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Lava

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Lava
Lava.png
Lava
Type

Fluid

Physics

Partially

Transparency

Yes

Luminance

Yes, 15

Blast resistance

0 (Flowing)
500 (Still)

Hardness

100

Tool

This block can only be picked up using a bucket

Renewable

No

Stackable

Yes (64)

Flammable

No

Flow speed

1/30 m/ticks

Player movement speed

Very Slow

First appearances

See History

Drops

None

Data values
Flowing Lava
dec: 10 hex: A bin: 1010
Still Lava
dec: 11 hex: B bin: 1011
Name
Flowing Lava
flowing_lava
Still Lava
lava

Lava is a fluid block that can only be placed by the player when using a bucket. It emits light and sets surrounding flammable blocks (wood, fences, etc.) on fire. On newly generated maps, lava is a common sight underground and in lava lakes that occasionally generate on the surface or most likely found anywhere at the floor of the Nether.

Natural generation[edit]

Lava primarily occurs as magma in large pools deep underground, on levels 1 through 10, covering 8% of horizontal area. It can also occur as lava rivers from a single spring block, pouring down walls into pools. It is one of the most common causes of death while mining underground and is especially nasty because the items in your inventory are likely to burn up in the lava. But, if precautions are taken (not digging straight down or up, having buckets of water), accidents can be prevented. The popping sound effect of lava can also be an early indication of nearby lava.

Lava also spawns as lakes. They are rare and can be found at any elevation within any biome, can cause forest fires, and sometimes have floating chunks of stone or dirt above them, occasionally with vines or trees growing on the floating chunks (very small islands are sometimes in the center of a lava lake as well.) Lava lakes vary in size and depth, and the lakes will carve out a small air pocket area above them when generated, causing a ceiling underground or possible floating objects above ground.

2 blocks of lava can also be found in NPC Villages in Blacksmiths' houses.

In the Nether, lava is extremely common, appearing more frequently than water in the Overworld. Seas of lava occur, with sea level at level 31, about a quarter of the total height of the Nether (as 63 is about a quarter the height of the Overworld). They extend down to about level 22 at the most. Lava also appears in single blocks inside the netherrack. This makes tunneling in the Nether very risky, and where lava blocks are exposed, they create lava falls from the ceiling or walls.

Behavior[edit]

Burning[edit]

Fenceposts are not burnt by lava above them.
What it looks like inside lava
  • Most entities, including players and mobs, will take 4 (Heart.svgHeart.svg) damage every half-second from being in contact with lava, and will also be set on fire. Nether mobs (which are immune to fire) will take no damage, nor will players or mobs affected by a potion of fire resistance. In the Overworld, lava is extremely deadly and kills more or less anything in its path. If the victim touches water or rain falls on it, the fire will be extinguished, but the lava will continue to damage them directly.
  • TNT, bookshelves, leaves, carpets, wool, fences (but not gates), coal blocks, vines, tall grass, wood logs, planks and wood stairs are flammable. Wooden slabs are flammable in any form. If flammable blocks are close to lava they can catch on fire, although the mechanics are not the same as fire spreading. Non-flammable blocks are unaffected by this effect, and do not spread active fire.
  • The “embers” or “fireballs” which fly out of lava are purely decorative and do not cause fires or damage to entities.
  • Lava can kill players even in Peaceful mode. The regenerating hearts and loss of hearts from being on fire will simply counteract each other, and the player's hearts will fluctuate by only a half a heart, keeping them alive and giving them longer to find water. While touching lava, however, damage accumulates faster than natural regeneration can heal it.

Fire spread[edit]

When a stationary lava block receives a block tick, the game will do one of the following at random (each has a 1/3 chance):

  • Choose one of the nine blocks above the lava block, and if it's an air block with a flammable block adjacent place fire there.
  • As above. Then if the chosen block is not solid and didn't catch fire this tick, choose one of the nine blocks above that and set fire there if it's air and has a flammable block adjacent.
  • Three times, choose a random block from the 8 surrounding the lava block at the same Y level plus the lava block itself. If the chosen block is flammable and has air above, place fire above.

