NetHack Code

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The NetHack Code is a system that defines a cryptic string you can create to efficiently tell others what kind of a NetHack player you are. Such things were in fashion around 2000. You can find multiple versions of the NetHack Code at The NetHack Code is, in essence, the Geek Code equivalent for NetHack players.


Here is an example included in the document by Boudewijn Wayers describing version 1.2.2 of the code.

NH 3.3.0L A Reakk-Bar-Hum-Mal-Neu HP:161(257) Pw:65 AC:-40 L:20 T:54959
          [+++ )++ i- !2 P S++ D++ p $ !t s W+ E--- PS-- PP++
          G+ C- I++ Ps+ @W(8)tw N-- !Y X++ So++ Sp++++ !sb wb-- +0

Let's consider each section of the code.


  • NH: this shows that it's a NetHack code and not a Geek code
  • 3.3.0L: this game was played on a Linux machine running NetHack version 3.3.0
  • A: this game is the player's latest or best ascension

Status line:

  • Reakk-Bar-Hum-Mal-Neu: the character was a human male neutral barbarian named Reakk
  • HP:161(257): Reakk had a maximum HP of 257, and a current HP of 161.
  • Pw:65: Reakk had 65 power
  • AC:-40: Reakk had an AC of -40
  • L:20: Reakk was at XL 20
  • T:54959: the game took 54959 turns


  • [+++: Reakk had excellent armor. To quote the NetHack code: "I go for the best and nothing less, if I have to wish for every single thing. I enchant it till it vibrates. Not satisfied with anything worse than AC-40. I enjoy the lengthy discussions on the newsgroup about the relative merits of +5 oilskin over GDSM versus SDSM and a cloak of magic resistance."
  • )++: Reakk had reasonably good weapons. To quote the NetHack code: "I have an artifact weapon appropiate for my alignment, enchanted to +6 or so, and wield that by preference unless something comes up that asks for other measures. All my weapons are properly blessed and rustproofed."
  • i-: Reakk poorly managed his inventory. To quote the NetHack code: "Don't you hate it when you continually have to drop those rocks you're picking up all the time?"

Playing style:

  • !2: Reakk refused to twoweapon.
  • P: Reakk prayed whenever he was in need.
  • S++: Reakk deliberately created many monsters for sacrifice in the hopes of receiving a sacrifice gift.
  • D++: Reakk donated almost all money in the dungeon to aligned priests.
  • p: Reakk had a pet at one point, and did not deliberately drive it away or keep it around.
  • $: Reakk would not hoard gold or throw it away. To quote the NetHack code: "I'm a spender, not a saver. If I find an 'ad aerarium' message I'm inclined to go and pick up the loot, but like the cookie says, "money lost, little lost". Let's not forget priests..."
  • !t: Reakk did not collect "treasure" (ie. gems)
  • s: Reakk visited shops when he needed to, and sold some spare items, but was not interested in more advanced shop-related strategies.

Indulgences and restrictions:

  • W+: Reakk was fine with wishing for any non-artifact.
  • E---: Reakk was strongly opposed to using Elbereth. To quote the NetHack code: "The E-word is for wimps. Grayswandir works much better."
  • PS--: Reakk avoided polymorph control.
  • PP++: Reakk engaged in polypiling multiple times in his game, and deliberately gathered polyfodder.
  • G+: Reakk carefully decided which species to genocide, but mainly just for survival, rather than as a hobby.
  • C-: Reakk carried a ring of conflict, but hardly used it
  • I++: Reakk had fairly good knowledge of intrinsics and used that knowledge in his game.
  • Ps+: Reakk can ascend in roughly 100000 moves.
  • @W(8)tw: Reakk killed the Wizard of Yendor 8 times, tinned his corpse and zapped a wand of death at him.
  • N--: Reakk avoided taking off his clothes, and so avoided nurse dancing more or less by accident.
  • !Y: Reakk deliberately does not wish for quest artifacts, and so avoided using the Platinum Yendorian Express Card

Experience and knowledge:

  • X++: Reakk has ascended most roles, and has started trying conducts.
  • So++: Reakk engages in source diving.
  • Sp++++: Reakk does not merely read spoilers but writes them and shares them.