Combat is a part of Kenshi gameplay which should be highly anticipated. However, there is more to remaining healthy in Kenshi than just bandaging wounds. This Guide to Health should help newer users learn all information regarding Hunger, Healing, Splints, and Limb Replacement.
Healing with bandages and splints is slow, and it is recommended that characters rest in a Bed or a Camp Bed if they are heavily injured. Beds and Camp Beds can be rented at Bars and occasionally used for free at some locations. Camp Beds can easily be carried by characters and built anywhere in the wilderness in order to rest away from town.
While sleeping in a Bed or Camp Bed, the hunger meter will decrease at 0.33x the normal rate. If their wounds are not bandaged, they will not decrease while sleeping either. Skeleton wounds which have not been repaired also stop decreasing while they lay in a bed.
Over time, characters get hungry. When a character's hunger meter goes below 250, that character will eat any Food which is available in their inventory. If a character's hunger drops below 200, they will start to suffer from malnutrition and their stats will begin to be negatively affected. If their hunger meter continues to drop, they will begin to pass out regularly from hunger. This fainting will become more and more frequent as their hunger meter steadily declines. Eventually, the character will die from starvation.
Each race has a modifier for rate of hunger. Skeletons do not need to eat and, therefore, their hunger rate is 0 times the hunger rate of a Greenlander.
Characters which are enslaved are kept fed to around 115, which results in minor stat drainage from malnutrition. Many non-player characters which are hostile are suffering from malnutrition and will loot unconscious or playing dead characters for food.
Every edible food item has a clearly labeled Nutrition amount. For some foods, characters will only partially eat the food, making the item have a reduced Nutrition amount. If characters have multiple of these items spread out among them, they can be consolidated by moving them into the same inventory (only works if they are not stolen items).
If working with many characters, it can be time consuming and tedious to add food to each individual inventory. By purchasing a stacking Backpack and filling it with as many food items as possible, the need for distributing food is mitigated. All Player Characters near the character wearing the backpack filled with food will eat food out of it if their hunger is low enough to trigger eating. If the player wants to avoid the negative stats of wearing a backpack, they can easily remove the backpack from the backpack slot and regularly put it on for a second in order to feed all characters at once.
Domesticated Animal player characters will also eat out of another player character's backpack. Characters can also eat food from a livestock backpack which can be worn on Domesticated Bulls and Pack Beasts. More about animal player characters can be found on Guide to Animals.
Characters of all races will need to be healed if they take Damage during fights. Characters which are non-Skeletons (Hive, Human, and Shek), will need to be bandaged, while Skeletons and prosthetic limbs will need repairs. Characters with higher Field Medic levels will bandage cuts more quickly.
First Aid Kits have a quality modifier which makes them more effective if used by characters with a Field Medic level equal to or above the quality of the Kit. First Aid Kits also have charges which can be used up, meaning that a medic may run out of bandages before finishing bandaging the character they were working on.
All characters have blood, although for Skeletons this is called "Oil." If characters have retained cutting damage on most of their body parts and are not bandaged, they will likely first die from blood loss before they reach a fatal level on a major body part. The different races bleed at different rates and bleeding can also speed up depending on how much of their received damage is cutting damage.
After their cuts are bandaged, the character's blood will slowly regenerate.
If a character is not healed from cutting damage, they will eventually bleed out and die, even if the wound is not severe. If the wounds are mixed and the cutting damage is minor, the blunt damage received may recover while the cutting damage appears to maintain the same level. The cutting damage is likely still decreasing the body part's health and will eventually fester if never treated.
In order to bandage cuts, characters must be holding a First Aid Kit. These items are easily found across Kenshi as many non-player characters will be holding a Basic First Aid Kit and they are often stocked in stores. Characters can use a First Aid Kit while it is in their inventory or inside the backpack they are wearing.
There are two methods for healing player characters. The first is to right click on the wounded character. The mouse tooltip will become a green plus (+) symbol when a hurt character is moused over. The wounded character can heal themselves as long as they have not become unconscious from their wounds. First Aid is also an option in the right-click-hold menu for that character and selecting that will also trigger the same action.
The second method is to click the Medic button in the User Interface. This will command the currently selected character(s) to heal any other player characters immediately nearby. When this button is shift-clicked, the job of Medic is assigned to the selected character(s). The Medic button will also command the selected character(s) to heal Skeletons and Robot Limbs (although they will bandage cuts before repairing limbs). When the job of Medic is added the job of Robotics is added immediately after it on the Jobs list.
When Skeletons take cutting damage or this damage is done to a Robot Limb, it must be repaired. In order to conduct repairs, characters must be holding a Skeleton Repair Kit or Authentic Skeleton Repair Kit. These items are primarily found in stores but can also be found through looting a Skeleton non-player character or an Ancient Lab. Characters can use a Repair Kit while it is in their inventory or inside the backpack they are wearing.
The methods for repairing Skeleton characters and Robot Limbs are the same as the methods for First Aid, except the name for the action is Repairs in the right-click-hold menu.
Skeletons and robot limbs regenerate to a slightly lower health after each time they are damaged, but this wear and tear can be repaired with a Skeleton Repair Bed. If characters are non-skeleton with robot limbs, their non-robotic body parts will be repaired at a high rate while sleeping on a Repair Bed as well.
While fighting, you will eventually come across more serious wounds, such as broken arms or legs. Characters which are non-Skeletons (Hive, Human, and Shek), can have damaged limbs splinted in order to mitigate the negative effects of their wounds.
Splint Kits have a quality modifier which makes them more effective if used by characters with a Field Medic level equal to or above the quality of the Kit. These Kits also have charges which can be used up. Characters with higher Field Medic levels will use up Splint Kits less quickly.
In Kenshi, this is when a Splint Kit comes into play. Splint kits are another type of first aid kits you can purchase. They are usually sold by the same trader that sell you first aid kits. You use splint kits in the same way as you use first aid kits, by either clicking the medic button or by right clicking, using the menu, and selecting "First Aid". However instead of a yellow bar it is a white bar. Splint kits will make it so broken arms, legs, and head are usable again. The white bar does not stop healing and once healed fully by a first aid kit, the white bar will disappear.
If a character's limb goes beyond a negative value equivalent to their normal max health, it will be amputated. Amputated limbs will require a robotic replacement in order to function normally when fighting or, if a leg is lost, when doing almost anything. Robotic limbs require repairing in the same way as a Skeleton's body does. They also suffer wear and tear damage which can only be healed through use of a Skeleton Repair Bed.
Robot Limbs can be purchased in a Robotics Shop, a Robotics Workshop, a Travel and Repairs Shop, and a Hive Robotics Shop. Always make sure that you are purchasing the correct limb, as the icon designs for (right) and (left) limbs are not distinctly different. Robot Limbs are equipment, not trade goods, so their sell value is noticeably lower than the cost to purchase them from a store.
In order to equip a Robot Limb, you need to first click the Limbs button found in your amputee character's inventory. After opening the Limbs inventory, you can click and drag the limb to its correct slot or simply right click it from your character's inventory. Characters which are not amputees will not allow you to make use of this button for obvious reasons.