Palworld: How to Manage Work Pals

Put ’em to Work.

Between building your base, exploring, catching pals, and hunting for juicy secrets, who has the time to sit and cook for themselves in Palworld? Luckily, your collection of hard-caught pals is ready and willing to help you with all the chores around the base. From crafting items to planting and gathering food, collecting resources, generating power, and more, your cadre of bouncy cartoon friends is here to help.

You can’t just chain them to a workbench and expect them to be just fine. Pals are moody creatures with needs and wants that they can’t always fulfill alone. Without the proper management and infrastructure, your base could quickly turn from a vibrant and productive home to a deadlocked mess full of stressed-out and starving pals. That’s why we put together this guide to walk you through everything you need to know about How to Manage Work Pals.

Specifically, we’ll cover How to Put Pals to Work, How to Manage Pal Needs, How to Handle Illness, How to Increase Your Pals’ Work Speed, and offer some advice on How to Deal with Bugs.

How to Put Pals to Work

Adding pals to the base

That exciting first step. You’ve just captured your first few pals, and now you’d like them to help out a little since they don’t pay rent or anything. But how do you get them to appear in your base and start working?

First, you’ll need to construct a Palbox. The Palbox designates the outline area for your base and determines the area you’ve claimed. For that reason, you should always try to situate your Palbox at the center of your base so it encompasses the area you want to claim as your own. The Palbox is also the command and control center for storing pals and adding and removing them from the base.

Once you have a Palbox, you can add pals to the base from its menu. Approach your palbox and open it. You should see one or more empty slots in the space down below your Pal Storage. Dragging and dropping a pal into one of these slots will spawn it inside the base. Pals who can perform any available work will automatically seek it out and try to perform it.

Carrying a pal to a workstation

If you want a pal to focus on a specific task, you must approach them and pick them up. With your pal in hand, carry them to your desired task and lob them at it (you can also assign a pal from your party by throwing their sphere at the workstation).

Note that the hitboxes for workstations are extremely unpredictable, and you may need to space out your workstations to place your pals properly. If everything works properly, they will be locked onto that workstation, forcing them to focus their attention until they need to eat, rest, or sleep. Sometimes, they will move to other tasks after their job is done; other times, they will sit there until you tell them otherwise.

Pal Needs

Several pals sleeping peacefully

What Do You Want From Me!?

Pals are like humans because they have many needs but aren’t always the best at communicating them. Fortunately, unlike humans, there are simple ways to check how a pal is doing without intervention from a licensed professional. We’ll start by covering mood widgets and then explain the needs they are associated with.

Mood Widgets

Checking mood widgets in the base info UI

Now and then, you’ll probably see some short blurbs pop up on the left side of your screen. These short blurbs help you track what is happening in your base even when you are off exploring somewhere. Many of them can be viewed or ignored at leisure because “Pengullet ate Tomato” isn’t critical information. However, some of these notifications shouldn’t be ignored if you want your base to run smoothly.

Less important information, such as “Cattiva produced 30 Pal Spheres,” will be noted by a white border. These denote general updates and only appear to keep you appraised of what is happening. More important information, such as “Foxsparks is taking a break,” will be highlighted in blue. Though taking a break isn’t the end of the world, it lets you know that pal isn’t working at the moment. Critical information, such as “Ribunny is slacking off,” will be bordered in red.

When a pal takes a break, it indicates their Sanity has begun to decrease to an undesirable level. Having your work expectations set to Standard will allow them to cool off and prevent negative effects from being overworked. If a pal is slacking off, their sanity has decreased to the point that they are refusing to work and will return to a bed and sleep until their sanity is restored.

You can view the status of all your workers at a glance while inside your base. A short list detailing each of your base pals’ status will appear in the top right-hand corner of your hud. “Hard at work” means their work speed is high. “In good condition” is the standard meaning they have no needs and are operating normally. “X seems to be having trouble with their tasks” indicates that something is hampering that pal’s work speed. You can also see what a pal is currently doing by the small animation in the corner of their portrait, such as a hammer for working, bread for eating, or several “z’s” for sleeping.

How to Manage Hunger

Cooking up a meal with a pal

All pals must eat, and providing them with food (or setting them up to provide for themselves) is an extremely important part of managing a base in Palworld. However, before you decide how to set up your system, it’s important to consider how much food your pals will need versus how much you can reliably produce.

