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Blocking with a diamant zwaard from the player's perspective.

Blocking with a stone zwaard from a third person perspective.

The Player blocking an incoming creeper explosion with an ijzeren zwaard.

Blocking is a gameplay mechanic that was added 1.8. When the player holds the right mouse button while wielding a zwaard, he or she will raise their zwaard in front of themselves, allowing them to block attacks, including arrows and explosions; blocked attacks deal only half the normal damage of said attack. Before Minecraft's Full Release, blocking could decrease fall damage, allowing the player to fall 45 blocks without dying instead of 22. Blocking works with any zwaard and does not decrease the zwaard's durability.

The player moves at a speed slower than the speed of sneaking when blocking while moving.


  • Blocking was implemented in the Beta 1.8 Pre-release 1. Prior to the Beta 1.8 Pre-release 2, blocking didn't block any damage in multiplayer.
  • Prior to the 1.9 Pre-release 1, the player only changed the position of their zwaard. This was changed in said update, where the player also moved their hand outwards. Players used to be able to rise faster when blocking while swimming underwater, and attacking while blocking used to only register when the player lets go of the block button.


  • If you press the attack and block button at the same time, the zwaard being used to block seems to shake.
  • If you press the attack and block button at the same time whilst in third person perspective, the zwaard appears to cut the player's head. This is easier to view when facing the front of the player.


  • The blocking movement complemented with the sneaking mechanic is the gradable opposition of the sprinting mechanic.
  • Blocking allows for the slowest movements possible in Minecraft. This can occur when the player blocks, sneaks, and moves backward while under the effect of the slowness potion while going through cobwebs placed on top of Soul Sand that is placed on top of ice while walking through flowing water going the opposite way. This causes the player to move at about 1/32 blocks a second,(needs recalculation after new additions) or 1/2 pixel a second on a default 16x16 texture pack. Blocking while sneaking and with the additional events (but without slowness potion) allows the player go at roughly 0.023854961832 blocks per second (1 block every 41.92 seconds).
  • It is possible to mine blocks while blocking, which causes the mining animation to be combined with the blocking position giving a strange animation.

See also[]

  • Sneaking
  • Sprinting
  • Critical hit