Dwarf Fortress Work System is Getting a Major Upgrade

The work system in Bay 12 Games' Dwarf Fortress is getting some serious upgrades for its upcoming Steam PC release from Kitfox Games, giving players more flexibility to ensure that jobs get done in your Fort.

Published: August 12, 2021 2:36 PM /


Dwarf Fortress Work System changes cover

The Dwarf Fortress work system is getting some serious upgrades on the PC Steam version published by Kitfox Games, making it easier than ever to organize your dwarves in Bay 12 Games' popular colony sim.

Dwarf Fortress isn't just a colony sim game — it's one of the most complex games in the genre (or any genre, really), giving players an unprecedented amount of freedom to command an army of dwarves and build a civilization. That complexity comes at a price, though, and the game's menus and systems are somewhat challenging for new players to figure out. Soon, it will be easier than ever to manage your fort thanks to a number of new upgrades detailed by the developer.

Dwarf Fortress Work System Citizens
The "Citizens" screen now gives you details on which jobs dwarves are allowed to perform.

How the Dwarf Fortress Work System is Changing For the Better

The current Dwarf Fortress work system requires players to manually assign dwarves to jobs and that can make things a bit janky. Sometimes work doesn't get done at all, and it's often difficult to figure out what the problem is.

Going forward, all jobs will be completed based on a skill range to ensure that they get done. A Legendary Blacksmith will always be the priority for making a hammer, but someone else will fill in if he's somehow unavailable. Players will be able to control these elements by assigning "Workshop Masters," restricting these construction stations to a single specific dwarf.

Not all jobs are done at workshops, though — and that's covered with a new system, too. Jobs like digging and woodcutting can also be assigned to specific dwarves and they'll be the only ones that do them. This will save you from having to worry about a Legendary Mason getting killed when he runs outside to chop down a tree.

Dwarf Fortress Work System Work Details
"Non-Workshop" jobs can be assigned to specific dwarves and they'll be the only ones who take on those tasks. You can create custom labor categories, too!

The Dwarf Fortress work system takes these changes a step further. As any Dwarf Fortress veteran knows, hauling is an essential job for keeping your hallways clear of debris. Custom work details can be set to tackle things like hauling, and you can even get as specific as created a special "Stone Hauling" job to keep the way clear for your Miners.

All of these changes build on the massive improvements to the game's menus that was revealed late last month. As before, Bay 12 Games' Tarn Adams notes that the color and designs are still a work in progress, so you should expect these to look a little different whenever the Steam version of the game actually launches.

For now, we'll have to continue to patiently wait for this shiny new version of the game to come out on Steam. In the meantime, you can add Dwarf Fortress to your wishlist on Steam you can play the ASCII version of Dwarf Fortress for free on PC, Mac, and Linux right now.

What do you think of the changes to the Dwarf Fortress work system? What is the biggest problem with the game's UI in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below!

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A photograph of TechRaptor Senior Writer Robert N. Adams.
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One of my earliest memories is playing Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System. I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I… More about Robert N