RimWorld How to Create Hair Mod Tutorial

RimWorld How to Create Hair Mod Tutorial 1 - steamsplay.com
RimWorld How to Create Hair Mod Tutorial 1 - steamsplay.com

This guide is designed to help you take your wild ideas to new heights. This guide will teach you the basics of programming and graphic design.


Congratulations on completing what is often the most difficult part of any project. Now, it’s time to start exploring new territory and go online to find a guide. This guide is now a contract. You can make at least one hairstyle for Rimworld.

This guide will walk you through the steps of creating your own hairstyles, implementing them in Rimworld, and setting up a Steam Workshop page to showcase your mod.

This guide is open to all levels of ability. It doesn’t matter if you think you are a programmer or a designer. Let’s get started.


For creating a hair modification, we will need two pieces of software. You will need software to help you draw hairstyles and to help you implement them.

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Download here – [notepad-plus-plus.org]


This will be used for mod function.

RimWorld How to Create Hair Mod Tutorial - Software - 68E10DF

Download a trial here: [adobe.com]

. This will be used to create graphics in our mod. You can use any alternative Photoshop that supports (transparency) alpha layers, such as GIMP, Krita or Krita. You could also try swashbuckling.

RimWorld How to Create Hair Mod Tutorial - Software - 446FA44

Download here – [google.com]

. This ZIP contains all the graphical templates needed to create your mod.


This step is optional, but I recommend it. Start by brainstorming ideas and planning your hair modification plans. Look for inspiration on Pinterest, Steam Workshop or in the mirror.

You will need to have the following:

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Once you’ve decided how hard you will work, take a look to the [Roo’s hair tutorial] Template – Google.com
Folder you downloaded. The layout is:

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You can modify the #Mod Creation Materials folder as many times as you want. This is where I have created any graphical templates for you. You can rename the [My Mod Name] directory to whatever you want to call your hair mod. But, don’t modify any of the files or directories contained therein yet.


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These naming conventions are followed by each hairstyle’s 4 sprites.

The head will face in the same direction for both the west and east hairstyles. The graphic will be automatically flipped in-game so don’t worry if you don’t know how to do it.

The [Roo’s hair tutorial] Template – Google.com
You can choose from three different hair templates in the folder.

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I recommend that you use the 500px one as your first attempt. You can use any size template you wish. Open hair_south.png.

Create a new Layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) . Sketch out your hairstyle or, if you’re using a photograph reference, paste it onto the canvas. Adjust the layer to 50% transparency and match it to the head. This step is about getting the basic shape.


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You can create a new layer for your lines and then trace over your sketch. The smoothing feature in your drawing software might allow you to slow down your brush and make lines cleaner. This can be found in the top bar after the brush tool is selected within Photoshop.


Rimworld will automatically apply colour in-game to the pawn’s head, so we only need shades of grey to shade our hairstyles. We call these our’swatches’, the three shades we use to create hair.

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Create a new layer underneath the outline and fill it in with your midtone. You can either use the magic wand or the fill tool to do this manually.

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Once you’ve colored your hair, lock the transparent pixels. Select your layer and hit “/”. This will prevent you shading outside of the coloured area.

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Now it’s time to shade- which honestly- can be a bit of a ‘take-it-as-it-comes’ process. It is best to focus the shadows on the bottom and the highlights on the top. The light source is directly above the pawns. You can experiment with these tools:

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Rimworld rarely uses hard shading to organic objects such as hair or animals. Create gentle fades from one swatch to the other by setting your primary and second colours to two of your swatches.

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You can use the lasso to create irregularly shaped selection zones, which you can then use with the gradient burn or dodge tools. This can create subtle texture in your hair.

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It’s a quick, easy, and 2-pump-chump way to shade your hairstyles. The dodge and burn tools can be used as brushes to lighten or darken the hair. If you don’t like having to deal with the set swatches, this tool can be used.


Now that your hair has been conditioned and shaved, it is time to add the final touches. These two steps are helpful to make your hair look vanilla-friendly. This step can be skipped if you are opting for a different style.

Take a look at these Rimworld assets. What do these assets make you notice?

RimWorld How to Create Hair Mod Tutorial - Drawing - CF01DE0

You can see the difference in width between outermost outlines versus those within the shapes. For example, the fluff on the cheeks and the torso of skull-pture. Rimworld uses thick black outlines to highlight asset silhouettes. But, they rarely use thick outlines when it is time to focus on the finer details within the silhouette. In fact, the drape as well as the bionic part have no black inner lines.

