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This feature is exclusive to Java Edition. 
Crawling Steve.pngCrawling Alex.png

Crawling is a mechanic[1][2] that prevents the player from suffocating when inside small gaps. Crawling covers a pose that occurs when the player is in an area less than 1.5 blocks high.

Entering crawling[]

A player cannot crawl when there is no risk of suffocation. Crawling is initiated automatically in any situation that would cause the player's head to intersect a block in such a way that the area underneath the block is less than 1.5 blocks. For example:

In these circumstances, the player automatically switches to a crawling state. When enough space opens up above the player's head, the player automatically exits this state and begins standing again. When crawling, the player travels at sneaking speed. In the crawling form, the player is reduced to 0.625 blocks tall, or 58 of a block, meaning that they can crawl over blocks 0.375 blocks tall, or 38 blocks tall, the height of a daylight sensor.

Bedrock Edition[]

In Bedrock Edition, exiting swimming into a one-block-high space results in the swimming animation. The physics thereafter behave as if the player is flying in creative (but cannot move up or down, and the player falls to the ground when there aren't blocks below them).[3][4]


Java Edition
1.915w41aWith the advent of elytra, a position similar to crawling becomes possible. The animation is glitched.
1.1318w07aActual swimming is added, which allows the player to access this position easier. The animation is still glitched.
18w20aFixed the animation under opaque solid blocks. The player still visually stands up underneath transparent blocks, though.[5]
18w22aFixed the animation under transparent blocks.[6]
pre5The animation is broken again.
pre6Fixed the animation again.[6]
1.13.118w30aThe animation is broken.
1.1419w14aCrawling is now fixed. Originally an accidental side-effect resulting from swimming, crawling is now an integral feature in the game.[7]
The player now automatically enters crawling mode when they intersect a block.
19w14bOnly the top half of the player is checked for the collision to enter crawling, rather than the whole body.
Pre-Release 4Crawling speed has been reduced.
It is no longer possible to sprint while crawling.
Bedrock Edition
1.12.0?A glitch[verify] in this version where exiting swimming position in a one block results the player still in swimming position that is similar to crawling.[3]
This position also allows the player to float when the position is done mid-air.[8]
1.14.0?It is no longer possible to start swimming in 1-block deep water, which makes accessing the position a bit harder than before.
1.17.10beta player no longer floats with this position mid-air.


  1. "How Crawling Came to Minecraft" by Henrik Kniberg. Minecraft.net, July 21, 2020
  2. ""I'm sorry Steve. It's for science!""@henrikkniberg on Twitter, April 2, 2019
  3. a b MCPE-46794 – "Players can swim through 1x1 tunnels without water (crawling?)" – resolved as "Works As Intended"
  4. MCPE-48958 – Can swim in the air (not the crawling 1x1 mechanic)
  5. MC-128472
  6. a b MC-129863
  7. "How crawling came to Minecraft" by Henrik Kniberg – minecraft.net, 21 July 2020.
  8. MCPE-48958