how to attract migrants dwarf fortress

How to Attract Migrants in Dwarf Fortress: A Comprehensive Guide

Dwarf Fortress is an addictive and complex game that provides players with a unique opportunity to build their own fortress from scratch. One of the many challenges that players face is attracting migrants to their fortress. Migrants are essential for the growth and development of your fortress. Without them, your fortress will fail to thrive, and your dwarves will struggle to survive. In this article, we explore different strategies and tips you can utilize to attract migrants to your fortress.

Why Are Migrants Important in Dwarf Fortress?

Migrants are dwarves who arrive at your fortress seeking employment and refuge. They bring with them new skills, talents, and strengths that are vital for the development of your fortress. When migrants arrive, they usually have no allegiance to your fortress or its previous owner. This means they are free to join your workforce and contribute to your fortress’s growth and development.

In Dwarf Fortress, migrants are essential because they bring fresh blood and a new perspective to your fortress. They can introduce new skills and knowledge that your existing workforce may not have. This can be invaluable, especially if your fortress is struggling in a particular area, such as farming, crafting, or combat. Migrants also bring diversity to your fortress, which can help strengthen your community and improve your chances of success.

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Strategies for Attracting Migrants

Attracting migrants to your fortress can be a daunting task, especially in the early stages of the game. However, with the right strategies and tactics, you can increase your chances of success. Here are some strategies you can use to attract migrants to your fortress:

1. Build A Better Fortress

The first and most crucial strategy for attracting migrants to your fortress is to create a better fortress. Migrants are attracted to fortresses that are thriving, prosperous, and safe. This means you need to focus on building a fortress that provides your dwarves with everything they need to survive and thrive.

Some of the things you need to consider when building your fortress include food, water, shelter, safety, and entertainment. You need to ensure that your dwarves have access to these essentials, and they are satisfied with their living conditions. If your fortress lacks any of these essentials, it will be challenging to attract migrants.

2. Advertise Your Fortress

Another effective strategy for attracting migrants is to advertise your fortress. You can do this by creating an attractive and detailed world map that showcases your fortress’s location, size, and resources. You can also include information about your fortress’s culture, history, and achievements to entice potential migrants.

Migrants are often attracted to fortresses that have a reputation for being prosperous and safe. If your fortress has achieved something noteworthy, such as successfully defending against a goblin invasion, make sure to mention it in your advertisement. This can help increase your fortress’s appeal and attract more migrants.

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3. Provide Incentives

Providing incentives is another way to attract migrants to your fortress. You can offer migrants a higher salary, better living conditions, or access to valuable resources. This can attract migrants who are skilled in particular areas, such as crafting, farming, or combat.

You can also offer migrants perks and benefits that your existing dwarves don’t have. For example, you can give migrants access to exclusive accommodations or resources that only they can use. This can make them feel valued and appreciated, which can increase their loyalty to your fortress.

4. Host Festivals and Events

Hosting festivals and events is another effective way to attract migrants to your fortress. Festivals can help improve the morale of your dwarves and showcase your fortress’s culture and traditions. This can attract migrants who are interested in your fortress’s way of life.

You can also host events that showcase your fortress’s skills and talents. For example, you can host a crafting competition, a wrestling tournament, or a music festival. This can attract migrants who are skilled in these areas and are looking for a place to showcase their talents.

5. Pursue Diplomacy

Finally, pursuing diplomacy with other civilizations can help attract migrants to your fortress. Diplomacy involves establishing friendly relations with other civilizations and trading resources and goods with them. This can increase your fortress’s wealth and resources, making it more appealing to migrants.

When pursuing diplomacy, you need to ensure that you maintain friendly relations with other civilizations. If you engage in hostile behavior or break trade agreements, it can damage your reputation and make it difficult to attract migrants.

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How do I know when migrants are going to arrive?

Migrants arrive at your fortress in groups every year, usually in the spring or early summer. You can keep track of when migrants are going to arrive by checking the “Arrivals” screen in Dwarf Fortress.

How many migrants can I expect each year?

The number of migrants you can expect each year depends on your fortress’s reputation and population. The higher your fortress’s reputation and population, the more migrants you can expect.

Can I control which dwarves become migrants?

No, you cannot control which dwarves become migrants. The game selects migrants randomly from other civilizations.

Can I attract migrants if my fortress is struggling?

Attracting migrants is more difficult if your fortress is struggling. However, if you focus on improving your fortress’s essential needs, such as food, water, and safety, you can increase your chances of attracting migrants.

Can I reject migrants who arrive at my fortress?

No, you cannot reject migrants who arrive at your fortress. Once they arrive, they become part of your fortress’s community. However, you can assign them to less critical jobs or put them in quarantine if you suspect they have a contagious disease.


Attracting migrants to your fortress can be challenging, but it’s essential for your fortress’s growth and development. By following the strategies outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of attracting migrants and creating a thriving fortress. Remember to focus on essential needs such as food, water, and safety, advertise your fortress, provide incentives, host festivals and events, and pursue diplomacy with other civilizations. With dedication and patience, you can create a fortress that attracts migrants from all corners of the world.

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