What I am interested in doing is altering the actual in-game time that passes on the calendar when the game is running, per frame. If you look at the Dwarf Fortress Wiki, there is some very useful information. It says:

Every tick causes the in-game clock to advance by a specific quantity of time that varies depending on the game mode. In adventurer mode, 1 tick moves time forward by 0.5 seconds, whereas in fortress mode this causes 72 seconds to pass by. Thus, the simulation of time runs 144 times faster in fortress mode on a per-tick basis.

The specific quantity of time that the in-game clock advances per tick, is what I want to manipulate. By manipulating the game files, as is clearly stated in the wiki, you can modify the FPS settings, and by default even manipulate them in game, and by lowering the FPS you could effectively slow down the flow of time. Again the in-game clock time. However, as it says, at 30 FPS a year of game calendar time will still pass by in approximately 3 and 1/2 hours. I would like to be able to modify this all the way down to real time. Or even faster for experimentation.

To be more specific, exactly what game files control these variables, where can I modify the actual variables for how much in-game clock advances per tick?

1 Answer 1


A "game frame", more commonly called a "tick", is the smallest time unit in the game, around a minute of simulation in fortress mode.

In the Steam release (v50) you can simply go to Settings/Game and increase "Game frames-per-second" cap.

Don't confuse this with the "graphical FPS cap", found in Settings/Video. This is how many times per second the graphics (your display) updates.

The default max graphical FPS cap is 100, change it lower for time to move slower (down to 5 ticks per second), or higher to make time move faster. At 100 a fortress year takes about one hour of playtime. However, DF is a CPU-hungry game so your hardware will limit you.

You can also change the init.txt file, under [FPS_CAP], or you can press Alt+= or Alt+- in game. Press . to advance one tick.

Enable the display of FPS in Settings, the first number is game frames per second and the second being graphical fps.

Source: Time, FPS

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