Finishing Touch 1- Variable Outline

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Let’s see if we can translate these observations into our own artwork. The left-hand example shows a hairstyle featuring a completely black outline. It looks great, but it is not in keeping with the vanilla art style.

The right hairstyle shows the same outline but with the inner lines lighterened. By selecting your outline layer, locking the transparent pixels by hitting / and applying your shadow swatch to the inner lines, you might find that feeling of ‘something-is-wrong-with-this-hairstyle-but-I-don’t-know-what’ go away.

Finishing Touch 2 Rimworld Is a Thicc Boi

RimWorld How to Create Hair Mod Tutorial - Drawing - DDEE023

Let’s add a stronger outer edge to our hairstyle. Combine your outline and colour layers. Double click the newly merged layers in the layers panel. The Layer Style dialog box will appear. Select the option Stroke’ to ensure that the stroke has a 100% opacity and the stroke color is black. The stroke size will differ depending on which template was used. You can match the stroke size to the outline of the pawn’s pawn’s head by matching it. This will create a thicker outline for your hair, similar to the vanilla assets.

If your software does NOT support layer styles you can still manually trace the outer lines of your hairstyle with an extra thick brush.


To leave the canvas with your hairstyle, remove the pawns head layer. If you used the 1000px Template, go to Image> Image Size and reduce your image’s width and height to either 500px (or 128px)

RimWorld How to Create Hair Mod Tutorial - Drawing - 32FD0E9

Open up [My Mod name] and save your image to Textures > Things> Pawn > Humanlike > hair.

Follow the naming conventions of “hair_south”, replacing “hair” with a visual identification. Mullet_south and Mohawk_south are examples.


* Do not use spaces

* Do not use any other characters than _ or -.

* Please ensure that the direction is written in lowercase

* Your image must should be a png.

Once the export is complete, go back and repeat the process using the west, east, and north templates. Once you’ve completed the 4 directions, you will have 4 files in your Hair directory that look like this.

RimWorld How to Create Hair Mod Tutorial - Drawing - 49A594C


The programming side of creating your hairmod can be done after, during, or before you have created the visual assets. The file structure of these files is very strict. Please do not alter folder names or locations within [My Mod Name] folder. There are two.xml file types we will be using.

RimWorld How to Create Hair Mod Tutorial - Programming - DFAE37A


RimWorld How to Create Hair Mod Tutorial - Programming - CB3C46F

Go into [My Mod name] > About Right-click “About.xml”, and then click “Save As”. It will open in Notepad++, and you’ll be able to see the mod metadata. You will find the <name></name> bits between each set (tags.) is where you will enter the following.

* <name> The name of your mod which will appear on the screen.

* <author> is your username.

* <supportedVersions> is the version of Rimworld with which this mod will be compatible. Since Rimworld updated how they identify hairs in 1.3. I personally stick to 1.3.

* <packageID>: A unique ID used by the game to identify your mod. Two mods can not have the same packageID even though they may have the can same name. Your packageID should follow this naming pattern <packageId>AuthorName.ModName.Specific</packageId>

For example:


* <description> The text that appears when you select your mod in the mods screen.

Other tags can be added to the About file if desired, but these are only the most important. For more information, see the Tags section.
Click here – http://rimworldwiki.com


You will also find a Preview.png file in this folder. We’ll get to that later. Here’s how an About file looks when it is complete.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<name>Roo's HD Hairstyles</name>
<description>Adds 33 male hairstyles and 39 female hairstyles to the game. This pack aims to give a varied distibution of hairstyle types without sticking to one main theme- such as within my other hair mods.
If you're looking for something more specific, feel free to check out my other hair mods on the Steam Workshop!

If you have any other ideas for hairstyles that could go in this pack or encounter any errors with existing styles, please drop a comment on the mod page!

- Use with Hair Modding Plus for the best experience.
- Works with Multiplayer. Should work with all DLC and Version 1.3 of Rimworld.
- A big thank you to Chicken Plucker for the great tutorial on how to get this mod working!




RimWorld How to Create Hair Mod Tutorial - Programming - 4DD8323

Go into [My Mod Name] > Defs > HairDefs and open Hairs_MyModNameDef.xml in Notepad++. This file contains all the details you need for each hairstyle.

* <HairDef>: Between these tags are details for the hairstyle one. This file will contain the details for 24A18321566A hairstyle.

* <defName> The ID of the hairstyle the game uses. It cannot match any other style. Spaces must always be indicated by underscores I include the initials of either me or the pack before the hairstyle’s name.

