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This article is about the current version of DF.

Needs affect a creature's focus. Needs that are unmet for long enough will become bad thoughts and adversely affect performance of all tasks.

The need system replaces the generalized on break feature of previous versions. Dwarves will sometimes perform jobs that satisfy their personal needs, instead of working for the betterment of the fortress. These personal fulfillment jobs generally come in two varieties: low-priority (indicated by green text, e.g. Listen to Poetry), or high-priority (magenta text with an exclamation point, e.g. Pray to Lorsïth!). Low-priority jobs may be cancelled to undertake a fortress job. High-priority jobs will not be cancelled for fortress jobs.

Needs are affected by personality traits. For instance, a dwarf that values romance will be unfocused "after being unable to make romance", while a dwarf that personally values nature will be unfettered "after seeing animals".

Needs are shown in a dwarf's thoughts and preferences description page, which can be accessed by viewing that dwarf then p, z, Enter, or from the unit menu with view, Enter.

Degree of focus/unfocus:

Unfettered 300 - 400
Level-headed 200 - 299
Untroubled 100 - 199
Not distracted -999 - 99
Unfocused -9999 - -1000
Distracted -99999 - -10000
Badly distracted < -100000

When a Need is satisfied, its value is refreshed to maximum (400), regardless of previous value. There is no minimum to how Badly distracted a need can get. A deeper negative value won't further reduce total Focus, which is based on a ratio of all Need's Focus rating.

Positive Negative Related Belief or Facet Adventurer activity
spending time with people being away from people GREGARIOUSNESS Speak to anyone or reply to greeting
drinking being kept from alcohol IMMODERATION, SELF-CONTROL drink alcohol
communing with [deity] / meditation being unable to pray (to [deity]) Speak, Pray to <Deity>
staying occupied being unoccupied HARD_WORK, ACTIVITY_LEVEL Very wide variety of actions
doing something creative doing nothing creative ARTWORK Perform or compose any work
doing something exciting leading an unexciting life EXCITEMENT_SEEKING A wide variety of actions
learning something not learning anything KNOWLEDGE, CURIOUS Gain a rank in any Skill, learn a new subject from written content.
being with family being away from family FAMILY Unimplemented
being with friends being away from friends FRIENDSHIP Unimplemented
hearing eloquent speech being unable to hear eloquent speech ELOQUENCE Hear or recite poetry
upholding tradition being away from traditions TRADITION Perform any improvisational form
self-examination a lack of introspection INTROSPECTION read anything, compose song or poetry (automatically self-indulgent), craft a figurine of yourself
making merry being unable to make merry MERRIMENT, HUMOR Recite any poem
practicing a craft being unable to practice a craft CRAFTMANSHIP Craft an item (ie, Knapping, Bone Carving)
practicing a martial art being unable to practice a martial art MARTIAL_PROWESS Gain a rank in any combat Skill
practicing a skill being unable to practice a skill SKILL Use any Skill
taking it easy being unable to take it easy LEISURE_TIME Unknown
making romance being unable to make romance ROMANCE, LOVE PROPENSITY Unimplemented
seeing animals being away from animals NATURE Animal must also see you
seeing a great beast being away from great beasts EXCITEMENT_SEEKING, NATURE, CURIOSITY Uncertain, possibly encounter LARGE_ROAMING?
acquiring something being unable to acquire something GREED, COMMERCE Acquire any item by trade or demand
eating a good meal a lack of decent meals IMMODERATION Unknown, possibly eating a preferred food
fighting being unable to fight VIOLENT Engage in any combat of any lethality
causing trouble a lack of trouble-making HARMONY, DISCORD Fight or Argue
arguing being unable to argue FRIENDLINESS Get into any disagreement about values
being extravagant being unable to be extravagant IMMODESTY Wear any item with a quality modifier
wandering being unable to wander NATURE, ACTIVITY LEVEL Move to/from any site or region tile / completed fish, hunt(return kill) and gather plants in fort mode
helping somebody being unable to help anybody ALTRUISM, SACRIFICE Reunite family members
thinking abstractly a lack of abstract thinking ABSTRACT_INCLINED Read or write any written content, or compose music or a poem
admiring art being unable to admire art ARTWORK Exposure to artistic crafts, examining adornments and coins

Satisfying any need will result in a good thought and a decrease in stress.

[edit] Adventure mode remarks

Upon creating your adventurer you should avoid (= give it --) all non-fullfillable needs: romance, family, friends. Otherwise, you will suffer never-ending focus disadvantages. The same with immoderation, as you'll then look in vain for a preferred food which you may not even know which one it is.

Some precaution is necessary as well in sacrifice/altruism -> helping capability is not available as long as you're quite weak (fighting; companions), and maybe in martial prowess if you're not constantly fighting and so increasing your stats. To fulfill your booze needs you'll have to visit human towns' taverns or dwarven fortresses quite often (and fill your extra water storage containers with ale from the barrels for on the road).

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