v50 Steam/Premium information for editors
  • v50 information can now be added to pages in the main namespace. v0.47 information can still be found in the DF2014 namespace. See here for more details on the new versioning policy.
  • Use this page to report any issues related to the migration.
This notice may be cached—the current version can be found here.


From Dwarf Fortress Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is about an older version of DF.

Tundra is a cold area. No resources. No hope. No dwarves allowed. No elves* allowed.

Tundras are essentially a freezing grassland or sand desert, with no flora of any kind, and no water sources. Unlike glaciers, they do not have a layer of ice. Rivers and other waterways do not exist in tundras, and will in fact stop immediately on the border of the tundra. Lakes and oceans in the same climatic region will be frozen over and exist as a glacier. All of these water features may be frozen year-round.

Fortress construction[edit]

If you plan to start a fortress on a tundra, you should definitely bring your own barrels and wood in place of an anvil. Extra barrels can be brought by bringing cheap meat with you, or simply buying them empty, though the former would be more productive. Like most biomes they have soil on top of stone, so farming and metallurgy is possible, and absolutely necessary, because there is no source of wood for barrels or water. Players are advised to empty their wagons and move all their goods and population underground as soon as possible, because some tundras are cold enough for your dwarves to freeze to death quickly. Likewise, trade depots should also be built underground, and a tunnel to the edge of the map should be made with a road leading to the absolute edge (must be above ground) and continuing underground to the depot, to encourage merchants to use it and to protect them from said cold. fortresses should indefinitely be built on borders of other biomes, including taigas and glaciers, preferably both, to supply wood and ice, which will melt as soon as it is underground, meaning a garbage dump can be made of a channeled, underground area and the ice blocks thrown in, although ice from a frozen waterway will be labelled as 'water' which appears to be economic stone, and will also melt once underground.

Elves really won't be bothering you about their trees here, due to the lack of said trees, and thus could be an important source of wood and supplies.

Aquifers could be extremely helpful in tundras, especially if they encompass only a small part of the region, as they provide a source of water for you fortress, which would otherwise be very difficult to obtain.


Very few vanilla creatures exist in tundra biomes, some being Elk and Polar bears, although the lack of diversity does not necessarily mean the populations of these will be below normal. Blizzard man may be present, if the current year is before the end of their average lifespan, as they are genderless and thus should all be dead after 1000 years.

The region's savagery and evil characteristics, as well as the presence of chasms and magma pipes, may supply additional lifeforms, such as Werewolfs.