Human (starting race)

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You can play NetHack as a human. You will see yourself as @, and are considered the @ human or elf monster class for game purposes. According to the guidebook:

Humans are by far the most common race of the surface world, and are thus the norm by which other races are often compared. Although they have no special abilities, they can succeed in any role.

Racial benefits and restrictions

Humans are the standard by which the benefits and restrictions of other races are measured; thus in many senses, they have no benefits or restrictions. They start with no intrinsics. They suffer the penalty for cannibalism if they eat any monster with the human monster attribute.

The only major disadvantage of humans is that they lack the infravision that all other races have. This puts them at a distinct disadvantage in the Gnomish Mines, among other places. Human heroes would do well to obtain telepathy or a light source as soon as possible.

No monsters are more inclined to be peaceful toward human players. Gnome and orc monsters will be hostile toward human players.

Humans may be any alignment and take any role. Their attributes are mostly average, though their maximum Strength is high. The following table outlines their maximum (unaided) attribute levels.

Strength Dexterity Constitution Intelligence Wisdom Charisma
Human 18/** 18 18 18 18 18

Human items

Humans start with the default equipment for each role.


Humans have no special advantages or disadvantages and should follow the strategies for their chosen role and alignment.

Encyclopedia entry

These strange creatures live mostly on the surface of the
earth, gathering together in societies of various forms, but
occasionally a stray will descend into the depths and commit
mayhem among the dungeon residents who, naturally, often
resent the intrusion of such beasts. They are capable of
using weapons and magic, and it is even rumored that the
Wizard of Yendor is a member of this species.

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It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

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