Animals in “The Settlers” are more than just cute, little creatures who are idling and moving around in the world. Some of them even have special, unique functionalities. Many animals’ purpose is to provide something for the economy or even to disturb it – but they sometimes also create a challenge. Let’s go into a bit more detail.
Not every animal has a specific purpose. There are fluff animals who simply fly around, sit on roofs, crawl on the ground, climb over mountains or walk idly around. These animals are cute and exist to make the world lively.
The animals that are involved in the game-play use their own simulation system, which consists of different behaviors. This system is connected with many other game systems, as you will soon see:
All wildlife and paddock animals can age and have their own lifecycle. When they are born, they are young and protected. Adult animals are able to breed, and some of them can be used to pull vehicles. Old animals will eventually die if they are not used as a food source by either the hunter or the rancher.
Habitat and Movement
All animals can move around, but each has a preferred habitat. For paddock animals, it’s very simple. They love their paddocks and stay in there, moving around. If someone is mean enough to destroy their lovely home, the paddock animals strive around helplessly until a rancher picks them up to bring them to a new home. Overall, these animals are content within a paddock.
Wildlife animals choose their own favorite habitat. Deer and boars feel comfortable when protected by the forest. Rabbits prefer meadows. Whenever they are in their preferred habitat, they move around carelessly, breed, and eat. They can live outside their preferred habitat but will then find less food and the chances to breed decrease. That means an animal species can become extinct if the preferred habitat is no longer available. Protect the forest, and the deer can happily go about their lives. But what can we do when new boards are urgently needed to create new houses?
Shy and Aggressive
Some animals are shy and try to run away if a settler comes close. If a little rabbit gets lost in a city full of settlers, it can become desperate and start running around wildly trying to find a way out. Other animals around it can become afraid when they see it running and flee too.
Other animals are not that shy but rather aggressive. If a settler is close to an aggressive animal, the animal starts an attack to chase the settler away. The settler immediately stops whatever they are doing, drops all of their stuff, and runs away to safety. Because of this reaction, it can happen that foragers cannot continue their work if a boar herd is living near a berry spot. But don’t be afraid: hunters or military units can solve the problem.
As already mentioned, all animals need to eat, and every species has its own favorite food. But why do they need to eat? With a full belly, the animal’s chance to successfully breed increases. However, the animal will only be full for a while, and when they get hungry again, the population growth returns to normal. For example, boars don’t like herbs and ignore herb bushes completely; instead, they love to eat fresh corn from farm fields.
But how does this affect the farm fields? If a boar family decides to live on a farm field, farmers cannot continue their work, as boars are aggressive animals and chase away every settler. As already mentioned, this is not a dead end for the poor farm: boars will run away from hunters and military units when they approach the boars.
All animals will mate and breed automatically, but before giving birth to a new animal, every animal checks its surroundings to see that it is suitable for a newborn. First, a lonesome animal is not able to mate. There must always be two adult animals of the same species close to each other. Second, is the animal ready for mating? Animals cannot give birth every second. They need a break in between. Third, how many animals are already living in the area? Animals try not to destroy their own habitat by overpopulating. If there are already too many animals within one habitat like the forest, the population growth will decrease a lot. Last but not least, a well-fed animal has higher chances of giving birth compared to a hungry animal.
Chickens are a bit different, as they lay eggs. Sometimes, chickens are just laying eggs, and sometimes a new chick is hatching. This leads us to an important question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? We still couldn’t find the answer!
Fish, in general, are different from all other animals. Not every fish can be seen, but if one jumps out of the water, it’s an indicator that more fish are at that spot. If no fish can be observed, then none are living in that area.
Like every other animal, fish have their own lifecycle. They are born, live, and die. They can reproduce and move around. They don’t need food, but they provide food to a fisher who catches fish from the water.
Different fish species have their own habitat like all of the other animal species. Some live in the sea, others in lakes, and some of them can even live in both lakes and seas.
In the beginning, the hunter can only hunt small animals like rabbits. But with every upgrade to a higher tier, they increase their abilities and can eventually hunt boars and deer. All animals provide meat to the hunter, and deer also provide leather.
As the hunter is very careful not to eradicate a whole species during his hunt, he only focuses on old animals. He leaves young and adult animals alone. However, it is possible to order the hunter to target and hunt adult animals. Of course, this increases his efficiency in the short term but might result in killing off all animals in his area.
Other than just hunting, the hunter has a second, hidden ability. Boars are very aggressive and might attack weak carriers or other workers. It can even happen that settlers are not able to work in a specific area where too many boars are lurking around. But a hunter can scare the boars, even without hunting them. When close by to the boars, they become scared and might run away.
The ranch is a peaceful place for all paddock animals. The rancher has a busy schedule but is always eager to fulfill his duties and make sure the animals are happy.
It begins by building paddocks for the animals to live in. There can be more than one paddock per species, but one paddock can always only be inhabited by one type of animal. A rancher can increase the size of existing paddocks or build new ones – and they must take care of supplying all animals with food.
After building the first paddock, the worker returns to the stables at the ranch, which have breeding animals in them.
Whenever a new animal is born, the rancher will guide it to one of the paddocks.
As soon as the animals become adults, they can start breeding on their own. In addition, adult chickens begin laying eggs, which the workers can collect.
When an animal gets old, the rancher guides them back to the stables where they can be used as a source of food. Chickens, pigs, and cows can all be used to provide meat for settlers.
Cows, together with donkeys, have an additional purpose: as soon as they become adults, a carrier can guide them to the coachmaker. Put in front of a brand new cart, the donkey or ox can transport a lot more goods at a time than a human carrier could. A carrier always accompanies the cart to guide it.
The fisher’s purpose is of course to catch fish – and with every upgrade to a higher tier, a new fish species can be caught. At the same time, the upgrade allows the fisher to gather fish in lakes in addition to in the ocean.
The fisher can also empty a whole lake if no one is keeping an eye on him. Since small lakes have far less fish than the vast sea, too many fishers constantly taking fish out of the water might result in every last fish being caught. In this case, it is no longer possible to increase the fish population, so be careful.
How will you live with the wildlife in The Settlers? Do you prefer peaceful coexistence or can you simply not say “no” to a tasty boar – like a certain group of Gauls? Or are you maybe a farmer at heart? Let us know in the comments!