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Tommi Gustafsson edited this page Feb 22, 2020 · 81 revisions


GnollHack Logo

A NetHack variant developed by Sound Mind Games, a non-profit association based in Finland.

Main Features

  • A new spell system — Use 'X' to mix spells, 'Z' to cast them, and 'Alt-z' to view their statistics and manage them. Most spells now use material components that need to be mixed in advance. Many spell components belong to a new reagents item class.
  • Over a hundred new spells — Cast brand new high-level spells such as Wish, Time Stop, Disintegrate, Power Word Kill, and Black Blade of Disaster. See all of them here.
  • Improved item and artifact system. Wield the Sword of Holy Vengeance, wear an orichalcum full plate mail, shoot with a repeating crossbow, and feel the power of Yeenoghu's triple-headed flail or the Wand of Orcus. Or attempt to find the hobbit carrying the One Ring. There are over two hundred new items on the top of over hundred new spellbooks!
  • New wearable item slots — You can now also wear a robe over your suit of armor underneath your cloak, as well as one pair of bracers and five miscellaneous magic items, but only one of each type. There are over ten different types of miscellaneous magic items, such as ioun stones that orbit around one's head and belts that feature powerful girdles that may imbue the wearer with giant strength. Minotaurs are very keen on the new nose rings!
  • Examine items — Gain all information about items using 'Alt-x'.
  • Improved ranged combat — Launchers, such as bows and slings, add their damage to the fired missile. Also, changing weapons with 'x' does not require a turn, and you can swap a sword and a shield for a bow.
  • Improved two-weapon fighting — Use a main-gauche or a spiked shield in your left hand. Or a sword with a pair of spiked silver gauntlets, striking also with your gloved left hand. You can now also dual-wield artifacts.
  • Over a hundred new monsters, such as the Otyugh and the Dracolich! Fight against improved enemies such as the marilith, a demoness that can now wield 6 different weapons and constrict you to death with her snake-like body.
  • Encounter system — The game can generate encounters that have any mix of monsters. The difficulty of the encounter is always kept in balance!
  • Balanced all monsters — No more out-of-difficulty encounters such as a group of soldier ants or a winged gargoyle!
  • Improved messaging — The game reports damage caused by an attack, monster difficulty levels, item weights, the weight summary of inventory items, encumbrance levels, as well as experience gained from kills.
  • Improved chat system — You can now talk to pets and monsters. For example, you can ask peaceful monsters to join your party, angered Mine Town guards to drop the charge for a fee, a priest to heal you, and a shopkeeper to identify your unknown items. Peaceful monsters are also more personal, with many of them having proper names that you can find out if you have a discussion with them.
  • 5 Difficulty levels, ranging from very easy to very hard.
  • And of course, Gnoll as a new race — Gnolls can smell the freshness of food items and have their race-specific starting items. The more evil members of their kin worship demon lord Yeenoghu as their patron god. Woof! Sorry, Gnome, you have been removed as a race.

See Detailed Features for more information.

Getting Started

Starting Guide for Beginners — Familiarize yourself with the basics of GnollHack.

Keyboard Commands — See this guide for the basic keyboard command information as well as to familiarize yourself with what commands are different from NetHack. Good for pros and beginners alike.

Quick Guide to Text-Based User Interface — A quick look to the basics of the traditional text-based user interface, also called TTY or ASCII graphics.


You can download the latest Windows binaries using the following link:

  1. Download the zip file attached to the latest release.
  2. Unzip it to a folder on your computer.
  3. Click GnollHack.exe to play.

Public Servers

You can play GnollHack on public servers through SSH (especially if you are using macOS or Linux):

  • ssh (US Ohio)
  • ssh (EU Frankfurt)

We recommend using PuTTY as the SSH client. PuTTY is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Solving Some Common Problems While Playing on Public Servers

1. Archaic TTY graphics. SSH to public servers does not support IBM Graphics by default, but you can get them working with PuTTY easily.

2. No numberpad. If you do not have a numberpad on your keyboard, you might be in problems, since arrow keys do not work on public servers by default. However, you can activate Curses Interface — an alternative interface for GnollHack — which supports movement by arrow keys.

Discussion Forum

GnollHack Discussion Forum — Discuss GnollHack in our discussion forum.

Beta Test Information

Beta Test Information Page — Here you can find information about what to test and how to report bugs.

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