Piston

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Piston
Piston.gif
Sticky Piston.gif


Transparency

Yes

Luminance

None

Blast resistance

2.5

Tool

Any tool

Renewable

Yes

Stackable

Yes (64)

Flammable

No

Drops

Itself

Data values

See Data values

Pistons are blocks capable of pushing most blocks, depending on the direction they are facing. They come in two varieties: a
regular piston
, and a
sticky piston
, which can also pull movable blocks.

Obtaining[edit | edit source]

A piston can be broken using any tool with equal efficiency, and will always drop itself.

Block
Piston
Hardness 0.5
Breaking time[note 1]
Hand 0.75
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds.

Natural generation[edit | edit source]

Three sticky pistons generate as part of each jungle temple.

Crafting[edit | edit source]

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe

Piston

Cobblestone +
Any Wood Planks +
Iron Ingot +
Redstone



























Sticky Piston

Piston +
Slimeball












Usage[edit | edit source]

See also: Piston uses and Piston circuits

Pistons are always placed facing towards the player. When powered, the piston's wooden surface (head) extends outward by one block for 1.5 redstone ticks (0.15 seconds, barring lag), which can be heard within a 31x31x31 cube centered on the activating piston, the piston can push up to 12 blocks in a line with it. Any entities in the path of the extending head will be pushed with the blocks. If there is no place for the entities to go, the block will push inside the mob, suffocating it if the block is not transparent.

When a piston loses power, it will retract by simply pulling its head back instantly (0 redstone ticks), unless it is a sticky piston, in which case it will also pull the block in front of the head.

Sticky pistons only stick to a block when retracting, so a block next to the piston head can be pushed aside by another piston and sticky pistons cannot hold falling blocks horizontally against gravity. They also don't pull blocks 1 redstone tick (0.1 seconds, barring lag) later after pushing them. This can be done by using a 1-tick on pulse.

A piston that pushes a slime block will bounce any entity that it displaces in the direction the piston is facing.

Blocks that stick to walls (such as levers) can be placed on pistons or sticky pistons.[Pocket edition only]

Limitations[edit | edit source]

Pistons can push most blocks, and sticky pistons can pull most blocks, except those listed in the table below. Sticky pistons will simply leave a block behind if it cannot pull it.

Pistons will not push blocks into the void or the beyond the top of the map. They also cannot push more than 12 blocks. In these situations, the piston simply will not extend.

Blocks that cannot be pushed or pulled:

Block Effect (PC & CE) Effect (PE)
Cannot be pushed or pulled.
Can be pushed or pulled.
Breaks when pushed, turning to drops when applicable.
Turns into flowing water directly after being moved.

Pistons also will not move blocks that are "attached to a block", as they will be detached and drop as an item. Exceptions include:


  • Any rails
    : as long as they remain on top of a solid block in their new position, and that block isn't moving at the same time.
    • An exception is that when the rail and the block supporting it are on two parallel pistons, and those pistons are extending, the rail remains attached. Trying to move both on the same piston using slime blocks doesn't work, nor does moving them on perpendicular pistons (although the latter will temporarily appear to have worked because of bug MC-75716).
    • Rails will re-orient themselves after being pushed just as they do when placed manually.

  • Carpet

Powering pistons[edit | edit source]

Pistons powered by one line of redstone.

Pistons can be powered in various ways:

  • If a redstone wire is in a line shape towards the piston, as the wire will not automatically curve to the piston.
  • Pistons can be powered by a powered block directly adjacent to them, whether it is strongly powered or weakly powered.
  • Pistons can be powered by a redstone torch directly adjacent to them.
  • Pistons can be powered by any powered block one block above and to the side, including the "activated space" above it (if a piston, both sticky and normal were to be facing up and a Block of redstone on its head, it will extend when powered, but won't retract when the power it receives from the side or back turns off). However, the piston won't extend or retract until it receives a block update. This property is called quasi-connectivity and can be used to make a BUD switch.
  • A repeater cannot transfer power through a piston, as pistons are a transparent block.
  • An upwards-facing piston can't be powered by a block above it, unless it is extended.

