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Silver is a material for items that appears in NetHack.

Silver is a type of metal that cannot corrode or rust, and hinders spellcasting when worn as armor. Striking certain types of monsters with silver weapons will deal silver damage against them; any item made of silver is eligible for dealing damage to shades.

Silver-hating monsters will not pick up silver weapons or armor, but will pick up other silver items, e.g. silver wands of speed monster.

List of silver items

The following items are made of silver:

Silver dragon scales and silver dragon scale mail are made of dragon hide, not actual silver. Spellbooks with the randomized appearance "silver spellbook" are made of paper.

Silver should not be confused with mithril, a different material.

Silver damage

Creatures vulnerable to silver are called silver-hating monsters. The following creatures are silver-hating:[1]

Note that with the exception of lycanthropes, all of these are also classified as undead or demonic, and will also take an additional 1d4 from blessed weapons.

When one of these creatures is struck by a silver item, it will suffer an extra d20 damage.[2][3] This includes wielded non-weapons, or a silver ring worn while using hand to hand combat or martial arts without gloves.

Silver arrows deal silver damage only if shot from a bow. Wielding them, twoweaponing two stacks, or throwing them without a bow does not deal silver damage.

Silver weapons are one of the few things that can harm shades. In some circumstances a makeshift silver weapon can be very valuable in Orcus Town. Mirrors do one point of damage to shades but are not truly classified as silver. Also, the mirror will break after a single hit, so you're not likely to be able to kill the shade with it.

Unlike other damage bonuses, silver damage is not doubled by Grayswandir or Werebane.


You are vulnerable to silver if you are polymorphed into one of the monsters listed above or affected by lycanthropy.[4] In addition to receiving extra damage from silver weapons, this makes you unable to wear or wield silver items, and interacting with them will deal 1d10 damage, similarly to an artifact blast.[5]


Because of the d20 damage bonus (averaging 10.5 damage), it may be a good idea to fight silver-haters even with a silver non-weapon, though then you cannot twoweapon when doing this. However, enchanted non-silver weapons are likely to be better, especially if twoweaponing - at minimum, they may prove sufficient enough that switching to wield a non-weapon is not worth the bother, except against shades. Remember to unwield your non-weapon once you are done fighting your silver-hating target, e.g. to avoid hitting a disenchanter and draining the charges of that silver wand. If you plan to fight barehanded with a silver ring, take extra care not to accidentally strike a cockatrice.

If dealing with lycanthropy frequently, whether from being bitten by werecreatures in the early game or deliberately giving yourself lycanthropy as a form of drain resistance, you will need to keep track of which items are made of silver, particularly wands and rings - you can check your discoveries by pressing \ or `.


Several variants implement an object materials system that allows metallic items to be made of silver. These variants also remove silver-specific weapons, since their mundane counterparts will have a silver-compatible material set; silver sabers are replaced with normal sabers.


SLASH'EM introduces several new silver items:


In GruntHack, various wood and iron objects can be made of silver, including armor and weapons of elvish and dwarvish make.


UnNetHack adds the chrome wand as a randomized appearance composesd of silver.

The limitation on wishes for magical items to the wand of wishing makes silver items more valuable as wishes - the shield of reflection is non-magical in UnNetHack, so it can be obtained from an early wish e.g. via a magic lamp to protect yourself against wands.


DynaHack adds the silver short sword from SLASH'EM.


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It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.