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An experience orb.
XP bar visible above hotbar.

Experience (or XP for short) can be obtained by gathering Experience Orbs from mining, defeated mobs and players, breeding, fishing, and using Furnaces. As traditional, experience points accumulate into experience levels. However, unlike many games, experience levels do not directly increase the character's abilities. Instead, experience is used for Enchanting and Anvils, to produce weapons, armor, and tools with various useful abilities.


[edit] Behavior

Most experience comes in the form of Experience Orbs, special items which cannot be placed in inventory or a container, but will automatically be added to the player's total when collected. Experience orbs will "float" or glide toward the player if they are 2-3 blocks away.

Gathering experience points increases the player's experience level by gradually filling a bar on the bottom of the screen until a new level is achieved when the bar is full. When the player dies, they drop 7 times their level as experience orbs, up to a maximum of 100 points (enough to reach level 5). All the other experience vanishes.

Experience can be gained from several different sources:

  • As traditional, from killing monsters, which drop Experience Orbs along with any other items.
    • A mob will not drop experience unless it dies within five seconds (100 game ticks) of being damaged by a player. This allows gaining experience from, say, knocking a monster off a cliff (fetching the orbs might be another question). You can also try to "claim" a burning monster by hitting or shooting it once—even if the blow doesn't kill it, if the fire does within 5 seconds, it will drop XP. (5 seconds of fire only does 5 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) damage, but of course you can keep trying.)
    • Mobs killed by TNT activated by a player using Flint and Steel will drop XP as usual; however mobs killed by TNT that was activated by fire, redstone, or an explosion that wasn't player activated don't drop any experience.
    • Mobs will drop a random number of orbs, and the orbs can have different values. However, the total value will always remain within the values given below, regardless of difficulty setting.
    • Hostile mobs give more experience than passive ones. Baby animals, bats, golems, and villagers give no experience at all. The Enderdragon gives orbs totalling 12,000 XP, over 200 times more than anything else in the game.
      • Some hostile mobs spawn with weapons, or can spawn with weapons and/or armor. As of at least version 1.6.2, these mobs give an extra 1-3 points (randomly) per piece of equipment that they spawned with. Equipment picked up after spawning doesn't count.
    • Mining (destroying) a spawner block gives a hefty amount of experience as orbs.
  • From mining any ore, except iron and gold. The orbs are produced along with the mineral item(s). If a Silk Touch pick is used to mine the ore block, the experience is not dropped, but the block can later be placed and mined normally to release the mineral and the experience.
    • The ore will still produce orbs if destroyed by an explosion, whether or not it was caused by player activated TNT.
  • From smelting any of various items.
    • Smelting any ore yields some experience, but normally only iron and gold are worthwhile. For all other ores, mining them is better.
    • Moderate amounts are gained by smelting/cooking other materials: food, clay balls or blocks, cactus, wood logs, sand, or cobblestone.
    • The experience given from smelting does not appear as orbs, but is granted immediately to the player who removes the product from the furnace.
    • The smelted material must be taken from the furnace through its GUI window. Using a hopper to unload the furnace forfeits the experience, as does dumping the contents by breaking the furnace.
  • From breeding animals, which produces orbs along with the baby animal. Breaking eggs does not give experience.
  • From fishing. The experience is awarded immediately upon reeling in the fish, even if the fish itself is not picked up.
  • A Bottle o' Enchanting releases orbs when broken.

[edit] Experience amounts by source

Source Experience

Ocelot (Cat)

Wolf (Dog)
[note 1]


, all baby animals

Iron Golem
Snow Golem

Cave Spider

Wither Skeleton
Zombie Pigman

5 + 1 − 3 / item
Magma Cube
[note 2]
Magma Cube
[note 2]
Magma Cube

Spider Jockey
[note 3]
5 + 5 + 1 − 3 / item

Chicken Jockey
[note 3]
5 + 1 − 3




Ender Dragon

Mining blocks

Coal Ore

Diamond Ore
Emerald Ore

Lapis Lazuli Ore
Nether Quartz Ore

Redstone Ore

Monster Spawner

Diamond Ore
Emerald Ore
Gold Ore

Iron Ore
Redstone Ore

Raw Beef
Raw Chicken
Raw Fish
Raw Porkchop



Lapis Lazuli Ore
Nether Quartz Ore


Coal Ore

Bottle o' Enchanting

3–6 (8–11 if the villagers are willing to breed)
HeartParticle.png Breeding animals 1–4

Catching Fish
  1. Excludes baby animals.
  2. a b
    Experience is dropped when these mobs split or die. This means the larger ones may drop experience several times before being fully defeated.
  3. a b
    Jockeys consists of two mobs that move as one. Each part drops experience separately when it is defeated.

