Mastering a metal industry in Dwarf Fortress will ensure your fortress is economically prosperous and that your military can defend it. Mining, smelting, and crafting metals lets you make weapons and armor for your military, or just make fancier trade good and furniture. But it’s not always easy to know what ores smelt into what metals or how to make alloys.
Our Dwarf Fortress metals guide will help you understand what ores you’re finding, set up your metal industry, and start making valuable alloys and weapons.
Metal industry from start to finish
Any metal industry in Dwarf Fortress starts with finding metal ore. That’s the easy part, really. You’ll find metal ore just by digging — it’ll get left behind as you dig through certain types of rock.
From there, you’ll need to smelt the ore in a Build (b) > Workshop (o) > Furnaces (u) > Smelter (l). Smelting also requires fuel, though. That comes from charcoal made from logs in a Build (b) > Workshop (o) > Furnaces (u) > Wood Furnace (f) or from either bituminous coal or lignite turned into coke at a Smelter.
Smelting produces metal bars that are then worked at a Build (b) > Workshops (o) > Metalsmith’s Forge (i). That’s where you’ll make everything from weapons to furniture to instruments — a process that uses more fuel.
Types of metal ore in Dwarf Fortress
There are 12 types of metal that come from the 17 different metal ores you might find underground in Dwarf Fortress.
Dwarf Fortress metal ores and metals
Smelting one piece of each of the above metal ores at a Smelter will produce four bars of metal. For the two ores that produce two different metals — Galena and Tetrahedrite — four bars of the first metal listed will be produced along with up to four bars of the second metal.
Raw Adamantine is slightly different. Raw Adamantine needs to be processed first at a Craftsdwarf’s Workshop with Extract Metal Strands. Those strands are then woven into cloth at a Loom (and then into Adamantine clothing at a Metalsmith’s Workshop) or made into Adamantine Wafers at a Smelter.
Metal Alloys in Dwarf Fortress
Combining those 12 metals at a Smelter lets you make an additional 14 Alloys.
Dwarf Fortress Alloys
|Billon||1 Silver, 1 Copper|
|Bismuth Bronze||1 Tin, 2 Copper, 1 Bismuth|
|Black Bronze||2 Copper, 1 Silver, 1 Gold|
|Brass||1 Zinc, 1 Copper|
|Bronze||1 Tin, 1 Copper|
|Electrum||1 Silver, 1 Gold|
|Fine Pewter||3 Tin, 1 Copper|
|Lay Pewter||2 Tin, 1 Copper, 1 Lead|
|Nickel Silver||2 Nickel, 1 Copper, 1 Zinc|
|Pig Iron||1 Iron, 1 Flux stone, 1 Fuel|
|Rose Gold||3 Gold, 1 Copper|
|Steel||1 Iron, 1 Pig Iron, 1 Flux, 1 Fuel|
|Sterling Silver||3 Silver, 1 Copper|
|Trifle Pewter||2 Tin, 1 Copper|
When you create an Alloy at a Smelter, you’ll have the choice to either use ore or use bars. Using bars is less efficient, producing two bars of Alloy for each operation (1 Silver Bar and 1 Copper Bar produce 2 Billon Bars). Using ores, on the other hand, produces eight bars (1 Zinc ore and 1 Copper ore produce 8 Bronze Bars).
Pig Iron and Steel require additional materials. In addition to extra bars of charcoal or coke, you’ll also need Flux stone — Calcite, Chalk, Dolomite, Limestone, or Marble.
Metal and Alloy values
Below, we’ll list the value — the base rate you’d get when trading with a Caravan — of a single bar of each Metal or Alloy.
Dwarf Fortress Metal and Alloy values
|Metal or Alloy||Value|
|Metal or Alloy||Value|
The base value of a bar of each Metal and Alloy lets you see how (relatively) valuable something created from that metal would be — a Gold throne will be worth more than one made from Bronze, for example.
Metal and Alloy uses in Dwarf Fortress
Every metal can be used in Construction — building things like floors, walls, and Workshops. Every metal except Bismuth can be used in making furniture (things like cabinets, barrels, and thrones) and metal crafts (like earrings, goblets, and crowns).
Picks can only be made from Adamantine, Bismuth Bronze, Bronze, Copper, Iron, and Steel.
Anvils need to be Adamantine, Iron, or Steel.
Armor and Weapons can only be Adamantine, Bismuth Bronze, Bronze, Copper, Iron, or Steel.