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Dwarf Fortress – Beginner’s Guide

Design your fortress and help your dwarves survive.




dwarf fortress beginners guide

Dwarf Fortress is now out on Steam since December 6, 2022. Together now with other roguelike and indie games, you can now feel the thrill of making your own fortress where your dwarves will live.

If you are not yet quite familiar with this game, the main objectives of Dwarf Fortress are to be creative with how you construct the fortress and make sure that all your dwarves are receiving enough supply of food and water in order to survive. 

Beginner’s Guide for Dwarf Fortress

When talking about Dwarf Fortress, you should be familiarizing yourself with this pixel-looking environment. This is where you will be creating and modifying the areas where your dwarves will strive to live.

As the player who has full control of their fate, you must ensure the survival of each dwarf. Providing the necessities as well as providing comfort is your job. However, playing Dwarf Fortress is not just about those things. To help you out with the game, we made this brief guide for you.

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Floor Concept

Source: PC Gamer

The first thing that you have to do in Dwarf Fortress is to understand how the surface works. As you can see here, you have to work on each tile to be able to achieve the design that you want.

Basically, each tile is composed of a block and a floor. If you mine a tile, the block will be removed and the floor will be exposed. While if you channel a tile, it will remove both the block and the floor, leaving a ramp on the floor.

Knowing your Dwarves

As you already know, dwarves will inhabit the fortress that you are making which is why it is also just right to get familiar with them.

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Each dwarf unit can freely move from one tile to another, but their speed will vary depending on their type. Since these creatures love moving around, it is suggested to make your hallway 3 tiles wide. The reason here is that dwarves and other creatures can get in the way of a moving dwarf which greatly slows their movement. Staircases are also recommended to be built in 2×2.

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Source: PC Gamer

Another important thing to know is that they can squeeze their bodies between the corners of two filled tiles. Stronger creatures like trolls can also destroy locked doors. The best thing to do to keep them in their places is through the use of walls.


Source: PC Gamer

Food and drinks are also one of the most important things you have to consider in designing the fortress. During the early days of your game, your dwarves should be fine gathering resources from different biomes. Usually, they will use wild produce to make booze.

Booze is what they want to drink. Although dwarves also drink water, giving this to them always can get them extremely upset.

Bedroom Layout

Shown is a picture of one of the most common layouts that you can do. If you are wondering why it is so narrow and tight, it is because dwarves will definitely not mind how big their rooms are. All they want to have is a bedroom.

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Basically, these are just the basics that you have to know in playing Dwarf Fortress.

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