Mining is the skill of excavating rock shards and ore veins.

Characteristics gainedEdit

Body / Body strength, Body stamina

Mind / Mind logic

Soul / Soul strength


There are several "modes" of mining, depending on where and what you mine. The method is much the same for all of them: Activate a pickaxe, right-click the place to mine and select Mining -> (action).

Because Wurm is not a true 3D world, the cave layer is essentially a second world beneath the surface world. It is possible to mine upwards and downwards with a few limitations. You may not mine upward out of rock and into the dirt that is covering it. You can mine downward until you reach the water table, but can not mine deeper than one tile level below water level. It is also not possible to have one tunnel pass under or over another without forming a vertical shaft. Each tile is essentially a pillar, so if two tunnels cross at different elevations they create a shaft going from the upper tunnel to the lower tunnel. This can be useful when done intentionally. It can also ruin your mine if unplanned. Planning your mine with an overhead view of your mine on graph paper can save you some heartache.

Opening a mineEdit

The first step in all mines is to make a mine entrance on the surface. This can be done on any cliff or rock tile. Equip a mining pick, and select the "Tunnel" option. After 51 tunneling actions, the message "You will soon create an entrance" will appear. A few actions later an entrance will be created. The exact value is random, averaging around 5 mining actions after the message appears.

Tunneling on a shallow slope is dangerous since you are basically mining straight down and may dig yourself into a steep slope or a pit. A slope of 10+ is probably safe (estimate). The good news is that a poor tunnel slopes can be fixed. The bad news is that it is a lot of work!

Tunnels can not be opened if the northwest corner is more than 4 dirts below water level.

Opening a ship tunnelEdit

Look for a rock tile that is approximately two-thirds below the waterline. Needing to dredge such a tile is not unusual, especially to make the surrounding terrain look natural for those concealed ship docks.

The important thing is not to tunnel the ship entrance from the surface. You mine to the surface from inside, thus leaving an opening deep enough to sail through.

How you get inside doesnt matter. Everything ranging from alternative entries to making temp openings and collapsing them with orbs works. All that matters is you mine the cave floor deep enough and then mine straight out. Just make sure you have some means of restoring stamina nearby.

Even if you get the entrance wrong on the first try. Do not worry. Simply collapse the tile with an orb or Mag priest and try again.

Surface miningEdit

The slope of surface rock can be changed with a pickaxe or a sculpting wand. The sculpting wand is the fastest way to shape rock. Using a pickaxe however is time consuming but possible. Here's a step-by-step on how to do this:

1) Clear a square of four tiles all the way down to rock in order to lower the rock at the point where those four tiles intersect. To clear all the dirt off a single rock tile, you must dig down to rock on all four corners. You will know that you have hit rock by watching event messages for messages that indicate you are hitting rock. You will also cease collecting dirt in inventory when you start hitting rock. Example:

If you want to lower rock at point E, you will have to dig down to rock at all points A through I. Points A/B/E/D will clear the top left square, B/C/F/E will clear the top right, etc, etc.

D--E--F G--H--I

2) Activate your mining pick and stand at the intersection of the four tiles (point E), click the ground, and select the mining action. Be sure that you do not select tunneling. Tunneling will eventually create a mine entrance, which we do not want (at least not yet).

3) Randomly, with about 10-20% chance, you will drop the rock level at the point where you are mining by 1 dirt and produce a rock shard. This is not cumulative. Sometimes you will drop the rock level very quickly for a short spurt, other times you might mine for along time not drop the level. In other words, many failures in a row does not make future success more likely.

4) Attempting to lower surface rock below the ceiling of a mine below results in the message "The rock sounds hollow, you will need to tunnel to continue". At this point, you cannot lower the surface rock any further.

Note that the example above is only for one point. To lower the face of a tile to make a nice mine entry tunnel, here's a more complex example:

After prospecting tile B/C/G/F to create a tunnel there to start a mine, the slope is just not right.

  • Drop corners F and G to make a nice slope for the mine entrance.
  • To drop the rock level at F dig A/B/C/E/F/G/I/J/K down to rock.
  • To drop the rock level at G dig B/C/D/F/G/H/J/K/L down to rock.

Remember: surface rock lowering is done at intersections of rock tiles, tunnel creation is done within a single rock tile. If you try to tunnel while standing at a intersection of 4 tiles, you might get a tunnel at an unexpected location, so be sure to be standing on one tile, and be sure to be clicking that one tile when creating a tunnel.

E--F--G--H I--J--K--L

Surface mining will produce rock shards on each action that lowered the corner.

