Deciding on which weapon is the best in any game is often a complicated task since there are many factors that influence the final selection. The same goes for Dwarf Fortress since the game offers various weapon categories, different types of damage and weapon materials, and numerous enemy variations.
There is no one ultimate weapon that can easily be identified as the winner in this little competition. A weapon that works well against one type of foe might not necessarily be the best choice for a different enemy category. However, we tried to approach the topic from several angles and decided on the following ranking of the best five native weapons in Dwarf Fortress.
1. War Hammer
This weapon takes first place on our list for one simple reason—it is effective against almost any enemy type, but especially any humanoid opponent. It is a blunt weapon that works well against armored enemies because its main type of damage is breaking bones. While it is slower than slashing weapons—which might be more effective against unarmored enemies—the odds are that most of your enemies will have some type of armor, especially in sieges.
War hammers are also particularly useful against the undead since these enemies have no blood, can’t feel pain, and won’t stop even if you slash their limbs right off.
Since weapon material also matters, go for a silver or steel war hammer whenever possible for more damage. These weapons are quite cost-effective as well and can be purchased from any merchant, which makes them easily accessible too.
2. Battle Axe
This slashing weapon type works well against unarmored enemies (if they are not too big). It has significant contact area and penetration stats (40,000 and 6,000 respectively). The steel axe works against pretty much any enemy, so if you like chopping limbs off, this is the weapon for you.
Spears rely on piercing the skin and tissue and reaching the vitals of your enemies. Therefore, they can be a great way to deal with large beasts and other unarmored opponents. The big issue with spears, however, is that they can get stuck in your enemy’s body, and it will take time to retrieve them.
4. Short Sword
This typical, edged weapon is quite versatile—you can use it to slash, stab, flat slap, or pommel-strike your enemy. Swords can be a great choice against armored enemies in sieges, but the quality and material will often play the deciding factor here. If possible, go for a steel sword to counter the armor of most enemies found in sieges.
The only ranged weapon that doesn’t have to be acquired via trading or looting, a crossbow can be an excellent choice for supporting combat. The effectiveness of a crossbow will depend, as always, on the enemy type, but they can be great against thieves or other fleeing foes.
You should be able to inflict some damage on your enemies with crossbows before you must engage them in melee combat. When the time comes, those crossbows can be used for bashing, but the damage dealt this way is quite meager.
That was our selection of the best weapons in Dwarf Fortress. Let us know about your number-one choice and get more help from our Dwarf Fortress articles, including How to Build and Use Hospitals or How to Get and Use Flux Stones.