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Two players playing Spleef in a Beta stadium

Spleef is one of many popular player-invented games played in Minecraft. The overall objective is to be the last player standing. The name is a play on the word grief as the game involves destroying blocks. The game can be played entirely in vanilla. Though the peak of its popularity was in Minecraft Classic, it has since made a comeback in Beta and the full release.


Typically, Spleef games take place in a stadium, or elevated surface which consists of a generally large platform of blocks, known as the Spleef block. The platform is usually surrounded by a building for people to spectate.

The goal is to destroy blocks on the platform near or under the opponent to cause them to fall, while avoiding suffering that fate yourself. Those who fall from the platform lose the round, and can fall into a pit, lava, or many other cruel fates designed by the stadium constructors. In some variations the losers fall onto additional platforms to play for second place. Creating blocks during the playing of Spleef is not usually allowed, except in variations. The time Spleef matches take depends on the size of the stadium, and Spleef can be played individually or on teams.

In Beta, since blocks aren't instantly destroyed when clicked on, the Spleef block is typically an easy to destroy material. For example, some common Spleef blocks are netherrack, snow blocks, wool, dirt, leaves, TNT, and clay blocks. More often than not, players are given tools to help destroy the blocks more quickly. However, since the Creative mode in Beta 1.8 which allows instant block destruction, this isn't necessary unless the world that the spleef arena is located is in survival mode. Creative mode generally isn't used for a server's main Spleef arena, because it gives players the opportunity to cheat by using the fly function, and by placing blocks such as bedrock.


Spleef was started on a server before June 23, 2009 soon after the Classic Multiplayer Creative Mode release. According to the first wiki entry, the rules and name were created by Greenslimy, Pentaclam and Maulrus. It first gained popularity after Notch blogged about this article on his Tumblr.[1] Soon after, a plethora of spleef servers and variations sprung up. Spleef instantly caught on in Minecraft Classic, while slowly also gaining popularity in Alpha, which soon became Beta. It is considerably popular in the latest version of Minecraft today, with almost every major public server having some sort of Spleef arena.

It is questionable, but it could have started as a port from Blockland to minecraft. In 2004, in Blockland was a "spleef" where you would throw spears at the blocks and they would disappear, thus killing anyone on them. Someone who played this may have re-created it in Minecraft and others started doing it too.

Tron 2.0 featured a similar game mode in 2002, with opposing teams using the Tron disc to destroy platforms on either side of a chasm.


Spleef has a few basic rules to ensure a fair experience without being too restrictive, but as with many activities, rules vary greatly from one server to another.

  • Creating blocks between the game's start and end is forbidden.
  • Creating or destroying blocks after you have lost the round is not allowed.
  • The losers must replace the blocks that were deleted during the game after the round is over. (Optional, occasionally a script is used instead)
  • If players have entered a stalemate and are all on separate "islands," and unable to access each other to continue play, either the person with the most space wins, or the arena is reset to continue play. Usually, the latter will only happen in arenas that use a script to reset the play field.
  • Hitting players is against the rules, except in variations.

Making a Spleef Arena[edit]

Inside of a Spleef arena.
Outside of a Spleef arena.

Depending on the type of server you're running, and what version of Minecraft you're using (Classic or Beta) can give many possibilities and allow for different construction methods.

Designing a Minecraft Full Version Spleef Arena[edit]

If you're using the Minecraft Vanilla server software, then designing and maintaining a stadium as a server operator can be fairly easy, and you have a variety of building options. For the actual arena surface, most basic arenas will use dirt, as it is easy to repair and can be destroyed almost instantly by shovels, making it a decent spleefing surface. Sometimes, stadium constructors will opt for another block, such as snow, glass, clay blocks, and sometimes even TNT, as it can be destroyed instantly by your hand and doesn't ignite when destroyed with any tools or your hand. Putting TNT and Water under it, giving a player Flint and Steel makes it faster too.

According to common official dimensions, a Spleef arena should be 50 x 100 blocks of snow with optional rounded corners. Spleef players should have diamond shovels (optionally enchanted) to ensure fast block destruction.

Walls surrounding the arena are usually made to prevent players from falling off the block, or evading gameplay. The walls can be made with hard to mine materials, such as cobblestone, brick, or even obsidian. The arena building, or stadium could be made with a roof of glass depending on the biome the structure is located in, to prevent snow or rain from interfering with gameplay. Most of the time, arenas are surrounded with towers or buildings, or other elevated ground for spectators to watch the game.

The pit is usually just a stone pit below the arena, with a tunnel or stairway out for losers to ascend to the spectating level to watch the rest of the game. Alternatively, as another passive option for losers, a water pit can be added. Many stadium builders use a lava pit instead as a more intimidating consequence for losing, and to make playing the game a lot more fun. Chests are usually placed around the stadium and filled with shovels, and are also to let participants store their valuables so they don't lose them if they lose.

