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Notch sneaking

Sneaking is a gameplay feature that prevents players from falling off of blocks, helps players hide from enemies, among other useful features.


On any PC system, the control for sneaking defaults to ⇧ Shift. The player will be sneaking as long as the key is held down. In Bedrock Edition, sneaking is toggled by double-tapping the sneak button (the button with an open circle). In Legacy Console Edition, sneaking is toggled by pressing on the right analog stick until it clicks (on a Playstation Vita, simply press down on the directional pad).


A player sneaking over a pit to avoid falling into lava

While sneaking:

  • Players are prevented from walking off edges if the difference in height between the two surfaces is 58 of a block or higher, which makes sneaking highly useful for building horizontally outwards over empty space.
    • The player can still dismount blocks while sneaking by jumping over the block's edge.
  • Players move slower, at a speed of about 1.31m/s.
  • Hostile mobs will not become aware of the player until within 80% of the usual detection range.
  • Eye level moves down 18 of a block, and the character model bends over slightly. This can be viewed using F5.
  • The player's hitbox reduces from 1.8 to 1.65 blocks.
  • No footstep sounds occur.
  • In multiplayer, a sneaking player's name tag will be fainter than normal, and invisible to players more than 32 blocks away.
    • Other players in multiplayer will not see a sneaking player's name tag through solid blocks.
  • If players are on a ladder or vine, they do not move down. This gives the impression of holding on to that specific ladder rung or vine. Mining speed is still decreased by a factor of 5.
  • Players may place certain items and blocks on some block entities. For example, placing a hopper on a chest, a torch on a furnace, or redstone on a command block.
  • Players are able to interact with a horse using pressing use item control while holding the sneak key.
  • Sneaking will prevent the player from bouncing on slime blocks, making the player take fall damage.
  • Magma blocks do not cause harm.
  • Redstone ore does not light if stepped on by a sneaking player.

Sneaking does not affect:

  • Jump height: players can still jump up to the same heights, and at the same vertical speed. Horizontal jump speed and distance is decreased, however.
  • Farmland and crops: they will still be trampled when jumped upon.



Java Edition Classic
May 18, 2009Sneaking was first suggested on the TIGSource forum.
Java Edition Alpha
v1.1.1 Added sneaking.
Java Edition Beta
1.4 Sneaking gained the additional function of holding the player's place on a ladder.
1.6 Added the ability to sneak up and down half-meter slopes.
Java Edition
1.3.1 ?The player no longer falls off the edge of a block if they stop sneaking too soon after reaching the edge.
1.4.6 12w49a The player can now place blocks, such as redstone dust or levers, on interactable blocks while sneaking.
1.6.1 ?Sneaking is now used to get out for all transportation methods, such as: Boats, Horses and Minecarts
The player's arm changes position when sneaking.
1.9 15w42a Sneaking lowers the player's hitbox from the normal height of 1.8 blocks to 1.65 blocks.
15w49a Sneaking now increases exhaustion by 0.005/m, decreased from 0.01/m.
1.11 16w32a Sneaking no longer increases exhaustion.
16w44a Sneaking now prevents drops from heights of 58 of a block or greater (any drop higher than a half-block); previously, it was 1 full block or greater.
1.13 18w07c A smooth transition is applied to the camera when the player sneaks.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.12.1 build 1 Added sneaking.
0.15.0 build 1 sneaking can be used to open horse, donkey, and mule inventory.
Sneak now used to unridden animal.
0.16.0 build 1 The player uses a sneaking stance when flying downwards.
Pocket Edition
1.1 alpha sneak can open llama inventory.
Bedrock Edition
1.2 beta sneak now used to change armor stand poses.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1CU11.00Patch 1Added sneaking.


Issues relating to "Sneaking" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  • In creative mode, if you hold the sneak button and then double tap the space bar to fly, you jump up and you are stuck at the height you jumped up in and stay like that until you release the space bar. However, this isn't a bug because the sneak key is also the key used in flying to lower altitude, so using both keys at the same time purposefully keeps you still.
  • This does not work in the Legacy Console Edition, as you will immediately switch to a standing position when you fly.
  • In Bedrock Edition or Java Edition, the player uses a sneaking stance when flying downwards. The player will also be able to place blocks on chests, furnaces and other utility blocks in this stance, suggesting the player is actually in a sneaking mode.