The NetHack Docs

The NetHack Docs are fully cross-referenced versions of the documentation and data files that come with NetHack (see the Official NetHack Home Page for more information.)

Generated by nhdat2html on Thu Sep 26 13:27:24 2002.


        Welcome to NetHack!                ( description of version 3.4 )

        NetHack is a Dungeons and Dragons like game where you (the adventurer)
descend into the depths of the dungeon in search of the Amulet of Yendor,
reputed to be hidden somewhere below the twentieth level.  You begin your
adventure with a pet that can help you in many ways, and can be trained
to do all sorts of things.  On the way you will find useful (or useless)
items, quite possibly with magic properties, and assorted monsters.  You can
attack a monster by trying to move onto the space a monster is on (but often
it is much wiser to leave it alone).

        Unlike most adventure games, which give you a verbal description of
your location, NetHack gives you a visual image of the dungeon level you are

        NetHack uses the following symbols:

        - and |  The walls of a room, possibly also open doors or a grave.
        .        The floor of a room or a doorway.
        #        A corridor, or iron bars, or a tree, or possibly a kitchen
                 sink (if your dungeon has sinks), or a drawbridge.
        >        Stairs down: a way to the next level.
        <        Stairs up: a way to the previous level.
        @        You (usually), or another human.
        )        A weapon of some sort.
        [        A suit or piece of armor.
        %        Something edible (not necessarily healthy).
        /        A wand.
        =        A ring.
        ?        A scroll.
        !        A potion.
        (        Some other useful object (pick-axe, key, lamp...)
        $        A pile of gold.
        *        A gem or rock (possibly valuable, possibly worthless).
        +        A closed door, or a spellbook containing a spell
                 you can learn.
        ^        A trap (once you detect it).
        "        An amulet, or a spider web.
        0        An iron ball.
        _        An altar, or an iron chain.
        {        A fountain.
        }        A pool of water or moat or a pool of lava.
        \        An opulent throne.
        `        A boulder or statue.
        A to Z, a to z, and several others:  Monsters.
        I        Invisible or unseen monster's last known location

                 You can find out what a symbol represents by typing
                 '/' and following the directions to move the cursor
                 to the symbol in question.  For instance, a 'd' may
                 turn out to be a dog.

y k u   7 8 9   Move commands:
 \|/     \|/            yuhjklbn: go one step in specified direction
h-.-l   4-.-6           YUHJKLBN: go in specified direction until you
 /|\     /|\                        hit a wall or run into something
b j n   1 2 3           g<dir>:   run in direction <dir> until something
      numberpad                     interesting is seen
                        G<dir>,   same, except a branching corridor isn't
 <  up                  ^<dir>:     considered interesting (the ^ in this
                                    case means the Control key, not a caret)
 >  down                m<dir>:   move without picking up objects
                        F<dir>:   fight even if you don't sense a monster
                If the number_pad option is set, the number keys move instead.
                Depending on the platform, Shift number (on the numberpad),
                Meta number, or Alt number will invoke the YUHJKLBN commands.
                Control <dir> may or may not work when number_pad is enabled,
                depending on the platform's capabilities.

