How to Fix FPS in Dwarf Fortress (Steam Version)

If your Dwarf Fortress FPS has dropped to 1, we have your solution.
Dwarf Fortress Key Art
Image: Bay 12 Games

Dwarf Fortress, the settlement-management simulation that has stumped many-a-gamer, is an amazing game, but it still suffers from some roughness around the edges. One problem many encounters is what’s called FPS death, where essentially it feels like your game goes down to 1 FPS. 

In a game where the graphics are strictly 2D sprites, it can seem pretty strange that such a simple game could lag higher-end hardware. However, because there are so many procedurally-generated events happening all randomly at once, it can bring down even the most powerful of video cards and processors. Luckily, we have a way for you to figure out what’s going on in your game.

How to Fix FPS in Dwarf Fortress (Steam Version)

FPS drops in Dwarf Fortress typically occur because there is a contradictory statement that causes an error to repeat or loop. Players can fix FPS drops by navigating to Steam and opening the Error Log. You can do this by right-clicking Dwarf Fortress and selecting Manage>Browse Local Files. Then, open the errorlog.txt file and look for a repeating error. 

The error log will usually cue you into what is broken in your game. For example, this line of code indicates a Dwarf that couldn’t find a path to catch an animal because an NPC destroyed the ground he was supposed to walk on. 

Error log Dwarf Fortress
Error log in Dwarf Fortress

Cancel the task at the Vermin Catcher’s Shop, and the game will stop lagging. 

Because there are so many different scenarios that could occur in your game, it’s virtually impossible to list out all possible fixes for every error. Luckily, even though it might take some digging and time, you should be able to figure out what Dwarf is causing your game to lag. 

Did this solution help unstick your Dwarf Fortress save file? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Thanks to Reddit user u/nZambi for originally discovering this solution. 

Get more Dwarf Fortress tips and tricks in our other guides

How to Upgrade Rooms in Dwarf Fortress | How to Raise and Train Animals | How to Craft Jewelry in Dwarf Fortress | How to Transfer Save Files in Dwarf Fortress | How to Equip Weapons and Armor in Dwarf Fortress | Dwarf Fortress Beginners Guide

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