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Dwarf fortress Refined Coal Guide

Get yourself some fuel.
Dwarf Fortress characters running in the background of its cover image
Image via Bay 12 Games

In Dwarf Fortress, if you want to smelt anything in a kiln, smelter or furnace, you’ll need some sort of fuel to start the fire. There are a couple ways to make fuel in Dwarf Fortress, which will result in the production of ‘refined coal’. However, there are many different terms for fuel, additions including ‘coal fuel’ and simply ‘coal’. What is the deal here, and how do you make any of it?

Refined Coal, Coal Fuel, Coal and Fuel in Dwarf Fortress

With all of these names in Dwarf Fortress, players may get understandably confused. But, thankfully, it’s not too complicated. All of those terms, ‘refined coal’, ‘coal fuel’, ‘coal’, and ‘fuel’, are all umbrella terms that refer to the exact same thing: charcoal and coke. Charcoal and coke are two specific fuel sources that you’ll need for firing up the furnaces in Dwarf Fortress. The game, and the community, generally refer to either one of those items through any of the umbrella terms.

Charcoal and coke get referred to generally because they both serve identical purposes. And because there is scarcely a difference, the game and the community use one term to refer to them both. So the making of ‘refined coal’ is actually just the making of either charcoal or coke.

Related: How to Make Steel in Dwarf Fortress

How to make Refined Coal in Dwarf Fortress

To make coke, you’ll need to go mining. Refined coal can be extracted from underground, in veins of two potential resources. When mining, look out for bituminous coal or lignite. Either resource must be mined and then refined in a smelter to produce 3 coke. Due to the smelting process requiring one source of fuel, you will gain a net of 2 coke. Be careful, as either resource is highly flammable.

Charcoal can be created from burning wood in a wood furnace by setting the wood burning order. Burning wood turns the wood into charcoal. Be careful not to trade charcoal to elves, as it will offend them.

Again, either coke or charcoal can be used for the same processes.

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