Best Dwarf Fortress mods for 2023

Location with water in  Dwarf Fortress.

Location with water in  Dwarf Fortress.

Dwarf Fortress' Steam release has given the game a second life. Even during the first day, the game was purchased more than 160,000 times, which is an excellent result for relatively unknown game developers. With the Steam release, a lot of the best Dwarf Fortress mods have also grown in popularity once more.

This guide will go over the best Dwarf Fortress mods for 2023. There will be some minor mods and essential modifications that will significantly improve and change your experience.

And while you are here, make sure you check our guide on how to get, farm, and get rid of water in Dwarf Fortress and our Dwarf Fortress beginner's guide.

Best Dwarf Fortress mods

Below, we'll explain why each of our choices are amongst the best Dwarf Fortress mods as well as link to them so that you can install them yourself.

See Through Smoothing Designations

See Through Smoothing Designations is a top tier Dwarf Fortress mod. It has 316 votes and an average rating of five stars, which is one of the main pieces of proof that this modification is worth your attention.

See Through Smoothing Designations mod helps you to fix the major glitch of Dwarf Fortress, allowing you to see the detailed stone and other blocks. Moreover, the mod should get regular updates, bringing various new features to the game.

Elder Scrolls Mod

Elder Scrolls Mod in Dwarf Fortress.
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If you want to change the in-game experience, the Elder Scrolls Mod is one of the best options available. The mod adds new metals and rebalances the old vanilla metals. Iron and vanilla iron become the worst resources with this mod.

One more significant change is that Elder Scrolls mod adds functionality to all playable game races. Also, the developer of this mod announced that he wants to make orsimer and nords playable. So, the best option is to follow this mod's progress as it might bring more critical changes in the future.

Reduced Z-Level Fog

Reduced Z-Level Fog is one more modification in this list of the best Dwarf Fortress mods that is aimed to fix the graphic problems in the game. Many players noticed that the elevation mechanic works too severely and does not allow you to see the down elevation layers. It could create various problems once you are climbing the hill and want to ensure you are safe.

This mod adds additional transparency to the fog, making it more gradual so that you will be able to see through the fog better. It significantly improves the game and makes it more realistic.

Snailing Race

Snailing Race in Dwarf Fortress.
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Even though it might sound strange, Snailing Race adds a new playable Snail race to Dwarf Fortress. Unlike real-life Snails, Snails in the game have four limbs, allowing them to hold four equipment pieces simultaneously. For example, you can carry two weapons and two shields to get improved attack and defensive stats.

Moreover, the developer announced that he has an update plan for this modification. So, there is no doubt that you should expect various positive changes from this update soon.

Dizzy’s Killer Carp

Dizzy’s Killer Carp in Dwarf Fortress.
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Killer Carp is one the most terrifying creatures feared by players worldwide, but it was deleted from the game even before the Steam release. Dizzy’s Killer Carp mod allows you to bring back this legendary monster to the game. As the description of this modification says, Carp are hungry, aggressive, and deadly. It will return the previous fear of the rivers and lakes to the game.

Also, the developer of this mod has made various others. So, if you like the Killer Carp, feel free to check their other mods as you may find something else interesting.

Disable Bird Screech

If you like playing games with sound, Dwarf Fortress is not the best option. The game features various annoying sounds that can be frustrating. Moreover, most of the annoying sounds can not be turned off in the in-game settings, which is probably one of the most significant problems of Dwarf Fortress.

Installing Disable Bird Screech permanently deletes the worst sound in Dwarf Fortress, the Bird Screech.

Better Instruments

Better Instruments in Dwarf Fortress.
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The instrument system in Dwarf Fortress is annoying. Every player has different instruments set up from the start of the game. Moreover, the primary tools in the game are dull. Fortunately, all your problems can be solved by installing one modification - Better Instruments.

It adds 21 new instruments available for different races and two new plants to the game. The mod has a license and is planned to be regularly updated.


Dwarvemon is the most significant modification in Dwarf Fortress nowadays. Installing it allows you to combine the Pokemon universe and Dwarf Fortress, creating a unique combination.

By installing this mod, 898 new Pokemon will appear in the game, including the new Gen nine Pokemon. Moreover, every Pokemon saves its abilities from primary Pokemon games. It can evolve and use its moves, and if you want to find out more about this mod, feel free to install it right now.

Squad & Burrow Icons

Squad & Burrow Icons in Dwarf Fortress.
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Squad & Burrow Icons is the only interface modification in this list. It changes the ordinary symbols of the military squad screen and burrows screen. But as with any other graphic modification, it is subjective. The best option is to check it and decide whether it suits you.

Audible Alerts

While playing Dwarf Fortress, the game will always let you know when an accident happens. The main disadvantage of this Alarm System is that it uses only one small notification at the edge of your screen, so many people don’t notice it. Audible Alerts Mod can solve this problem once and forever. It makes every notification in the game go with sound, which is a necessary improvement for every player.

That’s it for the best Dwarf Fortress mods for 2023. Various modifications can improve your game in a different way. And the longer the game exists, the more unique mods appear on the net. And while you are still here, make sure to check our mining guide for Dwarf Fortress.

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