Dwarf Fortress mining guide

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Location with water in Dwarf Fortress.
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The Dwarf Fortress mining mechanics are arguably the most important mechanics to get a complete grasp of. The system not only allows you to get ores and gems but also enables you to create tunnels and new rooms inside your fort. It is nearly impossible to survive in Dwarf Fortress without perfect knowledge of mining.

In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about mining in Dwarf Fortress, including useful information not only for beginners but also for experienced players.


And while you are here, make sure to check our Dwarf Fortress review. Also, we have a list of the best open-world games for Android.

Desert in Dwarf Fortress.

How to start mining in Dwarf Fortress

Even though it might look challenging, you can start mining in Dwarf Fortress in a few minutes, even if you are a beginner. First, you should open the Designations Menu to select the actions you will complete while mining. Every action has a specific button on the keyboard, and in the list below, you can find the button for every function.

  • d - mining
  • h - channeling
  • r - upward ramp
  • u - stairs towards the upper level
  • j - stairs toward the lower level
  • i - stairs in both directions

Once you have selected the desired actions, move your cursor to the primary point and click the Enter button. It will activate the special green light, indicating that you have entered a selection mode. You only need to set the ending point for your mining and press enter again to start mining.

Also, you can set a priority for your actions using + and -. Generally, setting priority is one of the most challenging things about mining. So, it would be best to avoid it once you are at the beginning stages of the game.


What can be mined in Dwarf Fortress?

The building in Dwarf Fortress.

There is only 1 rule about the resources you cannot mine in Dwarf Fortress. It is impossible to mine constructed objects like walls, stairs, or ramps. They should be destroyed using a Remove Construction. All other resources can be mined in Dwarf Fortress.

How to make a Dwarf Miner

If you do not want to spend a significant amount of time mining resources, you can make a dwarf miner and ask him to do it instead. First, you should use the V, P, and L buttons to open the occupation menu. Select the mining using + and -. After that, you need to provide a Dwarf with a pick to start mining. Also, keep in mind that a single dwarf can have only one occupation.


How to Train Mining

Mining in Dwarf Fortress is a skill, and like any other skill, it can be mastered to the perfect level. Every time you mine ore, stone, gem, or soil, you get mining experience. Even though every tile gives the same amount of EXP, the soil is mined faster than others. Therefore, it gives more experience per hour.

That’s all there is to know about mining in Dwarf Fortress. Even though it looks challenging, you can start mining even if you have just started playing the game. Hopefully this guide will come in handy while playing Dwarf Fortress and while you are still here, make sure to check our Dwarf Fortress beginner's guide.