Dwarf Fortress: BEST World Generation Settings

As a beginner it is crucial to have optimal World Generation settings as these settings determine how your current playthrough will playout.

As soon as you boot up Dwarf Fortress and hit the New Game, the first thing you will be presented with is World Generation settings. These settings essentially determine what kind of resources, civilization, landscape, and animals you’ll have to deal with after beginning your playthrough. Different variations of these settings cater to different audiences and everyone can create their own best settings according to their playstyle in Dwarf Fortress.

However, for new audiences, the settings can look vague and might not give a good idea of how they affect the overall gameplay, which is what we’ll be helping with today.


Key Highlights

  • World Generation settings In Dwarf Fortress are the first thing you have to meddle around with before beginning your playthrough.
  • There are six different options in World Generation settings each having a different effect on the gameplay. 
  • These options include World Map size, History Length, Number of Civilizations, Maximum Number of Sites, Number of Beasts, Natural Savagery and Mineral Occurrence
  • The options alter the scale of the world, the time since the world was established, the number of races, the number of inhabitants, amount of beasts, amount of savage animals, and the number of metals at the disposal of each race respectively.
  • There is Detailed Mode as well which gives you an in-depth menu list to change the things mentioned above much more drastically as well as allowing you to interfere with things like temperature and rainfall as well.

Best World Generation Settings

Basic Settings
All World Generation options

Dwarf Fortress has 7 different world generation settings with each of them having 5 different options to choose from, ranging from very small/low to very high/large. The best world generations settings are as follows:

World Map Size –  Medium

World map size is basically what it says, which is determining the size of the world. It is linked with the base values of all the other world generation settings in order to keep the world balanced with its inhabitants, biomes, and resources. We recommend leaving the world size to its default setting which is Medium.

History Length – 100 years

History Length basically decides how much time has passed in the game when you are put in control of the world. Choosing 5 years means that only 5 years have passed since the dawn of time, which obviously means civilization wouldn’t have developed much. Keeping it on the default setting, which is 100 years is the sweet spot since it gives civilizations enough time to develop bonds or feuds. 

The longer your history length is the more time it will take the world to generate while affecting the system’s performance as well. The higher you go, the more historical events would have occurred and the smaller you set it the fewer events would have occurred in the world. 

Number Of Civilizations – Medium/High

This option determines the number of civilizations that will exist in your world. Decreasing the options range will decrease the number of distinct civilizations that will exist in your world which in turn decreases the world trend due to lesser interaction between different races.

And naturally setting the Number of Civilizations to high or very high will guarantee the maximum number of races which in turn will increase the world trend and the number of events that occur in the game due to the high amount of interaction between species of different races. The races include humans, goblins, dwarfs, elves, and kobolds.

So if you want to have a world where you can control the peace and warfare of different civilizations at a much larger scale, set to high, otherwise, the medium is fine too. It should be noted that the number of civilizations also affects the History Generation time since a high number of civilizations will increase the number of events that would have occurred in the world by the time you begin the game

Maximum Number Of Sites –  Medium/High

This option determines how big the civilizations will be by giving them more sites, habitats, and establishments to expand. The sites exist in the form of Towns, Mountain Halls, Forest retreats, Dark Pits, and more. Setting to this low will result in civilizations only existing within their home settlements which drastically increases the chance of them going extinct at some point

Medium is fine for the most part, but you can go with high as well if you want to minimize the risk of civilizations going extinct. Interfering with this setting also affects the History Generation time as well, since it amps up the number of inhabitants in the world.

Number Of Beasts – Medium

The Number of Beasts determines the number of megabeasts, semi-megabeasts, and titans that will exist in the world. In simple words, the beasts play the role of population control, making sure that civilizations don’t go out of control and don’t become too difficult to manage. Having a higher number of beasts than the total population will decrease the population with time and if the population is very low, it will give birth to this post-apocalyptic setting where life is going extinct

Likewise, having a low number of beasts will result in beasts going extinct with time. So, our recommendation here would be to balance the number of sites and beasts in order to have a balanced overall experience. In our case, it will be medium. It should be noted that a number of beasts scale with the size of the world too.

Natural Savagery – Medium

This setting increases the number of savage animals you have in the world by increasing the number of savage biomes in the world. The higher the Natural Savagery, the higher the chances of your various civilizations getting attacked by aggressive animals.

This is a good setting to spice up the game and have some level of challenge as you manage your world. Medium is fine for beginner players, but you can turn it to high or very to increase the level of challenge.

Mineral Occurrence –  Everywhere

Mineral Occurrence basically means how many metals each civilization will have access to. If it is set to “rare” or “sparse”, the number of minerals each civilization will have access to will be very limited, causing huge hurdles in management early on.

For that reason, it is recommended to leave this option on default value which is “Everywhere” or at least at “Frequent” in order to have the flexibility and resources for building fortresses without too many obstacles causing a blockage in your progression.

Detailed Mode

Advanced World Gen Settings Mode
A list of options in Detailed Mode

Detailed Mode is basically a very advanced version of World Generation settings and gives you a plethora of options to play around with. This mode includes various options like controlling rainfall, temperature, drainage, elevation weighted range, volcanism, amount of inhabitants that exist in the game, and much more.

Playing around with detailed mode is highly advised if you have developed a good understanding of the game mechanics or are at least familiar with how the games of these genres work. Otherwise, stick to basic World Generation settings. This mode also allows you to transfer already established templates of other users as well.

Conclusion

Getting a steam release after 20 years, Dwarf Fortress has seen a resurgence in its fan base, and with the added graphics interface the game is now more accessible than ever. The amount of options at your disposal and how many strings you can twist and turn to change the outcome of different scenarios is limitless. 

This concludes our guide on the best World Generation settings in Dwarf Fortress. Let us know what you think about our guide in the comments below.


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Moiz Banoori.


Having worked at various Video Game sites, coupled with 7 years of Content Writing Experience. I presently monitor teams, create strategies, and publish qualified pieces through my aptitude.

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