A speed ascension is a type of informal conduct, taking one of two forms: lowest turn-count, or shortest real time elapsed. Short ascensions tend to be low turn-count ascensions too.

How fast is fast?[edit | edit source]

First ascensions vary greatly in turn-count, with most falling between 50,000 and 100,000 turns. A careful well-spoiled player can ascend in under 50,000 turns with most classes, and ascensions below 30,000 are not uncommon. Anything below 20,000 probably counts as a speed ascension. On NAO, 1% of all winning player accounts have a sub-10450-turns ascension, and 10% have sub-24450.

Real-time speed records are very hard to determine, since vanilla NetHack does not track real time elapsed. The usual method is to time the ttyrec of the game with a utility such as timettyrec.

Certain classes are better than others at the very fastest ascensions, though any class can be ascended relatively quickly. Good spellcasting ability and being able to get The Eye of the Aethiopica are both very handy, making wizards and neutral monks the two classes that pushed speed ascensions the farthest.

General speed strategy[edit | edit source]

  • Don't fully map every level
  • Become very fast as soon as possible
  • Avoid monsters rather than fighting them
  • Avoid being burdened to any degree
  • Make extensive use of digging and level teleportation

Specific speed tactics[edit | edit source]

Sample ascensions[edit | edit source]

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