The influence of nitriding type and condition on the thermal crack propagation behavior of hot work die steel was investigated. Thermal fatigue tests were carried out using a special apparatus, which is consisted of induction heating and water spray cooling unit. The sum of crack length per unit specimen length, Lm is proposed as an index representing the susceptibility to crack propagation. The Lm values of the gas and ion nitrided specimens were lower than that of as-heat treated specimen. But in the case of maximum and average crack length of nitrided specimen was higher than those of as-heat treated specimen. The nitrogen diffusion layer still remained although the oxide scale was formed and fell off during thermal fatigue test. After 1000 cycles of the thermal fatigue test, the interior region of nitrided specimen showed lower hardness by softening. In particular, ion nitrided specimens of relatively less softening condition showed reduction both the depth and number of cracks compared with the other surface conditions.