how to attract migrants dwarf fortress
by Samuel James in
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Welcome to the wonderful world of Dwarf Fortress, a game that has been captivating players for over a decade with its unique blend of strategy, simulation, and fantasy. At its core, Dwarf Fortress is a game about survival, where you take on the role of a group of dwarves trying to build and maintain a thriving fortress in a dangerous and unforgiving world.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Dwarf Fortress is the incredible level of detail that goes into building and managing your fortress. From the layout of your rooms to the materials you use for construction, every decision you make can profoundly impact your success or failure. And of course, no fortress is complete without impressive and awe-inspiring structures that reflect the grandeur of your dwarven civilization.

In this article, we’ll delve into the art of creating and building structures in Dwarf Fortress, providing you with tips, tricks, and techniques to help you build the fortress of your dreams. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the game, you’ll find plenty of valuable insights and strategies to help you create a fortress that is as beautiful as it is functional. So grab your pickaxe and let’s get started!

How to build a bridge in Dwarf Fortress

To build a bridge in Dwarf Fortress, follow these steps:

  1. Gather materials: In order to build a bridge, you will need some stone blocks.
  2. Designate the area: Using the Build menu, designate the area where you want your bridge to be built. The area should be adjacent to a body of water or a chasm.
  3. Build the bridge: With the designated area selected, go to the Build menu and select the Raising Bridge icon. Your masons will then use the stone blocks to build the bridge.
  4. Link the bridge to a lever: Once the bridge is built, you will need to link it to a lever in order to raise and lower it. To do this, build a Mechanism and place it adjacent to the bridge. Then, go to the lever and select the “Link to Bridge” option. Finally, select the mechanism you just built.
  5. Test the bridge: After linking the bridge to the lever, test it by pulling the lever to raise and lower the bridge. If everything is working properly, you should be able to raise and lower the bridge with the lever.

Some common issues that players encounter when building a bridge include improperly linking the bridge to the lever and not having the correct materials on hand to build the bridge. To avoid these issues, make sure you have the required materials and follow the linking process carefully.

There are various design options for bridge building, including building a drawbridge for military combat and defense purposes. When designing the entrance to your fortress, consider using a bridge to cover the stairs leading down to your fortress, and protect it with a raising bridge.

By following these steps and being mindful of potential issues, you should be able to successfully build a bridge in Dwarf Fortress.

How to build a temple in Dwarf Fortress

Building a temple in Dwarf Fortress can be a complex process, but it can greatly benefit your dwarves by providing a place for worship, relaxation, and socialization. Here are the steps to follow in order to build a temple in Dwarf Fortress:

  1. Find a suitable location for your temple. This can be any indoor or outdoor area, but it should be large enough to accommodate the temple and have at least 25 tiles worth of surface area for your dwarves to use as a dance floor.
  2. Once you have found a suitable location, dig out or construct a room that is at least 25 tiles in surface area. This room will act as the initial dance floor for your dwarves. You can shape the space however you want, but it should be aesthetically pleasing and conducive to worship.
  3. After you have constructed the room, designate it as a meeting area. To do this, navigate to the meeting area menu and select the plus sign and wooden sign.
  4. Once you have designated the room as a meeting area, you can then assign it as a temple. To do this, navigate to the location menu and select “Temple” at the top. This will open a list of deities and churches. Select the appropriate deity or church to represent and assign the room as a temple.
  5. Your temple is now complete! You can add additional features and decorations to make it more appealing to your dwarves. Some common features include altars, statues, and symbols of the deity being worshipped.
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Remember, a temple is not only a place for worship but also a place for your dwarves to relax and socialize. Building a temple can help boost the morale and happiness of your dwarves, so take the time to make it an enjoyable space for them.

In summary, to build a temple in Dwarf Fortress: find a suitable location, construct a room with at least 25 tiles of surface area, designate it as a meeting area, assign it as a temple, and add additional features and decorations as desired.

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How to make a dining hall in Dwarf Fortress

To construct a dining hall in Dwarf Fortress, follow these steps:

  1. Build a table by selecting it from the build menu and placing it in the desired location. It is recommended to use a high-quality material, such as marble or gold, for the table to increase the room’s value.
  2. Designate the table as a room using the q-menu. Select the table and choose “Designate Meeting Area” to turn it into a dining room. It is recommended to resize the room to fill the entire space.
  3. Place food stockpiles nearby to make it easier for dwarves to grab a bite to eat. This can help to reduce the time it takes for dwarves to find food and eat it.
  4. Increase the value of the room by making it larger and smoothing the walls and floors. A larger room with smooth, engraved walls and floors will be more attractive to dwarves and increase their happiness. Adding high-quality objects, such as gold statues or finely crafted chairs, can also increase the room’s value.

By following these steps, you can create a functional and attractive dining hall in Dwarf Fortress. Don’t forget to set the proper zones in Dwarf Fortress by clicking the zone icon at the bottom of the screen and designating the dining hall as a meeting area.

