Dwarf Fortress is in a league of its own when it comes to the complexity of gameplay and user interface, but it keeps attracting players from all over the world. This is especially the case with the recent Steam release, which made the game more accessible with the official GUI overhaul.
Still, if you miss the ASCII art and feel or want something a little bit different on your screen, the good news is that unofficial GUI overhauls still work on Dwarf Fortress Classic.
Here is our list of the top 5 texture packs and tilesets in Dwarf Fortress for both old-school and new-school fans.
Textured Grid (Halloween Edition)
The original Textured Grid tileset created by the user Lemunde is already a great choice. Close to the original ASCII idea for Dwarf Fortress, but with symbols and color combinations that pop, this version got better with a Halloween update and some minor tweaks and color schemes appropriate for the fall—which look great (and are easy to read) all year long.
Heavily inspired by The Lord of the Rings, Runeset gives you maps and the feel that every self-respecting dwarf would appreciate. In case you experience difficulties with reading, you can always get the Runeset for graphics and Runeset + Aniron font combo for an even stronger LOTR tie and text that is easier on the eyes.
Curses of Balin
Walking a fine line between the old-school and new-school Dwarf Fortress graphics, Curses of Balin looks beautiful, first and foremost. The color scheme full of deep green, brown, and grey tones goes perfectly with the game, while beautifully crafted sprites give you just enough of that 3D illusion you may be looking for.
With over 5,000 creature sprites and dwarf designs heavily inspired by Nordic myths, Vettlingr’s Tileset is a feast for the eyes. It features unique hand-drawn tiles for items, workshops, terrain, furniture material, geological resources, civilized races, monsters, plants—you name it! The sheer diversity of the elements present in this tileset makes it a worthy addition to our list, and—again—everything included just looks so good!
Enhanced Dwarf Fortress
The enhanced version of Dwarf Fortress that came with its Steam release looks good. Sure, it may not be the preferred choice for those who have been with the game from the very beginning, but it will do wonders for attracting new legions of fans who require some more transparency and ease from this complicated game. With well-made sprites, natural-looking color schemes, and menus that are easier to navigate, the default textures from the Steam game do their job quite well, in our opinion.
And that’s our top 5 list of texture packs in Dwarf Fortress in no particular order. Do you have any other recommendations? Leave us a comment and make sure to check out other Dwarf Fortress articles on our website, including How to Appoint and Use a Priest in Dwarf Fortress or Best Weapons in Dwarf Fortress Ranked.