What's a good way to find magma in Dwarf Fortress v0.31.08 (or thereabouts)? (Preferably without cheating.) I know if I dig straight down I'll eventually find some, but I usually wind up breaking into an underground cave with unfriendly creatures and I'd like to avoid that. Also, I'd like it to be a little closer to the surface so I don't have to build some kind of insanely large pump stack to move the magma up to a useful level.

Should magma like this be available on most maps or is it highly dependent on embark location? Should I look 20 levels down and dig a grid? 40 levels?

  • Curious, why is magma desirable?
    – McKay
    Commented Aug 12, 2010 at 20:49
  • 4
    Several reasons: forges and smelters built over magma don't require fuel (except in a couple cases where it's part of the recipe), magma can be used to produce obsidian, and because magma is especially good at hastening your enemies to a fiery, fiery death.
    – JavadocMD
    Commented Aug 12, 2010 at 21:35
  • Because dwarves like to get drunk and then play with a lever linked to a magma floodgate.
    – dierre
    Commented Sep 1, 2010 at 13:18
  • 3
    In Soviet Dwarf Fortress, the magma finds you! Commented May 26, 2011 at 16:21
  • See also: Fun
    – chandsie
    Commented Jul 15, 2011 at 13:01

2 Answers 2


Look for a volcano on the embark map - in ASCII mode it's represented by red caret character.


Magma is always available deep, but it can also be found near the surface on some maps. Unfortunately you cannot use the site finder to find magma features in the current version.

  • time localized answer. Commented May 17, 2011 at 4:09
  • Magma is always available deep can i get the figure about which z-level?
    – Fennekin
    Commented Sep 26, 2015 at 15:46

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