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Farming for Dwarf Fortress beginners

Sow those seeds!

If you're returning to Dwarf Fortress after a long sabbatical or are curious about the long-standing game now that it's had a massive facelift, farming is an element of gameplay that can be a little confusing for unfamiliar players. Below, we detail the easiest ways to farm in Dwarf Fortress so you can begin supplying your fortress with everything it needs.

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Easiest way to farm in Dwarf Fortress

How to farm

To begin farming, you're going to need to build a Farm Plot. A 4x5 plot placed on any type of soil will yield more than enough produce to sustain your fortress until you have more than 40 dwarves, which takes about a year or two to accomplish. You can build a farm plot by opening up the workshops tab (the default hotkey should be o) and selecting farm plot from the farming category. After that you'll click and drag to highlight the area that you'd like to designate as a farm plot.

Click on a farm plot to open up its information panel, which is where you will also designate which seeds to sow in the plot. If you're just starting out, choose Plump Helmets. These can be planted in every season and used for both food and drink. As you farm, you will collect seeds. Keep these additional seeds stored in bags and barrels near the farm plot where they'll be used for easy and efficient access.

Related: How to make a temple in Dwarf Fortress

You'll want to make sure that the plump helmets are only used for alcohol, however, because using them for alcohol will give you another plump helmet seed whereas eating them will destroy both the crop and the seed. Also, your dwarves need alcohol way more than they need food so you'll want to boost your alcohol reserves as much as possible.

To ensure that the plump helmets will not be used for food, navigate to the citizen information menu (hotkey u) and find the kitchen tab which is located under the header labor. Once you're in the kitchen tab, click on the icon that looks like a bowl of steaming food so that it turns red. This means that the plump helmets will not be used for eating. Leave the beer icon on green, because you will want your dwarves to use the plump helmets for alcohol.

Once the crops are fully grown, it'll be time to harvest. All dwarves can help harvest the fields. Once the plant is harvested, your dwarves will take the produce to the correct stockpile. You can increase your crop production if you have highly skilled farmers and have used fertilizer.

Looking for more Dwarf Fortress content on Pro Game Guides? Check out You can now switch between Classic and Premium graphics in Dwarf Fortress.

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Emma Pace
Just your friendly neighborhood games writer, reporting on all things gaming.

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Farming for Dwarf Fortress beginners

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