Wand of wishing

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Name wishing
Appearance random
Abundance 0.5%
Base price 500 zm
Weight 7
Type non-directional
Maximum charges 3
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

Zapping a wand of wishing, with non-negative Luck, is the only guaranteed source of wishes.

This wand is unusual because it can only be recharged once.[1] It always explodes if you try to recharge it a second time; other wands have a chance of being recharged multiple times without exploding. To prevent wishing for more wishes, wishing for another wand of wishing will give an already recharged (and thus unchargeable) wand which will normally come cancelled, which is useless. There is a 10% chance that you will receive an empty recharged wand of wishing, from which you can wrest the final wish.


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 wishing, making it one of the least-generated wands. However, one wand of wishing is always located inside a chest inside the Castle.


Main article: Wish

Your first wish from this wand should be a source of charging, if you do not already have one. This typically involves wishing for 2 or 3 blessed scrolls of charging. If you have already identified charging scrolls, you should wish for a magic marker and write your own. Wizards with high Luck have a good chance of writing unknown scrolls, and should generally wish for a magic marker instead.

The other source of charging is the Platinum Yendorian Express Card, but wishing for this to recharge your wand is a bad idea unless you are illiterate because Tourists will not receive it at all, and other roles cannot perform blessed charging with it, so 1-2 of your wand's potential charges might be lost.

Since Tourists can acquire the Platinum Yendorian Express Card on their quest, they may choose not to wish for a source of charging, and delay using their final wishes until they can complete their quest.

How to extract the maximum number of wishes follows:

  1. Engrave with the wand until it reaches (0:0).
  2. Blessed-recharge the wand (this will bring the wand up to (1:3), while an uncursed scroll would bring it to (1:d3)).
  3. Engrave with the wand until it reaches (1:0).
  4. Engrave with the wand repeatedly to wrest the last charge. (Note: You can press Escape when asked what to engrave, since attempting to engrave still gives a chance of wresting the wish, but costs no turns when you do so.) (This is even easier with levitation, see wresting.)

If you fear the RNG, you may want to identify the wand first to find out how many charges it has left, rather than engraving until you get no message; although rare, there is no worse feeling than accidentally wresting the last charge out of a wand you meant to recharge. Engrave with it instead of zapping because then a cursed wand cannot explode.

Never use a wand of wishing while your Luck is negative, because there is a chance that your wish will be lost. ("Unfortunately, nothing happens.")[2] Note that wishing will increase your prayer timeout.

If you come across a wand with a base cost of 500 in a shop, it is either a wand of wishing or a wand of death. Either is well worth purchasing, even if you must take the time for credit cloning or gathering junk. If you have no pet or are otherwise unable to do this, you may choose instead to wish for gold. See wish for detailed instructions.


In UnNetHack, wands are recharged once. This effectively means that wands of wishing cannot be recharged, so scrolls of charging should not be wished for unless they're needed for some other purpose.

In addition, in UnNetHack, if a wand doesn't successfully wrest immediately, the wand turns to dust, but wresting chance was increased from 1/121 to 1/5 for blessed, 1/6 for uncursed and 1/7 for uncursed wands.

The reduced charges of wands of wishing effectively mean UnNetHack games have 1-4 guaranteed wishes (1-3 charges plus a potential wrest), whereas NetHack games have 5-7 guaranteed wishes (1-3 charges, plus 3 recharged, plus an (eventually) guranteed wrest. In the latter case, one of those wishes is usually spent on scrolls of charging, so the effective number of guaranteed wishes in NetHack is 4-6.

NetHack Fourk

In NetHack Fourk, similar to UnNetHack, wands of wishing come precharged, but still spawn with the usual 1-3 charges, and not wresting immediately will not make the wand turn to dust. Wresting was made easier in Fourk. To compensate for this, Fourk adds a guranteed scroll of wishing to Orcus, Vlad's Tower's top floor and Wizard's Tower's top floor.


  • RGRN post: exploding wands of wishing really do happen

This page may need to be updated for NetHack 3.6.1.

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 {{nethack-360}} or {{noversion}} as appropriate.