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( Chest.png
Name chest
Appearance chest
Base price 16 zm
Weight 600
Material wood
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A chest is a type of tool that appears in NetHack. It is a lockable container that is made of wood.

Mimics generated in shops frequently imitate chests among other items, and their default tile has a deliberately close resemblance to a chest.


Main article: Container#Generation

Chests make up 7200 of all randomly-generated tools in the dungeon and Gehennom, and are always generated uncursed outside of bones levels and trap "bones". Randomly generated chests have a 45 chance of generating as locked, and a separate 110 chance of generating with a container trap[1] - they may contain up to 7 random items if generated locked, and up to 5 random items otherwise.[2]

General stores and hardware stores can sell chests, whose contents are randomly generated as normal. Graveyards have a 130 chance of placing a chest on a particular square, while barracks have a 160 chance of placing a chest on a particular square.[3][4] Throne rooms will always have a chest present.[5]

The Grotto Town map of Minetown has a chest within the closet in the southeastern-most corner of the Grotto Town top.

The home level for each of the Quest branches minus the Monk quest and Priest quest generate a chest within the quest leader's dwelling, and almost all of them place the chest on or near the leader's square.

A chest with a guaranteed wand of wishing is always located in one of the turrets of the Castle, with a cursed scroll of scare monster and a burned Elbereth on its square.

Several chests are generated in the various niches on the middle and top floors of Vlad's Tower, many of which have specific contents.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Some themed rooms have chests: the "water-surrounded vault" contains several chests, rather than gold like normal vaults, while the "storeroom" themed room contains several chests along with mimics disguised as chests, and the "buried treasure" themed room has a chest with 3d4 random objects buried in the floor, with a burned engraving that points to it placed on a random square in the level.


Chests can be used to store items as with other containers, and protect their contents from becoming wet in addition to some other forms of external damage; chests cannot be placed into any other container. Monsters will not open chests or otherwise interact with their contents except for the gelatinous cube: a cube will eat any chests they pick up, with the contents being immediately engulfed (but not eaten) by the cube afterward. As a wooden container, a chest will rot away if buried underground.

A chest that is locked must be unlocked or have its lock forced open before it can be used: successfully forcing a chest open with a blunt weapon may destroy the chest as well as some of its contents, while successfully forcing the lock with an edged weapon will prevent the chest from being locked again until it is repaired. A broken chest lock can be repaired with the wand of locking, the wand of opening, the spell of wizard lock, or the spell of knock.[6]

If there is at least one chest on a level, looting a throne on that same level while confused and carrying gold in the hero's open inventory will warp a random amount of that gold (up to all of it) into the nearest chest, which will then lock itself if possible (including repairing a broken lock).[7]

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Monsters can open chests and take out their contents - if they have an unlocking tool, they can also unlock locked chests.


Chests and large boxes are generally used as stashes for characters throughout the game, even after they obtain a bag of holding and can carry more items with them - of the two lockable containers, the chest is much heavier in weight and less commonly encountered, but randomly generated ones have more items on average. Characters without an unlocking tool in the early game can used disposable bladed weapons such as orcish daggers to pry open locked chests; in the later stages, chests can be used to lock troll corpses inside them and prevent them from reviving, and throne room chests are an especially convenient form of disposal for any trolls generated within.


The chest first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.


You succeed in unlocking the <container>.
You successfully unlocked a locked chest with an unlocking tool.
You unlocked a locked chest with the spell of knock or a wand of opening.
You break open the lock!
You kicked a locked chest open.
As above, but the chest was not opened.
THUD! The lid slams open, then falls shut.
As above, but the chest wasn't locked.
You hear a muffled shatter.
You kicked or threw a chest and broke at least one item inside it.
You hear a muffled cracking.
As above, and at least one egg inside was destroyed.
Thank you for your contribution to reduce the debt.
You looted a throne while carrying gold in open inventory, and some or all of that gold was placed in a chest on the level.


Some variants of NetHack may change how chests function - a common quality-of-life addition is to allow placing a chest or other container on an altar to identify the beatitude of both the container and its contents. Variants that implement object materials may alter a chest's properties based on its material.

Most variants will have a chest in the Quest branch of any roles added to that variant, along with several other chests generated in various rooms and areas - see the articles linked in the below sections for specific details.

