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Trunk-only: This article pertains to a feature of Crawl which is being tested. It will likely change before the next release, and may even be removed entirely.
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This page covers the player species. For the monster, see Formicid (monster).

Formicids are a species of humanoid ants. Just like their tiny insect ancestors, the Formicids are well adept at earth work, both on the physical and magical sides. Their abilities have been used to tunnel immense underground communities and structures, many of which are tens of thousands of years old.

Perhaps unfortunately, their strong ties to earth have left them completely impervious to being teleported or hasted; Formicids are tied to the Earth with a complete sense of stasis. While this is seemingly a bad effect for a dungeon adventurer, stasis has the beneficial effect of preventing many types of nasty hexes and maledictions.

With the ability to lift ten times their own weight, the Formicids have strength rivaling that of ogres. This, along with the fact that they have four arms, allows Formicid warriors to carry both a shield and a two-handed weapon at the same time.

Formicids make good earth and venom mages, but are quite capable at both melee and ranged combat too, albeit a bit flimsy. They are naturally bad at air magic and conjurations.

Innate Abilities

  • Antennae 3: Formicids can sense monsters within 7 tiles (even through walls) and can also see invisible.
    • Formicids cannot wear any form of headgear.
  • Formicids have four arms, and can treat most melee and ranged weapons as one-handed. They can throw large rocks, but giant clubs and giant spiked clubs are still to large for them to wield. However, their multiple limbs allow them to use shields with the same reduced penalties as large races.
  • Formicids can dig through walls as an innate ability. First, they have to extend their mandibles, and then move into a rock wall or iron grate to start making the tunnel. Digging takes 2+movement delay auts per square, makes some noise, and has a hefty food cost.
  • Formicids can create a shaft under themselves as an innate ability, allowing them to escape downwards, but at the cost of making a great deal of noise.
  • Formicids have permanent stasis, rendering them unable to take advantage of translocative effects, Haste, and berserk, but also granting immunity to paralysis and slowing (but not petrification). Lugonu's Bend Space ability and the Passage of Golubria spell work as normal, however.

Preferred Backgrounds

Level Bonuses

Starting Skills and Equipment

Formicids receive the skills and equipment listed for their background.

Difficulty of Play


Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting 1 Armour 1 Spellcasting 0
Short Blades 0 Dodging -1 Conjurations -1
Long Blades 0 Stealth 3 Hexes 2
Maces & Flails 0 Shields 2 Summonings 0
Axes 0 Necromancy 0
Polearms 0 Invocations 2 Translocations -1
Staves 0 Evocations 1 Transmutations 1
Unarmed Combat 0
Experience 1 Fire Magic 0
Throwing 0 Ice Magic 0
Slings 1 Air Magic -2
Bows -2 Earth Magic 2
Crossbows 0 Poison Magic 3


Formicids are blessed and cursed with some of the most dramatic species mutations in Crawl, resulting in a very unique play experience. Their ability to wield 2-handed weapons and shields simultaneously, coupled with their high Armour skill aptitude and access to almost all armour, allows them to deal stupendous amounts of damage without sacrificing anything from their defenses. They can even use giant clubs and giant spiked clubs, though the benefit of a usefully branded shield may outweigh the gain of a little more damage. Regardless, a formicid with end-game quality equipment can be far, far deadlier than most.

Unfortunately, they also come with one of the heaviest handicaps of any species, making it difficult to survive dangerous encounters that others can simply bail on. While permanent stasis does protect you from slow and paralysis effects, it also disables a wide variety of incredibly useful panic buttons; teleports and blinks are the most obvious, but all sources of haste and berserking are also rendered useless, as well as Okawaru's Finesse. Where some characters can simply buff up and plow their way through dangerous foes or crowds of attackers, disappearing if a fight starts looking unwinnable, a formicid must play more cautiously.

Take advantage of the resources formicids have at their disposal. Your innate Dig ability allows you to create choke points, making it much safer to fight large bands of enemies. As it is fairly slow to use, you may want to create tunnels in advance, near areas where there are multiple enemies. Assuming you aren't at the bottom floor of a branch, your Shaft ability is a guaranteed escape from any fight, but consider using it before you're at the brink of death; it takes a few turns to kick in, and it's much easier to survive on an unexplored, dangerous floor when you're relatively unscathed. Spells that disable enemies (Slow, Petrify, Cause Fear, and other Hexes) are excellent for making getaways. While formicids can't blink normally, boots of jumping and Dithmenos' Shadow Step both provide an effect similar to Controlled Blink, although they require a target. Likewise, Passage of Golubria and Lugonu's Bend Space ability cause space to bend, not you, and thus still function as normal for you.

Your antennae and high Stealth aptitude allow you to see large bands and dangerous opponents before engaging them, making it much easier for you to lure individuals away from a group or simply avoid the fight entirely. Access to large rocks means that even low-level characters can deal very heavy ranged damage (assuming you're lucky enough to find them). When pursued by enemies you can't outrun or hex, sprinting over a teleport trap is a great way to lose them, so keep an eye out for those. Most importantly, don't forget that simply walking away before an impossible fight begins is sometimes the best option you've got.


Formicids will be added in 0.14.

During much of their development, formicids were known as dwants (or dwarf-ants). During much of their development, they had less HP but leveled even faster than humans. In addition, they were particularly vulnerable to poison.


Formicid development branch

Tavern discussion