Different pals will require different amounts of food to stay healthy. Generally, larger and stronger pals need to eat more than smaller and weaker ones. You can see the general food requirements for a given pal by looking at the “Food” meter in their information window. This can be found below the work suitabilities section, and the more highlighted bread icons, the more that pal will need to eat. Remember that this only indicates their species standard and your pal may eat more or less than this depending on their Passive Skills.

If you must, you can feed pals manually by approaching them, using the command wheel (default “4” key on PC), and selecting the feed option. This is a very slow and involved process, and it is a much more efficient method to construct one or more Feed Boxes inside your base.

A pal eating from a feed  box

Feed boxes can be filled with food items that working pals inside the base will automatically seek out and eat whenever they are sufficiently hungry. You should note that pals transporting food items such as harvested crops will also store those items inside a feed box if at all possible. Hungry pals will eat the items in the leftmost slot of the feed box first, so keep this slot full if you don’t want them to eat your freshly harvested crops.

Letting your crops fill your feed boxes is a less involved method, but also slows your workers’ productivity. Pals don’t eat as quickly as our character, so the more items a pal has to eat to fill their bellies, the longer they spend at the feed box. Providing higher-quality food decreases the time your pals spend on lunch breaks and provides additional benefits such as a slower drop in sanity or hunger stats. Pancakes, in particular, are a great, easy choice for dealing with hunger and sanity at the same time.

How to Manage Sanity

A pal relaxing in a hot spring

Sanity (or SAN) is a stat that represents your pal’s overall mental well-being and level of stress. SAN decreases as a pal works and increases when idle, resting, eating, or sleeping.

Managing the sanity of your pals is an important part of keeping them productive, even if you don’t particularly care about their wellbeing. Depending on how you have your parameters set, pals whose sanity drops too low will work more slowly or stop working altogether. Pals with low sanity also run the risk of becoming ill, which can drastically hinder their productivity.

There are numerous ways to improve a pal’s sanity, the most obvious of which is simply to allow them to rest.

  1. Ensuring every pal in your base has its bed will prevent unnecessary stress and allow them to recover sanity during the night while they sleep.
  2. Constructing higher-quality beds such as the Fluffy Pal Bed will increase the amount of sanity they regain when sleeping and shorten the time it takes for them to stop slacking off.
  3. You can also provide facilities such as Hot Springs to increase their sanity recovery speed when taking breaks, and High-Quality Hot Springs can improve the process further.

As previously mentioned, food can also be used to restore sanity. Most foods will restore at least one sanity point when consumed, but higher-quality and especially sweet foods can restore additional points or provide bonuses that slow the rate of sanity decrease when working.

If all else fails, you can also employ expensive Mind Control Drugs to force your pals to keep working regardless of their hunger or sanity, though this method carries its own dangers.

How to Handle Illness

Checking on a pal with a fracture

If a pal is stressed for too long, it may become ill. Illness can take numerous forms and apply different effects to a pal, all of which are bad. If a pal has received an illness, it will be visible in their info section as a purple box with the illness name inside.

Some illnesses may be short-term but can lead to worse illnesses if left untreated. For example, an eating disorder will be short-lived and will go away on its own, but will not only cause your pal to burn through a bunch of food but will leave them overfull, increasing stress further and often leading to another illness.

Fortunately, the process for removing an illness from a pal is quite simple; you just need to feed it the proper kind of medication. Below is a short list of curable illnesses sorted by which kind of medicine is required to treat them. Medical supplies can be found in chests, looted from defeated Free Pal Alliance followers, or purchased from vendors.

Giving medical treatment to an injured pal

1. Low Grade Medical Supplies

  • Cold – Colds slowly drain sanity and cause a pal to work more slowly.
  • Sprain – Sprains cause a pal to move and work more slowly.

2. Medical Supplies

  • Ulcer – An ulcer will rapidly drain a pal’s sanity and cause them to work much more slowly.
  • Fracture – A fracture will cause a pal to move and work much more slowly.

3. High Grade Medical Supplies

  • Weakened – Weakened pals will receive a severe penalty to their attack, movement speed, and work speed. Weakened pals may cease to move altogether.
  • Depressed – Depressed pals will receive a severe penalty to their defense, movement speed, and work speed. Depressed pals may refuse to work or fight and will have their maximum sanity reduced until cured.

