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Box artwork for NetHack.
Developer(s)NetHack dev team
Publisher(s)NetHack dev team
Release date(s)
System(s)MS-DOS, Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Commodore Amiga, Windows CE, Atari, OS/2, Unix, BeOS, VMS
TwitchNetHack Channel
YouTube GamingNetHack Channel

NetHack is a free roguelike computer game. The goal of the adventurer is to descend through the dungeon and retrieve the Amulet of Yendor. You can download the game from the official NetHack home page. The game runs on Mac OS, Windows, Unix, and many other platforms.

The dungeon contains many monsters and other causes of death. NetHack is a very difficult game, especially for players who lack knowledge of Dungeons & Dragons and avoid reading the spoilers.

NetHack is a complicated game, and it can be difficult to understand all the details of how it works. There are numerous "spoilers" available on the Web; here is a fairly complete list. However, NetHack is very much an exploration and discovery game, and many people prefer to avoid reading spoilers, or at least to wait to read them until they have a hunch about how a certain part of the game works and want confirmation. If you'd prefer to figure out the game for yourself, here are a few tips that may help:

  • Read the Guidebook that comes with the game.
  • Inscribing the mystic word "Elbereth" on the ground can help to keep you safe. See the Guidebook for more details.
  • Fortune cookies, graffiti and the Oracle will all give you cryptic hints, but only the Oracle's hints are guaranteed to be helpful.
  • It's usually safe to try wielding or wearing items that aren't cursed (though a few particularly nasty items become cursed when worn). Pets are reluctant to step on cursed items.
  • To determine what a magical item is, read a scroll of identify.
  • To determine what special abilities your character has picked up, use a wand or potion of enlightenment.
  • As mentioned in the Guidebook, if you play in explore mode you will have infinitely many lives and will start with a wand of wishing. Ascensions (victories) in explore mode do not count, but it can enable you to explore more of the dungeon than you could reach in a real game.

Table of Contents

Getting Started

External links[edit]