RimWorld vs Dwarf Fortress: A Clash of Titans in the World of Simulation Gaming


Explore the ultimate clash of colony simulation games – RimWorld vs Dwarf Fortress!

rimword v dwarf fortress

Ever wanted to dig deeper into the dwarven lore or colonise an alien world? In the arena of simulation gaming, very few games have captivated gamers like RimWorld & Dwarf Fortress. As cult classics, the games boast of unique stories, complex game mechanics, and combat systems.

Both games transport players into the shoes of settlers and mythical creatures where the objective is to ensure the well-being of the inhabitants and protect them from various threats. Despite their similarities in genre, Dwarf Fortress vs RimWorld differ in so many ways.

In this post, we pit RimWorld vs Dwarf Fortress to explore their key aspects, highlight their unique features and unravel what makes them cult classics.

Game Mechanics

Game mechanics is one of the prominent differences between Dwarf Fortress vs RimWorld. A quick look at RimWorld will reveal a game with a user-friendly interface and visual representation of features which makes it easier even for newbies to understand the game. As such, RimWorld strikes a balance between accessibility and depth.

However, this should not deceive you as the game contains intricate features for base building, resource gathering, and mood management. This provides a pleasant experience to players without the steep learning curve.

Rimworld Base Layout

When you come to Dwarf Fortress, it boasts of an unparalleled level of depth, unlike RimWorld. As such, the Dwarf Fortress learning curve is challenging. In fact, mastering the game requires lots of dedication and patience.

However, for experienced players, the complexity of Dwarf Fortress offers players an unmatched sense of accomplishment. In addition, the game provides a feeling of truly shaping a new world to maturity.


Both RimWorld and Dwarf Fortress have detailed combat systems. However, RimWorld has an edge over Dwarf Fortress when it comes to the visual appeal and playability. In RimWorld, players can draft individual pawns whom they can give direct orders to.

That includes orders to fire at the enemy, what weapon to use and much more. You also have the animations for gunfire and explosions which are quite captivating during intense raids.


Unlike RimWorld, Dwarf Fortress has a more complex combat model. The model has a realistic physics-based approach. For example, if a dwarf hits a goblin with an ax, the system will check where the goblin was hit, look at the material of the clothing/armor and ax. It will then figure out the next event.

If the ax is weaker than the target, it will not break through but if it’s stronger, then it will. If you achieve a clean hit, then you can slice all the way through and take the goblin’s head or limb off. In addition, the combat options are infinite for what the dwarves can do.

Game Setting

RimWorld is a space colony simulation game that takes place in the distant future where societies are technologically advanced but they’re spread across the universe. From Neolithic tribes to machine gods, the game puts players in charge of different characters with positive and negative traits randomly generated.

RimWorld vs Dwarf Fortress

The game focuses on survival, and colony management, and its different aspects. As such, players have to ensure the well-being of settlers by building shelter, gathering resources, and defending the colony against threats.

Dwarf Fortress, on the other hand, takes players to a fantasy world where they meet elves, dwarves, goblins and other mythical creatures. In a nutshell, the game creates a customized world where your dwarves can live, work, mine, fight, invent and much more.

RimWorld vs Dwarf Fortress

From the start, the game has all the building options unlocked. As such players have complete freedom over the construction of their fortress. This is unlike in RimWorld where players have to research via a huge tree to unlock different features and options in the game.

Engaging Storytelling

What players like about both games is the ability to generate unique and engaging stories. RimWorld creates dynamic narratives with unexpected twists thanks to its AI storytellers and event system. During the game, settlers may develop relationships, and face internal and external threats which all add depth to RimWorld’s gameplay.

Dwarf Fortress is renowned for its procedural storytelling and detailed simulation. In fact, the game creates epic sagas and legendary battles of the dwarven civilization. From the individual personalities of dwarves to the battles with monsters, the gameplay unfolds as an unpredictable and exciting adventure.

Modding and Community

Dwarf Fortress & RimWorld both have vibrant and thriving communities and thousands of mods that will add extras and quality of life to your gameplay. With a vibrant RimWorld modding community, you can transform your bleak colony into a thriving metropolis with colonist customization and multiplayer.

Some of the best mods for RimWorld include:

  • Grim reality
  • Common Sense
  • Realistic Rooms
  • Vanilla Expanded
  • Combat Extended
  • Colony Manager
  • Hospitality
  • RimWorld Multiplayer and many more.

Dwarf Fortress, on the other hand, has a wide selection of mods. In fact, players can find mods that offer graphical tilesets that replace the ASCII graphics. You also have mods that introduce new creatures, and characters. Thanks to the open-source nature of the game, the possibilities for modding are virtually endless.

RimWorld vs Dwarf Fortress: The Results

RimWorld and Dwarf Fortress are great games with a dedicated fanbase worldwide. However, as we pit RimWorld vs Dwarf Fortress, the question remains which game is better? Well, it all depends on a player’s preferences.

If you’re looking for a visually appealing sci-fi game with deep gameplay and visually engaging experiences, then RimWorld is for you. The game’s procedural storytelling creates a dynamic adventure that will keep you hooked for hours.

However, if you yearn for a fantasy game with mythical creatures and unparalleled complexity, then Dwarf Fortress is the game for you. While its pixelated art style graphics may seem intimidating, you’ll find the lore alluring.

So, whichever game you pick, you’re bound to enjoy an unforgettable experience. 

Happy gaming!

Avatar for Felix Kithuka

Felix Kithuka is a web content writer at Console Bandit and an avid fan of gaming, and anime. He's been writing since he could hold a pencil and has been doing so professionally since 2012. Felix likes just about all games but his all time favorites include GTA V, GTA series, Resident Evil series, Zelda series, Bioshock, Halo and pretty much any action adventure game. When not playing video games, Felix can be found watching comedy TV shows and movies, listening to podcasts and spending time with his family.

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