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I am interested in learning how to play Dwarf Fortress. Where should I start, as an absolute beginner?

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What version are you playing? The community hasn't really picked up on the 2010 edition afaik. –  badp Jul 14 '10 at 21:29
    
I started playing last week, for the first time, with the 2010 version, and I don't think I've had any issues with documentation. –  antony.trupe Jul 14 '10 at 21:33
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@badp I agree with antony, the wiki and this site are obviously very up to date on DF2010. –  C. Ross Jul 14 '10 at 22:17
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@antony.trupe Of course you haven't had any trouble with the documentation... you didn't read any of it. :) You just ask questions on here. I hope your fortress gets infested by madness. –  Buns of Aluminum Jul 14 '10 at 22:30
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@I Never Finish Anythi madness would be great Fun. How do I get infested by madness? –  antony.trupe Jul 14 '10 at 22:39

7 Answers 7

I like this set of tutorials. It's based on the old version but it goes through the steps of building a fortress pretty well.

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Captain Duck has a great series of video tutorials (http://www.youtube.com/user/captnduck). Most of them are for pre-2010 versions, but they still give a great intro to the game, and he has started to make a couple of videos for the 2010 version. He starts the tutorials at the absolute beginning, and walks you through everything.

If you have any specific questions, the dwarf fortress wiki is a great place to look (http://df.magmawiki.com/).

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I came here to post pretty much this. +1 Sir. –  Meff Jul 15 '10 at 17:35
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+1 for the accent. –  antony.trupe Jul 19 '10 at 19:31
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The youtube videos have been updated to the Feb 2012 version of dwarf fortress –  James Apr 12 '12 at 6:26

Different styles work better for different people, but I learned the fun way:

  1. Begin
  2. Lose
  3. Figure out what happened
  4. Repeat

If you're stuck on something specific, there's nothing wrong with looking at a tutorial or checking the wiki, but try not to over-research before you really get your feet wet. One of the coolest things about learning to play DF is discovering all of the neat/interesting/strange/complex things that the world does and researching too much before hand will diminish the sense of discovery.

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Learn how to feed and hydrate your dwarfs.

Specifically, learn how to farm: mill plants into flour with a quern and cook that flour into meals at a kitchen, and brew alcohol at a still.

There's a Quickstart guide at The Dwarf Fortress Wiki, which is an invaluble reference site. I didn't have any issues applying the previous version's tutorial(v0.28.181.40d) to the current version(v0.31.10).

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That's reasonable to start, but there's so much more a DF player has to learn; i don't recommend that unless headbanging is a desired activity. –  RCIX Jul 15 '10 at 4:33
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@RCIX headbanging is the bread and butter of a DF player. –  kotekzot May 2 '12 at 16:57

Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress is a book that's been recently released and is a great way to learn to play.

It's by Peter Tyson, the same guy who wrote the The Complete and Utter Newbie Tutorial for Dwarf Fortress.

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I would also recommend the #DwarfFortress channel on quakenet. If you do not know how to use IRC you can plug that channel into http://webchat.quakenet.org and get on. There is usually tons of people around, just be patient as they might not instantly answer

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+1 for your awesome, dark, chiaroscuro hamster-of-doom avatar. –  Nick Wiggill Aug 6 '11 at 12:53

http://www.youtube.com/user/51ppycup

This guy has a really good set of DF tutorials.

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