Eating jewelry

From NetHackWiki
(Redirected from Ring eating)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Eating jewelry is a method to permanently gain the intrinsics conveyed by wearing some rings and amulets. To eat a ring or amulet, one must first polymorph into a creature that can eat the material of the ring or amulet.

The material of a ring is dependent upon its randomized appearance, not its function. Not all rings are edible, so the set of rings that can be eaten varies from game to game. All amulets are iron, so they are edible by metallivores, specifically rock moles, rust monsters, and xorns.

Eating a ring has a one in three chance of conveying its powers to the eater, while eating an amulet only has a one in five chance of conveying its powers.[1] If the intrinsic is granted, you get the following message: "Magic spreads through your body as you digest the {ring|amulet}" as opposed to the traditional intrinsic gain message.

Eating other objects only confers nutrition.

Artifacts are treated as their base items for eating purposes. This means that you can accidentally eat your great weapon or quest artifact. It will then be lost forever.

Edible rings

The edible rings, and who can eat them, are given in the following table:

Image Appearance Material Consumable by
Iron ring.png iron iron any metallivore
Twisted ring.png twisted
Steel ring.png steel
Wire ring.png wire
Engagement ring.png engagement
Shiny ring.png shiny
Bronze ring.png bronze copper metallivore not restricted to rustprone metals (rock mole, xorn)
Brass ring.png brass
Copper ring.png copper
Silver ring.png silver silver
Gold ring.png gold gold
Wooden ring.png wooden wood gelatinous cube
Granite ring.png granite mineral inedible
Clay ring.png clay
Coral ring.png coral
Moonstone ring.png moonstone
Opal ring.png opal
Black onyx ring.png black onyx
Jade ring.png jade gemstone
Agate ring.png agate
Topaz ring.png topaz
Sapphire ring.png sapphire
Ruby ring.png ruby
Diamond ring.png diamond
Emerald ring.png emerald
Tiger eye ring.png tiger eye
Pearl ring.png pearl bone
Ivory ring.png ivory

Effects of eating rings

Ring Intrinsic granted
ring of adornment +n charisma until unpoly
ring of aggravate monster aggravate monster
ring of cold resistance cold resistance
ring of conflict conflict, hunger
ring of fire resistance fire resistance
ring of free action sleep resistance
ring of gain constitution +n constitution until unpoly
ring of gain strength +n strength until unpoly
ring of hunger hunger
ring of increase accuracy +0–n to-hit bonus (see below)
ring of increase damage +0–n damage bonus (see below)
ring of invisibility invisibility
ring of levitation levitation for d10+10 (more) turns
ring of poison resistance poison resistance
ring of polymorph polymorphitis
ring of polymorph control polymorph control
ring of protection +0–n AC (see below)
ring of protection from shape changers protection from shape changers
ring of regeneration regeneration, hunger
ring of searching searching
ring of see invisible see invisible
ring of shock resistance shock resistance
ring of slow digestion inedible
ring of stealth stealth
ring of sustain ability no effect
ring of teleport control teleport control
ring of teleportation teleportitis
ring of warning warning

In 3.6.0 and later, digesting (positively enchanted) rings of protection, increase damage, and increase accuracy gives diminishing returns if you already have high intrinsic bonus of the same type.[2] Specifically, if digesting a +n ring would put you above +9, the +n bonus is reduced to a random number between 1 and n; if you have +19 or more, you have a (n-1) in n chance of getting a single extra point (otherwise you get nothing); at +39 or above digesting rings has no effect. Beware that, due to a bug, eating a ring while wearing another ring of the same type can actually reduce your intrinsic bonus! (This bug is fixed in 3.6.2 development version.)

Most of these intrinsics can come from sources besides rings, although eating them may still be useful. For example, they provide a pacifist way to obtain resistances, or a safe way to obtain teleport control without the risk of teleportitis from a tengu.

Notably, eating rings is the only source of intrinsic conflict, regeneration, hunger, polymorphitis, polymorph control, protection from shape changers, increased damage or increased accuracy. Furthermore, intrinsic searching and warning are only granted to certain roles at certain experience levels, and stealth is hard to get as an intrinsic, whereas rings may confer them to any player.

