If you have issues handling your colonists’ priority list in Planetbase, this will reveal a very helpful guide you can use to make them happier and more productive. The concept at the base of this guide is you have to understand the way your colonists think, enter the mechanics that rule their artificial intelligences and let them work properly to smoothen your station’s life. This means they have to feel better to be better colonists. Have a look at all of these tips.
Pressing Needs – If a colonist has a pressing need, with a yellow, orange or red triangle over their heads that isn’t an affliction, such as hunger, thirst, sleep, etc, then they will work to fulfill that need. If there is no way for them to fulfill their need, then they will idle. Getting a pressing need may halt inprogress tasks below if it gets to a certain point (mid yellow I think). Colonists will continue trying to fill any pressing need until it is satisfied, even if it leads to death.
Things get complicated when it comes to priorities. If there is a workshop in a prioritized room that has all materials it requires, then a colonist of the appropriate type that is not doing one of the above items will move to the prioritized room and work the workshop. If there is a workshop that has all the materials it requires, then a colonist of the appropriate type that is not doing one of the above will move to the room and work the workshop. If there is nothing to do above, then the colonist will idle until it finds something to do.
If a colonist has an affliction of some kind, including broken bone, radiation, malnutrition, etc, they will go lie in a sickbay bed if available. If no sickbay bed is available, they will idle until there is one available. Becoming injured, sick or dying will halt inprogress tasks below. If the colonists is a medic, there is someone in sickbay and there is at least one medical supply available, then medic will go treat injured.
Regarding the alerts, there are two types of them which will have colonists behaving differently: with red alert, if there is a spotted intruder in the base nearby, then they will have to attack the intruder. Yellow Alert: if under yellow alert and not heading towards a current task, then they will have to go inside base.
If you made a recent trade, then any colonist who doesn’t have an issue from above will start hauling items to the trade ship until there are no more pending items needed that are not already enroute.
If the colonist is able to build (engineers or constructor bots only) and there are no pending resources needed at the build site, then they will move to the build site and build. They will build the building first, then the corridor attaching it to the rest of base second.