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This article is about an older version of DF.

(If you're looking for information on the z key, see Status screen)

The third axis is known in math as the z-axis. It measures "up and down" distances. A z-level is one layer of the map that can be viewed at a time. Changing z-levels is done with the < (up) and > (down) keys. It is normally only available in Adventurer mode.

3 dimensions[edit]

It's easy to think of a graph with an x-axis and a y-axis, right?

In the map view, traveling east or west moves you along the x-axis, and traveling north or south moves you along the y-axis. Traveling up or down stairs/ramps moves you along the z-axis.

3 dimensions.png

The z-axis, as you can see, is perpendicular to both the x-axis and the y-axis to create a 3D coordinate system, which is what Dwarf Fortress is based in.

To move up and down, use < and > (which are shift, and shift. in most keyboard layouts).

In Fortress mode, all objects have their z-coordinate set to 0, since there is only one level present. It is possible, though, to use 3rd-party tools such as DFHack to create additional Z-levels within a fortress, and the game will mostly handle them correctly (e.g. creatures and projectiles will travel up and down correctly, but substances such as miasma and smoke will not).