In general, wands of probing act much like stethoscopes. Zapping one prompts the player for a direction, and if there is a suitable target, shows the name, alignment, level, HP, AC, and status of the target. Unlike a stethoscope, it is a directional beam, allowing the remote assessment of the target, and it will also show the inventory of the target. This leads to situational usages such as:
- Checking historical statues for useful items before taking an alignment penalty for breaking into them as an Archeologist.
- Checking the inventory of peaceful monsters for useful items before taking an alignment penalty for killing them.
- Checking the inventory of your pet when supplying it with equipment.
Otherwise a wand of probing is inferior to a stethoscope, being heavier, slower, and having only limited charges.
Wands comprise 4% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon, 6% in containers, 5% on the Rogue level, and 8% in Gehennom. There is a 3% chance that a randomly-generated wand will be a wand of probing.