All the straight movement commands understand the numeric prefix and behave pretty much as you'd expect.
None of these commands select articles.
If Gnus asks you to press a key to confirm going to the next group, you can use the C-n and C-p keys to move around the group buffer, searching for the next group to read without actually returning to the group buffer.
Variables related to summary movement:
tand the next group is empty, Gnus will exit summary mode and return to the group buffer. If this variable is neither
nil, Gnus will select the next group with unread articles. As a special case, if this variable is
quietly, Gnus will select the next group without asking for confirmation. If this variable is
almost-quietly, the same will happen only if you are located on the last article in the group. Finally, if this variable is
slightly-quietly, the Z n command will go to the next group without confirmation. Also see Group Levels.
nil, all the movement commands will try to go to the next article with the same subject as the current. (Same here might mean roughly equal. See
gnus-summary-gather-subject-limitfor details (see Customizing Threading).) If there are no more articles with the same subject, go to the first unread article.
This variable is not particularly useful if you use a threaded display.
nil, all the “unread” movement commands will not proceed to the next (or previous) article if the current article is unread. Instead, they will choose the current article.
nil, Gnus will keep the point in the summary buffer centered at all times. This makes things quite tidy, but if you have a slow network connection, or simply do not like this un-Emacsism, you can set this variable to
nilto get the normal Emacs scrolling action. This will also inhibit horizontal re-centering of the summary buffer, which might make it more inconvenient to read extremely long threads.
This variable can also be a number. In that case, center the window at
the given number of lines from the top.
nil, don't go to the next article when hitting <SPC>, and you're at the end of the article.