How to make a guild hall in Dwarf Fortress

To create a guild hall in Dwarf Fortress, you must first excavate a room and designate the entire area as a meeting area. Once you have done that, click on the “+” symbol in the room options and choose to specialize the area as a guild hall of your desired profession. Guilds will establish themselves in civilizations that value craftsmanship and build guild halls, primarily in dwarven civilizations in an unmodded game, but human cities have been seen building guild halls as well.

Guild halls are not only a place for members of a guild to socialize, but they also serve as training grounds for guild members to improve their skills. Once a guild hall is constructed, its members will slowly be trained as if they were a military squad under training orders. It is important to note that guild halls may not be appropriate for all ages and may not be suitable for viewing at work.

In summary, to make a guild hall in Dwarf Fortress, follow these steps:

  1. Excavate a room.
  2. Designate the room as a meeting area.
  3. Click on the “+” symbol in the room options and choose to specialize the area as a guild hall of your desired profession.
  4. Guilds will establish themselves in civilizations that value craftsmanship and build guild halls.
  5. Guild halls serve as both social spaces and training grounds for guild members to improve their skills.

By following these steps, you can create a thriving guild in Dwarf Fortress and enjoy all the benefits that come with having a guild hall.

How to make a lever in Dwarf Fortress

To make a lever in Dwarf Fortress, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Construct a building on an empty tile by selecting the “b” key and then “T” to select the lever mechanism.
  2. Once you have constructed the lever, you can link it to other devices such as doors, bridges, or supports to control them remotely.
  3. To link the lever to another device, select the “q” key to access the lever’s menu and then select the “Link to a building/lever” option. You can then select the device you want to link the lever to.
  4. After linking the lever to a device, you can order the lever to be pulled by selecting the “q” key and then selecting the “Pull the lever” option. A dwarf with the lever operation labor will get assigned the job of pulling the lever.

It is important to note that a lever can be linked to more than one device, allowing you to control multiple devices with a single lever. Additionally, levers can be labeled and locked to prevent unauthorized use.

How to make a pit in Dwarf Fortress

Making a pit in Dwarf Fortress can be an effective way to trap or manage creatures, but it requires some knowledge of the game mechanics to do so successfully. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make a pit in Dwarf Fortress:

  1. Designate the area: The first step is to designate the area where you want to dig your pit. You can do this by selecting the designation tool and then choosing “pit/pond” from the list of activity zones. Make sure to designate the top of the pit (the hole and standing room around it) as the pit zone, not the floor at the bottom.
  2. Dig the pit: Once you have designated the area, use the dig command to dig out the pit. You can either dig straight down or use an alternated staircase on the side to prevent dwarfs from falling all the way down.
  3. Feed the animals: If you plan on putting animals in the pit, make sure to provide them with food. Grazers will require a larger open area with either grass or cave moss on the floor, while non-grazers such as pigs, dogs, and cats do not need any food.
  4. Mark the pit as a legal pit: In order for a pit to work, you must mark the top of the pit as a legal pit zone. You can tell if your designation is a legal pit because the zone screen will show a count of how many squares are legal pit locations within your zone. If it doesn’t show one or more, your pit will not work and will be ignored.
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By following these steps, you should be able to create a functional pit in Dwarf Fortress. Keep in mind that pits can be dangerous for dwarfs, so make sure to take appropriate safety precautions when constructing them.

How to make a meager study in Dwarf Fortress

To create a meager study in Dwarf Fortress, follow these steps:

  1. Craft a Wooden Chair: Visit the Carpenters Workshop and craft a Wooden Chair.
  2. Position the Chair: Once the Wooden Chair has been made, go to the Main Menu, select Furniture, and place it in your chosen room.
  3. Designate the Chair as an Office Zone: After positioning the Chair, press Zone and then click on Office. You must press the Chair twice to make it an Office Zone.
  4. Assign an Administrator or Noble: To complete the process of creating your meager study, choose the administrator or noble that you want to assign to the office. Note that any dwarf in need of a meager study can have the requirement fulfilled by a single chair in any room.

How to make a tavern in Dwarf Fortress

To create a tavern in Dwarf Fortress, you need to follow a few steps:

  1. Designate an area for the tavern: Select an area in your fortress where you want to create a tavern. Make sure it has enough space to accommodate tables, chairs, and other amenities. You can use the ‘i’ key to view the area you have designated for the tavern.
  2. Set the proper zones: To set the proper zones for the tavern, click the ‘zone’ icon at the bottom of the screen. This will give you a list of details about meeting area zones. You need to select the meeting area and highlight the designated tavern area.
  3. Create a tavern designation: Click on the shield with the plus sign and select “new inn/tavern” to designate your new space as a tavern. You can also give it a name to celebrate. Once you have designated the area as a tavern, dwarves will start to construct tables, chairs, and other furniture.
  4. Hire a tavern keeper: To hire a tavern keeper, press ‘n’ to access the nobles menu, and then select ‘tavern keeper’. The tavern keeper will manage your tavern and ensure that it runs smoothly.
  5. Add amenities: To make your tavern more attractive to dwarves, you can add amenities like mugs, goblets, and other items. To do this, press ‘b’ to access the build menu, and then select the ‘furniture’ option. You can then build furniture like tables, chairs, and mugs.

