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XP orb animation.gif
First appearances

See History

Network ID


Savegame ID


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 tradition, 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.

Behavior[edit | edit source]

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.

Gathering experience points from experience orbs 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 experience orbs worth 7 * current level experience points, 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 an attack registered as a player hit (including tamed wolves and TNT). 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 Ender Dragon 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.

Experience orbs[edit | edit source]

Experience orbs fade between a green and yellow color and will "float" or glide toward the player up to a distance of 6 blocks, speeding up as they get nearer to the player. Experience orbs pulled towards a player are slowed by spider webs. Experience orbs can also be pulled around or away from the player by running water currents.

When collected, experience orbs make a christmas bell-like sound for a split second. Unlike resources, experience points are picked up gradually: no matter how many orbs are in range of the player, they will be added to the player's experience one at a time. In extreme cases, this can result in the player being followed by a swarm of orbs for many seconds. If an experience orb isn't collected within 5 minutes of its appearance, it will disappear.

Experience orbs vary in value, and most sources drop a random number of orbs with the total experience award divided among them. The general worth of an orb is reflected by its size, but the size does not increase much per point, and not at all past a certain extent. The maximum experience that can be held by orbs of various sizes follows an irregular but roughly exponential progression: 1, 3, 7, 17, 37, 73, 149, 307, 617, 1237, 2477. Thus the ender dragon drops 1 orb of the largest size (2000 points), and 10 of the next-largest (1000 points), but most mobs will be limited to the two or three smallest sizes.

Experience orbs can be destroyed by fire, lava, explosions and cacti, and can trigger pressure plates and tripwires. Although mob drops spawn the instant the final blow is dealt to the mob, experience orbs do not until the mob entity disappears and the smoke appears. When a player picks up an experience orb from a bottle o' enchanting while riding on a minecart, the minecart will stop instantly.

By using an inventory editor, you may create a “spawn experience orb” egg, the ID being 383:2, although it will not actually spawn orbs.

Experience amounts by source[edit | edit 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 per equipment)

Magma Cube
[note 2]
Magma Cube
[note 2]
Magma Cube

Baby Zombie
Baby Zombie Pigman

Spider Jockey
[note 3]
5 (skeleton, +1–3 per equipment) + 5 (spider)

Chicken Jockey
[note 3]
12 (zombie, +1–3 per equipment) + 10 (chicken)

Elder Guardian
PCs and NPCs

7 per level, up to 100


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 Mutton
Raw Porkchop
Raw Rabbit
Raw Salmon


Lapis Lazuli Ore
Nether Quartz Ore

Wet Sponge

Coal Ore
Stone Bricks

Bottle o' Enchanting

3–6 (8–11 if the villagers
are willing to breed)
HeartParticle.png Breeding animals 1–7

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.

Leveling up[edit | edit source]

See also: Enchanting Strategy
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 0-16)
5[Current Level] - 38 (at levels 17-31)
9[Current Level] - 158 (at level 32+)

One can determine how much experience has been collected to reach a level using the equations:

Total Experience = [Level]2 + 6[Level] (at levels 0-16)
2.5[Level]2 - 40.5[Level] + 360 (at levels 17-31)
4.5[Level]2 - 162.5[Level] + 2220 (at level 32+)

Useful numbers[edit | edit source]

  • 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 quarter of the way to level 30, while level 22 is about halfway there. Level 30 in turn, is halfway to level 39.
  • Killing the Ender Dragon will give approximately 68 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 26, while the big orb would take a player from zero to level 34.
  • Maximum experience value can be gained by /xp command is 2147483648 (which is 2^31. Likely a limitation due to the 32 bit nature of Minecraft.)
  • Maximum level is 21863, but you can get more level using command,in this case the experience bar may disappear and reappear.

Score[edit | edit source]

Example of Score in Hardcore

Score is the number of experience the player has collected since their last death. This number is the total experience the player has collected, rather than the amount of experience they had upon death. When the player dies, the score is displayed on the death screen.

  • Before Beta 1.9-pre2, the score read &e0.
    • This was caused by a error in which, the game renders color text. §e0 would render the text as 0, but shaded bright yellow. From Indev 0.31 (the version in which the precursor to experience, a score system, was removed after Survival Test) to this version, a bug arose where it would display &e0 instead, a common error when formatting color text in Minecraft (except on custom servers with the plugin to override this).

Data values[edit | edit source]

See also: Chunk format

Experience orbs have entity data associated with them that contain various properties of the entity. Their entity ID is XPOrb.

  • Entity data
    • Tags common to all entities

    •  Age: The number of ticks the XP orb has been "untouched". After 6000 ticks (5 minutes) the orb is destroyed. If set to -32768, the Age will not increase, thus the XP orb will not automatically despawn.

    •  Health: The health of XP orbs. XP orbs take damage from fire, lava, falling anvils, and explosions. The orb is destroyed when its health reaches 0. However, this value is stored as a byte in saved data, and read as a short but clipped to the range of a byte. As a result, its range is 0-255, always positive, and values exceeding 255 will overflow.

    •  Value: The amount of experience the orb gives when picked up.

Video[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

In an image of the new lighting system, a small yellow (the orb was yellow due to a warm light from a torch) spherical shape can be seen on the left side of the screen,[1] but a day after the photo was published Notch claimed it had an error and posted a new one, this time, without a yellow sphere.[2] In a later tweet, Notch showed a picture of a Beta 1.7 change-list (back then the adventure update was supposed to be in beta 1.7). Although it was completely blurred out and was, at first, thought of as a joke,[3] but then Notch stated that one of the pictures with the new lighting system and the change list had a secret in them,[4] and people all around the web started speculating.

One place that people discussed it was on the Minecraft forums, where it was discovered that the tabs at the top of the change list that were partly covered, could be decoded based on the 2 pixel tall pattern available in the image.[5]

After a user named “tmcaffeine” successfully decoded it, the tabs read:, changelist.txt,,,,, RandomLevelSource(cut)

? A precursor to the experience system was the score in Classic Survival Test.
1.8 1.8-pre1 Experience was originally revealed by Jeb during an interview.[6] 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 Beta 1.9-pre1 For this version only, as a test, experience was gained when jumping. However, experience still did nothing.
Beta 1.9-pre2 Change mentioned in 1.9pre1 removed.
Beta 1.9-pre4 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.
Beta Sound Update Orbs now make a twinkling sounds when collected.
? Amount of experience orbs dropped by a player on death now limited.
Score will now appear correctly on “Game over!” screen. Each experience orb is worth one Score Point.
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 12w38a Leveling up now makes a twinkly bell sound, similar to but longer than the XP orb sound.
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.
The level-up sound now only plays every 5 levels, and is shortened.
1.6.1 13w21a 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.
1.9 15w46a Experience is now collected at the feet, meaning that if a large amount of experience is collected, it no longer blocks the player's view.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.12.1 build 1 Added experience.
build 8 Experience orbs will now burn in fire or lava.
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 cost is equivalent of 165 "common" mobs, less than 1/5 the old price.

Values of Beta 1.8 - Before 1.3.1 (12w23a)

Values of 1.3.1 - Before 1.8 (14w02a)

Issues[edit | edit source]

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

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Using enchantments does not decrease your score (which is shown on death).
  • 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 (which is equal to (2^15)-1; 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 (which is equal to (2^31)-1; the largest value representable as a 32-bit signed integer).
  • The maximum experience level is 24791 (With just /xp).
  • The maximum glitchless 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.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]