Is the original Dwarf Fortress still free? Answered

How pixelated will you get?

Image via Bay12 Games

Dwarf Fortress is one of the top resource simulation games and when it first came out in 2006, it was free to play. Despite its original simple style, part of Dwarf Fortress’ charm is that every time you play, your game can be wildly different depending on your choices. This hit indie title has been around for a long time, but recently it got quite the professional facelift. However, if you prefer the original version of Dwarf Fortress, can you still play for free?

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Where can you find Dwarf Fortress for free?

When Dwarf Fortress first came out, it was posted on Bay 12 Games’ website for free. Though it’s been seventeen years since that original release, classic Dwarf Fortress is still available as a free download. So, as long as you’re alright with very simple pixels and no music, just head to Bay 12 Games’ site to play. If you want your Dwarf Fortress to come with a few new features, though, you’ll want to head to Steam and pay $29.99 for the fully animated, designed, and musically composed version of this classic indie game.

What’s the difference between the original Dwarf Fortress and Dwarf Fortress 2022?

Image via Bay12 Games

Luckily, for people who loved the original Dwarf Fortress, the actual gameplay between the two games isn’t too different. The largest changes are all about creative refinement. At first, Dwarf Fortress was a well-coded fortress-simulation game using simple pixels. Bay 12 Games spent the next 15+ years adding new updates to keep the gameplay complex and fresh. The 2022 update is still that same beloved game, just with more artistic growth. Dwarf Fortress 2022 now has a price tag of $29.99 and that cost pays for professional art, animations, music, and the exact kind of details that make the game feel more polished.

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Classic Dwarf Fortress is still tons of fun, and any gamer strapped for cash can still enjoy hundreds of hours for free, building offices, temples, mines, and more. For a more creatively fleshed-out experience, you can support Dwarf Fortress 2022 and its many wonderful additions.

No matter which version you prefer, Dwarf Fortress’ creators, Bay 12 Games, have plans to keep updating the game indefinitely.