Room size: How big is too big?

I’m finding it hard to find information with any definite answers.

How small can you build a big room before you no longer impress your hearthlings? At what point is a room too big for a single hearthling? At what size do you start wasting space?

Do you just have to put in allot of windows?

They cast rays into multiple direction, and measure the distance the rays traveled as a way to quantify the space. So it really depends on the design, it is possible to have a bigger house be considered more cramped than a smaller one. Sometimes you have a corner that is good, and the other corner is bad, there is no right answer.
I personally think trying to optimize these stuff is not really worth the time, it is better to put your effort into simple making it look good, even if just for you and not your people lol

That is the most informative non-answer that I have been able to find.

Lets just say, if it was a square room, then how big would be too big?

You can make any size room look good, but there has to be a point where your just wasting space that could be for other buildings and rooms.

Numbers please? I doubt room height has much to do with it? And I don’t want to wast a day testing since someone should already have some idea where to start off at…

Room height does actually have an impact, up to a point – I think it’s 5 blocks that’s the “max” before you’re start “wasting” space (i.e. no longer get a benefit for going any higher), but I know that going 3 block high rooms (which is the minimum height for a hearthling to fit in) makes it hard to avoid the cramped space debuff.

The best place to get info would be to look back on the old Desktop Tuesday videos and threads from when this feature was introduced – there’s a video which shows the way that hearthlings determine whether a space is cramped or not which is clearer than any other explanation.

The alternative is to go with the Banner of Strength and ignore cramped rooms altogether, which is incredibly useful if you’re planning to build underground or make a military fort with lots of tight choke-points or passages along/beside the walls.

I think standing in the middle of a 7x7 room would not give them the debuff anymore. But then it can happen that they just go to a corner and feels suffocated there lol.
Windows and doors helps, as the rays are not blocked by those, so they think it has more space. Objects do block them, but as the rays are shoot from their eye level, most items would not be detected.

But from what I understand, you are not trying to find the min size, you are after the max. Very little people knows this, but there is actually a good buff for big rooms, not just the debuff for small ones. I would guess a 15x15 maybe can give you that, no idea.


from experimentation i find the optimal room size is roughly 4 high (with some more airspace in the middle?) and about 13x13. (2 person house) i often hang decoration from the walls. so i guess whever hearthlings are more than say, 6? or so blocks away from decorations they like it less.
this is why the like the 13x13 house: decorations are beamed into them from all walls, thus its BEAUTIFULL to them. though, you could achieve the same effect with an “all-edge-browney-pan-style-house” think interior walls making a large building into multiple smaller inside rooms.

Assuming it hasn’t changed I looked into this a long time ago and “built” a room around a hearthling with the debug tools showing the rays for their comfort. I think, in order to not have any effect at all on their comfort, the space I discovered was a 16x16x6 in height. Let me see if I can still find my old post.

EDIT: Found it! Hearthling personal space


Or, to translate (heh, math joke) that for the OP’s question: any larger than 16x16x6 is definitely wasted space, since that’s where the measurement polygon “maxes out”

However, @Wouter_Sikkema raises an interesting point – when you consider the hearthlings’ view distance, at 16x16 rooms they can’t see the decorations on the far wall if they’re right up against the opposite wall. So if you want to really min-max things, the best trick is probably to go smaller than 16x16, and “cushion the edges” of the room with path-blocking furniture/decorations that will stay below the hearthling’s eye level (e.g. vases, plush bunnies or braziers) so that hearthlings stay in the middle of the room and can never “squish” the polygon against a wall in a way that feels cramped.

Another trick with a particularly Evil Genius vibe would be to dig out the floor sections 2 blocks deep close to the walls, as an alternative way of keeping the hearthlings to the center of the room. It’s cheaper in the short term than packing that space with decorations… and hey, later you could fill those areas with water using a wet stone or just cover the gaps with carpeting – the hearthlings will still stay away from the walls, but you won’t have to look at the “comfort moats” hahah!

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Being close to a wall or corner should not make them feel cramped. The polygon should get shifted away from obstacles as long as there’s no obstacle on the opposite side. Unless that changed since the Desktop Tuesday where the devs said so.

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So, basically, the polygon is attached to the hearthling with a rubber band?

Sort of, yes. I’m not sure if the ray that goes up is moved sideways as well and if the polygon is moved down if they’re too close to the ceiling, on a ladder or something.

Edit: whoops, I managed to confuse myself with thinking about the old corner issues, and forgot about the update to fix them. Back in those days, the “comfort moat” was a work-around trick I was using to keep hearthlings happy while idling, and I’ve since evolved it into my go-to method for corralling hearthlings into a narrow path without upsetting them.

The reason you want to keep the hearthling in the centre of the room is to keep all the nice decorations in view, the “comfort polygon” only has to fit in the room without being cut short to get the good effect.

I looked up the DT. It doesn’t say anything about squashing downwards (at least not in the video), but it does mention the balloon as an approach that they considered but didn’t go for.