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Items have two possible appearances, generally corresponding to whether the item appears as a 3D or 2D shape in a player's inventory screens. 3D items appear as their 3D shape, miniaturized to about 1⁄4 scale, while 2D items appear as 1⁄2 scale with all the pixels replaced with a cube. Both types slowly rotate and bob up and down.
When a single item entity represents a stack of more than one (which happens when the player discards a stack from an inventory window, or when another like item comes to occupy the same place), it appears as several of the item stuck together. Stacks of 2–5 appear as two, 6–20 as three, and 21–64 as four.
Item entities come from many sources. Some common ones are:
- The death of a mob or player.
- A block which is mined by a player, destroyed by an explosion (depending on the explosion power, a certain proportion of blocks do not drop as items), or washed away by water (note if there is an explosion with an item entity within the blast radius the entity has a 90% chance to disappear).
- A block which finds itself in an inappropriate location:
- A falling block (sand, gravel, anvil, or dragon egg) which lands in an already-occupied space.
- An inventory item tossed by pressing the toss key (default Q) or dragging a stack outside of an inventory window.
- In Bedrock Edition, items in the hotbar can be dropped by pressing on the item's slot. The entire stack will be dropped.
- A container (other than an ender chest or shulker box) with items inside that is destroyed.
Items cannot be attacked (by players or mobs); attempting to do so simply hits what is behind them. However, they may take damage and disappear from environmental or block-based effects such as explosions, fire, lava, a falling anvil,[Java Edition only] and contact with cactus. Items have essentially no health, so they are destroyed by the slightest damage. The one exception is fire damage from lava; they may burn briefly before disappearing in that case.
If an item is within an opaque block, then: If it is surrounded on all sides by opaque blocks, it will fly out of the top of the block. Otherwise it will fly out one of the unobstructed sides. Note that it will do this even if the space below is unoccupied; therefore, it is possible to recover an item dropped by breaking a hole in a floor by quickly placing another block there. It is possible to collect dropped items through thin blocks such as fences, nether brick fences, iron bars, doors or glass panes, and also through a corner of two blocks. Items are not pushed out by non-opaque blocks such as glass and slabs.
When an item comes within one block of a player whose inventory is not full, it flies quickly toward them — regardless of any intervening blocks — and when it reaches them it is added to their inventory, with a “pop” sound. If the item appears in their hotbar, then the hotbar item is briefly animated with a distortion effect. Unlike experience orbs, arbitrary numbers of items can be picked up instantaneously. If the player was already within pickup distance when the item was dropped (commonly because that player just dropped it), it may not fly until the player moves slightly. When the player is about 16 blocks from an item, the item visually disappears.
Items despawn after 6000 game ticks (5 minutes) of being in a loaded chunk, unless another item of the same kind was dropped next to them and added to its stack. If 2-64 items are dropped by a player in creative mode, they despawn only after 1 minute. Merging dropped item stacks will reset the despawn timer to 5 minutes. On the console edition the item entity limit is 200 in loaded chunks. If more items are dropped the game will begin despawning them starting with the item with the lowest countdown timer value even if the value has not yet reached zero.
- See also: Chunk format
Dropped items have entity data associated with them that contain various properties of the entity. Their entity ID is
- Tags common to all entities see Template:Nbt inherit/entity/template
Age: The number of ticks the item has been "untouched". After 6000 ticks (5 minutes) the item is destroyed. If set to -32768, the Age will not increase, thus the item will not automatically despawn.
Health: The health of the item, which starts at 5. Items take damage from fire, lava, falling anvils,[Java Edition only] and explosions. The item is destroyed when its health reaches 0.
PickupDelay: The number of ticks the item cannot be picked up. Decreases by 1 per tick. If set to 32767, the PickupDelay will not decrease, thus the item can never be picked up.
Owner: If not an empty string, only the named player will be able to pick up this item, until it is within 10 seconds of despawning. Used by the give command (and can be set in a summon command) to prevent the wrong player from picking up the spawned item entity.
Thrower: Set to the name of the player who dropped the item, if dropped by a player.
Item: The inventory item, without the Slot tag.
- Tags common to all items see Template:Nbt inherit/item/template
In the first public mention of item entities, "this early video of Minecraft (Classic 0.24) by Notch" – via YouTube, they were referred to as "resources".
Items of blocks formerly, instead of being shrunken versions of their blocks, actually had pixels the same size as their blocks.
|August 4, 2009||Items were showcased in a blog post.|
|0.24_SURVIVAL_TEST||Items were added to the game. Initially, they only took the form of destroyed blocks, and they pulsed white (similar to the selection cursor at the time).|
|0.30 (Survival)||Items no longer pulse white. Items no longer prevent placement of blocks, but instead are moved to the nearest chunk. [more information needed]|
|0.31||In a test stage of 0.31, (which?) items would not spin and float such as now, but only stands on the block. [more information needed]|
|Non-block items added (as sprites); they rotate to face the player.|
|1.8||cactus items to be displayed at the 1⁄2 scale rather than 1⁄4 was fixed.|
|1.3.1||?||Items which are moved into the same location will combine into stacks instead of remaining independent entities.|
|1.4.4||1.4.3-pre||Items are now pushed out of transparent solid blocks as well as opaque ones. Items can push into solid blocks while trying to escape a solid block instead of stopping (this has been used to create vertical transport of items). New feature: items will be pushed out of the inside corner of stair blocks, causing “bouncing” effects.|
|December 11, 2012||Dinnerbone tweeted a picture of diamonds being rendered in 3D as dropped items. He also revealed that other items will also be rendered in this way, but only in fancy graphics.|
|December 12, 2012||TeamMojang (YouTube) posted a video showing off the new 3D items.|
|1.4.6||12w50a||When dropped, items now render in the fancy graphics setting as 3D spinning animations (non-block items no longer display as sprites).|
|1.8||14w25a||Dropped items now render in 3D on fast graphics, instead of just on fancy graphics.|
|1.11||16w32a||Changed entity ID from
|Upcoming Java Edition|
|1.13||18w07a||Items in water now float up.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.2.0||Added items to the game.|
|?||Items have improved graphics.|
|Legacy Console Edition|
|TU1||CU1||1.0||Patch 1||Added items to the game.|
|TU12||When dropped, items now render as 3D spinning animations (non-block items no longer display as sprites).|
- If you use the command /summon Item (without any other values or data tags), a stone item will be spawned. This is because stone is ID 1.
- If you mine a block, it will take 1/2 second before you can pick the item up. If you drop an item using Q, it will take 2 seconds before you can pick it up again.
- MC-4, the oldest standing bug in the Minecraft bug tracker, involves item entity positioning being incorrectly handled.
- Drops — items dropped by mobs when killed.
- Chunk format for more information about the attributes of items.
- Items cannot be damaged by attacking them
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIm_AKUbqh8 Early video of Minecraft (Classic 0.24) by Notch referring to item entities as "resources"