Dwarf Fortress official artwork for the Steam version

[Update]: According to the late August developer update, Dwarf Fortress' Steam version will be launching "sooner than you might think!"

While Dwarf Fortress is a genuinely impressive game that can churn out amazing stories on a frequent basis, actually playing it is a bit of a nightmare. Besides having to learn its intricacies and figure out how to keep your Dwarves from killing themselves within the first week, you also need to wrangle with the somewhat obtuse graphics and the overwhelming amount of available options, which as you might expect is quite the ordeal.

So in order to make the learning process easier and the visuals far simpler to understand, the Dwarf Fortress team began work on a greatly enhanced Steam version. Quite a lot of time has gone by since then, but I'm happy to say that the full release is now finally coming into view!

According to the recently posted developer update, the Dwarf Fortress team is currently eyeing Fall 2022 as the earliest possible launch window. Naturally, no concrete date has been given just yet as it's entirely possible they'll need a bit more time in order to get everything polished up and ready to go.

Speaking of which, if you're curious what the team still has to finish, as well as what they're currently even working on, here's the rough roadmap:

1. Finish the menus that haven't been upgraded yet. These include the graphics and layout for justice, health, diplomacy, and hauling. These aren't small tasks; each will take weeks. I'll also be working with Jacob during this period on the sprites we need to update throughout the project. He submitted the new weapons recently, for instance, and I also got a new batch of music from the composer. It's important to get these things incorporated in a timely fashion so everybody can keep working.

2. As the menus are finished, and the graphics updates are completed, we'll move on to some important interface and usability improvements (tooltips everywhere, Xs to close windows, hotkey support, etc). Some of these can be done fairly quickly, but a few are chunky additions, and there are lots of them to do. After this part is done, the game should be much easier to get into. At the same time, we'll also be continuing to add graphics (flows, the ocean and beach, some more shadows, etc.)

3. All this time, of course, we've been fixing old bugs and making new bugs and fixing them, and here we'll need to focus and spend some quality time with them, so that we have as smooth a launch as possible.

4. We're not sure what level of Steam Workshop will be needed for modding support, and it needs investigation.

5. The old ASCII version has other game modes - Adventure mode, Legends mode, and Arena mode. We've made significant progress on Legends mode, but we haven't done anything with Adventure mode and Arena mode yet. We also have the Classic ASCII mode to support, and we are also working on Mac and Linux builds.

6. There's the matter of Steam achievements and the other various Steam features. We'd like to support whatever people are into here, eventually.

Once we get a proper release date I'll make sure to let you know. Until then, you can read a little bit more about the Steam version of Dwarf Fortress and its development over at, you guessed it, Steam!