Hack'EM strategy guide for vanilla players

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This guide is meant as a introductionary strategy guide for vanilla players so it won't have basic Nethack tips. It will focus on changes from vanilla and strategy tips that are not in vanilla.


Don't forget to use #tech. They can help you out of a lot of bad situations.

Shop services

Shops in Hack'EM some times offer services. To use those press p when not carrying shop items to see what services are offered.


Elbereth can not be used until the player has learnt about it. This can be done in the prize tile of sokoban, fortune cookies or rumours from the oracle. Elves and hobbits start with the knowledge of Elbereth. Orcs can never use Elbereth.

In game dictionary

Hack'EM contains an in game dictionary that tries to give as much information as possible on monsters and items. To access on a monster/item on screen ; followed by : when a tile is selected. It can also be accessed from inventory by selecting an item. To search for a item/monster not in inventory or screen can be done using /? .



The zombies in Hack'EM are the same kind of zombies as in EvilHack. This means that zombies can attack and eat your brain making you lose Int and cause amnesia. The probability of this happening from a zombie attack can be reduced by using a helmet. Zombies can also cause TermIll with their attack. The TermIll can also insta-kill your pets. Zombies are best handled with ranged attacks.


Be VERY careful about locusts since they can cause TermIll.


Hack'EM has taken the mummy implementation from EvilHack so mummies can cause a "Wither" status which does damage over time. The strength of the withering depends on the mummy type and can cause considerable damage.


Dwarves tend to carry !oBooze so if you happen to find a lot of base $50 potions from dwarves it is most likely booze. These potions can be used to counteract fear.


Add text about passives and armor

Mind flayers

Add text about =oFA


Add text about infestations

Shambling horrors


Add text about usage of !oObjectDetection and prices


Dropping a container on altars will BUC id the content of that container. For identified containers and wands of cancellation Hack'EM prevents you from putting a wand of cancellation into a bag of holding. It is still possible if you put a wand in a sack and then put that sack in a bag of holding.


Scroll of knowledge

Hack'EM adds a new base $50 scroll called "scroll of knowledge" (that Arc also start with). These scrolls ask for what type of item you want to identify and will identify those items in your game. This can be useful to identify scrolls/spellbook to be able to write those. FIXME: Add text on suggested useful items to identify.

Scroll of cloning

Credit cloning

Items made of dragonhide are very valuable. Selling and stealing those items using a pet can be very useful.


Hack'EM allows up to two artifact wishes that are guaranteed to be successful allowing more flexibility for artifact wishing in order to fill in parts of an ascension kit. Note that potions of gain level and the #tinker technique can be used to create powerful items without having to spend a wish on them.

Magic Resistance


Note that reflection no longer fully negates the effects of the attacks that it reflects


Drain Resistance

Sonic Resistance

Psychic Resistance




Other Armor



Dual wielding artifacts

Armor/weapons getting destroyed by rust/corrosion

Gray stones and identification of gray stones

Flanking mechanic

Doppelganger polyself strategies

Egg laying strategy (footrice)

Polymorphing into poison resistant monsters to eat poisonous corpses

Polypiling strats

You can not polypile unicorn horns to magic markers. FIXME: polypiling strats

Upgrading items

FIXME: Text about tinker and !oGL.

Sonic and psychic resistance

Safe and crystal chest cracking/opening

Woolly mammoth/Serpopard rain

A possible strategy for the Astral Plane known as "woolly rain" involves using a cursed scroll of genocide to generate woolly mammoths, then using them to clear out various monsters, similar to the "purple rain" strategy involving purple worms. This strategy was first used in Evilhack. In Hack'EM the Serpopard is an interesting alternative to use for the "rain" strategy. Make sure to drop a scroll of scare monster first before summoning them, otherwise they might overwhelm you before you can tame them.

Robbing black market



You can manage pets inventories using #loot. With this you can take items and give items to your pet. This can also help with stealing items from a store, but be careful. As always, you can safely pick up anything your pet drops on the special square just inside the doorway. If you or your pet is on that square, however, anything you loot from your pet still belongs to the shop. The only safe times to take "stolen" goods from your pet are when you are outside the shop and your pet is in the doorway, or you are in the doorway and the pet is outside, or you are both outside.

Dagul figurine

Planetar figurine

There is a chance for a planetar figurine on Ruggo's level.

Deity minions

Necromancer strategy