Experience (EXP or XP for short) can be obtained by gathering experience orbs from mining, defeating mobs and players, breeding, trading, fishing, and using furnaces. As is tradition, experience points accumulate into experience levels. However, unlike many games, experience levels do not directly increase the character's abilities. Instead, experience is used for enchanting and at anvils, to produce weapons, armor, and tools with various useful abilities.
Most experience comes in the form of experience orbs, small green and yellow spheres that move toward the player and will automatically be added to their total when collected. Experience orbs cannot be added to the player's inventory.
Gathering experience points from experience orbs increases the player's experience level by gradually filling a bar on the bottom of the screen until a new level is achieved when the bar is full. When the player dies, they drop experience orbs worth 7 * current level experience points, up to a maximum of 100 points (enough to reach level 7), and all of the other experience vanishes. If the gamerule
keepInventory is set to true, the experience will keep even if the player dies.
Experience can be gained from several different sources:
- From killing monsters, which drop experience orbs along with any other items.
- A mob will not drop experience unless it dies within five seconds (100 game ticks) of an attack registered as a player hit (including tamed wolves and TNT). This allows gaining experience from, say, knocking a monster off a cliff (fetching the orbs might be another question). You can also try to "claim" a burning monster by hitting or shooting it once—even if the blow doesn't kill it, if the fire does within 5 seconds, it will drop XP.
- Mobs killed by TNT activated by a player using flint and steel will drop XP as usual; however mobs killed by TNT that was activated by fire, redstone, or an explosion that wasn't player activated don't drop any experience.
- Mobs will drop a random number of orbs, and the orbs can have different values. However, the total value will always remain within the values given below, regardless of difficulty setting.
- Hostile mobs give more experience than passive ones. Baby animals, bats, golems, and villagers give no experience at all. The ender dragon gives orbs totalling 12,000 XP the first time a player kills it – over 200 times more than anything else in the game – and 500 XP the next times.
- Mining (destroying) a spawner block gives 15–43 points of experience as orbs.
- From mining any ore that drops a resource, rather than ore. The orbs are produced along with the mineral item(s). If a Silk Touch pickaxe is used to mine the ore block, the experience is not dropped, but the block can later be placed and mined normally to release the mineral and the experience.
- The ore will still produce orbs if destroyed by an explosion, whether or not it was caused by player activated TNT.
- From smelting any of various items.
- Smelting any ore yields some experience, but normally only iron and gold are worthwhile. For all other ores, mining them is better.
- Moderate amounts are gained by smelting/cooking other materials: food, clay balls or blocks, cactus, wood logs, sand, or cobblestone.
- The smelted material must be taken from the furnace through its GUI window. If the player uses a hopper to unload the furnace, it is possible to retrieve all experience produced by the furnace by smelting an extra item and taking it from the GUI. Dumping the contents by breaking the furnace destroys the experience.
- From breeding animals, which produces orbs where the parents are, along with the baby animal. Breaking eggs does not give experience.
- From fishing. The experience is awarded immediately upon reeling in the fish, even if the fish itself is not picked up.
- From trading with villagers.
- A bottle o' enchanting releases orbs when broken.
- From the
- From disenchanting item in grindstone.
Experience orbs fade between a green and yellow color and will "float" or glide toward the player up to a distance of 6 blocks, speeding up as they get nearer to the player. Experience orbs pulled towards a player are slowed by spider webs. Experience orbs can also be pulled around or away from the player by running water currents.
When collected, experience orbs make a Christmas bell-like sound for a split second. Unlike resources, experience points are picked up gradually: no matter how many orbs are in range of the player, they will be added to the player's experience one at a time (around 10 orbs/second). In extreme cases, this can result in the player being followed by a swarm of orbs for many seconds. If an experience orb isn't collected within 5 minutes of its appearance, it will disappear.
Experience orbs vary in value, but naturally spawned orbs will always have an integer value of 1–11, 17, 37, 73, 149, 307, 617, 1237, or theoretically 2477 (although currently no orbs with this value will spawn). Fishing, breeding, and trading drop a single orb with a random value in the appropriate range. Breaking blocks, killing mobs and players, smelting items, and bottles o' enchanting calculate their total experience amount and then split it into values of 1, 3, 7, 17, 37, 73, 149, 307, 617, 1237, and 2477. Higher values are chosen first, so for example a total value of 1000 would be dropped as orbs with values 617, 307, 73, and three 1s. Note that while the first Ender Dragon in a world drops 12,000 experience, it is dropped in 10 waves of 1000 and one of 2000, so no orbs of value 2477 are dropped.
The general worth of an orb is reflected by its size, with eleven possible sizes corresponding to values 1–2, 3–6, 7–16, 17–36, 37–72, 73–148, 149–306, 307–616, 617–1236, 1237–2476, and 2477 and up.
Experience orbs can be destroyed by fire, lava, explosions and cacti, and can trigger pressure plates and tripwires. Although mob drops spawn the instant the final blow is dealt to the mob, experience orbs do not until the mob entity disappears and the smoke appears. Experience orbs can also stop minecarts.