[edit] Leveling up

Note: The following information is current up to 1.7.9. From 1.8 onwards, the amount of experience required to level up has changed,

The first 16 levels are linear (17 XP points per level), while level 17+ require more points per level compared to the prior level.

This online calculator is available using the chart data below to detail for the user how much additional experience they need to obtain to reach a particular level, and how much of various sources could provide it.

See also: Enchanting Strategy

Note that when enchanting, the experience levels used will be subtracted from your current level, not your current XP total. This has important implications for leveling above 30—the levels gained will have a high XP cost, but this will not be preserved. For example, if you are enchanting anything at level 30: if you earn enough experience to get to level 31, then enchant, you will be left at level 1. If you had enchanted first, and collected the same amount of experience afterwards, you would have almost reached level 4. Because of this, there is no useful purpose to earning experience past level 39, as this is the maximum level an anvil will require before an item is "too expensive" to enchant or repair.

[edit] Formulas and Tables

As per the 1.5.1 source code, the experience cost for gaining a level is equivalent to:

int expCost(int currentLevel) {
    if (currentLevel >= 30) {
        return 62 + (currentLevel - 30) * 7;
    } else if (currentLevel >= 15) {
        return 17 + (currentLevel - 15) * 3;
    } else {
        return 17;

This works out as follows:

  • If your current level is 15 or below, you need a static 17 experience to gain the next level.
  • For current levels from 16 to 30, each level takes 3 more experience, amounting to (17 + (currentLevel - 15) * 3) experience to gain another level.
  • At and above level 31, each new level takes 7 more experience, totaling (62 + (currentLevel - 30) * 7).

The total XP required for a given level (x) can be calculated as follows:

  • for x≤15: 17x
  • for 16≤x≤31: 1.5x² - 29.5x + 360
  • for x≥30: 3.5x² - 151.5x + 2220

Level Exp Exp from last
1 17 17
2 34 17
3 51 17
4 68 17
5 85 17
6 102 17
7 119 17
8 136 17
9 153 17
10 170 17
Level Exp Exp from last
11 187 17
12 204 17
13 221 17
14 238 17
15 255 17
16 272 17
17 292 20
18 315 23
19 341 26
20 370 29
Level Exp Exp from last
21 402 32
22 437 35
23 475 38
24 516 41
25 560 44
26 607 47
27 657 50
28 710 53
29 766 56
30 825 59
Level Exp Exp from last
31 887 62
32 956 69
33 1032 76
34 1115 83
35 1205 90
36 1302 97
37 1406 104
38 1517 111
39 1635 118
40 1760 125


[edit] Useful Numbers

  • Killing one large slime and all the slimes that split from it will yield from 12 to 28 experience, with an average of 19.
  • The maximum that can be used on a single enchantment is 30 levels, while the anvil will accept jobs up to level 39 (in creative mode the anvil limit is lifted).
  • Level 16 is a third of the way to level 30, while level 22 is about halfway there. Level 30 in turn, is halfway to level 39.
  • One can determine how much experience has been collected to reach a level using the equations:
Total Experience = 17[Level] (at levels 0-15)
1.5[Level]2 - 29.5[Level] + 360 (at levels 16-30)
3.5[Level]2 - 151.5[Level] + 2220 (at level 31+)
This equation does not include any experience that is currently filling the experience bar.
Additionally, the amount of experience required to advance to the next level can be calculated using the equations:
Experience Required = 17 (at levels 0-14)
3[Current Level] -28 (at levels 15-29)
7[Current Level] - 148 (at level 30+)
  • Killing the Ender Dragon will give approximately 78 XP levels. The Ender Dragon actually drops 10 orbs worth 1,000 experience points, and another worth 2,000. Taken separately, the smaller orbs could take a player from zero to level 32, while the big orb would take a player from zero to level 41.
  • Maximum xp value can be gained by /xp command is 2147483647
  • Maximum level is 24791

