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This article is about an older version of DF.
A red sand desert blending into a rocky wasteland.

A Desert is a very dry biome. Deserts can be found in all climates, but are mostly common to very hot areas. Very few trees and plants are able to grow in these barren lands. Camels are very common to this kind of biome and provide an excellent food source (whether one or two humps). Fierce predators can also be found in deserts.

Caverns make building a fortress on a desert a whole lot easier.

Types of Desert[edit]

Desert is the umbrella term for the three types of deserts you will find in Dwarf Fortress. The three types of deserts you will find are:


Badlands are biomes that have soil but very little rainfall, and so have very little to offer in the way of plant life, both shrubs and trees. They are mostly hot or cold but can also have another climate. Badlands form in areas with low rainfall and high drainage.

Rocky wastelands[edit]

Rocky wastelands are arid, barren areas rich in stone. It may be difficult to find soil or an above ground water source. Additionally trees and other plant life is usually scarce at best in these areas. Thus trees should be grown on subterranean tree farms. For pasture, the top layer of dirt can simply be channeled through, grass will grow in the resulting pit. Wastelands form in areas with low rainfall and medium drainage.

Sand desert[edit]

Sand deserts are large and dry areas of sand. They can be difficult for a beginning player to found a fortress in, due to the fact that there are usually few trees and plants to be found and it may require digging several Z-layers deep before any stone is found. However, similar to rocky wastelands, areas of the map can be channeled out for grass growth. The new grass tiles will even allow tree growth with enough time. Deserts form in areas with low rainfall and low drainage.

Deserts are most likely to be warm or cold, but may be scorching or freezing as well. They are always arid, so cold deserts may only have flowing water for a few months of the year, and warm ones might have rivers that evaporate during the summer months.


Found in all deserts:

Found in savage deserts:

Found in evil deserts:


Chasm · Desert · Forest · Glacier · Grassland · Lake · Mountain · Murky pool · Ocean · River · Savanna · Shrubland · Tundra · Wetland