Take this example:


* <styleGender>– Which gender of pawns the hairstyle will spawn on. This was known as <hairGender> in Rimworld before 1.3. These are the options:

Any Appears on any gendered pen.
Male Only appears on males
Males Can appear on any Pawn, but mainly male.
Female Only on female pawns
FemaleUsually Can appear on any Pawn, but mostly appears on females.


* Pawns still have the option to manually create hairstyles that are not gender-specific using mods or the Styling Station introduced in the Ideology DLC.

* <Category>– Which category this hairstyle will fall into within the Ideology DLC. This was added to Rimworld 1.3. Your hairstyle can only be placed in one category. If it is not assigned a category, it will auto-sort into ‘Misc. These are the options:


* <texPath> is where the game will look to find the hairstyle textures. Also, what filenames it will search for. If your hair’s graphics have the names ‘Mohawk_south.png,’ ‘Mohawk_east.png,’ etc, you will just need to add ‘Mohawk’ at the end.

For example:


* <styleTags>. What kind of Pawns will this hairstyle produce? This was known before Rimworld 3.0 as <hairTags>. You can add as many tags as necessary. These are the options:

Wild Appears on wild pawns at the ‘wild woman / man wanders in’ event.
Tribal Appears on pawns in every tribal faction.
Rural Appears on pawns of outlander unions
Urban Appears on pawns of outlander unions
Royal This tag must be used with Urban or Soldier in order to work. If a hair has both Urban and Royal tags it will be on noble pawns of empire factions such as the Stellarch. If the hair is both Royal and Soldier-tagged, it will be on fighter pawns for the empire faction.
Punk Appears on pawns in pirate groups.
Soldier Appears on fighter pawns from multiple factions.
HairLong ?? ?
HairShort ?? ?

A new set of tags must be created in your Def folder for each hairstyle that your mods add. Here’s a complete HairDef file that contains two hairstyles.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<!-- Angel Wings Hairstyle -->
 <label>RBHDL Angel Wings</label>
<!-- Brave Hairstyle -->
 <label>RBHDL Brave</label>




Originally posted by some guy:

10% of the work takes 90% of the time. Testing your hairstyle mod takes 150% of the time.

First, make sure your hair mod works on your end. If you plan on uploading your mod via Steam Workshop, it will save you a lot in post-upload troubleshooting and make sure it works for other users.

Step 1: Transferring your files to the T E T I N GZ O N E

RimWorld How to Create Hair Mod Tutorial - Testing - 5BEAC4E

To test your mods, you will need a local copy. Navigate to your Steam Library, click Rimworld and then click ‘properties. Then click Local Files on the popup and then click ’browse’.

Windows Explorer and Mac-Whatever will open your Rimworld folder. Enter the mods folder. Copy your [My Mod Name]

(or whatever name you choose) folder into the mods/ folder.

Step 2: Restart Rimworld and enable your Mod

RimWorld How to Create Hair Mod Tutorial - Testing - E17DD14

Open Rimworld. Enable dev mode in Options. Next, go to the mods menu. I recommend disabling all mods except official DLC. Your mod should be present somewhere, with a folder icon to show that it is a local version. The preview image should be just a boring, old preview with bald Pawns. Turn on your mod, restart Rimworld, then pray.

Step 3: Startup errors

The debug log may passive-aggressively greet you upon restart. You can check the errors to see if they are related to your hair mod.

Error Fix
Mod [My MOD Name] is missing packageID at About.xml You must add a Package ID to the About file. For assistance, scroll back to the section ‘Programming.
Mod My ModName packageId> (UniqueModIdentifier ()) is not valid. Your packageID should follow the naming pattern of <packageId>AuthorName.ModName.Specific</packageId>. You can modify your packageId in your About file.
Mod [My MOD Name] is missing from the About.xml supported versions list! In the About file, you will need to include the Rimworld versions your mod supports. For assistance, scroll back to the Programming’ section.
Could not resolve cross-reference: No RimWorld.StyleItemCategoryDef named X found to give to RimWorld.HairDef Y The hairstyle (Y) is a non-existent (X) in the Defs.
Unknown Parse Failure The file at the end of the path contains a syntax error. This could be as simple as a tag not being closed. Copy the error file and paste it to the clipboard. You can then view it in a text editor. The error file should include the line and the position at which it occurred. You can find it in Notepad++, and fix the error.

Note:These errors are not the only ones that could occur, but they are some of the most common.

Step 3: Gameplay Errors

We’ve reached the startup screen. Now it’s the time to test your mod in-game. Create a new saved and view your hairs using the character selector dialog. Send your stylish pawns on the rim to show off their shiny new locks…or…wait. Why is Jimmy balding?