        NetHack knows the following commands:
        ?       Help menu.
        /       Tell what a symbol represents.  You may choose to specify
                a location or give a symbol argument.
        &       Tell what a command does.
        <       Go up a staircase (if you are standing on it).
        >       Go down a staircase (if you are standing on it).
        .       Rest, do nothing for one turn.
        _       Travel via a shortest-path algorithm to a point on the map 
        a       Apply (use) a tool (pick-axe, key, lamp...)
        A       Remove all armor.
        ^A      Redo the previous command
        c       Close a door.
        C       Call (name) an individual monster.
        d       Drop something.  d7a:  drop seven items of object a.
        D       Drop multiple items.  This command is implemented in two
                different ways.  One way is:
                "D" displays a list of all of your items, from which you can
                pick and choose what to drop.  A "+" next to an item means
                that it will be dropped, a "-" means that it will not be
                dropped.  Toggle an item to be selected/deselected by typing
                the letter adjacent to its description.  Select all items
                with "+", deselect all items with "=".  The <SPACEBAR> moves
                you from one page of the listing to the next.
                The other way is:
                "D" will ask the question "What kinds of things do you want
                to drop? [!%= au]".  You should type zero or more object
                symbols possibly followed by 'a' and/or 'u'.
                Da - drop all objects, without asking for confirmation.
                Du - drop only unpaid objects (when in a shop).
                D%u - drop only unpaid food.
        ^D      Kick (for doors, usually).
        e       Eat food.
        E       Engrave a message on the floor.
                E- - write in the dust with your fingers.
        f       Fire ammunition from quiver.
        F       Followed by direction, fight a monster (even if you don't
                sense it).
        i       Display your inventory.
        I       Display selected parts of your inventory, as in
                I* - list all gems in inventory.
                Iu - list all unpaid items.
                Ix - list all used up items that are on your shopping bill.
                I$ - count your money.
        o       Open a door.
        O       Review current options and possibly change them.
                A menu displaying the option settings will be displayed
                and most can be changed by simply selecting their entry.
                Options are usually set before the game with a NETHACKOPTIONS
                environment variable, or via a config file (defaults.nh,
                NetHack Defaults, nethack.cnf, .nethackrc, etc.), not with 
                the 'O' command.
        p       Pay your shopping bill.
        P       Put on an accessory (ring, amulet, etc).
        ^P      Repeat last message (subsequent ^P's repeat earlier messages).
        q       Drink (quaff) a potion.
        Q       Select ammunition for quiver.
        r       Read a scroll or spellbook.
        R       Remove an accessory (ring, amulet, etc).
        ^R      Redraw the screen.
        s       Search for secret doors and traps around you.
        S       Save the game.
        t       Throw an object or shoot a projectile.
        T       Take off armor.
        ^T      Teleport, if you are able.
        v       Displays the version number.
        V       Display a longer identification of the version, including the
                history of the game.
        w       Wield weapon.  w- means wield nothing, use bare hands.
        W       Wear armor.
        x       Swap wielded and secondary weapons.
        X       Switch the game to explore (discovery) mode.
        ^X      Show your attributes.
        z       Zap a wand.
        Z       Cast a spell.
        ^Z      Suspend the game.
        :       Look at what is here.
        ;       Look at what is somewhere else.
        ,       Pick up some things.
        @       Toggle the pickup option.
        ^       Ask for the type of a trap you found earlier.
        )       Tell what weapon you are wielding.
        [       Tell what armor you are wearing.
        =       Tell what rings you are wearing.
        "       Tell what amulet you are wearing.
        (       Tell what tools you are using.
        *       Tell what equipment you are using; combines the preceding five.
        $       Count your gold pieces.
        +       List the spells you know; also rearrange them if desired.
        \       Show what types of objects have been discovered.
        !       Escape to a shell, if supported in your version and OS.
        #       Introduces one of the "extended" commands.  To get a list of
                the commands you can use with "#" type "#?".  The extended
                commands you can use depends upon what options the game was
                compiled with, along with your class and what type of monster
                you most closely resemble at a given moment.  If your keyboard
                has a meta key (which, when pressed in combination with another
                key, modifies it by setting the 'meta' (8th, or 'high') bit),
                these extended commands can be invoked by meta-ing the first
                letter of the command.  An alt key may have a similar effect.

        If the "number_pad" option is on, some additional letter commands
        are available:

        h       displays the help menu, like '?'
        j       Jump to another location.
        k       Kick (for doors, usually).
        l       Loot a box on the floor.
        n       followed by number of times to repeat the next command
        N       Name an object or type of object.
        u       Untrap a trapped object or door.

        You can put a number before a command to repeat it that many times,
        as in "40." or "20s.".  If you have the number_pad option set, you
        must type 'n' to prefix the count, as in "n40." or "n20s".

        Some information is displayed on the bottom line or perhaps in a
        box, depending on the platform you are using.  You see your
        attributes, your alignment, what dungeon level you are on, how many
        hit points you have now (and will have when fully recovered), what
        your armor class is (the lower the better), your experience level,
        and the state of your stomach.  Optionally, you may or may not see
        other information such as spell points, how much gold you have, etc.

        Have Fun, and Happy Hacking!