Items in NetHack are generally persistent, i.e. they don't spontaneously vanish. Over the course of a long game, this results in many useless items piling up around the dungeons. This is collectively known as junk.

Useless itemsEdit

Most items serve at least some purpose, or are a small benefit in the early game, but later become obsolete. By the time your character is ready to ascend, nearly all items that do not belong to your ascension kit are junk.

Iron chainsEdit

Main article: Iron chain

Iron chains are arguably the most useless items in NetHack.

Scrolls of MailEdit

Main article: Scroll of mail

Although not as useless, scrolls of mail is sometimes considered junk as well.

Dealing with junkEdit

Most players are content to leave junk items where they are, but careful or tidy players like to ensure items like stray weapons are not available for any passing monsters to use. Some ways to get rid of junk:

  • Polymorph it.
  • Put it in a chest and forget about it.
  • Engrave Elbereth under a pile of it and don't camp on the level. However, some monsters will not be deterred; still, this is good enough for the dwarvish mattocks in the mines because elves rarely use them.
  • Put it in a chest and polymorph the chest into a single item.
  • Throw it into water or lava.
  • Polymorph into a metallivore and eat it.
  • Kick it out of the way. It requires no magical devices or dungeon features, and avoids the tedium of extensive pickups. This is especially useful in corridors, along which pets are reluctant to follow you.
  • Drop it into a pit and fill the pit with a boulder.
  • Empty wands can be broken by applying them.
  • Most items can be destroyed by being put into a cursed bag of holding, which is then applied repeatedly until all of the contents disappear.

One particularly unwise method of getting rid of junk is to zap a wand of teleportation down on a pile of it. This will result in the junk being randomly distributed across every square on the level.

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