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Frequently asked questions

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This page is not for asking questions
This page sums up a large amount of questions, along with accurate answers.
If you cannot find your problem on this page, or here (if it's a survival-related question), feel free to ask around on the forums.
If you feel your question may be a popular one, request on the talk page that it be listed here.

Q: How can I get a custom skin for my character?[edit]

A: To use a custom skin you must first purchase the game. You can then go to your profile page on the Minecraft website, download the reference skin, edit it to your liking and finally upload your customized skin also at the preferences page. You should now appear with your new look whenever you play. You need to log into your account for it to show. However, if you often play single player offline and find yourself uncomfortable because you are wearing the default skin, you can use a compression archive manager such as 7zip or WinRAR to extract the file named "minecraft.jar" (the location of this file can be found using the "options" button on the Minecraft launcher), enter the sub-folder "mob", and directly edit the picture "char.png" using your favorite image editing program. Be sure to keep the picture the same size, name, and location as it was when you first opened it, or else Minecraft may not recognize it and will not run correctly. Although this method causes your character to wear your custom skin all of the time, other people on multiplayer servers may not see your skin because they are not using the "minecraft.jar" in which you changed the default player skin. To ensure maximum over-all visibility of your custom skin, one might recommend that you go through both processes mentioned in this paragraph. However, the second process mentioned in this paragraph will probably not work for Minecraft Classic.

Q: Can the water level change?[edit]

A: Yes. Water can be picked up with a bucket and placed in other locations to form a spring. Water will drain downwards and outwards when filling spaces adjacent to the spring and the flow will stop when the source block is picked up. However, the general "sea" level never changes.
In Classic the water level is set by the level of the ocean border surrounding the map, and so cannot change. Water will fill any adjacent empty space and even a single water block acts as an infinite source that is capable of flooding everything at or below its height. Some custom multiplayer servers allow players to "build" both active and static water blocks, and it is also possible to add water to your own maps by using an editor.

Q: What are the controls?[edit]

A: See Controls. The controls can be found beneath the creative mode gameplay window and are customizable from the pause menu (accessible by pressing Escape). In minecraft, the "Controls..." menu can be found in the "Options..." menu. By default, these are:
  • W=forward
  • A=left
  • S=reverse
  • D=right
  • Space=jump
  • Left Shift=sneak
  • E=inventory
  • T=talk/chat
  • Q=drop item
  • Esc=cancel

A two-button mouse is required for mouselook. In general, hold left mouse button to destroy blocks or punch Mobs, right-click to place blocks, activate certain blocks, or eat food.

Q: How can I drop a stack of items?[edit]

A: You can drop a complete stack of items by picking it up in the inventory screen and then closing the inventory screen. The stack of items you were holding will be dropped. You can also grab a stack and click with it outside the inventory window to throw it. As of 1.4.6, pressing Ctrl+Q throws a stack of items.
As of Beta 1.0, leaving items in the inventory's or the crafting table's crafting square will cause them to be dropped when the inventory is closed.

Q: How do I save and reload my position (spawn point)?[edit]

A: In the full game, the spawn location is where you start out at the beginning of a map and you will return there if you are killed. This spawn point can be changed by sleeping in a Bed or using the /spawnpoint command. There are also unofficial mods in which you can change the spawn point. Since the release of 1.7, there is a command entitled /setworldspawn which changes the spawnpoint of the entire world.
In Classic your spawn location starts out as the default that the admin set. This can then be changed by pressing Enter, saving your current location so that you will respawn there when R is pressed.

Q: How do you make plants grow? They keep disappearing on me.[edit]

A: This depends on the plant's needs for its surroundings and the light level. If you are growing underground (not directly exposed to sky), you need to have adequate lighting or the crop will uproot itself. Grass only grows on dirt and needs light level of 4 or higher to spread (see its requirements for more details). Mushrooms, however, will only spread onto solid blocks with a light level lower than 12 (see mushroom farming for more details). Before 1.1, wheat could be destroyed by walking on it, this includes the player and mobs, but could be prevented by sneaking.
Bone Meal will speed up growth on certain plants (like planted seeds to fully grown wheat, saplings to trees and grass blocks to tall grass and flowers if used multiple times, due to the new bone meal effect of 1.5.)

Q: Why does my building collapse / get destroyed on its own?[edit]

A: Sand and gravel blocks are subject to gravity. A sand or gravel block that has no blocks underneath it will fall until hits another block.
Wood, wooden planks, and many other materials are flammable, and may be set on fire if placed near fire or lava, or lit by Flint and Steel. Other possible causes of a missing or damaged house could be Endermen carrying away the blocks of your house (If made of blocks that an Enderman can carry) or explosions caused by a creeper or TNT. If you are playing on multiplayer, your house could have been griefed (destroyed purposely by other players). Also, however unlikely, your house may have been hit by lightning and set on fire.

Q: Are the blocks affected by gravity?[edit]

A: Sand, Gravel, Anvils and Dragon Eggs will fall into empty space directly underneath them. TNT is subject to gravity only when primed. All other blocks—dirt, stone, glass, etc.—are not affected by gravity.

Q: Do the small plants grow into full trees?[edit]

A: None of the plants naturally present do, but if you plant saplings in a lit area with enough space above and around them, they will grow into small or large trees if given time. You can also use bonemeal to make them grow much faster.

Q: How do I play an external map in Survival Mode?[edit]

A: You must place the folder containing your map in one of the following folders:
  • Windows: %appdata%\.minecraft\saves\
  • GNU/Linux: ~/.minecraft/saves/
  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/minecraft/saves/

Q: How does "Anaglyph 3D" work?[edit]

A: You can play Minecraft in astounding 3D-o-scope by turning this option on and wearing red-cyan 3D glasses. However, you can't use cinema 3D glasses.
  • The clouds will be glitched and appear to be in the foreground with Fancy graphics.
  • The first person view of the item currently held will appear to be doubled, overlapping each other.
  • Minecraft does not support any other kind of 3D display yet. Old nVidia 3D drivers which support OpenGL may work.

Q: Who is this Notch guy I keep hearing about?[edit]

A: Notch is the creator of Minecraft, as well as its developer. He was a Lead Developer for a long time. This was changed on December 2, 2011, he stepped down and gave Jeb the job of Lead Developer. He stated that he will not work on Minecraft any longer as he is testing new coding skills on making different games.

Q: Are multiplayer servers safe?[edit]

A: It depends, however some servers can have bullies, inappropriate language, griefers, (People who destroy player-made buildings for fun and for annoyance), and/or people who send teleport requests, then kill those people. Generally, small servers have less griefers, and servers that have the PreciousStones plugin are better if you want Survival Multiplayer without griefing. If you don't want to be exposed to inappropriate language, servers that have swear block are generally the answer, although clever people stick a dot, slash, or comma in between letters for sneaky bad words, but if you see a unknown word that has a dot in it on a swear block server, generally, you can know not to say those words(e.g.: (not a swear, just an example word) he.llo, but not for java.minecraft). If you don't want bullies, small servers help, and a private server for you and your friends should completely fix your problem. For those teleport request-kills, non-PvP (Player vs. Player) servers completely fix that. On Minecraft server websites, read the comments as well as the description, because the commenters can expose nasty information about the server that you would have otherwise learnt first-hand (the hard way).