Potion of extra healing

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! Pink potion.png
Name extra healing
Appearance random
Base price 100 zm
Weight 20
Monster use May be used defensively by monsters.

A potion of extra healing is a type of potion that appears in NetHack.


All Tourists start the game with 2 non-cursed potions of extra healing, while all Healers start the game with 4 non-cursed potions.

Intelligent monsters may generate with a potion of extra healing as a defensive item. Shopkeepers have a 12 chance of starting with potions of extra healing.[1]

Dipping a potion of healing into a potion of gain energy, gain level, or speed can create an uncursed, diluted potion of extra healing.


Quaffing a potion of extra healing will heal you for more than a standard potion of healing, with the effect's strength dependent on beatitude. A blessed one heals 8d8 HP when quaffed, an uncursed one 6d8 HP, and a cursed one 4d8 HP; additionally, if this would bring your HP above its maximum, your maximum will increase by 2 for an uncursed potion, or 5 for a blessed potion. The potion also cures hallucination, blindness, and deafness, and exercises constitution and strength; if noncursed, it will also cure sickness.[2]

Monsters can also quaff the potion to heal for the same amount, though it can only additionally cure blindness (if non-cursed); monsters hit by the potion are fully healed and, if the potion was non-cursed, are unblinded.[3] Pestilence is damaged by the potion, but the effects will always be completely resisted unless Pestilence is severely level drained first.[4]

Inhaling vapors from a potion of extra healing of any beatitude will heal you 2 HP (up to your maximum HP), cure blindness and deafness if it was non-cursed, and exercise constitution; if you are polymorphed, the health of your base form is adjusted as well.[5]

You can use potions of extra healing in alchemy by dipping (or dipping into) potions of gain level or gain energy to get a potion of full healing. Dipping a poisoned weapon into the potion of extra healing will neutralize the poison and use it up.

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.

As of commit 09cf4648, the potion of extra healing heals more HP on average: 16+6d8 if blessed, 16+4d8 if uncursed, 16+2d8 if cursed.


The potion of extra healing is generally more than useful enough for restoring HP (especially in emergencies), up to and partly through the midgame; in the later stages, they are more often used in alchemy to produce full healing potions. Weaker characters, typically including pacifists or protection racket players, might quaff their stating potions right away for the maximum HP boost, or else quaff any they discover as soon as possible; other players can save it for emergencies or alchemy as necessary. In any event, blessing potions prior to quaffing if possible may also be preferable.

Below is a table describing the amount of max HP gained from drinking potions of extra healing:

BUC Range Mean Std. Dev. (zσ) 90% Confidence (>-1.28155σ) 99% Confidence (>-2.32635σ) 99.9% Confidence (>-3.09023σ)
Blessed 8-64 HP 36 HP 6.481 HP 27.69427445 HP 20.92292565 HP 15.97221937 HP
Uncursed 6-48 HP 27 HP 5.612 HP 19.8079414 HP 13.9445238 HP 9.65762924 HP

In practice, this means that for a blessed potion of extra healing, you are likely to heal at least 27 HP (19 HP for uncursed), and virtually guaranteed to heal at least 15 HP (9 HP for uncursed).

Smoky and milky potions

Smoky and milky potions can pose an obstacle if either one ends up as the randomized appearance of the potion of extra healing. Smoky extra healing in particular presents a bind, as it often forces a choice between extra HP or the chance for a wish: in this specific case, the odds favor performing alchemy over trying to get a wish from one, especially if you have not yet fully explored certain parts of the dungeon and/or assembled most of your planned kit (ascension or otherwise). A smoky potion that generates a djinn is not remotely guaranteed to give you a wish; milky extra healing poses an even more direct danger, since a ghost appearing from the potion meant to save your life and freezing you in place is a potential death knell.


The potion of extra healing has been present in the game since Hack 1.21, a variant of Jay Fenlason's Hack. Hack121 also had the potion of extra hit points, which was excluded from later versions; its functions are effectively folded into the various healing potions.


With the new alchemy stacking rules introduced in NetHack 3.6.0, dipping a (sufficiently large) stack of extra healing potions will alchemize 5.5 of them on average; there is a further 110 chance of them exploding, losing any potential HP boosts from obtaining full healing. On average, you gain an extra 12.1 max HP per dip, compared to just drinking extra healing directly.

As each dip uses up either a gain energy or a gain level potion, these 12.1 HP need to be weighted against 10.5 average max energy boost from blessed gain energy or various useful effects from gain level (which gives less than 12 max HP on average, but increases max energy as well, and also has other uses). This means that, in comparison to 3.4.3, alchemizing may be less desirable in terms of optimizing HP gain for spellcasting roles and/or characters who already have decent HP but are lacking in energy.


You feel much better.
You quaffed a potion of extra healing.
<Foo> looks much better.
A monster quaffed a potion of extra healing.
<Foo> looks sound and hale again.
A monster was hit with a potion of extra healing.



In SLASH'EM, two potions of extra healing can be found in the outside area of Grund's Stronghold.


In SlashTHEM, in addition to SLASH'EM details, making a potion of extra healing using a chemistry set takes three charges.


  1. src/makemon.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 675
  2. src/potion.c in NetHack 3.6.6, line 999
  3. src/muse.c in NetHack 3.6.6, line 972
  4. src/potion.c in NetHack 3.6.6, line 1429: Healing potions do potion of sickness effects to Pestilence, subject to Pestilence's 100 monster magic resistance. This means that Pestilence needs to be drained below level 6 for the potions to have a few percent chance of affecting Pestilence.
  5. src/potion.c in NetHack 3.6.6, line 1659