Although Dwarf Fortress is still in a work in progress, many features have already been implemented.

  • The world is randomly generated with distinct civilizations spanning over 1000 years of detailed history, dozens of towns, hundreds of caves and regions with various wildlife.
  • The world persists as long as you like, over many games, recording historical events and tracking changes.
  • Command your dwarves as they search for wealth in the mountain.
    • Craft treasures and furniture from many materials and improve these objects with precious metals, jewels and more.
    • Defend yourself against attacks from hostile civilizations, the wilderness and the depths.
    • Support the nobility as they make demands of your populace.
    • Keep your dwarves happy and read their thoughts as they work and relax.
    • Z coordinate allows you to dig out fortresses with multiple levels. Build towers or conquer the underworld.
    • Build floodgates to divert water for farming or to drown your adversaries... and don't forget the magma!
    • Surgery, sutures, splints, crutches and more: care for your wounded dwarves instead of leaving them to fend for themselves.
    • Much much more...
  • Play an adventurer and explore, quest for glory or seek vengeance.
    • Meet adversaries from previous games.
    • Recruit people in towns to come with you on your journey.
    • Explore without cumbersome plot restrictions.
    • Seamlessly wander the world -- up to 197376 x 197376 squares total -- or travel more rapidly on the region map.
    • Travel by day and search for a place to shelter as night falls.
    • Accept quests from the town and civilization leaders.
    • Retire and meet your old characters. Bring them along on an adventure with a new character or reactivate them and play directly.
    • Z coordinate allows you to move between twisting underground caverns and scale structures, fighting adversaries above and below.
    • Earn a reputation as a hero with the various civilizations in the world.
  • The combat model uses skills, body parts, individual tissues, material properties, aimed attacks, wrestling, one-time opportunities, charging and dodging between squares, bleeding, pain, nausea, various poison effects and much more.
  • A dynamic weather model tracks wind, humidity and air masses to create fronts, clouds, rain storms and blizzards.
  • Over two hundred rock and mineral types are incorporated into the world, placed in their proper geological environments.
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Bay12 Games has released their latest bugfix for the most recent edition of Dwarf Fortress: '0.47.04'. This will most likely be their final update to this version of the game for a while as they switch development over to the Steam version, which will have built-in graphics & music support.


While retaining a unique ASCII graphics style, this 'Classic' version of the game has continued to see a new update every year or two, adding new features & mechanics. First released on January 29th, 2020, major additions to version 0.47 included guildhalls, temples, & artifact-stealing villains to Fortress Mode, while ridable mounts for you & your party were added in Adventure Mode, along with deeper conversation options with NPCs.

One of the key features of the game is this ability to procedurally generate a whole world with it's own distinct geography & history, then either colonize it with a fellowship of 7 dwarves in Fortress Mode, or customize your own character & head out to explore the world yourself in Adventure Mode. As the years & updates have gone by, these two modes of play have become increasingly connected, allowing you to create a self-sufficient dwarven outpost from scratch in Fortress Mode, then return there with your adventurer to join its ranks or plunder its treasures.

Dwarf Fortress steam2

The vast amount of freedom Dwarf Fortress gives players with its deep game mechanics & multiple playstyles ensures they keep coming back to experience new stories emerging from their worlds as the game evolves. Developed since 2003, thus far Bay12 has given this game out for free, even supporting a dedicated modding community that has created their own graphics for the game. The next chapter for the long developed Dwarf Fortress will be to polish itself off & grace the Steam store, where dozens of games it has directly inspired have already earned a spot.

New players & those wishing to play the game with graphics rather than the ASCII symbols are recommended to start by downloading the 'Newb Pack'.


A list of features added to version 0.47.01 can be found below, while all changes & bugfixes can be found at

  • Guilds organize and petition for guildhalls, guild members can do skill demonstrations
  • Members of organized religions can petition for temples and priesthood recognition, priests give sermons and comfort stressed dwarves
  • Traitor dwarves, artifact heists, interrogation for crime from the justice screen, counterintelligence readout with organization charts
  • Most aquifers are much slower filling
  • Can start with a party in adventure mode
  • Specify background and starting location and beliefs in adventure mode (most labor skills still meaningless)
  • Can start with specified equipment and pets in adventure mode
  • Tactical combat mode for adventurer party
  • Adventurer can ride mounts, place items on pack animals, lead animals, claim pets, gift pets, and name pets (rider skill matters for melee/ranged rolls currently)
  • Can pet animals in adventure mode
  • Addition mood information in adventure mode conversations, (simple) interrogation options, flattery, joke-telling, calming remarks, (very simple) sermons
  • Simple intrigue display with actors and charts discovered in interrogation in adventure mode (in 'Q')
  • Divination shrines with dice and various effects
  • Lots of new intermediate positions (mostly without new mechanics) in entities (chamberlains etc.)
  • Alliances against world-ending threats in world generation
  • Various villainous activity in world generation, in play off-site, and (more limited) in fort mode, world generation surveillance, interrogation and punishment. Historical plots include theft, sabotage, abduction, assassination, coups, corrupt advancement promises, embezzlement, starting wars, and framing enemies.
  • Romantic relationship changes (multiple lovers, affairs, children outside marriage, divorces, etc.) as well as other relationship changes and details (friendship/rival types, variables like trust, respect and loyalty)
  • Merchant companies, military orders and mercenary companies, craft guilds in world generation
  • Individual mercenaries and companies can upgrade their equipment, and richer world gen people can purchase houses and build up their own city towers
  • Various religious interactions (shrine building, sermons, persecution) in world generation, lots of religious demographics tracking which influences shrine creation, religious sites and sermons influencing membership numbers, holy cities and a few levels of priest
  • Various horrifying new necromancer/mummy/demon/vampire etc. matter - snow-balling zombie invasions, multiple experiment types, intelligent undead lieutenants with new powers, nightmarish summons, spreading evil zones, promises of immortality in villainous plots
  • Dwarves can trigger dig-deep disasters in world generation, with repercussions coming to other sites, including fort mode
  • Some new locations, some map details still in-progress, monasteries, private city towers, guildhalls, merchant counting houses, forts (bandits and mercenaries), castles have returned (basically unchanged), better necromancer towers and simple outlying buildings
Newest Dwarf Fortress Release: Version 0.34.11

