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Main / Skills / Digging


Digging is the skill of terraforming or moving dirt around. It is used either to raise or lower a tile or the sides of a tile, to change the appearance of the world around you. Digging requires a shovel and increases several characteristics: body strength, body stamina, and mind logic. Destroying pavement and cultivating a packed dirt tile also increases the digging skill.


  • Activate a shovel and right-click a tile and select "Dig". This will lower the ground and drop the dug material in a collectible pile on that tile or nearby.
  • Note that the material is dug from the corners of tiles; Where your avatar's feet are (which of the four corners in the tile you stand in) is where the tile will be dug down. Where you right-click to select the dig command has absolutely no impact whatsoever on where you dig. So, for example, by standing in the northwestern corner of a tile and digging, just that area of the tile and connecting tiles will drop. The other three corners of the tile will remain at their original level. By then hovering the cursor over neighboring tile borders, one can then see the results of their work via slope count (1 slope = 1 dirt = 1 dig action). Dropping dirt on tile corners works the same way but by raising the corner in which the player is standing when dropping the dirt.
  • The maximum slope you can dig on, level, or flatten is 3 x [your digging skill] + 1. e.g. A skill of 50.25 in digging will mean you can dig on, or adjacent to, a slope of up to 151 dirt.
  • For skills below 10, you can dig slopes up to 30.
  • To lower a whole dirt, moss, tundra, steppe, or sand tile, you must stand in each of the four corners and dig. To raise a tile, you must drop dirt on the tile corners. Clay tiles will lower every 50-100 actions while digging corners. When on tiles like peat or tar, digging produces material each dig, but will not lower the corner. You must use leveling for these tiles.
  • To check if a tile is flat, you can either right-click a tile and select Flatten or examine the tile's borders. If all tile borders say "The slope is level", then tile is flat. You can also see the difference in height between tile sides by examining the tile's borders. The reference will be a certain number of units of material either away from you or toward you relative to where you are standing. For example, if the slope is 2 dirt steep towards you, go to the other end of the tile border you examined and dig twice to level the edge in question. To avoid confusion in the beginning when examining tile borders, stand near, or preferably on, the blank non-highlightable "mini-square" at the corner of a tile.


  • You need 10 digging and 20 body strength to destroy pavement.
  • You need 20 body strength to dig on roads.
  • Trees will obstruct digging is when there is a tree in the NE, NW, and SW tiles. Cut down that tree and you can continue digging.
  • Digging holds a chance to reward you with strange bones & emeralds. Anybody, even non premium accounts have the chance of finding emeralds. Only premium accounts have the chance of finding rare bones.
  • Having a shovel activated will give a mouse tool indicating the slope of a tile border when you mouse over it.
  • Digging can be done while moving, so long as you do not move too far (two tiles) from the tile you are currently digging.

PVP Servers

  • Maximum slope on dirt is limited to 150 on the Defiance and Elevation servers, no matter how high the skill a player may have.

Warning Messages

The concrete would only flow away.
Occurs when trying to raise a rock tile that is greater than 40 slope. It only takes into consideration the 4 adjacent slope borders.
The frozen soil is too hard to dig effectively.
Occurs when there is tundra next to it
The <item> would flow down into a <structure/fence>. You are not allowed to drop <item> on <structures/fences>
Occurs when trying to drop a dirt that is adjacent to a structure/fence in which the slope is more than 40.
The <structure/fence> is in the way.
Occurs when trying to dig in a corner where there is a <structure/fence> present.
The object nearby prevents digging further down.
An object, such as a bulk storage bin may prevent digging steep slopes.
The road would be too steep to traverse.
You cannot dig a highway road to over 20 slope steep.
The water is too deep to cultivate here.
Occurs when trying to cultivate a tile in which the northwest corner is not 0 dirts or more above the water table.
The water is too deep or too shallow to dig using that tool
You can only dig 7 dirt below water level with a shovel before you have to switch to a dredge.
The water is too deep and would only dissolve the concrete.
When using concrete to raise a tile below water the lowest height that the tile can be is 25.
The water is too deep to pack the dirt here.
Occurs when trying to pack a tile in which the northwest corner is more than 0 dirts below the water table.
The water is too deep to pave here.
Occurs when trying to pave a tile in which the northwest corner is more than 0 dirts below the water table.
You are not allowed to drop dirt there.
Cannot drop dirt on paved road when the corner is surrounded on all sides by trees or similar tiles.
You are not skilled enough to dig in such steep slopes.
Slopes become too steep when the dirt slope is greater than 3x your digging skill. This includes any slopes on any tiles bordering the tile you wish to dig on. For example, with 15 digging skill, you can dig on, level, or flatten a slope up to 45 steep.
You can't flatten at that depth.
Occurs when trying to flatten a tile in which is the involved tiles are 7 or more dirts below the water table.
You can't level at that depth.
Occurs when trying to level a tile in which the involved tiles are 7 or more dirts below the water table.
The area is too crowded with (trees / bushes / trees and bushes) to dig properly.
This message happens when the corner is surrounded by 3 or 4 tree or bush tiles. Cut down one (or more) to continue.
You cannot dig in such terrain.
This message will occur when trying to lower floorboards through a dig action.
You hit rock.
All the dirt above the rock layer in this tile corner has been dug away.
You suddenly become very weak, and your arm muscles fail you. You just can not dig here it seems.
You are trying to dig within a planned house.
You can't figure out how to remove the stone. You must become a bit better at digging first.
You need 10 digging to remove pavement.
You need to be stronger to destroy pavement.
Body strength of 20 and a digging skill of 10 is required for destroying pavement.
You need to be stronger to dig on roads.
You need 20 body strength to dig on roads.
Your shovel fails to penetrate the earth no matter what you try. Weird.
You are trying to dig in an area protected by the GMs. Find a different spot.


Activate a shovel, right-click the corpse and select Bury.

Burying is generally designed for the disposal of a corpse. An unbutchered corpse will attract carnivores so therefore it is a respectful act to bury an animal after you kill it. It is a good idea to butcher the animal with a butchering knife before it is buried. Also, remember to bury your own corpse after you pick up its inventory.

If you try to bury something on a rock tile, cave tile, or a dirt tile where the dirt is less than 3 dirts deep you will fail and get the message, "The ground is too hard to bury anything in using a shovel, try using a pickaxe." However, it is possible to bury corpses on a rock tile and or a cave tile with a pickaxe.

Under water

Until 7 dirt below sea level, you can dig as above water, but deeper than 7 you must dredge instead of dig.

Digging for Rock Guide

To set up a mine where there is no exposed rock, you must first reveal the rock layer under the dirt layer. Dig at a reasonable distance above water. Keep digging in one corner until "You hit rock" or do not have enough skill to continue digging. Once you hit rock in one corner, then you must dig in all other corners until they have hit rock also. When you hit rock in all four corners, then the rock tile will be uncovered. If you lack the skill to dig in "such steep slopes", you could dig the nearby tiles down further as well, to reduce the slope to the corners you are working on.

Tile Difficulties

Digging difficulty varies by tile. The formula starts at 1 + (the highest slope from that corner/5, rounded down), then adds the specific tile difficulty.

  • Dirt - 0
  • Peat - 0
  • Sand - 10
  • Moss - 10
  • Clay - 20
  • Tundra - 20
  • Marsh - 30
  • Tar - 35
  • Steppe - 40

Skills & Characteristics


  • Digger at 50 skill
  • Excavator at 70 skill
  • Land Shaper at 90 skill
  • Earthwurm at 100 skill

See also