By following these steps, you can create a successful tavern in Dwarf Fortress. Remember to hire a tavern keeper to manage your tavern and keep it running smoothly. You can also add amenities like mugs and goblets to make your tavern more attractive to dwarves. With some effort and patience, you can create a bustling and thriving tavern in your fortress.

How to make a well in Dwarf Fortress

Making a well is an important task in Dwarf Fortress. It is crucial for the survival of your dwarves, as it provides them with a source of fresh water. In this guide, I will provide you with the steps on how to make a well in Dwarf Fortress.

The first step is to gather the required materials. According to, you will need the following materials:

  • A bucket
  • A chain or a rope
  • A block
  • A mechanism

Once you have all the materials, the next step is to dig a hole in the ground and fill it with water using buckets.

After filling the hole with water, you can now create a well using the materials you have gathered. The well requires one block, one bucket, one chain or rope, and one mechanism. Place the well on top of the water hole, and your dwarves will have access to fresh water.

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It is important to note that the well must have a clear vertical pathway straight down to the water source. The water source can be an artificial channel, an aquifer, a river, a lake, or an artificial reservoir, so long as it has water in it that’s at least 3 levels deep.

In some cases, it may be necessary to dig through an aquifer to get to the water source. Once you are directly on top of a light aquifer, you should dig a stairwell into its top layer. You can then dig out the tiles that are adjacent to the stairwell.

How to make an inn in Dwarf Fortress

Making an inn in Dwarf Fortress can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be a bit complicated. Here are some tips on how to make an inn in Dwarf Fortress:

  1. Set the proper zones: The first step in making an inn is to set the proper zones in Dwarf Fortress. Click the zone icon at the bottom of the screen and begin setting up a meeting area, inn/tavern, and dining hall.
  2. Assign tables and chairs: To create a dining hall in your inn, assign tables and chairs to it. One table can be designated as a dining hall meeting room and inn/tavern, but it may be best to assign each table as its own dining hall to avoid confusion among your dwarves.
  3. Build a library: If you want to speed up the writing process for your dwarves, build a library. Dwarves will use the library to write and research new works.
  4. Place a chair: If you have a dwarf who needs to study, placing a single chair in any room can fulfill their need. A chair in a tavern or bedroom can be used as a study area.
  5. Focus on scholars: If you want to create new works, focus on scholars. They are the ones who will research, discuss, and write new works, while scribes only copy existing works. Scholars use the Writer skill to create new works.

Overall, creating an inn in Dwarf Fortress can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it requires some attention to detail. By following these tips, you can create a successful and thriving inn in your game.

How to make an archery target in Dwarf Fortress

Archery targets in Dwarf Fortress are crucial for training marksdwarves, and can be built using different materials such as wood, stone, glass, metal, or blocks made from these materials. Here’s how to make an archery target in Dwarf Fortress:

  1. Build the Archery Target: First, you need to construct the archery target itself. This can be done using carpentry for wooden targets, masonry for stone or glass targets, or metalcrafting for metal targets. You can also use blocks made from these materials.
  2. Define the Archery Range: Once you have constructed the archery target, you need to define the archery range. Open the buildings menu by pressing q and select the target. Choose “Make archery range” and use + and – to define the size of the range. Then, use w, a, s, or d to set the shooting direction. Unlike other rooms, archery ranges do not require walls.
  3. Assign Your Squad: With the archery range defined, you can now assign your marksdwarf squad to train with it. Select the target using q and then press t to assign your squad(s) to train with it. Set the shooting direction with WASD. It’s recommended to dig two channels on either side of the range to collect all missed shots and reuse ammo.
  4. Living Target Training: In addition to traditional archery targets, you can also train your marksdwarves using living targets. To do this, select the squad menu by pressing s and then choose the squad you wish to have attack. Next, select the attack target, which can be a single target with the cursor, a number of targets by enabling selection by rectangle, or a list of targets.

In conclusion, building an archery target in Dwarf Fortress requires constructing the target itself and defining the range. With the range set, you can assign your marksdwarf squad to train with the target and even use living targets for more realistic training.

Wrapping up 

As we come to the end of our journey through the world of Dwarf Fortress, we hope that you’ve gained some valuable insights into the art of creating and building structures in this remarkable game. From designing grand halls to carving out intricate rooms and passageways, every structure in your fortress can be a work of art, and a testament to your skill and ingenuity as a player.

Whether you’re striving to create a grand dwarven citadel or simply looking to build a functional and efficient fortress, the tips and techniques we’ve shared can help you achieve your goals. By considering factors such as material selection, room layout, and overall aesthetic, you can create a fortress that is not only a testament to your skill, but also a thriving and successful bastion against the dangers of the world.

So pick up your virtual pickaxe, gather your dwarves, and start building the fortress of your dreams in Dwarf Fortress. With a little patience, practice, and creativity, there’s no limit to what you can achieve in this wonderful game.

Samuel James is a passionate writer with a love for MMO and ARPG games. When he's not busy exploring virtual worlds, he enjoys taking his dog for long walks and writing detailed gaming guides for XPGoblin. He also loves watching sci-fi films, with a particular fondness for the works of Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott.
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