How to use minecarts in Dwarf Fortress?


The legendary game, Dwarf Fortress involves building a mountain residence from the stony ground up. Let’s talk about how to use minecarts in the dwarf fortress.

It makes perfect sense to have mining in a game called Dwarf Fortress. Don’t get me wrong, it’s quite an achievement to create a comprehensive library and an in-game periodic table with all the materials you’ll encounter when exploring the dwarves’ mines.

This might interest you when I re-quote the Launcher (The Washington Post) in Metacritic.

Saying this:

“Dwarf Fortress is a storytelling engine as much as it is a game, spitting out associations and facts and details that you can shape into a coherent and specific narrative.

This is also what we do to our own lives, personifying random events so that they feel significant rather than a matter of chance.

Life isn’t usually a satisfying narrative. It isn’t so much that “Dwarf Fortress” is a perfect simulacrum of life, but that it shines a bright light on the human tendency to look for meaning in everything.

I care about my dwarves because the stories I make up about their lives are also the ones I make up about my own.”

They can also save lives because the circumstances in caverns where smelting occurs frequently are not always ideal. Dwarves who are dead or insane shouldn’t be wandering through your base.

That does happen. This is not something I make. However, it will mostly ensure that your dwarves evenly disperse your base’s resources.
Here is a guide on using minecarts in Dwarf Fortress.”


How to Use Minecarts in Dwarf Fortress?

It is never beneficial to carry something with your own hands while hauling it. Because of this, the use of minecarts, which typically transport heavy metal ores, is always required.

Using minecarts in the dwarf fortress? The first thing that comes to mind is the old Minecraft, isn’t it?

So,  it seems sensible that a game as large and complex as Dwarf Fortress would include this mechanic in the resource management system.

After all, this will benefit your quest with the dwarves. Please continue reading to learn the limitations of using minecarts.

Step-by-step on how to operate a minecart in Dwarf Fortress is as follows:

You will need to build a minecart to use it.

Either a metalsmith’s forge or a carpenter’s workshop are suitable places to achieve that. The Carpenter’s Workshop is made of wood. Two metal bars were used to create Metalsmith’s Fortress.

* Carve or build a track if you want the minecart to move. Although carving is less expensive than building, some terrains cannot be sculpted. When necessary, combine the two.

* Additionally, you’ll need to construct locations where your minecart will halt and begin its journey.

* After completing all of that, you must develop logic pathways.

* The hauling key can be used to accomplish this. This entails directing the cart’s progress and determining how it will start.

* A minecart can be moved by being pushed, which requires a dwarf to stop and give it a single push.

 The second method of moving a minecart is guiding it, which entails a dwarf continuously moving the minecart ahead while offering guidance along the track.

 You can indicate which things can be loaded and unloaded as well as which stockpile they should go to or originate from.

Consider the different weights of the various minecart types (oaken, iron, copper, and platinum minecarts), as well as the minecart’s capacity for carrying each item or material.

 Make the most of your minecarts by creating or carving the greatest tracks you can.

 Assign your dwarfs to push or guide those carts through the rails as you carry your supplies across your base. Taking control of your stops will also ensure optimal resource management.

To get started, simply allocate those goods to the carts. Do not be concerned; it is simpler than it seems. You’ll enjoy yourself. I certainly hope so. 

We’ll walk through a simple example that should get you enough of an idea to proceed on your own.


Let’s deal with stone blocks for our example.

You’ll need one minecart (any material will do. Wood will be fine). Start one building over at your carpenter’s workshop.

Used for designate and T for “carve track”. Our track will be a simple straight line, for now. Mark it out with one end adjacent to a reasonably large bars/blocks stockpile.

You’ll be running it North/South or East/West. It doesn’t matter which, but for this, I’ll assume the track is horizontal (East/West) with the bars/blocks stockpiled near the East end.

Once your dwarfs have finished carving the track, place another bars/blocks stockpile (even just one square will be large enough) next to the West end of the track. Next to that stockpile, place a mason’s workshop.

Now, press q and go over to the settings of that stockpile. Press t for “Take from a Pile/Workshop” and then select mason’s workshop. Press s and forbid everything except stone blocks. Now, this stockpile will get any stone blocks that this mason’s workshop produces.

So far, so good.

Now we’re going to set up a route – assuming your dwarfs have finished carving the track. If not, wait until they’re done.

Okay, now. Press h to get to the new hauling interface.

We have no routes yet, so we’ll press r to set up a new route.

