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Notchface.png Sometimes the fans are right, too. Like ladders. I did not want ladders in Minecraft at all. Ladders are never fun. They’re not fun in Minecraft either. But they’re a very good utility. It’s an easy way to get straight up without having stairs going back and forth. So I added them anyway because the fans convinced me.


Solid Block







Blast resistance





This block can be broken with any tool, but an axe is the quickest




Yes (64)



First appearances

See History



Data value

dec: 65 hex: 41 bin: 1000001



Ladders are wooden blocks used for climbing walls either vertically or horizontally. They can only be placed on the sides of other blocks.

Obtaining[edit | edit source]

Ladders can be broken using any tool, but an axe is the quickest.

Hardness 0.4
Breaking time[note 1]
Hand 0.65
Wooden 0.35
Stone 0.2
Iron 0.1
Diamond 0.1
Golden 0.05
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds.

Natural generation[edit | edit source]

Ladders occur naturally in library rooms of strongholds and in intersection rooms with a wooden ceiling. Ladders can also be found in Villages; specifically, in churches and houses with roofs which have fence railings.

Crafting[edit | edit source]

Ingredients Crafting recipe



Usage[edit | edit source]

  • Ladders provide a way to safely cushion a player's impact after a free fall. Upon entering a ladder's area of effect, the player's speed is reduced instantly to normal ladder descent speed and no damage is taken. Care must be taken to avoid landing on the narrow top surface of the ladder, as this will incur falling damage as normal.
  • Holding the sneak key while climbing a ladder will grab hold of the ladder, to prevent you from falling off. When the player is holding on to a ladder, the rate which blocks are mined decreases.
  • Any mob can climb a ladder in the same way a player does: by pushing against it. Mobs are not smart enough to deliberately use ladders — they won't stay on a ladder to get somewhere, but a ladder directly in their straight-line path (or if they turn in the process) will let them climb up.

Placement[edit | edit source]

Like torches, a ladder occupies one block from the side on which it is placed and cannot be placed on glass, leaves, ice, slabs, glowstone, or sea lanterns. Unlike torches, however, they resist water and will create an air pocket. They also resist lava, and can be used instead of glass to let lava light shine through a ceiling. If the player places a ladder in lava or water just on the ground not near a wall, the air pocket will be present but invisible.

How ladders work[edit | edit source]

A ladder takes effect whenever the player's lower half is in the block occupied by a ladder. These effects are:

  • If the player pushes against a wall, the player moves upward instead. (Thus inside a 1×1 ladder shaft, the player can use any movement key to move upward.)
  • If the player is moving perpendicular to the ladder block and enters the ladder block, the player will begin to move upwards, but will most likely fall off the ladder shortly after, because the player will continue to move horizontally.
  • The player's maximum downward speed is reduced to a “descending ladder” speed.
  • The player's horizontal movement friction is the same as on ice. (That is, moving around in the tiny space the player is in while still hanging on the ladder at the same level.)

Data values[edit | edit source]

Block data[edit | edit source]

See also: Data values
Bits Values

A three-bit field storing a value from 2 to 5:

  • 2: Ladder facing north
  • 3: Ladder facing south
  • 4: Ladder facing west
  • 5: Ladder facing east

Invalid values default to 2.

0x8 Unused.

Block state[edit | edit source]

See also: Block states
Name Value Description

The direction from the block the ladder is attached to, to the ladder.

Video[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

June 7, 2010 Added ladders. In an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Notch stated that he never originally wanted to add ladders because they're never fun, and that the fans convinced him to do it.[1]
Ladders could be placed on every other block and still be climbable because the player could climb a ladder when any part of the body was on it, not just the lowest part.
The ladder crafting recipe produced one ladder per 7 sticks.
1.4 Pressing the sneak key now stops the player from moving down the ladder.
1.5 The player can no longer climb ladders spaced every other block.
The crafting recipe now produces 2 ladders, thus the 1.5 changes did not change the number of sticks needed to make a ladder of a given height.
1.6 Ladders can no longer be placed on glowstone.
Official release
1.1 12w01a Removed collision boxes for ladders.
1.2.1 12w03a Re-added collision boxes for ladders.
1.2-pre The crafting recipe now produces 3 ladders per 7 sticks, as opposed to 1 during Infdev and 2 during 1.1.
1.4.2 12w38a Added a sound for climbing up ladders.
1.5 13w02a Added death messages for ladders: "Player fell off a ladder"
1.8 14w31a Ladders are mined faster using axes.
1.9 15w31a The ladder's bounding box is now 316 block (formerly 18).
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.1.0 Added ladders.
0.9.0 build 10 Made the ladder collision box slightly thinner.
0.12.1 build 1 Added a sound for climbing up ladders.
Console Edition
TU1 Added ladders.
TU12 Crafting recipe now yields 3 ladders instead of 2.
Pi Edition
0.1.1 Added ladders.

Issues[edit | edit source]

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

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • It is possible to use ladders one block apart in a corner by placing every other ladder on the other side of the corner. This method is a bit hard to use, as you will need to jump and shift sides constantly.
  • By holding the jump key, players can still use water ladders that have ladders placed every other block.
  • If you stop yourself on a ladder and place a sign, you will still stay in midair without having to hold Shift since the game is paused in singleplayer. This does not work in multiplayer since the game is not paused.
  • Attempting to place a ladder on a spot another ladder occupies may instead place the ladder somewhere near by (because of the ladder's hitbox).
  • It is possible to remove a ladder while standing on a ladder and holding the sneak key, but it can take a long time because the countdown for breaking the ladder often resets.
  • Block mining time is considerably reduced if you are in a ladder.
  • Unlike walking, consuming food, blocking with a sword, and pulling back a bow do not slow you down while climbing ladders.
  • Like vines, ladders slow you down when walked through.
  • Ladders are the only blocks that are neither flammable nor usable as furnace fuel, despite being made of wood and classified as a wooden block (other than wooden doors).
  • If the player is on a slab in front of the ladder, they will have to jump to get on the ladder despite only being 1/2 a block down.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. a b