Error Fix
My hair looks bald when it’s on a pawn. Discriminating against people who are bald is not okay. Rimworld is unable to find the textures. This could happen even if one of your sprites is wrong. Verify that your hairs’ files are consistent with your Defs texture path.
Some hairs are facing the wrong side. You should verify that your file names are correct. North is the hair’s back, South is the hair’s front, etc.
A pawn with X hairstyle no more when I reload the save. You can change the texture, styleTags, styleGender, and label of a hair at any time. You cannot change the defName. If you do, your pawn will be made bald because the game cannot find the old name. You will need to reassign the hairstyle to that particular pawn.
The hairstyle uses a different hairstyles graphic. Two of your hairs share the exact same defName, so the game won’t know which to load. Make sure that defNames for each hair are unique.
Visibly trim the top of the hair. The hair texture is too close to the canvas’ edges. Reduce it a little and try again.
The pawn is too small for the hair. All hairs should fit the ‘average’ size head. Rimworld will scale down hairstyles to fit a narrower head shape. Check that your hair textures conform to the [Roo’s Head Tutorial] Template – Google.com



Step 4: Finishing

Sleep for a few minutes after you have completed the preliminary testing. Yes, good. There are a few more testing tips that you can follow when you wake up. These are industry secret testing tips that I’ve accumulated over the years of making mods.

* Use devmode to spawn raids. If possible, ensure your hairs appear on the correct factions.

* Install a comb if your hairstyle textures exceed 500px
HD pawn mod – [steamcommunity.com]
Camera+ – [steamcommunity.com]

to ensure that they look professional during gameplay.

* Use mods such
Character Editor – [steamcommunity.com]

Scroll through your created hairstyles quickly

* Install your normal mods and use them in game with your hairstyles. You might discover other errors or things you wish to change.

* Test your hairs on pawns with different head and body sizes.

* To make sure that your mod works for others, ask another person to test it and bribe them in thrumbofur.

Packaging and uploading

Who’s Hair Modder(Legendary) You’re Hair Modder(Legendary)! You can now upload your mod to the Steam Workshop.

Making a preview

Remember that boring preview thumbnail at the mod screen’s bottom? It’s time to replace it with something a bit more exciting. Here are some important points to remember about your preview.

* The mod preview is stored in the About Folder of your mod along with About.xml.

* The preview image from this folder will be visible on the mod screen and as the thumbnail in the Steam Workshop.

* As long the ratio of your preview thumbnail to your actual image is 16/9, there is no wrong or right way to create it.

If you don’t know where to begin, you can download the
[Roo’s hair tutorial] Template – Google.com

To find the thumbnail template, go to #Mod Creator Assets > You’ll find a handy template both in.psd format and.png format. PSD’s can be opened by other image editing software, but Photoshop’s native file format is PSD. If yours doesn’t support.png, don’t worry. None of these files are credit-required, so you can use them to your heart’s delight.

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This can be exported as a.png by changing the background color, title, and adding hairstyles to the mannequins.

After you’ve exported your file replace the Preview.png folder with your new thumbnail. Make sure that the file is still called Preview.png. Last check that your preview appears in Rimworld mod menu. And voila! Your mod. Is done.

Upload Your Mod

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You can select your mod from the Rimworld Mod Menu and then click Upload to Steam Workshop’. Once your mod is uploaded, it will remain publically hidden until it’s ready to be published. This allows you to add key details to your mod description, such as:

* What the mod’s theme is.

* If it is dependent on mods or has incompatibilities.

* FAQ’s.

Tips and Special Thank Yous

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Refer to your own work.

You can use the first sprite to help you draw the next. Copy the finished sprite onto your next direction’s template. To ensure that your hairstyle lines up correctly when you draw it again, use planning lines.

You might find it easiest to illustrate all the sprites and then export them. You may prefer to start with either the east or north sprite. Whatever works for your needs.

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You don’t necessarily need a hair_west wizard.

The game will automatically use the hair_east symbol if you don’t include it. It will then flip it accordingly. If the hairstyle is asymmetrical, and therefore different when viewed from both sides, you might consider adding a hair_west symbol.

Special Thanks

In 2020, I posted my first modification to the workshop. I had no idea information about what I was doing. Many thanks to all who helped me learn.

Zelan: For helping me test my hair modifications, supporting me in writing this guide and just being a huge help.

Chicken Plucker – To write the OG
[1.0] Make a Hair Mod – Chicken Run Tutorial – [steamcommunity.com]

guide. You beautiful legend.

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Written by Rooboid, Zelan

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