Your First Fortress: A Dwarf Fortress Crash Course

Your First Fortress: A Dwarf Fortress Crash Course

Hello! And welcome to my tutorial for the game Dwarf Fortress.
Now, I’m going to go ahead and assume you haven’t played the game before,
and so our goal today is to get you started playing
what is considered by many to be the most complex video game ever created.
But, don’t let that scare you.
I’m actually going to show you that it’s not that bad. In fact, I should also mention that
Dwarf Fortress isn’t technically a game either.
It’s more a fantasy world simulator.
So keep that in mind as we go through this. The goal isn’t to win, like a game.
The goal is to have an experience.
That being said, I’m probably going to continue calling it a game, out of force of habit.
You know how it is. Now I plan for this to be a rather
basic tutorial. And so today we are actually going to be trying to
cram all this information into a single half-hour episode.
And you know what? We have a lot to learn today.
And so we should get straight to it, shouldn’t we?
Now then, starting at the very beginning we have to install the game.
So, we just have to go over to
Which will bring us to the Dwarf Fortress website. And we can head over
here and download whatever one we want. I’ll be downloading the Windows version.
And once that’s all set we can go down here
Show in folder. And we are going to extract this.
Easy enough, right?
Now, this is just the way I typically go about doing it. If you like to install things differently go straight ahead.
Now, I’m going to throw this thing right out here on the desktop.
And we are going to call it something clever, like “DF”.
There we go. Now we are going to open that file,
Go down to Dwarf Fortress, and we’re going to open it.
Alright and you see the game opens up. There is a nice little intro here.
But the window is far too small.
And so we’re going to have to adjust that a bit
Plus, I’m gonna show you how to install a basic tile set.
We’re gonna be using my own today, because I always have people ask me how to install that thing.
So yeah, I’m just gonna show you how to do that.
We’re just gonna quit out of the game for now. There we go.
Now then, we’re going to come over here.
Go to “data”
And we’ll go to “art”.
There are all the current tile sets that come with the game.
And we’re gonna throw in this file right here.
Just a bit-map file, called “Kruggsmash”.
This is my tile set. And we’re going to put a link to it down in the description below this video.
And so you can snag it there.
Now that the file’s in there, we have to tell the game to use it.
So we’re going to go back. Down to “init”.
And once again “init”, this text file.
We’re just gonna change a couple of things here.
I’m going to turn the sound off. Just because I’m recording the game here.
And we’re not going to want this windowed, either.
And now, let’s see here, we’re gonna go down to…
Full screen, I’m gonna keep these both as 0.
Because then the game will resize the window to my screen.
But then down here, we’re gonna change this “curses” to “kruggsmash.bmp”
Couple other things I’d like to do here.
I’m going to change BLACK_SPACE to “NO”.
In TRUETYPE I’m going to change to “NO”
And… yeah, that’s gonna be about it.
So we’re going to save, and close this.
One other thing I’d like to do, is to go to “colors” here.
And I’m going to change the colors that are found in the game,
to my own color values, which can be found in the description as well.
There we go, just like that. Real easy.
Now we’re going to save. Close that.
And now I think we can start the game. Let’s see.
Ah, yes, there we go. Skip the intro.
And now we’re ready to start playing Dwarf Fortress!

So we now have a set of wooden double-doors going into the fortress.
Pretty neat, right?
Now we’ll unpause the game and see what happens.
Here you can see that all the dwarves are heading over to the Carpenter Workshop and grabbing furniture
And then they’ll run inside and put it wherever we have it placed.
There we go!
You could say our little fortress is coming right along, isn’t it?
However, I’m going to pause the game here
Because the dwarves aren’t going to use these rooms unless I tell them to use these rooms.
And to do that we can hit ‘q’ just like we do with the farm plot or the workshop

100 thoughts on “Your First Fortress: A Dwarf Fortress Crash Course”

  1. Why do you almost always draw your dwarves with pale skin and european features even when they’re described as having brown or cinnamon skin and broad noses? Seem like… a bit of a bias.

    Anyway, good intro! I don’t like that you used a custom tileset for an introductory tutorial, since it makes it a bit harder to parse when using default settings, but besides some ugly characters (0, +, etc) it’s not too bad at all. Big help!

  2. My first 'successful' fort bugged out when all the dwarves stopped hulling and refused to pathfind .
    10:53 except for military, and all the cow manure it requires to get working correctly 🙁

  3. Cheers for this.
    Though the zooming into the Z-levels is not CTRL . or CTRL for me. What is that binding called so I can change (or check what I have at the moment)?

  4. this is the best tutorial that's has ever been made for anything. this video is the reason im subscribing to your channel.

  5. "there are no hidden keys, they're all displayed on the screen" and then he proceeds to list controls and commands not on the screen for the next 3 minutes. 😜

  6. Some feedback. As someone with a European keyboard, shift period does not work for changing z axis. Our <> keys are somewhere else. I realize your way of explaining it was to make it easier for you to explain. But it ended up being confusing for someone with a different layout.

    Another issue I had, was that the still needed a barrel, but the first barrels I created seemed to not be free for the brewer to use so the option you highlighted was red.

