Dwarf Fortress to come to Steam

Dwarf Fortress, the Greatest Game Ever Made That Hardly Anyone Has Actually Played, is going to be released in a “premium” form on Steam, with a custom integrated tileset and new music. $20.

The baseline game will still be available and free.

The sad thing is, this comes after like 16 years of development and basically just because health insurance in the US is so expensive that Tarn and Zach Adams need to make more money.

So yeah, I’ll be buying it - I’ve played DF off and on since before it went 3D, and it’s still one of the most incredible games ever made. Chucking some more money to the developers is the least I can do. Bringing DF to Steam is a great way to bring it to the attention of the largest possible audience, even if Valve is gonna take their cut.


I think it is also coming to itch.io, in case you don’t want to give money to Valve.


As someone who has always been daunted by Dwarf Fortress’ look, and now is interested due to a graphics update, is there a good youtube video or article about how to get started in the game?

This is what got me started: http://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/DF2014:Quickstart_guide

I recommend playing with the vanilla game at first to get a basic understanding, but you will eventually learn to appreciate the value of mods to help you manage the nightmarish UI; i would recommend starting with this one: https://github.com/Dwarf-Therapist/Dwarf-Therapist/releases/

Edit: also of note is that there already exist a number of near-official graphics packs which could help you get into the game for free if you’re just dipping your toes!

Edit edit: don’t let the complexity scare you away. Figuring out what the hell is going on and experiencing disaster at the hands of an obscure technicality IS the dwarf fortress experience, as far as I’m concerned


The key to learning Dwarf Fortress is to relax and realize that Dwarf Fortress is only partially about creating enormous Fortresses full of Dwarfs and more about creating ridiculous stories of hubris, failure, insanity, and rampaging elephants.

Oh, and like in any other game-where-you-build-stuff don’t get hung up by impressive stuff you see posted Online. It’s perfectly okay to start with a small and kinda ugly fortress. Some people have been playing this game for a decade, yo.

Alternatively, if the building/management doesn’t work for you, you could play the whole other game that’s included, which is Adventurer Mode.


This is most likely something that I am never going to play. Like EVE and Elite Dangerous, the stories people tell with it are much more interesting to me than actually engaging with the game itself.

That being said, Dwarf Fortress is one of the most compelling examples of games as their own, unique, artistic medium. It’s a fully interactive “installation” that its creator will probably be modifying for the rest of their natural life, which is pretty fucking cool, imo. I’m happy to see DF move to platforms like Steam and Itch, the latter more than the former obviously, and for it to be handled by the absolutely kickass Kitfox.

Addendum: It is well and truly fucked up and sad that this development was influenced by shitty health insurance. My heart goes out to the creators.


Does anyone know of a good Dwarf Fortress let’s play? I found watching Crusader Kings first helped me get solid footing.

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Quill18 is a Canadian youtube who has done a fair number.


I’m glad they’re putting this out with a nice, clean tileset. One of the barriers for Dwarf Fortress in my case was that looking at the world and the interface was just difficult to parse, and tilesets I tried to use would have overlap on some things that would just render them illegible. I’m interested to see what else they’ll do to make this game more accessible to a new player base.

Maybe it’s time to buy a PC.

I have tried it in the past but it is quite difficult to get going. Tileset looks pretty nice. Does the game have mouse support yet, or do you not even need it?

Name aside, I can highly recommend installing a Lazy Newb Pack (a starter pack). These tend to come with the mods you’ll need to give Dwarf Fortress at least a touch of interface usability as well as tools for making custom maps and exploring your world’s entities.

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There are also a few good guides on the wiki which genuinely do help new players get to grips somewhat with the interface and setting up.

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While it won’t teach you anything about how to play the game, everyone should read Boatmurdered (available on the LPArchive) to really understand the game.


This was my first exposure to Dwarf Fortress, and while I haven’t gone back and read it in a while, I do have very fond memories of the feelings I had while reading it.

Those elephants…

Bumping this thread to answer my own question.

A new series has been started by Jack De Quidt, previous Waypoint contributor and current Friend at the Table.

Jack says they’re an inexperienced player, but want to give a getting started guide for a complete beginner. They’re very slow and clear about it, but it’s also very fun to hear them get excited about parts of the game even when it’s just explaining how depth works in the game.

It’s 6 episodes in now, and posting frequently (but with no specific schedule). It’s been really helpful and I plan to try my hand at it once Jack’s gotten a bit further ahead to where I might feel capable of keeping a fortress steady.