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A stockpile is a long-standing "put items here when they aren't being used" command. Since it's just a command on where to put things they don't cause any physical changes to your site. The primary uses of stockpiles are:

  1. Putting certain items in certain locations, usually close to where they'll be used. Stockpiles let you be very specific about what is or isn't allowed there.
  2. Consolidating certain types of items into bins and barrels/pots.
  3. Making food rot slower, especially meat. Don't ask how an abstract concept like a stockpile does this.

Farming stockpile[edit]

There's two reasons to make a stockpile for the farm:

  1. Dwarfs aren't smart enough to carry more than one item at once. Further, they're so stupid that a farmer, instead of carrying around a bag of seeds when planting seeds, will only carry a single seed, making necessary a round trip between farm plot and seed bag for each seed planted. To reduce the time taken on the round trips, the seed bags should be put right next to the farm plots.
  2. Ripe farm plants won't be harvested if there's nowhere to put them.

To make a stockpile, use p from the main menu to access the stockpile menu:


Use f to pick Food, since seeds count as a type of food. To lay out the stockpile press Enter where you want one corner of it to be, move the cursor to where the opposite corner should be, and pressed Enter again, just like for designations (though you can't use the mouse for stockpiles). We'll put this stockpile in the middle of the hallway, since stockpile don't get in the way of walking:


Now return to the main menu with Esc and interact with the stockpile via q. This will choose the "building" (including stockpiles) closest to the X cursor, so you don't need to move it. s will let you change the settings for the stockpile:


Food should be selected in white, and all the other stockpile types should be disabled in light gray. If you accidentally selected some other form of stockpile when creating it, don't worry: scroll to selected type with and , use d to disable that type, scroll to Food, then use e to enable it. If food is already selected, just scroll down to it. Either way, the screen will now look like this three-tiered menu:


A stockpile starts out with every single relevant item of it's type selected. However, we only want plants and seeds to go here. The easiest way to do this is to turn off everything, then turn back on just what we want. To turn off everything, b will "block all":


Now use to move from the first (leftmost) column to the second (middle) column, scroll down to Plants, and use p to permit plants; this makes the stockpile accept every type of plant in the game. Scroll down to Seeds and use p again to finish. If we wanted we could use to move to the third (rightmost) column and then use Enter to toggle on and off individual types of plants and seeds, but we'll leave it be for now.

That's it for the farming stockpile, unless you accidentally created it as something other than a food stockpile and had to change it. If not, just hit Esc twice to return to the main menu. If you did make that mistake, hit Esc just once and look at Max Barrel number. If it's 0, use R to increase it to the maximum value. Then hit Esc a second time to return to the main menu.

Note that any plants harvested on the surface from shrubs will be put down here, which is fine.

Refuse stockpile[edit]

When your cats kill vermin it leaves behind vermin remains, and after a while the remains rot. If they rot while indoors (Inside when looking at a tile with k) they give off miasma, billowing clouds of stink. Walking through miasma makes your dwarves unhappy, and if they get unhappy enough they might tantrum. One way to avoid this (other ways are mentioned in the notes section) it to put the remains outdoors (Outside), where no miasma is generated. Presumably outdoors rotting garbage still stinks, but the ventilation provided by open air reduces the stink enough that the dwarfs no longer mind it.

So, go back to the surface and set up a refuse stockpile (p-r):


q-s to see the settings and scroll down to Refuse. You'll see that it accepts a lot of things besides vermin remains, including bones and shells. However, bones and shells don't rot and are actually useful, so we don't want to dump them outside. Use f to forbid bones and shells from this stockpile; we'll set up a stockpile for just them later.

Next tutorial article[edit]



  • On the screen with Change Settings there will also be the lines Max Barrel and Max Bin. These are the maximum number of barrels and bins allowed into the stockpile for the purpose of consolidating items. Once the maximum number is reached items which could have been consolidated will be placed directly on the ground, which will most probably use up space quicker since each tile in a stockpile can only have one item on the ground. For liquid items which must always be inside of barrels, like booze and milk, no more of the liquid will be put into the stockpile once the maximum is reached, since liquids can't be stored directly on the ground. To change the maximums:
    • e decreases the max barrel count by one, r increases it by one, E sets it to zero and R sets it to the size of the stockpile.
    • c decreases the max bin count by one, v increases it by one, C sets it to zero and V sets it to the size of the stockpile.
  • To remove a stockpile, x will select Remove Designation, which works just like it does for designations.
  • A stockpile can't be expanded after being made.
  • Putting two stockpiles of the same type right next to each other won't result in a single merged stockpile, but two separate stockpiles with two separate settings. If you want to make a single stockpile with an unusual shape then you have to first make a rectangular one, then use Remove Designation to take chunks out of it until you have the shape you want.
  • Other way of containing miasma besides putting refuse outside:
    • Put the refuse stockpile underground, but behind a double set of doors forming an airlock-like system. This will keep the miasma from spreading, but the dwarfs who haul the garbage to the stockpile will still be exposed and get an unhappy thought.
    • Dig a multi-z-level pit, put a garbage dump activity zone next to it, and dump refuse into it. If the pit is deep enough the miasma won't be able to reach the top.
    • Dump the refuse into magma, which will burn it up.
  • Once a dwarf has decided to haul an item to a stockpile, that item can't be used for anything until it gets placed in the stockpile.