Autolabor attempts to keep as many dwarves as possible busy while allowing dwarves to specialize in specific skills.

Autolabor frequently checks how many jobs of each type are available and sets labors proportionally in order to get them all done quickly. Labors with equipment – mining, hunting, and woodcutting – which are abandoned if labors change mid-job, are handled slightly differently to minimize churn.

Dwarves on active military duty or dwarves assigned to burrows are left untouched by autolabor.


This plugin is still being tested. Use at your own risk.

The algorithms that autolabor uses to choose labor assignments have not been updated for version 50 of Dwarf Fortress. There is no particular guarantee that the labor assignments autolabor is making are optimal, and it is entirely possible that the assignments it makes will lead to unforeseen consequences. You should monitor what your dwarves are doing, and more importantly not doing, when using autolabor.

At this time there is no way to easily see what labors are being assigned to whom, as there is no longer any vanilla means for seeing the labor assignment table. Until manipulator is once again available, probably the best way to see what autolabor is doing is to use Dwarf Therapist. You can also increase autolabor’s logging level using the debugfilter command (setting either debug or trace level for the cycle mode) but be warned that this may generate a large amount of console spam, especially in a large fort.

When it is enabled, autolabor automatically disables the work detail system. You cannot use autolabor and work details at the same time. If you attempt to open the work detail screen while autolabor is active, a warning box should appear advising you that autolabor is managing labors and preventing you from making any changes on that screen.

Finally, should you disable autolabor, autolabor will automatically reenable the vanilla work detail system. However, the work detail system only updates labors when the work detail screen is open and some change is made on that screen. Therefore, if you choose to disable autolabor, you should probably immediately thereafter open the work details screen and make some change to force the game to recompute all labor assignments based on the vanilla algorithm. At this time, it is not possible for autolabor to do this automatically.


enable autolabor

Anything beyond this is optional - autolabor works well with the default settings. Once you have enabled it in a fortress, it stays enabled until you explicitly disable it, even if you save and reload your game.

By default, each labor is assigned to between 1 and 200 dwarves (2-200 for mining). 33% of the workforce become haulers, who handle all hauling jobs as well as cleaning, pulling levers, recovering wounded, removing constructions, and filling ponds. Other jobs are automatically assigned as described above. Each of these settings can be adjusted.

Jobs are rarely assigned to nobles with responsibilities for meeting diplomats or merchants, never to the chief medical dwarf, and less often to the bookkeeper and manager.

Hunting is never assigned without a butchery, and fishing is never assigned without a fishery.

For each labor, a preference order is calculated based on skill, excluding those who can’t do the job. Dwarves who are masters of a skill are deprioritized for other skills. The labor is then added to the best <minimum> dwarves for that labor, then to additional dwarfs that meet any of these conditions:

  • The dwarf is idle and there are no idle dwarves assigned to this labor

  • The dwarf has non-zero skill associated with the labor

  • The labor is mining, hunting, or woodcutting and the dwarf currently has it enabled.

We stop assigning dwarves when we reach the maximum allowed.

Autolabor uses DFHack’s debug functionality to display information about the changes it makes. The amount of information displayed can be controlled through appropriate use of the debugfilter command.


autolabor MINE 5

Keep at least 5 dwarves with mining enabled.

autolabor CUT_GEM 1 1

Keep exactly 1 dwarf with gem cutting enabled.

autolabor COOK 1 1 3

Keep 1 dwarf with cooking enabled, selected only from the top 3.

autolabor FEED_WATER_CIVILIANS haulers

Have haulers feed and water wounded dwarves.

autolabor CUTWOOD disable

Turn off autolabor for wood cutting.

Advanced usage

autolabor list

List current status of all labors. Use this command to see the IDs for all labors.

autolabor status

Show basic status information.

autolabor <labor> <minimum> [<maximum>] [<talent pool>]

Set range of dwarves assigned to a labor, optionally specifying the size of the pool of most skilled dwarves that will ever be considered for this labor.

autolabor <labor> haulers

Set a labor to be handled by hauler dwarves.

autolabor <labor> disable

Turn off autolabor for a specific labor.

autolabor reset-all|<labor> reset

Return a labor (or all labors) to the default handling.

See autolabor-artisans for a differently-tuned setup.