrades and more rigid structure camps to exist, for people who prefer that, so I wouldnt say development has halted on faction camps, but theres usually just Mlangsdorf and I who work on them, and we’ve both been enthused in other areas recently.


With the introduction of modular faction camps, I felt that faction camps have hit a reasonable plateau in their development. We’re not done with them by any means, but I don’t feel bad about working on some other stuff for a while.

One issue with further expanding faction camps is that I’m hitting the limits of the current crafting system. The upgrade path for the current blacksmith expansion, for instance, involves building multiple different buildings and acquiring rare components, but in actual play, a blacksmith operation is a charcoal kiln, a rock forge, and a bookshelf containing a crucible, an anvil, a hammer, a pair of metalworking tongs, a metalworking chisel, and a swage and die set. It seems extremely cruel to make the player expand all those extra resources on a smithy that can be replaced by 3 pieces of furniture in the corner of your main base.

The ideal solution would be to rework blacksmithing requirements so you needed an actual smithy: permanently mounted anvils, quenching barrels, grind stones, bellows, water wheel or windmill powered drop hammers, etc. But that’s a big change to the game.

There are some short term goals:

  • current camps can only be built in fields. The code in theory supports building them in other locations, but it’s a little buggy.
  • current camps can only be built on zlevel 0. I took a stab at fixing this but it was weird.
  • current camps can only spawn a single zlevel. There are some design challenges in fixing it, but nothing too hard.
  • as dpwb mentioned, we want to move away from the current model of “NPCs disappear into the ether while working” and replace it with “NPCs do stuff.” There are some technical challenges, but dpwb is working through them.

I’m off doing 0.E bugfixing right now, and my development time is pretty limited anyway. But there is a vague plan to continue faction camps and to integrate faction camp type functionality into the game.

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I didn’t see it mentioned by anyone else, but NPCs can also fish if given a fishing rod, which has been pretty helpful.

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Yeah they can butcher corpses, chop trees, chop logs, construct, fish, deconstruct vehicles, sort items. Farm/ plant/ harvest.
Some of that was added very recently - some of that duplicates what the camp missions do, but in real-time so you can see it happening, liek the player would do it.

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