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MSGTYPE is an option introduced in NetHack 3.6.0 which adds configuration options allowing the user to change how messages are displayed. For specific messages, it can force a --More-- prompt, prevent messages from printing repeatedly, or prevent unimportant messages from printing at all.

Prior to 3.6.0, it existed as a patch against NetHack 3.4.3. You can get it as a patch here.


The format is

MSGTYPE=foo "string to match"

Where "foo" is one of "hide", "stop" or "norep", and the string to match is a message to be matched. Regular expressions are supported.

  • "hide" hides the message, so it's never shown.
  • "stop" always prompts for --More-- after the message.
  • "norep" shows the message, but not again if no other message is shown in between.
  • "show" shows the message, each time. This is the default, and probably never needs to be explicitly configured.

When multiple string expressions match a message, the last matching rule is used. Thus, put the general cases first, and exceptions below.


MSGTYPE can be used to:

  • call attention to delayed instadeaths.
  • kill typeahead in dangerous or conduct-wrecking situations.
  • focus attention on the important parts of battle by removing the less serious "spam".
  • reduce the amount of spaces you need to type for common actions.
  • ignore functionally useless common messages.

You might want different configurations for different stages of the game.


# displacing pets
MSGTYPE=hide "You swap places with .*"

# unclogging the screen
MSGTYPE=hide "Your tentacles suck the .*"

# items on floor
MSGTYPE=norep "You see here a.*"

# delayed instadeaths
MSGTYPE=stop "The .* (grabs|swings itself around) you!"
MSGTYPE=stop "You don't feel very well."
MSGTYPE=stop "You are turning a little green."
MSGTYPE=stop "Your limbs are getting oozy."
MSGTYPE=stop "Your skin begins to peel away."
MSGTYPE=stop "You are turning into a green slime."
MSGTYPE=stop "You are slowing down."
MSGTYPE=stop "Your limbs are stiffening."
MSGTYPE=stop "It constricts your throat!"
MSGTYPE=stop "You find it hard to breathe."
MSGTYPE=stop "You're gasping for air."
MSGTYPE=stop "Your blood is having trouble reaching your brain."
MSGTYPE=stop "You can no longer breathe."
MSGTYPE=stop "You're turning blue."
MSGTYPE=stop "Your consciousness is fading."
MSGTYPE=stop "You feel deathly sick."
MSGTYPE=stop "You feel (much|even) worse."

# Things that aren't dangerous by themselves but could kill you if you don't notice.
MSGTYPE=stop "You fail to cast the spell correctly."
MSGTYPE=stop "You see here a c(hi|o)ckatrice corpse." 
MSGTYPE=stop "You are beginning to feel weak."

# Don't speed past wrest message when wresting
MSGTYPE=stop "You wrest .*"

# Don't miss the vibrating square
MSGTYPE=stop "You feel a strange vibration under your *."
MSGTYPE=stop "You feel a strange vibration beneath you."