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System requirements

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

If you're looking for information on improving the performance of Dwarf Fortress on your computer, see Maximizing Framerate. For installation instructions, see Installation.

Dwarf Fortress is a very complex game, but in ways that differ from most other complex games. This leads to the game having a somewhat unusual set of requirements.

Note that while the front page displays only the current Windows x86-64 build, there also exist previous versions under the "All Versions" link.

Premium version official requirements[edit]

From the Steam page

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: minimum Windows XP SP3 or later
  • Processor: minimum Dual Core CPU - 2.4GHz+, recommended Dual Core CPU - 4GHz+
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1GB of VRAM: Intel HD 3000 GPU / AMD HD 5450 / Nvidia 9400 GT
  • Storage: 500 MB available space

OS[edit]

  • 64-bit Windows can run the Premium and Classic releases natively. 32-bit and ARM versions of Windows will not be able to run DF. If you are unsure if you are using 64-bit Windows, check using the instructions here.
    • Windows XP/7/8/8.1 are unsupported by Microsoft and may have issues -- be warned!
  • Linux on x86-64 (including SteamOS) can run the Premium version of Dwarf Fortress on Steam through the Proton compatibility layer. As of v50.04, it is rated Platinum on ProtonDB.
  • Linux on x86-64 and MacOS on Intel may be able to run Dwarf Fortress via Wine, previous versions are rated Platinum on Wine's AppDB.
  • MacOS on Apple Silicon (listed here) may be able to run Dwarf Fortress via Wine in Rosetta 2's x86-64 emulation. Add your experiences below under Reports if you try!
  • Linux x86-64/ARM64 and MacOS on Intel/Apple Silicon native builds, as of v50.04, are not yet published.

GPU[edit]

Dwarf Fortress is not particularly graphically intensive, even when using high-res tilesets and graphics sets. Dwarf Fortress also doesn't use technologies like OpenCL to make use of graphics cards anyway, so a top-of-the-line graphics card will generally not improve performance.

CPU[edit]

Dwarf Fortress mostly operates on a single thread, so if you want to optimize for DF, you should probably optimize for single-core performance. This is especially true if you want to do more laggy things, such as mist generators. However, laggy circumstances are generally the exception, not the rule, and in those other circumstances, you generally don't need a particularly powerful CPU.

Cache size[edit]

As Dwarf Fortress' bottlenecks are mostly due to cache misses, it has been speculated on the DF forums that "a CPU with a positively giant L3/L4 cache (and I mean > 256 mb or GTFO)" would improve DF performance, as would using faster RAM with smaller transfer times—see the next section.

RAM[edit]

During regular gameplay, Dwarf Fortress usually doesn't consume too much memory - 512MB is probably a bit tight, but 1GB is absolutely sufficient, though if you're short on RAM, you may want to quit other running processes. What's particularly important during regular gameplay is RAM latency—since the game uses the RAM every single frame, it's important that your RAM be fast, lest you experience FPS death.

However, world generation is known to eat up a lot more RAM than normal gameplay, especially if you generate worlds that are particularly large or have long histories - multiple gigabytes may be consumed. To be safe, you should shut down any background processes when generating a world, and if you're particularly tight on RAM, consider reducing the size or history of the worlds you generate—the game is rich enough with content that you'll still have plenty of things to do, and you can always tweak the other, less RAM-hungry advanced world generation parameters. (RAM latency is less of a problem here, since you'll only need to do this once every so often.)

Experimental reports[edit]

Report format[edit]

Please read the report template page before contributing any reports.

Reports[edit]

None provided for v50. Please see previous versions of this page for reports of running previous versions of DF.

"System requirements" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: idith inem
Elvish: eritha enotho
Goblin: obsår eted
Human: histek tikes