40d:Efficient gameplay

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This article is about an older version of DF.

This page covers ways to accomplish game tasks in fortress mode faster and with less effort. The interface of Dwarf Fortress is in alpha, but it - if you give it a little help - can become far less cumbersome than it appears at first glance. If a way to save time is non-obvious to even a single person, it should be mentioned here.

General tips and tricks[edit]

  • When dumping lots of objects, it often saves time to use the stocks menu instead of marking objects from the fortress view. Alternatively, you can mass dump using d, b, d
  • The manager screen (type m when viewing the job screen) is a good way to speed up workshop assignments. Jobs are generated automatically until the task is complete. Requires a manager with enough free time to authorize tasks.
  • The designation menu and the actual selection of tiles are both mouse-capable, which is especially helpful when laying out fancy rooms and patterned designs. Left-click designates a tile or chooses a new menu option; right-click moves the cursor.
  • When ordering production at a workshop, type r to have the object made repeatedly; adding multiple items and putting them all on repeat will have them do a repeating cycle.
  • If an interface uses + and - to scroll, then it will use * and / to scroll quickly. If an interface uses Up Arrow/8 and Down Arrow/2 to scroll, then it will use PgUp/9 and PgDn/3 to scroll quickly.
  • When moving the cursor around, hold Shift and the direction to move 10 spaces rather than 1.
  • When choosing the materials to construct a building (particularly when constructing large numbers of walls and floors), press Shift+Enter to select all available materials of the type highlighted.

External programs[edit]

Players of DF have provided several utilities to help you manage your fortress and organize your dwarves. Once you start using aids like Dwarf Foreman, you'll wonder how you ever managed to get by without. Utilities are generally updated shortly after a new version appears.

Macros and keymaps[edit]

Dwarf Fortress has no internal macro/keymap system, but cooperates well with an external utility called AutoHotKey. Many keyboard-intensive tasks can be made less painful with a custom script.