Since catching fire depends on air blocks, even torches or lava itself can prevent a flammable block from catching fire.

Flow[edit]

See also: Fluids
Old flowing lava animation, still used in Pocket Edition.

Like water, lava flows from "source blocks". Most streams or "lava-falls" come from a single source block, but lava lakes (including the "flood lava" in the bottom 10 layers) are composed entirely of source blocks. Only a source block can be captured with a bucket. Lava flows far more slowly than water, and sometimes sourceless lava flows will linger for a short time. In the Overworld, lava travels 3 blocks in any direction from a source block. Lava travels faster and further in the Nether than in the Overworld.

Lava which is flowing will destroy the following in its path: saplings, cobweb, tall grass, dead bush, wheat, flowers, mushrooms, snow on ground (but snow blocks are immune), lily pads, vines, levers, buttons, both types of torches, redstone wire, repeaters, and rails. Sugar cane holds back lava, but will disappear if the sugar cane's water source is destroyed by the lava.

Using a redstone wire, a one-block lava flow can be redirected by supplying power to the spring block, which will cause it to reset the flow towards the now-nearest terrain depression. This is further elaborated in this thread (only viewable when logged-in). It cannot, however, be reversed. This re-calculation is made because redstone wire when toggled changes the block from redstone(on), to redstone(off). Whenever a block updates on any side of lava, the lava re-calculates where to flow, but does not cut off its current direction of flow.

Lava and water[edit]

  • If lava flows on top of still or running water, it creates stone.
  • If lava flows horizontally into water, cobblestone is created. Using this you can create cobblestone farms.
  • If water flows horizontally into lava, a hiss and puff of smoke occur but nothing changes.
  • If water flows vertically into lava, cobblestone or a hiss may result.
  • If water flows into a lava source block then obsidian is created. The lava spring is destroyed in the process, so unlike cobblestone it is not continuous and renewable.
  • If vertically falling water touches a lava source block on any side obsidian is created - even if the water would not run into the lava's square.

Other points[edit]

If there is lava flowing above a block, the lava seeps through.
Ladders can stop lava from flowing.

Lava above a nontransparent block (does not include stairs,fences, sand slabs) produces dripping particles on the underside of that block that can be seen within a certain distance with particles enabled. These droplets are purely aesthetic, functioning identically to their water counterparts, except water particles are slightly faster.

Lava Bucket[edit]

Lava Bucket
Lavabucket.PNG
Lava Bucket
Type

Tools

Durability

N/A

Renewable

No

Stackable

No (Yes in Pocket Edition, up to 64)

First appearance

Infdev (June 15, 2010)

Data value

dec: 327 hex: 147 bin: 101000111

Name

lava_bucket

Lava source blocks can be collected and replaced using a bucket, in much the same way as water can.

Lava can be used to make obsidian, light an area, or create traps. When used to create obsidian, water will be used to cool the lava either before collecting it with a diamond pickaxe in a mold in the desired shape, or by emptying the bucket next to an artificially created waterfall.[1]

A Lava bucket is a very efficient fuel. It has the longest burning value of 1000 seconds, compared to 800 seconds for a coal block (a lava bucket smelts 100 items, a coal block smelts 80). After smelting starts an empty bucket remains, except sometimes on Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, the bucket disappears.

Lava buckets are often used as weapons due to its powerful damage and re-usability. Its use as a weapon is documented in the combat tutorial article.

Lava molding[edit]

Lava can be combined with water to create obsidian, stone, or cobblestone structures.

Pros[edit]

  • One does not need to contain lava on all sides; lava flowing freely down is often used.
  • The size of structures is almost limitless (the sky IS the limit). Many structures are massive (even with only a few starting blocks).
  • Lava molding can have very desirable architecture, mostly from downward flowing lava.
  • Lava molding can be much faster than building large structures by hand.
  • It is often quicker and more resource friendly to build Nether portals by creating obsidian out of lava sources. If a flammable block is placed within the completed frame, lava can also be used to ignite the block and activate the portal.

