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This article is about an older version of DF.

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. The metal bars resulting from smelting are used to make items such as weapons, armor, furniture, and crafts at a forge.

Smelting pure ores into the corresponding bars raises the base value from that of a stone (3) to that of a bar* (5). This value is then multiplied against the material multiplier of the metal.

(* except adamantine, which produces "wafers" instead of bars)


[edit] Alloys

There are only 11 pure metals in Dwarf Fortress (plus Adamantine). Many of these can be mixed together to create alloys of one type or another, of which there are another 14. In some cases these alloys will result in an overall increase in value, or the resultant alloy will be more powerful when used to forge weapons or armour, though many alloys result in no overall increase in utility or created wealth. (These increases in value can be compared in the "Difference" column of the table, below.)

The main use of these alloys is to allow you to stretch any useful metals you have too few of, to increase the value of the bars created, and/or to create items with distinct colours (for instance, rose gold is magenta) for furniture, colour-coding rooms or levers, or artistic constructions (including floor mosaics). In some cases (bronze, for example) an additional benefit is reduced fuel consumption, as you can create multiple bars of some alloys directly from raw ores with only one smelter task, bypassing the need to first make bars of the pure metals (and thus using only 1 fuel to produce multiple bars). With one exception (which can be viewed as a bug), the number of bars used to create an alloy always equals the number of bars produced; # in = # out.

In terms of maximizing total material value, currently tin should be made into fine pewter or bronze or bismuth bronze (depending on availability of the necessary ores), and zinc should be made into brass. Almost all alloy reactions involve copper, so if copper is in limited supply on your map (and you wish to maximize value), it should be used for fine pewter. If you wish to maximize armour and weaponry, use copper for bronze or (better, to stretch it more) bismuth bronze. Nickel and lead do not form monetarily profitable alloys.


  • 2 tin, 1 copper, plus 1 lead (worth 2 each, or 8) can form either:
4 lay pewter (worth 3 each, or 12),
3 trifle pewter (worth 4 each, or 12) plus the 1 lead (14 total, a better value).
  • 1 copper, 1 zinc, plus 2 nickel (worth 2 each, or 8) can form either:
4 nickel silver (worth 3 each, or 12),
2 brass (worth 7 each, or 14) plus the 2 nickel (18 total, a better value).

However, nickel silver is magma-safe, so it can be useful if you're short on nickel and iron and haven't found any bauxite. Lay pewter may be necessary for strange moods or mandates, as is true for any material.

For a full chart of recipes for alloys, see smelting.

[edit] List of metals

[edit] Pure Metals

Source Ore(s) or Reaction Weapons/
Density Material
Adamantine 3:3:1 Raw adamantine x 5.00 Everything except beds 0.200 300 +50
Aluminum 7:7:1 Native aluminum 2.70 40 +0
Bismuth 5:5:1 Bismuthinite only for Bismuth Bronze 9.78 2 +1
Copper 6:4:0 Native copper, Malachite, Tetrahedrite x 0.66 8.93 2 +0, +0, -1*
Gold 6:6:1 Native gold 19.32 30 +0
Iron 0:7:1 Hematite, Limonite, Magnetite x 1.00 Anvils 7.85 10 +2
Lead 0:7:1 Galena 11.34 2 -3*
Nickel 7:3:0 Garnierite cheap magma safe material 8.80 2 +0
Platinum 7:7:1 Native platinum 21.40 40 +0
Silver 7:7:1 Native silver, Horn silver,
Galena (50%), Tetrahedrite (20%)
x 0.50* No picks or crossbows 10.49 10 +0, +0,
+5*, +7*
Tin 7:3:0 Cassiterite 7.28 2 +0
Zinc 7:3:0 Sphalerite 7.13 2 +0

[edit] Alloys

(Unless specified, ores of the ingredients may be used instead of bars for alloy reactions)

Source Ore(s) or Reaction Weapons/
Density Material
Billon 7:3:0 Copper + Silver 8.93 6 +0
Bismuth bronze 6:6:1 2 Copper + 1 Tin + 1 Bismuth ! x 0.75 8.25 6 +4
Black bronze 5:6:0 2 Copper + 1 Silver + 1 Gold ! 8.93 11 +0
Brass 6:6:1 Zinc + Copper 8.55 7 +5
Bronze 6:4:0 Tin + Copper x 0.75 8.25 5 +3
Electrum 6:6:1 Silver + Gold 8.65 20 +0
Fine pewter 7:7:1 3 Tin + 1 Copper 7.28 5 +3
Lay pewter 3:7:0 2 Tin + 1 Copper + 1 Lead ! 7.28 3 +1
Nickel silver 7:7:1 2 Nickel + 1 Copper + 1 Zinc ! 8.65 3 +1
Pig iron 0:7:1 Iron + flux stone + refined coal ! Only used to make steel 7.85 10 +0
Rose gold 5:5:1 3 Gold + 1 Copper ! 19.32 23 +0
Steel 0:7:1 Iron + Pig iron + flux stone + refined coal ! x 1.33 Anvils 7.85 30 +20
Sterling silver 7:7:1 3 Silver + 1 Copper ! 10.49 8 +0
Trifle pewter 7:3:0 2 Tin + 1 Copper 7.28 4 +2


  • 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.
! - You can use only bars of metal in this reaction, not ores.
  • 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 it's worth.
  • Difference indicates the difference between the average value of the required bars of metals vs. the value of the resulting bars of alloy - what went in vs. what comes out, measured per bar. "+0" indicates that the resulting alloy is a perfectly average value of the component metals. For pure metals, this indicates the difference in value between the metal and the ore, separated with commas in cases where multiple ore values differ. Values marked with an asterisk denote ores that can yield multiple metals; on average, the difference in value from smelting either tetrahedrite or galena is +1.
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