Mine doorsEdit

You can limit access to your mine with the use of a mine door. Several types of mine doors are available.
Remember that offdeed minedoors can be bashed, so your mine is not entirely safe just because it has a mine door attached. Perimeter does not protect mine doors.

Walls can be built around any slope of tunnel entrance by standing within the mine and selecting the tile borders. Note that you should build these walls before placing a mine door if you wish to install one aswell.

Tunnel ExcavationEdit

Mining a cave wall inside a mine will create a tunnel further into the mine. It takes 45 mining actions to produce the message "The wall will break soon", after which it takes average 5 actions to open the tunnel.

Tunnel excavation does not produce Rock shards on every action.


To create a dropshaft, mine a tile that is either above or below a tile that has already been dug out.

Primary uses of dropshafts are fast travel from one level of a mine to a lower level.

For example, if you dig down to water level to get a source of water, you can create a water-filled cave and mine out over that cave to get a dropshaft that takes you straight down to the water.

There is no falling damage inside mines.

I do not recommend doing this as it ruins the structure of the mine. Making some parts unstable thus making it unable to be mined.

Tunnel exitsEdit

  • You cannot mine out from a tunnel if the tile outside has dirt on it.
  • You can mine out from a tunnel if the tile outside is bare rock.

Ore miningEdit

Ore is produced by mining ore veins found inside a mine. When an ore vein is depleted, a tunnel is created as when tunnel mining. However, a vein can take several thousand actions to deplete, so it is advised to mine around ore veins for tunneling purposes.

Each action will produce one ore of the vein's type.

Floor and ceiling miningEdit

Mining the floor or ceiling of a cave does not create tunnels. Instead, it raises (for ceiling) or lowers (for floors) the cave. Note that, as with digging, these actions affect the closest corner of the tile and not the tile itself. A ceiling tile can be mined upward around 31 times before it is too high to reach (given that you haven't lowered the floor before you start). A floor tile can be mined downward a maximum of ?? times.

Excavating a new tile from a tile that has raised ceiling will not create a new tile with the same ceiling height as the adjacent: the new tile will have the standard ceiling height for cave tiles. However, if you have lowered the floor you might excavate a new tile at the same floor level. If you have mined down the two floor corners that are in contact with the wall you mine down the floor will stay at that level (the ceiling will still have standard height, but at the new level). This is very useful for making tunnels, for example for boats, as you only have to reach the wished floor level on the first tile and the rest will go along in accordance to it.

Please note that when mining the floor you can create uneven surfaces thus making it hard to move around in your mine. For the best access in a mine it is recommended not to mine the floor directly unless you have a plan for it. The actions "mine up" and "mine down" create somewhat predictable slopes of 20 and are good if you want a sloped passage, although floor mining can be very useful if used in the right way. Proceed floor excavations with caution as the mining is not easily reversed. When digging you can always drop the dirt and refill the hole - this is not possible when mining.

It's advised that you mine cave ceilings when in need of rock shards it's faster than mining the caves walls.


Any excavated cave tile has a chance of caving in. When this happens, the tile is simply returned to its former non-excavated state and can be excavated again. If you mine a tile soon after it collapses, it won't need as many mine actions as usual to re-open. Ore veins may appear in cave-ins.

Reinforcing a cave wall with a support beam lowers the chance of cave-ins, but reinforced walls cannot be excavated or mined. Ore veins are said to count as reinforced for purposes of stability.

Note: The only cave-ins/tile collapse that I have seen are those next to other unmined tiles. For example: If you mine a three (3) tile wide path, the center tile won't cave in but the outter tiles will have a chance to cave in...

Skill and difficultyEdit

Different ore veins have different difficulty. The easiest is mining plain rock, followed by iron veins and copper veins. The hardest are silver and gold. As with most things in Wurm, too low difficulty leads to reduced skill gain, while too high difficulty results in high failure rate. A failure results in a 1.00 QL rock or ore.

Items from successful mining have random QL, but the maximum possible is the lower of your mining skill and the tile's inherent quality. See prospecting for details about tile QL.

Optimal Skill Gain

For the best skill gain, you will want to fail to mine the ore sometimes; about 10-15 failures (1QL) is the best skill gain. If you fail more, improve your pickaxe or downgrade an ore difficulty.

Note that if the tile is capped at a QL much lower than your skill you won't be able to check average QL of the pile of ore/shards to see whether or not you have a decent success rate. The average QL of the pile is always based on your skill and not the tile itself, and the tile QL is therefore irrelevant to skillgain. A wider range in upper QL based on skill will get lost when translated to the tile capped with lower QL so it will look like more top QL gains but in reality they would've been higher in QL if the tile was. For example: If you have 70 mining and you mine a QL32 rock tile and get 1xQL1 and 49xQL32 you don't actually get 49xHighest possible quality - the tile just doesn't go any higher so the ones that would've been in the range between 32-70 are all translated down to 32 due to the cap. The skillgain from a QL32 and a QL70 rock tile is exactly the same.

