After character creation, you will begin your adventure in the town where you may acquire supplies, weapons, armor, magical devices and other useful stuff by buying from various shop owners or another players. Then you can descend into the dungeon or travel around wilderness to visit far lands, towns and explore the many levels of various dungeons, gaining experience by killing fierce creatures, collecting powerful objects and valuable treasure, and returning to town occasionally to buy supplies and trade with another players. Eventually, you grow more experienced and may attempt to save the world by defeating the Lord of Darkness, who resides far below the surface.
Note that this is a very complex game, and it may be difficult to grasp everything at first, especially if you have never played a “roguelike” game before. Some adventures would probably want to browse through all of the guide pages, especially this one, before beginning any serious adventuring.. But at the same time you could just dive into the game and learn everything by yourself; to help you with this way there is a list of game commands, which you could open by pushing ‘?’ key while in-game.
Example of gameplay
If you are new to classic roguelike games, you may want to try the following quick demonstration. For this demo, we will assume that you have never played Angband Online before. The following instructions are for demonstration purposes only, and so they are intentionally boring.
When the game starts up, you will be asked to enter your account name. For this demo, let’s assume you don’t have one, so enter an account name and a password to protect your account, and then press ‘a’ to create a new character.
During character creation, you will be shown the character information screen, and you will be asked a series of questions. For this demo, enter a character name and a password to protect your character (you can use the default name and password which are equal to the account’s name and password), and press ‘a’ three times to select a “female human warrior” character. Then press ‘b’ and ‘Enter’ to choose the standard roller, and choose stat order by pressing ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘d’, ‘f’, ‘c’, and ‘b’. After a little pause, press ‘Enter’ twice and your character will be placed into the “town”.
You should now be looking at the basic dungeon interaction screen. To the left is some information about your character. To the right is an overhead view of the town. A lot of things happen in Angband Online while the game is waiting for you to specify a command, so stay safe in the Tavern and take a good look at the town. You will see a variety of tiles (square pictures) on the screen. Each tile normally represents a terrain feature, an object, or a monster. Also there is special tile which represents your character (or any other player currently connected to the server).
The large rectangles represent stores and houses. The icons at the front of them represent an “entrance” to a store.
In Angaband Online there are a lot of different monsters, where the word “monsters” specifies a wide variety of entities, including people, animals, plants, etc. Only a few “races” of monsters normally appear in town, and most of them are harmless (avoid any mercenaries or veterans if you see them). The most common “monsters” in town are small animals (cats and dogs) and townspeople (merchants, mercenaries, miscreants, etc).
Now use the ‘l’ command to “look” around. This will cause the cursor to be moved onto each “interesting” square, one at a time, giving you a description of that square. The cursor always starts on the square containing your character.
Now press ‘i’, to display your character’s “inventory”. New characters start out with some objects to help them survive (though there is an option to start with more money instead). Your character will have some food, potions, torches and scrolls. Press ‘e’ to see what you are wearing. You will find you are wearing armour on your body, wielding a dagger and lighting the way with a torch. You have many other equipment slots but they are all currently empty.
Press ‘t’ to take something off. Note that the equipment listing is reduced to those objects which can actually be taken off. Press ‘g’ to take off the armour, and then press ‘e’ again. Note that the armour is no longer shown in the equipment. Press escape. Press ‘w’ to wield something and observe that the inventory listing is reduced to those objects which can actually be wielded or worn, press ‘e’ to put the armour back on.
So far, you have used the ‘w’ and ‘t’ commands, which take energy, and the ‘e’, ‘i’, ‘l’, and ‘/’ commands, which are “free” commands, and so do not take any energy. In general, the only commands which take energy are the ones which require your character to perform some action in the world of the game, such as moving around, attacking monsters, and interacting with objects.
If there were any monsters near your character while you were experimenting with the ‘w’ and ‘t’ commands, you may have seen them “move” or even “attack” your character. Although unlikely, it is even possible that your character has already been killed. This is the only way to lose the game. So if you have already lost, simply exit the game and restart this demo.
One of the most important things that your character can do is move around. Use the numeric keys on the keypad to make your character move around. The ‘4’, ‘6’, ‘8’, and ‘2’ keys move your character west, east, north, and south, and the ‘7’, ‘9’, ‘1’ and ‘3’ keys move your character diagonally. Explore the town and try to find a “staircase” – it is the entrance to the dungeon.