That creates “Route 1”. We’ll use n to give it a nickname “stone blocks” so that it will not get lost in the welter of other routes you’ll doubtless want to create.

Move the cursor over the West end of the track adjacent to the workshop’s tiny stockpile. Then press s to create a new stop. That’s “Stop 1”. You can give this a nickname too if you like.

Now, move the cursor over to the East end where the big stockpile is. Press s again. That’s “Stop 2”.

You’ll likely notice a yellow exclamation mark appears next to one or both stops. Some default rules get created when you define a stop and those default rules don’t yet work with our route. Now we’re going to fix that.

Press the – key to highlight Stop 1 again. Now we’ll edit its rules. Press Enter.

This is the stop management interface. You should see three rules:

Guide north immediately when full of desired items

Guide north in 14 days when at least 50% of the desire

Guide north in 28 days always

First up, let’s get rid of the second two rules. Highlight them (using + or –) and then press x to delete a rule. That leaves us with “guide north immediately when full of desired items”

Now North is the wrong direction for starters. We want the cart to go East to Stop 2. Press d as many times as you need to change the direction to East.

Got that? It should now read “Guide east immediately when full of desired items”.

What are the desired items? Let’s tell it. Press Enter (for “set desired items”) and enable Bars/Blocks > Blocks: Stone/Clay.

Press Escape once you’ve done that to return to the stop management interface.

Now, where will we get the blocks from? From the tiny stockpile next to Stop 1. Press s for “new stockpile link”. That creates an additional rule/condition “Take from (Select Stockpile)”.

Move the cursor over the tiny stockpile and press p for “select stockpile” to tell it which stockpile we want it to take from.

Okay. Now Stop 1 loads stone blocks from the little stockpile, which gets them from Mason’s workshop.

Press Escape to go back to the routing interface, and highlight Stop 2. Then press Enter.

Now we’re going to arrange to empty the cart and send it back to Stop 1.

Remove the second and third rules, until you’re left with “Guide north immediately when full of the desired item”.

Change the direction to the West with the d key.

Press c until the rule reads “Guide west immediately when empty of any items”.

Now, when the minecart is empty, a dwarf will guide it West back to Stop 1. The route is no longer broken (since the minecart now has rules that take it around all the stops over and over) but we still have to set up to empty it.

Press s again to create a stockpile link for this stop.

Move the cursor over the big bars/blocks stockpile next to Stop 2, then press p.

Now press t to switch from “taking” to “giving”.

That should be all you have to do. When you’re giving items to a stockpile the “Set desired items” option lists what you want to keep on the cart. We want to keep nothing, so we don’t list any stuff.

Now we’re almost done. Press Escape to go back to the routing interface.

We need to assign a minecart.

Press v for “Assign Vehicle” and select a minecart (I told you you needed one).

Once you have, the vehicle will be assigned to Stop 1 and a dwarf will haul it there shortly.

Press Escape again and let the simulation run. Set the workshop making infinite quantities of stone blocks.

Periodically you can press h to check the route. A yellow “V” will display at whatever stop the vehicle is at, and you’ll see a percentage value in white telling you how much of the cart’s capacity is currently occupied. This information can help you debug a route that seems to be stuck.

As your dwarfs make stone blocks, they’ll be loaded onto the cart. I’m not sure just how many blocks one cart holds, but it is a lot. 20 or 30 perhaps. I haven’t counted.

When the cart is finally full, a dwarf will guide it to Stop 2, and someone will be assigned to unload all of those blocks. When the cart is finally empty, a dwarf will be tasked to guide it back to Stop 1 where it will wait until it is full.

How to make a Minecraft house in 2022?

How to use minecarts in Dwarf Fortress

Having talked much about how to use minecarts in the Dwarf fortress, I would like to brief you on how you can build a Minecraft house.

Follow these step-by-step guides, I’m sure it’s going to be helpful.

Once you have collected the materials and selected a location, you can follow these steps to start the building process

– Build a wall just like a real-world house

– Add doors and windows.

– Expand the house

– Light it up

– Add basic amenities like a crafting table, and bed to set the spawn point.

– A source of food, preferably a basic farm that you can use to plant seeds and grow crops.

I hope this comprehensive illustration of how you can use mine carts in the dwarf fortress is helpful. Let’s hear you in the comment section below.

Keep tuning in to more posts on other topics and dwarf fortress like how to make a Minecraft, how to make minecraft rails, how far powered rails push, and what minecarts bounce off of.

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