Newest Dwarf Fortress Release: Version 0.34.11

News 7 comments

This article covers the list of tweaks and bug fixes in the newest Dwarf Fortress 0.34.11 release.

Newest Dwarf Fortress Releases: Version 0.34.08/.09

Newest Dwarf Fortress Releases: Version 0.34.08/.09

News 3 comments

This article covers the list of tweaks and bug fixes, as well as a link for downloading the newest versions of Dwarf Fortress [0.34.08/.09]. The newest...

Newest Dwarf Fortress Release: Version 0.34.07

Newest Dwarf Fortress Release: Version 0.34.07


This article covers the list of tweaks and bug fixes, as well as a link for downloading the newest version of Dwarf Fortress (0.34.07)!

Dwarf Fortress Game Guide

Dwarf Fortress Game Guide

News 5 comments

O'Reilly Publishing--yes, the publisher of all of the C++ and Linux and everything-else-books--is publishing the first ever Dwarf Fortress tutorial!

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Lazy Newb Pack v9.2 with Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25

Lazy Newb Pack v9.2 with Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25

Full Version 11 comments

This package is for Newbs and those too Lazy to put everything together every new version. It includes the latest version of Dwarf Fortress, Graphics...

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (Intel Mac OS X SDL)

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (Intel Mac OS X SDL)

Full Version

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (Mar 28, 2011) with SDL support for Intel Mac OS X, music included.

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (Linux SDL)

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (Linux SDL)

Full Version

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (Mar 28, 2011) with SDL support for Linux, music included.

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (Legacy & No Music)

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (Legacy & No Music)

Full Version

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (Mar 28, 2011) with legacy support for Windows, music is not included.

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (Legacy & Music)

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (Legacy & Music)

Full Version

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (Mar 28, 2011) with legacy support for Windows, music included.

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (SDL & No Music)

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (SDL & No Music)

Full Version

Dwarf Fortress 0.31.25 (Mar 28, 2011) with SDL support for Windows, music is not included.

Comments  (0 - 10 of 210)

I know of a mod called Masterwork Dwarf Fortress on the bay12 forum. It has every thing the LNP has and more. you can get it here

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes

Thanks for posting this, I've checked MDF out and it was totally worth it!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

I don't know if i can post links like this, just let me know and i'll take it down

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

Hey! We're doing an Indie Of The Year special series on the Top 100! And we featured your game!

Check it out?

Thank you so much in advance! and we hope you like the video!

Alot of team effort went into it! So if you could help us out and spread the word we'd be so grateful and thanks again for your amazing game!!!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

I don't know which one i'm supposed to download :S
SDL or Legacy, what do these meannnn :S

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

They still talk about development on their site which is a small blessing I suppose, but updates that we can use are still nonexistent...

Reply Good karma Bad karma0 votes

I would love to see Dwarf Fortress win... however considering that there has been no major updates in some time, I doubt they will win this year.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

There is now an updated version of the Lazy Newb Pack available here:

I'm new to Desura, so I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but it would be probably a good idea to update the LNP here to this updated version.
Though the menu is .jar file instead of an .exe. Don't know if that might be a problem.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes

This game is awesome. I laugh out loud each time I play.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

The Newb pack isn't working for me, and now when I go to install the other pack it encounters a "Fatal Error"

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
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Dwarf Fortress
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Bay 12 Games
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Highest Rated (47 agree) 10/10

This game is a dream. A beautiful dream about opportunities and possibilities. But its beauty isn't defined by fancy visual effect nor endless spectrums of colors. Loving Dwarf Fortress reminds of ones purest love towards a human, aimed at whats inside rather than the outter visage. DF is saddly a love it or hate it kind of game. Its complicated and tricky, many times confronting the player with situations that require sacrifices, easilly slipping out of control into the famous "tantrum spirrals…

Dec 1 2010 by Lisek89

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