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 type of sword that appears in NetHack. It is made of silver.

Saber skill

Max Role

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

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.

Scimitars now use saber skill. There is no longer a scimitar skill. Barbarians can now get Skilled in saber. (commit 296a3ac2)


Silver sabers make up about 0.6% of randomly generated weapons (on the floor, as death drops, or in shops). Watch captains and Yendorian army captains have a 50% chance to be generated with one.[1]


The silver saber is a respectable weapon in its own right, and is a common secondary weapon when #twoweaponing for the bonus damage it deals against silver-hating monsters such as shades, demons, lycanthropes, and vampires. However, as they are rarely generated, players will often consider killing the watch captain in Minetown for one.

Players who cannot find a saber and have bad luck with the watch captain's weapon generation (or else do not wish to risk themselves or their pets) can search Fort Ludios if it appears during that game, and may encounter at least a captain or two by the time they reach Gehennom.

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 silver saber first appears in NetHack 3.1.0, where Grayswandir was introduced - Werebane, formerly a long sword, had its base item changed to a silver saber in this version.


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 West Asia scimitar, which has a simple cross-guard.

The blade of a saber is backward-curved as opposed to the forward curving associated with many similar sword, and was designed for use by mounted cavalry, such as the Central European hussars and the light cavalry of the 16th-to-19th centuries. The saber's cross-guard was improved as the development of firearms made many forms of armor ineffective.


In variants with object materials systems, the silver saber is instead simply a saber with a default material of iron, and can also generate made of silver among other compatible materials. Some variants also add additional weapons that use the saber skill.

Convict patch

In the Convict patch and variants that implement it, prison guards have a 12 chance to be generated with a silver saber.


SLASH'EM adds a new saber weapon in the rapier.


In dNetHack, the default Noble quest nemesis, the Rebel Ringleader, will always generate with a silver saber. Argentum golems also have a 16 of their starting silver dagger being replaced with a silver saber.

NetHack brass

In NetHack brass, silver sabers have been removed and replaced with standard iron sabers. Grayswandir retains its silver damage as a unique property of the artifact rather than an intrinsic property of the base item.

The scimitar skill has been phased out, and scimitars use the saber skill instead.


In SlashTHEM, the Rebel Ringleader retains her silver saber and serves as the nemesis for all Nobles.

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 ]