Minecraft Wiki

A block entity (previously named tile entity) is extra data associated with a block, beyond the block ID and 4 extra bits of data that every block has.


Block entities store additional information about certain blocks, with the type of information varying by block. In some cases, this information is used to create a more complex model, such as the book on an enchantment table. In other cases, it is used to store contents of an object. Block entities can be moved by pistons in Pocket Edition (0.15 and higher) only.

List of block entities[]

These are the current blocks which hold block entities.

Block Entity Usage
  • Sign
To store the text.
  • Banner
To store the patterns.
To store their contents.
  • Furnaces also store the time until the current item is smelted, and the time until the furnace's current fuel item is exhausted.
  • Brewing stands also store the brewing time.
  • Hoppers also store the time until the next transfer of an item.
  • Chests and trapped chests also use the block's position for the opening and closing animation.
  • Beacon
To store the pyramid level, active effects, and contents. Also uses the block's position for the beacon beam.
  • Monster Spawner
To store:
  • which entity will be spawned.
  • the delay until the next entity is spawned, and the min and max values for the next spawn delay.
  • how many entities to spawn per spawn attempt.
  • additional data about the entity to be spawned (such as position, effects, and entities stacked on top of it).
  • Also uses the block's position to display the spinning mob inside.
To store which note will be played.
  • Piston extensions and the blocks they are moving (including indirectly via slime blocks)
To store the offset of block, direction of movement, and ID (and data value, if applicable) of the moving block. (A moving block can't be stored as a block because it's not aligned to a grid cell.)
To play music discs, if any are inside.
  • Enchantment Table
For the floating book.
  • End Portal
  • Ender Chest
For the particle field effect.
  • Mob Head
For the type of the head, rotation when placed on top of a block, and (if applicable) data of the player represented.
For the type of command block, the command text, its output strength, and the output text.
  • End Gateway
For the teleport location and also whether to render the beam
To store information about the structure
To store whether the reaction started and the time remaining in the reaction.
To force the daylight sensor to update its output signal strength.
  • Flower Pot
To show the Block ID and data value of the item displayed inside of it.
To store its output strength.

See also[]

  • Chunk format#Block entity format - desribes the save format for block entities
  • Entities, which are all dynamic, moving objects throughout the Minecraft world, plus several non-moving objects that resemble blocks.
  • Block states, which are, like block entities, extra pieces of data that further define a block.