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This article is about an older version of DF.

A floodgate is a gate which allows the control of the flow of liquids such as water or magma. They are operated by mechanisms such as levers or pressure plates which open and close them. When closed they behave like walls, but allow liquids, objects, and creatures to pass over them when opened.

They can be manufactured from stone (at a mason's workshop), wood (at a carpenter's workshop), metal (at a metalsmith's forge), or glass (at a glass furnace). Once manufactured, they are built in the desired location using the keys b, x.

Colossus in Arena
This image depicts some orthodox and unorthodox uses of floodgates to control the mixing of creatures and liquids in this arena. The gates, shown in-game as X, act as liquid stoppers and jail doors.


Floodgates are used to control the flow of liquid. Because of the usefulness of certain liquids and the danger posed by others, floodgates have a wide range of applications in any dwarven settlement.

They are instrumental in controlled irrigation for farming, or controlled flooding for drowning annoying visitors.

Floodgates also block the flow of liquid on the Z-axis as it is considered a wall when closed. This can be quite useful when built directly below a floor grate as this will allow you to quickly empty the liquid from the floor above without the danger of its precious content rummaging through your sewer system.


Floodgates are constructed orthogonally on a solid, unflooded floor in the 'closed' position (note that this means it is possible for careless dwarves to trap themselves on the wrong side of the gate). Adjacent walls are not necessary. A mechanic must then link up a lever or other triggering mechanism to the floodgate. This requires two mechanisms; the mechanic will haul one mechanism to the trigger, work for awhile, and then haul the other mechanism to the floodgate to complete the task.

To avoid trapping a dwarf on the wrong side of the floodgate it is building, build walls in the spaces you don’t want the dwarf in (b, C, w). Then suspend the build order on those walls. Once the floodgate is built, you can cancel the walls.


Once the lever is pulled, with a delay, the floodgate will open. When the lever is pulled again, the floodgate will close, after same delay. This will destroy (not displace) any liquid occupying the same tile as the floodgate. Objects on the floodgate's tile, however, cannot be destroyed this way - in fact, the floodgate will refuse to close. Any object, everything from swords to socks to stones to scorpion corpses, can jam the floodgate this way. Once the object is removed, however, the floodgate will grind shut by itself.

Magma control[edit]

Floodgates will resist magma when closed, just as a constructed wall would, but when opened will be destroyed if they are not made from magma-safe materials. The mechanisms used in the construction of the floodgate must also be magma-safe to prevent this.

Animal trapAnvilArmor standBedBinBoxBucketCabinetCageCoffinRestraintSeatStatueTableWeapon rack

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