Dirt is one of the most common surface blocks in the Overworld, making up the majority of the top layers of blocks, between grass or snow, and stone. It is also found in underground deposits at all altitudes. It can be found in the bottom of any body of water, along with sand, gravel and clay. Dirt has the same texture on all six sides.
Dirt is a very useful block in terms of building, but other than that, due to the fact that it is not included in any crafting recipes (with the exception of coarse dirt), it has little importance in Minecraft, other than for farming, which is essential for many things, and can be done using a hoe. Water does not turn it into mud, and fire cannot destroy it or burn it.
When a block of dirt is adjacent to a grass block and is exposed to a light level of at least 4 (e.g. from torches or sunlight), it will eventually be converted into a grass block at random intervals (see grass for growth details). Mycelium spreads in similar fashion, but requires a light level of at least 9.
Dirt is not used in any crafting recipes whatsoever (but some mods have crafting with dirt), except for coarse dirt. Some uses offered by this block are as a necessity for growing certain plants after being tilled with a hoe, though sugar cane and saplings don't need tilling. Dirt can also be used as a cheap material for when a player wishes to block off branches of a cavern, build walls or scaffolds, stack to get to high places, or any similar task that requires a medium to large number of blocks that are not affected by gravity and are fireproof. It is also commonly used on Survival if a player didn't obtain wood or cobblestone, making it a decent building material for the first night, and if a player does not have enough time to build, they can dig a hole and cover it with dirt to survive.
- A bug in Minecraft Beta 1.8 pre-release allowed any block (including bedrock) to change into dirt when a huge mushrooms was grown on it. This was later fixed in the second pre-release of version 1.8 so that huge mushrooms can only be grown on dirt, grass, or mycelium.
- Saplings can grow in the Nether if they're planted on dirt.
- Dirt blocks can become grass blocks in the Nether, so long as they are placed adjacent to a grass block.
- Dirt slabs were added in Survival Test, but were quickly removed.
- Grass didn't grow on the slabs.
- Players could use a hoe on the slabs to get farmland.
- In earlier days of Minecraft, it was used for to climb up on top of buildings.
- If bonemeal was placed on dirt that is underwater, it will grow seagrass or corals instead of the usual plants it produces on land.