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The Non-Dwarf's Guide to Rock

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


Wondering what that new kind of rock your dwarves just struck is good for? Possibly nothing, but when you're just getting started it can be tough to tell the trash from the treasure. The following table summarizes the types of stone and ore found in Dwarf Fortress; gems are covered in their own article.

The Uses column lists any special uses or properties of this particular stone type; if no uses are listed, you can always use the stone for general construction and crafting. Note that many "low-value" materials are still very useful in a fortress. "Colors" are useful for color coding or creative aesthetic uses.

For more detailed and expanded information, see the Stone, Ore, Metals & Alloys, Veins & Clusters, and Smelting pages, or the article on any particular stone, metal or ore.

During the game, you can press z and then navigate to "stone". The list there covers all types of rocks and ores, and tells you what rocks can be smelted into.

Table of Rocks[edit]

(Some materials are worth an additional comment; these are numbered, with footnotes below the table.)

Name Type Uses Appearance (ASCII)* Color (Tileset)
Adamantine, raw ore, special1, spoilerry Becomes Adamantine1 (spoilers!), by far the most valuable substance £ *
Alabaster stone Low-value stone; used for making plaster ^
AlabasterSwatch.png
Aluminum, native ore, high-value Smelt into Aluminum, a high-value decorative metal ^ *
NativeAluminumSwatch.png
Alunite stone Low-value magma-safe stone `
AluniteSwatch.png
Andesite layer stone Low-value stone
AndesiteSwatch.png
Anhydrite stone Low-value magma-safe stone v
AnhydriteSwatch.png
Basalt layer stone Low-value magma-safe stone #
BasaltSwatch.png
Bauxite stone Low-value magma-safe stone; only source of some high-value gems +
BauxiteSwatch.png
Bismuthinite ore, rare Smelt into bismuth, ingredient of bismuth bronze % *
BismuthiniteSwatch.png
Bituminous coal stone Smelt into Fuel, flammable
Bituminous coalSwatch.png
Borax stone Low-value stone `
BoraxSwatch.png
Brimstone stone Low-value stone %
BrimstoneSwatch.png
Calcite stone Flux, mid-value magma-safe stone "
CalciteSwatch.png
Cassiterite ore, uncommon Smelt into Tin, a low-value metal; ingredient of Bronzes; magma-safe £ *
CassiteriteSwatch.png
Chalk layer stone Flux, mid-value stone
ChalkSwatch.png
Chert layer stone Low-value magma-safe stone =
ChertSwatch.png
Chromite stone Low-value magma-safe stone =
ChromiteSwatch.png
Cinnabar stone Low-value stone £ *
CinnabarSwatch.png
Claystone layer stone Low-value stone ,
ClaystoneSwatch.png
Cobaltite stone Low-value stone £ *
CobaltiteSwatch.png
Conglomerate layer stone Low-value stone
ConglomerateSwatch.png
Copper, native ore, low-value Smelt into useful Copper; ingredient of Bronzes £ *
NativeCopperSwatch.png
Cryolite stone Low-value stone -
CryoliteSwatch.png
Dacite layer stone Low-value stone .
DaciteSwatch.png
Diorite layer stone Low-value stone
DioriteSwatch.png
Dolomite layer stone Flux, mid-value magma-safe stone `
DolomiteSwatch.png
Gabbro layer stone Low-value magma-safe stone; only source of some ores & gems
GabbroSwatch.png
Galena ore Smelt into Lead, a low-value metal, with a 50% chance2 for Silver; magma-safe £ *
GalenaSwatch.png
Garnierite ore, uncommon Smelt into Nickel, a low-value magma-safe metal £ *
GarnieriteSwatch.png
Gneiss layer stone Low-value stone =
GneissSwatch.png
Gold, native ore Smelt into Gold, a high-value metal £ *
NativeGoldSwatch.png
Granite layer stone Low-value stone; only source of some ores; relatively rich in content
GraniteSwatch.png
Graphite stone Low-value stone, flammable o
GraphiteSwatch.png
Gypsum stone Low-value stone; used for making plaster #
GypsumSwatch.png
Hematite ore Smelt into Iron, a mid-value metal; ingredient for Steel; magma-safe £ *
HematiteSwatch.png
Horn silver ore Smelt into Silver, a mid-value metal £ *
HornSilverSwatch.png
Hornblende stone Low-value stone "
HornblendeSwatch.png
Ilmenite stone Low-value magma-safe stone .
IlmeniteSwatch.png
Ice3 stone/water3 Frozen Water
Jet stone Low-value stone
JetSwatch.png
Kaolinite stone Low-value magma-safe stone; used for making porcelain =
KaoliniteSwatch.png
Kimberlite stone Low-value stone; only source of diamonds %
KimberliteSwatch.png
Lignite stone Smelt into Fuel, flammable *
LigniteSwatch.png
Limestone layer stone Flux, mid-value stone
LimestoneSwatch.png
Limonite ore, high-value Smelt into Iron, a mid-value metal; ingredient for Steel £ *
LimoniteSwatch.png
Magnetite ore, high-value Smelt into Iron, a mid-value metal; ingredient for Steel; magma-safe ~ *
MagnetiteSwatch.png
Malachite ore, low-value Smelt into useful Copper; ingredient of Bronzes £ *
MalachiteSwatch.png
Marble layer stone Flux, mid-value stone
MarbleSwatch.png
Marcasite stone Low-value stone %
MarcasiteSwatch.png
Mica stone Low-value magma-safe stone v
MicaSwatch.png
Microcline stone Low-value stone %
MicroclineSwatch.png
Mudstone layer stone Low-value stone
MudstoneSwatch.png
Obsidian layer stone High-value magma-safe stone;Sharpenable hard rock (used to create stone short swords);
signifies nearby magma if not a layer
ObsidianSwatch.png
Olivine stone Low-value magma-safe stone; may contain Platinum %
OlivineSwatch.png
Orpiment stone Low-value stone -
OrpimentSwatch.png
Orthoclase stone Low-value magma-safe stone %
OrthoclaseSwatch.png
Periclase stone Low-value magma-safe stone ,
PericlaseSwatch.png
Petrified wood stone Low-value magma-safe stone %
Petrified woodSwatch.png
Phyllite layer stone Low-value stone -
PhylliteSwatch.png
Pitchblende stone Low-value magma-safe stone *
PitchblendeSwatch.png
Platinum, native ore, high-value Smelt into Platinum, a highest-value decorative metal £ *
NativePlatinumSwatch.png
Puddingstone stone Low-value stone Θ
PuddingstoneSwatch.png
Pyrolusite stone Low-value stone %
PyrolusiteSwatch.png
Quartzite layer stone Low-value magma-safe stone -
QuartziteSwatch.png
Realgar stone Low-value stone %
RealgarSwatch.png
Rhyolite layer stone Low-value stone ,
RhyoliteSwatch.png
Rock salt layer stone Low-value stone #
Rock saltSwatch.png
Rutile stone Low-value magma-safe stone `
RutileSwatch.png
Saltpeter stone Low-value stone x
SaltpeterSwatch.png
Sandstone layer stone Low-value magma-safe stone #
SandstoneSwatch.png
Satinspar stone Low-value stone; used for making plaster -
SatinsparSwatch.png
Schist layer stone Low-value stone `
SchistSwatch.png
Selenite stone Low-value stone; used for making plaster ;
SeleniteSwatch.png
Serpentine stone Low-value stone
SerpentineSwatch.png
Shale layer stone Low-value stone .
ShaleSwatch.png
Siltstone layer stone Low-value stone %
SiltstoneSwatch.png
Silver, native ore Smelt into Silver, a mid-value metal £ *
NativeSilverSwatch.png
Slade stone, special Not workable by dwarves *
Slate layer stone Low-value stone %
SlateSwatch.png
Sphalerite ore, uncommon Smelt into Zinc, a low-value metal; ingredient for Brass £ *
SphaleriteSwatch.png
Stibnite stone Low-value stone %
StibniteSwatch.png
Sylvite stone Low-value stone =
SylviteSwatch.png
Talc stone Low-value magma-safe stone |
TalcSwatch.png
Tetrahedrite ore, low-value Smelt into useful Copper; ingredient of Bronzes;
has a 20% additional chance2 of Silver; smelt into Billon
£ *
TetrahedriteSwatch.png
(* Each stone is one of 16 colors in the game. Different un-mined stone of the same color have a different symbol to distinguish between them. Once mined, the individual stones themselves can sometimes look identical if the color is the same. Use k to look at items or the terrain for specific information.)

