[Top 3] Oxygen Not Included Best Starting Dupes

Oxygen Not Included Best Starting Dupes
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[Top 3] Oxygen Not Included Best Starting Dupes

Never Question Your Starting Duplicant Stats Again!

Starting a new base is no light decision. The three duplicants you begin your journey with determine the course of your colony. With so many roles, attributes, positive and negative traits, and everything else, it isn’t easy to know what team will put you on the right path.

Do you want to focus on development, or do you want to clear the research tree as quickly as possible? 

Do you plan to excavate like crazy initially, or is it more of an as-needed basis?

Do you want to establish a farm and ranch early on? Or are you okay with scavenging for food for a while?

Your starting duplicants' stats affect all these questions. Before launch, let’s go through the details, and I’ll show you exactly who you need. Let’s get started.


Duplicant Skills

Each duplicant is randomly generated with a set of attributes, a positive and negative trait, a stress reaction, and an overjoy reaction. 


There are 11 different attributes that each duplicant can have. Dupes level up attributes by completing the errands related to them. Attributes express how efficiently dupes do those errands.

Positive and Negative Traits

There are 15 positive and 18 negative traits duplicants can possess. We won’t go through them all now, but there are a few that you do not want in your starting dupes. A mixture of these undesirable traits is a recipe for sure destruction.

Those negative traits are: 


The dupe can’t dig. Not only is that exceedingly unproductive in the beginning, but it’s also really inconvenient when the ceiling collapses, and Ellie The Trypophobe is stuck in chlorine because she can’t dig herself out.


The dupe can’t build. This wouldn’t be as big of an issue, except dupes tend to get stuck in places (like water) and need to build a ladder to get out. Sometimes they need to build that ladder quickly and can’t wait for another duplicant to build it for them. 


The dupe randomly falls asleep. Do you know what happens when a dupe is narcoleptic? They fall asleep anywhere! This means it’s only a matter of time before Abe The Narcoleptic passes out underwater.


The dupe farts. Frequently. I thought this would be funny, and it was. But it also adds a lot of natural gas. You don’t want that starting at Cycle 1. Trust me. 


When they’re exposed to floral scents (like from Bristle Blossoms or Buddy Buds), the dupe sneezes. This allergic response is not only annoying, it also cuts into productivity and spreads germs. 


Stress Reaction and Overjoy Reaction

These are simply added reactions for when your dupes are happy or stressed, so we won’t focus on the Overjoy Reaction or Stress Response too much. 

I prefer the Ugly Crier or Vomiter stress response because it creates polluted water and saltwater that I can use later (it’s better than them eating all the food and breaking my stuff).

As for the Overjoy Reaction, I like Balloon Artist and Sticker Bomber the best, but mainly because I like seeing the stickers and balloons. They offer a nice morale bonus for the dupes (and make your base look fun for a few cycles).

I try to get researchers with a Super Productive Overjoy Reaction because it makes researching go faster.


TOP 3 ONI Best Starting Dupes

Now that we’re all on the same page regarding duplicant skills, let’s talk teams. Here are the Top 3 Oxygen Not Including Best Starting Dupes for the three main methods of starting a colony.


TEAM 1: Digger + Builder + Researcher

I like to put as much focus on building and researching as excavating, so my go-to dupes when starting out always include a digger, Builder, and Researcher. This allows me to get the basics done before focusing on anything special like farming, doctoring, decorating, or anything like that.

Team 1: Lindsay the Digger, Ari the Builder, and Joshua the Researcher.


The Digger does all the heavy lifting, so I make sure to get a +7 in excavation and the Mole Hands trait. They are also in charge of any attacking, so they can’t have the Pacifist negative trait. I usually go with Squeamish since I don’t expect them to have much time to heal others.

  • +7 Excavation
  • Mole Hands
  • Squeamish


The Builder focuses on building but also needs to be able to dig out areas (so they can build). They get +7 in construction and the Mole Hands trait as well. I typically go for the Yokel negative trait, as I don’t need my Builder doing any research.

