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 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.pngbounding 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.pngmedassist 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.pngmicromanipulator array cybernetic 40% reduced action cost of Tinkering skills.
Plastifer chem vest.pngplastifer chem vest equipment 100% reduced action cost of applying any tonic.
Rapid release finger flexors.pngrapid 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.pngsteel 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 mutation.pngTelepathy mental mutation 90% reduced action cost of directing companions to perform tasks.
Twoheaded mutation.pngTwo-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.

Notes

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".