Attempting to stay away from monsters, try and move your character towards the entrance to the “general store”, which is represented as a ‘torch’ on the screen. As your character moves around, use the ‘l’ command to look around. You can press escape at any time to cancel the looking. If you die, start over.
Keep walking towards the entrance to the general store until you actually walk into it. At this point, the screen should change to the store interaction screen. You will see the name of the shop-keeper, and the name of the shop, and a list of objects which are available. If there are more than twelve different objects, you can use the space or arrow keys to scroll the list of objects. The general store is the only store with a fixed inventory, although the amount of various items may vary. One of the items sold here are flasks of oil. Press ‘down’ to highlight the line with flasks of oil and press the ‘p’ key to purchase some. If you are asked how many you want, just hit enter. Any time you are asked a question and there is already something under the cursor, pressing return will accept that choice. Hit enter to accept the price. Many commands work inside the store, for example, use the ‘i’ command to see your inventory, with the new flask of oil. Note that your inventory is always kept sorted in a semi-logical order, so the indexes of some of the objects may change as your inventory changes.
Purchase a few more flasks of oil, if possible: this time, when asked how many you want, press ‘3’ then return to buy three flasks at once. Flasks of oil are very important for low level characters, because not only can they be used to fuel a lantern (when you find one), but also they can be ignited and thrown at monsters from a distance. So it is often a good idea to have a few extra flasks of oil. Press escape to leave the store. If you want, take time to visit the rest of the stores. One of the buildings, marked with an ‘beer mug’, is the “Tavern”, and is not a real store. You can stay safe in this building, people and monsters won’t be able to attack you while you’re inside.
Now move to the staircase to the dungeon, and press ‘>’ – shift + dot (.), to go down the stairs. At this point, you are in the dungeon. Use the ‘l’ command to look around. Note that you are standing on the floor without a staircase leading back to town, to get back you have to find staircase up; if you would manage it – use the ‘<‘ command to take the stairs back to town. So now you know that by using the ‘>’ command – you go down the stairs and ‘<‘ bring you up.
Now look at the screen. Your character may be in a lit room, represented as a large rectangle of illuminated floor grids, surrounded by walls. If you are not in a lit room, keep going till you find one and look around. You may see some closed doors or some open doors or some open exits in the walls which surround the room.
You may see some monsters and/or some objects in the room with you. If you see any monsters, move up next to the monster, using the movement keys, and then your character would attack the monster automatically. Stay still until you kill the monster, or it runs away, or you die. If you die, start a new game. If the monster runs away, ignore it, or chase it. Once all the monsters in the room are dead or gone, walk on top of any objects in the room. Press ‘g’ to get the object, and it will be added to your inventory. If there are any closed doors in the room walk up next to them and press ‘o’ and then the direction key which would move you into the door, which should attempt to “open” the door.
Now use the movement keys to explore the dungeon. As you leave the room, you will probably notice that your character cannot see nearly as far as she could in the room. Also, you will notice that as she moves around, the screen keeps displaying some of the grids that your character has seen. Think of this as a kind of “map” superimposed on the world itself, the player can see the entire map, but the character can only see those parts of the world which are actually nearby. If the character gets near the edge of the “map” portion of the screen the entire map will scroll to show a new portion of the world. Only about ten percent of the dungeon level can be seen by the player at one time, but you can use the ‘L’ command to look at other pieces of the map. Push and hold ‘Shift’ key, then a push direction, to “run” through the dungeon. Use the ‘R’ key, then ‘&’ and ‘Enter’, to force your character to “rest” until she has recovered from any damage she incurs while attacking monsters. Use the ‘M’ key to see the entire dungeon level at once, and hit escape when done. If your food rations are still at index ‘a’ in your inventory, press ‘E’, ‘a’ to eat some food. If your oil is still at index ‘b’ in your inventory, and there is a monster nearby, press ‘v’, ‘b’, ”’ to throw a flask of oil at the nearest monster. To drop an item from your inventory, press ‘d’ plus the index of that item. You can use the shift+X key to quit and save the game.
You now know enough to play a quick game of Angband Online. There is a lot more for you to learn, including how to interpret information about your character, how to create different kinds of characters, how to determine which equipment to wield/wear, how to use various kinds of objects, and how to use the more than fifty different commands available to your character. The best resource for learning these things is the online help, which include, among other things, a complete list of all commands available to you, and a list of all the symbols which you may encounter in the dungeon, and information about creating new characters.