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Technical tricks

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

Dwarf Fortress has various settings that can affect the game experience. You can configure these in Settings accessed from the main menu or Ui Esc.pngEsc menu. However, some settings can only be changed by directly editing the game configuration files, which include:

Locating configuration files[edit]

These configuration files might be found in two places in the install folder:

  • data\init\ - files here contain the default values installed with the game and also may contain some explanations of the settings.
  • prefs\ - files here contain the current values saved by the game.

You can edit the configuration files with any plain text editing software, such as Notepad, Vim, or Emacs.

Most data in these files is in token form. Each token is defined by the text between an opening square bracket, [, and the next closing square bracket, ]. The token identifier and any values are separated by a colons, :.

If anything goes wrong, you can completely reset the game's saved settings by deleting the prefs\ folder while the game is not running, assuming the defaults have not been changed. This does not work with the files in data\init\, so you should make backups of them before modifying them. The game also uses the last occurrence of a token, so you could add your changes after the default values. You could then just remove the leading [ to disable your entries and use the defaults.


For settings that can be changed in game see: Settings.

  • [WALKING_SPREADS_SPATTER_ADV:YES] - Still in the files but currently has no effect, of course. Turns on or off the spread of blood spatter and other contaminants between creatures and ground tiles in Adventurer mode.


For settings that can be changed in game see: Settings.

  • [SOUND:YES] - Change the argument from "YES" to "NO" to completely remove sound and music from the game. If this is "NO", it will not be possible to change the volume from the in game options menu.
  • [WINDOWED:PROMPT] - Changes the window mode that Dwarf Fortress runs in. If this is "PROMPT" the game will ask you if you want to run in windowed or fullscreen mode. If this is "NO" the game will be fullscreen with no prompt, and if this is "YES" the game will be in windowed mode with no prompt.
The game does not save the following font options to /prefs/init.txt; you can add them but they will be removed the next time you exit Settings in game. To make them persistent add them to /data/init/init_default.txt.
  • [FONT:curses_640x300.png] - The font file that Dwarf Fortress uses in windowed mode. These values can be any .bmp or .png image in the /data/art folder.
  • [FULLFONT:curses_800x600.png] - The font file used in fullscreen mode.
  • [BASIC_FONT:curses_640x300.png] - The font used during the initial load sequence and menus.
  • [FPS_CAP:0] - Setting this to zero will cause it to be uncapped, allowing simulation to happen as fast as possible. This may cause the FPS display to show negative numbers when the game is paused and in the main menu.
  • [G_FPS_CAP:0] - Setting this to zero will still use the default of 50 rather than it being uncapped.

Resolution to grid ratios[edit]

Taken from [1]

Geometry Character Size
Resolution Aspect 8x8 12x12 16x16
800x600 4:3 100 x 75 66 x 50 50 x 37
1024x768 4:3 128 x 96 85 x 64 64 x 48
1152x864 4:3 144 x 108 96 x 72 72 x 54
1280x960 4:3 160 x 120 106 x 80 80 x 60
1600x1200 4:3 200 x 150 133 x 100 100 x 75
1280x1024 5:4 160 x 128 106 x 85 80 x 64
1440x900 16:10 180 x 75 135 x 56.25 90 x 37.5
1680x1050 16:10 210 x 131 140 x 87 105 x 65
1920x1080 16:9 240 x 135 160 x 90 120 x 67
1920x1200 16:10 240 x 150 160 x 100 120 x 75