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From Dwarf Fortress Wiki
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This utility page applies to multiple versions of DF.
DFHack in-game help browser and command launcher

DFHack is a utility that can be used to improve the UI, automate some aspects of the game, add features, fix bugs, make a specific one-off change... or just straight-up mold the universe to your liking. For players that do not wish to wield these god-like powers, DFHack's god-mode (aka "Armok") tools can be hidden from the interface by enabling "mortal mode" in the DFHack control panel.

DFHack is a modding framework that is packaged alongside a suite of tools that use it. For developers and modders, DFHack is a comprehensive, standardized memory access package that unites the various ways tools access the Dwarf Fortress memory space, allowing for easier development of new tools and a vast expansion of capabilities for mods. For players, it is a very useful utility and gameplay mod suite that allows tweaking DF in numerous ways. DFHack is one of the most useful utilities for DF, acting as an advanced expansion that fixes, improves, and adds to the game in many ways, and is recommended for all players.

By default, DFHack only enables UI improvements and bugfixes, but as you become more familiar with the game, you can explore DFHack's many optional and more advanced features.

On April 14, 2023, DFHack was additionally made available on Steam. Installing DFHack through Steam will add DFHack to an existing Steam installation of Dwarf Fortress. Note that it needs to be installed to the same Steam library and hard drive as Dwarf Fortress itself.

Download and Install[edit]

All new releases are announced on Steam, in a thread on the Bay12 forums, on r/dwarffortress, and on the DFHack and Kitfox Discord servers. The current release can be downloaded from Steam or GitHub. You can also find all past releases on GitHub, and the latest dev build (requires GitHub login) can be downloaded from here, though its stability is not guaranteed.

Stable releases are also available for 0.47.05, 0.42.06, 0.40.24, 0.34.11, 0.31.25, and other intermediate versions of DF. DFHack is currently also being ported to versions and - more information can be found here and here, respectively.

For information about the commands in the utility, see DFHack's documentation. In particular, see the quickstart guide and the categorized tool index. Help for DFHack tools is also available in-game in the gui/launcher interface. For a quick list, with brief descriptions, of the commands available to you, enter the command tags to see tools by category or ls (or dir) to see the entire list. As of v50.08-r3, DFHack comes with more than 400 tools.

Bug reports

If you are using DFHack (or other utilities), do not report bugs on the Dwarf Fortress bug tracker unless you can prove that the bug is not being caused by DFHack or one of its plugins. DFHack can be temporarily disabled by passing the --disable-dfhack commandline option when you run Dwarf Fortress.


Screenshot of the DFHack "Move goods to Trade depot" screen, showing filtering and search options.

User Interface improvements, such as:

  • Search, sort, and filtering for screens with big lists.
  • Ability to designate placeholder buildings, furniture, and constructions that get automatically assigned building materials as they become available.
  • Ability to type characters not available on keyboards.

Automatic bugfixes, such as:

  • fix/stuck-instruments - Fix activity references on instruments whose previous player was interrupted to make them usable again.
  • fix/general-strike - Prevent dwarves from getting stuck and refusing to work.
  • orders sort - Sort manager orders by repeat frequency so one-time orders can be completed.
  • fix/empty-wheelbarrows - Empties wheelbarrows which have rocks stuck in them.

Fortress design tools, such as:

  • gui/design - Designate digging or constructions in shapes and lines
  • gui/quickfort- Designate digging, stockpiles, buildings, and/or zones from a blueprint. DFHack also comes with a library of blueprints.

Fortress management automation tools, such as:

  • autobutcher - Designates excess livestock for slaughter.
  • autochop - Designates trees for chopping when the fortress needs more logs.
  • autolabor - Automatically assign labors to dwarves to efficiently complete pending jobs
  • autonestbox - Assigns unpastured female egg-layers to nestbox zones.
  • prioritize - Ensures time-sensitive jobs get done quickly.
  • seedwatch - Controls settings for cooking seeds and plants so you don't run out of seeds to plant.
  • tailor - Generate manager workorders for clothing as existing clothing wears out.

Gameplay modifications, such as:

  • deteriorate - Cause corpses, clothes, and/or food to rot away over time.
  • dwarfvet - Allow animals to be treated at hospitals.
  • emigration - Allow unhappy dwarves to voluntarily leave the fortress
  • misery - Amplify negative thoughts.
  • starvingdead - Undead waste away over time.

Other scripts and plugins, such as:

Example commands[edit]

Command Description
prospect all To prospect your embark location for a list of all the present minerals and plants.
gui/reveal Reveal the map so you can inspect the caverns and mineral layouts.
cleanowned scattered x Marks the tattered clothing dwarves insist on holding onto and marks it for dumping so they go get newer clothes.
open-legends For jumping into Legends mode from a running fort or adventure.

Scripts and Plugins[edit]

Originally a simple memory hacking tool, DFHack has grown to become a full-fledged unofficial extension of the game itself, adding in functionality where official development has lacked. One of the best features of DFHack is its extensibility - anyone can create scripts or plugins. Due to its open-source and collaborative nature, anyone can add their own contribution to this tool. There are different kinds of contributions:

  • Binpatches are raw memory edits that alter the game's behavior, which is usually deduced from disassembling. Their main use is bugfixing or the removal of cumbersome, easily alterable constraints.
  • Plugins are snippets of C++ code that uses DFHack's library to fix bugs or add functionality. They must be compiled before use and are thus platform and dfhack-version dependent, but as a result they tend to be extremely fast. They can be found in the hack/plugins folder.
  • Scripts are files written in the Lua scripting language and that use the DFHack-provided API bindings. They are not compiled and can be transferred between any platform and used across DFHack versions. They can break, though, if Dwarf Fortress changes the memory structures in the area that the script interacts with (this is rare, but possible). Also, because they run in an interpreter, they are unsuitable for tasks which involve large amounts of data (such as acting on every tile of the map).

Remote API[edit]

DFHack provides a protobuf-based RPC connection to the game, enabling remote clients like Armok Vision. The service listens on (configurable within dfhack-config/remote-server.json).

Currently there are no change-based or change-driven notifications, so remote fortress clients must perform the expensive operation of polling the desired volume every frame (via e.g. GetBlockList).

More info on DFHack's remote API here.