Autopsy, Grave Rating, and Corpse Guide in Graveyard Keeper

In Short
  • Autopsy allows you to remove or replace body parts from a corpse using the preparation place.
  • All body parts have a different effect on the corpse, which we're covering in depth in this Graveyard Keeper guide.
  • The more white skulls the corpse has, the higher the grave rating can be.

Graveyard Keeper is all about making the corpses as good as they can be and then burying them in your graveyard. But how do you actually do that? How does autopsy work? What do body parts do? How to achieve all of those sweet white skulls? In this guide, we will answer all these questions with this corpse guide in Graveyard Keeper. So, if you’re a beginner, stick around to find out how to make the corpses good.

What Is the Point of Autopsy?

Autopsy in Graveyard Keeper is a process in which the player takes out or replaces body parts from the corpse. This mechanic is introduced at the beginning of the game and is the most important one. But, what is even the point of the autopsy? The point is to make as good of a corpse as possible.

A good corpse is one with lots of white skulls and no red or green skulls. So, if a corpse has only several white skulls and no red or green skulls, it’s still not a good corpse.

You’ll get bodies with both red and white skulls and your job is to get rid of the red skulls and leave only white skulls. However, if you’re not careful, white skulls will turn into green skulls. So, the way you improve a corpse is through autopsy.

Each of the body parts has its own skull value, which means they either add red and/or white skulls to the corpse. We will go in-depth on how each of the body parts behaves in the next section.

For now, let’s talk about the grave a bit. The reason you need white skulls is when you bury a corpse, the white skulls can be combined with the gravestone points to create a grave rating. If a buried corpse has lots of white skulls and the gravestone you used on it has lots of gravestone points, that grave will overall have lots of grave rating points. For more details on this, move to the last section of this guide.

How to Remove Body Parts and What Do They Do

When the donkey delivers a body, you should pick it up and transport it into the morgue. Note that this body will have a percentage above it. This is a freshness percentage. It will determine how fresh the corpse is. Once the percentage goes below 90, one white skull in the corpse will become a green skull. This will be the case for every 10% decay.

So, the higher the freshness percentage a corpse has, the better. In the early game, there is really no way to remove a green skull, so try to be quick. Later in the game, you can remove green skulls with embalming liquids.

After you have the body in the morgue, place it on the autopsy table or the preparation place. Once there, interact with the table with the body on top and the corpse menu will appear. Here, you can see the body parts you have unlocked through the technology tab.

Corpse menu showing every available body part in Graveyard Keeper

You may click on them to remove them. The popup window will always appear letting you confirm your decision. Removing each of the body parts will have a different effect on the body and its white and red skulls. Here is a detailed list of what removing each of the body parts does to the skull value of a corpse.

Body PartEffect of Removal
FleshRemoves 1 white skull
BloodReplaces 1 red skull with a white skull
FatReplaces 1 red skull with a white skull
BoneNo effect
SkinReplaces 1 white skull with a red skull
SkullAdds 1 red skull
BrainRandomly adds or removes 0-3 red and/or white skulls
HeartRandomly adds or removes 0-3 red and/or white skulls
IntestinesRandomly adds or removes 0-3 red and/or white skulls
Dark brainRemoves 4 red skulls and 1 white skull
Dark heartRemoves 4 red skulls and 1 white skull
Dark intestinesRemoves 4 red skulls and 1 white skull

Most of the body parts have a fixed skull value. However, important parts like the brain, heart, and intestines do not. They are given a random skull value of +/- 0-3 red and white skulls. This means you may come across one of these only providing one white skull to the body, whereas some other times you’ll find it providing 3 white and 3 red skulls.

Later in the game, you’ll be able to unlock the Cultist perk for 300 blue tech points. This perk allows you to see the red and white skulls of body parts, which means you can see how they affect the corpse. So this perk will allow you to see the exact skull value of important parts before you remove them.

Also, the Cultist perk may cause some confusion in the beginning. The value of the red and white skulls it displays is the case while this body part is in the body. This means that when you take out the body part, the effect will actually be opposite. So, in the case of blood, it says that it adds a red skull and removes a white skull when it’s in the body. If you remove it, it’ll replace a red skull with a white skull.

Viewing blood body part with the Cultist perk

Furthermore, in the corpse menu, you’ll also see a plus sign button that says Insert. This button will allow you to insert a body part that is missing into the body. So, you cannot add a part if it’s already in the body. Thanks to this button, you may insert a part providing more white skulls. Sometimes, red skulls are worth adding as well.

