Customising the game

Angband supports multiple customizations. These can vary from alternative methods for selecting objects, keymaps for different commands, changing the visuals (using graphical tiles), creating subwindows, and saving customizations for use on future characters.

Ignore settings

Angband allows you to ignore specific items that you don't want to see anymore. These items are marked 'ignored' and any similar items are hidden from view. There are several ways to ignore an item. The easiest way is to choose the 's' option when destroying an object. Whenever you destroy an object you are forced to confirm the destruction. One of the options is 's'. If you use this option, the object is dropped and then hidden from view.

Weapons and armor have quality ignore options. These allow you to specify what types of weapons and armor you are no longer interested in seeing. There is a quality setting for each weapon and armor type. Ignoring weapons and armor by destroying the object will prompt you with a question about whether you wish to ignore all of that type of armor with a certain quality setting. These quality settings are described below:

The weapon/armor has negative AC, to-hit or to-dam.
The weapon/armor has no pluses no minuses. It is non-magical.
The weapon/armor has positive AC, to-hit or to-dam. However it does not have any special abilities, brands, slays, stat-boosts, resistances
excellent, with no high resists
Weapons will have some slays. Armor will have resistances, but these are limited to rfire, rcold, racid and relec.
excellent but not splendid
Weapons and armor may have high resists but they do not have any stat boosts or brands.
Ignoring all splendid items only leaves artifacts unignored.

Using Inscriptions

Inscriptions are notes you can mark on objects using the '{' command. You can use this to give the game comamnds about the object, which are listed below. You can also set up the game to automatically inscribe certain items whenever you find them, using the object knowledge screens, accessed using '~'.

Inscribing an item with '!!':
This will alert you when the item has finished recharging.
Inscribing an item with '=g':
This marks an item as 'always pick up'. This is sometimes useful for picking up ammunition after a shootout.
Inscribing an item with '!' followed by a command letter or '*':

This means "ask me before using this item". '!w' means 'ask me before wielding', '!d' means 'ask me before dropping', and so on. If you inscribe an item with '!*' then the game will confirm any use of an item.

Say you inscribed your potion of Speed with '!q'. This would prompt you when you try to drink it to see if you really mean to. Multiple '!q' inscriptions will prompt multiple times.

Similarly, using !v!k!d makes it very hard for you to accidentally throw, ignore or put down the item it is inscribed on.

Some adventurers use this for Scrolls of Word of Recall so they don't accidentally return to the dungeon too soon.

Inscribing an item with '@', followed by a command latter, followed by 0-9:

Normally when you select an item from your inventory you must enter the letter that corresponds to the item. Since the order of your inventory changes as items get added and removed, this can get annoying. You can instead assign certain items numbers when using a command so that wherever they are in your backpack, you can use the same keypresses. If you have multiple items inscribed with the same thing, the game will use the first one.

For example, if you inscribe a staff of Cure Light Wounds with '@u1', you can refer to it by pressing 1 when 'u'sing it. You could also inscribe a wand of Wonder with '@a1', and when using 'a', 1 would select that wand.

Spellcasters should inscribe their books, so that if they lose them they do not cast the wrong spell. If you are mage and the beginner's spellbook is the first in your inventory, casting 'maa' will cast magic missile. But if you lose your spellbook, casting 'maa' will cast the first spell in whatever new book is in the top of your inventory. This can be a waste in the best case scenario and exceedingly dangerous in the worst! By inscribing your spellbooks with '@m1', '@m2', etc., if you lose your first spellbook and attempt to cast magic missile by using 'm1a', you cannot accidentally select the wrong spellbook.

Inscribing an item with '^', followed by a command letter:

When you wear an item inscribed with '^', the game prompts you before doing that action. You might inscribe '^>' on an item if you want to be reminded to take it off before going down stairs. If the item is in your backpack then the game won't prompt you.

Like with '!', you can use '*' for the command letter if you want to game to prompt you every turn whatever you're doing. This can get very annoying!

User Pref Files

Angband allows you to change various aspects of the game to suit your tastes. You may define keymaps (changing the way Angband maps your keypresses to underlying commands), modify the visuals (allowing you to change the appearance of monsters, objects, or terrain features), change the colors (allowing you to make a given color brighter, darker, or even completely different), or set options (turning them off or on).

Angband stores your preferences in files called "user pref files", which contain comments and "user pref commands", which are simple strings describing one aspect of the system about which the user has a preference. There are many ways to load a user pref file, and in fact, some of these files are automatically loaded for you by the game. All of the files are kept in the "lib/user/" directory, though you may have to use one of the command line arguments to redirect this directory, especially on multiuser systems. You may also enter single user pref commands directly, using the special "Enter a user pref command" command, activated by "double quote". You may have to use the "redraw" command ('^R') after changing certain of the aspects of the game, to allow Angband to adapt to your changes.

