Dwarf Fortress is an imaginary world construction and management simulator. Every time you load a new game, an entire world is created from scratch. At first glance, the bearing appears colorful but simple and two-dimensional, allowing for visual comparisons with computer coding. A closer look reveals the complexity of the DF. This beginner’s guide is intended to provide an overview of the game, including its beginnings, key controls, building tips, etc. All this with the aim of building a small, functional underground fort.

See Dwarf Fortress starter pack, Wiki

Before diving into the DF, download the starter pack, which contains graphical updates, tools, bug fixes, and a whole list of other useful things. It is an important turning point for beginners, it gives them a foundation to start on the right foot. Also, the Dwarf Fortress wiki is an excellent resource at all times – sooner or later you’ll probably need to refer to it. Since DF is considered a fairly complex game, resources are recommended.

Beginning of activity

To get started, choose Create New World. The parameters appear – let’s not talk about that now. When you’ve gotten a little more experience with the game, feel free to come back here and handle things. Hit-I, the beginning of a whole new world. As mentioned before, game worlds are created in a totally random way and only take a few minutes to develop. This means that things like geography, natural resources, animals and minerals are completely random every time you start a new game. When everything is loaded, press the enter key to complete the world.

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Jump to

Once your world is created and ready to use, select Start Game. There are three options to choose from: Fortress of the dwarves, adventures and legends. Take the Dwarf Fortress; this is the optimal mode for beginners and it offers the raw experience meant for DF. Your next task will be to choose the location of the fortress. DF is a game where dwarves are coordinated and tasks are assigned to them. However, dwarves can deviate from your plans because of their mood and personal ambitions. They often feel like they have a will of their own.

  • Fortress Mode – Prepare your colony and choose a goal for colonization. Build an underground fortress as thoughtfully and effectively as possible to survive in a threatening world.
  • Adventure Mode – Enter Adventure Mode by creating and controlling a character.
  • Legend Mode – Read the history of your randomly generated worlds.

Location of the fort

The next screen is a little strange: Choose where in the world your dwarves want to build their fortress. Three areas of the map are displayed: The world, the region and the terrain. Use the arrow keys to move through an area of your page. Then use the UHKM keys (as if they were the arrow/WASD keys) to choose a place in your area. Basically, choose a spot with trees and a water source nearby. Then press E to send and select Play Now. You can go now.

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Key commands

  • Go to – View items
  • V – Display units
  • T – Displaying objects in buildings and workshops
  • Space bar – pause the game
  • ESC – Exit the menu you are currently in.
  • TAB – Bike with different menu options
  • Arrow keys – map navigation
  • < or > – navigate to different underground levels (dwarves like to dig).
  • F1 – back to the starting point (in case you get lost).

These commands give you a good overview of what’s going on, as well as general navigation. Don’t forget to check out the full list of Dwarf Fortress commands once you become more familiar with the game.

Time to dig

Now look at your gnomes and the boarding place you have chosen. The goal of this phase is to build a fortress, preferably underground. Underground forts offer better protection against enemies. If possible, try to find a hill nearby. If you press the D button twice, a yellow X on the map will appear on the screen. Place an X at one of the corners of the rectangle you want to mark with a Dig and press the Enter key. Then move the next X to the other corner of the rectangle and press Enter again. The rectangle will be marked and the dwarf miner will start digging as soon as you leave the marked state and start the game by pressing the space bar.

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Building, experimenting, constructing

On the main screen, choose B to bring up the build menu, then choose W to see all the different workshops you can build, including the Farmer’s Workshop, the Quern, the Fisherman’s Workshop, and more. Basically, building these buildings in your underground fortress is the solution, so play with it and experiment: The sky is the limit.

Don’t be afraid to fail, because you will fail.

Take the opportunity to learn the basics of your first forts, such as building, excavating, mining and using the workshop. Later forts had to focus on intermediate functions such as agriculture and supply. Remember, every fort you build is a learning experience. As you begin, build up your strength to feel things, and don’t be afraid to do it again – because you will. Rinse and repeat several times. During this process, you’ll become more and more immersed in the game and gain more and more confidence as the game progresses.

image via reddit.com/r/dwarffortress

Tips and Tricks

  • The story viewer offers a wealth of useful information about the world.
  •  The aquafer is the layer of water below ground that is best avoided when building on or near it.
  • DF is about learning from your mistakes – keep that in mind and experiment as much as you can.
  • Plan ahead during construction, for example. B. increasing the space to accommodate more structures/workshops in your forts.
  • Dwarves need food and water, but they thrive on alcohol. If they only drink water, they won’t be as productive.

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