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For the monster spell, see Stun (monster spell).

A player or monster that is stunned has lost control over its movements. Stunning is a distinct condition from confusion but has similar effects.

Player stunning

The most noticeable effect of stunning on you is that whenever you try to choose a direction—to move, fire, zap, apply some tools, et cetera—a random direction will be selected instead. If you press a movement key you will always attempt to move, even if the direction attempted is blocked, say by a wall. You will not be prompted for confirmation before attacking a peaceful or tame monster on an adjacent square, so as long as you are stunned there is a risk of accidentally angering peaceful monsters or abusing pets.

Other effects of being stunned:

  • You can only throw or launch one projectile at a time. It will probably not go in the direction you intended.
  • You will be unable to control your teleports.
  • If you throw Mjollnir, you will be unable to catch it.[1]

Unlike confusion, there are few, if any, practical reasons to get yourself stunned.


Magic cancellation does not prevent stunning attacks. Free action will limit the duration of stunning from a monster spell to 1 turn.

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.

Using a magic portal causes you to be stunned for three turns.


Stunning can be cured by the following actions:

The duration of stunning can be shortened by the following:

If you are already stunned, putting on the ring of free action does not in itself affect the stun duration.

Monster stunning

Stunning has a less significant effect on monsters than on the player. It has the following effects:

  • You (and only you) receive a +2 bonus to hit stunned monsters.
  • Stunned monsters cannot block or evade your kicks.
  • Stunned monsters are immune to your gaze attacks.
  • Stunned monsters are less likely to jump out of the way of a falling portcullis or off a closing drawbridge.
  • Stunned peaceful humanoids react differently when you #chat with them.
  • Stunned spellcasting monsters are more likely to cast undirected spells, just as they would if they weren't adjacent to you. If they do this, they still get their normal turns, however.

Stunning does not cause a monster to move randomly or miss turns.

Each move, a monster has a 1/10 chance that it will stop being stunned. Monsters are also able to use a unicorn horn to cure their own stunning. Bats and Stalkers are permanently stunned, however.

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

"Needs a new reference for bat/stalker stunning."

Stunning can be inflicted on monsters by striking them with Magicbane or successfully jousting them.


You stagger...
You became stunned, from an explosion or spell.[4]
You wobble in the saddle.
You became stunned while riding.[5]
You can't seem to think straight.
You became stunned from nausea.
You feel a bit steadier.
Your stunning wore off.
You feel less wobbly now.
Your stunning wore off, while you were hallucinating.[6]


See also


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

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.