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v0.31:The Non-Dwarf's Guide to Rock

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Wondering what that new kind of rock your dwarves just struck is good for? Possibly nothing, but when you're just getting started it can be tough to tell the trash from the treasure. The following table summarizes the types of stone and ore found in Dwarf Fortress; it does not include gems.

The Uses column lists any special uses or properties of this particular stone type; if no uses are listed, you can always use the stone for general construction and crafting. Note that many "low-value" materials are still very useful in a Dwarf Fortress. "Colors" are useful for color coding or creative aesthetic uses.

For more detailed and expanded information, see the Stone, Ore, Metals & Alloys, Veins & Clusters, and Smelting pages, or the article on any particular stone, metal or ore.

During the game, you can press z and then navigate to "stone". The list there covers all types of rocks and ores, and tells you what rocks can be smelted into.

[edit] Table of Rocks

(Some materials are worth an additional comment; these are numbered, with footnotes below the table.)

Name Type Uses Appearance*
Adamantine, raw special ore1 Becomes Adamantine1, by far the most valuable substance £ *
Alabaster stone Low-value stone; used for making plaster ^
Aluminum, native high-value ore Smelt into Aluminum, a high-value decorative metal ^ *
Alunite stone Low-value magma-safe stone `
Andesite layer stone Low-value stone
Anhydrite stone Low-value magma-safe stone v
Basalt layer stone Low-value magma-safe stone #
Bauxite stone Low-value magma-safe stone; only source of some high-value gems +
Bismuthinite rare ore Ingredient of bismuth bronze % *
Bituminous coal stone Smelt into Fuel, flammable
Borax stone Low-value stone `
Brimstone stone Low-value stone %
Calcite stone Flux, mid-value magma-safe stone "
Cassiterite uncommon ore Smelt into Tin, a low-value metal; ingredient of Bronzes; magma-safe £ *
Chalk layer stone Flux, mid-value stone
Chert layer stone Low-value magma-safe stone =
Chromite stone Low-value magma-safe stone =
Cinnabar stone Low-value stone £ *
Claystone layer stone Low-value stone ,
Cobaltite stone Low-value stone £ *
Conglomerate layer stone Low-value stone
Copper, native low-value ore Smelt into useful Copper; ingredient of Bronzes £ *
Cryolite stone Low-value stone -
Dacite layer stone Low-value stone .
Diorite layer stone Low-value stone
Dolomite layer stone Flux, mid-value magma-safe stone `
Gabbro layer stone Low-value magma-safe stone; only source of some ores & gems
Galena ore Smelt into Lead, a low-value metal, with a 50% chance2 for Silver; magma-safe £ *
Garnierite uncommon ore Smelt into Nickel, a low-value magma-safe metal £ *
Gneiss layer stone Low-value stone =
Gold, native ore Smelt into Gold, a high-value metal £ *
Granite layer stone Low-value stone; only source of some ores; relatively rich in content
Graphite stone Flammable o
Gypsum stone Low-value stone; used for making plaster #
Hematite ore Smelt into Iron, a mid-value metal; ingredient for Steel; magma-safe £ *
Horn silver ore Smelt into Silver, a mid-value metal £ *
Hornblende stone Low-value stone "
Ilmenite stone Low-value magma-safe stone .
Ice3 stone/water3 Frozen Water
Jet stone Low-value stone
Kaolinite stone Low-value magma-safe stone; used for making porcelain =
Kimberlite stone Low-value stone; only source of diamonds %
Lignite stone Smelt into Fuel, flammable *
Limestone layer stone Flux, mid-value stone
Limonite high-value ore Smelt into Iron, a mid-value metal; ingredient for Steel £ *
Magnetite high-value ore Smelt into Iron, a mid-value metal; ingredient for Steel; magma-safe ~ *
Malachite low-value ore Smelt into useful Copper; ingredient of Bronzes £ *
Marble layer stone Flux, mid-value stone
Marcasite stone Low-value stone %
Mica stone Low-value magma-safe stone v
Microcline stone Low-value stone %
Mudstone layer stone Low-value stone
Obsidian layer stone High-value magma-safe stone; used to create stone short swords;
signifies nearby magma if not a layer
Olivine stone Low-value magma-safe stone; may contain Platinum %
Orpiment stone Low-value stone -
Orthoclase stone Low-value magma-safe stone %
Periclase stone Low-value magma-safe stone ,
Petrified wood stone Low-value magma-safe stone %
Phyllite layer stone Low-value stone -
Pitchblende stone Low-value magma-safe stone *
Platinum, native high-value ore Smelt into Platinum, a highest-value decorative metal £ *
Puddingstone stone Low-value stone Θ
Pyrolusite stone Low-value stone %
Quartzite layer stone Low-value magma-safe stone -
Realgar stone Low-value stone %
Rhyolite layer stone Low-value stone ,
Rock salt layer stone Low-value stone #
Rutile stone Low-value magma-safe stone `
Saltpeter stone Low-value stone x
Sandstone layer stone Low-value magma-safe stone #
Satinspar stone Low-value stone; used for making plaster -
Schist layer stone Low-value stone `
Selenite stone Low-value stone; used for making plaster ;
Serpentine stone Low-value stone
Shale layer stone Low-value stone .
Siltstone layer stone Low-value stone %
Silver, native ore Smelt into Silver, a mid-value metal £ *
Slade special stone Not workable by dwarves *
Slate layer stone Low-value stone %
Sphalerite uncommon ore Smelt into Zinc, a low-value metal; ingredient for Brass £ *
Stibnite stone Low-value stone %
Sylvite stone Low-value stone =
Talc stone Low-value magma-safe stone |
Tetrahedrite low-value ore Smelt into useful Copper; ingredient of Bronzes;
has a 20% additional chance2 of Silver; smelt into Billon
£ *
(* Each stone is one of 16 colors in the game. Different un-mined stone of the same color have a different symbol to distinguish between them. Once mined, the individual stones themselves can sometimes look identical if the color is the same. Use k to look at items or the terrain for specific information.)

