v0.31:System requirements

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This article is about an older version of DF.

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


  • Windows requires XP SP3 or newer.
  • Linux runs natively or using Wine.
  • Mac needs Intel chip. (OS X Lion works, but requires a short modification to run)

Note: The 40d article has detailed info on Non-Windows OS' that is probably mostly still valid.


DF is not particularly RAM-hungry. Expect the process to allocate between 300 and 700 MB with medium regions. With 512MB you may be a bit on the short side, but 1 GB is absolutely sufficient. World Generation can eat up far more than that, but Generation will only be slower if less RAM is available. Otherwise the influence of RAM on game speed is limited, as DF is not loading and offloading big chunks of data much.

There are no detailed requirements per se. However, because simply saying the more RAM you have and the faster your CPU is the better is not all that helpful, here are some stats that users have experienced while playing this game on a variety of different environments. (Please note that ‘fast game-play’ and ‘slow game-play’ are subjective terms and not intended to relay anything specific or exact. What may be fast to one person might be slow to another). It's also essential that you mention the state of your fortress - how many dwarves there are, animals, terrain, speedups, and so forth.

SDL vs. Legacy[edit]

SDL is a cross-platform application framework. The SDL version of DF runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It includes Baughn's new OpenGL code, which is faster and has more features (including support for PNG tilesets and using scroll wheels).

"Legacy" refers to the (Windows-only) framework Toady used before migrating to SDL. The legacy version is only necessary if the SDL version doesn't work for some reason.

Experiential reports[edit]

Report format[edit]

Please read the report template page before contributing any reports


Configuration type: AMD based, full desktop PC

Game info
Game version: 31.08 - graphics
World size: Medium region (default, nonmodified)
Embark size: 5x5
Age of fort: 6 years
Number of dwarves: 140
Average fps: 6-14
Default/nondefault raws: nondefault, dwarven speed modified, some smelting recipes modified.
Tileset in use: Phoebus prebuilt version
Amount of stone dug: 8693 at the moment of measure
Amount of water and state: A brook, dammed and diverted into big cisterns for trap use, mostly static and pressurised.
Approximate amount of z-levels: Beyond 200 below the ground level, around 5 upwards from ground.
RAM usage of game: Around 1.25 GB when playing
Draw mode in init.txt: VBO
PC info
CPU: AMD 7750x2 BE @ 2.7GHz
MBO: Gigabyte GA-MA78G-DS3h
RAM: 4GB DDR2 800
OS: Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Game info
Game version: 31.12
World size: Smaller Region
Embark size: 4x4
Number of dwarves: 7
Average fps: 90-100
Default/nondefault raws: Giant Eagles can be everywhere. No aquifers, and one cavern layer.
Tileset in use: Ironhand.
Amount of stone dug: ~150
Amount of water and state: A dozen murky pools.
Approximate amount of z-levels: 40-50.
RAM usage of game: Unknown.
Draw mode in init.txt: 2D.
PC info
CPU: 1.6 GHz Intel Centrino.
MBO: Unknown.
RAM: 512 MB.
GPU: Unknown.
OS: Windows XP.

Configuration type: Intel Based, Fairly clean copy of Windows, Defragged weekly and virus scanned daily at night.

Game info
Game version: .31.18 Graphics
World size: Medium
Embark size: 3x3
Age of fort: 3 years
Number of dwarves: 100
Average fps: ~95
Default/nondefault raws: Default raws
Tileset in use: Phoebus
Amount of stone dug: ~600 blocks
Amount of water and state: ~200 blocks, with river
Approximate amount of z-levels: 7 in use around 150-200 in all
RAM usage of game: 330 Mb.
Draw mode in init.txt: 2d
PC info
CPU: Core 2 Quad 2.6 Ghz
MBO: Asus P5N-D
RAM: 6 Gigs DDR2 (x2 1 Gig, x2 2 Gig)
GPU: EVGA Geforce Gtx 465 1 Gig
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Configuration type: Thinkpad T42

Game info
Game version: v0.31.25
World size: Medium
Embark size: 4x4
Age of fort: 10 years
Number of dwarves: ~200
Number of animals: ~250
Average fps: 12-15
Default/nondefault raws: default
Tileset in use: default
Amount of stone dug: ~15000
Amount of water and state: 1 flowing river that splits and merges back, numerous murky pools
Approximate amount of z-levels: 20 in use, 45 total
RAM usage of game: 600-900mb
Draw mode in init.txt: VBO
PC info
CPU: Pentium M 1.8ghz
RAM: 1gb
GPU: ATI Mobility Radeon 7500
OS: Windows XP Pro SP3

Archived reports[edit]

Older, incomplete reports can be found here.