What Do the Symbols on Items Mean in Dwarf Fortress?

The symbols around items in Dwarf Fortress help determine the grade--here's what they all mean.

If you’re the ultimate Craftsdwarf in Dwarf Fortress, you may have noticed symbols next to certain items you create. These symbols, known as Quality Grade, represent an item’s quality and apply to virtually every crafted item in the game, including jewelry, weapons, armor, and furniture. 

When upgrading rooms or equipping weapons, you may want to be selective with which items you choose. Higher quality items are more valuable, thus increasing the value of whatever room they are in. Use our key below to determine what all these symbols mean. 

Quality Grades Symbol Key for Dwarf Fortress

Below, you’ll find the different symbols for the Quality Grades in the game.

DesignationDescriptionValue ModifierSharpnessWeapon To-Hit/Armor Deflect Modifier
Item Name50%
-Item Name-Well-crafted60%1.2×
+Item Name+Finely-crafted70%1.4×
*Item Name*Superior quality80%1.6×
≡Item Name≡Exceptional90%1.8×
☼Item Name☼Masterful12×100%
Unique nameArtifact120×100%
«Item Name»Decorated objectVariesVariesunknown

Items can have a quality and be decorated at the same time. For instance, a Finely-crafted Decorated Short Sword will look like <<+short_sword+>>

Sometimes your Dwarves can become emotionally attached to high-grade items and get upset if they are taken from them. On rare occasions, your Dwarves become possessed and take over a Workshop. This can sometimes produce an Artifact item, one of the most valuable and powerful items in Dwarf Fortress. 

What is the coolest item that you’ve crafted in your Dwarf Fortress adventures? Let us know in the comments section below. 

More Dwarf Fortress Guides

How to Get Seeds | Where to Find Ore | How to Fix FPS | How to Upgrade Rooms | How to Raise and Train Animals | How to Craft Jewelry | How to Transfer Save Files | How to Equip Weapons and Armor |