40d:Controls guide

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This article is about an older version of DF.

This is a beginner's guide to Fortress Mode interface controls. This page assumes the default key bindings.

As a beginner it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the (View Unit - Preferences - Labor) submenu, the Query buildings menu, the Designate menu, and the Build menu.

Viewing menus[edit]

There are 5 menus for gaining more information about the map and the creatures that inhabit it. When used a yellow X-shaped cursor appears which you can move around the map using the numberpad to gain information.

Look Around, k[edit]

The look command shows you individual map tiles and what is standing/resting upon them. The menu displays Creatures, Objects, Buildings, Map tiles in that order. You can use the + - keys to browse these things and press Enter to gain more detailed information.

You can also designate an item to be forbidden, dumped, or melted from this menu, if it is allowed (You can't designate a loaf of bread to be melted, for example!).

View Units, v[edit]

The view command gives detailed information on creatures: a dwarf, an animal, a goblin, etc. You do not need to place the cursor directly over the creature, information is given on the nearest creature. If multiple creatures are the same distance from the cursor (usually due to occupying the same tile), use v to cycle through them.

This command has several different menu views:

  • g General - Name, occupation, attributes and skills.
  • i Inventory - Shows all the items the creature is carrying. Also shows the bloodstains, mud and goo that accumulates on creatures.
  • w Wounds - Shows the creature's health. Bright white means the body part is unharmed. Effects like "Thirsty" and "Unconscious" are also listed here.
  • p Preferences - This menu includes a number of sub-menus:
    • l Labor - This lists which types of jobs the dwarf will accept. Very important for controlling their behavior.
    • e Work Dogs - Assign trained dogs to this dwarf.
    • s Soldering and Hunting - Change the dwarf's weapon and armor choices.
    • A Activate/Deactivate dwarf - Draft the dwarf into the military.
    • z View Profile - Views a dwarf's profile. From here, you can view thoughts and preferences, view his relationships, and give him a custom nickname or profession title. (see also Technical tricks.)
    • R Royal Guard - Make the dwarf a Royal guard, or remove him from the guard if he already is one.
    • C Fortress Guard - Make the dwarf a Fortress guard, or remove him from the guard if he already is one.

Query Rooms/Buildings, q[edit]

The query command allows you to suspend construction of a room or object, mark it for removal, or interact with its specific functionality.

  • If you query a workshop you can change what tasks are being worked on, set a particular task to repeat or be suspended, or change who is allowed to use the workshop.
  • If you query a piece of furniture you can define a room from it (e.g. a bed into a bedroom, a chair into an office, etc.). Depending on the type of furniture there are additional options (e.g. a door can be locked, a coffin can be used for either pet or citizen burial).
  • You can also assign a room to belong to a specific dwarf.
  • If you query a farm plot you can change what crops are being planted.
  • If you query a stockpile you can change what types of objects are stored there, how many barrels are used, etc.

View items in buildings, t[edit]

The items command is used to see items that are inside buildings, such as workshops, depots, and traps.

Squads, x[edit]

x This command is used to control your military squads. The options are:

  • l Lock on squad - Instead of selecting the squad nearest the cursor this squad will remain selected.
  • p Add a patrol route - Add a series of points and the squad will walk around them.
  • x Delete patrol route - Self-explanatory.
  • s Station squad - The squad will congregate around the point you define. This is overridden if they have a patrol route.
  • z Zoom to commander - Self-explanatory.
  • +/- Lock on another squad - change which squad you have selected.

Order your Dwarves[edit]

These commands affect what your dwarves do. These also use the cursor.

Build, b[edit]

Use this command to build rooms, place furniture, start farm plots, and such. In addition to a long list of items which can be scrolled through with the +/- keys, there are also a few sub-menus:

Designate, d[edit]

d Use this to mark stone to be mined out, trees to be cut, plants to be gathered, walls and floors to be smoothed or engraved, and so on. You can also forbid, dump, melt or hide items and rooms.

Stockpile, p[edit]

p Used to create stockpiles.

Zones, i[edit]

i Mark an activity zone for drinking water, fishing, dump, a pit or pond, meeting hall or sand collection. This interface is the reverse of designate and stockpile commands: you mark out the rectangular area first, and define what it does afterward.

Fortress Information[edit]

These commands take you away from the map, to an informational screen. Some of them also let you give orders.

Announcements, a[edit]

a This screen logs the announcements that appear at the bottom of the screen. Use it to see any you missed, or scroll up the early history of your fortress.

Civilizations, c[edit]

c A list of other civilizations that you have personally encountered (and thus within distance for trade or war)). Civilizations are marked with a P if you are at peace with them, or with a W if you are at war. Pressing Tab lets you check total exports and imports, and standing trade agreements.

Unit List, u[edit]

u A list of every creature on the map. Dwarves are listed first, then tame animals, then hostile creatures, then wild animals. Even dead creatures are listed here, so you can track your fallen dwarves.

  • c Zoom to Creature This takes you to View Creature mode, with the cursor centered on the selected creature.
  • v View Profile
  • b Zoom to Building Takes you to the building associated with the dwarf's current task. For hauling tasks, this is the destination stockpile.
  • m Manager Takes you to the job manager screen.

Military, m[edit]

m This one looks a lot like the Unit List screen, except

  • w Weapons Changes a soldier's weapon & armor preferences.
  • Enter Promote Changes to the promotion/organize unit mode. Be careful! It's hard to tell that you're in a different mode.

Room List, r[edit]

r Lists all Rooms, Buildings, Stockpiles, and even Activity zones in the fortress. For rooms, it includes the room's quality and the owner's name. It includes quick access to each room's q and t menus.

Artifacts, l[edit]

l A list of the artifacts your fortress has produced.

Nobles & Administrators, n[edit]

n Access the Nobles screen

Fortress Overview, z[edit]

z This screen is filled with useful information, like your fortress's net worth, and how much food and drink you have left.

  • Animals A list of all tame animals in your fort.
  • Kitchens From here you can specify what foods can cooked or brewed.
  • Stone Controls the use of ores and economic stones
  • Stocks This is an in-depth listing of every item, down to every rotting rat corpse. The accuracy of the your item count depends on your bookkeeper.
  • Prices The prices of items in the economy
  • Currency The amount of copper, silver, and gold coins you have
  • Justice Shows the details of the dwarven justice system, once you have one.

See Status for more details.


Options & Orders, o[edit]

o Access the Standing orders

Hot keys, h[edit]

h Define or redefine Hotkeys