Dwarf Fortress: Where to Find Ore

Like much in Dwarf Fortress, mining for ore is easy once you know which options to select.

If you are having trouble finding Ore in Dwarf Fortress, you’re not alone. This elusive material is required to craft metal items, like armor and weapons, for your Militia. Luckily, your Dwarves are perfectly suited to mine and extract it, and the new Steam Version has some options that make finding it even easier. Keep reading for our guide on how to find both ore and gems in the game.


How to Get Ore in Dwarf Fortress

Players can find Ore by mining rocks in the game. To target specific ore, open the advanced mining options (arrow icon) and set it to Auto. Clicking and dragging across different rocks will force miners to only mine ore and gems. 

Auto Ore, Dwarf Fortress
Mining Only Ore and Gems

If you are not finding the Ore you need or want, try going down a few more levels by building descending staircases next to each other. Different layers will have different kinds of Ore and gems.

Your starting area will also dictate which kind of ore you can find. See our Dwarf Fortress Beginners Guide to learn how to select a starting location. 

If all else fails and you’re already too deep into your save file, you can always request that merchants bring you the Ore you desire. However, keep in mind that Ore is pretty heavy, so the amount you’re going to be able to get each year might not be enough to craft everything you need to make.

Refining Ore

Different Ore types can be identified by left-clicking them. Under Uses, it will tell you what the material can be refined into. For example, hematite ore can be smelted into Ore of iron. 

Refining Ore, Dwarf Fortress
Hematite Ore Information Window

Build a Smelter by going to Structures (b)Workshops (o)Furnaces (u)Smelter (l). Once built, you can add the task to smelt the Ore that you have. In some cases, you may need alternative materials. For example, to smelt Iron Bars from hematite, you also need Coke, which is created from bituminous coal, and lignite, which can also be mined. 

Furnace in Dwarf Fortress
Building a Smelter

Finished ore materials can be found by opening the Stocks menu at the top of the screen. Finished bars will be under the Bars tab while ore can be found under the Stones tab. 

Once you have metal bars, they can be used at the Metalsmith’s Forge to craft armor, weapons, and more.

See our other Dwarf Fortress guides

How to Fix FPS | How to Upgrade Rooms | How to Raise and Train Animals | How to Craft Jewelry | How to Make an Office | How to Create a Militia and Squads | How to Make Drink