Morale is a measure of how happy your colonists are and, by extension, how productive they are. A happy colonist has all of his needs met. Below are the various factors that affect it.
Factors affecting morale
- Air quality : The colony is hermetically sealed to counterbalance Aven's low-oxygen atmosphere, so air quality can deteriorate quickly.
- Commute : Colonists prefer a short commute along tunnels between home and work. They dislike walking through buildings on the way to work.
- Consumption : Whether colonists have access to the consumer goods they crave. Provided by retail centers.
- Crime : A higher crime rate makes colonists more paranoid and less trusting, decreasing happiness. Managed by security drone hubs.
- Crowding : Colonists grow less happy as their residences become more densely packed and as the colony's population increases.
- Entertainment : The availability of various forms of entertainment to distract and entertain the colonists.
- Food : The colonists quickly grow unhappy when they do not have enough food to eat or when their food choices are too limited. Variety and quality are two special statistics.
- Freedom : The joy of freedom. Invasive micromanagement of the colony through social policies lowers this.
- Health : Whether colonists are healthy and have access to satisfactory levels of health care affects happiness.
- Purpose : A colonist's sense of purpose in helping build the colony. Tends to be higher when the colony is smaller.
- Substances : Many different types of enhancers are available. Some have side effects that cause a reduction in morale.
- Unemployment : Unemployed colonists are unhappy without jobs.
- Water : Colonists grow unhappy and fast without access to adequate water. Sufficient quantities in storage are necessary.
- In general, you should prioritize whatever's affecting morale the most, after ensuring your colonists aren't dying of starvation, thirst, or choking on the fumes coming from the corridors. To identify the sources of the problem, open the list of colonists (click on the happiness bar, then the colonist tab in the colony status menu), then sort by happiness. Double click on the unhappiest one and look at what makes them miserable, then fix it.
- Consumption is not only determined by the staffing and number of retail centers, but also the goods they provide. Consumer goods are a cheap and quick way to enhance their performance.
- Crime is fixed by more Police drone hubs or upgrading existing ones.
- Entertainment requires bar & grills, which can easily be placed down in pairs if you want to benefit from the food variety bonus as well. Naturally, VR centers and the megastructures have the biggest impact on entertainment.
- Food has three major components: Food quality, food quantity, and food variety. All 3 can affect morale, so make sure you're addressing the right one. Food quantity usually hits hardest; if you start running out of food, your colonists know it!
- Substances is the aggregate effect of all the tasty stuff you give to your colonists to fine-tune their performance.
- The best general advice is, first, try to address the things that are making people the most unhappy. Anything with more than a -3 or -4 to morale deserves a good look; making the red bars smaller is usually cheaper than making the green bars bigger. After that, if colonists are still below 60 morale or so in any part of your colony, look at providing cheap service buildings to bump things up; a few Park and Bar & Grill buildings can be a big help.