Item (entity)

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Item entities.png
Health points


Internal ID

JE: 1
BE: 64

Network ID

JE: 2

Namespaced ID


Items are "dropped" blocks or items (non-block resources) that appear in the world, rather than being in the inventory of the player or a tile entity; they are a type of entity.


An animation of a 3D dropped item, spinning.

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 14 scale, while 2D items appear as 12 scale with all the pixels replaced with a cube. Both types slowly rotate and bob up and down. In the Bedrock Edition, all item entities apart from blocks are 2D and render as particles [until BE 1.15.0]. That is to to say, they always face the player rather than rotating.

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 that 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 that finds itself in an inappropriate location:
    • A block attached to another block that was removed (such as a torch, ladder, or sign).
    • A plant in a space not meeting its survival conditions.
  • A falling block (sand, gravel, anvil, or dragon egg) that lands in an already-occupied space.
  • An inventory item tossed by pressing the toss key (default Q on PC, B button on Xbox and Nintendo consoles, Circle button on PlayStation) or dragging a stack outside of an inventory window.
    • In the mobile versions of Bedrock Edition, items in the hotbar can be dropped by pressing on the item's slot. The entire stack is 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 exceptions are fire damage from lava; they may burn briefly before disappearing in that case, and dropped nether stars, which cannot be destroyed by explosions.

Items do not react to collisions with other entities; they are only stopped or moved by blocks. However, minecarts or boats encountering any entity, including items, come to a dead stop.

If an item is within an opaque block, then: If it is surrounded on all sides by opaque blocks, it flies out of the top of the block. Otherwise it flies out one of the unobstructed sides. Note that it does 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[Java Edition only] or a zoom effect‌[Bedrock Edition only]. 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. When outside of the loaded chunk, the 5 minute timer is paused. Merging dropped item stacks reset the despawn timer to 5 minutes.


Sound Subtitle Namespaced ID Subtitle ID Source Pitch Volume Attenuation distance
Item plops entity.item.pickup subtitles.entity.item.pickup ? ? ? 16

Data values[edit]

Dropped items have entity data associated with them that contain various properties of the entity.

  • Entity data
    • 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: Only the player with the UUID 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.
      •  L: Thrower UUIDLeast. Used to generate UUID.
      •  M: Thrower UUIDMost. Used to generate UUID.
    •  Thrower: Set to the UUID of the player who dropped the item, if dropped by a player.
      •  L: Thrower UUIDLeast. Used to generate UUID.
      •  M: Thrower UUIDMost. Used to generate UUID.
    •  Item: The inventory item, without the Slot tag.


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".[2]

Items of blocks formerly, instead of being shrunken versions of their blocks, actually had pixels the same size as their blocks.

Java Edition Classic
August 4, 2009Items were showcased in a blog post.
0.24_SURVIVAL_TESTItems were added to the game. Initially, they took the form of destroyed blocks, and they pulsed white (similar to the selection cursor at the time).[2]
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]
Java Edition Indev
0.31?In a test stage of 0.31, (which?) items would not spin and float.
Non-block items added (as sprites); they rotate to face the player.
Java Edition Beta
Cactus size.png
A bug causing cactus items to be displayed at the 12 scale rather than 14 was fixed.
Java Edition
1.3.1?Items that are moved into the same location combine into stacks instead of remaining independent entities. are now pushed out of transparent solid blocks as well as opaque ones.[3] 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 are pushed out of the inside corner of stair blocks, causing "bouncing" effects.
December 11, 2012Dinnerbone tweeted a picture of diamonds being rendered in 3D as dropped items.[4] He also revealed that other items would rendered in this way, but only in fancy graphics.[5]
December 12, 2012TeamMojang (YouTube) posted a video showing off the new 3D items.[6]
1.4.612w50aWhen dropped, items now render in the fancy graphics setting as 3D spinning animations (non-block items no longer display as sprites).
1.814w25aDropped items now render in 3D on fast graphics, instead of just on fancy graphics. However, it was not spinning. items now been spinning on fast graphics.
1.1116w32aChanged entity ID from Item to item.
1.1318w07aItems in water now float up.
Upcoming Java Edition
1.1620w06aNetherite items will not burn in lava, and will float in lava
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.2.0Added items to the game.
?Items have improved graphics.[more information needed]
Bedrock Edition
1.4.0beta in water now float up.
Upcoming Bedrock Edition
1.15.0beta items now render in 3D on fast graphics spinning animations (non-block items no longer display as sprites).
Legacy Console Edition
TU1CU11.0Patch 1Added items to the game.
TU12When dropped, items now render as 3D spinning animations (non-block items no longer display as sprites).
TU691.76Patch 38Items in water now float up.


  • A block can be picked up 1/2 second after being mined. An item dropped using Q requires 2 seconds before it can be picked up again.
  • MC-4, the oldest standing bug in the Minecraft bug tracker, involves item entity positioning being incorrectly handled.
  • Nether stars cannot be blown up. This is to account for explosions that occur during fights with withers, which drop them.
  • Netherite related items cannot be burned when thrown in lava, and they can also float to the sur. ‌[upcoming: JE 1.16]

See also[edit]

  • Drops — items dropped by mobs when killed.
  • Chunk format for more information about the attributes of items.