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Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is a game of dungeon exploration, combat and magic, involving characters of diverse skills, worshipping deities of great power and caprice. To win, you'll need to be a master of tactics and strategy, and prevail against overwhelming odds.


  1. How to Play
  2. Community
  3. How you can help
  4. License and history information

How to Play

If you'd like to dive in immediately, we suggest one of:

There is also an ingame list of frequently asked questions which you can access by typing ?Q.

Internet Play

You can play Crawl online, competing with other players or watching them. Click "Play Online Now!" on the Crawl homepage to find your closest server. You can play in your browser or over SSH.

Offline Play

Both classical ASCII and tiles (GUI) versions of Crawl are available to download for Linux, Windows and OS X.


How you can help

If you like the game and you want to help make it better, there are a number of ways to do so. For a detailed guide to the crawl workflow, look at the contributor's guide.

Reporting bugs

At any time, there will be bugs -- finding and reporting them is a great help. Many of the online servers host the regularly updated development version. Bugs should be reported to our bug tracker. Besides pointing out bugs, new ideas on how to improve interface or gameplay are welcome. These can be added to the development wiki.

Map making

Crawl creates levels by combining many hand-made (but often randomised) maps, known as vaults. Making them is fun and easy. It's best to start with simple entry vaults: see simple.des for examples. You can also read the level-design manual for more help.

If you're ambitious, you can create new vaults for anywhere in the game. If you've made some vaults, you can test them on your own system (no compiling needed) and submit them to our bug tracker.

Monster Speech & Item Descriptions

Monster speech provides a lot of flavour. Just like vaults, varied speech depends upon a large set of entries. Speech syntax is effective but unusual, so you may want to read the formatting guide.

Current item descriptions can be read in-game with ?/ or out-of-game them in dat/descript/. The following conventions should be more or less obeyed:

  • Descriptions ought to contain flavour text, ideally pointing out major weaknesses/strengths.
  • No numbers, please.
  • Citations are okay, but try to stay away from the most generic ones.


We're always open to improvements to existing tiles or variants of often-used tiles (eg floor tiles). If you want to give this a shot, please contact us via forums or IRC. In case you drew some tiles of your own, you can submit them to our bug tracker.


For developers (both existing & aspiring!), you can download/fork the source code and write patches. Bug fixes as well as new features are very much welcome.

For large changes, it's always a good idea to talk with the dev team first, to see if any plans already exist and if your suggestion is likely to be accepted.

Please be sure to read docs/develop/coding_conventions.txt too.

License and history information

Crawl is licensed as GPLv2+. See LICENSE for the full text.

Crawl is a descendant of Linley's Dungeon Crawl. The final alpha of Linley's Dungeon Crawl (v4.1) was released by Brent Ross in 2005. Since 2006, the Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup team has continued development. CREDITS.txt contains a full list of contributors.

Crawl uses the following open source packages; thanks to their developers:

  • The Lua scripting language, for in-game functionality and user macros (license).
  • The PCRE library, for regular expressions (license).
  • The SQLite library, as a database engine (license).
  • The SDL and SDL_image libraries, for tiles display (license).
  • The libpng library, for tiles image loading (license).

Thank you, and have fun crawling!

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