Wand of magic missile

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Name magic missile
Appearance random
Abundance 5%
Base price 150 zm
Weight 7
Type ray
Maximum charges 8
Spell magic missile
Monster use May be used offensively by monsters.

The wand of magic missile is a wand that appears in NetHack.


Wands comprise 4% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon, 6% in containers, 5% on the Rogue level, and 8% in Gehennom. There is a 5% chance that a randomly-generated wand will be a wand of magic missile.

Monsters capable of wielding weapons have a chance of being generated with a wand of magic missile as their offensive item; shopkeepers have a 1/4 chance of being generated with one.


Zapping the wand in a given direction will do a fixed 2d6 damage to monsters in its path, unlike the spell of magic missile; the ray can rebound off wall and hit targets repeatedly. Magic resistance negates this damage, as does reflection.

Engraving with a wand of magic missile will give a unique message ("The floor is riddled by bullet holes!"), but will not auto-identify the wand.


Wands of magic missile are the least effective attack wand, dealing only 2d6 damage and having no particularly useful secondary effects. If you find one in the early game, it makes sense to use it liberally, as it will soon be almost worthless. The wand's damage can be increased to a somewhat respectable 4d6 by bouncing the ray off a wall behind your target.

It is possible to use a wand of magic missile to engrave in the dust while levitating. If you're already levitating and want to engrave Elbereth, you can use this to save a charge from a more useful wand of digging, fire or lightning, since engravings will not erode while you are levitating.

Arguably the best use of a wand of magic missile in the late game is to throw it at an intelligent monster. They may elect to pick it up and use it over any more deadly innate attacks or ranged weaponry that they possess, and most late-game players will have reflection, rendering it harmless while damaging the zapping monster and/or other surrounding monsters if they are not resistant.


The canonical D&D spell of Magic Missile was a stereotypically puny level one wizard spell that quickly became a staple of the wizard class, as it was effectively a homing attack with each bullet doing its own damage roll, which can easily rack up significant damage short of the target having magic resistance. In NetHack, they can and do often miss the target.

In Rogue, a wand of magic missile did 1d4+1 damage unless a given monster saves vs. magic ("The missile vanishes in a puff of smoke");[1]; this is a rough translation of the spell into the world of Rogue. In Hack, it would always have the appearance of an aluminum wand[2] and dealt 2d6 damage,[3] which carried over into NetHack.


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

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.4. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-364}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.