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The naga, N, is a monster class in NetHack that consists of the following monsters and their hatchling forms:

  • N red naga
    • N red naga hatchling
  • N black naga
    • N black naga hatchling
  • N golden naga
    • N golden naga hatchling
  • N guardian naga
    • N guardian naga hatchling

Common traits

Nagas have the head of a human and the body of a snake. They are slithy, limbless monsters with thick hides that are classified as strong and capable of consuming meat; with the exception of black nagas, they are also omnivorous. Female nagas are oviparous and capable of laying eggs. All nagas have poison resistance, and you may gain the intrinsic from eating naga meat.

All hatchlings are large, while all adult nagas are huge. Nagas are considered kebabable—you receive a +2 to-hit bonus when attacking them with a weapon that uses the spear skill.

If you chat to a naga or naga hatchling, they will "mumble incomprehensibly".


The naga monster class is the second quest class for the Rogue quest, and nagas have a ~3% chance of being generated in the branch.

Naga hatchlings are neutral-aligned and do not randomly generate outside of certain branches with a neutral "bias" such as the Oracle and Sokoban. They can also hatch from naga eggs, and are sometimes generated peaceful towards neutral characters.


All naga hatchlings have a single 1d4 bite attack and are mostly harmless.

The red naga hatchling and its adult form are infravisible. The hatchling has the least chance of all nagas to convey poison resistance from eating their corpse or tinned meat, but is also an early source of fire resistance.

The black naga hatchling and its grown-up form are acidic—players eating their corpses will take damage, but their tinned meat is safe to consume. Black naga hatchlings and adults are also the only carnivorous members of the monster class.


Four black naga hatchlings appear on the fourth variant of Medusa's Island.

Adult nagas

The red naga is the slowest of the adult nagas, with its speed matching that of an unhasted player. It is also the only chaotic naga. They are likely the first hostile monsters with a fire breath attack to be encountered in the dungeon—avoid fighting them over ice if possible.

The black naga is capable of spitting acidic venom at you from a distance.


Four adult black nagas appear on the fourth variant of Medusa's Island.

The golden naga is the sole spellcaster of the monster class, and a dangerous one at that. Its available spells include destroy armor, curse items and drain strength, and it may haste self and/or become invisible before you can catch sight of it.


Golden nagas often generate peaceful for a lawful character.


Magic resistance can blunt the worst of their spells' impact.

The guardian naga is the fastest of the nagas, and arguably the strongest. Although they lack the golden naga's spellcasting prowess, they can paralyze you with their bite attack and spit blinding venom.

They have a bearhug attack defined in the source, but may not use it against you: bearhug attacks require hitting with two prior attacks in the same turn, but guardian nagas never meet this condition due to skipping their spit attack in melee combat. The attack still contributes to their experience reward, and they use it readily in combat against other monsters.

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.

Guardian nagas can use their hug attack, which is now an eel-style "wrap" attack. Nagas can't inhabit water squares, so they can't drown you.


Guardian nagas are the second quest monster in the Rogue quest, and have a ~14% chance of being generated within the branch. Several more guardian nagas will be generated upon entering each floor below the Home level.


A ring of free action is very useful against guardian nagas, especially if you lack ranged options to drop them before they can close in.


All nagas were introduced to the game in NetHack 3.0.0.


The Nāga (feminine "Nagi") are creatures that appear in Dungeons & Dragons, which in turn derives them from a supernatural race of half-human half-serpent beings that can occasionally take human form, and hold cultural significance in the folkloric traditions of many South Asian and Southeast Asian cultures over the past two millennia.

Their most common depiction is that of a snake with a human head, which the default tiles of NetHack draw from—other iconographic depictions portray them as human from the waist up and snake from the waist down, wholly human with snakes on the heads and necks, or even as common serpents. Various south and southeastern Asian cultures also portray Nāgas as having multiple usually-serpentine heads.

Encyclopedia entry

The naga is a mystical creature with the body of a snake and the head of a man or woman. They will fiercely protect the territory they consider their own. Some nagas can be forced to serve as guardians by a spellcaster of great power.