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Orbs are magical tools that appear in NetHack. The only type of orb in the base game is the crystal ball, which appears as a "glass orb" when unidentified.

Some variants of NetHack add multiple types of orb, including new glass orbs.



Two variants whose code became the base for SLASH'EM, NetHack Plus and SLASH 6, feature three glass orbs in addition to the crystal ball - the orb of enchantment, the orb of charging, and the orb of destruction. The orbs are a deferred feature: their code can still be found in the SLASH'EM source, but has been commented out with the note that these had "potential for abuse".[1][2]

NetHack brass

NetHack brass includes the orb of charging and the orb of destruction, but instead of the orb of enchantment there is an orb of maintenance that can be used to repair erosion on a selected object.

All glass orbs in NetHack brass weigh 75 units - the crystal ball can still be distinguished from the other three by price identification.


EvilHack introduces the eight-ball, an orb that is made of plastic. It serves as the base item for the Magic 8-Ball, an artifact tool always carried by the Oracle.


  • SLASH 6 objects.c line 569
  • SLASH 6 apply.c line 2233
  • NetHack brass, objects.c line 669
  • NetHack brass, apply.c line 3281