v50 Steam/Premium information for editors
  • v50 information can now be added to pages in the main namespace. v0.47 information can still be found in the DF2014 namespace. See here for more details on the new versioning policy.
  • Use this page to report any issues related to the migration.
This notice may be cached—the current version can be found here.


From Dwarf Fortress Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is about an older version of DF.
The z-level indicator. The number is relative to the bottom of the map space. In this case the embark site is 142 levels above 0.

Z-Level describes vertical space (depth or altitude) within Dwarf Fortress, analogous to the Z-axis in geometry which extends out of the page towards the viewer. Each layer of view is a discrete z-level with a value relative to the bottom of the map space, indicated in the lower right corner of the screen. The player moves their view from one z-level to another by using < to move up and > to move down.

The default settings produce levels with around 50 z-levels of land (for an embark with average elevation changes) with an additional 15 z-levels of empty sky space above the highest point of land; mountainous regions can end up with well over a hundred z-levels of caverns.

Numerous factors available in world generation impact the available z-levels, and can alter the depth of the map to a minimum of 6 and a maximum well in excess of 600. (Worldgen has 400 z-levels; maybe one can force 200 levels of sky.)

Reducing the number of z-levels, especially cavern levels, can reduce processor demand and boost framerate.

There is another Z-level display in the upper right corner of the main view. This displays the player z-level viewpoint relative to the surface z-level.