Palworld: How to increase Sanity and stop Pals from slacking off

(Image credit: Windows Central)

To progress smoothly in Pocketpair's new "Pokémon with guns" survival game Palworld, you'll need to build bases where you can put your captured Pals to work producing the resources needed for important weapons, tools, and other crafts. However, after doing so, many players have noticed that one or more of their Pals lose their motivation to fulfill their duties and start "slacking off" (relatable). When this happens, they become much less productive, and often stop working altogether.

The reason for these slumps is a low Sanity level, or SAN. Therefore, to help your Pal get on the road to recovery and return to a consistent daily work schedule, you'll need to increase their Sanity. Thankfully, there are a few different ways to do that in Palworld — all of which I'll go over in this guide.

What to do if a Pal is slacking off in Palworld

Make sure everyone has a bed. Any Pals that don't will get stressed out. (Image credit: Windows Central)

While you're in a Palworld base, the status of all the Pals you have working at it will appear at the top-right corner of your screen. If one or more of them is "slacking off," it means that they have a low Sanity level you'll need to deal with — something you can confirm by looking at their SAN meter in the Palbox menu. Note that it's normal for Pals to "take a short break," so don't worry if you see that notice appear.

Typically, Pals only start slacking off when the base they're in is lacking an important facility or critical resources needed to keep things running smoothly. With that in mind, you can increase the Sanity of your Pals by checking to see that you've set up the following structures and processes:

  • Make sure there's a bed for each Pal in your base. Anyone without a bed won't be able to sleep comfortably at night, which stresses them out and lowers their SAN. You can get Fluffy Pal Beds at Level 24 that help Pals get better rest, as well as Large Pal Beds at Level 36 that bigger Pals can sleep on.
  • Build a few Berry Plantations and a Feed Box, and deploy Pals capable of Planting, Watering, Gathering, and Transporting. Unsurprisingly, Pals won't want to do any hard work while they're starving. With these structures and jobs covered, your Pals will keep themselves fed. The best Palworld Pals will produce food incredibly fast, making it easy to stockpile.
    • Try using a Campfire or Cooking Pot to cook high-quality meals. Cooked foods made with raw meat and other ingredients that aren't as easy to get as berries are are more filling, and also often provide direct SAN bonuses. Note that Kindling Pals will do the cooking for you once you get a recipe started.
  • Make a Hot Spring tub or two for Pals to relax in. Even well-fed and rested workers need a chance to relax sometimes, right? The occasional soak in the tub will keep everyone happy. Each one costs 30x Wood, 15x Stone, 10x Paldium Fragments, and 10x Pal Fluids.
  • Make or buy them medicine, if they're sick or injured. If the Pal status indicator informs you that a Pal has fallen ill or got injured in combat, you or a Medicine Production Pal can make medicine for them at a Medieval Medicine Workbench. You can also buy it from merchants found at NPC village locations like the Small Settlement found at coordinates (71, -486). Use this Palworld interactive map if you need help finding these areas.
    • Make sure you buy medicine that cures the ailment they have. For example, if a Pal has a cold or a sprain, make them a dose of Low Grade Medical Supplies.
  • Pet them! The game never tells you it's possible, but by pressing the 4 key and then selecting the Pet option that appears, you can pet your Palworld pals. This won't help much if there are glaring issues at your base, but it does slightly increase Sanity.
  • If all else fails, put them in the Palbox for a few days. Sometimes Pals simply don't want to work, even when they're full, rested, healthy, and have plenty of opportunities to relax during breaks (again, relatable). Swap them out for a different Pal for a few days, and they'll be ready to get back to work soon after.

By following the above checklist of suggestions, your Pals will stop slacking off and return to diligently performing their duties. And in my experience, it's unlikely that you'll ever even see a Pal slacking off again as long as your base has enough beds, food, and relaxation areas, as well as medicine to use when it's needed.

Palworld is available now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, and Windows PC via either the Microsoft Store or Steam. It's quickly become one of the best Xbox games and best PC games of 2024 so far, and it's also playable through Xbox Game Pass.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.