Nethack – Tips and Tricks for Getting Started

Before you play the Nethack game, you will definitely want to know these simple but useful tips and tricks. If you have any tips feel free to share with us!

Things to Know Before Playing

  • You’ll be killed. A lot.
  • To be killed less, engrave ‘Elbereth’. This can be done with your hand and causes most monsters to not attack you and it can save your life. @ (humans and elves) are the main group that don’t respect it.
  • ‘Elbereth’ engraving stacks. If you are engraving using your hand it won’t always be successful, but after getting one down you can then engrave another so it becomes ‘ElberethElbereth’. The words will eventually rub away so if you are in a perilous situation, ensure you continually write Elbereth (although only one at a time so it only takes one turn).
  • As of the latest patch, an engraving must be exactly “Elbereth” to be effective (no quotes). Engraving “ElberethElberethElbereth” does nothing.
  • Elbereth now erodes as you attack. Basically it now functions as a way to take a breather and recover, not be invincible.
  • Scroll of Scare Monster is very good.
  • When at all possible, lead an enemy into a corridor. This ensures you will only be fighting at the most one at a time. Being swarmed by killer ants or rothes can kill any player.
  • Find a good spoiler site, like Wikihack and the Nethack spoiler page with links.
  • Good beginner classes are Priest and Samurai. Don’t play as Archaeologist, Healer or Tourist; these are handicapped classes designed to give veteran players a challenge.
  • 99% of the time, you shouldn’t use un-identified items.
  • If your pet will stand on an item, it isn’t cursed and it’s safe to wear/wield so you can get armour faster. If a pet is forced onto a cursed item it will “move reluctantly” which means you shouldn’t try it on.
Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13981 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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