Usually, an important part that adds both white and red skulls is better than the one that just adds white skulls. This is because you can remove red skulls and add white skulls. The most obvious way to do this is by removing blood and fat, which will both replace one red skull with a white one. But that’s not all. You may also use embalming liquids to help you get rid of the red skulls and even add white skulls altogether. This is an advanced topic we’ll cover in another guide.

So, the more white skulls you have, the better. But also the more red skulls you have, the more of them you’ll be able to turn into white skulls if it’s possible.

One more important feature of the autopsy is the surgeon’s mistake. It appears randomly while removing a body part. You cannot remove it and it replaces 1 white skull with a red skull. The way you lower the chances of the surgeon’s mistake appearing is by unlocking the butcher perk and the surgeon perk. Moreover, the preparation place II or autopsy table II also lowers the chance of this happening.

Autopsy Examples in Graveyard Keeper

Now, let’s go over two autopsy examples, one from the early game and the other one from the mid to late game. This will help you realize how autopsy works.

Early Game

  • First, the corpses you’ll get in the game will have a low number of red skulls, usually one, two, or three. The body in our example has one red skull Also, I’ve unlocked the three technologies that allow you to remove all body parts. They are pretty cheap, so you can easily unlock them before the end of the first week.
Early game corpse with one red skull and two white skulls in Graveyard Keeper
  • So, our corpse has one red skull and two white skulls. It hasn’t deteriorated, so the freshness percentage is close to 100%. The first thing we’ll do is remove blood or fat.
  • This will replace one red skull with a white skull, leaving the corpse with only three white skulls.
Removed blood so the corpse now has only three white skulls in Graveyard Keeper
  • We still have the other part that replaces a red skull with a white one, so it’s a waste if we don’t remove it.
  • That’s why we’ll remove a skull from the corpse, as it’ll add a red skull to the body. This leaves us with three white skulls and one red skull.
Removed skull so the body has three white skulls and one red skull
  • Now, we can remove the fat or blood depending on which one is left and you’ll end up with four white skulls. Luckily, we didn’t get the surgeon’s mistake pop-up in this case, but it may show up for you.
Removed fat so the body has four white skulls in Graveyard Keeper
  • This body is pretty good for the early game, but again the number of white skulls matters a lot. Therefore, you’ll want to remove it from your graveyard later in the game.

Mid to Late Game

  • The corpse in this example has 5 white skulls and 4 red skulls.
More advanced corpse with four red skulls and five white skulls in Graveyard Keeper
  • The first thing we’ll do is remove fat and blood, as it’ll leave us with 7 white skulls and 2 red skulls.
Removed fat and blood so the body has two red skulls and seven white skulls
  • Then, we should take a look at the important parts. We have the Cultist perk, so we can see their skull values.
  • We’ll now show you two different methods using which you can deal with this body. First, if you don’t have any spare important parts lying around, you should then remove the skull. This will add one red skull to the corpse, so we’re left with 7 white skulls and 3 red skulls.
Removed skull so the corpse has three red skulls and seven white skulls in Graveyard Keeper
  • Three red skulls is a perfect number you can easily remove, thanks to gold and silver injections. These embalming liquids will replace 3 red skulls with 3 white skulls which will in the end yield 10 white skulls. You can then apply the glue injection and the final corpse will have 11 white skulls and no red skulls.
Added multiple different embalming liquids and the body has 11 white skulls in the end
  • Alternatively, instead of removing a skull, you could also use lye injection. It would add a red and white skull. After applying all other liquids, the corpse would have 12 white skulls in the end. This is a better way of doing it if you do have lye injection, though I did forget about this embalming liquid.
  • The second method involves replacing an important body part. The heart in this corpse adds two red and white skulls which is great. The intestines add only two white skulls, but I have nothing better than that.
  • Finally, the brain adds two red skulls and one white skull. I’ve got a spare brain in my inventory that adds only two white skulls. In this example, we’ll replace the two brains.
Viewing a brain body part that adds two red skulls and one white skull
  • So, we’ll remove the brain from the corpse and replace it with the brain that adds only white skulls.
Replacing the brain with another one that adds two white skulls
  • Now we’re left with a corpse with 8 white skulls. The next step is to remove the skull, so the body has 8 white skulls and one red skull. The better thing to do is to use lye injection here as well if you have it. You’d be left with 9 white skulls and one red skull.
Removed a skull so the corpse has one red skull and 8 white skulls in Graveyard Keeper
  • Then, you’ll want to add the dark injection to this body. This embalming liquid will add two additional red skulls. Then, we’re left with 8 white skulls and 3 red skulls.
  • Just as before, this is a perfect number of red skulls for the gold and silver injection combo. Don’t forget to add glue injection for an extra white skull.
  • After applying all these liquids, you’ll be left with a corpse with 12 white skulls (or 13 white skulls if you used the lye injection). You can also reach more white skulls if you have a better brain or intestines in this case.
After adding the embalming liquids the corpse has 12 white skulls in Graveyard Keeper

