DF2014:Controls guide

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This article is about the current 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 four 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:

  • general - Name, occupation, and skills.
  • inventory - Shows all the items the creature is carrying. Also shows the bloodstains, mud and goo that accumulates on creatures.
  • preferences - This menu includes two sub-menus:
    • labor - This lists which types of jobs the dwarf will accept. Very important for controlling their behavior.
    • e Work Animals - Assign trained animals to this dwarf.
  • w ounds - Shows the creature's health. Bright white means the body part is unharmed. Effects like "Thirsty" and "Unconscious" are also listed here.
  • 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.
  • Enter View Job - Shows the creature's current job, if they have one. (Some jobs/activities are unviewable.)

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.

Order your Dwarves[edit]

These commands affect what your dwarves do.

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 Designations menu

  • d Mine - Mark solid walls to mine
  • h Channel - Mark to solid walls or floors to channel downwards. This will create a ramp on the Z-level below the miner.
  • z Remove Upstairs/Ramps - Mark stairs and ramps to remove them.
  • u Upward Stairway - Mark to dig up stairs into solid wall.
  • j Downward Stairway - Mark to dig down stairs into either a solid wall or a floor.
  • i Up/Down Stairway - Mark to dig up/down stairs into a solid wall.
  • r Upward Ramp - Mark to dig a ramp into a solid wall
  • t Chop Down Trees - Mark trees to be cut
  • p Gather Plants - Mark plants to be gathered
  • s Smooth Stone - Mark walls or floor for an engraver to smooth. This must be done before you can engrave or carve fortifications.
  • e Engrave Stone - Mark smoothed walls or floors to engrave art into.
  • a Carve Fortifications - Mark smoothed walls to carve fortifications into.
  • V Toggle Engravings - Mark engraved tiles to toggles their display.
  • x Remove Designation - Removes any designation that was made with the d menu
  • n Remove Constructions - Marks constructions for removal.

  • b Set Building/Item Properties - Used to mass designate entire areas for the following:
    • c Claim Items/Buildings
    • f Forbid Items/Buildings
    • m Melt
    • M Remove Melt
    • d Dump
    • D Remove Dump
    • h Hide Items/Buildings
    • H Unhide Items/Buildings

  • o Set Traffic Areas - Set traffic areas.

Stockpile, p[edit]

p Used to create stockpiles.

  • a Animal
  • u Furniture Storage
  • y Corpses
  • s Stone
  • e Gem
  • h Cloth
  • z Ammo
  • g Finished Goods
  • p Weapons
  • f Food
  • w Wood
  • b Bar/Block
  • l Leather
  • n Coins
  • d Armor

Zones, i[edit]

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

Squads, s[edit]

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

  • k Attack - Selected squad will attack the selected enemies.
  • m Move - Selected squad will station to a specific location you choose.
  • o Cancel orders - Cancels a station or kill order.
  • z Center on Squad - Zooms to the commander of the squad.
  • s View Schedule - Brings up the military scheduling screen.
  • t Sched - Toggles between all available schedules.
  • p Select Individuals - Lets you issue orders to individual soldiers instead of the entire squad.

Burrows, w[edit]

w Opens the burrows menu:

  • a Add - Creates a new burrow.
  • d Delete - Deletes the selected burrow.
  • Enter Define this Burrow - Creates a new burrow.
    • n Name burrow - Give your burrow a name.
    • c Change symbol selector - Used in conjunction with numpad -+ to customize the color and symbol used for this burrow.
    • Enter Start Rectangle - Use the keyboard to designate a rectangular area.
    • b Mouse brush - Used to toggle mouse brush sizes. Useful if you use the mouse to click and drag to define a large irregular burrow.
    • r Currently painting/erasing - Changes the action of the rectangle and mouse brush to add or subtract from the burrow.
    • z Center on burrow - Self-explanatory.
  • c Add citizens to burrow - displays a list of your entire population. Press Enter to add dwarves to the burrow.
  • z Center on burrow - Self-explanatory.

Notes, N[edit]

w Displays the notes menu. One of the main uses is to setup patrol routes for your military. You need to place some points and create a new route, then add the points to the route, which become waypoints.

  • p Place - creates a new point at the cursor.
  • d Delete - Deletes the selected point.
  • n Name - Give a point a name.
  • c Change symbol selector - Used in conjunction with numpad -+ to customize the color and symbol used for new points.
  • s Adopt selected symbol - Changes the symbol for an existing point.
  • t Note text - Add text to a point.
  • r Routes - Opens the routes menu.
    • a Add route - Creates a new route.
    • d Del route - Removes selected route.
    • c Center - After you add waypoints, allows you to center the view over them.
    • n Name route - Change the name of the selected route.
    • p Back to points/notes - Returns to the main notes menu.
    • e Edit Waypts - Opens a new menu used to add waypoints to the selected route.
      • a Add waypt - Adds the nearest waypoint from the cursor to the route list.
      • d Del waypt - Removes selected waypoint from the route list.
      • c Center - After you add waypoints, allows you to center the view over them.
      • n Name route - Change the name of the selected route.
      • p Back to points/notes - Returns to the main notes menu.
      • e Edit routes - Returns to the routes menu.

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.

  • z 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 Access the military screen

  • p Positions Create and remove squads and assign dwarves to them.
  • a Alerts Create configure alerts. Used in conjunction with burrows to define a CIV Alert, a safe place that dwarves will be forced to go when turned on. Can also be used to change the active alert schedule for your squads.
  • e Equip Assign armor and weapons to military squads.
  • n Uniforms Create or modify uniform templates which can be assigned using the Equip screen.
  • u Supplies Controls if a squad carries food and drink.
  • f Ammunition Assigns ammunition to squads.
  • s Schedule Used to modify the orders for an alert.

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.

Locations and Occupations, l[edit]

l A list of the locations designated in your fortress (libraries, temples, & taverns). In this screen you can control the supplies desired for your locations, as well as designate a worker/workers for the location as appropriate.

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.
  • Kitchen From here you can specify what foods can be 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.
  • Justice Shows the details of the dwarven justice system, once you have a Sheriff.
  • Health Shows an overview of the health status of the fortress, once you have a Chief medical dwarf.

See Status for more details.


Options & Orders, o[edit]

o Access the Standing orders

Hot keys, h[edit]

h Define or redefine Hotkeys