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Save compatibility

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Save compatibility allows saves from older versions of Dwarf Fortress to be played on newer versions of Dwarf Fortress. Generally, Dwarf Fortress versions are backwards-compatible, which means that older saves can be imported into newer versions without problems. However, many new features and some bug fixes do not apply to older saves. This occurs because the changes affect world generation or the raw files.

Generally, Dwarf Fortress versions are not forwards-compatible, which means that newer saves cannot be imported into older versions, with a few exceptions for very minor releases. This is rarely necessary, however; if a newer version introduces a bug that makes the game unplayable, a hotfix for the newer version is usually released shortly after.

Sometimes, a release "breaks save compatibility". This means that all older saves do not work with the release. Save compatibility is usually broken when a new major version is released, such as 50.01 or 0.40.01. Sometimes, due to save file corruption bugs, save compatibility is broken despite the change made being minor; this is noted in the version list.