NetHack 4 homepage
NetHack 4 4.3-beta2 is the third release of NetHack 4, a heavily bugfixed version of 4.3-beta1 with a few extra features thrown in, too. If you don't know what NetHack or NetHack 4 is, see our FAQ. Like previous versions of NetHack 4, the focus is on keeping the gameplay much the same while improving the interface and code quality.
We still haven't finished testing this release yet, and there are some known bugs major enough to prevent this being considered anything above beta quality. However, it is a substantial step forwards over previous versions. This release should allow NetHack fans to play a much less buggy version of NetHack 4 than was previously available, and should give a good idea of what 4.3 will be like, despite the occasional bug.
This release is approximately save compatible with 4.3-beta1. It attempts to import your old saves (if any), and can reproduce what was happening with a moderately good level of fidelity. However, some bugs in 4.3-beta1 make it impossible to exactly reconstruct the state of the game. It is probably best to complete your existing games, to be sure that they won't be damaged in the transition between versions. If you choose to risk it, we recommend opening your old saves and saving explicitly with the S command before installing the new version; this will reduce the chance of things going wrong as far as possible. High score tables, logfiles, and the like are not compatible. Bones files have around the same level of compatibility that save files do.
Major improvements over 4.3-beta1 include:
A heavily improved tileset system, using tilesets for both text-based play (with text based tiles) and graphical play (using images as the tiles), meaning that the map display is highly customizable and permits tiles like race/role/gender combinations for the player, branch coloring, and similarly detailed images;
optimizations to the save system, meaning that your saved games and replays will take up notably less space on disk;
a new installer system on Windows;
and, yet again, lots and lots of bugfixes, many of which were intentional, and many of which were side effects of improvements to internals.
For the full list of changes since NetHack 3.4.3, see the changelog.
Download NetHack 4 4.3-beta2:
An installer for 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and later can be found here (this can install the game, but can also install the source code, and developer tools like tilecompile, if you wish);
and a package for 64-bit Debian-based Linux distributions (like Debian itself, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint) is available here.
You can also play on our public server for 4.3:
ssh email@example.com (password
NetHack was traditionally designed for an 80 by 24 terminal. You can play NetHack 4 that way if you want, too. The given screenshot has settings changed to play as closely to NetHack 3.4.3 as possible (this is still something of a work in progress, as menus sometimes appear in the wrong places). You can also change settings to draw borders around menus, etc., just as in the other screenshots.
Using a larger terminal allows the game to give you more information: more space for messages (meaning less pressing Space to scroll through them), a permanently visible inventory, a more detailed status area, and hints about the controls to help out new players. Rudimentary mouse support means that you can learn what is on a square by hovering the mouse over it, and you can get a list of commands that apply to an item by using the i command or clicking on it in the sidebar.
Instead of using a terminal, you can ask the game to do its own rendering. This can render a traditional text-based view, just the same way as a terminal would, a combination that is useful if you don't have access to a suitable terminal. Alternatively, you can render the map using graphics instead. The pictured titleset is "RLTiles", a classic NetHack tileset with numerous improvements for NetHack 4 by Raz; two other tilesets ("DawnLike" by Andrew Rios and the traditional netHack tileset "Slash'EM") are also available, or you could make your own.
Of course, being a beta release, not everything is perfect. The huge amount of playtesting since the previous version has uncovered numerous bugs; thanks to all our playtesters for helping us find them. However, finding lots of bugs means more bugs to fix, and we felt it was more important to release someting than it was to ensure everything was perfect. If you find a bug, or just have an idea for a feature, report it on our bug tracker. (We had to disable automated account creation due to spambots, but bug tracker accounts are available on request.)