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I've taken the liberty to create pages for all 8 sokoban levels. I've included a screenshot and a full solution for each one of them.

The solutions are in such a way that all boulders can still be moved around over the entire level. For most levels faster solutions exist when one allows to have immobile or boulders against the side (so they can only move along that side) after finishing the level, but I think this kind of solutions are 'the best' :-). The solution for level 2b can be improved greatly, and i guess the others can be improved as well.

Maybe it would be usefull to change the syntax for writing down moves from Nuuddddrrrrrr* to something like N2u4d6r* or so (or something entirely different?) --BlackShift 20:08, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Very nice! The Sokoban index page should have images of those levels too. How am I otherwise supposed to know, if the level I just arrived on is (a) or (b)? Those strings like "Idddluullldllluuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrr*" should also be grouped like "I dddl uull ldll luuu uuuu rrrr rrrr rrrr rr*". Keep up the good work! :) --ZeroOne 21:50, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
I reformatted Sokoban Level 1a to make it more compact and easier to follow. I also moved some general strategy tips to Sokoban and recategorised it to Category:Special levels. Would somebody like to do the same for the rest? :-) --Jayt 12:53, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
I reformatted Sokoban Level 1b and added images of the levels to Sokoban. In addition, I added images of the possible next levels to articles about 1a and 1b. As usual, anyone is free to continue this job. :) If not, then I'll keep doing it slowly. --ZeroOne 17:27, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
All levels have been reformatted now. --ZeroOne 18:03, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Wow, thanks for patching up my solutions, they look much better this way! --BlackShift 06:56, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Sokoban or sokoban?

We need a policy. Should SOKOBAN be written with an initial uppercase letter or all letters lowercase? --ZeroOne 11:13, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

The source consistently prefers "Sokoban" to "sokoban", except in file names (where you wouldn't expect uppercase anyway), so insofar as the source is our bible, I say we use "Sokoban". --Jayt 13:29, 28 September 2006 (UTC)


I see no comment on whether Sokoban is eligible for bones. (I presume not.)--Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

It's not. So noted.--Ray Chason 00:00, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Comment from Jailbird: the Sokoban page now clearly says no bones. I didn't change it. I'm loth to change it without checking the code ... but I've *never* seen bones in Sokoban.

On skipping Sokoban

This article should mention that many players skip Sokoban. I usually just shop on the first level. I'd really like to see some stats on this, if possible. -- 04:17, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Controlling Level Version

How does the game decide which version of a level you get? I've played 4 games so far (that got to sokoban) and I never got 4a with the bag of holding. In fact, I think I always get the same set of levels - 1b, 2b, 3a, 4b. Is it because I always play as a lawful male human archeologist? Anyway, I really need that bag. 02:54, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

It's probably determined by the RNG (random number generator) as most things in Nethack are decided that way.- - DemonSlayerThe3 :: The Neutral Gnomish Wizard, with my kitten Ellinis! 02:35, September 2, 2010 (UTC)


Are the puzzles different in SLASH'EM?... --Maha Bufu 00:25, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, they are. -- 12:54, September 17, 2009 (UTC)

After (frustratingly) searching around for hours, three times now, to find a spoiler for the SLASH'EM Sokoban levels, I remembered to add something to the wiki. Unfortunately I suck at wikis and reading style guides, so someone who doesn't suck at those, here is the spoiler page that I found: --Lijitsu 05:45, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Landing on Boulders

I know that may sound a bit weird, but while accidently falling through one of the holes of sokoban, i felll right on a boulder. Is that affecting luck? I had some inventory. Newtkiller 02:05, September 17, 2009 (UTC)

No. In a similar vein, you can bring boulders into Sokoban without any penalty if you are polymorphed into a giant. -Tjr 02:26, September 17, 2009 (UTC)


What's the Sokoban level difficulty (used to determine monster difficulty)? Kynde 10:23, May 20, 2010 (UTC)

If the Oracle is on level X, then the stairs are on X+1, the lowest Sokoban level on X, and the topmost Sokoban level on X-3. (X can be 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9.) So in the shallowest case, the Sokoban prize is at level depth 2. --Tjr (talk) 07:14, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Interesting, thus making a very early (Xp-wise) visit there would fill the zoo with grid bugs and the likes. I had hunch it might have been inverted, but couldn't find any indication to that from the sources. I usually do go in there very early, for Unicorn horn and, be it sokobag or reflectoban, the reward is useful asap. --Kynde (talk) 11:27, 1 October 2013 (UTC)


I read "somewhere" that unicorns often appear in Sokoban. Is it more true than on the corresponding level of the main branch, and if yes, what are the quantifiers?Newtkiller 03:18, June 21, 2010 (UTC)

Actually, the most uni-corny level in the game is the shallowest mines level unicorns become eligible on. This is because the mines are lawful, and white unicorns are more common than the other kinds. --Tjr 13:42, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I think it's the non-teleportability of the Sokoban that drives people there for unihorns and gem chucking.--Kynde (talk) 11:37, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Sokoban 2c) (Sporkhack)

Is it worthwile, in fact, to do the reversed levels? Newtkiller 13:40, June 29, 2010 (UTC)

Spork players, please add your opinion. I'm abstaining except to break a tie (and then vote for delete). Tjr 00:25, June 30, 2010 (UTC)
In fact it actually could effectively be replaced by adding a Spork section in the main sokoban article. I haven't (yet) seen a difference between the inverted levels and the normal ones, you just have to replace r with l and sometimes u with d. and vice versa.Newtkiller 03:22, June 30, 2010 (UTC)
I used my veto rights as Spork devel and a wiki admin to delete the articles, and add a note in the main soko article about level flipping. --paxed 17:04, June 30, 2010 (UTC)

Moving in Sokoban?

