Metal is a material extracted from ore at a smelter, turning the ore into bars* of pure metal. It is sometimes combined with other materials to form an alloy metal, which is also measured by the bar. An alloy usually improves on the properties of its components to give more uses and/or value.
There are 7 ores in Dwarf Fortress (plus raw adamantine). While all but sphalerite can be smelted directly into metal bars, 3 special combinations can be smelted together to form the alloys bronze, brass, and electrum. While brass has higher value than its components and bronze has both higher value and increased attack/defense power than its ingredients, using electrum results in no overall increase in utility or created wealth.
- (* except adamantine, which produces "wafers" instead of bars)
Metals can be used to make a wide variety of objects. All metals (except pig iron) can be used to forge furniture or crafts, or to decorate (stud) other objects. Copper, bronze, iron, and steel can be used to forge weapons, armor, crossbow bolts, ballista bolts, and trap components. Silver can be used to forge bolts and all weapons except picks and crossbows (although silver weapons do little damage and have no special effects at this time). All metals can also be fashioned into coins, although only copper, silver, gold, electrum, and platinum are used as currency.
Iron, gold, platinum, and bituminous coal are only found beyond the chasm, but the other metals are abundant throughout the mountain. Raw ore is not usable directly (except sometimes by dwarves in strange moods) but must be made into bars at a smelter, a process requiring fuel: charcoal, coke, or magma.
 List of metals
|Source Ore(s) or Reaction||Weapons/
||Raw adamantine||x 5.00||Everything except beds||?||300|
||Galena||x .50*||No picks or crossbows||?||10|
||Malachite + Sphalerite||?||7||+5|
||Malachite + Cassiterite||x 0.75||?||5||+3|
||Galena + Native gold||?||20||+0|
||Iron bars + limestone + refined coal||Only used to make steel||?||10||+0|
||Hematite + Pig iron bars + limestone + refined coal||x 1.33||Anvils||?||30||+20|
- Tile Color corresponds to how items made from that metal are displayed in game, foreground and background colors.
- Reaction indicates the basic recipe for an alloy - this does not include the fuel used in that creation. See the article for that alloy or smelting for possible alternatives.
- *Zinc cannot be smelted from sphalerite under normal conditions. However, a dwarf with a strange mood might create an artifact out of zinc.
- *Electrum cannot be smelted until the Dungeon master arrives.
- Weapons/Armor is the damage/blocking multiplier for weapons and armor in combat. Unless otherwise noted, any metal that can be used for weapons can also be used to make ammo, picks, and crossbows.
- *Silver has a 50% armor multiplier, but can't voluntarily be used to make armor. However, a dwarf with a strange mood might forge armor out of any material, including silver.
- Density is used to determine the different weight of finished objects.
- Material value is what the base value of an object made of this metal is multiplied by to determine its worth.
- Difference indicates the difference between the average value of the alloy versus the value of the individual bars that would have been produced from smelting the ores directly.