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Arms industry

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

The arms industry deals with the production and processing of weapons and ammunition. As with other industries, it deals with the use of raw materials to create usable items.

Getting started[edit]

To create a decent arms industry, you will need weapon-grade metal bars, an anvil, and a source of fuel (either coke or magma). Anvils can be purchased at embark, or traded from most caravans, while trees (for charcoal) and magma are generally quite plentiful on most maps. When selecting a site, the game will inform you if one or more metals are available, but not if the metal is suitable for use in weapons and armor. Should your chosen site only have vast deposits of gold and bismuthinite, your arms production will be severely limited.

The first step to establishing your arms industry is to build a smelter and a forge or magma forge.

Creating melee weapons[edit]

Effective melee weapons are made of metal. Metal weapons require a single bar of weapons-grade metals such as copper, iron, steel, bronze, silver, and bismuth bronze, or several wafers of adamantine. Metal weapons are made at a forge or magma forge by a weaponsmith.

Note that weapon quality influences effectiveness - a skilled weaponsmith is quite valuable.

Wooden training weapons can be made at a carpenter's workshop by a carpenter.

Creating ranged weapons[edit]

The only ranged weapon suitable for production by dwarves is the crossbow. Crossbows can be made out of weapons-grade metal, bone, and wood. Wood and bone crossbows are created at a bowyer's workshop with the bowyer skill, while metal crossbows are created at a forge or a magma forge with the weaponsmithing skill.

Crossbows fire bolts, created out of wood or bone at a craftsdwarf's workshop, or out of metal at a forge. One bar of metal or pile of wood will give 25 bolts, while one bone will give 5 bolts.

The material of a ranged weapon is of use only when in melee combat, since crossbows function as hammers in such instances. For purely ranged use, the quality of the bow is much more important than its material.


  • Low-value metals like copper and bronze are great for training your weaponsmith, and the resulting goods can be traded to a caravan for supplies, including raw materials for more arms production.
  • Blunt weapons are effective with almost any type of metal; making war hammers out of copper, bronze, iron or silver is a good use for these low-grade materials. Dwarven science advances have, however, determined that silver is, due to its high density, the best material against non-metal opponents.
  • Weaponsmiths produce higher-quality results when working with a metal they prefer. Choosing a weaponsmith with a preference for adamantine[Verify] (and axes or swords, if possible) will result in very high quality adamantine weapons.
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