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News video games 08 December 2022, 18:14

author: Damian Gacek

Dwarf Fortress vs RimWorld - Detailed Comparison

In this article, we compare Dwarf Fortress and RimWorld. We cover many aspects of both games. Thanks to us, you will decide which one to choose, which is better for you.

With the recent launch of Dwarf Fortress on Steam, many people started comparing this title with RimWorld. The two games share a lot in common, so this is not surprising. In this article, we decided to compare the two productions so that you do not have to.


The first big difference you should pay attention to is the setting of both games. RwimWorld takes place in a Science Fiction world. You end up on an alien planet with firearms and robots. Dwarf Fortress, on the other hand, takes you to a traditional fantasy world, where you will meet dwarves, elves and various creatures that you can read about in J.R.R. Tolkien's books.


Despite the great strides that Dwarf Fortress has made, it is apparent that the game has been in development since 2002. The graphical overlay has made the production much more accessible to new players, but it still cannot be said to be beautiful. Camera and character movement are also not smooth.

RimWorld, which is more graphically accessible, has a definite advantage in this regard, although it should be noted that it too is not a work of art.


The RimWorld community has had a lot of time to create mods. Their number can be counted in the thousands. This allows a great deal of freedom in adapting the gameplay to the player's needs.

The classic version of Dwarf Fortress also has several successful modifications. However, the Steam version still has to wait a while until the community has had time to get used to it. It is worth noting, however, that the game has received workshop support and, at the time of writing this article, dozens of mods have already been created. So it is likely that a wide selection of mods is a matter of time.


At the moment, the UI is better in RimWorld than in Dwarf Fortress. So far, the latter title also suffers from bugs. Texts in particular can become a nuisance as they go beyond the windows, making them unreadable. Hopefully, this will be fixed in an upcoming patch.


It is more advanced in Dwarf Fortress, although there are some things that are not as restrictive as in RimWorld, for example not every dwarf has to have a separate bed. However, when playing Dwarf Fortress there are a number of mechanics to bear in mind. For example, in order to access some of the features offered by RimWorld you need to hire administrators ( for instance, to know exactly how many resources you have), and dwarves don't like to eat with their hands!

In addition, Dwarf Fortress is based on a simulation of the entire world you live in, the development of which may, on occasion, destroy your settlement. When playing this game, you are only part of a great story. This feeling evaporates in the case of RimWorld. World in it seems rather empty and dead in comparison.

Difficulty level

It's impossible to say definitively which game is more difficult. In its basic form, Dwarf Fortress is more difficult; however, if you choose your locations well, the game can become quite easy. In Dwarf Fortress, the placement of your settlement and luck is important - the game doesn't adapt to you like RimWorld does (with attacks and events). The simulation continues regardless of your actions.


The fortresses in Dwarf Fortress are much larger than the (unmodded) colonies in RimWorld. By default, you can have up to 200 inhabitants (although you are actually only limited by the power of your computer and the game settings). Dwarf Fortress tells the story of your fortress, Rimworld is the story of the fate of individual colonists.


Dwarf Fortress does not have a set goal, in RimWorld you are trying to get some kind of ending. In Dwarf Fortress the goal itself is to develop the fortress and make your own objectives.


You will also find many more or less significant mechanical differences between the games. For example, in Dwarf Fortress, digging comes easier than in RimWorld, but resources are scarcer. In addition, some may find it annoying that you cannot directly control the dwarves.

The verticality of the maps is also an important difference. RimWorld is single-plane, Dwarf Fortress encourages you to dig down or build massive high castles.


Both of these games have their pros and cons. Despite their similarities, they are still different. It seems to me that both productions can best be summed up by saying that Dwarf Fortress is primarily a simulation, while RimWorld is a game (and in both cases it’s OK).

Damian Gacek

Damian Gacek

Graduate of English Philology and English in Public Communication. He started his professional career as an English teacher. A member of Gamepressure since 2019. During this time, he has been writing for various departments. Currently, he mainly covers guides and occasionally supports the newsroom. He has been interested in electronic entertainment since childhood. When he was younger, he wrote a scientific article on video game translations. An enthusiast of RPGs and strategies, he also frequently dives into the depths of indie games. In his spare time, he is working on a book and learning film editing.


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