Kenshi Wiki

Slaver beating a slave

Slavery has always been a controversial industry, wars have been fought over the usage and regulation of slavery. The practice of slavery is particularly favored by United Cities, The Holy Nation and Reavers, and detested by Anti-Slavers, Rebel Swordsmen and Mongrel.

Kenshi is an unforgiving world. If you are too weak to protect yourself, someone will take advantage of that. Therefore, Slavery is a huge industry in Kenshi. Slavers are always looking for unconscious characters to enslave and make a profit out of.

Being Enslaved

Players who have been enslaved will first have their weapons confiscated and have some of their armour replaced with Prisoner Shackles. If the character is unable to wear shoes, they will be given Hive Prisoner Shackles. If they regain consciousness, their captors may allow them to follow. Otherwise, slaves are carried by a member of the slaver squad. Players will have the rest of their Equipment confiscated as well, but depending on the faction, that may not occur until they reach a town or slave camp.

Sign of a Slave Shop

Players might also be enslaved if they have been imprisoned in The Holy Nation or United Cities. If players desire to be enslaved, they can most readily achieve this state by getting in a Prisoner Cage in a slave shop.

When enslaved, player characters have everything on their jobs list replaced with a single "Obedient Slave" job. Removing this job will result in that character being labeled an "escaped slave," although this may not be immediate. The Obedient Slave job causes characters to follow their master's orders, whether they are to farm, labour, or to fight in their defense.

Loading Screen Tips
If a slaver strips all your gear he will probably put it all in storage somewhere. Maybe you can get it back.

Escaping and Hiding


Escaping slavery can be as easy as finding the right moment or as hard as having to stage an elaborate plan. Smaller slave sites like Holy Mines have plenty of gaps in security, and if bandits attack, most of the guards will run off to fight them. If you don't wish to wait for that moment, however, there are plenty of other ways to ensure your escape. Even if you make a clean getaway without alerting the guards, you'll be branded an Ex-Slave for a while, causing hostility to any who notice you. Keep an eye on your "Looks like a Slave" percentage in your inventory window to see how likely someone is to identify you. It is not recommended to try and escape while you are in-transit unless there's an attack or something to distract the guards. Better to be patient and plan carefully to avoid a slow and painful death out in the desert.

The most important skills to aid in your escape will be Stealth, Assassination, and Thievery. Lockpicking is important too, but it's not usually time-sensitive, so you can keep trying until you get it. To start, unlock your shackles. Keep them on while the guards are around, even in your cage, or they'll immediately attack you, but when you need to sneak, fight, or run, take them off as they lower your stealth and movement skills. The guards won't re-lock them unless you're caught, so it's good to do that as soon as possible.

Secondly, if you think you'll have to fight your way out, plan ahead. Knock guards out with Assassination, and take their weapon and drop it, and take off all their armor- they won't pick them up or put them back on. This is easiest to do while they're sleeping, of course, but even if you're out working, don't hesitate to attack a lone guard. As long as the knockout is successful, and none of the other guards saw it, you won't get attacked. This is easiest at Rebirth because of how spread out they are, but at smaller outposts, guards tend to run around pretty quickly, so nighttime is your only friend there.


Finally, your greatest tool for making your escape will be the disguise. Steal a guard's armor and equip all of it (keep the shackles, until you're ready to run). They won't take it or give you new slave clothes unless you're caught without the shackles on. Once things quiet down and guards stop running around, make for the exit. Keep to the side and stay as far from other guards' line of sight as possible. Sneak, if you can, it doesn't negatively affect your disguise, but with the guards' armor, you will be slow, and your stealth rating might be zero anyway. At the gate, they usually have two rows of guards; one in the back and 2-4 in the front. Knock out the one in the back, and try to leave out the side.

If you're having trouble, especially if you're in a big city, it might be necessary to cause a distraction. Have another character fight the guards at the gate or bring a hostile creature, or release the other slaves and escape while the guards chase them down (be warned- they go down quickly).

An escaped slave being arrested by Empire Samurai Police.