Cons[edit]

  • Lava molding can be very dangerous to players and other entities.
  • While building stone or cobblestone structures, it is easy to accidentally create obsidian, wasting a lava source block.
  • One is often limited to walls and towers.
  • Structures can only be made from either stone (which is harder to get), obsidian, or cobblestone.
  • Lava buckets each use one bucket and one inventory space, limiting the amount that can be carried.
  • Because water cannot be placed in the Nether, lava molding does not function in the Nether.

Data values[edit]

Still lava has the ID name minecraft:lava, while flowing lava has the ID minecraft:flowing_lava

Block ID Name Numerical ID
Still Lava water 11
Flowing Lava flowing_lava 10

Data values[edit]

If bit 0x8 is set, this liquid is "falling" and only spreads downward. At this level, the lower bits are essentially ignored, since this block is then at its highest fluid level.

The lower three bits are the fluid block's level. 0x0 is the highest fluid level (not necessarily filling the block - this depends on the neighboring fluid blocks above each upper corner of the block). Data values increase as the fluid level of the block drops: 0x1 is next highest, 0x2 lower, on through 0x7, the lowest fluid level. Along a line on a flat plane, water drops one level per meter from the source, lava drops one in the nether and two everywhere else.

The stationary versions of each fluid are "stable" and currently not being checked by the engine for further level changes. Oddly the in-code names for stationary water and lava are "water" and "lava" and the regular versions are "flowing_water" and "flowing_lava".

Block state[edit]

Name Value Description

 level
0–15 Vertical height of the lava.

History[edit]

Lava at the bottom of the map in Classic.
The same area as above, with water flooded in and bedrock exposed.
Pre-classic
rd-161348 The texture for lava can now be found within the game.
Classic
0.0.12a Added lava.
0.0.19a Lava-Pre Creative 0.0.19a.png The original texture was replaced. The old texture can still be found in the terrain.png file in the minecraft.jar

In Classic, lava spreads by duplicating itself to open horizontal and downwards squares like water. Lava is slower, though, and can be easily outrun. A quick player can block the flow of lava by building a dam. However, if the lava wave is large, a player may not be able to build fast enough. Also like water, lava slows down the player moving through it but it does so to a greater extent, and swimming through it causes greater damage. Lava is also more opaque than water and is harder to see through while you are submerged; you cannot see through lava from outside it. At the bottom of the map, lava can be found directly above bedrock in a different form, as it will trap the player and prevent the player from leaving unless water is let in and collides with it or if the player places a sand or gravel block, letting it drop into the lava. If water is let into the area where the lava is, the lava will form stone, allowing the stone block to be removed to expose bedrock underneath.

