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This article is about the current version of DF.

Not to be confused with Caverns.

A cave is a natural formation that occurs in or adjacent to any non-mountain region tile, consisting of a 48x48 tile-wide site within the non-mountain biome, or exactly in the mountain region tile and biome, depending on worldgen settings. Caves most often feature a large rock mound several z-levels high with a downward passage beginning anywhere along the side of the mound. Caves often, but not always, have deep passages that lead down into caverns; they may also lack any passages or, more rarely, entrances into the mound itself.

In dwarf fortress mode, you can choose whether or not to make caves visible on the embark screen when you design the world you will play in. The default option for Make Caves Visible is set to No. If set to yes, caves will appear on the map as symbols so that they may be sought out or avoided as desired. Caves have the odd feature that the stone they are made of doesn't match the material left after it is dug out; for example, a rock wall will leave behind a clay floor.

Caves are sometimes home to named creatures and megabeasts. If a cave is inhabited by creatures fond of stealing items from nearby sites, their hoard will be littered over the area. The distribution of plunder remains within the 48x48 site, from the upper z-limit, down to any z-levels reachable by walking (no more loot will be found beyond a rampless drop or a waterlogged passage, even if the hoard's owner is a flying creature). Dragons are known to hoard jewelry; ettins and giants hoard jewelry, food, and booze.

Caves can sometimes be found by repeatedly asking an NPC about the surroundings. They're the only way of entering the underground in adventurer mode besides visiting a dwarven fortress which has an entrance to a cavern; if NPCs in one region don't tell you about any caves, move to another region and try again.

Caves inhabited by skulking thieves often contain numerous stolen crafts, which can be sold at shops.

"Cave" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: äs
Elvish: garetho
Goblin: omo
Human: ngethac