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In NetHack, you can kick objects, monsters, and dungeon features using ctrl + d (or k, if the number_pad option is on). Kicking anything (an object, a monster, or a dungeon feature) makes noise that wakes up nearby monsters and attracts pets.

Some monsters kick as part of their attack sequence. If you are polymorphed into such a monster, you will kick enemies automatically when you attack them in melee - you can use the kick command if you only want to kick the enemy without using other attacks such as a pony's bite or a unicorn's headbutt.

Monks and Samurai get a bonus to kicking because of their martial arts training.

Restrictions on kicking

You can't kick if:

Trying to kick while underwater has a 50% chance of failing ("Your slow motion kick doesn't hit anything.")[1]

If you kick while levitating and hit something (a monster, a wall), you will hurtle in the opposite direction.

If you are riding, the only thing you can kick is your steed, and the game will ask you if you want to do so. Kicking your steed is one way to make it temporarily move faster, but at the cost of reducing its tameness.

Kicking objects

If you kick an object, it flies in the direction of kicking, possibly hitting the monsters, except the following:

Target Effect
Pile of objects Only the top object in pile is kicked.
Stack of gold Scatters the gold pieces across surrounding tiles.[2]
Immobile objects (too heavy, against a wall, fixed in place) May wound your leg for a short time, making you unable to kick and reducing your carrying capacity.
Heavy object "Thump!" The object does not move. This has a chance of doing damage to you as if you kicked a wall. Whether the object is heavy or not, determined by it's weight, player's strength, and other factors (see #maximal distance below).
Fragile object Causes it to shatter. If the object is a potion, you will inhale its vapors and experience their effects.
Locked container May break the lock. This is also likely to break fragile items like potions inside it, ("You hear a muffled shatter.")
Mimic disguised as an object Reveals the mimic.
Object embedded in a wall May release the object ("The <item> comes loose!") and deposit it on the floor where you are standing. This is an alternative to digging the object loose.
Cockatrice corpse If you are not wearing boots, results in immediate stoning.

Kicking a cursed scroll of scare monster will not cause it to crumble, as picking it up would. This is one way to move scrolls that have become cursed.

Maximal distance

The distance the kicked object moves is S/2 - W/40[3], where S is the player's strength, W is the object's weight, with the following caveats:

  • If the player's strength is 18/01 to 18/31, S=18[4]
  • If the player's strength is 18/32 to 19 inclusively, S is effectively 20
  • Each of the following adds 1-3 to the kicking distance:
    • The object is in air (at Plane of Air) or on ice
    • The object is greased, and not underwater or in air
    • The player is a Samurai or Monk, wearing kicking boots, or polymorphed to a sasquatch.
  • If the object is under water, the distance is D/3 + 1, where D is the distance it would move otherwise.

The distance is from the player, so a distance of 1 or less means that the object does not move at all. In this case it is considered too heavy: the player receives a "Thump!" message and possibly wounds their legs.

Otherwise, the object moves the distance unless stopped by an obstacle.

Kicking dungeon features

A user has suggested improving this page or section as follows:

"Per 3.6.3: "When players injure themselves kicking an altar, the relevant god's wrath is no longer ignored." This implies significant effects on anger, and the article should be updated accordingly."

Target Effect
Empty space Has a chance of abusing strength and wounding your leg. ("Dumb move! You strain a muscle.")
Closed door May break the door, leaving an empty doorway. Breaking a shop door will anger the shopkeeper unless you immediately pay 400 zorkmids. The act of kicking exercises dexterity. Successfully breaking doors exercises strength.
Sink May create a foocubus (always of the opposite gender), a black pudding, or a random ring. Only one of each can come from a given sink.
Altar With a 1/3 probability, hurts you as if you were kicking a wall. Otherwise, if co-aligned, immediately reduces your wisdom by one point; if cross-aligned, reduces luck by one point.
Tree May create some fruit, or a swarm of killer bees. Either event can only happen once per tree.
Throne May knock loose some gold and gems (only once per throne) or send you to a lower dungeon level. If the throne has already produced gems and gold or your luck is negative, kicking may destroy it.
Wall Does a small amount of damage to you ("Ouch! That hurts!") with a chance of hurting your leg.
Secret door May reveal the door. "Crash! You kick open a secret door!" or "Crash! You uncover a secret door!" If your luck is low, this may be a faster way to make a suspected secret door appear than searching.

Kicking monsters

Kicking monsters can damage them.

The base kicking damage is based on your strength, constitution, dexterity and whether you are wearing kicking boots. The exact formula is

1d(\frac{Str + Dex + Con}{15} + b)

where b is 5 if wearing kicking boots and 0 otherwise.

Usually, this will come up to 1d7 - 1d8 with kicking boots or 1d2 - 1d3 without.

  • If your kick is 'clumsy', this base damage is halved. (This is not quite the same thing as "Your clumsy kick does no damage", but related.) Kicks can be clumsy if you are:
    • Wearing bulky body armor (dragon scales and dragon scale mail are considered bulky, as is any form of body armor that weighs 350 or more; all other body armors are non-bulky)
    • Wearing a large shield, which is also considered bulky
    • Carrying a heavy load (more than 70% of your carrying capacity, with higher probability to be clumsy at 80%, and guaranteed at 90%)
    • Fumbling.
  • If you are a martial artist (monk or samurai), there is a random damage bonus between 0 and half your dexterity. This exercises the martial arts skill, but the skill level does not affect the amount of bonus damage.
  • If you are wearing blessed boots, you deal an additional 1d4 damage against demons and undead creatures.
  • The enchantment of your boots is added to the total damage amount, plus the enchantment of any rings of increase damage you are wearing or have eaten.
  • Thick-skinned monsters like dragons and mumakil take no base damage from a kick. Rings of increase damage, enchanted boots, and blessed boots will still cause their normal damage.[5]
  • If you attempt to kick a shade with unblessed boots, your foot will pass through it, doing no damage. You can only damage a shade by kicking if your boots are blessed, and even then the only damage comes from the 1d4 bonus versus undead.

If you are polymorphed into a sasquatch, you will get a bonus to kicking because you are (a) 'bigfoot'.

There is a +1 to hit bonus to kicking, even if you are unskilled in martial arts, so it may be a useful strategy for fighting a monster you are having trouble hitting (like a ghost).

Kicking a sleeping monster will wake it up. (As usual, the noise from kicking wakes up all sleeping monsters nearby.)

When levitating, kicking larger monsters will propel you farther, and very small monsters will be more difficult to hit.

With the right training or equipment, you can sometimes send smaller monsters reeling back a square—perhaps into a trap.

Limitations to kicking monsters

Kicking monsters can displace them to a random point adjacent to you, even if they couldn't normally reach that spot: "The monster jumps (or swoops, slides, etc.), nimbly avoiding your kick." This is more likely to happen if you are fumbling or burdened. It is also more likely to happen with flying monsters such as bats.

Kicking a cockatrice without wearing boots will result in stoning.

Kicking a pet is considered abuse.[6]

See also


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It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.0. Information on this page may be out of date.

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