Animals play a large role in Kenshi. There are many Zones which are considered dangerous exclusively due to the animals which inhabit that zone. Animals can range from herbivores, scavengers, or man eating predators. Animals can own locations such as Tower of Goats and Tower of Spiders, however a majority of animal locations are randomly spawning Nests. Many animals only spawn in Homeless Spawns in Zones, either in squads or alone. Robotic (synthetic) animals share some of the characteristics of living animals.
Certain animals can be Playable Characters after being purchased from Animal Traders. These Animal Player Characters come with their own risks and benefits.
These animals will eat unconscious characters. Characters may be awakened from unconsciousness in a desperate attempt to save their lives, but often characters remain unconscious throughout being eaten alive. Importantly, Beak Things are the only carnivorous animal with a sense of smell. This means they can follow the scent of blood to the location of a fight, ongoing or finished. Blood Spiders and Skin Spiders will only eat victims they fought or whose bodies they happen upon accidentally. They can't follow the scent of blood over a significant distance.
These animals will eat dead bodies, but not living ones. One bizarre exception is that Skimmers will only eat corpses if they spawn in a nest. All other scavengers have an innate desire to eat them. Of the list below, the only animals that will actively seek out corpses are Bonedogs, Boneyard Wolves, River Raptors, and Swamp Raptors.
These animals are either patrolling an area or are nesting animals which will become hostile if characters enter their territory.
These animals may choose to eat growing crops at a player outpost, which triggers the player characters to fight them. Often these animal Base Assaults can be prevented by clearing out nearby Nests before they seek out an outpost's farms.
These animals will primarily roam in groups and will not initiate combat with characters on sight.
These animals are normally neutral but can be provoked without attacking them. Similar to territorial animals, but they do not have a fixed territory or nest.
Wild Garru may growl when the player moves nearby. If this happens and the player stops moving (disable jobs and press R) and remains still, the Garru will remain peaceful. However, if the player continues moving near them, the herd may attack. Some characters have dialogue when this interaction happens.
Relics and Robots
Many regions of Kenshi are heavily damaged environmentally. In these areas, Robots take the place of wildlife.
Mega Animal Variations
Mega Animals are rare versions of regular animals and comparatively have very high stats, especially body part health. Mega Animals can be found in a single set location.
You can buy these and play them like regular characters! While they are rated in every skill—just like typical humanoid characters—they can't actually use very many (eg. Goats can't use Armor Smith, even if highly proficient).
|Note: Bandits May Butcher Animals
If players have animals in their squad and everyone gets KO'ed in battle, there's a high chance that bandits will butcher the animals for meat.
The primary faction to purchase animals from is the Nomads. The nomads can consistently be found in their two towns, Settled Nomads and Settled Nomad Village. They can also potentially spawn Merchant Nomads in many zones. These merchants sell Goats, Pack Beasts, Bonedogs, Pack Bulls, and Wild Bulls. The Nomads also have Goat Herders, who exclusively sell goats. In Settled Nomad Village, Cornelius can be purchased from Goat Man.
Animal player characters cannot lose limbs. There aren't animal specific beds, however a humanoid player character can pick up an animal and place it in a bed manually. Many Hostile Factions can potentially attempt to chop up your animals for food.
|“||The young ones ain't so bad. They'll eat more as they grow up, but if they're carryin' a bag on their backs you can carry more food around can't ya'? Can't live without 'em on a long journey.||”|
–Nomad Animal Trader
Animal player characters will automatically eat any available food out of a Backpack or an Animal Feeder. Animals will also pick up food dropped on the ground near them, sometimes including lost limbs.
Purchasable animals can fight.
Bulls and Garrus can wear backpacks, these can stack certain items in stacks up to five and six respectively.
Pack animals have a lesser debuff when carrying weight than player characters, allowing them to carry much more without a speed penalty.
Note that animals cannot normally enter into (player owned) buildings and therefore benefit from their safety and services inside. They can, however, be carried into a building and walk out on their own later. Some animals, like Pack Bulls, could be ordered to enter via a large door (for example into a Stationhouse) and they will comply with the order they would not normally execute.
Racial Animal Weapons
Like all characters in Kenshi, animals use weapons behind the scenes to attack with. These directly modify the damage output from their stats. They are also slightly randomized, so an animal may be slightly stronger or weaker depending on the "weapon" it spawned with.
Of note, the weapon selected seems to randomize every game load, using a seed generated from squad data. Shuffling your squad members around in the list, then saving and reloading, will potentially cause your animals to spawn with a different weapon model. This doesn't generally change damage much though, usually only by a few points. The vast majority of their damage comes from stats.
For comparison to normal weapons, here are their damage values listed below.
|Animal||Cut damage||Blunt damage||Bleed rate|
|Wild Bulls||0.50 - 0.65||0.30 - 0.50||1.5|
|Pack Bulls||0.50 - 0.65||0.30 - 0.50||1.5|
|Domesticated Bulls||0.20 - 0.26||0.24 - 0.40||1|
|Pack Beasts||0.20 - 0.26||0.24 - 0.40||1|
|Goats||2.00 - 2.61||0.03 - 0.05||1.2|
|Bonedogs||2.00 - 2.61||0.03 - 0.05||1.2|
|Crabs||0.50 - 0.65||0.30 - 0.50||1|
The Kenshi Development Team has hinted that the ability to raise certain animals and tame them into being Player Characters could be added to the game. It hasn't been confirmed and if it is to be added, it would be a luxury feature. There are bits and pieces in the FCS which hint that it might still be in the works. Stay tuned.
Animals which would be tamed in this way would likely be Beak Things and Crabs, since they already have eggs in game. These Beak Thing Eggs and Crab Eggs can be found in the Nests of the relevant animals, but are currently only used for trade.