Dwarf Fortress: Healing Dwarves – A Definitive Guide.


To heal dwarves in dwarf fortress, assign a hospital zone and create a thread or traction bench in a nearby room for setting bones. Hospital zones can be designated using the i key and selecting the appropriate tiles, while threads and traction benches are constructed using the b key and selecting the appropriate workshop.

Once a hospital zone is established, assign a dwarf with the “diagnosis” labor enabled to the area to tend to injured dwarves. Dwarf fortress is a complex and challenging game that requires players to manage a colony of dwarves in a hostile environment.

As in real life, injuries and illnesses are common and require prompt attention to prevent further complications. In this guide, we will discuss how to heal dwarves in dwarf fortress. We will explain the steps needed to create a hospital zone and outline the tools required to diagnose and treat injured dwarves. With these tips, players can ensure their dwarves remain healthy and productive despite the dangers that lurk in the game’s procedurally generated world.

Dwarf Fortress: Healing Dwarves - A Definitive Guide.

Credit: www.greenmangaming.com

Understanding Dwarf Fortress Dwarf Health

Dwarf fortress is a highly immersive game that simulates the lives of dwarves living in a fortress. A key aspect of the game is the management of the dwarves’ health. We will discuss the factors that affect a dwarf’s health, how to monitor their health using the game’s health screen, and provide tips to prevent injuries and sickness in dwarves.

Factors That Affect Dwarf Health

There are several factors that can affect a dwarf’s health in dwarf fortress. These include:

  • Injuries: Dwarves can sustain injuries while performing various tasks such as mining or building. Injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to severe wounds, amputations, and broken bones.
  • Sickness: Dwarves can contract various illnesses such as infections, fevers, and plagues. These can be caused by unsanitary conditions, exposure to contaminated water or food, or contact with infected creatures.
  • Mental well-being: Dwarves can suffer from stress, depression, or other mental health conditions due to factors such as being away from family, witnessing death or violence, or being overworked.

Monitoring Dwarf Health

The game provides a health screen that allows you to monitor the health of your dwarves. To access it, press the ‘z’ key and select the ‘health’ option. This screen displays the overall health of your dwarves as well as any injuries or illnesses they may have.

It is essential to monitor their health regularly to catch any problems before they become severe.

Tips For Preventing Injuries And Sickness

Keeping your dwarves healthy should be a top priority in dwarf fortress. Here are some tips to prevent injuries and sickness:

  • Keep your fortress clean: Regularly clean your fortress to prevent the spread of disease. This includes keeping food and water sources clean and disposing of waste properly.
  • Provide appropriate clothing and gear: Make sure your dwarves have appropriate clothing and gear for the tasks they are performing. For example, miners should have helmets and boots to protect them from falling rocks.
  • Assign breaks: Dwarves need time off to rest and recover. Assigning breaks and providing entertainment can help reduce stress and prevent mental health problems.
  • Train your dwarves: Train your dwarves in combat and other skills to reduce the risk of injuries. A skilled warrior can defend themselves better against wildlife and hostile invaders.

Understanding dwarf health is crucial in dwarf fortress. By monitoring their health, you can catch any problems early and prevent injuries and sickness through proper care and management. Keep your fortress clean, provide appropriate clothing and gear, assign breaks, and train your dwarves to keep them healthy and happy.

Identifying Common Ailments

Dwarf fortress, an iconic fortress-building game, is well-known for its intricacy and multi-faceted mechanics, known to hook its players into spending hours building and managing their colony. One of the most crucial aspects of the game is the health of your dwarves.

Keeping your dwarves healthy and productive is vital to your colony’s sustainability and growth, and this is where we come in. In this guide, we will take an in-depth look at the most common ailments that affect dwarves in-game, how they affect your dwarves’ health and productivity, and how to identify and diagnose these ailments through the health screen and other in-game tools.

Provide An Overview Of The Most Common Ailments

  • Broken bones: When a dwarf falls or is engaged in battle, it can result in fractures, breaks, and sprains of their limbs.
  • Infections: Dwarves are susceptible to infection resulting from wounds inflicted by battles or animal attacks.
  • Alcohol dependence: Dwarves love to drink alcohol, which can lead to addiction and negative health implications.

How Each Ailment Affects Dwarves’ Health And Productivity

  • Broken bones: A broken bone slows down a dwarf, limiting their ability to move, hindering their work due to the pain and lack of mobility.
  • Infections: An infection can be fatal, resulting in high levels of stress for the dwarves, and compromising their immune system.
  • Alcohol dependence: Alcohol dependence impairs a dwarf’s judgment and productivity, leading to quality and quantity reduction in the work they perform, affecting your colony’s productivity.

How To Identify And Diagnose These Ailments

  • Health screen: The health screen is a valuable tool that shows the statistics and status of each dwarf in your colony, allowing you to keep track of their health, including treatments, injuries, and infections.
  • Reports screen: The reports tab contains information about your dwarves, including any recent injuries, enabling the player to identify the source of the ailment and providing an opportunity to implement a preventive measure.
  • Hospital: Building a hospital equips your colony with a place to provide medical care and treatment of injuries and infections.
  • Diagnosis and treatment: Appointing a doctor and stocking the hospital’s supplies with drinks, crutches, and other essentials ensure your dwarves receive prompt and effective care.

Continuously monitoring your dwarves’ health status and keeping them healthy and productive is critical to your colony’s growth and prosperity in dwarf fortress. Identifying common ailments and implementing interventions through the tools provided will keep your dwarves at optimal health and productivity levels.