Designing a Minecraft Classic Spleef Arena[edit]

Ideally, the arena (or stadium) should be very large, more than 32 x 32 blocks in size. Walls made of any block can surround the arena, and usually some elevated ground around the arena is designed for spectators. The spleef block, or surface in which the game takes place on, is usually made with wool, but it can be made with any block. Stadium constructors typically use wool so they can incorporate colored wool and make a pattern or design for the surface. However, an elaborate design is not advisable, because after a game of spleef, the players will usually patch the surface with random blocks instead of maintaining the intended design.

It is important that the pit is constructed directly below the spleef surface, and the stairs or a tunnel is included to allow losers out. Although this is optional, most Spleef stadiums are designed with a glass roof to allow for Spectators, or losers that have climbed from the pit below, to view the game.

Spleef Videos[edit]

  • Official curse video

Spleef Arena Gallery[edit]

Spleef Variations[edit]

There are a few variations on the rules of Spleef for variety and new challenges. A simple video shows the first six variations.

Slow Guy Spleef[edit]

This is the same as normal Spleef, but your hunger bar will be reduced to 3 units of hunger, so you can't sprint.

Snowball Spleef[edit]

In this variation of Spleef, the arena is made of snow blocks and players are provided with shovels. Any snowballs dropped by the snow can be thrown at other players in an attempt to knock them through holes.It can be fun and tricky to be the last person standing!

Fire Spleef[edit]

The arena is made to burn. It is made of wood or wool, depending on how fast the creator wants the fire to spread. There is a pit of water underneath, and a platform for admins to burn the arena from the center. It is imperative to protect the arena from rain for this type of spleef. If players supposedly stand on non-burnable blocks, they will be disqualified.

Leaf Spleef[edit]

Players are situated on a platform of leaf blocks that start to decay when the round begins.

  • The leaf platform can be of any thickness.
  • You can either allow or disallow the breaking of blocks by players.
  • Flint and Steel could also be an option here.
  • Since the update where leaves placed by the player no longer decay, it is difficult to play correctly, however it is possible. If you were to grow a series of trees and have a group of players destroy the last wood block in each tree, then the leaves would eventually decay, much like before the update. Another method includes placing the leaves with the use of third-party plugins or mods.


Layer/Multilayer Spleef[edit]

Multilayer Spleef is played like any typical Spleef game, except below the first platform there is one or more other platforms that the player can fall onto. Players that fall through a layer can still destroy blocks on the layer above them to try and get players still on that layer to fall through. Players who fall through the very bottom layer lose.


Maze Spleef[edit]

Maze Spleef is different in that mazes are placed on the spleefing area. Usually made on large Spleef arenas, this creates many new interesting gameplay aspects, such as pathfinding skills becoming a major factor. Most Spleef mazes are made with loops or more than one way to get to a point to help keep the game going. Maze pathways can also be either 2 blocks wide instead of 1 block, depending on the size of the arena, for faster-paced gameplay.

TNT Spleef[edit]

In this version of Spleef, the player gets armor, and a flint and steel. the Spleef arena has TNT flooring, and has a pit underneath. Though it uses most of the regular Spleef rules, the winner is the last person alive or standing. This is slightly outdated due to not being able to ignite TNT as fast, but for survival servers, an exception occurs as a bug/feature with Flint and Steel causes a hand-ignited TNT block (as in left clicking TNT, or right-clicking in later versions), as well as TNT blocks falling like sand or gravel when ignited. Sometimes, as a variation, the losers must stay in the pit and avoid the TNT. If they die, they really lose and have to repair the stadium.

Explosive spleef[edit]

First, create blast-proof walls that are 2 blocks high and the roof out of bedrock. Add any blocks that are destroyed by explosions. Build the arena that is 100x100 blocks. Now give players 2 stacks of TNT and lots of flints and steel. They try to blow up the floor with TNT. Sometimes, add TNT walls to get players break the TNT or make a larger explosion!

Bomberman Spleef[edit]

Players have TNT and Flint and steel. This variation has the players in a maze. The floor and walls of the maze are made of an explosion-resistant material, usually Bedrock or Obsidian, although there are sometimes Sand blocks in the maze that you can blow up. You can blow other players up.

  • There is an alternate way to play this: The entire play area is explosion proof, the floor has redstone torches underneath, and the players have TNT only. Basically, as soon as the TNT is placed, it instantly ignites. There are several posted maps with this type of gameplay.

Lava Spleef[edit]

The arena is made as an island over a lava pit, and players are not allowed to destroy blocks. The goal is to push all other players into the lava. the arena can also come with snowballs that players can use, or can be coated with ice.


No-Jumping Spleef[edit]

No Jumping Spleef is Spleef with a small twist: there is a ceiling over the Spleef arena, so participating players cannot jump. This can alter gameplay by making it easier for players to eliminate other players, by removing the advantage of jumping from gameplay. A further twist in No-Jumping Spleef is to design the playing area with 2 adjacent layers so players can't jump on the first layer, but they can jump again once they reach the second layer.

