How to Find Fuel in Dwarf Fortress

Give me fuel, give me fire. Give me that which I desire!
Image Via Bay 12 Games

Fuel is what will make your entire operation go. You will need it for metalworking, glassworking and pottery, the main high-temperature industries. And in Dwarf Fortress, they are extremely important. Differently from other games, where you find fuel just lying around like porch chops in a certain vampire killing game, you will need to manufacture it with raw materials, just like real life. Here is how to find fuel in Dwarf Fortress.

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How to Find Fuel in Dwarf Fortress

In Dwarf Fortress, there are two types of fuel: charcoal and coke. They are both defined and named interchangeably as “fuel”, “refined coal” and “coal”. Despite both being different materials, they are effectively the same for any in-game activities. You can find fuel by converting it from wood (charcoal) and bituminous coal or lignite (coke). You can find wood in most trees, and bituminous coal and lignite in sedimentary layer veins. Prepare yourself for some previous resource gathering. Here is how to find fuel in Dwarf Fortress:

  • In order to get fuel from wood (charcoal), you will need the following things:
    • You will have to build a Wood Furnace.
    • A dwarf has to have the wood burning labor enabled.
    • And of course, you will require wood. One log of wood produces one bar of charcoal.
    • Upgrade the wood burner skill levels to reduce the wood burning time.
  • In order to get fuel from bituminous coal or lignite (coke), you will need the following things:
    • You will need a Normal Smelter or a Magma Smelter
    • A dwarf has to have the furnace operating labor enabled.
    • You will also need bituminous coal or lignite. The first will produce 9 coke, while the second will produce 5 coke.
    • You will be required to use one unit of fuel per job.
    • Upgrade the furnace operator skill levels to reduce the furnace operating time.
    • Note: blocks of bituminous coal or lignite cannot be used or converted to fuel. You can use them as regular blocks, although they are not fire-safe.

Related: How to Make Pig Iron in Dwarf Fortress?

Be sure to pick the best fuel gathering method for you, although a combination of both won’t be a bad decision as well. There are a lot of trees and veins, so you won’t have any problems finding raw materials. Keep handling those furnaces with care and fiery passion. And don’t be confused about the naming convention in Dwarf Fortress. Fuel is fuel, after all. And you will need it, after all. Good luck, my dwarf friend.


Dwarf Fortress, with updated graphics and content, is available on Windows. Please check out Gamer Journalist on Facebook to join the discussion and keep up to date with our content. You might also like to check out or guides on What to do when your Dwarf Falls into a secretive mood in Dwarf Fortress and How to Bury Your Dead in Dwarf Fortress.

About the author

Alejandro Josan

A musician with a heart of a gamer, Alejandro's life has always been accompanied by adventures on Nintendo platformers, countless hours of fantasy RPGs and several third-party FPSs. Currently, he is studying Game Design and Development, preparing for a long career in the video game industry.

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