  • +7 Construction
  • Mole Hands
  • Yokel


The Researcher is in charge of researching and operating, so they get +7 science and the Grease Monkey trait. Their negative trait is typically Pacifist because they won’t be doing any attacking, and I might need them to do some doctoring or cooking errands later. 

  • +7 Science
  • Grease Monkey
  • Pacifist


TEAM 2: Digger / Builder + Digger / Suit Wearer + Research Operator

This little team is an excellent set of dupes for clearing the rubble early. It’s also a good set if you have the Spaced Out! DLC and want to head to the second asteroid as soon as possible. With two starting diggers and one with the Suit Wearing interest, you’ll be ready to teleport to the next asteroid almost immediately. 

Team 2: Marie the Digger/Builder, Ruby the Digger/Suit Wearer, Gossman the Research Operator.

Digger / Builder

This Digger is also the Builder, so they have +3 excavation and +3 construction. However, since they are a digger, they have the Mole Hands trait. They won’t build as fast as a +7 construction dupe, but they will be able to clear rocks more quickly to build, so it’s not a bad trade-off. They aren’t the Researcher, so it won’t be a problem if they have the Yokel negative trait.

  • +3 Excavation, +3 Construction
  • Mole Hands
  • Yokel

Digger / Suit Wearer

THIS Digger, however, is a little different. With +3 excavation and +3 suit wearing, they are a bit more flexible. You can train up the building attribute, and with the Mole Hands trait, they will be ready to head to the next asteroid in no time! Give them Gastrophobia for a negative trait if you can (they’ll be too busy to be in the kitchen anyway).

  • +3 Excavation, + 3 Suit Wearing
  • Mole Hands
  • Gastrophobia

Research Operator

The Researcher on this team is also a little different from the previous one. Not for any specific reason, just to show another good option for a researcher. With +3 science, +3 operating, and the Quick Learner trait, you are sure to have a dupe that can research, operate machinery, and level up quickly. Again, I usually pick Pacifist for the Researcher’s negative trait.

  • +3 Science, + 3 Operating
  • Quick Learner
  • Pacifist


TEAM 3: Digger / Builder + Farmer / Rancher + Research Operator

If you don’t mind taking your time when you start a new colony, maybe a set of dupes with a mixed skill set is better for you. This team consists of a Digger / Builder, Farmer / Rancher, and Research Operator. One dupe can focus on development while another takes care of the food, and the last handles research and operations. 

Harold the Digger/Builder, Travaldo the Farmer/Rancher, and Otto the Research Operator.

Digger / Builder

Similar to the previous Digger / Builder, this dupe has +3 excavation and +3 construction. Since it’s vital to have good excavation at the beginning of the game, they also have the Mole Hands trait. They won’t be doing any cooking, so I gave them Gastrophobia (sorry, Harold).

  • +3 Excavation, +3 Construction
  • Mole Hands
  • Gastrophobia

Farmer / Rancher

To establish a good stockpile of food, it’s a good idea to have a farmer/rancher early on. The best way to ensure this is to get one out of the Printing Pod. This one has +3 agriculture and +3 husbandry, which will be very useful when it comes time to farm and ranch. 

The Twinkle Toes trait will allow them to move a little faster and help out with supply errands. I decided to go with the Yokel trait since they might need to do some cooking later, but definitely won’t be researching anything.

  • +3 Agriculture, +3 Husbandry
  • Twinkle Toes
  • Yokel

Researcher / Operator

This Research / Operator is the same as the last (why fix what isn’t broken?). Research is critical in progressing in the game, so it’s vital to have a researcher that can get it done. This one has +3 science, +3 operating, the Quick Learner trait, and the Pacifist negative trait. 

  • +3 Science, +3 Operating
  • Quick Learner 
  • Pacifist


The Results

Whether your goal is to clear as much space as possible, build a glorious starting base, or establish a strong foothold on food, we have you covered with these three ONI Starting Teams. 

Do you have any suggestions? Tweaks? Concerns? Let us know! Share your favorite starting dupes!


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