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Solid Block









Blast resistance





This block can be broken with any tool, but a shovel is the quickest




Yes (64)



First appearance

Classic 0.0.14a


Itself (90% chance)
(10% chance)

Data value

dec: 13 hex: D bin: 1101



Gravel is a type of block typically found in naturally occurring pits, underwater, on beaches (more commonly in older versions of the game), NPC Villages as pathways, or in The Nether. In the Overworld, it is generated at a rate of approximately 3.29% that of stone between layers 1 and 111. In the Nether, gravel will mostly be found naturally at layer 63, 64 and 65.

As a FallingSand entity, gravel is affected by gravity and will fall to the nearest solid block below it. Players and mobs will suffocate under gravel. If the space beneath falling gravel is occupied by a partial block, such as a Torch, the gravel will drop as an item.

Gravel blocks are the only source of flint, which has 10% chance of dropping when gravel is mined. Flint is used to create Flint and Steel and Arrows. Gravel blocks that don't drop flint can be picked up, placed, and destroyed again. However, if a gravel block drops flint, it does not additionally drop a gravel block, preventing the creation of an infinite amount of flint. Flint can be obtained from gravel with any tool. Flint can also be obtained by using TNT on gravel. Use of the Fortune enchantment will improve the chances of flint.


[edit] Usage

Gravel's abundance and gravity-obeying property makes it useful for a variety of tasks, especially since Sand has other uses. Filling caves in with gravel is a quick way to prevent mobs from spawning, but a lot of gravel is needed.

Gravel can be used to create a suffocation trap.

Gravel can also be used to make airlocks (sand-switches). Gravel is a bit less noticeable underground than sand.

Gravel can be used to help with obsidian mining, though it is somewhat time consuming and wastes lava. Locate a natural lava lake, and start to fill it in with gravel as if to get rid of it, being careful to count the amount of blocks needed to reach the top. The rest of the lake can be filled to one less than that. Once the lava becomes obsidian, it can be safely mined; there shouldn't be any lava underneath. This method is somewhat time consuming, and also can be a little hit and miss while placing the gravel, as the bottom of the lake might not be completely flat.

Gravel can be used to easily descend a cavern or ravine. By placing enough gravel at the top of a hole, it will eventually pile up to the top; at that point it is safe to mine the stack directly downwards. Gravel columns can be quickly removed by placing a torch under the bottom most gravel block. This makes gravel useful for pillar jumping.

Gravel is not commonly used for decoration. Due to its dull color and the fact it must be supported by another block, it has few advantages. It is often used underneath rails to mimic real railroads, since a layer of gravel can be found underneath rails. It also can be used as cheap replacement for iron blocks in building because of its somewhat metallic texture.

[edit] As a crafting ingredient

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe

Coarse Dirt

Gravel +

Grid layout Arrow (small).png Coarse Dirt4
Dirt Gravel
Gravel Dirt

[edit] Power-mining

[edit]Falling Gravel
First appearance

Classic 0.0.14a

Network ID


Savegame ID


Since gravel will fall to the lowest y-coordinate below it if there is no solid block underneath it, if the lowest block in a column of gravel is occupied by a partial block, such as a Torch, the gravel block will drop and turn into an item when it hits the partial block. This is an effective way to harvest stacks of gravel, although flint can only be obtained by actually mining gravel. Gravel can mined at a great speed when using an iron or better shovel on a stack with more than 2 blocks on it; because the gravel is mined faster than it drops, this is as fast as dropping it on a partial block. This is useful when reusing gravel in an attempt to get flint. The best position to do this is with the cross-hairs pointing at the upper portion of the bottom-most block in a stack.

[edit] Video

[edit] History

0.0.14a Gravel0.0.14a.PNG Added gravel, which behaves similarly to sand's current behavior.
0.0.15a The gravel texture was changed: Gravel-Pre Beta 1.9pre5.png
A glitch allowed players to raise the height of a fluid block by placing Gravel (or Sand) over it. The Gravel would stay suspended in mid-air until it was broken. When broken, a fluid block corresponding to the type below the Gravel would appear where the block was. The suspended fluid block would remain immobile until a block was placed next to it, causing a flood. This bug has since been fixed, but has been reported that it has happened before. Gravel, for a time could be crafted by breaking down cobblestone, but was patched and forgotten during 0.5.
April 13, 2010 Re-added gravel.
June 17, 2010 Added natural gravel underground for more varied caves.
June 18, 2010 FallingSand entities fall more realistically.
1.0.5 FallingSand entities float above snow covered tiles when placed above them, an unintended behavior.
1.2 FallingSand entities behave better in SMP.
1.7.3 A bug was introduced allowing gravel to be duplicated.
Official release
1.0.0 1.9pre5 Gravel's texture is changed to Gravel-Pre 12w21a.png.
1.2.5 The duplication bug introduced in 1.7.3 was fixed.
1.3.1 12w21a Gravel's texture is changed to Gravel.png, which had been previously teased in the background of a screenshot released by Jeb on 21 May 2012, a preview of his experimentation on the trading system.
1.4.2 12w38a Gravel now has new sounds when being placed and walked on.
1.8 14w25a Gravel can be used to craft Coarse Dirt.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.1.0 Added gravel
0.6.0 Gravel is now affected by gravity
0.8.0 build 2 Gravel texture changed to Gravel.png
0.9.0 build 1 Gravel no longer falls from spawn.
Console Edition
TU1 Added gravel.
TU9 Gravel's texture was changed to Gravel.png.
Pi Edition
0.1.1 Added gravel.

[edit] Issues

Issues relating to "Gravel" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.

[edit] Trivia

  • In the Nether, it is possible to find massive cliffs made of naturally-floating gravel. Just like with Sand, if one block of the gravel is destroyed, another block is placed adjacently, or if a Ghast's fireball hits any of these blocks, all of the adjacent floating blocks will collapse, making an effective death trap.
  • Before Beta 1.8 terrain generation, on gravel beaches, there was usually a two-high block wall upland from the beach.
  • It takes, on average, 12 wooden shovels to convert a stack of gravel into flint.
  • If a gravel FallingSand entity falls into lava, it will burn as if it was an item, although it will not disappear.
  • If gravel falls into a cobweb, it will be slowed down and then converted to an item.
  • Gravel, Obsidian, Bedrock, Lava, (and as of Title Update 9 on the Xbox 360 edition iron bars) are the only blocks that naturally spawn in multiple dimensions.
  • If a player is standing on a stack of sand or gravel, and the stack falls on a non-solid block, the player will fall fast enough to take damage or even die.
  • Gravel will often fall into caves making a mock dead end. Thus, if a player encounters a gravel dead-end while mining, removing the gravel may reveal additional passageways.
  • Sometimes, over-hanging lands in extreme hills biomes will be formed with gravel as a bottom layer, and this normally falls to the ground below, leaving gravel patches on the ground.
  • If you blast gravel with TNT while it is falling, then instead of being destroyed it will be forced away, like a mob or player.
  • On a map, gravel looks yellow, making it easy to mistake gravel for sand, although in the Nether, it is known that it is gravel, not sand.
  • In real life, a pickaxe is often a better choice than a shovel for digging through compacted gravel or metal.
  • Because of the ability to reset the Nether in the Xbox 360 and PS3 edition, gravel is renewable in it, if not considered cheating.
  • Along with Sand, Gravel existed in the Far Lands prior to Beta 1.8, as multiple falling entities, causing extreme lag.
  • If a falling sand entity like gravel is falling in the centre of blocks, it will glitch to the side of what it is mostly on at the times of landing

[edit] Gallery

[edit] References