Experience amounts by source
- Excludes baby animals and jockeys.
- Experience is dropped when these mobs split or die. This means the larger ones may drop experience several times before being fully defeated.
- Jockeys consists of two mobs that move as one. Each part drops experience separately when it is defeated.
- Elder guardians are considered monsters in Java and Legacy Console Editions, while they are considered bosses in Bedrock Edition.
- For fractional values, first multiply this value by the number of smelted items removed from the furnace, then award the player the whole-number part, and if there is a fractional part remaining, this represents the chance of an additional experience point.
- For example, when smelting 1 coal ore and removing the coal, the value is 0.1, so this grants a 10% chance of getting 1 experience point.
- Or, when smelting 7 cobblestone and removing all 7 stone, the value is 0.1 * 7 = 0.7, so this grants 70% chance of getting 1 experience point.
|Level||Total XP||XP from last level|
The formulas for figuring out how many experience orbs needed to get to the next level are as follows:
- Experience required =
- 2 × current_level + 7 (for levels 0–15)
- 5 × current_level – 38 (for levels 16–30)
- 9 × current_level – 158 (for levels 31+)
One can determine how much experience has been collected to reach a level using the equations:
- Total experience =
- level2 + 6 × level (at levels 0–16)
- 2.5 × level2 – 40.5 × level + 360 (at levels 17-31)
- 4.5 × level2 – 162.5 × level + 2220 (at levels 32+)
- To get from level 27 to level 30 requires 306 experience.
- Killing one large slime and all the slimes that split from it will yield from 12 to 28 experience, with an average of 19.
- The maximum level required for enchanting is level 30, while the anvil will accept jobs up to level 39 (in creative mode the anvil limit is removed).
- Level 16 is a quarter of the way to level 30, while level 22 is about halfway there. Level 30 in turn, is halfway to level 39.
- Killing the ender dragon the first time will give approximately 68 XP levels. The ender dragon actually drops 10 waves of orbs worth a total of 1,000 experience points per wave, and another worth a total of 2,000. Taken separately, the smaller waves could take a player from zero to level 26, while the big wave would take a player from zero to level 34. The largest orb dropped will have a value of 1237 experience points, and can take a player from zero to level 28 all by itself.
- Maximum experience value can be gained by
/experiencecommand is 2147483648 which is 231. This is likely due to experience being stored as a signed Java-standard 32-bit integer.
- Maximum value for one orb used by
- Maximum level of XP players can get legitimately is 21863, but they can get up to 2147483647 using commands, in this case the experience bar may disappear and reappear.
Score is the number of experience the player has collected since their last death. This number is the total experience the player has collected, rather than the amount of experience they had upon death. When the player dies, the score is displayed on the death screen.
|Entity||Namespaced ID||Numeric ID|
Experience orbs 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 XP orb has been "untouched". After 6000 ticks (5 minutes) the orb is destroyed. If set to -32768, the Age will not increase, thus the XP orb will not automatically despawn.
- Health: The health of XP orbs. XP orbs take damage from fire, lava, falling anvils, and explosions. The orb is destroyed when its health reaches 0. However, this value is stored as a byte in saved data, and read as a short but clipped to the range of a byte. As a result, its range is 0-255, always positive, and values exceeding 255 will overflow.
- Value: The amount of experience the orb gives when picked up.
In an image of the new lighting system, a small yellow (the orb was yellow due to a warm light from a torch) spherical shape can be seen on the left side of the screen, but a day after the photo was published Notch claimed it had an error and posted a new one, this time, without a yellow sphere. In a later tweet, Notch showed a picture of a Beta 1.7 change-list (back then the adventure update was supposed to be in beta 1.7). Although it was completely blurred out and was, at first, thought of as a joke, but then Notch stated that one of the pictures with the new lighting system and the change list had a secret in them, and people all around the web started speculating.
One place that people discussed it was on the Minecraft forums, where it was discovered that the tabs at the top of the change list that were partly covered, could be decoded based on the 2 pixel tall pattern available in the image.
