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Your quest is at an end for you have reached the home of NetHack.
Within, the Wizard of Yendor has no power, the Oracle speaks with utmost clarity, and the grid bugs do not bite.
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October 12, 2015 Mac Announcement

Current NetHack binaries do not work under El Capitan. See the Mac Download Page for details.

April 3, 2015 Announcement

As a rule, the DevTeam does not volunteer information or comment on our plans or schedules. However, at this time we'd like to make an exception to that rule and provide a brief update on what's been happening:

As just about everybody knows, an incident occurred about six months ago with respect to an unauthorized distribution of the NetHack source code in a very unfinished state. Since then, the team has been working on several initiatives. Despite a lot of opinions to the contrary, we aren't dead and we haven't given up on the game.

Over the past months we've added some members of the greater NetHack development community to the team. Specifically; Sean Hunt, Derek S. Ray and Pasi Kallinen are now members of the Team and have been actively helping develop the next release with selected inclusions from some of the NetHack community code bases.

We've also made a significant time investment in upgrades to our underlying development infrastructure, which will be rolled out with the next release. Many thanks to Keni who's been instrumental in making sure the underlying foundations that allow the team to do what it does are there.

Now for the inevitable question: When will the next release happen?

In that respect I'm going to have to fall back on the usual answer - we don't advertise our release dates. To do so would break a long-standing NetHack tradition, but there is a more important reason. Given the amount of time since the previous release, and considering what's been integrated into it, knocking the bugs out of it may not be as easy an exercise as in the past so we're loath to commit to a date and have something throw us off.

For the DevTeam

Mike Stephenson

September 21, 2014 Announcement

The NetHack Development Team feels it is necessary to publicly address an issue that has surfaced in the last week.

Recently a NetHack source distribution has appeared, claiming to be NetHack 3.5 or 3.5.0 or 3.4.4.

This claim is partially correct. This is our code. However it was not released by us or with our authorization. This code is not ready for release: it is unfinished, unpolished, and almost certainly very buggy. It has not been play-tested for balance or functionality. It is best considered a partial and unfinished rough draft. We will not be supporting this code, nor will we be releasing binaries or bugfixes for it. It will not be available through our website.

Due to this incident and to prevent confusion, we will not now nor in the future release anything with a version number of 3.4.4, 3.5, or 3.5.0.

We thank those of you who play and develop both NetHack and its many variants for your support and encouragement at this time and over the many years NetHack and its progeny have and continue to evolve.

Current Version

Click here for information on version 3.4.3

Mac terminal port binary for OS X Lion now available on the Mac page. This package has been updated to fix previously reported installation issues (if you have the old package and the game works, you do not need to get the new one).


What is NetHack? How do I get it? Read our Information page.
What is How do I access it? Why do I want to? Read our USENET information page.

NetHack References on the Web

NetHack in Time's list of All-TIME 100 Video Games

NetHack in IGN's "Fifteen Really, Really, Really Hard Games"

NetHack in Gamasutra's "Game Design Essentials: 20 RPGs"

NetHack shows up in The DM Of The Rings

NetHack meets EverQuest II. (At least on April Fool's Day.)

NetHack (a song parody), by Rob Balder

The Beeb discovers NetHack - the Computer Game

Top 11 Signs You've Got an Old Computer
Play NetHack, a theme song for NetHack.

Our pet dog is one of the Top Ten Videogame Sidekicks. Congratulations!

Dudley's dungeon, a web comic

BBspot on NetHack: New ATI Card Pushes Limits in ASCII Gaming

The USENET Oracle contemplates encountering a woodchuck
The USENET Oracle contemplates the amulet
The USENET Oracle contemplates stairs
The USENET Oracle contemplates sacrifice
The USENET Oracle contemplates coping with loss
The USENET Oracle contemplates NetHack in Denver
The USENET Oracle contemplates the greatness of NetHack

NetHack in the comics at User Friendly: NetHack makes techtv's list of Best Internet Games

Backhanded compliment of the month award: ignpsx's review of Darkstone:
Ten bucks buys you an awful lot of dungeon-hacking -- it sure ain't NetHack but it ain't bad.'s "The History of Computer Games" continues with Worlds in Boxes - and NetHack gets another mention. Unsung Heroes - NetHack NetHack is simply an anomaly...
See what happens when NetHack meets T-rex - isn't USENET great?
Salon Technology: "The Best Game Ever"
NetHack mentioned in's developer week: "The History of Computer Games - Part I"

NetHack in Print

IEEE Computer, February 2011, "Certainty through Uncertainty?". We even got a screenshot.

30th Annual IEEE/NASA Software Engineering Workshop, April 2006, "Understanding Open Source Software through Software Archaeology: The Case of NetHack". The abstract is available online.

"Fatal Distractions", 1994, David Gerrold, The Waite Group.

NetHack Quotes

Nethack is one of my all-time favorite games, one I've been playing since 1200 baud was smokin' fast.
-- Actor Wil Wheaton,
In short, NetHack 3.1.3 is the most elaborate role-playing environment you are ever likely to explore. This is a place to return again and again, each time for a different experience. You're really going to have to play it for a year or two and see for yourself.
-- "Fatal Distractions" by David Gerrold
Thank you for the latest release of gradewrecker. My GPA just went in the corner and shot itself.
-- USENET posting, author unknown

NetHack News

15 Dec 2011 Updated packaging for Mac Lion to correct installation errors.
31 Oct 2011 Mac terminal port binary for OS X Lion now available on the Mac page .
10 Nov 2009 Mac Qt and Mac Terminal binaries now available in .dmg format. Qt package includes for recovery from the GUI; Term package includes previously missing recover program.
10 Dec 2007 Information on compiling with MS Visual Studio 2008 now available on the bugs page.
31 Mar 2007 Updated tiles32 file available.
12 Aug 2004 All Mac binaries now available.
17 Feb 2004 New MacOS binary for 10.2 available.
08 Dec 2003 Nethack 3.4.3 released


Older News

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NetHack is Copyright 1985-2003 by Stichting Mathematisch Centrum and M. Stephenson. See our license for details.
This site is Copyright 1999-2015 by Kenneth Lorber, Kensington, Maryland.