However, some of these intrinsics come with downsides. Regeneration and conflict permanently increase your hunger rate in addition to their useful properties; hunger, of course, simply does so with no benefit. These effects are cumulative. Hunger from eating rings of regeneration or conflict is part of the regeneration or conflict effect itself, and thus it cannot be separately removed by a gremlin. Polymorphitis is not a desirable property even for characters with polymorph control: each polymorph still has a 20% chance of polymorphing you into your own race, in which case random stat shuffling can occur.

Effects of eating amulets

Amulet Effect
amulet of change change gender
amulet of ESP gain telepathy
amulet of life saving no effect[3]
amulet of magical breathing gain magical breathing
amulet of reflection no effect[3]
amulet of restful sleep gain restful sleep
amulet of strangulation immediately choke
amulet of unchanging unpolymorph
amulet versus poison

gain poison resistance

cheap plastic imitation of the Amulet of Yendor inedible
Amulet of Yendor


The only amulet which is generally useful to eat is the amulet of magical breathing. All the others either give no effect, a property which is easily obtainable otherwise, or a property which is downright harmful.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Amulets of guarding provide +2 intrinsic protection when eaten. Amulets of flying provide no effect when eaten[3].


You will usually need to eat many rings or amulets to get any given intrinsic. If you are limited in ways to polymorph yourself it's important to have duplicates readily available, so you can eat them all before you revert to your normal form. Short of polypiling it is unlikely you'll have enough to be almost certain to get the intrinsic for amulets:

Rings Eaten Likelihood of Intrinsic (%)
1 33.3333
6 91.2209
12 99.2293
18 99.9323
23 99.9911
29 99.9992
Amulets Eaten Likelihood of Intrinsic (%)
1 20.0000
11 91.4101
21 99.0777
31 99.901
42 99.9915
52 99.9991

Chargeable rings

If you're trying to get high intrinsic bonus to-hit/damage/AC, you will obviously want to eat rings as highly charged as you can find. However, charging them manually is usually not worth a thought unless you have the Platinum Yendorian Express Card or several spare magic markers. Even then, you need to balance increased charge with a risk of explosion, and because of this consideration, charging beyond +3 is usually a waste: even the blessed scroll will give you a ring with an average of 5 charges 4/7th of the time and nothing otherwise, so the expected charge is 20/7 which is less than 3 you started with; uncursed charging fares even worse.

Enchanting +2 rings always increases expected charge; however, due to how digesting them works, you will want to avoid that if you only have access to uncursed charging (PYEC as non-Tourist) and already have a +8 or higher intrinsic bonus: at this level, +2 rings only give +1.5 to the bonus on average, +3 rings give +2, and 2*5/7 is less than 1.5. Similarly, at +19 or above, +2 rings give +0.5, +3 rings give +0.67, and uncursed charging is undesirable as well. Blessed-charging +2 rings, however, is always fine.

You will obviously want to give first priority to enchanting +0 rings (and +1 rings if your bonus is already +19) as they don't contribute to your bonus at all when digested. Cancel negatively-charged rings instead of trying to enchant them.


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

"There was an rgrn thread some time ago stating protection does not wrap around, i. e. it is stored in a 16-bit integer and clipped to 8 bit after the fact."

The amount of protection or damage and accuracy bonus you can obtain this way is only limited by the number of rings in the game (provided they have an edible appearance). However, these attributes are stored in a signed char, so you do not want your total bonus (including weapon / armor type and enchantment, skill level, worn rings etc) to exceed +127 lest it wrap around and become negative.


In NetHack 3.4.3, rings of protection, increase damage and increase accuracy had no limitations beyond the 33% to acquire the bonus in the first place.


SLASH'EM offers five new ring materials and five new functions. Ridged rings can be eaten by any metallivore. The other four, wedding, obsidian, plain, and glass rings, cannot be eaten by any monster.

Ring Intrinsic granted
mood ring no effect
sleeping restful sleep
dexterity +n dexterity until unpoly
intelligence +n intelligence until unpoly
wisdom +n wisdom until unpoly
Amulet Effect
amulet of flying no effect
amulet of drain resistance no effect
amulet versus stone reverses stoning

This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

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

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-360}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.


  1. eat.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1481
  2. bounded_increase in eat.c
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 A comment in the source says "nice try".