How do I assign tasks to dwarves in Dwarf Fortress?


    Screenshot from MyFullGames

    Initially, it may seem like a completely foreign concept to have dwarves perform tasks in Dwarf Fortress. Because in most cases you don’t directly assign work, it can seem very obtuse at first. However, there are a few different methods, and we’ll go over all the ways to task dwarves in Dwarf Fortress.

    Making sure the right dwarves do the right tasks

    If you want to specialize in certain tasks, such as mining or crafting, you’ll need to use the labor menu. In this menu, you can make sure that only dwarves with the right skills will take part in a certain task. By default, this includes things like mining, fishing, logging, etc. But you can add custom workgroups like

    You can also use work orders, detailed below, to assign specific shops to perform specific tasks. Then, with the fact that dwarves can be assigned specific workshops, you can have a dwarf work on only one type of task in a single workshop.

    Using the Mining Menu

    Using the Mining menu (by pressing the M key or by selecting the pickaxe at the bottom) you can designate areas for mining, smoothing, felling trees, etching, carving stairs, and carving ramps and channels. Any dwarf with access to a pickaxe or other appropriate tool will handle this task.

    in the workshops

    You can designate up to ten different tasks in a workshop. You can also set tasks to repeat indefinitely or until they can’t find the required materials. This is useful for tasks like gem cutting where you have a finite amount of a basic item.

    Related: Can you dig through an aquifer in Dwarf Fortress?

    Using Work Orders

    If you have a manager and they have access to an office/studio, you can set up work orders. Work orders will task dwarves with creating a number of items beyond the limited number usually available in workshops. You can also specify shops and other details with work orders. Here are some of the most effective ways to mass produce items.

    Directly if they are in a squad

    Military and combat actions can be assigned directly to dwarves in squads. These orders include parking, kill orders, and patrols. However, non-military orders cannot be given directly.

    standing orders

    Some tasks will be performed automatically by dwarves. These include burial, collecting the dead, putting animals in pens and pastures, and more. You can set which actions are performed automatically in the Standing Orders section of the Manpower menu.

    For more information and guides on Dwarf Fortress, check out When is Dwarf Fortress Adventure Mode released for Steam and in professional gaming guides.


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