Notes:

  1. Adamantine is not exactly like other metals, although it works almost the same. It has a value multiplier of x300 (yes, three hundred). See (spoilers!) adamantine for a full discussion of this unusual and wondrous material.
  2. % chance for additional metals: when Galena and Tetrahedrite are smelted, they produce (respectively) four lead or copper bars, 100% of the time. They also produce 0-4 additional bars of the second metal, with the percent chance to produce each additional bar listed above.
  3. Ice has some very unusual properties in Dwarf Fortress, and can be disastrous if misused. See the article on ice for a more complete discussion.

The Value of Rocks & Metals[edit]

You won't find the terms "low-value" or "highest-value" used in the game, but they're handy here for rough comparison. "Values" are all relative to each other, on a common scale. The "material value" number multiplies any final product that is created with that material by that number. An average generic statue (base value 25) is worth much more than an average generic throne (base value 10), but a throne carved from raw gold nuggets (10 x 30 = 300) will be worth far more than a common-stone statue (25 x 1 = 25). (Note - "quality" also factors into total value of a final product, as do some other considerations, but those are outside the scope of this intro article). Bottom line - when in doubt, go for the more valuable stuff.

Common stones (the vast majority) have a value multiplier of x1, mid-value (all flux stones like marble) are x2, and high-value (obsidian only) is x3. This affects things like stone tables and doors, statues or stonecrafts - anything made from stone. Metal ores have varying values, from 2-40, and can either be treated as stone or smelted into bars of metal.

For metals, low-value (like copper or nickel) is x2. Mid-value (silver or iron) is around x10, high-value (gold, steel) is x30, and highest-value (platinum, aluminum) is x40.

Note that the raw mined ore and the smelted pure metal often have different value multipliers, but not always. Alloys like brass or bronze are often more valuable than the sum of their pure metal ingredients, and have a true spectrum of values between 3-23. (Alloy values are not listed in this article.)

Any metal can be crafted into decorations, furniture, or buildings. Only copper, bronzes, iron, steel, and adamantine can make weapons, armor, and picks, with silver also able to be forged into melee weapons.

(For comparison, all wood has a value of x1, equal to common stone.)


See also: