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The bat is a class of NetHack monster represented by the overall symbol B. They are all extremely fast and can fly, as one would expect.

The bat, B, is also the weakest monster of this class. Other bats include the B giant bat and the B vampire bat. The B raven, a bird, also uses the same symbol.

Eating a bat corpse is a bad idea. It stuns you for 30 turns[1], and the corpse itself is worth only 20 nutrition. Pets, however, are for some reason immune to stunning, and can easily eat bat corpses.

Bats grow up to be giant bats.

Players polymorphed into bats are permanently stunned.[2]


All B monsters have slightly erratic movement. If the monster decides to move, there is a 1 in 3 chance that the monster will fly in a random direction, rather than approach you.[3] If you are fleeing from a bat, this might provide a moment of relief. If you stay in melee range, the monster will also stay in melee range and continue to attack you.

Interestingly, any bat, giant bat or vampire bat generated in Gehennom is made slightly faster than normal.[4] Presumably because nothing moves like a "bat [on its way] out of hell".


Bats and giant bats both appear early in the game, and the giant bats are individually more dangerous. Bats normally appear in small groups.

The bats of NetHack stay within melee range, making them easy targets for many players.

When eaten, bat and giant bat corpses cause the player to be stunned (for 30 and 60 turns, respectively). Vampire bat corpses are poisonous, while ravens are safe to eat.


Bats have annoyed adventurers seeking the Amulet of Yendor since the days of Hack, back when eating a dead bat would cause confusion because stun was not yet implemented.

Biodiversity patch

Real life bats have echolocation, employing sound to discover the positions of things in the dark. NetHack does not implement echolocation, though the biodiversity patch does, at least if you polymorph into a bat.

Encyclopedia entry

A bat, flitting in the darkness outside, took the wrong turn
as it made its nightly rounds and came in through the window
which had been left healthfully open. It then proceeded to
circle the room in the aimless fat-headed fashion habitual
with bats, who are notoriously among the less intellectually
gifted of God's creatures. Show me a bat, says the old
proverb, and I will show you something that ought to be in
some kind of a home.
[ A Pelican at Blandings, by P. G. Wodehouse ]


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It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

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