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Stairs allow creatures to travel across z-levels. They can be dug out or constructed. They need to be connected to other stairs of the appropriate type to function. Up stairs need to be built below down stairs. Up/down stairs function as both up and down stairs at once.
Caravan wagons can't travel across stairs -- you need ramps for those to be able to reach your trade depot.
Stairs do not block creature nor fluid movement. Falling creatures ignore stairs and may get seriously hurt if the real ground is several z-levels below them. Floor hatches can stop both falling creatures and liquid. They can also be locked to keep those pesky crundles from interrupting everything your dwarves could possibly do.
Down stairs reveal a tile directly beneath them. If it's wet or warm, any further mining designation on this tile will be automatically removed, but can then be manually replaced. (i.e. the game gives you a warning when that tile is first revealed, then assumes you know what you're doing. Don't prove the game wrong.)
As with all constructions, stairs can only be removed by dwarves (ordered to do so - never on their own initiative) or cave-ins. Dug-out stairs can melt, if made from ice, but are otherwise just as resistant to damage - they can be removed by channeling the stair tile.
Stairs are fully capable of holding any amount of weight above them. An up stair or up/down stair will stop tiles falling during a cave-in; a down stair will not. However, when any stair tile is collapsed by a cave-in, the stairs disappear entirely.
Stairs can be created in two different ways, or a combination of them:
- You can use the designations menu (d) to carve them out of a wall of unmined material (see digging).
- You can use the build menu (bC) to construct them in an open tile using material you have already gathered.
However, a down or up stair will give you sufficient access to the adjacent level to build connecting stairs. This means you can dig directly downwards or even directly upwards using stairs without needing any other forms of access to the area.
You can't designate an up stair on a square that has already been dug out; you have to carve one out of an existing wall or build instead. You can then build the matching down stair on the level above.
For a basic mineshaft/stair tutorial click here
Up stairs can be converted to up/down stairs by using dj to designate down stairs on them. However, down stairs cannot be converted to up/down stairs by using du to designate up stairs on them. This is only possible with a constructed up/down stair bCx on top of the down stair .
Designating an up-stair on a wall changes it into an up-stair.
Designating an up-stair on a floor or down-stair does nothing.
Designating a down-stair on a wall or floor changes it into a down-stair.
Designating a down-stair on an up-stair changes it into an up+down-stair.
Constructing any type of stair in any location results in that exact type of stair being produced.
Curiously, designating an up-stair on a wall when the tile above is also an up-stair will cause that tile above to change into a natural up+down-stair, even if it was previously constructed.
Altar • Animal trap • Armor stand • Bed • Box • Bucket • Cabinet • Cage • Coffin • Display case • Pedestal • Restraint • Seat • Slab • Statue • Table • Weapon rack
Floor • Fortification • Ramp • Stairs • Wall
|Machine and trap parts|
Axle • Gear assembly • Lever • Millstone • Pressure plate • Roller • Screw pump • Support • Trap • Water wheel • Windmill
Archery target • Kennel • Shop • Siege engine • Trade depot • Wagon • Well