Action cost

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Most actions you take in the game have an action cost. This determines how long it takes you to perform the action. The action cost of doing something is also sometimes referred to as it's energy cost.

The standard action cost representing a "one-turn" action is 1,000. Quickness determines how many action points a character has available to spend each turn, which is typically also 1,000.

All action costs are randomly varied by up to ±10% in order to make the initiative order of the game less deterministic.

The most common action cost besides 1,000 is 100, "one tenth of a turn" or "one segment". Directing companions has this action cost, as do various cases of flipping power switches.

Action Cost Modifiers

This section is an excerpt from Quickness#Action Cost Modifiers.

These things modify the action cost of certain actions, allowing a character with the same quickness to perform more or less of those actions.

Name Type Action Cost Effect
bounding boots equipment 33% additional reduced action cost of sprinting while worn. (you sprint at 3 times your normal movement speed instead of 2 times your normal speed)
Empty the Clips skill 50% temporary reduced action cost of firing pistols for twenty rounds.
Fastest Gun in the Rust skill 25% permanent reduced action cost of firing pistols.
medassist module cybernetic 80% reduced action cost of applying any tonic. Pre-loaded injectors are applied by the medassist module at no action cost.
micromanipulator array cybernetic 40% reduced action cost of Tinkering skills.
plastifer chem vest equipment 100% reduced action cost of applying any tonic.
rapid release finger flexors cybernetic 25% reduced action cost of firing pistols.
Short Blade Expertise skill 25% reduced action cost of bump-attacking while primary hand contains a short blade. Also applies to using the Hobble skill or the Shank skill with a short blade in your primary weapon hand.
Sprinting ability 50% temporary reduced action cost of movement.
steel butcher knife equipment variable reduced action cost of the Butchery skill (the action cost to butcher a corpse is divided by 1 plus the number of steel butcher knives currently equipped).
Swimming (the action) environmental +500 temporary action cost to movement while moving through any large pool of liquid.
Swimming (the skill) skill 50% permanent reduced action cost of swimming. (swimming costs only 250 extra action points, instead of 500 extra action points)
Telepathy mental mutation 90% reduced action cost of directing companions to perform tasks.
Two-headed physical mutation 20% or greater permanent reduced action cost of using mental mutations, depending on mutation level.

In addition, Movement Speed affects the action cost of a creature's basic movement action.


Modding note: at an internal technical level, this concept is referred to as "energy". "Action cost" is used in public facing materials to avoid confusion with things one thinks of first when thinking "energy".