Top 5 Best Starting Locations in Dwarf Fortress

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Dwarf Fortress artwork
Image via Bay 12 Games

Just like in real life, the environment and the location of the settlement will play a crucial role in the success of your dwarven civilization in Dwarf Fortress. It’s a no-brainer that you should pick an embark location rich in all natural resources that you may need later on, but it can be difficult to predict your dwarves’ future needs with great precision from the get-go.

Therefore, we bring you our top 5 best starting locations in Dwarf Fortress based on the aspects that matter the most when starting the game.

Forested Areas

This option comes as no surprise because forested areas give you access to a valuable resource—wood. Before you develop your metal industry, you will rely on wood to make a lot of your items. Besides making beds and other furniture pieces, you will need wood to make ash, charcoal, different machine parts, siege engines, etc.

Areas With Warm Temperatures

No wonder why not much survives in deserts or polar regions. Temperature plays an important role in how much your fortress will thrive, and the best starting point in this regard is a location where it’s warm or at least mild.

Good or Neutral Areas

Just follow common sense for this one. If the area name contains adjectives like terrifying or sinister, you probably don’t want to settle there. Unless you want to fight dangerous creatures, bad weather, or different ailments from the very start, stick to tamer surroundings.

Areas Close to a River

How important rivers are is Civilizations 101. Your dwarves will obviously need a big source of drinking water, but rivers are great for controlling hunger (fishing) and defending your fortress since they’re natural obstacles for your enemies.

Don’t be tempted to start on an island or too close to the ocean—salt water is difficult to work with, and you risk isolating yourself even though islands have an advantage when it comes to natural defenses.

Areas Rich With Metals

You’re playing with dwarves, after all, and there’s little they love more than mining. In this regard, you should pay more attention to Shallow and Deep Metals and not worry so much about Flux Stone. It is better to have good quantities and significant diversity of metals since different types of flux stone can be traded for. Still, the best location for starting will have all three resources, at least, in some measure.

The final choice is, of course, yours to make since the best location for starting in Dwarf Fortress depends on your playstyle. However, considering the options we listed here will allow you to have an easier experience from the very start.

Want to ease up everything some more? Check out our other Dwarf Fortress articles, including How to Use Armor and How to Build and Use Hospitals.

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Top 5 Best Starting Locations in Dwarf Fortress

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