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This article is about an older version of DF.
Thoughts and preferences of Kadôl Istbarmonom, a herbalist.

Preferences are materials, creatures, or objects described as being liked by a dwarf in their 'thoughts and preferences' tab, accessible for example with u-v-enter.

Possible objects of Affection or Revulsion[edit]

A given dwarf may display many, a few, or (theoretically) even none of these preferences.

Each unit's preferences consist of the following:

Food/Work/Benefits to productivity[edit]

Every dwarf will like at least one type of booze, and may like none to several food ingredients. Dwarves get happy thoughts from eating food and drinking booze they like; the meal's value can improve only those thoughts. There are 76 types of booze and hundreds, if not thousands, of types of food preferences. The difficulty in obtaining all types of booze or food means that it is practically impossible to satisfy the need to eat a good meal. Bug:10262 Note that it is possible to obtain all types of booze, especially if modding is used.

A dwarf's preferences (and disliked vermin) tend to feature in any artwork the dwarf makes, more often than subjects not listed in their profile. For example, a mason that likes cows for their haunting moos and absolutely detests bats, will make statues of both, presumably out of love for cows and horrified fascination for bats.

A dwarf working with a material they like - or creating items they like out of that material - will produce higher-quality goods. For example, a mechanic that likes olivine generally makes better olivine than granite mechanisms. This is most important during embark, when individual personality profiles and skills can be best matched up according to your specifications. For example, make the dwarf that likes beds your carpenter and the dwarf that likes gold your blacksmith. Urist McLikesbreastplates would be a good candidate for Armorsmith. This works less well later on with immigrants, as it is usually more advantageous to train up the great armorsmith than the novice armorsmith who likes steel.

The game is perfectly happy to give a creature a bad thought from not eating a favored food, even when said creature doesn't actually like anything.

Value Considerations[edit]

It has been noted that preferences have an effect on how dwarves perceive the value of a room and its furniture, though the exact details are not yet known.

E.G: A mason who likes horses will often make statues of one or two horses, or even statues of themselves admiring horses. This can be great if the mason is chronically depressed: surround their bed with images they like, and they will be happier.

If your monarch absolutely detests large roaches, a ☼platinum statue of a large roach☼ in their bedroom will not count fully towards the noble's room value requirement (although they'll still admire it without complaining about the subject matter).[1] This problem can be avoided by carefully selecting the statue that is going to be built by expanding the material selection menu.

Since images will feature both objects the worker likes and dislikes, engravings and other images featuring various vermin can only be avoided entirely by manually specifying images, but they're generally not frequent enough to cause notable problems.


Nobles only give mandates and demands that accord with their preferences. For this reason, a good way to ameliorate the annoying effects of nobles is to nominate a baron who has no preferences for anything craftable. This baron won't issue any mandates or demands!