Lava's texture became animated.
0.24_06 Surface lava is now possible, however unlikely.
Lava now causes damage.
Indev
January 11, 2010 Lava now sets fire to flammable materials.
Infdev
June 17, 2010 Lava flows more realistically across surfaces but not as much as water does. Lava will flow for a total distance of 3 blocks "away" from the source block. Just like water, lava will flow in a single line towards the nearest terrain depression within four blocks. Items thrown into lava flows will disintegrate. All objects burn instantaneously when dropped into lava. Fired arrows will not disintegrate, but will appear to catch fire and can still be picked up. Flaming arrows will set enemies on fire, but will not start fires on blocks. Magma is no longer present at the bottom of maps in this mode. Lava can melt ice and snow (but not snow blocks), much like torches can, but melt a larger area. Lava is luminous and a large lava flow is visible in the dark from quite a distance.
Alpha
1.0.6_03 Obsidian was readded after being removed in Indev.
Seecret Friday 9 Buckets of lava can be used to fuel a furnace for 100 smelts, consuming the lava and the bucket.
1.2.0 The Nether added, with lots of lava everywhere. Lava also flows further in The Nether.
1.2.6 Right-clicking with a lava bucket on chests and other blocks with GUI s no longer places the lava. [2]
Lava lakes added.
Beta
1.8 When lava is touched by rain, it emits smoke (but does not transform into another block).
Official release
1.0.0 Beta 1.9-pre5 Source blocks used to be unable to be duplicated over an area deeper than 1 block. Jeb said that this was a bug and is now fixed.
Source blocks are destroyed when completely surrounded with TNT.
When lava flows above a block, its underside now emits dripping particles.
Lava blocks now form stone when falling directly onto water source blocks.
Removed the ability to create an infinite lava source using a plus-sign shaped arrangement of blocks with four lava source blocks flowing into a central empty block.
1.2.1 12w05a Lava (as well as the embers that pop out of it) makes sounds. These sounds were in the game files for a long time but they had not played in-game.
1.3.1 12w15a Lava can be fired out of dispensers.
1.5 There is "hidden lava" in the nether, and lava flows much more quickly in the nether.
13w02a The texture of lava is now accessible. Before, the texture was hidden in the code and not accessible by any normal basis.
Lava texture has been changed slightly.
1.8 14w26a Flowing lava and still lava removed from the /give command.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.3.3 Lava no longer creates fire, due to a game crashing spreading bug.
0.7.0 Lava now lights flammable blocks around it on fire.
It now has the same texture as it did before PC release 1.5
Added lava buckets.
0.9.0 build 1 Underground ponds of lava can now be found, making lava much more easy to obtain.
Added lava dripping particles.
Console Edition
TU1 Added lava.
TU9 Dispensers were given the ability to shoot out the liquids inside lava buckets. They could also suck up the liquids if activated again, but did not fill up the buckets with the liquid dropped due to a bug.
TU10 Fixed the bug where the liquid did not properly fill empty buckets.
TU12 Lava (as well as the embers that pop out of it) makes sounds.

Issues[edit]

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

Trivia[edit]

  • A water source block placed 1 block away upwards diagonally (but not through corners) from a lava block will first flow in the direction of the lava, then other directions facing away from the lava. This happens because water physics treat the place that lava occupies as empty, and try to flow to it. Once the water turns the lava into obsidian, the water physics update to flow in all directions. (The same thing happens with lava flowing over water.)
  • An easy way to 'fill-in' large pools of lava is to use gravel or sand, which will fall to the bottom of the pool and stack upwards.
  • The stars are visible when in lava, even though it's supposed to be opaque.
  • If an item falls into the edge of a lava pool, it may pop back out and appear as if it were burning; it can still be picked up. Occurs more commonly in SMP.
  • Although lava is a liquid, it is not possible to drown in lava. This applies to all mobs.
  • Unlike water, lava does not stop a player's fall, though 9 continuous blocks of lava will mitigate any fall damage.
  • Arrows shot by the player will only catch fire if shot in flowing lava and not still lava.
  • You cannot put 4 blocks of lava in a 2x2 square or 1x3 line to create an infinite source of lava like you can with water, even in the Nether.
  • End Portals can be seen yellow if exposed to the surface when you are in lava.
  • Lava can also be used as a garbage disposal by dropping unwanted items into it.
  • Lava can set off tripwires, because they break placed string. It will only trigger it once.
  • While the player is in lava, all entities appear bright red.
  • Lava is the only block that is much easier to destroy with 2 TNT than with 1. The first TNT makes it start flowing, which allows the second TNT to destroy it.
  • When the player is in a bed, they cannot be damaged by lava.
  • When you are submerged in lava with the Night Vision status effect, the players view turns a brighter orange than without the effect.
  • In console versions, lava cannot be placed near the spawn point.
    • However, Dispensers can dispense it near the spawn point. (Bug?)
  • Occasionally a dropped item will fail to burn up in lava, instead catching on fire and hopping around the surface randomly. These random hops (each one occurring just as it should disappear) sometimes take it back to shore but sometimes never do. This happens more often in the Xbox 360 version but has been observed in the PC version rarely.
  • Lava 'currents' don't move mobs like water currents.
  • When it rains on lava, the rate at which the black "ember" particles appear increases dramatically.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]