I'm trying to identify why my citizens are unhappy.

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I thought the various face colours (A, top of the above image) represented happiness.

On the citizen's menu I sort by face colour (B) and one (Nish) rises to the top as red.

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Often when dwarfs are stressed it says on their info sheet that they are stressed, but not so here. There are no unmet needs; they are not injured. There are some bad thoughts but also some good ones.

This isn't maybe the clearest example but it's what's in front of me at the moment. I am not sure how do to diagnose the red face. Does it mean unhappy, or does it mean something else? What information am I missing which would explain their bad mood, if that is what this represents?


3 Answers 3


A dwarf's icon color is perfectly correlated with the dwarf's (main) profession: children are always red, nobles (such as your Clerk) are always purple, carpenters and woodcutters are always yellow, miners are always gray, and so on. It has nothing to do with their state of mind.


Both of those interface elements do indeed represent the current happiness of a dwarf, going from cyan being happy to red being unhappy in the order shown left of stocks. I think it's more often referred to as stress levels rather than happiness.

According to the wiki the exact details of how they go up and down aren't fully clear but what you can definitely get from this is that the dwarf isn't doing too well and that a good night's sleep is not offsetting the unhappiness from starving and watching a dwarf die, on top of not having mugs.

I don't think this interface would tell you that the dwarf could stand to benefit from amenities that aren't associated with specific needs, so having some expensive crap installed in your meeting areas and making expensive meals could improve the dwarf's mood given his personality doesn't get in the way. Either way, make stone cups, install some stone statues in the meeting areas and whatnot.


You can get a better idea of what is upsetting your dwarves by looking at the Thoughts tab; the bottom of the main Overview screen only shows a few recent events. In Nish's case here, she seems to be upset mostly because she couldn't find any food, forcing her to eat a rat or purring maggot or something. Additionally, she couldn't find a mug so she had to drink her ale directly from the barrel. But it's possible there are other, longer-term problems that don't appear as specific recent events, such as being unable to pray, spending too much time away from family, or other issues related to the lack of good events, rather than the presence of bad ones.

  • The second line in the recent events says that she witnessed the death of some dwarf. That is a major mood downer. If the rest of her life is fun she will get over it soon but if on top of that she doesn't find food and can't get a proper drink she is understandably quite unhappy.
    – quarague
    Feb 9 at 17:53

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