Slime blocks[edit | edit source]


A


B





Piston A may extend because the slime block ignores the adjacent furnace. Piston B may not extend because the diamond block is prevented from moving by the furnace and so the slime block will also refuse to move.

When a slime block is pushed or pulled by a piston, while moving, adjacent blocks will also move with the slime block, unless a non-piston movable block stops the blocks that are "grabbed" by the slime blocks. These blocks may in turn push other blocks, not just the blocks in the line in front of the piston. For example, a Slime Block sitting on the ground will attempt to move the ground block underneath itself, which will in turn have to push additional ground blocks in the direction of motion just as if it were being pushed directly by a piston.

The same occurs when a slime block is moved by an adjacent Slime Block. For example, a 2×2×2 cube of Slime Blocks may be pushed or pulled as a unit by a single piston acting on any of the blocks in the cube.

A slime block adjacent to a block that cannot be moved by pistons will ignore the immobile block. But if an adjacent block could be moved but is prevented by the presence of an immobile block, the slime block will be prevented from moving.

Slime blocks are not pulled by a non-sticky piston, nor are they moved if an adjacent (non-Slime) block is moved by a piston.

The maximum of 12 blocks moved by a piston still applies. For example, a 2×2×3 collection of Slime Blocks may be pushed or pulled by a sticky piston as long as no other movable blocks are adjacent to it.

A piston cannot move itself via a "hook" constructed of slime blocks, but self-propelled contraptions can be created with multiple pistons. For that, see the article Tutorials/Flying technologies.

Technical components[edit | edit source]

Piston head[edit | edit source]

Piston Head
Block 34.png
Block 34 Sticky.png

Type

Technical, Solid

Physics

No

Transparency

Yes

Luminance

No

Blast resistance

2.5

Tool

Any tool

Drops

None

Data value

dec: 34 hex: 22 bin: 100010

Name

piston_head

The piston head (a.k.a. "block 34") is a technical block used as the second block of an extended piston which can only be placed using the /setblock command. A block state defines whether it is a normal or a sticky piston head. Though, it disappears after a block is placed next to it (Block Update).

Block state[edit | edit source]

See also: Block states

The minecraft:piston_head block uses following block states:

Name Value Description

 facing
north
south
east
west
up
down
The direction the piston head is pointing.

 short
true
false
If true, the piston arm is shorter than usual, by 4 pixels.

 type
normal
sticky
The type of piston head.

Piston extension[edit | edit source]

Piston Extension

Type

Technical

Physics

No

Transparency

Yes

Luminance

No

Blast resistance

0

Tool

None

Tile Entity ID

Piston

Data values

See Data values

Name

piston_extension

The piston extension (a.k.a. "Block Being Moved By Piston" or simply "block 36") is an unobtainable technical block that contains part of a piston head, and/or part of one or two blocks that the piston is carrying into or out of the grid cell (including blocks carried indirectly via slime blocks). Since moving blocks vary in how much of each grid cell they occupy, they can't be stored as normal blocks and are instead stored as block entities. It is overwritten with air, the piston head or the carried block at the end of the piston stroke; but if it is placed by a command and no piston is connected, it will remain indefinitely.

It is invisible, non-solid, and cannot be broken without the use of commands. It decreases the light level of light passing through by 1. Although it is non-solid, fluids cannot pass through it. It also prevents from building at its location. The game treats the block as a stone block when it comes to their breaking animation and the player's footstep sounds.

Block entity[edit | edit source]

See also: Block entity format

The minecraft:piston_extension technical block has a block entity associated with it that holds additional data about the block. The block's block entity ID is Piston.


  • Block entity data
    • Tags common to all block entities see Template:Nbt inherit/blockentity/template

    •  blockId: Block IDs of the block being moved.

    •  blockData: Data value of the block being moved.

    •  facing: Direction in which the block will be pushed.

    •  progress: How far the block has been moved.

    •  extending: 1 or 0 (true/false) - true if the block is being pushed.

Block state[edit | edit source]

See also: Block states

The minecraft:piston_extension technical block uses following block states:

Name Value Description

 extended
true
false
If true, the block is being pushed by the piston.

 facing
north
south
east
west
up
down
The direction the block is being pushed by the piston.

