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This article is about an older version of DF.

The text below applies to using wrestling in Adventure Mode. Wrestling in Fortress Mode is presumed to use the same mechanics, although the player has no direct control over how the wrestling is performed.

Initiating wrestling[edit]

While standing next to an opponent, the "Attack" key Shift+a by default will give you a list of targets, and allow you to switch modes by pressing Enter. Press enter until you are in wrestling mode, then chose your opponent as you would for a normal attack. You should now be on the wrestling screen ready to initiate a wrestle.

Wrestling screen[edit]

The wrestling screen is divided into the current holds at the top of the screen and the wrestling options at the bottom.

Current holds[edit]

The current holds are displayed at the top of the screen in the following format

You <Your Limb> <direction> <Hold Type> <direction> <Their Limb> Them

the two direction symbols are always either pointing from you toward them to indicate that you are holding them, or from them toward you, indicating that they are holding you.

The Hold Type progresses from holds to locks, and the limbs includes all sorts of limbs appendages, and also weapons.

Wrestling Techniques[edit]

Getting Hold of Someone[edit]

To grab a body part, you have to be standing next to your target.

  1. Press Shift + A to open the attack dialog.
  2. Press Enter to switch to the wrestling menu.
  3. Use arrow keys to highlight your target and press Enter to open the detailed wrestling dialog.
  4. Use arrow keys to highlight which part of the enemy you want to grab with what grasper. If you do not see any options in this dialog (especially if you're using a non-standard Adventurer class or modded game), it means your adventurer's race has no graspers (hands, in other words) and it cannot wrestle.
  5. Your character will then attempt that move. If you fail, you will be notified. This counts as an attack and, as such, your enemy will attempt to counter-attack you.


Attempting to grip your enemy's head using an empty hand has one major advantage over the other body parts: you are able to then gouge out their eyes. A blind enemy almost entirely defenseless (granted, there are occasions where a heavily bleeding, blinded marksman will fire a random shot that results in FUN). If you are in a pinch and are just trying to dispatch of one creature, this is a highly effective maneuver as a blind enemy cannot stop you from sneaking if you are out of the 8-Square area they can feel around in.

The other options allow you to "pinch" aspects of their head (ears, nose, etc) but those are pretty weak moves that only cause pain, which can cause the enemy to pass out without actually dealing limb damage.


Strangulation is another fantastic method of killing your opponent. If already unconscious or stunned, you can seize the opportunity and begin choking them to death by first grasping their throat. You do not need to continually order your adventurer to strangle your enemy, a standard attack will continue to crush their windpipe.


  • Strangling your enemy will crush their throat. This will cause their death to be from bleeding out.
  • Once you have moderately damaged their windpipe, you can just hold down the . key until they suffocate.


If you have an enemy wielding a weapon you would prefer they did not, you can literally break their arm to disable their attacks. Simply grab their hand (you can use the l key to check out which hand is holding the offensive device - characters are ambidextrous and it is a 50/50 gamble as to which will have it), then "lock" their hand, and then break it. If you have a low wrestling skill, you may need to try and break it more than once.

Other Parts[edit]

Almost all parts have the option to "throw" and "knock down." Throwing slams your opponent into a nearby wall if there is one [Verify], while knocking them down shoves them to the ground, giving you a significant offensive advantage over them. Both give the chance to stun, which can allow you to either continuing (and uninterrupted) pounding, or strangulation.

Weapon or Shield[edit]

If you are an effective wrestler, there is the chance you can just disarm your enemy altogether. Assume you were in a scenario where 3 enemies are brandishing weapons. It is inefficient to try and take them on one-by-one. Even trying to blind your enemy requires 3 moves (or more, if you miss). However, you can quickly disarm enemies by simply go into the wrestling menu and scroll down until you see the enemy's actual weapon (along with the rest of their inventory, if you want to be a loincloth snatcher). You can then attempt to grab it if you have a free hand. To disarm them, push shift-i to 'interact' with an item in your inventory. The weapon will be listed there, and the option for interaction is to 'seize possession'. Another less effective method is just to move away from the enemy once you have grabbed the weapon, this is less effective as if you fail, you will just let go of the item. If you're successful, it will say: "You maintain possession of Their Weapon." At that point, it is yours to use. Very enjoyable to club an archer to death with his own silver bow.

Training strategies[edit]

You can train up quickly by breaking a zombie's limbs, then choking it repeatedly. Take a break from time to time, because you will get tired. (Oddly enough, walking will cause you to become less tired.) Alternatively you can train wrestling along with your weapon skill by doing a single takedown, or breaking a single joint before finishing an enemy.

Wrestling strategies[edit]

If your enemy is wielding a weapon, it is a good idea to break his weapon arm.

Knocking them down without breaking their legs is rather sneaky, as you can wait for them to get up, then charge at them again and keep alternating moves.

You can also use it to grab worn items (including weapons) to prevent them being used against you, and even snatch them away. Beating an undead pike master with his own weapon is always fun. (Press "shift + i". It displays the inventory. Select the object written in red : It is the one that both you and your opponent are holding) NOTE: This is only possible with a free hand. If you are already holding, say, a crossbow, and attempt to wrest said undead pike master's pike away, you will not be able to take it from it.

Due to a bug, you can remove several things from your backpack into your hands, allowing you to use each held item to grab at an opponent, essentially giving you an extra limb to grapple with.

What grabs do[edit]

Breaking joints disables limbs and does not cause bleeding.

  • Arm will stop the opponent from using that arm to attack (at least effectively)
  • Leg will cause the opponent to fall to the floor and dramatically reduce their movement speed
  • Strangling an opponent damages the throat location. A red throat injury is a mortal wound which will inevitably cause the victim to bleed to death. Also makes them winded, which lowers movement speed and may cause suffocation.
  • Gouging eyes out will cause incredible pain as well as blinding opponents or at least greatly reducing accuracy and vision. (also causes heavy bleeding)
  • Pinching will cause pain/unconsiousness to an opponent without wounding them. You can pinch any part of an opponent, as long as you are using a hand to grab that part.

How To Hurt People Limb By Limb
Limb Held By Grip Actions Lock Actions
Head Hand Pinch, Gouge,Take down None
Neck Any None Strangle
Upper Arm Any Throw, Take Down Break Shoulder
Lower Arm Any None Break Elbow
Hand Any None Break Wrist
Upper Body Any Take Down, Throw None
Lower Body Any Take Down, Throw None
Upper Leg Any None Break Hip
Lower Leg Any None Break Knee
Foot Any None Break Ankle