Notes:

  1. Adamantine is not exactly like other metals, although it works almost the same. It has a value multiplier of x300 (yes, three hundred). See adamantine for a full discussion of this unusual and wondrous material.
  2. % chance for additional metals: when Galena and Tetrahedrite are smelted, they produce (respectively) one lead or one copper bar, 100% of the time. They occasionally produce a second, additional bar of the second metal, with the percent chance as listed above.
  3. Ice has some very unusual properties in Dwarf Fortress, and can be disastrous if misused. See article on ice for a more complete discussion.

[edit] The Value of Rocks & Metals

You won't find the terms "low-value" or "highest-value" used in the game, but they're handy here for rough comparison. "Values" are all relative to each other, on a common scale. The "material value" number multiplies any final product that is created with that material by that number. An average generic statue (base value 25) is worth much more than an average generic throne (base value 10), but a throne carved from raw gold nuggets (10 x 30 = 300) will be worth far more than a common-stone statue (25 x 1 = 25). (Note - "quality" also factors in to total value of a final product, as do some other considerations, but those are outside the scope of this intro article). Bottom line - when in doubt, go for the more valuable stuff.

Common stones (the vast majority) have a value multiplier of x1, mid-value (all flux stones like marble) are x2, and high-value (obsidian only) is x3. This affects things like stone tables and doors, statues or stonecrafts - anything made from stone. Metal ores have varying values, from 2-40, and can either be treated as stone or smelted into bars of metal.

For metals, low-value (like copper or nickel) is x2. Mid-value (silver or iron) is around x10, high-value (gold, steel) is x30, and highest-value (platinum, aluminum) is x40.

Note that the raw mined ore and the smelted pure metal often have different value multipliers, but not always. Alloys like brass or bronze are often more valuable than the sum of their pure metal ingredients, and have a true spectrum of values between 3-23. (Alloy values are not listed in this article.)

Any metal can be crafted into decorations, furniture, or buildings. Only copper, bronzes, iron, steel, and adamantine can make weapons, armor, and picks, with silver also able to be forged into melee weapons.

(For comparison, all wood has a value of x1, equal to common stone.)


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