Sprinting is a method of transportation that allows the player to move faster, around 5.6 meters/second. This is about 1.3x faster than the normal walking speed of around 4.3 m/s. The player sprints by double tapping the "Forward" key (W by default) and then holding it, or by holding forward and double tapping reverse. It is possible to jump across four blocks horizontally (although difficult), instead of the usual two blocks by sprinting, however the jump height is no higher than normal.
Sprinting is unlimited as long as the Food Bar is above 30% (3 shanks), but it also depletes the bar at a rate of 1/2 a food unit every 40 meters, or 7 seconds, as long as the foodSaturationLevel is at 0. When a player sprints, particles come from the player's feet corresponding to the block type they are running on. When a player attacks any mobs (excluding squid) while sprinting, the mob suffers a large knock back.
Sprinting stops when you collide with a solid block or perform a sneaking action such as blocking. You do not stop sprinting when you run into a mob. Attacking a mob stops your sprint, but breaking a block doesn't. It is possible to make turns with the "left" and "right" keys (by default, A and D respectively) while sprinting without slowing down, thus altering the direction of where you go.
After switching on the "sprinting state" the field of view also slightly changes (increases FOV by 10) to give the impression of increased speed. Notch was originally going to add a thirst mechanic along with hunger, but sprinting was planned as well in the next update, making sprinting too "expensive" to use.
In the Xbox 360 Edition, in Creative mode, sprinting while flying will cause the player to "sprint-fly", causing them to travel at approximately 6 m per second. Also, on the PC version, if you are in creative mode and then double tap jump, you will start flying at an increased speed.
Sprinting was mentioned at PAX 2011; the sprinting mechanic would expand the combat system and increase player mobility.
Jeb uploaded a video on September 2, 2011, featuring the difference between sprinting and regular walking.
As of 13w36a snapshot, Sprinting is now default to pressing Left Control and one can now sprint in Creative mode while flying or while swimming underwater in any gamemode.
Issues relating to "Sprinting" are maintained on Mojira. Report issues there.
- When sprinting in water you get a very minor speed boost, but it isn't very noticeable. On the other hand, bobbing in water (holding down jump while swimming) gets you around faster.
- Sprinting and holding down jump at the same time usually makes you go faster on land - if under the effect of a high level speed potion, sprinting alone is faster than sprinting and jumping.
- Ocelots, Iron Golems and Baby Villagers are the only mobs that can sprint like the player.
- Sprinting and jumping (spamming the "jump" key) while under a low (2-block high) ceiling causes a player to move at a speed almost twice as high as regular sprinting speed. This is rather inefficient, however, as this can easily drain food at a rate of about 1 unit per second, but it proves an excellent form of transport when playing on peaceful, or if one has a large amount of food.
- Doing the same as above, except on top of Ice allows the player to move at an astonishing 16 blocks per second. That is twice as fast as a full speed minecart on powered rails.
- Doing the same as above but with trapdoors just above the ice, one can travel 1000 blocks in 54 seconds (18.518 blocks per second).
- Ocelots and Tamed Cats will often sprint when spooked. Their type of sprinting also includes kicking up specks, and is also known as Clawing. This is likely due to their odd habit (or skill) of sprinting while face-to-face with a wall that is 2 blocks high. They cannot jump over it, so the only indication is the specks flying away from their feet. Thus mimicking a real cat using a Scratching Post.