After a user named "tmcaffeine" successfully decoded it, the tabs read: ExperienceOrb.java, changelist.txt, Level.java, Tile.java, HugeMushroomTile.java, HugeMushroomFeature.java, RandomLevelSource(cut)
|Java Edition Classic|
|?||A precursor to the experience system was the score in Classic Survival Test.|
|Java Edition Indev|
|February 17, 2010||XP levels are mentioned, however a person convinced not to add it because players will make a grinding farm that it effectively penalizes new players instead of penalizing death.|
|Java Edition Beta|
|1.8||Pre-release||Experience was originally revealed by Jeb during an interview. Jeb released a picture of the 1.8 GUI list, which shows the experience bar, among other things.|
|Experience was added, but there was no measurable benefit to gaining Experience Orbs and levels.|
|1.0.0||Beta 1.9 Prerelease||For this version only, as a test, experience was gained when jumping. However, experience still did nothing.|
|Beta 1.9 Prerelease 2||Change mentioned in the previous version removed.|
|Beta 1.9 Prerelease 4||The ability to spend experience levels for Enchanting items was added.|
|The level number was shown, and each level was harder to get to than the previous one.|
|Beta Sound Update||Orbs now make a twinkling sound when collected.|
|?||Amount of experience orbs dropped by a player on death now limited.|
|Score will now appear correctly on “Game over!” screen. Each experience orb is worth one Score Point.|
|1.2.1||12w04a||The bottle o' enchanting was added, but the next snapshot made it only useful for adventure maps.|
|12w05a||Removed the need for experience when enchanting in creative mode. Experience requirements were also changed in this update.|
|1.3.1||12w22a||Players can get XP from mining, breaking mob spawners, and smelting in a furnace. A very large amount of experience can be collected while mining, sometimes into the hundreds of levels. Coal, lapis lazuli, redstone, diamond and emerald ore give players experience points. Iron and gold ore instead give experience when smelted.|
|The cost to gain each level was made constant, at 17 points per level.|
|Only level 30 is required to get the maximum level of enchanting.|
|12w23a||XP levels now cost 17 XP Orbs each until level 16, after which the cost per level grows linearly, and the total XP grows quadratically (incorrectly stated "exponentially" by Mojang). However, it is easier to get to 30 levels than it was before 12w22a.|
|1.4.2||12w38a||Leveling up now makes a twinkly bell sound, similar to but longer than the experience orb sound.|
|12w39a||Levels could be used in commands by typing, for example, @a[lm=4,l=7], choosing everyone between 4 and 7 levels inclusive. This is normally used in a command block.|
|12w41a||Anvils were added, repairing and combining items at the cost of experience levels.|
|The level-up sound now only plays every 5 levels, and is shortened.|
|1.6.1||13w21a||Experience levels no longer appear in Creative mode. Previously, experience would be hidden but experience levels would show.|
|1.8||14w02a||Changes to the enchanting system mean that levelling up requires more experience.|
|1.9||15w46a||Experience is now collected at the feet, meaning that if a large amount of experience is collected, it no longer blocks the player's view.|
|1.11||16w32a||Changed entity ID from |
|1.13||18w19a||Experience orbs will now float up in water.|
|pre5||Experience orb id changed to |
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.12.1||build 1||Added experience.|
|build 8||Experience orbs will now burn in fire or lava.|
|1.1.0||alpha 22.214.171.124||The entity ID is changed from |
|Legacy Console Edition|
|TU7||CU1||1.0||Patch 1||Added experience. Experience is collectable from smelting and/or mining ores, breeding and killing mobs.|
|New Nintendo 3DS Edition|
|1.1.06||Experience is now collectable from smelting and/or mining ores, as well as trading.|
The experience level costs were heavily revised in snapshot 12w22a and 12w23a. Before these, reaching level 50 (the maximum usable on a single enchantment) required 4625 experience, corresponding to defeating 925 hostile mobs (assuming the "common" ones.) Afterwards, considerably less experience is needed to get into higher levels (The amount which would formerly get the player to level 30 now gets them to level 39). Higher levels cost more experience than lower ones, but the levels are still easier to get than in 1.2.5. Now level 30 is the maximum for enchantments, and that cost is equivalent of 165 "common" mobs, less than 1/5 the old price.
Values from Beta 1.8 – 1.3.1 (12w23a)
Values from 1.3.1–1.8 (14w02a)
- Using experience on enchanting or repairing does not decrease the score which is shown upon death.
- If the player gains too many experience points, such as 1 trillion, the experience bar and level counter will completely disappear from the HUD. This appears to occur around level 32,767 or 215−1, the largest value representable by a 16-bit signed integer.
- The maximum XP that can be gained from the
/experiencecommand is 2,147,483,647 levels or 231−1, the largest value representable by a 32-bit signed integer and by Java's int type.
- The maximum level is 238,609,311 before the experience bar disappears altogether.
- Every 5 levels, a special XP sound plays. The sound will play each time the player reaches a multiple of 5 levels.
- Before Beta 1.9 Prerelease 2, the score read &e0.
- This was caused by a error in which, the game renders color text. §e0 would render the text as 0, but shaded bright yellow. From Indev 0.31 (the version in which the precursor to experience, a score system, was removed after Survival Test) to this version, a bug arose where it would display &e0 instead, a common error when formatting color text in Minecraft (except on custom servers with the plugin to override this).
The Beta 1.7 “change-list” (the Adventure Update was supposed to be Beta 1.7).
- "Oh, it's #screenshotsaturday ? Well, ok!" – @notch, June 11, 2011
- "I noticed a screenshot I uploaded yesterday had a small error in it." – @notch, June 12, 2011
- "And here's a heavily censored changelist for 1.7 so far:" – @notch, June 12, 2011
- "By the way, the two screenshots of the new lighting and the screenshot of the changelist contain information you can figure out about 1.7." – @notch, June 14, 2011