All Morgue Pallets and Tables Explained

While looking through the anatomy and alchemy technology tab, you’ll see there are some pallets and tables you can unlock. They provide different opportunities and advantages to help you in the autopsy process. View the table below to see exactly what these tables do in Graveyard Keeper.

Preparation place I/Autopsy table ISimple table that lets you remove or replace body parts from a corpse. Slows down the body’s decay.
Preparation place II/Autopsy table IIProvides same function as the preparation table I, but unlike it, this table also stops the decay of corpses completely and reduces a chance of a surgeon’s mistake occurring.
PalletSpot where you can place a corpse. This corpse will decay more slowly than if it were just on the ground.
Double PalletSpot where you can place two corpses. They will decay at a slower rate.
Fridge PalletSpot where you can place two corpses. Completely stops body’s decay.
Embalming table ITable where you can place a corpse and then apply any embalming liquid to. Slows down the corpse’s decay.
Embalming table IITable where you can place a corpse and then apply any embalming liquid to. Completely stops the corpse’s decay and also speeds up the embalming process.
Resurrection tableTable where you can turn a corpse into a zombie with 10 faith and 1 zombie juice.

All of these tables and pallets except the resurrection table increase morgue capacity. You can have as many bodies as the morgue capacity at any point, as long as the Donkey has enough carrots.

Grave Rating in Graveyard Keeper Explained

Now, let’s talk about the final stage of the corpse’s journey in this Graveyard Keeper guide. So, once you create as good of a corpse as possible, it’s time to bury it or turn it into a zombie. Today, we’ll be focusing on burying the corpse. Take it to the graveyard and dig a hole. Once you place the body in the hole, you cannot take it out without an exhumation permission.

Once you bury the body you’ll see it gets a rating right away. If it doesn’t have any red skulls, the rating will be 0.

Grave rating with no red skulls and no gravestones

If it does have red skulls, every single one of them will add a -1 value to the rating. So, it’s best if the corpses you bury in the graveyard don’t contain any red skulls.

Grave rating with red skulls and no gravestones

Now, interact with the grave and the menu will pop up showing the corpse’s skull value on the left, the selected gravestone and grave fence on the right. They are blank if you haven’t selected anything yet, the overall grave rating will appear in the middle.

Grave rating is the most important part of the grave. It works like this: the white skulls of a corpse get combined with the gravestone and grave fence points to create grave rating points. The grave rating cannot exceed the number of white skulls and the higher this rating is the more points your entire graveyard will have. So that’s why having lots of white skulls is important.

When it comes to the gravestones and grave fences, there is some strategy to them as well. The grave rating depends on the combined white skulls and gravestone points. So, if a corpse has 13 white skulls and you add a super fancy gravestone and grave fence to it so the gravestone points are 14, then only the 13 gravestone points will count, as that’s the number of white skulls.

Therefore, it’s a waste if you use a gravestone or grave fence whose points are not even used. Here’s a practical example. The corpse you buried has 13 white skulls. You add the marble sculpture IV as the gravestone, which adds 9 gravestone points.

Corpse has 13 white skulls and the player added a gravestone with 9 gravestone points

For the grave fence, you should only really go for the one that adds 4 gravestone points, like a simple marble grave fence, even though it’s not the best possible one. This will make sure you don’t waste the valuable gravestone points.

To not waste gravestone points player added a grave fence with only 4 gravestone points

So, that’s about it for this extensive corpse guide in Graveyard Keeper. This is a bit of a complicated topic and it may take some time for you to get used to all the mechanics. The embalming will help significantly in improving the corpse and therefore the grave rating, so it’s a good idea to play with it too if you haven’t already. That said, we hope this guide helped you get better at autopsy. If it did, don’t forget to share your experience in the comments below!

What do I do with body parts?

You can use body parts to make different alchemy products. Also, if you come across good important parts, you can keep them and put them in another body so you can make a super zombie. It’s also possible to make burgers out of flesh, which you can also sell to Horadric.

How do you get more corpses?

Well, this is mostly random. If you provide the Donkey with lots of carrots, it’s only a matter of time that he’ll deliver them.

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