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How to make a well In Dwarf Fortress

How to make a well In Dwarf Fortress

Water is essential to dwarves’ survival in Dwarf Fortress. Although, these tiny people are happier consuming alcohol however water is still necessary for their eventual thirst. To constantly supply your fortress with water you will have to build a well. How to make a well in Dwarf Fortress? Let us find out.

The easiest way to make a well in Dwarf Fortress is to dig a hole in the ground and fill it with water using buckets. Then create a well using 1 Block, 1 Bucket, 1 Chain or Rope, and 1 Mechanism. Place the well on top of the water hole and voila you get yourself a working well.

Building a Well – Prerequisite

Building a well in Dwarf Fortress

The most important thing to consider when building a well is its placement, safety, water source, and accidental flooding of your fortress.

A well needs a clear vertical path down to a water source. The source can be an artificial channel, an aquifer, a river, a lake, or an artificial reservoir, so long as it has water in it that’s at least 3/7 deep.

The water below the well can be at any distance however the further it is below the surface the longer it will take for the bucket to bring up the water. This can cause inconvenience in certain situations.

The more common well will be created underground and draw water from a source even lower, but above-ground sources can also be used; you just have to build constructions first (typically upstairs, walls and floors) that provide support at least one z-level above the water’s level where you can then place the well.

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Making a Well

Follow the instructions below to make a basic well in Dwarf Fortress:

Dwarf Fortress Well
Dig a hole
  • Use the channeling option to dig a hole in the ground (Hotkey: “u”).
  • Next, we have to fill the hole with water using Buckets.
    • Buckets can be crafted by the Carpenter’s Workshop. Craft some buckets and get ready for the next step.
  • Use the Zone option to create a zone. While creating a zone, choose the Pit/Pond option.
Assigning zones
"designate this zone as the top of a pond" option
  • Select the tile with the hole and the one adjacent to it to assign the zone. Select the “designate this zone as the top of a pond” option.
    • This will instruct the dwarves to fill the hole with water using the buckets we crafted earlier. The dwarves will look for water sources like rivers nearby and carry the water from there to the hole.
  • Wait for the dwarves to fill the hole.
  • You will need the following items to craft a well:
    • 1 Block
    • 1 Bucket: Crafted by a Carpenter’s Workshop.
    • 1 Chain or 1 Rope: Rope is crafted by the Clothier’s Shop. Chain is crafted by Metalsmith’s Forge.
    • 1 Mechanism: Crafted by a Mechanic’s Workshop.
suspend activity
  • Before placing the well, deactivate or suspend the zones from getting continuously filled.
Building a well in Dwarf Fortress
  • Once the hole is filled, use the building structure option (Hotkey: “b”). Navigate to Machines/Fluids and then Well.
  • Select the Well and it will give you the option to craft the well using all the material available to you.
    • We have given the basic items needed to craft a well above but you can always opt for better material to make it a bit more flashy. It is up to you and your aesthetic choices.
  • Place the Well on top of the water-filled hole tile.
Dwarf Fortress Well
  • Wait for the dwarf to finish construction and soon you will have a functioning well in your fortress.

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Well – Considerations

Some things to consider when building a well:

  • The designation required for building the well are:
    • A Dwarf with the Architecture Labor designated to design the well.
    • Mason
    • Carpenter
    • Metalsmith
  • You can use whatever high-value materials of the items required to build a well to add aesthetic value to this construction. If you are going for a lavish fortress then using quality items will make things pop.
  • A working well with access to water will display an “active” status when examined by pressing “q”. If there is any hindrance barring the well to reach water or the water has run dry then the well will display a “dry” status.
  • If your water source is very deep, it may take a while for a single dwarf to obtain water. This becomes especially annoying if you do not have a steady booze supply, as thirsty dwarves will swarm the well awaiting their turn.
  • A well is essentially a hole in the floor, so dwarves can fall through it under the right circumstances. Using a well is safe, while fighting or flooding near a well may not be. Any dwarves who fall through may escape drowning if the water source includes an escape route.
  • Wells are kind of essential for the survival of sick/injured in your hospital and any pregnant dwarves in your fortress.

Wells can be considered a must-have for any mountainhome in Dwarf Fortress. It is important for the survival of your citizens and needs to be present for medical needs. Dwarves will go looking for water outside the base but having a source inside is critical as they might face threats outside and won’t make it out alive.