Colonists are members of the expedition to Aven Prime, whose goal is to establish humanity's first extra-solar domain. They are men and women from all walks of life and it's your goal as colonial governor to ensure that they can settle Aven Prime without unnecessary complications. Colonists are responsible for manning the colony's buildings and ensuring that structures remain functional. Only automated buildings don't require workers and those are few and far in between.
Notably, once your colony reaches 100 colonists, referendums begin. Colonists can vote to kick you out and unless you get an absolute majority (51%) or more, your tenure ends (and with it, the current game). Voting occurs every 3 sols by default and can be disabled entirely in sandbox games.
- Morale is a critical characteristic. Unhappy colonists are less productive, while protesters don't work altogether. At minimum, colonists need food, water, air quality, and employment to be happy.
- Commute times can be a pain in large colonies. To compensate, you can invest in robust hovercar station networks to connect the colony. Adding colony terminals as primary residential structures works even better.
- Food is critical. Every colonist consumes food at a rate of circa 0.1 - 0.2 unit per hour. Inadequate food supply causes starvation, death, and morale loss, leading to the aforementioned loss in elections.
- Health determines how long the colonists can chug along without keeling over. Plague spores, inadequate food supply, and low air quality contribute to deteriorating health, alongside a number of other factors. Rationing helps reduce food consumption at a cost to morale.
- Every colonist needs a habitat. Always keep a spare margin, to reduce crowding and ensure that any overflow caused by a sudden shortage of residential space is accommodated, rather than euthanized. Immigrants are simply turned away if your colony is at maximum capacity, the colonial authorities aren't monsters.
- Morale and performance can be directly modified by providing enhancers to the colonists, but require enhancer dispensaries.
- If you have problems with figuring out what colonists want, opening the list of colonists and sorting by morale, then inspecting the least happy colonist will allow you to tackle the morale situation quicker than staring at the status screens and wondering just what can be done.