Lava is a dungeon feature found in places such as the Valkyrie and Monk Quests and the Plane of Fire.

Stepping into lava is dangerous. Falling into lava without fire resistance will result in instant death, while falling into lava with fire resistance gives you a few turns in which you can escape before sinking below the surface and dying. Riding a non-flying/levitating steed over lava will instantly kill your steed, destroy your saddle, and then leave you in the lava. If you find yourself stuck in lava, you can jump out, freeze the lava with a cold attack such as by a wand of cold and then dig yourself out with a digging implement like a pick-axe (with this method you must freeze all adjacent squares of lava as well or the lava will pour into your hole), teleport out, pray, levitate, or get engulfed.

To cross lava, use levitation, fireproof water walking boots, flying, or a cold attack to freeze it. Walking over lava without fire resistance will damage you every turn you do it.


Lava is currently subject to bug C343-231:

Time is distorted while sinking into lava.

Certain actions which do not take any time on the turn counter, such as entering an invalid extended command, will still decrement the variable which tracks how far you have sunk into lava. Thus, you may sink to your death the same turn you stepped into the lava. Be careful what you do in this situation, and take action to stop sinking as soon as possible. This bug is marked as "fixed", and will be fixed in the next version of NetHack.

Lava is also subject to bug SC343-18:

Escaping from lava can leave hero outside of time.

As this bug is marked as a spoiler, it can most likely be exploited to the player's benefit; however, the exact nature of the bug is not public knowledge.

A user has suggested improving this page or section as follows:

"Add details of (or link to?) effect on items - how are they affected, how can they be retrieved, particularly invocation items and the Amulet of Yendor. Methods of crossing lava are incomplete - e.g. jumping, boulders (10% chance only), flying, teleportation (but level usually no teleport). No effects listed for attempts to cross lava on a non-flying/levitating steed."