Extended command

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Keyboard commands
~ ! @ # $  % ^ & * ( ) _ = +
Q W E R T Y U I O P { } |
q w e r t y u i o p [ ] \
A S D F G H J K L : "
a s d f g h j k l ; '
Z X C V B N M < > ?
z x c v b n m , . /
q w e r t u i o p Alt
a s d f j l Alt
c v n m ? Alt
A C R T O Alt
a c d o p r t [ Ctrl

An extended command is executed by pressing the # key followed by the command itself (the first letter or two should suffice). Extended commands exist because the developers of NetHack ran out of letters. They are supposedly less frequently used than the single-letter commands, but you probably won't get very far without using some of them. For instance, it is impossible to win the game without using #offer.

Depending on how your game was compiled, these commands can vary or alternate keypresses may be available. On NetHack Qt for the Mac with no # key on the standard keyboard, the hash key is replaced with alt commands. If you are playing on the server, pressing alt+3 will produce the # symbol.

Many extended commands have aliases that can be accessed by pressing the meta key (alt on most PC keyboards) together with the first letter of the command,[1] written as "alt + letter" in the table below. If the number_pad option is turned on, some additional shortcuts that don't use the meta key become available (but the alt + 2 shortcut for #twoweapon is disabled).

Extended commands in vanilla NetHack 3.6.0:

Command Shortcuts Short Description
adjust alt + a Adjust inventory letters.
annotate alt + A Leave a note about the level.
chat alt + c Talk to someone.
conduct alt + C List which challenges you have adhered to.
dip alt + d Dip an object into something.
enhance alt + e Advance or check weapons skills.
exploremode Change your game mode to explore mode.
force alt + f Force a lock.
invoke alt + i Invoke an object's powers.
jump alt + j, j (with number_pad on) Jump to a location.
loot alt + l, l (with number_pad on) Loot a box on the floor.
monster alt + m Use a monster's special ability.
name alt + n, C, n (with number_pad on) Name an item or type of object.
offer alt + o Offer a sacrifice to the gods.
overview alt + O, ctrl + o Display an overview of the dungeon.
pray alt + p Pray to the gods for help.
quit alt + q Exit without saving current game.
ride alt + R Ride (or stop riding) a monster.
rub alt + r Rub a lamp or a stone.
sit alt + s Sit down.
terrain Show the map without monsters, objects, or traps.
tip alt + T Tip over a container.
turn alt + t Turn undead.[2]
twoweapon alt + 2 (with number_pad off) Toggle two-weapon combat.
untrap alt + u, u (with number_pad on) Untrap something.
version alt + v List compile time options for this version of NetHack.
wipe alt + w Wipe off your face.
? alt + ? (may not work on all platforms) Get this list of extended commands.

Playing in wizard mode adds several extended commands:

Command Short Description
levelchange Change your experience level, restricted to between 1 and 30.
lightsources show mobile light sources
monpolycontrol Control monster polymorphs. Whenever a monster would polymorph, e.g. a shape shifter or from a polymorph trap, you will be asked what the monster should become.
panic test panic routine (fatal to game)
polyself polymorph self
seenv show seen vectors
stats show memory statistics
timeout look at timeout queue
vision show vision array
wizsmell smell a monster
wmode show wmodes for current level map


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. Guidebook for NetHack 3.4, section 4: Commands
  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!