Idle Hearthlings, Unfinished Builds and Ghost Items? Here's a Fix!

Idle Hearthlings are the bane of our existence but with a little looking it can usually be remedied. The usual culprit is a task that needs doing but for some reason can’t be accomplished by the hearthlings either through player error or a game glitch. These game glitches can and do add up especially as you get more and more hearthlings. When I encounter this the first thing I do is pause the game 20 seconds or so, longer is better. This allows the game to get a breather and catch up on all the background stuff that it’s doing while you’re playing. Saving and restarting also helps in this regard.

If this doesn’t work we have to do some hunting. For instance, start looking at all the flagged tasks, trees to be cut, holes to mined, etc. and make sure that the hearthlings can actually get to them, you may need a ladder to allow them access.

Are your craftsmen wandering out into the wilderness? Drives you nuts huh? Figure out what they’re looking for and use the party control to send out a worker instead. You may have had a hearthling killed by a goblin under a tree and your craftsman is going out to pick up the equipment. If you can’t find it use the looting key and click and drag large areas until something pops up.

The loot key can also be used to give priority to items that need to be picked up immediately though you want to be careful and only select sensible amounts at a time (depends on the number of hearthlings at your disposal). I use the looting key regularly to find goodies dropped by monsters I’ve killed and missed.

The build system is a work in progress and what works now may not in the next release and vice versa. You may build from a template or custom only to have the workers quit in the middle and not go back. Sometimes it’s as simple as adding another ladder manually, to a difficult spot, sometimes though, it’s just not going to work and you’re left with an unsightly build and idle hearthlings. This is where we pull out the big guns and hope for the best, that being said it has never failed me yet.

1. Save the game! Just in case you mess something up, this can break your game!
2. Select the roof, walls, columns, floor, ghost item, what have you.
3. Open the console using the Tilde key "~" next to the "1" key.
4. Type "destroy" and hit enter, it's case sensitive.
5. Use the Tilde key again to exit the console.

As you can see this will deal with the ghost items as well as unfinished builds. Usually around twenty hearthlings I go through all this just as a matter of routine maintenance to keep the game moving along nicely. Don’t forget to grab a screenshot and report any bugs you find to the Support Forum here!

Once you’ve cleaned up your game your hearthlings will no longer be confused and will go back to work! If the console doesn’t come up you may need to enable the debug keys by changing the user_settings.json file with a text editor like notepad. If you use steam the file will probably be found here C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Stonehearth

Add this to the settings…
“enable_debug_keys” : true

If it’s in the middle add a comma " , " at the end, if you put the line at the end you’ll have to add an comma to what is now the second last setting. Should look something like this…

Sorry for the long post, but this works for multiple releases so mebe you can forgive me. Hope this helps!


this is all amazing information and steps i routinely take to keep a game running as long as possible…i am currently in month 3 resisting the urge to take on more than my current 15 hearthlings due to the fear of it all going wonky on me… i have noticed a drastic drop in frame rate at meal time however, which consistently begins happening upon taking on the 8th hearthling or so growing in severity with each new resident, so im wondering if you’ve come up with a way to thwart that particular issue?

One thing that I mentioned above but really didn’t stress was the clearing of forests using the loot function. If you’ve cleaned up everything you can find but still have issues you should really give this one a thorough go. I didn’t stress it because I don’t have hard evidence for it, it just seems to help as lot. When you kill a monster or goblin the drop is left but hearthlings don’t automatically pick them up, I suspect that this creates a task with a condition, and tasks like this adding up are the usual suspect for an idle hearthling. We’d need someone more knowledgeable than I to confirm it, mebe I’m speaking out of mah arse lol.

You get a jump during lunch times because the lua has to deal with every one changing their tasks, thus their pathing and collision all at once. Pausing it for a few seconds will help. It’s kinda the price we pay playing an alpha game that’s not completely optimized yet. There are waaaay too many changes being made for that to be rectified any time soon. At least it doesn’t use 30 GB of RAM anymore lol. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help mebe someone else can chip in with a suggestion.

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