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Automating Duress to Impress — The Stress Sensor

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[I posted this first to Reddit.]


A dupe sensor outside a massage table can detect when a dupe's stress has reached a chosen limit. Then it can send a signal for automated systems to provide stress relief. The same signal can lock the door before the dupe arrives at the table, so they never actually use it.

I haven't tested this setup's total effectiveness, but I believe it will remove most of the legwork.

The Longer Version

Let's assume your dupe has a smallish, constant source of stress (e.g., somewhat low morale) keeping them above 60% despite various stress reducers (e.g., sleep). How do you keep their stress from increasing to 100, without micromanaging their every move or wasting time at a massage table?

One possibility is to severely restrict their movements and interactions with other dupes so as to deny them unplanned sources of stress and relief. It may be possible to get their stress up to e.g. 80% and then keep it there. But the smallest disruption might ruin your perfect balance, and with +7 to all attributes you probably want them contributing to your base as much as possible.

Introducing: The Stress Sensor

r/Oxygennotincluded - Automating Duress to Impress — The Stress Sensor

How it works:

  • The massage table is set to a high but not critical stress level.

  • When the dupe hits that stress level and heads to the table, the dupe sensor detects them and locks the door on the left, denying them access. They leave.

  • Filter gate(s) delay the door from opening after they leave, long enough for their stress to drop (so they don't waste time trying again). Probably 0.5 to 1.5 cycles.

  • They aren't permitted access to any other massage tables, so they go about their day as usual.

  • The door on the right doesn't permit any other dupes to enter. The dupe sensor will ONLY activate when your chosen dupe reaches the predetermined stress level and tries to access the massage table.

  • The same signal that locked the door provides access to more efficient stress relief (see below).

  • After a predetermined time, the stress reliever(s) run out or are deactivated.

On most maps, this setup can be built almost as early as you please.

Proposed Methods of Automated Stress Relief

  • The dupe gains access to better food for a day or two (and access to their usual food is restricted).

  • The dupe gains access to frost burgers (-20% stress reduction for two days, may be too powerful)

  • An airlock opens, allowing floral scent to waft into their bedroom (not a huge difference over 2-3 schedule blocks but may be the change you need, alone or in combination with others)

  • The dupe gains access to better rooms and buildings (bathroom, Great Hall, showers, recreation)

  • Any direct methods you're using to stress them are temporarily disabled (e.g., a door opens allowing them to route around a pond instead of going through it and getting sopping wet).

Automation Layer

r/Oxygennotincluded - Automating Duress to Impress — The Stress Sensor

The sensor passes through a NOT gate, then a filter gate. I've combined the resulting signal with a switch via an OR gate so I can force the door open at will. Actually might not need the door at all...looks like the table itself can be disabled.

Note: In reality, you'll probably need multiple filter gates, since each can delay for only 1/3rd of a cycle. (Also, this image doesn't show the signal leaving the frame to provide stress relief somewhere else.)

Failsafe and Tiered Responses

r/Oxygennotincluded - Automating Duress to Impress — The Stress Sensor

In this version, if the automated stress relief isn't enough, the dupe goes to a second massage table when they reach a higher stress requirement. I've added a dupe sensor with an alarm so I'll know they're struggling.

If we wanted to, we could even put a third massage table between these two, with an intermediate stress requirement and an additional tier of automated stress relief. If dinner in the Great Hall didn't work, maybe tomorrow they eat a frost burger.

Side-note: I didn't realize until I made this post that massage tables can be combined with other stress relievers to speed up their work.

  • Table in clinic: 60% per cycle

  • Floral scent: 5%

  • Carpet: 15%

  • Light between 40k and 72k lux (I've gestured at this with the glass ceiling -- you could use 1-2 sun lamps instead): 10%


  • They do have to walk towards the table from time to time. With the right morale/stress setup, it might be a rare occurrence.

  • This build won't tell you if their stress is getting too low. Possibly, two dupe sensors at either end of a hallway they frequent can time whether their athletics has dropped below a certain threshold (i.e., because the +7 gain isn't in effect) and warn you or provide automated stress increase. You would have to update the timing between the sensors periodically as their athletics increases. Any better ideas?

  • You still need to keep their morale from getting too low or too high, and will experience morale fluctuations.

Thoughts? Anything I've missed? Interested to see results if any of you try it out (I'll get there eventually).

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An interesting approach. Which difficulty you are playing at? On extra hard Duress dupes may be abused quite simple. Main idea is that bonus of high morale (-20%) totally negated by difficulty penalty (+20%). Meaning that without any other stress effects dupes could stay at the same level forever

Yes there are still sleeping and dupes interaction, so we need to add something causes extra stress for them. I usually build an water lock at the bedroom entrance. One tick of "sopping wet" debuff do the thing quite well

There is only problem in unpredictable nature of interaction stress reduction thats cant be counted or automated. So sometimes stress will grow faster than reduce and dupe still have to go to clinic. Usually it happens 1-2 times in 100 cycles, but this is not big deal I guess. 


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I'm curious if disabling a massage table after 200seconds of use (filter gate) (dupe motion sensor touching only the active cell of the massage table) to remove upto 20% (or less time/more reduction if combining with tickled tootsies) stress from a 90% stress dupe would be sufficient automation?

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