Dwarf Fortress: Setup


Next: Starting the Game

First, grab the game! http://bay12games.com/dwarves/ Look for “SDL” and grab the package appropriate for your OS.

Extract the .zip, and open the folder. The default config for DF kind of sucks, so we need to tweak a few things. Don’t worry, I’ll make this as painless as possible.

In \data\init

Open init (it’s a .txt file)

Here are changes I normally make. The optional ones I leave up to you. Just scan through the file and look for the blocks I call out - they’re all in order.

Optional: [SOUND:YES] -> change YES to NO.
Optional: [INTRO:YES] -> change YES to NO

[WINDOWED: YES] -> I normally leave this one on “yes”. Since you’re playing with a tutorial, you should too!

NOT OPTIONAL: Change these settings to these values.
If your monitor isn’t as big as mine, just change it to WINDOWEDX:800 and WINDOWEDY:600

These changes make the game much easier to see. Save and close this file.

All the following are optional:

These settings are all in a different .txt file in the same folder.

Open d_init

If your computer is particularly old or slow (let’s say... less than dual core processors):

[WEATHER:YES] -> change YES to NO

This will prevent fun random stuff like rain, ice, and lava burning down your entire fort. Those calculations are done on a square-by-square basis though, so turning them down saves a lot of CPU time.

[COFFIN_NO_PETS_DEFAULT:NO] -> Change NO to YES instead.
This will save you a couple of keystrokes in the tutorial later.

[SET_LABOR_LISTS:NO] - Changing SKILLS to NO might help you manage immigrants when they start swarming in by the dozen.

You won’t hit this until mid-game, but it does prevent a lot of visual noise.

[SHOW_FLOW_AMOUNTS:NO] -> Change NO to YES. This makes water and lava easier to understand - it shows up as numbers indicating depth (1 is shallow, 7 is deepest) instead of the liquid symbol.

Extremely optional and not particularly recommended until you've played for a bit:
Only do this if you play through for a bit and find distinguishing the ground from other things to be very confusing. Personally, I like the variety. I wouldn't change this right off the bat - give yourself a chance to adjust first.

Remember to save the file!

Next: Starting the Game