Just to confirm, is there a luck penalty for moving diagonally in Sokoban? --Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

No. Tjr 18:04, September 14, 2010 (UTC)

Final Level Reward

The Bag of Holding or Amulet of Reflection is on Elbereth (perhaps that should be mentioned).

That BoH or "oR can be gone by the time you defeat the zoo. In my game just now an @ (were) moved the amulet off of Elbereth and then a rock mole ate it. Lucky me :( This possible loss of reward might be mentioned too.

- fizzbinary - 13:36, September 15, 2010 (UTC)

Yeah that's probably worth mentioning, in that you should pick up any amulet you find immediately. If an @ picks it up, it won't drop it until it dies, so a rock mole won't have a chance to eat it, at least not usually - an exception might be where monsters are fighting each other (conflict, orcs and elves in SLASH'EM, invisiblity/displacement), in which case it could theoretically get eaten.
As for the BoH, no monster should ever disturb it; gelatinous cubes always respect Elbereth (since they can't be blinded), and no other monster would ever touch it (monsters don't have interest in containers). -Ion frigate 00:59, September 16, 2010 (UTC)

With a lousy AC 7 I'd sent my large cat in to kill the zoo. It must have killed the @ before the rock mole. - fizzbinary -

If Elbereth is compiled out of the game, does this affect anything? I kinda think a locked chest (a la the castle wand) would have been a better choice. Delbow 08:57, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

The Sokoban maps are not conditional on Elbereth, so you should get the engraving but without any special effects. --Tjr 05:07, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Should it be mentioned that the reward can be generated cursed? --Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Done. The bag will always be uncursed, and the amulet honestly works just as well regardless of BUC. I rarely need to remove an amulet of reflection before finding another source of reflection, and by then I should have some reliable method to remove the curse. -- Qazmlpok (talk) 21:16, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

How to deal with Giants in Sokoban

Is there a recomended way to deal with Giants in Sokoban ? They have Boulders in their starting Inventory (what they drop on Death) and may throw the Boulders at you, what usually renders the Puzzle unsolvable. Genocide before entering Sokoban may solve it, but is a bad Idea, because you can't eat them for strenght anymore if you do so. -- 20:49, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Kill them on a strategically good spot. Stay away from the walls so that boulders thrown at you will not become stuck. After killing the giants, you may have to squeeze onto one or two boulders to solve the puzzle. (To make the bad Luck time out, bag your Luckstone on turns 599, 1199, 1799, etc and take it out on turns 601, 1201, 1801, etc.)
In case you really want to dispose of a boulder, dig a pit and push the most misplaced one in. IIRC you can even dig a pit (with a wand) while standing on the same square as a boulder, but you might have to throw things at the boulder to make it drop into the hole.
Fortunately, giants will never pick up boulders in Sokoban, so they won't mess up your work more than once. --Tjr (talk) 07:07, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
since sokoban is such a low level, if you're getting giants didn't you leave it a little late? -- 12:40, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
OK seems I made something wrong, my Caveman is usually at level 10 when I enter Sokoban. If my calculation is right when you should not be higher than Level 4 to prevent Giants from generation, because Sokoban is usually around Level 8, and Giants have a base Level of 6. -- 22:45, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

The devteam did not think of everything?

I noticed the luck section does not mention digging pits to remove boulders. Did I miss something or we can freely remove some boulders to make space that way without losing luck?

Interesting thought. I just tested it out in wizmode and did not lose luck for filling a pit I dug with a boulder. I'm having a hard time imagining a case when I both am able to move a boulder and making it disappear works towards my benefit in Sokoban -- usually I either can move them OR I want them to die -- but it's definitely an option for you. (Possibly the devteam didn't make it a penalty because pushing boulders into holes and pits is the central mechanic of the game -- maybe they should have made all the floors digproof, too. Or maybe they intended this.) Delbow (talk) 06:27, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
I find it much easier when there are less boulders on the way. Most solutions come down to pushing a clear space/corridor to maneuver the other boulders. On 4a for example, we have 18 boulders for 16 holes so I remove C and D this way, which not only save time pushing boulders around, but also make it easy enough for me to do it without the guide.

Naming the levels

Note that there's some confusion about which Sokoban level is called 2a and which one is called 2b. This wiki calls the hard version 2a and the easy one 2b, but the older spoilers at [1] and [2] call the hard level 2b. I don't know right now what we should do about this confusion (maybe we need entirely new names, like 2easy and 2hard), but I wanted to point it out so you at least know. I haven't checked if the spoilers agree on the other levels. Bejonas (talk) 10:36, 3 August 2016 (UTC)