Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup - New player guide

note, May 25, 2023, on Mitja Felicijan's blog

An amazing game deserves an amazing guide. All this material can be find in some form on another on craw's official repository.

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup

Movement and Exploration

  • You can move around with the numpad (try numlock on and off), vi-keys, or clicking with the mouse. Arrow keys work, though you can't move diagonally with them. Pressing Shift and a direction will move until you see/hit something.
  • Pressing > will take you down a staircase, and < to go up a staircase.
  • You can open doors by walking into them, and close them with C.
  • You can autoexplore by pressing o.
  • You can re-view recent messages with Ctrl-p.

Monsters and Combat

  • You can pick up items with , or g.
  • Wield weapons with w. Weapons have different stats.
    • (You may also engage in Unarmed Combat, though it isn't very effective when untrained).
  • Attack monsters in melee by walking in their direction (or with Ctrl-direction).
  • You can wait with . or s, passing your turn - such as to get monsters into a corridor with you.
  • You can rest with 5, waiting until you are fully healed, or something noteworthy happens.
  • Either mouseover and rightclick, or use x then v on the monster to examine monsters. Monsters with a red border are 'dangerous' relative to your current XP level (XL).
  • Quiver (often ranged) actions for further use with Q.
  • You can fire ranged weapons manually with f, or auto-target your quiver with p or Shift-Tab. Throwing weapons can be thrown immediately, while launchers (like bows) need to be wielded first.

Items and Inventory

  • View your inventory by pressing i. Most item related commands can also be done with this menu.
  • You can wear amour with W; amour gives AC, while heavier body armour reduces EV.
  • Autoexplore will automatically pick up useful items, such as potions and scrolls, if you aren't in danger.
  • You can read scrolls with r and drink ("quaff") potions with q.
  • Equipment items may have brands, with special properties. Branded equipment is blue when unidentified.
  • Equipment items may be artifacts, often with unique properties, and are unmodifiable. They are written in white.
  • You can evoke wands with V.
  • You can put on jewelry with P, and remove it with R.
  • Gold is used in shops, which can be interacted with by either > or <.

Magic and Spellcasting

  • Once you find a spellbook, you can memorize spells with M.
  • You need to be the same XL as the spell's spell level in order to learn it, in addition to training magical skill (to lower failure rate).
  • Cast spells by pressing z, then the letter assigned to the spell. You may also Quiver a spell and then use it like a ranged weapon (with Shift-Tab).
  • You can view your memorized spells by pressing I (capital-i) or z.
  • Like HP, you can recover MP by resting (with 5).
  • Many spells can be positioned more effectively, or combined with other spells, in order to get (more effective) use out of them.
  • Heavier body amour and shields hamper spellcasting.

Gods and Divine Abilities

  • You may look at a god's overview by praying at their altar (with > or <). After praying, you can worship the god by pressing Enter afterwards.
  • Gods all have unique features about them. Trog, the god of the tutorial, is also the god of rage and bloodshed, and so despises spellcasting.
  • Gods like and dislike different things. Most gods either like killing things (like Trog) or exploring new areas (like Elyvilon), rewarding you piety (divine favor) for doing so.
  • You should learn to use and even rely on divine abilities often, as they are usually very strong. Trog's Berserk gives you 1.5x health, 1.5x speed (to all valid actions), and a big damage boost. Note that Berserk prevents most actions other than move and melee attack, and runs out very quickly if you aren't attacking. And after berserk ends, you are slowed down and can't berserk again for a short time.
  • In addition, the vast majority of abilities consume piety in the process. Regardless, this ability is very cheap, and the benefits are incredible, so don't hold back!
  • Pressing ^ will let you view your current god, abilities, and piety.

Other notes