Food ration

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% Food ration.png
Name food ration
Base price 45 zm
Nutrition 800
Turns to eat 5
Weight 20
Conduct vegan

A food ration is the most basic form of comestible that appears in NetHack. Samurai know them as gunyoki, which is likely to not be real-life Japanese.[1]


Many roles start out with a number of these:


Food rations provide 800 nutrition when eaten, which is more than enough for most states of hunger. They are also suitable for vegans, and may be thrown at cats or dogs to tame them.

Cursed food rations are always rotten when eaten. Uncursed food rations older than 30 turns and blessed food rations older than 50 turns have a 17 chance of being rotten when eaten.


Players that make it to the mid-game may start stashing excess food rations or else passing them up in favor of sustaining themselves on the corpses of monsters they kill and/or stocking up on C-rations or K-rations they nab from soldiers. A lembas wafer provides similar nutrition while weighing much less (2 aum compared to 20 for food rations), though it may provide more or less depending on if you are playing an elven or orcish character.

When preparing for the ascension run, it is common to stock up on lembas or other food items such as royal jelly, usually by polypiling standard rations and other food; food that can be eaten quickly is particularly handy to have in the event Famine cannot be avoided on the Astral Plane.


Food rations have been a part of the game since hack121, a variant of Jay Fenlason's Hack.


Some variants introduce new starting races with more atypical diets compared to the standard ones, which naturally impacts the use of food rations for them.


In SLASH'EM, player vampires cannot eat food rations, and will start with potions of vampire blood in place of the usual rations for their role. Vampires can still use rations to tame and/or pacify certain domestic animals.

Killer food rations are a type of evil food monster that can be encountered, and have a 13 chance of dropping an actual food ration upon death.


In UnNetHack, player vampires also start with potions of vampire blood replacing their role's typical rations.


In dNetHack, Incantifiers feed off magic rather than consuming food, and with the exception of Tourists have their starting food rations replaced with scrolls of food detection.

Various races of Anachrononaut start with several protein pills in lieu of food rations; said pills provide the same nutrition as a ration, but only require one turn to eat and weigh only 1 aum. Anachrononauts can only eat prepared food (including food rations) and cannot pray, locking them out of a primary method to maintain nutrition early on. One viable approach for these Anachrononauts is to blitz Sokoban: the boulders are replaced with stone crates that contain the rations and other food normally found there, and the crates release their contents when broken or pushed into the level's pits or holes. The magic chest found on the last level is also a good place to store relatively-heavy food rations in the event the prize is not a bag of holding.


In notdNetHack, in addition to dNetHack details, Ahazu generates with 4-5 food rations when summoned by an Illithanachronounbinder.

Encyclopedia entry

Food ration

The little girl stood on tip-toe and picked one of the nicest and biggest lunch-boxes, and then she sat down upon the ground and eagerly opened it. Inside she found, nicely wrapped in white papers, a ham sandwich, a piece of sponge-cake, a pickle, a slice of new cheese and an apple. Each thing had a separate stem, and so had to be picked off the side of the box; but Dorothy found them all to be delicious, and she ate every bit of luncheon in the box before she had finished.

[ Ozma of Oz, by L. Frank Baum ]


The samurai's last meal before battle. It was usually made up of cooked chestnuts, dried seaweed, and sake.