Hardfought now hosts an online NetHack server, which offers a couple different versions of the original, or ‘vanilla’ game, as well as a handful of variants. At this page, you can find everything you need to know to successfully connect to and play on our server. You’ll also find useful information covering a wide variety of subjects, from where to go if you need assistance with a game, to specific how-to links, and other meaningful data.

How to connect

Start up the terminal of your choice (for Windows users, a very popular choice is PuTTY), and connect to via port 22 (SSH). Be sure to check the RSA public key fingerprint when connecting to ensure you’re where you’re supposed to be (2048 RSA 22:88:b9:45:ff:30:a3:8e:12:70:af:90:41:3d:5b:a8)

Connecting from a *nix terminal is straightforward, you just type ‘ssh’ at the prompt. If you’re on Windows and are using PuTTY, there’s great how-to up on the NetHack Wiki –


Each variant has it’s own configuration settings which can be accessed in-game, or in the case of NetHack 3-based variants, it’s configuration file, or ‘rc file’, can be edited directly. This can be accomplished one of two ways – either via the dgamelaunch menu before you start your game (options include using rnano or virus) or via the website here using the RC Editor page. Using the editors included via the dgl menu is great for a quick edit; the web-based RC Editor is ideal for making large edits, such as importing an entire rc configuration file from one location to here.

If you’re unsure of what type of configuration you should have, browse the configuration files of other players here to get an idea of what settings you’d like to use. Configurations files are somewhat of an art form, and you can always find something useful that you may not have thought about using previously by digging through what other players have available.

My game crashed, now what?

If your game experiences a crash or fatal error, try to record as much information about the event as you can, such as any displayed error messages, what you were doing in-game that led up to the crash, etc. Even reporting the lack of any error messages can be helpful. Some of the variants we host, such as UnNetHack, have an auto-recover feature. Most of the variants hosted here do not. Try not to start a new game or, if given the option, to destroy your old game if you want the chance for it to be recovered. Contact the admins with your crash report and we’ll attempt to recover your game as best we can. Turnaround time will typically be within 24 hours, and usually much less time than that.

IRC Bot commands

Beholder is linked to the NetHack game server on, and lives in the IRC channel #hardfought. Beholder reports on games being played on the server, including ascensions(wins), deaths(losses), and other significant game events.

Additionally, it responds to the following commands:

Utility commands:

!help – provides you a link to this webpage.
!commands – lists all available commands you can pass to the bot.
!ping – check if bot is alive.
!time – displays current time of the server (EST).
!tell [nick] [message] – forward a message when the recipient becomes active.
!hello – receive a greeting from the bot.

Game server commands:

!lastgame [variant] [player] – display link to dumplog of last game ended.
!lastasc [variant] [player] – dumplog for last ascended game.
!scores or !sb – provides you with a link to the Hardfought scoreboard of all variants hosted.
!setmintc [turn count] – prevent bot from reporting your deaths below specified turn count. Cleared by not specifying a turn count.
!whereis [player] – shows variant and location within the game of the specified player. Issuing the command by itself will act as !players
!players – displays a list of all players currently online and which variant they are playing.
!who – same as !players
!streak [player] – shows how many games a player has won in a row without dying.

Random Number Generator (RNG) commands:

![m]d[n] – roll m dice of n sides. e.g. !2d6, or !d20. Range for number of dice is 50; sides per die is 1000.
!role [variant] – suggest a role for specified variant, or a variant and role.
!race [variant] – as above, for race.
!variant – suggest a variant to play.
!rng elf | orc | gnome – pick random word from | separated list (pipe not required to separate one-word entries).
!rng do dishes | play NetHack | write bot instructions – pick random phrase from | separated list (pipe is required to separate phrases).
!rng m-n – pick random number between m and n.
!rng – provides information on NetHack RNG functionality ;)


!tea, !coffee, !potion, !booze, ![various liquors] [recipient] – prepare a special unique beverage for you, or recipient.
!beer – similar to above.
!goat [recipient] – send in the goat.
!source – provides a link to the source code of this bot.
!lotg [recipient] – a blessing of sorts…
!pom – displays current phase of the moon (based on EST) [under development].
!8ball [question] – consult the mystic oracle with your questions. You may or may not like the answer…


Where commands take the name of a variant, the following aliases are accepted:

nh:  nh343 nethack 343
nd:  nhdev nh361 361dev 361 dev
gh:  grunt grunthack
un:  unnethack unh
fh:  fiqhack
4k:  nhfourk nhf fourk
dnh:  dnethack dn
dyn:  dynahack dyn
nh4:  nethack4 n4

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Contact us

Probably the easiest way to get a hold of an admin (K2 or Tangles), would be to use IRC – hop on channel #hardfought at, the server admins are parked there 24/7, as are several community members who can field any queries you might have. If you prefer email, send your message to There’s also our online forums that can be utilized as well.