Loading Screen Tips
Escaped slaves should avoid most other towns and factions until the heat dies down.

After you escape, you'll need to lay low for several game-days before the faction stops being hostile (unless you have an already low rating or bounty with them), so change your clothes and hair until the "Looks like a Slave" stat in the inventory window reads 1%.

Slave Recruits

Depending on their personality, slaves will either welcome the chance to escape or fearfully insist on remaining in their cage. Freed slaves will likely ally with the player for a time, following them around. Allies are visible as a green dot on the map. After leading an ally far enough away from their masters, the rescued slave may choose to join the player or separate and run away.

Enslaving Characters

Players cannot own their own slaves. Slaves purchased from slavers will become allies and will either join the player as a Slave Recruit or escape at the first chance they get.

Players can earn a small sum of money by bringing characters to slavers. Captured characters can be handed over directly to a slave master through dialogue or by putting them in a Prisoner Cage. If players are carrying a bounty wanted by the United Cities, they can earn their reward by placing their bounty in a prisoner cage at a location controlled by the Slave Traders.

Characters who were sold into slavery by the player will likely remember that fact and will not be grateful to be purchased or freed by the player.


These Factions will enslave characters.


Manhunters is a minor faction which patrol United Cities territory in search of escaped slaves. If they encounter characters which are weaker than them, they will likely capture them as well. They sell their slaves to the Slave Traders.


Reavers is a minor southeast faction found in Stobe's Garden, The Crags, and The Outlands. They can be found patrolling the surrounding zones as well. Reavers have armed slaves called Reaver Slave which are taken on patrols. However, Reavers still disarm player characters while enslaving them.

Slave Hunters

Slave Hunters is a minor faction also found in United Cities territory. They're essentially just a weaker version of the Manhunters.

Slave Traders

Slave Traders is the slave owning branch of the United Cities. They control slave farms and camps where they work slaves mercilessly. If players are on good terms with the Slave Traders, they can purchase slaves from slave shops in those locations as well as in slave markets.

The Holy Nation

The Holy Nation enslaves characters whom they consider in need of redemption. These characters are criminals or characters of organic non-human races. These slaves are brought to Holy Mines and Rebirth, where they will work at a Stone Mine until they die (or escape). Because this slavery is for religious purposes and not economic, The Holy Nation will not trade slaves. Players can sell characters to Rebirth to make a small sum of money. (Note: Due to a bug it's possible for HN to enslave Skeletons for Rebirth as well, despite not intended to be so)

United Cities

The economy of the United Cities relies heavily on slave labour. Players can be enslaved by the United Cities if they are arrested. After being enslaved, characters are then traded to the Slave Traders and taken out of town to a slave camp.


These locations are places which hold and work slaves. These locations can be overtaken or destroyed if they player kills or imprisons the correct characters.


The Holy Nation

Slave Traders

As stated above, characters can also be imprisoned by police in any town controlled by United Cities or The Holy Nation.

Slave Traders

A guard being treated as a slave by another guard at a Holy Mine.

Slave Traders are NPCs. They will not attack the player as long as the organization they're a part of isn't currently hostile towards the player. However, if a player-controlled unit goes unconscious close to them, they can heal them and take them to any nearby slave-based outpost, where the unit will be forced to work. If the unit is unconscious, it will be taken first to a cage while healing. Then a slaver will come to the unit and take them to work.

Slave Traders will then watch the unit move and work and will taunt it and remind it of its duty. At night, the slave will be taken back to a cage, where he can try to unlock or destroy his shackles.

From time to time, some slavers will come to the camp and buy or rent slaves, including the player's unit, which will now follow the caravan for a while, then sometimes returning to the cage.

Slave Traders caravans can also bring new slaves, like bandits, and warn everyone that non-workers will be brought to the furnace.

If the player tries to run away, he won't be able to run at full speed because of shackles, will be called a runner and will be attacked by everyone.

If the character talks to the slave monger in a slave trader group, it is possible to buy slaves from them, but it is currently unknown how to get the slave to do anything.