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GnollHack Logo

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


  • Improved Graphical Interface — Large 64x96 tiles with many advanced features.
  • Animations — All characters have attack and kick animations, and spellcasters have also spell casting animations. Spell effects and traps have been animated.
  • Advanced Sound System — Over 1100 game sounds that are played using FMOD and an internal sound set system.
  • Voice Acting — Voice acting for various game characters and relevant game events.
  • Gameplay Improvements — New magic system, new wearable slots, new mythic property system for items (prefixes and suffixes), new weapon quality classes, all item commands accessible from the inventory menu, in-game information for items and monsters, new status lines showing pet information, and a huge number of quality-of-life improvements, such as a pet pathing algorithm.

See Detailed Features for more information. You may also want to read How GnollHack differs from NetHack.


Windows Binaries (64-bit)

macOS and Linux

You must use Wine or PlayOnMac to run the Windows program. We are investigating possibilities of porting the graphical user interface code to Linux and macOS.

Installation Instructions

Windows 64-bit

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

macOS and Linux

Install Wine or PlayOnMac to run the Windows program, and then follow Windows instructions.

Choosing the Right Difficulty Level

  • Very Easy — You are new to GnollHack, NetHack, and roguelikes in general
  • Easy — You are new to GnollHack but have some experience with other roguelikes
  • Average — You are new to GnollHack but you have some experience with NetHack
  • Hard — You have some experience with GnollHack or you have lots of experience with NetHack
  • Expert – You have lots of experience with GnollHack or you are a NetHack professional
  • Master — You are a GnollHack professional
  • Grand Master — You are a GnollHack professional looking for ultimate challenge


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

Starting Guide for NetHack Veterans — How to play GnollHack, if you already know NetHack.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions — Check solutions to common problems.

Public Servers

You can play the text version of GnollHack on public servers over SSH. Two types of servers are available:

  • GnollHack Servers — We have proprietary GnollHack servers for a streamlined online play experience.
  • Hardfought Servers — GnollHack is also available on Hardfought servers, which host most NetHack variants.

SSH Clients

You need an SSH client to connect to the servers. You can use PuTTY on Windows. On macOS and Linux, you can use the Terminal ssh command.

Build Instructions

Build Instructions — Find out how to build GnollHack from source.

Sponsor Development

Discussion Forum

GnollHack Discussion Forum — Discuss GnollHack in our discussion forum.

Discord Server

GnollHack Discord Server — Chat about GnollHack

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