How to Increase Work Speed

Changing work parameters at a monitoring stand

Naturally, if you want to get the most out of your pals, you’ll want to increase their work speed. There are a few methods for achieving this, but some may be more permanent than others.

1. Change Work Parameters

Through the use of a Monitoring Stand, players can set and change work expectations for pals at a specific base.

  • When set to “Normal” pals will take breaks when stressed and generally avoid overworking themselves, resulting in minimal illness and standard production speed.
  • When set to “Hard Working” pals will avoid taking breaks unless their sanity is especially low. They will also work and move faster, resulting in higher productivity but a higher risk of illness and stress.
  • When set to “Super Hard Working” pals will exhaust themselves and forego all but the most crucial needs. They will work and move much faster, but will always be at a high risk of illness or mental break.

2. Pal Souls

With the proper amount of Pal Souls, players can increase the work speed stat of any pal at a Statue of Power, which can be constructed at your base or found in one of the world’s many churches.

3. Passive Skills

Some pals will be naturally more suited to work than others. Identifying and using pals with work-related Passive Skills can result in higher productivity and less stress.

4. Food and “Juice”

Certain meals can temporarily improve a pal’s work speed, increasing their productivity and filling their belly at the same time.

Players can also manufacture special drugs called Strange Juice and Mysterious Juice at medicine workbenches. These juices, when fed to a pal, rapidly drain their sanity but also drastically improve their work speed for a short time. These are best used in conjunction with a high work parameter or mind control drugs to prevent your pal from taking a break as soon as the juice starts to affect them.

Tips and Tricks for Dealing With Bugs

A dozen pals all trying to carry the same tomato

Palworld suffers from numerous bugs. These bugs are especially apparent in the game’s AI and at the player’s base. While we can’t guarantee these solutions will solve your problem or work at all, we have found them to be effective in minimizing frustration at our own bases. 

1. Reset Your Pals

If your pal is stuck, unmoving, or missing altogether, the simplest solution is probably to reset them. By removing them and adding them back to your base, you can drop them right in front of you and reset their pathfinding to hopefully get them working again.

2. Check Workstation Validity

If your pals won’t work at a specific station, the problem may be that their pathfinding can’t locate it or reach the correct position. Certain workstations can only be used from a specific angle, and if the pal can’t (or believes it can’t) reach that spot, they won’t work there. Try deconstructing and moving your workstation to somewhere on the ground, level, and open. Typically, if pals won’t come and help you build a structure, that means they can’t reach it.

3. Open The Gates

Oftentimes, pals may inexplicably end up outside your base. A solution to decrease the amount of resets you have to perform is to open your gates whenever you aren’t under attack to let them find their way back inside.

4. Grab it Yourself

Transportation is an especially buggy job in Palworld, and one of the most frustrating experiences is watching your pals pick up and drop an item over and over again. Going and grabbing those items yourself is sometimes the easiest option.

5. Chain Them to Their Workstation

Sometimes, the game’s AI decides that spending all day, every day moving wheat to the feed box is what every pal in the base should be doing. You may need to physically pick up pals and throw them at their workstations to get them to actually perform tasks other than transportation if your items just aren’t being crafted.

A Happy Home?

Happy pals gathered together near the palbox

Pocketpair has created an interesting mix of standard survival elements and colony management gameplay that has players hooked. But, with very limited ability to direct the workflow of our pals and no way to set storage parameters, preferences, or work priorities, all we can do is cry and hope these features are added later when our pals keep filling our weapon chest with rocks.

Whether you aim to be a vicious slave driver or a beneficent partner for your pals, managing their needs and wants is a major component of the game. Hopefully, with the insights found here, players can better understand what their pals need and how to wrangle these goofy monsters into productive and efficient workers.

Looking for some more pointers to help you survive Palapagos Island? Check out our 10 Tips for Getting Started.

Aaron Van Dyck's avatar

About Aaron Van Dyck

Aaron Van Dyck is a thriller novelist with a passion for survival games and exploration. He started writing at the age of 13 and has always been drawn to the sense of self-reliance and freedom found in open worlds. An avid urban explorer and RPG enthusiast, he enjoys dungeon crawling and has a particular love for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Far Cry 5, and Cataclysm: DDA. He's also a fan of shooters and action games with immersive stories and unique monsters to encounter.

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