Note: Never mine gold for skill; it is a waste of materials and time. You have less than the optimal skill gain % chance to get ore-QL > 1/2 skill.

Note: You will need to adjust your pickaxe quality to stay at the line of optimal %chance success. For the most part, 20-30QL pickaxe will work for skill gain.

Other considerationsEdit

You can either mine "up", "down" or level when mining a tile. Only the last mining action is relevant to determine the direction the mine shaft will take. Mining up or down represents the equivalent of a 20 dirt slope.

There are slight deviations in slope (up to 1 "dirt") when a mine shaft progresses. So, "level" is actually 0 slope, 1, or -1. Note that when connecting two mine shafts, the direction of the mining is irrelevant; one floor will connect to the other floor and ceilings will likewise connect.

Warning messagesEdit

Note: Some of these messages aren't exactly as presented in-game. Feel free to correct the wording.

Sometimes you will be unable to continue mining and presented with a warning message. [1]Side shaft example;A dangerous crack is starting to form on the floor. You will have to find another way. [The cave shudders from some imbalance.]

Think it is caused by undermining previous tile mined above. No fix, though mining another wall, and therefore changing tunnel direction, worked on same tile.
Another tunnel is too close. It would collapse.
Occurs when opening a new tunnel from the surface. Caused when there is already a tunnel to the back or the sides of the entrance tile or if a tunnel is ahead but to far down to connect to.
The cave walls look very unstable. You cannot keep mining here.
Occurs inside a mine. Happens when mining close to the top of the rock layer. The ceiling of the newly mined tile would break the rock layer. Can sometimes be avoided by mining downwards or by lowering the mine floor and thereby opening the new tile a bit lower.
The cave walls look very unstable and dirt flows in. You would be buried alive.
Occurs inside a mine. Happens when the tile you are mining on will break out to the surface, but the surface is not exposed rock. To excavate it, you must first expose the rock on the surface.
 ? The cave walls sound hollow.
Appears when you are mining into another mine shaft and the height difference is not dangerous.
The cave walls sound hollow. A dangerous side shaft could emerge. [The cave shudders from some imbalance.]
Occurs inside a mine. This message appears when the tile you are excavating shares a single corner with an existing tunnel. To excavate it you must first excavate so the target tile shares an entire wall with the other tunnel. See example on the right.
The ground is too steep to mine at here. You need to make it more flat.
Occurs occasionally when mining the floor down. The cause is unknown.
The ground sounds strangely hollow and brittle. You have to abandon the mining operation.
Occurs on the surface. This means there's already a tunnel on the tile you're trying to excavate. There's nothing to do about it, you simply have to make your entrance on another tile. Or you could search for the entrance (possibly caved in) to the existing tunnel.
The topology here makes it impossible to mine in a good way.
Occurs when trying to create a mine entrance on a perfectly flat rock tile. Lower at least 1 corner with surface mining to continue.
There is no space to mine here. Clear the area first.
Occurs when the tile you're standing on has 100 items on. Move a few objects and you can continue.
You fail to produce anything here. The rock is stone hard.
Occurs on the surface. This means the tile you are attempting to excavate is actually an ore vein. There's nothing to do about it, you simply have to make your entrance on another tile. Note that if you make the entrance one tile below the vein, the tunnel will open right into the vein and cannot be extended until the vein is depleted. The best course of action at this point would probably be to mine out a rock dile next to the one you get this message on. You can also get this message when mining a floor tile but the exact cause is unknown.
You hear falling rocks from the other side of the wall. A deep shaft will probably emerge.
Occurs inside a mine. Caused when there is already another mine nearby, but there is too much of a height difference to connect the two mines.
You cannot keep mining here. The rock is unusually hard.
The message displayed when one attempts to open a tunnel directly onto a vein.
The roof sounds strangely hollow and you notice dirt flowing in, so you stop mining.
You get this when mining a ceiling too close to the surface and it is not rock.
The water is too deep to mine here.
You get this when you are trying to mine too far under the water table.


Mining speed is determined by mining skill, pickaxe quality, pickaxe skill and the Wind of Ages cast, ordered from greatest effect to least.

Ore veinsEdit

There are several types of ore which can be found while mining:

For details about ore location, see prospecting.

See alsoEdit


  • Miner at 50 skill
  • Prime Minester at 70 skill
  • Mastermine at 90 skill


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