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A ring, represented by =, like most other items with magical powers, can be either helpful or hazardous for the wearer. Until identified, they have a randomized appearance.

To wear accessories such as rings or amulets, use P to put on the item. If you have a pair of hands, you may wear one ring on each. Whether a ring is worn on the left or the right, the effect is the same, although a cursed wielded weapon may prevent access to the right finger, and incubi will place a ring of adornment on a female's left hand. Use R to remove the ring.

All rings have a weight of 3, except for the meat ring, which has a weight of 1.

All rings except for the ring of shock resistance have a 1-in-3 chance of exploding when subjected to shock damage.[1]

Ring hunger

All rings, except for the meat ring and for chargeable rings at +0 charge, cause an additional nutrition point to be deducted once every 20 turns. This is cumulative—a player wearing two rings will lose 2 additional hunger points every 20 turns. This sense of "ring hunger" is distinct from the additional hunger-causing effects of rings of regeneration, conflict, and hunger, all of which cause a nutrition point to be lost every other turn. The ring of slow digestion prevents ordinary nutrition consumption, but still causes ring hunger (if it didn't, it would be a ring of no digestion.)

For a full list of hunger causes and amounts, see the articles on nutrition and foodless.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

A +0 ring of protection now causes ring hunger if it is your only source of extrinsic protection. If you are wearing two rings of protection and the one on your left hand is +0, ring hunger applies to it, even if the right ring is charged.

Table of rings

Ring Cost Extrinsic granted Notes
meat ring 5 None symbolized by %; never randomly generated
ring of adornment 100 +n charisma chargeable
ring of hunger 100 hunger 90% generated cursed
ring of protection 100 +n protection chargeable
ring of protection from shape changers 100 protection from shape changers
ring of stealth 100 stealth
ring of sustain ability 100 sustain ability
ring of warning 100 warning
ring of aggravate monster 150 aggravate monster 90% generated cursed
ring of cold resistance 150 cold resistance
ring of gain constitution 150 +n constitution chargeable
ring of gain strength 150 +n strength chargeable
ring of increase accuracy 150 +n to-hit bonus chargeable
ring of increase damage 150 +n damage bonus chargeable
ring of invisibility 150 invisibility cursed if from a Nazgul
ring of poison resistance 150 poison resistance
ring of see invisible 150 see invisible
ring of shock resistance 150 shock resistance
ring of fire resistance 200 fire resistance
ring of free action 200 free action
ring of levitation 200 levitation
ring of regeneration 200 regeneration
ring of searching 200 searching
ring of slow digestion 200 slow digestion
ring of teleportation 200 teleportitis 90% generated cursed
ring of conflict 300 conflict
ring of polymorph 300 polymorphitis 90% generated cursed
ring of polymorph control 300 polymorph control
ring of teleport control 300 teleport control

Instead of giving an attribute, chargeable rings modify a stat by n, where n is the ring's charge, which can be positive or negative.


Rings comprise 3% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon, 5% in containers, 5% on the Rogue level, and 8% in Gehennom. All types of rings are equally likely to be generated.

Of the rings marked as 90% cursed above, the remaining 10% are uncursed. The BUC status of chargeable rings is determined by the following table:

≥ +1 +0 ≤ −1 Total
blessed 15.1% 0.4% 0.2% 15.7%
uncursed 33.3% 1.7% 6.3% 41.3%
cursed 1.6% 0.4% 40.9% 42.9%

All other rings are generated 10% cursed, 90% uncursed, and 0% blessed. Rings of invisibility carried by Nazgul are always cursed.

The initial enchantment of a chargeable ring has an exponentially-weighted probability, but tends to be in the range of −3 to +3.


The enchantment of a chargeable ring (adornment, gain constitution, gain strength, increase accuracy, increase damage, or protection) may be altered by charging, for example with a scroll of charging or the PYEC. In contrast to most chargeable items, whose charge dwindles with use, a ring retains its enchantment permanently much like weapons and armor.

When a ring with a positive enchantment is charged, it has an (enchantment before) in 7 chance of exploding. Rings with enchantments of ≤ −5 or ≥ +7 will always explode when charged. Otherwise, blessed charging adds 1 to 3 points of enchantment, cursed charging removes 1 to 2 points, and uncursed charging always adds 1. Therefore, the highest possible enchantment is +9 by charging (and +10 by random generation). You may repeatedly enchant and disenchant a ring.

Below is the odds of using blessed scrolls of charging to achieve the enchantment on the top row starting from the enchantment listed in the left column without the ring exploding.

≥ +1 ≥ +2 ≥ +3 ≥ +4 ≥ +5 ≥ +6 ≥ +7 ≥ +8 +9
From +0 100% 95% 83% 60% 43% 26% 11% 3.9% 0.8%
From +1 N/A 86% 78% 62% 38% 24% 12% 3.3% 0.7%
From +2 N/A N/A 71% 61% 45% 22% 12% 4.2% 0.6%
From +3 N/A N/A N/A 57% 46% 31% 10% 4.3% 1.1%
From +4 N/A N/A N/A N/A 43% 33% 19% 2.9% 0.8%
From +5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 29% 20% 10% 0.5%
From +6 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 14% 9.5% 4.8%

Identifying rings using sinks

When a ring is dropped on top of a sink, you will get a message that can help you identify the ring. Since the ring is usually lost in the process, this is not a very popular option.


Main article: Ring strategy

Dropping a noncursed ring down a sink is not a good use of it, but if you have two, you may as well use up one to identify the other. Rings are only very occasionally destroyed by an electrical attack, so spares are not essential. Also if you are on the brink of starvation and have several unidentified rings, you may consider giving up all of them to a sink, as ring of slow digestion is not lost when dropped down the drain.

Eating rings is a way to permanently obtain the effects granted by wearing some rings, however, this is only possible for rings of metal or wood.

Topaz, sapphire, ruby, steel, diamond, and emerald rings can be used to make slow but semi-permanent engravings. Since this is dependent on the appearance rather than the function of the ring, it can be used even if the ring isn't identified.

Encyclopedia entry

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

[ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ]


This page is based on a spoiler by Dylan O'Donnell. The original license is:

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