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sounds.json (sound_definitions.json in Bedrock Edition) is a file used by the sound system in resource packs which tells the sound system what sound files to play when a sound event is triggered by one or more in-game events. This file is located in assets/minecraft in resource packs, and the default file is located in .minecraft/assets/objects (assets/resource_packs/vanilla/sounds on Bedrock Edition), and its hashed name can be found by looking it up in the file .minecraft/assets/indexes/<version>.json.

File structure[edit]

This file is stored in JSON format, but is represented here using NBT.

  • The root Object.

    •  Sound Event: A sound event. The name is usually separated in categories (such as entity.enderman.stare). All default sound events are listed in the table below. (To get a different namespace than minecraft the file'll need to be under a different namespace; not defining it here.)

      •  replace: true/false. Used only in resource packs. True if the sounds listed in sounds should replace the sounds listed in the default sounds.json for this sound event. False if the sounds listed should be added to the list of default sounds. Optional. If undefined, defaults to "false".

      •  subtitle: Will be translated as the subtitle of the sound if Show Subtitles is enabled ingame. Optional.

      •  sounds: The sound files this sound event uses. One of the listed sounds is randomly selected to play when this sound event is triggered. Optional.

        • The path to a sound file from the "namespace/sounds" folder. Uses forward slashes.

        • A sound file. This Object is used only when the sound requires additional Strings.

          •  name: The path to this sound file from the "namespace/sounds" folder. Uses forward slashes instead of backslashes. May also be the name of another sound event.

          •  volume: The volume this sound will be played at. Value is a decimal between 0.0 and 1.0. If undefined, defaults to 1.0.

          •  pitch: Plays the pitch at the specified value. If undefined, defaults to 1.0, but higher and lower values can be chosen.

          •  weight: The chance that this sound will be selected to play when this sound event is triggered. Defaults to 1. An example: putting 2 in for the value would be like placing in the name twice. Only accepts integers.

          •  stream: true/false. True if this sound should be streamed from its file. It is recommended that this is set to "true" for sounds that have a duration longer than a few seconds to avoid lag. Used for all sounds in the "music" and "record" categories (except Note Block sounds), as (almost) all the sounds that belong to those categories are over a minute long. Optional. If undefined, defaults to "false". Setting this to false allows many more instances of the sound to be ran at the same time while setting it to true only allows 4 instances (of that type) to be ran at the same time.

          •  attenuation_distance: Modify sound reduction rate based on distance. Used by portals, beacons, and conduits.

          •  preload: true/false. True if this sound should be loaded when loading the pack instead of when the sound is played. Used by the underwater ambience. Defaults to "false".

          •  type: Two values are available: "sound" and "event"; "sound" plays from the name of the file, while "event" plays from an already defined event. If undefined, defaults to "sound".

An example of a pre-1.10 sounds.json can be found here.
Dinnerbone's pre-1.10 specifications can be found here.

Sound events[edit]

A sound event is linked to one or more in-game events. Two sound events may share the same sound file, but correspond to different in-game events and/or belong to different sound categories. A few valid sound events aren't included in sounds.json, while others don't have an in-game event associated with them. Any sound event that lacks an in-game event can be played only with /playsound. All default sound events, the sounds they use, the category they belong to, the subtitle that plays at that event, and the in-game events they are triggered by are listed in the following table.

Java Edition values

Java Edition values before 1.9

Bedrock Edition values

Block sound categories[edit]

This section needs updating. Some of the information no longer applies to the latest snapshot (18w46a).

The sound system divides all blocks into categories to determine which sounds play when a block is placed, destroyed, or walked on.

Slime Blocks are not included in the following table because they have unique digging and step sounds.

