Kenshi Wiki
Game Start.png

Known simply as "Game Starts", players begin the game by selecting one of the 13 Beginnings which change how the player starts their game. Each start can drastically change the equipment, skills, currency, and amount of party members that the player starts out with making the game easier or harder depending on the player's chosen start. If the default choices are no longer interesting, it is always possible to create your own game start through modding.

Full details on the characters, including both their stats and their equipment can be found on their page, accessed by clicking their name. Starts marked with an asterisk (*) limit the player's choice for a starting race.



You are just a lone wanderer with nothing but a few coins, a pair of pants and a rusty sword, ready to venture out into the world. This is the way the game is intended to be played.

The Wandering Trader

Seeking to make your fortune, you spent the last of your savings on a backpack full of trade goods and a pack animal, and are about to start a new life as a trader.

The Holy Sword

A down and out and wanted criminal, scavenging a battlefield you find something interesting. A legendary sword said to be the work of the gods themselves. Someone's going to be missing this, that's for sure. But who cares? It's YOUR legendary sword now.

The Cannibal Hunters

"I seriously regret coming into cannibal territory. This was a stupid idea."

WARNING: You will be attacked immediately upon game start. Not recommended for a first time play.

  • Starts with 2 characters in a random Cannibal Village in the Cannibal Plains with a meager 9 Cats. Both characters will have random basic gear. The first character will start with 5 in Combat Skills and a First Aid Kit, while the second will have 2 in Combat Skills and 20 in Thievery Skills and a First Aid Kit/Splint. The group will start surrounded by a large group of Cannibals with more joining in from nearby buildings.
  • (Playstyle: Action RPG) (Difficulty: Dodgy)

The Hive Exile*

You have been exiled from your hive for not loving the queen enough, sent out into the wilds with no food or equipment. If you don't die from pheremone withdrawl or beak things, you'll be faced with finding your place among the insane human civilisations.
  • Starts out with a single character that is always a Hive in Dreg with 0 Cats. The character starts with an empty inventory, no equipment, 1 in all Stats, and no cities marked on the map.
  • (Playstyle: RPG) (Difficulty: Hard)

Son of a Captain

Your father was a respected Captain in the United Cities army. He was killed in action, and after burning through your meagre savings looking for work, you find yourself penniless and hungry, with nothing left but your father's trusty katana and the shirt on your back. The United Cities are still your allies, but you will need them if you run into any troops from the Holy Empire. Those guys really hate you.

The Slaves*

You are just another slave, working in the Holy Rebirth pits to build a pointless statue. You dream of the rumored free lands to the south, and hear tales of rebels to the north.

HINT: Get into a cage straight away to avoid a beating

  • Starts in the Rebirth with 2 characters as slaves of the Holy Nation. The characters will have 1 in all Stats, Dyed Trousers/Dyed Robes and 0 Cats. The Holy Nation has a violent hatred for Skeletons; they do not even get the chance to become enslaved when they are apprehended (most of the time they are killed on the spot). Because of this, Skeletons are not a playable choice for this start.
  • (Playstyle: RPG) (Difficulty: Hard)

Rock Bottom

You've hit absolute rock bottom. You are alone, unarmed, naked and hungry, lost in the middle of a harsh desert teeming with slavers, and you just lost an arm. Good luck.

Empire Citizen

A simple citizen of the United Cities, you lost your job and your house at the whim of a noble lord. Faced with poverty and starvation, which is a crime in this place, you decide to head out of town and find some form of self-employment before you starve to death.
  • Money: 750 Cats
  • Spawn: Sho-Battai
  • (Playstyle: RPG) (Difficulty: Default)

Holy Nation Citizen*

A simple citizen of the Holy Nation, you live in relative safety as long as you show obeisance to Okran and his priests. The world outside is said to be barbaric and violent and full of monstrosities, but you decide to venture out and decide for yourself.
  • Available for Human characters.
  • Money: 200 Cats
  • Spawn: Bad Teeth or Stack
  • Faction Relations: The Holy Nation +15
  • (Playstyle: RPG) (Difficulty: Default)

Guy with a Dog

A homeless and hungry drifter rescues an abandoned puppy. It seems pretty useless. Maybe he will just eat it.
  • Starts in Bast with 13 Cats, 1 in all Stats, a Basic First Aid Kit, and an Unknown quality Iron Club. The character is accompanied by a baby Bonedog. The dog has a 45-55 in all combat Stats, however due to the penalties from being a baby its Stats often end up in the negative at the beginning. Over time the dog will age and the penalty will lessen, and eventually become a bonus.
  • (Playstyle: RPG) (Difficulty: Normal)

The Freedom Seekers

Fed up with stifled city life and taxes, you gather a band to head out and found your own home base. You have assembled a group of 5 other like-minded people, and you've gathered a good supply of building materials to get started with.


A group of five nobodies, with nothing to their name, ready to go out and do something about it.

Cut starts

These starts were likely cut or either removed from the game. They are found in the FCS.

Hungover Ninja

A low-ranking ninja wannabe wakes up with no pants in a slave camp after a night of heavy drinking.


  • The Guy With a Dog start seems to be a reference to the Fallout series (The player starts with 13 cats, referencing Vault 13 and the player could also obtain a pet called Dogmeat in Fallout games 1, 2, 3 and 4). It could also be a reference to "A boy and his dog" a 1975 post-apocalyptic indie movie, or "Mad Max 2" (aka The Road Warrior) from 1981. Since "A boy and his dog" together with "Mad Max 2" inspired the creation of Fallout's Dogmeat the reference is hard to trace.
  • The Guy With a Dog used to start with a baby Mountain Dog, but this was later changed to a less powerful Bonedog.
  • The Beginning "Son of a Captain" used to be called "The Retired Captain".