dwarf fortress how to hunt

The Ultimate Guide to Hunting in Dwarf Fortress

Dwarf Fortress is a complex and challenging game that offers a daunting array of gameplay options. One of the most essential aspects of the game is hunting, as it provides an important source of food and materials for your dwarves. However, it can be difficult to determine the best strategies for hunting in Dwarf Fortress. In this guide, we will explore everything you need to know about hunting in Dwarf Fortress, including tips and tricks for success.

Why is Hunting Important in Dwarf Fortress?

Hunting is a vital aspect of the game and plays a significant role in the survival of your fortress. Wildlife such as deer, rabbits, and other animals can provide valuable sources of food, leather, and bones for your dwarves. In addition, hunting can help train your military dwarves, allowing them to increase their hunting and combat skills.

Understanding the best methods for hunting can be overwhelming, especially for new players. In the following sections, we’ll explore the various methods for hunting in Dwarf Fortress and provide some tips on how to get the most out of your hunting experiences.

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Methods for Hunting in Dwarf Fortress

There are several methods for hunting in Dwarf Fortress, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most popular hunting techniques:


Trapping is one of the safest methods for hunting in the game. It involves creating traps in strategic locations around your fortress to trap wild animals. The traps can be baited with food, and once triggered, they will capture the animal without the need for your hunters to engage in combat.

Trapping is a great way to collect valuable resources without risking the safety of your dwarves. However, there are some downsides to this method. Trapping requires a lot of time and effort to set up, and many animals can avoid traps altogether. In addition, trapping does not train your military dwarves.


Ambushing involves setting up a hidden location from which your hunters can attack animals as they pass by. This method is useful when hunting larger animals that may be difficult to trap or take down in direct combat. Additionally, ambushing can help train your military dwarves by giving them opportunities to practice their combat skills.

To set up an ambush, you will need to find a location that provides cover and concealment. Once you have identified a good location, you can station your hunters there and wait for animals to approach. This technique requires patience and careful planning, but it can be a highly effective method for hunting.

Direct Combat

Direct combat is the most straightforward method for hunting in Dwarf Fortress. It involves sending your military dwarves out into the wilderness to engage animals in combat. This method can be highly effective for hunting smaller animals, such as rabbits or snakes, but it can also be quite dangerous.

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If you choose to use direct combat for hunting, make sure that your military dwarves are well equipped and have received adequate combat training. You should also try to keep them away from larger, more dangerous animals unless you are confident in their abilities.

Tips for Successful Hunting

Regardless of the hunting method you choose, there are some tips you can follow to increase your chances of success. Here are a few suggestions:

Spend Time Observing Animals

Observation is one of the most important aspects of hunting in Dwarf Fortress. Spend time watching the movements of animals, as this can help you choose the best hunting locations and timing. For example, if you observe that a group of deer tends to move through a certain area at a particular time of day, you can set up an ambush at that location.

Choose the Right Equipment

Different hunting methods require different equipment. If you plan to use trapping, make sure you have a good supply of traps and bait. If you plan to hunt with direct combat, ensure that your dwarves have suitable weapons and armor.

Train Your Military Dwarves

If you plan to use direct combat for hunting, it’s essential to train your military dwarves adequately. This will give them a better chance of successfully taking down animals without suffering injuries.

Be Prepared for the Unexpected

Hunting in Dwarf Fortress can be unpredictable. Animals can surprise you, and accidents can occur. Make sure that you always have a backup plan and that your dwarves are equipped to handle unexpected situations.

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Here are some frequently asked questions about hunting in Dwarf Fortress:

What is the best way to get leather in Dwarf Fortress?

The best way to get leather in Dwarf Fortress is to hunt animals and then process their hides. Leather can also be obtained by killing goblins or trading with merchants.

How do I train my military dwarves?

You can train your military dwarves by setting up dangerous training regimes or by sending them on military expeditions. You can also set training weapons and armor for them to use in their downtime.

What are the best animals to hunt in Dwarf Fortress?

The best animals to hunt in Dwarf Fortress depend on what resources you need. Deer and rabbits are good sources of food and leather, while larger animals like bears and elephants can provide valuable bones and ivory.

What is the safest hunting method in Dwarf Fortress?

Trapping is the safest hunting method in Dwarf Fortress, as it does not require your dwarves to engage in combat with animals. However, it can be time-consuming and not always effective.


Hunting is an essential aspect of Dwarf Fortress that requires careful planning and strategy. Whether you choose to trap, ambush or engage in direct combat, there are several methods for hunting that can provide valuable resources for your fortress. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you can increase your chances of hunting success and keep your dwarves well-fed and well-equipped for any challenges they may face.

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