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From Dwarf Fortress Wiki
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This article is about the current version of DF.
Note that some content may still need to be updated.

For ammunition used with siege engines, see Siege engine.
The best use for ammo: hurting others. 🏹

Ammunition is the collective term for projectiles that can be fired from ranged weapons such as crossbows and blowguns. Ammunition is stored in ammunition stockpiles and carried in quivers. Ammunition may also refer to the stones and Ballista arrow fired from siege engines; for more information about these weapons, see the siege engine article.

Ammunition for foreign weapons like bows and blowguns is also considered foreign, and cannot be manufactured in the fortress.

All ammunition has "EDGE" attack types; this means that sharper metal or other sharp materials are better for ammunition purposes. As projectiles, however, ammunition is also affected by the density of the material and the volume of the individual arrow, bolt, or dart.

When dwarves with bolts or arrows stuck in their bodies are treated in a hospital, the removed ammunition will be left in their beds.

Ammunition table[edit]

There are three types of ammunition in Dwarf Fortress: bolts, arrows, and blowdarts, each fired from a different weapon.

Type Size Contact Area Penetration Weapon Used Skill Used Craftable Used by
Bolt 150 5 1000 Crossbow Crossbowman Yes (metal, wood, bone) Dwarf, Goblin, Human
Arrow 150 5 1000 Bow Bowman No Elf, Goblin, Human, Kobold
Blowdart 20 1 50 Blowgun Blowgunner No Animal people


Projectiles made of different materials have different levels of effectiveness, depending on the situation. Likely factors in this are the weight of the ammunition and the physical properties of the material in combat. The type of ammunition and the weapon used to fire the ammunition may also have an effect on the potential damage possible.

In practice, almost all metal bolts perform well, though there is some advantage in using a bolt of a "better" weapon material than the opponent's armor (quicker lethality), and some advantage in using a bolt with a higher density (faster incapacitation). The forum thread Dwarven Research: A Comparison Study on the Effectiveness of Bolts vs Armors has a comprehensive comparison and discussion.

Projectiles are more likely to be blocked than parried.[1]

Blowgun darts are noticeably less effective than bolts or arrows. This is due to them having a light weight and a small size compared to other ammo types. They almost never manage to pierce armor and are stopped even by clothing, unless the darts are made of metal.

Subterranean animal tribes, the main users of blowguns, do not have access to metal, so you will never see non-wooden blowdarts normally.


  • Marksdwarves may not equip ammunition if the squad they are in was not assigned the default "Archer" uniform when it was created.Bug:0012008

See also[edit]

Ranged and ammunition
Blowgun and blowdart · Bow and arrow · Crossbow and bolt
Edged (slashing)
Edged (piercing)
Dagger · Morningstar · Pick · Pike · Spear
See also: Attack types