Personality is a trait possessed by all NPCs. Personality partly determines how an NPC will react to objects and to other (non-hostile) NPCs, and it also affects the status messages which appear above the heads of NPCs friendly to the player (such as Crew members).
Click here to skip to the list of personality types.
All NPCs have some default characteristics which are often overridden by personality and NPC type to produce the final set of characteristics. Two subsets of these default characteristics, reactions and status messages, are explained in detail in the following sections.
As the environment around an NPC changes, the NPC can express a reaction to some of these changes. Many reactions cause the NPC to express a particular emotion, and some reactions cause the NPC to perform a physical action as well.
Some reactions can only be performed at certain times of day. When time dependency is listed, a time value of 0.0 corresponds with planetary midnight, and values above 0.0 represent how much of a planetary day has passed since the last planetary midnight (for example, at time 0.3, 30% of the planetary day has passed since the last planetary midnight).
There are a wide variety of triggers which can provoke NPC reactions: the personalities of nearby NPCs; other NPCs' reactions; proximity to objects, players or other NPCs; and triggers related to crew functions and generated quests. NPCs also have a set of reactions they can use for any general trigger as well as a set of spontaneous reactions (reactions which can happen at any valid time).
Often, a single trigger has multiple possible reactions listed for it. In cases where probabilities are not listed, assume that all options are equally likely to occur.
When NPCs possessing certain personality types get close to other NPCs, those other NPCs may spontaneously react based on the particular personality type:
- Jerk: Cry
- Cheerful: Smile or Annoyed
- Intrusive: Neutral or Annoyed
Other NPCs' Reactions
If an NPC is near another NPC when that other NPC performs a reaction, the first NPC may also perform a reaction based on the type of reaction performed by the other NPC:
- Cry: Cry (75%) or Go Home (25%)
- Wink: Love, Nosebleed, or Neutral
- Love: Love (~67%) or Wink (~33%)
- Nosebleed: Wink, Love or Vomit
- Vomit: Vomit, Cry, Go Home or Flee
- Go Home: Quit (75%) or Follow (25%)
- Flee: Quit (50%), Cry (~17%), Smile (~17%), or Chase (~17%)
- Follow: Go Home
- Creepy Follow: Flee, Cry or Annoyed
- Chase: Flee
- Quit: Quit
- Bored: Cry, Laugh, Annoyed, or Go Home
- Comfort: Annoyed (~43%), Smile (~43%), or Go Home (~13%)
- Schadenfreude: Cry (60%), Flee (20%), or Go Home (20%)
- Sell: Pay (80%), Flee (20%)
- Pay: Quit
Being close to certain objects and entities can trigger special reactions directed toward those objects or entities. By default, NPCs do not possess special reactions for when players or other NPCs get close; however, they do possess special reactions for when they get close to some objects:
- Floor Button: Hop
- Wall Button: Press Button
- Wall Switch: Flip Switch
- Proximity Sensor: Smile
- Console: Typing
- Music: Pose Dance, Wiggle Dance, or Arm Swing Dance
NPCs which are also crew members (or crew member wannabes) have a special set of reactions for triggers relating to crew-exclusive interactions:
- Recruited: Smile or Jump for Joy
- Recruit Declined: Annoyed or Cry
- Follow Owner: Smile
- Unfollow Owner: Wink
NPCs have special reactions to certain aspects of generated quests. First of all, quest-givers have some default quest-related reactions:
- Quest Accepted: Smile
- Quest Declined: Annoyed
Completed quests sometimes establish special one-way relationships between NPCs. An NPC which is in such a relationship may react if they get close enough to the other NPC involved in the relationship:
- Likes NPC: Love, Smile or Comfort
- Fears NPC: Panic, Cry or Flee
These reactions do not require a particular trigger to occur; however, several spontaneous reactions are restricted to certain times of day:
- Sleep (begins only in time range 0.7-0.9)
- Sit (cannot begin in time range 0.2-0.6)
- Wander (no time restrictions)
These reactions are only used if no reactions have already been assigned to a particular trigger:
- Smile (~5.7%)
- Cry (~5.7%)
- Bored (~5.7%)
- Hop (~5.7%)
- Jump for Joy (~5.7%)
- Neutral (~5.7%)
- Laugh (~5.7%)
- Annoyed (~5.7%)
- Oh (~5.7%)
- Oooh (~5.7%)
- Wink (~5.7%)
- Love (~5.7%)
- Nosebleed (~1.1%)
- Vomit (~1.1%)
- Quit (~5.7%)
- Flee (~5.7%)
- Go Home (~5.7%)
- Follow (~5.7%)
- Chase (~5.7%)
Regardless of what triggers the reactions, an NPC, after performing one of the following reactions, will ignore reactions from their reaction's target for a short time: Quit, Flee, Go Home, Follow, Creepy Follow, and Chase.
Most NPCs which are friendly to The Player can be seen with a message floating over their head - this message is called a status message. (Status messages for Crew members can also be checked by inspecting these NPCs using the SAIL console on the ship.) The status message will periodically change regardless of what happens to a given NPC - however, the status message will no longer be visible if the NPC becomes hostile to the player.
NPCs have access to two pools of status messages which they can display. The first pool, the generic status message pool, is shared by all NPCs, while the second pool is chosen based on the NPC's personality type.
Generic Status Messages
List of Personality Types
There are 14 personality types which NPCs can have: