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Morale is how well you are feeling, and is the best way to generate experience. Your current mood is displayed as an emoticon in the lower part of the game screen. To view current morale modifiers press v.

It is important to keep your morale up as it affects how well you learn from actions, and increasing your skills increases your survivability, and there are several ways to do so.

Having a large negative morale, -50 makes is impossible to craft. So you can become so depressed you can't cook food, or boil water.

How morale works

Every few turns your focus is increased or decreased by an amount depending on your morale, you can view the focus change in the morale modifier menu using v.

The amount of morale needed to increase focus goes up as you gain more focus, around 150 focus you will begin to lose focus unless you have very high morale. Go out and spend that focus by using your skills!

In addition, if your morale is over 100 points you gain "Elated" status and bonuses to speed and stats:

  • 1 intellect per 100 points;
  • 1 perception per 125 points;
  • 1 strength per 180 points;
  • 1 dexterity per 200 points;
  • 1 speed per 25 points and up to total of 10.

The same is happens when you are in a bad mood too, but instead bonuses you will gain penalties and "Depressed" state!

In-game help states that your character may commit suicide if depressed enough. Do not believe it. Such decisions are fully up to you.

Positive morale effects

The Optimist trait helps keep your attitude naturally high, and Masochist balances pain effects by giving some morale bonuses- carefully managed, the latter can keep a demented :D going in all but the most dire situations.

Drinks, foods and drugs all have an "Enjoyability" rating. These tend to be short-lived, however, and foods are very minor, but variety is the key.

Some books have a fun rating, providing a boost to morale when read. This appears on Just for Fun books and some low skill level books. A bit counter-intuitive as a source of morale as reading drains focus, but it's a bonus if you're reading the book anyway.

But the best way to gain morale is to listen to an MP3 player. The amount gained slowly increases to a maximum of +50. Be sure to keep a supply of batteries around so you can reload as needed (it consumes one battery per 1.5 hours).

Negative morale effects

Some foods and complicated/disgusting books have negative "Enjoyability", and thus hurt your morale. It is worth noting that reading books does spend focus, so reading To Serve Man as a non-cannibal, for example, might put your morale negative and reduce your focus in addition to the focus cost if you have no other modifiers.

Many negative traits like Hoarder and Mood Swings can seriously harm your mood if not properly managed. Prozac is a popular thing even after an apocalypse, especially after the apocalypse.

Rain is extremely damaging to your morale. As you are out in the rain, it will slowly increase the penalty to a maximum of -60 unless you are wearing a rain coat or another cloth piece that provides at least 35 warmth, or have the Feathers mutation.