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This article is about the current version of DF.
Note that some content may still need to be updated.

Stairs allow creatures to travel across z-levels. They can be dug out or constructed. They need to be connected to other stairs of the appropriate type to function. Up stairs need to be built below down stairs. Up/down stairs function as both up and down stairs at once.

A side-view illustration of various digging designations.

Caravan wagons can't travel across stairs -- you need ramps for those to be able to reach your trade depot.

Stairs do not block creature nor fluid movement. Falling creatures ignore stairs and may get seriously hurt if the real ground is several z-levels below them. Floor hatches can stop both falling creatures and liquid. They can also be locked to keep those pesky crundles from interrupting everything your dwarves could possibly do.

Down stairs reveal a tile directly beneath them. If it's wet or warm, any further mining designation on this tile will be automatically removed, but can then be manually replaced. (i.e. the game gives you a warning when that tile is first revealed, then assumes you know what you're doing. Don't prove the game wrong.)

As with all constructions, stairs can only be removed by dwarves (ordered to do so - never on their own initiative) or cave-ins. Dug-out stairs can melt, if made from ice, but are otherwise just as resistant to damage - they can be removed by channeling the stair tile.

Stairs are fully capable of holding any amount of weight above them. An up stair or up/down stair will stop tiles falling during a cave-in; a down stair will not. However, when any stair tile is collapsed by a cave-in, the stairs disappear entirely.

Planning stairs[edit]

Stairs can be created in two different ways, or a combination of them:

  • You can use the digging orders menu Ui m.pngm and select stair mining (t) to carve them out of a wall of unmined material (see digging).
  • You can use the build menu Ui b.pngb and hit n to construct them in an open tile (t) using material you have already gathered.

Stairs have been overhauled in v50; you no longer need to manually designate up, down, or up/down stairwells. Instead, you designate the z-levels your stairwell begins and ends at, and your dwarves will automatically build/carve stairs as necessary.

You can't carve stairs upwards on a square that has already been dug out; you have to carve one out of an existing wall or build instead.

Up-stairs can be always built on top of down-stairs (provided there's clearance on the z-level above you), but you cannot carve down-stairs into a constructed up-stairs; you will have to temporarily deconstruct the up-stair you built if you want to carve downwards at that spot. You can, however, carve down-stairs into carved up-stairs.

Stairs cannot be built upwards if the destination z-level is inaccessible; you can't begin construction on an up-stair if you don't already have a clear path above you. This includes if the destination tile of the up-stair is another up-stair, meaning that a stairwell through existing floors must be constructed from the top down or have alternative access to the higher z-levels. Careless renovation of stairwells can result in inaccessible upper floors.

Stairs can not be created through existing stockpiles as they are considered a building. In order to dig or construct stairs through a stockpile you must first repaint the area by erasing the section you would like stairs to be, then you can construct the stairs. Stairs can, however, be constructed through a zone so long as all other conditions are met.

Animal trapAnvilArmor standBedBlocksBox (chest • coffer) • BucketCabinetCage (aquarium • terrarium) • Coffin (casket • sarcophagus) • RestraintSlabStatueTableThrone (chair) • Weapon rack
AltarBookcaseDisplay (display case • pedestal) • HiveNest box

BarsBridgeDoor (portal) • FloodgateGrateHatchRoadWindow
Machine and trap parts
Other buildings

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