  7. Holy hell I love the art style. I absolutely flipping love it I want this to be the UI style of my computer.

  8. This is probably the best tutorial ive ever seen. I opened up dwarf fortress once and was completely lost.

  9. my biggest tip for learning dwarf fortress is to be patient, don't let the UI overwhelm you. take a second to read the commands and to try each of them out. you'll get the hang of it.

  10. Hey if some of you are having trouble, with the .bmp files. Just changes the text to say kruggsmash.png, enstead of kruggsmash.bmp or what kind of file it says it is, and that sould fix it.

  11. there's several meanings of the word game, all equally valid. one is "an organized activity with arbitrary rules and (usually) win/lose conditions"
    another one is "an interactive piece of software made to provide user an experience"
    the first one is the typical "game" definition. the second one is basically a definition looking at it from the viewpoint of "genre of media".

    similar to how you can use a "movie" to mean either a type of media (moving images with sound, which includes documentary movies), or just a genre of fiction.

    …for some reason, i am unable to explain the difference properly right now, but i think the gist is there. so, at least according to one of those definitions (type of media) dwarf fortress IS a game.

  12. Thank you! After Tzeentez review of the game I really wanted to try it, but until your tutorial I was very confused by the game.

  13. I also can't figure out how to make the tileset work. Whether I leave it as a .png, or convert it to .bmp (and rename the file in the init.txt apropriately) it simply won't work.

  14. I haven't played this game for like 5 years this video helped me remember the keys and how to play! Thanks dude!

  15. Every time i try this i keep getting Not found: data/art/kruggsmash.bmp i fallow it step by step and cant seem to get it to work… Also when i download the one in the description that says you dont need to mess with the files for some reason all 0's are replaced with what looks like the log texture?

  16. Hi Krug, had never heard of DF until I accidentally found your Monsterkiller series. Any chance you could make some more tutorials? I find myself sucking at this game!!! And I absolutely love all your videos.

  17. The first time I tried this, my miner dug out the mine perfectly and neatly, doing row by row. The second time… my miner is just mining random bits whenever she pleases lol. They really seem to have their own personalities.

  18. I haven't played it but I think it's like the tests of new civilizations to see what works the they die then the next come but 'better' then it repeats

  19. I learned alot from you. Thanks! Btw can u do a video on x4 foundations basic starts just like this? I have problems on how to play the game.

  20. This game looks like AIDS, so I've always dismissed it out of hand. Tilesets might redeem it. It's absurd the developers haven't done this themselves and are okay with their game looking like AIDS. Edit: On watching the entire video I have surmised my initial assessment was correct. AIDS.

  21. Holy Shit, I can now definitely see how Dwarf fortress would end up having a huge influence on both Rimworld and Minecraft.

  22. Well, i finally started Dwarf Fortress because of Kruggsmash. I thought to myself "I'll just follow along with this guide and stop when i get basic amenities for them!"

    …It's been two days, I barely know what I'm doing, and I think the fisherdwarf is going mad. I couldn't be happier!

  23. I always bind z-level up and down to holding Alt and pressing arrow keys up and down.
    I find it's soooo much more convenient. You just casually press Alt with your left thumb as you're continuing to use the arrow keys.
    And i use the same for the menu navigation, instead of the + and – keys. Just arrow keys for everything, super simple.

  24. Thank you very much for uploading, friend. May the Doomeddragons learn something from your lectures and hopefully survive. 😁.

  25. So, it's like rimworld, but with depth? I kid, I've been meaning to get into this game for years. Keep being told that I'd love it.

  26. thank you for this guide! im very interested in playing dwarf fortress but it is very daunting – this gave me the confidence to get started!

  27. And how do you record/edit gameplay as well as voice over the footage? I am curious and you know what they say, curiosity killed me. 🤣.

  28. Weirdly enough the shift + period didn't work on German key board setting, meanwhile it worked for EN keyboard setting. The odd part is that neither shift not period key actually change…

    Had another problem though I started my first run without a carpenter dwarf or pets so erm GG EZ?

  29. sadly theres only subtitles to the begining (i not a native english speaker so i need it) i can at least get the most of his words since it's a good audio, nice tutorial i learning to play DF by now thank you.

  30. I made the mistake of trying to go into this game with absolutely no instruction and it stole my lunch money and called me dumb

  31. I wanna play it so badly but the UI confuses me a lot, first attempt was me looking at 4 different guides for 2 hours and I still dont know how anything works

  32. When I was learning how to program (by hand-copying the manuals I couldn't afford XD) the absolute HUGEST single obstacle was NO ONE TELLS YOU HOW TO INSTALL THE GUI. The fact that you bothered to give people the on-ramp info (eg. how to edit the init file so the window is not microscopic) is hugely appreciated, and puts you in the rareified company of People Who Are Good At Giving Instructions.

  33. so uh the moving up and down z-levels aint working for me :/ shift + . doesnt do anything and shift + , opens a record playing screen???

  34. at the bottom of some of those windows, like the one on 27:57 what does the square, minus, star, and sword mean next to the colon and select?

  35. Gotta dislike your vid for no explanation on downloading your tile set when its clearly a png, and whats required is a bmp.

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