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This feature is exclusive to Java Edition.
Swimming Steve.pngSwimming Alex.png

Crawling is a feature[1] that prevents the player from suffocating when inside small gaps. Crawling covers a pose which occurs when the player is in an area less than 1.5 blocks high.

Entering crawling[edit]

Crawling can be initiated in any way that causes the player's head to intersect a block in such a way that the area underneath the block is less than 1.5 blocks. For example:

  • Closing a trapdoor on the player
  • Using a piston to push a block into the player
  • Exiting swimming mode in a one-block-high space
  • Exiting elytra mode in a one-block-high space
  • Having a tree grow over a player
  • Having a shulker box push you down
    • This normally makes the player sneak instead of crawl, but when it is above a slab or a not-full block, then the player crawls.
  • Getting off a pig with a saddle if it's under a one-block-high space
  • Having a boat land on your head. Honey blocks make this easier to replicate
  • In Bedrock Edition it is only possible to enter crawling by exiting swimming mode in a one-block-high space, resulting in a glitched animation.[2]

In these circumstances, the player automatically switches to a crawling state. When enough space opens up above the player's head, the player automatically exits this state and begins standing again. When crawling, the player travels slower than normal.[more information needed] The sneaking state gives the player identical dimensions to standing. In the crawling form, the player is reduced to 0.625 blocks tall, or 58 of a block, meaning that they can crawl over blocks 0.375 blocks tall, or 38 blocks tall, the height of a daylight sensor.


Java Edition
1.915w41aWith the advent of elytra, a position similar to crawling becomes possible. The animation is glitched.
1.1318w07aActual swimming is added, which allows the player to access this position easier. The animation is still glitched.
?Fixed the animation under opaque solid blocks. The player still visually stands up underneath transparent blocks, though.
18w22aFixed the animation under transparent blocks.[3]
pre5The animation is broken again.
pre6Fixed the animation again.[3]
1.13.118w30aThe animation is broken.
1.1419w14aCrawling is now fixed.
The player now automatically enters crawling mode when they intersect a block.
19w14bOnly the top half of the player is checked for the collision to enter crawling, rather than the whole body.
Pre-Release 4Crawling speed has been reduced.
It is no longer possible to sprint while crawling.


  • In Bedrock Edition, if a player enters a 2-block-high area of water and swims into a 1-block gap then leaves the water, the player does not suffocate but still continues to swim on land, which is similar to crawling in Java Edition.[4]
  • Crawling was known simply as suffocation prevention as the technical behavior implied that before the crawling name was official.[5]


  1. ""I'm sorry Steve. It's for science!""@henrikkniberg, April 2, 2019
  2. MCPE-46794 marked "Works as Intended"
  3. a b MC-129863
  4. MCPE-46794 marked "Works as Intended"
  5. "How Crawling Came to Minecraft" –