Category Blocks Notes
cloth Wool
Fire[note 1]
Fire's destruction sound is random.fizz instead of dig.cloth.
grass Grass Block
Wet Sponge
Tall Grass
Dead Bush
Brown Mushroom
Red Mushroom
Sugar Canes
Lily Pad
Hay Bale
Lily Pads have unique placing sounds; Wheat, Carrots, and Potatoes do not make a sound when placed.
gravel Dirt
Coarse Dirt
sand Sand
Red Sand
Soul Sand
Concrete Powder
snow Snow (cover)
Snow Block
stone Stone
Polished Granite
Polished Diorite
Polished Andesite
Gold Ore
Iron Ore
Coal Ore
Lapis Lazuli Ore
Lapis Lazuli Block
Powered Rail
Detector Rail
Sticky Piston
Block of Gold
Block of Iron
Stone Slab
Mossy Cobblestone
Monster Spawner
Redstone Wire
Diamond Ore
Block of Diamond
Cobblestone Stairs
Stone Pressure Plate
Iron Door
Redstone Ore
Stone Button
Monster Egg
Stone Bricks
Iron Bars
Brick Stairs
Stone Brick Stairs
Nether Bricks
Nether Brick Fence
Nether Brick Stairs
Nether Wart
Enchantment Table
Brewing Stand
End Portal
End Stone
Dragon Egg
Sandstone Stairs
Emerald Ore
Ender Chest
Tripwire Hook
Block of Emerald
Command Block
Cobblestone Wall
Flower Pot
Block of Redstone
Nether Quartz Ore
Block of Quartz
Quartz Stairs
Activator Rail
Stained Clay
Iron Trapdoor
Prismarine Bricks
Dark Prismarine
Glazed Terracotta
Block of Coal
Red Sandstone
Red Sandstone Stairs
Red Sandstone Slab
Magma Block
Shulker Box
Jukeboxes are the only blocks in this category that are mined with an Axe instead of a Pickaxe.
Redstone Wire and Nether Wart do not make a sound when placed.
wood Oak Wood Planks
Spruce Wood Planks
Birch Wood Planks
Jungle Wood Planks
Acacia Wood Planks
Dark Oak Wood Planks
Oak Wood
Spruce Wood
Birch Wood
Jungle Wood
Note Block
Oak Wood Stairs
Crafting Table
Wooden Pressure Plate
Redstone Torch
Oak Fence
Redstone Repeater
Redstone Comparator[note 1]
Wooden Trapdoor
Huge Mushroom Block
Pumpkin Stem
Melon Stem
Oak Fence Gate
Oak Wood Slab
Spruce Wood Slab
Birch Wood Slab
Jungle Wood Slab
Acacia Wood Slab
Dark Oak Wood Slab
Cocoa Pod
Spruce Wood Stairs
Birch Wood Stairs
Jungle Wood Stairs
Wooden Button
Trapped Chest
Light Weighted Pressure Plate
Heavy Weighted Pressure Plate[note 1]
Daylight Sensor
Acacia Wood
Dark Oak Wood
Acacia Wood Stairs
Dark Oak Wood Stairs
Spruce Fence Gate
Birch Fence Gate
Jungle Fence Gate
Dark Oak Fence Gate
Acacia Fence Gate
Spruce Fence
Birch Fence
Jungle Fence
Dark Oak Fence
Acacia Fence
Spruce Door
Birch Door
Jungle Door
Acacia Door
Dark Oak Door
Nether Wart Block
End Rod
Weighted Pressure Plates are the only blocks in this category that are mined with a Pickaxe instead of an Axe.
Pumpkin Stems, Melon Stems, Cocoa Pods, and Banners do not make a sound when placed.
glass Glass
Nether Portal
Stained Glass
Glass Pane
End Portal Frame
Redstone Lamp
Stained Glass Pane
Sea Lantern
Packed Ice
These blocks use the walking, placing[note 1] and cracking sounds of "stone" blocks, but their destruction sound is
  1. a b c d MC-91091


Java Edition
1.7.2 13w42a Added sounds.json
1.9 15w43b Added "subtitle" field
16w02a Added "voice" sound event category
1.10 Removed "category" field[1]
1.13 18w10a Added "preload" field.
Pocket Edition
1.0 ?Added sound_definitons.json