Treating Dwarves’ Ailments

Dwarf Fortress: Healing Dwarves – A Definitive Guide

Dwarf fortress is a game that simulates the life of a group of dwarves as they go about their daily activities. As with any living creatures, dwarves are susceptible to injury and illness. It is up to the player to ensure that their dwarves are healthy and productive.

In this guide, we will discuss the various methods of treating dwarves’ ailments, such as setting broken bones, using medical supplies, and managing dwarf happiness.

Dwarves can experience anything from minor bruises to severe injuries that can cause a lot of downtime. The following methods can help you in treating dwarves’ ailments.

Setting Broken Bones

Broken bones can happen in dwarf fortress, and setting them is vital for faster healing and reducing downtime. Here is how you can set broken bones in dwarf fortress:

  • Use the ‘q’ key to query the injured dwarf and note the affected limbs.
  • Build a traction bench and place it near the dwarf or use the one that is already built.
  • Assign a “recover wounded” job to the injured dwarf to bring them to the bench.
  • Select the injured dwarf and select the ‘s’ key. Set the broken bones one by one and ensure to set them the right way.

Setting broken bones can take a while, so it is essential to assign additional personnel to the task to ensure a speedy recovery.

Using Medical Supplies

Medical supplies are crucial in treating dwarves’ injuries. Here are the essential medical supplies you’ll need:

  • Plaster powder
  • Splints
  • Alcohol
  • Cloth and soap

Once you have these materials, follow these instructions to effectively use these supplies:

  • Use plaster powder to make casts for broken bones.
  • Use splints to support cuts and broken bones.
  • Use alcohol to clean wounds and disinfect surgical equipment.
  • Use cloth and soap to clean bandages and wounds.

Properly using medical supplies as soon as injuries happen can make the difference between a quick recovery and prolonged downtime.

Managing Dwarf Happiness

Dwarves’ happiness status directly impacts their productivity and well-being. A happy dwarf is a healthy and productive one. Here are some tips and best practices in managing dwarf happiness:

  • Ensure that there is enough food and drink.
  • Give dwarves adequate living quarters
  • Plan for periods of rest to boost morale
  • Assign dwarves to jobs that suit their skills.
  • Avoid assigning repetitive jobs.

A happy dwarf is a healthy and productive one. It is vital to keep them happy to ensure a smooth running of your fortress.

Managing dwarves’ injuries and illnesses is crucial in dwarf fortress. Following the above methods can help you keep your dwarves healthy and productive. By setting broken bones, using medical supplies and managing dwarf happiness, you can ensure minimal downtime and maximum productivity.

Advanced Healing Techniques

In addition to basic first aid, there are advanced healing techniques that can be used to treat more severe or complex ailments in dwarf fortress. These techniques include surgery and mental health therapy.


Surgery can be used to treat conditions such as broken bones, infections, and wounds. However, it should only be performed by a skilled and experienced dwarf with the proper medical training. Here are some guidelines and tips for using surgery safely and effectively:

  • Always use sterile tools and equipment.
  • Make sure the patient is properly anesthetized before the surgery begins.
  • Only perform surgery if the benefits outweigh the risks.
  • Monitor the patient carefully during and after the surgery.
  • Use proper wound care techniques to prevent infection.

Mental Health Therapy

Mental health therapy can be used to treat conditions such as depression, anxiety, and trauma. It is important to note that mental health therapy can be time-consuming and emotionally draining, but it can greatly improve the overall health and productivity of the fortress.

Here are some guidelines and tips for using mental health therapy safely and effectively:

  • Always provide a safe and supportive environment for the patient.
  • Be patient and understanding with the patient.
  • Use evidence-based techniques and therapies.
  • Monitor the patient’s progress and adjust the treatment plan as necessary.
  • Take care of yourself to prevent burnout and compassion fatigue.

Using advanced healing techniques can greatly enhance the overall health and productivity of a dwarf fortress. By using these techniques safely and effectively, you can ensure that your dwarves are healthy and happy.

Frequently Asked Questions On Dwarf Fortress How To Heal Dwarves

How Do I Heal Dwarves In Dwarf Fortress?

To heal a dwarf in dwarf fortress, assign a medical area and have a dwarf with the diagnosis labor enabled. The dwarf will diagnose the illness or injury, and then a second dwarf with the appropriate skills can perform the treatment.

What Are Some Common Medical Issues In Dwarf Fortress?

Some of the most common medical issues in dwarf fortress include fractures, infection, and bruises. These can be caused by fighting, mining accidents, and even poor living conditions. It’s important to diagnose and treat these issues promptly to prevent them from becoming more severe.

What Skills Are Needed To Heal A Dwarf In Dwarf Fortress?

To heal a dwarf, you need a dwarf with medical skills, such as diagnosing and surgery, as well as a dwarf with other skills, such as suturing or setting bones, depending on the injury or illness. Training dwarves in these skills can be vital to keeping your fortress healthy and thriving.


Dwarf fortress is a complex game that requires patience and attention to detail. Healing your dwarves can be a challenging task, but with the right strategy, it can be done effectively. Remember to make the most of your medical facilities and prioritize your wounded dwarves’ needs according to the severity of their injuries.

Keep in mind that a healthy and happy workforce is key to your fortress’s success, and that neglecting their health can have dire consequences. Don’t forget to assign a chief medical dwarf and educate them to improve their abilities and your chances of success.

Above all, stay vigilant and adapt as new challenges arise. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to being a master healer in dwarf fortress. Keep playing, and enjoy the game!

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