Learn to Play

We get a lot of comments on this site from people who are amazed by the things that happen in a typical game of Dwarf Fortress.

“No game is actually like this, right? … Right?! I will have to check this out.”

“This is one of the most brilliant stories I’ve read, and it inspired me to start really learning how to play Dwarf Fortress.”

We also get a lot of comments about how difficult it is to learn.

“These stories of insane complexity are exactly what make me want to get into the game, yet the game’s insanely steep learning curve is exactly what’s preventing me from doing so.”

Dwarf Fortress is quite notorious for its steep learning curve, which is really more like a sheer cliff face.

Learning curve of Dwarf Fortress

The game pulls no punches, and you’re expected to know almost everything immediately. Your dwarves can be killed in mere moments if you don’t know what your’re doing.

Withered - your settlement has crumbled to its end

When we started learning how to play Dwarf Fortress, the best resource was a series of tutorials by Peter Tyson. Unfortunately, those tutorials are now more than three years out of date, and behind by two major releases. The game is a work in progress, and the programmer, Tarn Adams, is constantly adding new things.

Fortunately, Peter Tyson has kept himself up-to-date. He has now written a book. An awesome book.

Alcohol and weapons? That's the spirit!

Alcohol and weapons? That’s the spirit!

According to Peter, this book will be kept up-to-date with each new major release “until I’m hit by a bus.” It even has a foreword by Tarn Adams himself. We were uncertain how people would react to the book when it was first published, but it’s very comprehensive and well-written, and the Dwarf Fortress community loves it.

Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress is designed for players who are completely new to the game.The early chapters very carefully guide the reader to establish and maintain a fortress, and the later chapters can be read in any order, never containing too much nor too little detail. Everything finally makes sense. Do you know what flux material is? Well, you’re about to find out!

Peter Tyson has helped more people learn Dwarf Fortress than anyone else. With this book, you can scale that learning cliff, and learn to play one of the most unique and rewarding computer games ever made.


Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress – Paperback Version ($19.99)

Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress – Kindle Version ($16.55)

Here are a few quotes from people who finally learned to play by reading Peter’s book.

“ The sections are clearly laid out, and Peter Tyson writes with an flowing, easy-to-read style that’s both compelling and humorous. ”

– Ysgard (read full review)

“ In just the first three chapters of this book, I already had a fortress started and a good handle on how the game works. ”

– Trevor Peterson (read full review)

“ Over the years I have attempted to learn Dwarf Fortress and have failed every time. Using this book though I can say that I have learned to love the game more than I ever thought I would. If you have even a passing interest in the game you need this book. ”

– Marcus StClair (read full review)

“ If you’ve ever felt even glancing interest in traveling the road to Dwarf Fortress but were turned off by the complexity, graphics, or interface, now is the time to give it a real shot, and this book is the atlas you’ll need. ”

– Shawn King (read full review)