Kenshi: How Does Import Game Work?

The import game functionality in Kenshi is a particularly useful tool to fix various issues you might encounter within the game. Be it dealing with stuck characters or undoing the damage you have done on your relationships, importing might often be your first step. But how does it work exactly?

What does Import Game do?

Essentially, what Import Game does is, take your current Save File and recreate the whole world of Kenshi for that specific file to put in. What exactly is being taken from the Save File completely depends on which sub-options you pick when importing. What it definitely will take with you:

  • Your characters
  • The character’s stats
  • Gear of the characters
  • The current position of your characters if “Reset squad position” is left unchecked

Optional Import Game Settings

When importing your game, you can also check some other settings that all have their own functions.

Kenshis Import Game Function

Reset Squad Positions

This will reset the position of every member in your squad. They will appear essentially where your camera is currently positioned at. This is extremely helpful when your character is stuck and should be one of the first measures against that.

Import Buildings

Importing buildings essentially means that all buildings that you have either bought or built in your current save file will be imported and re-created into the new world. This includes outposts as much as buildings you have bought in cities.

Import Research

As you might have guessed, this simply imports all the research that you have done on your current save file up to this point. All the technologies you have unlocked will be available in the imported game. Naturally, if left unchecked that means you will have to research everything again.

Import Dead NPCs

The world of Kenshi has many specific unique NPCs. Some of them can have a lasting effect on the world and change the world state of Kenshi, while others are simply unique companions for you to recruit.

Importing Dead NPCs means that all NPCs you have killed, imprisoned, or that have died while in your squad will stay dead. This means that if you have killed a specific leader of a faction, they will be dead in your new imported game. On the other hand, not importing dead NPCs means that you have essentially “reset” those NPCs and can encounter them in your new world again. This means that you could potentially recruit unique NPCs into your squad again and also that the world state has reset to its original form.

Import Relations

If in your current save you have improved or destroyed your relations to a specific faction, importing relations will keep them at that level. This counts both for hostile and friendly relations. For example, if you have allied the Anti Slavers by talking to Grey, you will gain +75 to the Anti Slavers faction and -30 to the United Cities, Slave Traders, and Trader’s Guild relations. If you import a game where that happened, you will keep said values in your new world.

Mind that unticking this will not reset relations that already start out at a hostile level. Resetting relations means they will be reset to the base state of the game.

Advanced options

When you start a new game in Kenshi, you can configure a couple of settings that affect the way the world works. Importing a new game lets you adjust these settings anew, just as if you have started a new game.

Hunger time

This sets how long it takes characters to get hungry. A higher number means it takes longer, therefore they need less food to get by.

Chance of death

Determines the overall likelihood of any character dying (players or NPCs). Directly affects rates of wound regeneration and blood loss (Higher = more likely to die)

Global damage multiplier

Overall combat damage for everything. Doesn’t necessarily make the game harder or easier, but affects the speed of battles.

Production speed

Affects the speed of item production such as crafting and mining (more than 1.0 means the game becomes easier)

Research speed

Affects the speed of research (more than 1.0 means it becomes faster)

Building speed

Affects the speed of building (more than 1.0 means it becomes faster)

Number of nests multiplier

Affects the number of monster nests, bandit camps, etc. that appear in the wilds. A higher number makes life outside more dangerous.

Bandits loot the player

Makes life unfair. This means that bandits will loot you when you become unconscious. They will however only take your food from you. There is no looting of currency or items in Kenshi.

Easy prospecting

Essentially removes the science skill required to get accurate data when prospecting. As the name suggests, this makes it very easy to use even with a character that has no science skill at all.

When should you import your Kenshi game?

Like with many things in this game it entirely depends on your preference if and whether you want to import your game into a new world. There are however a couple of scenarios where it could be useful or just a good idea to do

When your characters are stuck

If your characters are stuck, importing your game while checking all the options along with “Reset squad positions” is an ideal solution. This will essentially “feel” like you have simply loaded your game but your characters are all bundled on the current position of your screen. Of course, the whole world has just been re-initialized but since all the settings got taken over to the new world, it does not make a difference.

If you want a New Game Plus vibe

While there is no real New Game Plus especially in terms of strength of monsters and enemies, you could theoretically simply leave all the options unchecked which will essentially build a whole new, fresh world for you. You can then take your current squad (or character if you only have one) and conquer the world anew.

Resetting the current state of the world

Sometimes you have killed a character that has altered the state of the world completely. If you say kill a leader of the Holy Nation, it could be that the Shek Kingdom eventually takes over some or multiple Holy Nation cities. Resetting the world state by not importing dead NPCs will undo this and allow you to go for different decisions.

Repairing relations

Technically, it is possible to work on relations even if you have damaged or improved them in your past. But sometimes the easier solution can be to simply not import them into a new save file and start with vanilla relations again.

When the game has received an update

Importing your game after the game receives an update will take your save file from the old game version to the new one. This can be incredibly helpful in avoiding bugs and help out in situations where the terrain, buildings, or NPCs got changed.

With new mods

Many mods will already state this in their installation guide. Often times when installing a mod it will require you to import to a new game in order to make the mod work as smoothly as possible. Even if it doesn’t say so, it is good practice to do so just to avoid bugs, crashes, and any unintended behavior.


The import game function is a splendid mechanic. It is yet another monument to the flexibility of Kenshi, making it easy to change the state of your current game to your liking. It is also very important for avoiding bugs, stuck characters, and other issues, so it is advisable to familiarize yourself with using it whenever needed.

If you are looking for other Kenshi Guides, check these out:

Kenshi Roadmap For New Players

In-Depth Kenshi Guide on Base-building

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