Silver saber

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) Silver saber.png
Name silver saber
Appearance silver saber
Damage vs. small 1d8+(1d20)
Damage vs. large 1d8+(1d20)
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill saber
Size one-handed
Base price 75 zm
Weight 40
Material silver

The silver saber is a sword made of silver, commonly used as a secondary weapon in #twoweaponing, as it gives silver damage against lycanthropes, demons, vampires, minor demons (except tengu), and shades, in addition to being a respectable weapon in its own right.

Saber skill

Max Role

The silver saber is the only weapon in vanilla to use the saber skill. Grayswandir and Werebane are artifact sabers.


Silver sabers make up about 0.6% of randomly generated weapons (on the floor, as death drops, or in shops). However, they are often found on watch captains and captains in the Yendorian army, with a 50% chance.[1]

If the watch captain in Minetown doesn't have a saber, you can look for one on the next army captain you encounter. You might start seeing captains around experience level and dungeon level 14 and in barracks, which are found below DL 15. Fort Ludios, if it is accessible in your game, may have several captains in its guaranteed barracks, with a good probability of at least one saber, so searching vaults below DL 10 for the magic portal is an option if you haven't found a saber.

Average damage calculation

The average damage calculations in the following table do not include bonuses from weapon skills, strength, or from using a blessed weapon against undead or demons.

Weapon Not silver-hating Silver-hating
+0 silver saber \frac{1+8}{2}=\bold{4.5} \frac{1+8}{2}+\frac{1+20}{2}=\bold{15}
+7 silver saber \frac{1+8}{2}+7=\bold{11.5} \frac{1+8}{2}+\frac{1+20}{2}+7=\bold{22}


The saber is a curved single edged sword with a cross-guard connecting to the pommel (tip of the hilt). It descends from the similar scimitar from the Middle East, which has a simple cross-guard.

The curved design was good for slashing opponents without getting stuck while riding. The cross-guard was improved as the development of firearms made many forms of armor (gauntlets and shields) ineffective.


Silver sabers first appear in NetHack 3.2.0.[2]


SLASH'EM adds a new saber weapon: the rapier. A +1 rapier is guaranteed to appear in Grund's Stronghold.

In NetHack brass, silver sabers have been removed. Captains and watch captains wield sabers made of iron. Grayswandir still does silver damage, but as a unique property of the artifact. Additionally, the scimitar skill has been phased out, placing scimitars into the saber weapon category.

Encyclopedia entry

Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air,
Sab'ring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wondered:
Plunged in the battery smoke,
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre-stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not--
Not the six hundred.

[ The Charge of the Light Brigade,
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson ]


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It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.1. Information on this page may be out of date.

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