When the game starts up, after you have loaded an old character, or created a new character, some user pref files are loaded automatically. First, the "pref.prf" file is loaded. This file contains some user pref commands which will work on all platforms. Then one of 'font-xxx.prf' (for normal usage) or 'graf-xxx.prf' (for bitmap usage) is loaded. These files contain attr/char changes to allow the monsters, objects, and/or terrain features to look "better" on your system. Then the 'pref-xxx.prf' file is loaded. This file contains pre-defined system specific stuff (keymaps, color definitions, etc). Then, the 'user-xxx.prf' file is loaded. This file contains user-defined system specific stuff. The 'user-xxx.prf' file is used as the "default" user pref file in many places. The 'xxx' is the "system suffix" for your system, taken from the 'main-xxx.c' file which was used to generate your executable. Finally, the 'Race.prf', 'Class.prf', and 'Name.prf' files are loaded, where 'Race', 'Class', and 'Name' are replaced by the actual race, class, and name of the current character.

Several options menu items allow you to load existing user pref files, create new user pref files, append information to existing user pref files, and/or interact with various of the user preferences.


In addition to the main window, you can create additional window displays that have other secondary information on them. You can access the subwindow menu by using '=' then 'w'. You can select what windows to display. You may then need to make the window visible using the "window" pull down menu from the menu bar. There are a variety of subwindow choices and you should experiment to see which ones are the most useful for you.

User Pref Files (Keymaps)

The "Interact with keymaps" menu allows you to set up keymaps. Keymaps map a single keypress to a series of keypresses. For example you might map the key F1 to "maa" (the keypresses to cast "Magic Missile" as a spellcaster). This can speed up access to commonly-used features.

Keymaps have two parts: the trigger key and the action. These are written where possible just as ordinary characters. However, if modifier keys (shift, control, etc.) are used then they are encoded as special characters within curly braces {}.

Possible modifiers are:

K = Keypad (for numbers)
M = Meta (Cmd-key on OS X, alt on most other platforms)
^ = Control
S = Shift

If the only modifier is the control key, the curly braces {} aren't included. For example:

{^S}& = Control-Shift-S
^D    = Control-D

Special keys, like F1, F2, or Tab, are all written within square brackets []. For example:

^[F1]     = Control-F1
{^S}[Tab] = Control-Shift-Tab

Special keys include [Escape].

The game will run keymaps in whatever keyset you use (original or roguelike). So if you write keymaps for roguelike keys and swith to original keys, they may not work as you expect! Keymap actions aren't recursive either, so if you had a keymap whose trigger was F1, including F1 inside the action wouldn't run the keymap action again.

When you're running a keymap, you might want to automatically skip any -more- prompts. To do this, include whatever commands you want to skip -more- prompts during with '()'.

Keymaps are written in pref files as:


The action must always come first, <T> means 'keyset Type', which is either 0 for the original keyset or 1 for the roguelike keyset. For example:


Angband uses a few built-in keymaps. These are for the movement keys (they are mapped to ';' plus the number, e.g. '5' -> ';5'), amongst others. You can see the full list in pref.prf but they shouldn't impact on you in any way.

To avoid triggering a keymap, you can use the backslash ('\') command.

User Pref Files (Visuals)

You can use the "Interact with visuals" menu to change various visual information, currently including the choice of what attr/char values are used to represent various monsters, objects, or terrain features. Note that in combination appropriate support in 'main-xxx.c', and with the use of the "use_graphics" flag, you may be able to specify that "graphic bitmaps" hould be used instead of normal "colored characters" for various things.

When interactively modifying the attr/char values for monsters, objects, or terrain features, pressing 'n' or 'N' will change which entry you are changing, pressing 'a' or 'A' will rotate through the available attr values, and pressing 'c' or 'C' will rotate though the available char values. Note that attr/char values with the "high bit" set may induce the display of special "graphic" pictures if the "use_graphics" flag is set, and your system supports the "use_graphics" flag.

Note that this menu can be abused in various ways, and if you must do so, remember that you are only cheating yourself.

Keymaps can be specified in user pref files as lines of the form 'R:<N>:<A>/<C>' or 'K:<N>:<A>/<C>' or 'F:<N>:<A>/<C>' or 'U:<N>:<A>/<C>'.

User Pref Files (Colors)

The "Interact with colors" menu allows you to change the actual internal values used to display various colors. This command may or may not have any effect on your machine. Advanced machines may allow you to change the actual RGB values used to represent each of the 16 colors used by Angband, and perhaps even allow you to define new colors which are not currently used by Angband.

Colors can be specified in user pref files as lines of the form 'V:<N>:<V>:<R>:<G>:<B>'.

User Pref Files (Options)

The "Interact with options" command allows you to turn options on or off. You may turn options off or on using the user pref commands of the form 'X:<option>' or 'Y:<option>' respectively.