Howdy y’all!

Got your fortress going yet?

No?… how come?

Half your Dwarves died of starvation and the other half went crazy and killed themselves because I never taught you how to farm?

Well in that case I think I will teach you how to do something completely different. Lets learn how to pick a proper start location.

Allow me to start by making it clear that you should be able to create a proper fortress just about anywhere.

BUT!!! properly picking out a starting location that suits your needs will make things much easier. Lets start by looking at the “Choose Fortress Location” screen.

There are three categories of information here.

  1. In the top left is three different views of the world showing the location your dwarves will inhabit.
  2. In the bottom left is an explanation of the controls. Remember that controls in Dwarf Fortress are case sensitive.
  3. The right side contains a description of the area currently selected.

You will generally want a number of parameters

  • A Source of water
    • The only sources of water that you can really ‘see’ are rivers and the ocean (don’t start by the ocean.)  To guarantee yourself a source of water, pick an area with a low temperature that is still above freezing, or just pick a spot with a river. Rivers are the best sources of water.
  • As much stone as possible(grey labeled substrates). (boo to Silt/loam/clay/all the brown substrates)
    • Note that all the substrates in the example image above are gray, thus they are types of stone.
  • Trees
    • Wood is an important resource necessary for the creation of a great number of items.
  • A non radical temperature
    • If it is super hot, then it will never rain, and water sources will be more scarce.
  • Avoid anywhere with an aquifer like the plague
    • Aquifers are layers of water under the ground. There are ways to deal with them, but that is much too complicated to go into right now.
  • Avoid Areas with purple surroundings text. This includes places that are Haunted and Terrifying.
    • I suggest you start off by looking for a place that is either Wilderness, or Calm.

Keep in mind that it may not always be possible to have all these things, and sometimes you may have to just pick a spot and try it out. After picking out a few spots, you should find that you already have some confidence in it.

Oh, and feel free to try out the “find desired location” feature. Unfortunately it doesn’t have nearly enough options. Good Luck and have fun!

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