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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Dexterity (or DEX) is one of a character's three main attributes, along with strength and intelligence. It is important if you want to have high evasion.

Dexterity affects the following:

Dexterity is a generally useful defensive stat, though strength is often more impactful for heavy armour characters, and intelligence for dedicated spellcasters.

If your dexterity is ever reduced to 0 or lower, you will suffer stat zero.

Useful Info

In detail, dexterity does the following:

  • Weapon damage: +2.5% damage per point, where 100% damage = 10 DEX.
  • Dodging: Dodging skill gives a bonus of 0.8 * DEX * Dodging / (20 - size) EV, i.e. dexterity acts as a multiplier.
  • Stabbing: The chance to make a low-tier stab is increased by +(DEX)%.
  • Stealth: +3 to stealth score per point. For reference, boots of stealth give +50.
  • Shields: Bonus of DEX * 38 * (base_SH + 13) / 5200 SH. Roughly equal to (7.3% of base SH) + 0.95 SH every 10 points.
  • Accuracy: +0.5 to-hit per point.

Unlike strength and intelligence, dexterity has no diminishing return - every point of DEX gives the same benefit. Also, the effect of dexterity scales with your Dodging skill. At 5 Dodging skill, you might get 5 DEX = 0.2 EV; at 25 skill, that increases to 1 DEX = 1 EV.


  • Prior to 0.29, Short Blades, Long Blades, and ranged weapons scaled with strength instead of dexterity.
  • Prior to 0.28, dexterity increased the chance of doing auxiliary attacks, and DEX was not the sole stat to increase SH with shields.
  • Prior to 0.27, dexterity had a stepdown; DEX values above 24 were less effective at raising EV. In addition, EV had another stepdown; getting EV values above 30 was more difficult. See Dodging and Evasion for more details.
  • Prior to 0.18, each weapon type had a strength weight that determined how much dexterity contributed to damage and accuracy. Now dexterity increases accuracy equally for all weapons, and does not affect damage.
  • Prior to 0.17, Dexterity affected the chance of doors creaking.