[edit] Video

[edit] History

A precursor to the experience system was the point system in Classic Survival Test.
1.8 Experience was originally revealed by Jeb during an interview.[1] Jeb released a picture of the 1.8 GUI list, which shows the experience bar, among other things.
Experience was added, but there was no measurable benefit to gaining Experience Orbs and levels.
Official release
1.0.0 1.9pre1 For this version only, as a test, experience was gained when jumping. However, experience still did nothing.
1.9pre2 Change mentioned in 1.9pre1 removed.
1.9pre4 The ability to spend experience levels for Enchanting items was added.
The level number was shown, and each level was harder to get to than the previous one.
1.2.1 12w04a The Bottle o' Enchanting was added, but the next snapshot made it only useful for adventure maps.
12w05a Removed the need for experience when enchanting in creative mode. Experience requirements were also changed in this update.
1.3.1 12w22a Players can get XP from mining, breaking mob spawners, and smelting in a furnace. A very large amount of experience can be collected while mining, sometimes into the hundreds of levels. Coal, lapis lazuli, redstone, diamond and emerald ore give you experience points. Iron and gold ore instead give experience when smelted.
The cost to gain each level was made constant, at 17 points per level.
Only level 30 is required to get the maximum level of enchanting.
12w23a XP levels now cost 17 XP Orbs each until level 16, after which the cost per level grows linearly, and the total XP grows quadratically (incorrectly stated "exponentially" by Mojang). However, it is easier to get to 30 levels than it was before 12w22a.
1.4.2 12w39a Levels could be used in commands by typing, for example, @a[lm=4,l=7], choosing everyone between 4 and 7 levels inclusive. This is normally used in a command block.
12w41a Anvils were added, repairing and combining items at the cost of experience levels.
1.6.1 ??? Experience levels no longer appear in Creative mode. Previously, experience would be hidden but experience levels would show.
1.8 14w02a Changes to the enchanting system mean that levelling up requires more experience.
Console Edition
TU7 Added experience. Experience is collectable from smelting and/or mining ores, breeding and killing mobs.
An example of the excessive amount of experience orbs dropped upon death in Beta 1.8, causing extreme performance drops.

The experience level costs were heavily revised in snapshot 12w22a and 12w23a. Before these, reaching level 50 (the maximum usable on a single enchantment) required 4625 experience, corresponding to defeating 925 hostile mobs (assuming the "common" ones.) Afterwards, considerably less experience is needed to get into higher levels (The amount which would formerly get the player to level 30 now gets them to level 39). Higher levels cost more experience than lower ones, but the levels are still easier to get than in 1.2.5. Now level 30 is the maximum for enchantments, and that costs the equivalent of 165 "common" mobs, less than half the number under the old system.

Experience Values Before Snapshot 12w23a


[edit] 1.8

In order to balance enchantments costing fewer levels, levels were made more expensive in 14w02a.

Level Exp Exp from last
1 7 7
2 16 9
3 27 11
4 40 13
5 55 15
6 72 17
7 91 19
8 112 21
9 135 23
10 160 25
Level Exp Exp from last
11 187 27
12 216 29
13 247 31
14 280 33
15 315 35
16 352 37
17 394 42
18 441 47
19 493 52
20 550 57
Level Exp Exp from last
21 612 62
22 679 67
23 751 72
24 828 77
25 910 82
26 997 87
27 1089 92
28 1186 97
29 1288 102
30 1395 107
Level Exp Exp from last
31 1507 112
32 1628 121
33 1758 130
34 1897 139
35 2045 148
36 2202 157
37 2368 166
38 2543 175
39 2727 184
40 2920 193


The formulas for figuring out how many experience orbs you need to get to the next level are as follows:

Experience Required = 2[Current Level] + 7 (at levels 0-15)
4[Current Level] - 38 (at levels 16-30)
9[Current Level] - 158 (at level 31+)

[edit] Issues

Issues relating to "Experience" or "Orb" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.

[edit] Trivia

  • Experience orbs will drop from a mob if it dies within 5 seconds of being hit by a player. This means you can use fall damage by knocking mobs off a cliff.
  • Using enchantments does not decrease your score (which is shown on death).
  • The announcement of the changes in snapshot 12w23a incorrectly stated "enchantment levels are slightly exponential again"; in fact, they are quadratic at higher levels.
  • If you gain too many experience points (such as a trillion through commands), the experience bar will disappear altogether as well as your level on your HUD. This appears to occur around level 32,767 (the largest value representable as a 16-bit signed integer).
  • The maximum XP that you can earn from the /xp command is 2,147,483,647 levels.
  • The maximum experience level is 24791 (With just /xp).
  • The maximum experience level is 32767 (With just /xp #L)(Where # is the level and the L increases the person's level by that many levels)
  • The highest level you can gain with /xp without overflowing is 1241258, which results in 2,147,483,647 exp, which is the maximum value for the int data type, in Java, which is what is used to store the exp value.
  • Large XP orbs dropped from the Ender Dragon give the player more XP.

[edit] See also