How do I trade with trade ships? I have built a communications console and a drop beacon, but I can never seem to initiate trade with any trade ships that are in range. Am I missing something? The wiki says to select a colonist and right clicking the com console, but that doesn't seem to be working.

  • Are sure that the colonist you are selecting is capable of social interaction? Some colonists are unable to perform certain skills because of their traits.
    – Yuuki
    Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 21:16
  • Pretty sure at least.
    – Leo
    Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 21:41

2 Answers 2


Select a colonist and right-click on the comms console; there should only be one option, "open communications". Select it. They will walk over to the console and start fiddling with it, at which point a window will pop up asking which ship to open communication with. If there are no ships in range, they'll still try to use the console but that window will instead say "there is no-one in range to communicate with".

If the "open communications" option doesn't appear or the colonist refuses to use the comms console, check:

  • That the console has power.
  • That the colonist can reach it; some pieces of furniture, like potted plants, block pathing.
  • That the colonist is capable of social interaction. (To check, select the colonist, click "Character" in the lower left, and look at the "Incapable Of" section to see if it includes the word "social".)

If all of these requirements are met and you still can't communicate, you've probably hit a bug; Rimworld, being pre-alpha, has these in abundance.

  • Tried with two different colonists, but must have been bad luck with none of them having any social skills...
    – Leo
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 16:54

I know this is a bit late, but in case if anyone else comes across this page...

You have to make sure you have the items you are willing to trade (i.e. silver, gold, gears, weapons, food, etc.) are within the "orbital trade beacon" located under Misc.

FYI, the trade beacon area does not have to touch the comms console, just the items you are willing to trade. And you can have multiple trade beacons, so you don't have to worry about being limited on the number of items you want to trade. As well, a tip I saw on another webpage is to place a floor of some sort under the trade beacon area(s), so plants do not take up space in these area(s).

  • Question age is never a factor when it comes to answers :). Thanks for your input, and welcome to the site!
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 2:30

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