Data values[edit | edit source]

ID[edit | edit source]

Block ID Name Numerical ID
Piston piston 33
Sticky Piston sticky_piston 29
Piston Head piston_head 34
Piston Extension piston_extension 36 (250 in Pocket Edition)

Block data[edit | edit source]

See also: Data values
Bits Values
0x0 facing down
0x1 facing up
0x2 facing north
0x3 facing south
0x4 facing west
0x5 facing east
0x6, 0x7 6-sided piston
0x8 (bit flag) When 1, the piston is extended.

Block state[edit | edit source]

See also: Block states

The minecraft:piston and minecraft:sticky_piston blocks use following block states:

Name Value Description

 extended
true
false
If true, the piston is extended.

 facing
north
south
east
west
up
down
The direction the piston head is pointing.
The opposite from the direction the player faces while placing the piston.

Video[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Beta
1.7 Added pistons.
The original piston was a mod posted on the Minecraft Forums by Hippoplatimus.[1] The code for that version was given to Jeb, who then worked on implementing pistons into vanilla Minecraft.
  • Hippoplatimus is in the game's credits under "Additional Programming", like other modders whose work made it into vanilla Minecraft.
Another user, DiEvAl, privately submitted code as well,[2] including the idea of Tile Entities to track moving blocks.[3]
However, due to Jeb's work on the Pocket Edition, pistons were delayed, and were not released for the Beta 1.5 update nor for the Beta 1.6 update. Finally, when the Pocket Edition was good enough to show at E3, Jeb went back to work on the PC version of Minecraft and pistons were finally added in version Beta 1.7, including Sticky Pistons.
The piston texture as screen-captured while in development had iron bands running over the head. The bands were removed for the release, leaving only iron brackets around the corners and edges.
1.7_01 Sticky pistons do not stick when they aren't retracting.
1.7.3 It is now impossible to place a jack o'lantern onto a sticky piston.
Official release
1.3.1 12w22a Sticky pistons generate naturally inside jungle temples. In the temples the pistons are used to form a puzzle mechanism.
12w27a Updated Pistons to make them less error-prone, thus they also appear to update slower. This also altered the way Pistons work, so you might have to adapt your repeater delays and similar. For this change, pistons now take 2 redstone ticks (4 game ticks) to extend, but they still retract instantly.
1.7.2 13w37a Block 34 (Piston Head) and Block 36 (Piston Extension) are removed from the /give command.
1.8 14w17a When all blocks were converted to use block states, block/data-value combinations 33/6, 33/7, 29/6 and 29/7 (6-sided pistons) were removed.
14w18a Slime blocks will now push and pull blocks adjacent when connected to sticky pistons.
Extending a piston with a slime block on top of it will launch the entity (mobs, players, items, launched arrows etc) into the air.
14w19a Slime blocks can now push entities sideways and downwards when attached to a piston.
14w32a The piston extension block no longer has a hitbox.
1.9 15w49a Unextended pistons, downwards-facing pistons, and upwards-facing piston extensions are now considered to have a solid top surface, like upside-down stairs and top-half slabs.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.15.0 build 1 Added pistons and sticky pistons with a version exclusive animation and the ability to push block entities.
Console Edition
TU3 CU1 1.0 Patch 1 Added pistons and sticky pistons.
TU14 1.04 Pistons now take double the amount of time (2 redstone ticks or 4 game ticks) to extend, but they still retract instantly.

Issues[edit | edit source]

Issues relating to “Piston” are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • When blocks are pushed by a piston, they are momentarily non-solid and cause other kinds of entities on the moving block to fall through it. This effect lasts longer for the slime block than other blocks; entities can fall through one in the time it takes a piston to extend.
  • When toggled between on and off rapidly with a gravity affected block (such as sand) above it, a piston will eventually break the block, which can be picked up as a resource. However, gravel will never break into flint.
  • Mobs can spawn inside the piston head block.
  • Carpet can be placed on the piston extension block, and will remain even if is replaced with a solid block using /setblock.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]