How to get food in Dwarf Fortress

Prepare for a feast.

Screenshot by Gamepur

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Food is a vital resource you will need to feed your dwarves and clans in Dwarf Fortress. Without it, your dwarves will starve, and things will get nasty if you can’t feed them properly. There are a few options available to you, but you must go through several processes to ensure the food you’re giving them is good. Here’s what you need to know about how to get food in Dwarf Fortress.

How food works in Dwarf Fortress

How you gather food will vary, and it changes based on the type of resources around you. You can gather food by fishing, farming, gathering plants, breeding your livestock and slaughtering them, trapping, trading, or hunting. The common choices you’ll want to rely on include fishing, farming, trapping, and hunting. Trapping is a good way to grab animals, but it takes a good amount of time. Hunting is also a decent way to acquire animals, but a bit more risk is involved. Fishing is good, but it takes much too long. Finally, farming is effective and will likely be the best way for you to acquire food for your dwarves. You will need seeds if you want to farm.

Related: Dwarf Fortress beginners guide — tips and tricks for forging your fortress

Each of these food sources also requires secondary workshops. For example, if you plan to send your dwarves to go fishing, make sure to create a Fishery, where you can process the fish, cut it up, and make it ready to be used in a Kitchen. The Kitchen is where your dwarves can create ready-to-eat meals for everyone and have them sit down to enjoy it, rather than eating raw materials. You always want to have a Kitchen at the ready somewhere in your base and have someone working on creating meals if they have no other projects that need their attention.

Screenshot by Gamepur

It all comes down to making sure you have workshops and dwarves actively working on these food rotations. We highly recommend you focus on farming for most of your food, and treat the other choices as potential treats for your dwarves.