In variants that incorporate the Pirate patch, The Treasury of Proteus is an artifact chest that acts as the Pirate quest artifact: while carried it grants magic resistance, absorbs most curses similar to Magicbane and acts as a luck item; the contents of The Treasury are polymorphed at random, and obtaining it also initiates "king of the hill" mode for a Pirate character - see the article for more details.

In variants that incorporate the Convict patch, a chest is generated in the southeastern-most room of the Convict quest goal level, where it is placed in the lower-right corner.


In SLASH'EM, upgrading a chest will produce an ice box and vice versa.

Several new rooms and levels generate chests:

  • Giant courts always generate a chest within the room as with regular throne rooms.[8]
  • Grund's Stronghold contains a dozen chests with various specified contents. The Sunless Sea generates a chest on the lone island in the sea at level creation.
  • The Lawful Quest generates a chest with specific contents in the center of the "Spice Girls" room at level creation; the Neutral Quest generates a chest on the Beholder's square at level creation; and the Chaotic Quest generates eight chests in Vecna's room at level creation.
  • All the newly added roles have quest branches that place a chest in the quest leader's dwelling, minus the Yeoman quest - the Undead Slayer quest is also a near-identical copy of the Priest quest, including the several graveyards with chests that can be encountered between the home and goal levels.
  • The Giant Caverns generates a chest in the hidden room near the center of the map at level creation.


In UnNetHack, several chests appear in various locations:

  • The buried treasure random vault has a chest buried in the ground with 3d4 items, while the "Ozymandias' Tomb" random vault has a chest with a container trap.
  • There are multiple chests generated on both maps for the top floor of the Ruins of Moria at level creation.
  • The Convict quest in UnNetHack retains the chest in the southeastern-most corner of the goal level.
  • The two new maps for the Castle have several chests depending on the layout:
    • The island map of the Castle has a store room with three chests, and another chest is located within each of the two turrets bordering the entrance - one of them contains the usual wand of wishing, with the chest being untrapped and on a burned Elbereth.
    • The lava map of the Castle has a chest in each of the several alcoves around the throne room - the chest with the wand of wishing is untrapped and on a burned Elbereth, while the other nine have random loot.
  • The top level of the Palace of Sheol has two chests with random loot in each of the ice-blocked rooms bordering the room with the throne; the bottom level where the Executioner resides has four chests with random loot, two chests that each have a crystal pick inside, and a chest with a magic marker.


In dNetHack, notdNetHack and notnotdNetHack, magic item vaults are special rooms that contain at least four chests, and island special rooms have a buried chest full of gold next to the island's tree.

The top floor of the Windowless Tower features boxes flavored as coffins in place of chests, and the chest in the Castle contains a ring of wishes instead of a wand of wishing.

Maids that pick up chests with broken locks will mend them.


In FIQHack, monsters can loot and unlock chests. The Castle's chest is special-cased to prevent monsters from stealing the guaranteed wand of wishing.

TNNT (the game)

In TNNT (the game), the DevTeam Office has a chest surrounded by lava that contains a blessed scroll of identify and 1-2 random uncursed scrolls.


In xNetHack, a thiefstone that is keyed to a square without a container at level creation will have a chest with random loot placed on the square, which will hold any items "stolen" by that thiefstone.


In SpliceHack, the chests in graveyards and Vlad's Tower are replaced by coffins.


In EvilHack, chests appear in several other areas:

The crystal chest is a type of chest-like container made of gemstone that can only be unlocked or locked through magical means and is immune to other forms of magic.

Encyclopedia entry

Dantes rapidly cleared away the earth around the chest. Soon
the center lock appeared, then the handles at each end, all
delicately wrought in the manner of that period when art made
precious even the basest of metals. He took the chest by the
two handles and tried to lift it, but it was impossible. He
tried to open it; it was locked. He inserted the sharp end
of his pickaxe between the chest and the lid and pushed down
on the handle. The lid creaked, then flew open.
Dantes was seized with a sort of giddy fever. He cocked his
gun and placed it beside him. The he closed his eyes like a
child, opened them and stood dumbfounded.
The chest was divided into three compartments. In the first
were shining gold coins. In the second, unpolished gold
ingots packed in orderly stacks. From the third compartment,
which was half full, Dantes picked up handfuls of diamonds,
pearls and rubies. As they fell through his fingers in a
glittering cascade, they gave forth the sound of hail beating
against the windowpanes.

[ The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas ]