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This article is about commands. For a chart of keyboard keys and their uses, see Commands (by key).

In NetHack, a command is an action you want the game to perform. This includes actions your character might do, gathering information about your character or the game, or even modifying the behavior of the game itself.

In previous versions of NetHack, commands were separated into two main categories: normal commands, which predominantly were by default bound to single character keys, and extended commands, which were somewhat less common and either didn't have a default keybinding or were executed with a modifier key like alt or ctrl. These "extended commands" are entered by typing # and entering the command name.

NetHack 3.6.1 does not make a meaningful distinction between normal commands and extended commands, providing most normal commands with an "extended" form, and can be entered either by their respective keybinding or the extended way. 3.6.1 also adds the custom keybinding system, where players can arbitrarily re-bind commands to particular keys or key combinations. When setting these, the "extended" format command name is used. For more information see the binding keys main article.

When entering commands with the # prefix, some commands will autocomplete after only a few letters. This behavior can be modified with the AUTOCOMPLETE option.


Here is a list of commands, their default keybinding, and a short description.

Command Shortcuts Short Description
adjust alt + a Adjust inventory letters.
annotate alt + A Leave a note about the level.
apply a Apply (use) a tool.
attributes ctrl + x Show your attributes.
autopickup @ Toggle autopickup on/off.
call C Name a monster or object, or add an annotation.
cast Z Cast a spell.
chat alt + c Talk to someone.
close c Close a door.
conduct alt + C List which challenges you have adhered to.
dip alt + d Dip an object into something.
down > Go down a staircase.
drop d Drop an item.
droptype D Drop specific item types.
eat e Eat something.
engrave E Engrave writing on the floor.
enhance alt + e Advance or check weapons skills.
exploremode Change your game mode to explore mode.
fire f Fire ammunition from quiver.
force alt + f Force a lock.
glance ; Show what a map symbol means.
help ?, h Show the help menu.
herecmdmenu Show a menu of possible actions in your current location.
history V Show long version and game history.
inventory i Show your inventory.
inventtype I Inventory specific item types.
invoke alt + i Invoke an object's powers.
jump alt + j, j Jump to a location.
kick ctrl + d, k Kick something.
known \ Show discovered objects.
knownclass ` Show discovered objects of one type.
look : Look at what is under you.
loot alt + l, l Loot a box on the floor.
monster alt + m Use a monster's special ability.
name alt + n, C, N Name an item or type of object.
offer alt + o Offer a sacrifice to the gods.
open o Open a door.
options O Show and change settings.
overview alt + O, ctrl + o Display an overview of the dungeon.
pay p Pay your shopping bill.
pickup , Pick up things at current location.
pray alt + p Pray to the gods for help.
prevmsg ctrl + p Show previously displayed game messages.
puton P Put on an accessory.
quaff q Drink something.
quit alt + q Exit without saving current game.
quiver Q Select ammunition for quiver.
read r Read a scroll, spellbook, or something else.
redraw ctrl + r, ctrl + l Redraw the screen.
remove R Remove an accessory.
ride alt + R Ride (or stop riding) a monster.
rub alt + r Rub a lamp or a stone.
save S Save the game and exit.
search s Search for unseen things near you.
seeall * Show all equipment in use.
seeamulet " Show currently worn amulet.
seearmor [ Show currently worn armor.
seegold $ Count your gold.
seerings = Show currently worn ring(s).
seespells + List and reorder known spells.
seetools ( Show tools currently in use.
seetrap ^ Show the type of an adjacent trap.
seeweapon ) Show currently wielded weapons.
shell ! Do a shell escape. (Disabled on most NetHack servers.)
sit alt + s Sit down.
suspend ctrl + z Suspend the game.
swap x Swap wielded and secondary weapons.
takeoff T Take off one piece of armor.
takeoffall A Remove all armor.
teleport ctrl + t Teleport around the level.
terrain Show the map without monsters, objects, or traps.
therecmdmenu Show menu of possible actions in an adjacent location.[1]
throw t Throw something.
tip alt + T Tip over a container.
travel _ Travel to a specific location on the map.
turn alt + t Turn undead.[2]
twoweapon X, alt + 2†† Toggle two-weapon combat.
untrap alt + u, u Untrap something.
up < Go up a staircase.
version alt + v List compile time options for this version of NetHack.
versionshort v Show version string.
wait . Rest one move while doing nothing.
wear W Wear a piece of armor.
whatdoes & Tell what a key does.
whatis / Show what type of a thing a symbol corresponds to.
wield w Wield a weapon.
wipe alt + w Wipe off your face.
zap z Zap a wand.
? alt + ? Get this list of commands.

() These keybindings are only present when the number_pad option is enabled.

(††) These keybindings are only present when the number_pad option is disabled.

Wizard-mode commands

Playing in wizard mode adds several commands:

Command Shortcut Short Description
levelchange Change your experience level.
lightsources Show mobile light sources.
monpolycontrol Control monster polymorphs.
panic Test the panic routine.
polyself Polymorph self.
seenv Show seen vectors.
stats Show memory statistics.
timeout Look at the timeout queue.
vanquished List vanguished monsters.
vision Show vision array.
wizdebug_bury Bury objects under and around you.
wizdebug_traveldisplay Toggle travel display.
wizdetect ctrl + e Search a room.
wizgenesis ctrl + g Create a monster.
wizidentify ctrl + i Identify all items in inventory.
wizintrinsic Set intrinsic.
wizlevelport ctrl + v Teleport to another level.
wizmap ctrl + f Map the level.
wizrumorcheck Verify rumor boundaries.
wizsmell Smell monster.
wizwhere Show locations of special levels.
wizwish ctrl + w Wish for something.
wmode Show wall modes.


SLASH'EM adds the following extended commands:

Command Short Description
2weapon Alias of 'Twoweapon'.
Borrow steals gold from monsters.
Technique use a technique.
Youpoly Polymorph at will, as a Doppelganger, Flame mage, or Ice mage.


  1. This command currently does not function properly; see this commit.
  2. This command is related to the D&D concept of "undead turning"; it does not cause your character to suddenly become an undead monster!

This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.1. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-361}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.