How do I build a stairwell through multiple levels?

  • 2
    Just curious are these honest to goodness questions you have?
    – C. Ross
    Jul 9, 2010 at 22:35
  • 5
    You should try to make an effort with the title of this question.
    – Mushu
    Jul 9, 2010 at 22:35
  • @C. Ross indeed. just discovered DF a few days ago and am working on the basics and don't have the patience to read the wiki. Jul 9, 2010 at 22:39
  • @anthony Fair enough.
    – C. Ross
    Jul 9, 2010 at 22:42
  • 2
    Adding a little more information to your question will help other people find this question when they're googling for something similar. A good stackexchange is built on good questions, not good answers.
    – tzenes
    Jul 10, 2010 at 0:53

2 Answers 2


Assuming you're building down:

  1. Build a down stairway on the first level from the designate (d) menu.
  2. Build up-down stairways on the levels before the bottom from the designate (d) menu.
  3. If you have a defined "bottom" level, build an up stairway on that level from the designate (d) menu.

You will need to switch your view's "z-level" to build the levels. You switch "z-levels" by using < to go down a "z-level", and > to go up.

  • perfect, thanks! I just wasn't thinking about it quite right. Jul 9, 2010 at 22:41

As per the Bay12 dev-log, you will be able to designate over z-levels in Dwarf Fortress version 31.26 and beyond.

Though the accepted answer's method will still work, you will be able to do the following (again, assuming you're building down):

  1. designate a downward stairway on the top level (or build a stairwell if there's no dirt/stone to carve).
  2. Start designating an up/down stairway one level below (change z-levels with '<' and '>')
  3. Go down to the penultimate z-level, and finish designating your up/down stairway.
  4. designate an upward stairway on the bottom level
  • nice. good to know. I need to start playing again. Jul 20, 2011 at 13:06

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