How to fix work orders not working in Dwarf Fortress

Get those dwarves back to work.

Image via Bay12 Games

A well-oiled dwarf fortress runs as much on the blood and sweat of your dwarves as it does on work orders that have been appropriately set up. As it grows, so too grow the demands of your people, and there is more that has to be done to keep them satisfied, occupied, and prospering. To help with automation, an intricate web of work orders can be set up from early on in the game. But there are situations when these setups fail, and you’re left wondering why no one is cooking meals, why the sheep are left unsheared, and why those beds are a year late. Here’s how to solve the problem of work orders not working correctly in Dwarf Fortress.

Related: How to appoint a Dungeon Master in Dwarf Fortress

Dwarf Fortress work orders not working — fixes and solutions

You can start setting up work orders as early as you want in Dwarf Fortress, though they’re not very effective early on when your base is still pretty small. You only have so many dwarves to go around, meaning that setting up intricate patterns of production can be counterproductive. However, whatever you set up will undoubtedly work, but there are a few issues to be aware of, each of which can cause your work orders to default and become unresponsive.

Firstly, you have to set up a Manager to take care of your orders and delegate. He will do his job well enough for a time, but after your fortress grows over the population of 20 dwarves, your Manager will stop working, and with him, your work orders will become unresponsive. This is because he now needs to have an Office from which to work.

Screenshot by Gamepur

It’s easy to overlook this and just watch your fortress grind to a halt, and that’s the main source of the problem. The solution is simple, just make a new room with a chair and mark it as Office, then assign the Manager to it. He will then get back to work, and your work orders will resume normally.

However, if the problem persists, there is one more possible reason. If you have the Office and your Manager assigned to it, but the work orders are still stalling, then that can mean your Manager is upset or in a bad mood. If that is the case, you have two options — looking for ways to improve Manager’s mood or replacing him with a new dwarf in his position.