How do I get new migrants? I have plenty of food and drink, armor and weapons, and quite a few cut gems. I have also minted steel coins. My population is only at 70, and it is declining due to lack of properly trained soldiers fighting against several waves of goblins.

Yet at each season the game tells me that there were no new migrants.

  • Have you fiddled with the config files at all? Check that your fortress population cap isn't set to 70. Jul 9, 2013 at 19:08
  • I do not think it is the settings because I had played another game and that one had 100+ dwarves. Jul 9, 2013 at 19:29

2 Answers 2


Migrants should come automatically every spring and fall, sometimes in the summer too. However, there are some things you may have done to scare them off; essentially, your fortress has a reputation as a worthless poverty-stricken hole in the ground, so no one wants to move there. The formulas the game uses to determine migrant behavior aren't completely known, but there are some rules of thumb.

The biggest is to make sure you are trading pretty heavily with the dwarven caravan. This is how news of your fortress reaches the rest of the dwarven civilization. If the caravan goes home unsatisfied, then the people of your civilization feel there's nothing worth having at your fortress. Worse, if the caravan doesn't go home at all, then people will feel your fortress is too dangerous. If this happens a lot, instead of the "There were no new migrants this season" message, the game will eventually give you a message like "No one was willing to migrate to such a cursed deathtrap this season." This is a sign that you should maybe stop killing dwarven caravans (killing humans and elves is still fine).

SevenSidedDie also has a good point in the comments. A lot of new players tend to change their configuration settings to avoid some of the more difficult parts of the game, and one of the first things they usually change is the population cap, to 70. This prevents goblin sieges from arriving, because they require 80 dwarves. If you're using some packaged download such as the Newbie Pack, the mod creator may already have done this for you.

To address your other problems, even relatively untrained soldiers should be able to stand against normal goblins if they have good armor (avoid goblin lashers and goblin bowmen, they are much more dangerous). Make sure all your soldiers have full armor, preferably steel. At a minimum, helmets, breastplates, greaves, and shields are all worthwhile. Gloves and boots are less important but still useful. Traps are good too, but a lot of people think they're cheap (because they're honestly too good).


There are a number of possible issues:

Most likely is the pop cap, as seven sided die mentioned. Check your config files for this one.

Next most likely is that your total wealth is not high enough to justify more migrants. To solve that, just continue playing and focusing on improving industry. Trading and giving gifts to the Dwarven caravan will improve your migrants received.

A final possibility is that so many people have died in your fort that migrants are discouraged from coming, but that requires very high death rates (dozens of deaths usually) and doesn't sound like the case. It also has a unique message when you don't receive migrants, along the lines of "No migrants were brave enough to travel to you".

  • Hm, what happens if the traders all died? The problem may have started to occur after the traders were killed during a goblin sneak attack (3 waves of goblins). If trading/gifting to caravans is a cause for not having migrants show up, then I think that may be the problem. Jul 9, 2013 at 19:33
  • 1
    @user1812844 Yes. If your traders keep dying that is almost certainly the issue. Next fall, make sure you have troops ready and waiting to defend the caravans. Having hunters, with associated hunting dogs, can also help reveal and goblin ambushers before the caravan arrives
    – Lawton
    Jul 9, 2013 at 19:50
  • Are you sure it's possible for your civ to be wiped out or become disconnected from your fortress? i believe that would require events that only happen during worldgen.
    – kotekzot
    Jul 9, 2013 at 20:36
  • @kotekzot What I'm referring to isnt actually an event, but a bug that used to exist (not sure if still does) where you would appear to have access to them but actually not, and thinking back I believe it can only happened just after embark, so I will remove it. Anyway, it seems the answer has been discovered.
    – Lawton
    Jul 9, 2013 at 20:44

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