Reverse Spleef[edit]

This game mode only requires a large standard Spleef arena. The players stand inside the Spleef arena, however the only person who removes blocks is below, in the pit. This means that the floor is removed below the players feet. The winner is the last person standing, and is next to be in the pit. If you have a very large arena then you can alter the rules to allow anyone who falls in to the pit can also delete blocks.

Creeper Spleef[edit]

This is recommended in a creeper-proofed arena. Have creeper-spawning Dispensers or a Creeper spawner. Make sure to make the field out of materials with a low blast-resistance!

An option could be that the spleefers cannot destroy blocks, only using creepers to destroy the arena. Another could be the option to make players vulnerable or invulnerable to the explosions. Also, you can make the creepers invincible or not. The possibilities are endless!

PvP Spleef[edit]

The players are given armor and sharpness-enchanted shovels to PvP each other while mobs like Zombies and Skeletons look on.

Trippy Spleef[edit]

Add many Redstone mechanisms such as traps, Potions of Haste or Potions of Jump Boost. Endless possibilities!

Polo Spleef[edit]

Players get pigs (Carrots on Sticks optional) and attempt to knock each others's pigs wild, spiraling riders into the lava below. Dismounting pigs isn't usually allowed.

Wither Spleef[edit]

On a large arena, give the spleefers Iron armor, a Diamond Sword, a bow, and maybe a shovel. Then spawn one or more Withers. There are many different ways to win...

  • Obtain the Nether Star.
  • Be the last person on the Spleef arena.

Bow Spleef[edit]

On a 12 x 12 arena, with the floor made out of TNT (with a large hole below it), give the spleefers a bow enchanted with flame. Since a flaming arrow will activate TNT, it will activate, then fall. When the spleefers fall into the gap, they spawn on a balcony above the arena.

Layer Spleef[edit]

On either a small, 3 x 3 tower or a large arena (large arenas allow for other uses) layers of different materials (either as the following: sand, gravel, clay and any other easy to break materials (as long as the solid materials are at the bottom) or hardened clay in the order in creative menu), 2-4 teams are given corresponding tools, e.g. Diamond tools for diamond team, are to dig down and push the other team into the lava. Best played with the KeepInventory gamerule set to true and beds supplied. Last player alive wins.

Structure spleef[edit]

This spleef has staircases of wool or dirt and barriers of the aforementioned blocks. These will try to block the players way to escape, but still be destroyed instantly.

Room spleef[edit]

This spleef has rooms. Build the roof out of bedrock and add doors connecting the rooms. Players will also try to destroy the walls to enter other rooms. Add jump stairs to the room upstairs. If you are really mean, then add lava to the ceiling and the walls and the bottom so if anyone destroy any wrong secion of the wall, lava will spill out, forcing players to dig an alternate route or burn in lava and to make things really interesting, add a lever saying: Press to win! with a TNT trap behind it and connect the other TNT to the trap, but don't put too many or the game will be unplayable.

PvP spleef[edit]

In this spleef variant, each player gets a diamond sword with knockback II, effected with weakness I for 1000000 seconds when the game starts, gold armor, a stack of dirt, a splash potion of harming II and a diamond shovel with efficiency V. Make a thick layer that is about 14 blocks thick and a large arena about 75x75 blocks. Put lava at the bottom. Board up the spleef stage with bedrock that is 5 blocks high and cover the top with bedrock completely. Replace some blocks with bedrock. In this spleef, players have to dig out blocks and fight players at the same time! Players can hit players to kill them and to knock them into lava below. Last player standing wins.

Regen spleef[edit]

In this version, the players are effected with haste 100 and have efficiency V diamond pickaxes. There is a cobble generator slowly generating the floor. This alters the gameplay since once the players dug a large hole, it will become smaller. Plus, it will annoy people that are close to winning.

Ghost spleef[edit]

One player uses the /effect or a potion to give themselves endless invisibility, then enters creative mode. The invisible player then breaks the blocks the visible players are standing on. Whether visible players can break blocks, or how many people are invisible is completely optional. Another option is whether the invisible person is wearing armor, so he/she is not completely invisible. This can be a multilayer game, with one player on each layer, and lava at the bottom.

Cluster spleef[edit]

Same as normal spleef except the platform over the lava is more than 1 block thick, meaning you sometimes need to dig 5 blocks in 1 spot to make a hole.

Lucky Spleef[edit]

In this one, players sit on saddled pigs whilst spleefing. Normally, carrots on a stick are disallowed to prevent the player from controlling the pig.

Horsing Around Spleef[edit]

Ditto, except the player sits on saddled horses and rides around.


The choice is yours! You could follow the stuff on the page and make a very boring spleef arena. Or you can ignore them all and create an interesting one!


Splegg is a variation of Spleef on some servers. It's main variation from Spleef is the use of Egg Shooting Shovels. It is often played on hardened, dyed clay.