Suffocation prevention

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This feature is exclusive to Java Edition.
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Suffocation prevention, colloquially called crawling, is a feature[1] that allows the player to traverse areas less than one and a half blocks high.

Entering suffocation prevention[edit]

Suffocation prevention can be initiated in any way that causes the player's head to intersect a collidable 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's head
  • Using an ender pearl to teleport into a sufficiently small gap
  • 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
  • Getting off a pig with a saddle if it's under a one-block-high space

In these circumstances, the player will automatically switch to a suffocation prevention state. When enough space opens up above the player's head, the player will automatically exit this state and begin sneaking or standing again. When in suffocation prevention, the player travels slower than normal.[more information needed]


Java Edition
1.9?With the advent of elytra, a position similar to suffocation prevention becomes possible. The animation is glitched.
1.13?Actual 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.[2]
pre5The animation is broken again.
pre6Fixed the animation again.[2]
1.13.118w30aThe animation is broken.
1.1419w14aSuffocation prevention is now fixed.
The player now automatically enters suffocation prevention mode when they intersect a block.
19w14bOnly the top half of the player is checked for collision to enter suffocation prevention, rather than the whole body.
Pre-Release 4Suffocation prevention speed has now been reduced.
It is now no longer possible to sprint while in suffocation prevention.


  • In Bedrock Edition, if a player swims through a one block gap and leaves the water, the player will not suffocate but still continue to swim on land, which similar to "suffocation prevention" in Java Edition.