Pick up

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Keyboard commands
~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ = +
Q W E R T Y U I O P { } |
q w e r t y u i o p [ ] \
A S D F G H J K L : "
a s d f g h j k l ; '
Z X C V B N M < > ?
z x c v b n m , . /
q w e r t u i o p Alt
a s d f j l Alt
c v n m ? Alt
A C R T O Alt
a c d o p r t [ Ctrl

You can pick up items from the dungeon floor using the , key. If there is only one item or stack in your square, you will usually pick it up without further prompting; otherwise you will be asked which items you want to pick up, where you can use menu controls to refine your selection. You can press m, to pick up items off the floor using a menu, even if you're using menustyle:traditional.

The pickup burden option sets an encumbrance limit. If an item you attempt to pick up would take you past that limit, you will be prompted to confirm, unless the item is a loadstone.

Picking items up normally uses an action. You can also configure autopickup, which will allow you automatically to pick up items on the square you move onto; autopickup does not take any time.


If the item would take you past your maximum carrying capacity, you can't pick it up, unless the item is a loadstone.

If you have already filled all of your 52 knapsack slots (a-zA-Z), you can't pick up any further items unless they stack with your current inventory, or the item is gold (which gets the letter $) or a loadstone (which gets #).

If you are polymorphed into a creature without hands, you can't pick anything up unless your form has another means of doing so (e.g. canines and their mouths, or whirly monsters).

Levitating prevents you picking up items off the ground unless you have a bullwhip on hand.

A cross-aligned quest artifact is likely to evade your grasp and prevent you picking it up.


Monsters can pick up items from the floor as well. Whether a monster is willing to pick up a specific class of item is defined by the monster's attributes:[1]

Item class Monster attribute required to pick up
Gold monsters which like gold
Weapons, armor, gems, food (except corpses) monsters which can pick up weapons and food
Amulets, potions, scrolls, wands, rings, spellbooks monsters which can pick up magical items
Boulders (when not in Sokoban) monsters which can throw boulders
Gems (excluding rocks and gray stones) monsters which like gems
Pick-axes monsters which need a pick-axe to tunnel through walls

In addition to the above, intelligent monsters will pick up items that are useful to their specific situation:[2]

A different set of rules govern if/when monsters will use the items they pick up, depending on whether it's considered a defensive item, offensive item or miscellaneous item.