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Items are "dropped" blocks or items (non-block resources) that appear in the world, rather than being in the inventory of a player or block entity; they are a type of entity.


Item entities

3D dropped items, both blocks and strict items.

Items have two possible appearances, generally corresponding to whether the item appears as a 3D or 2D shape in a player's inventory screens. 3D items appear as their 3D shape, miniaturized to about 14 scale, while 2D items appear as 12 scale with all the pixels extruded into a cube. Both types slowly rotate and bob up and down; this is merely a visual effect, the item itself does not actually rotate or bob up and down.

Item entities that represent a stack of more than one item appear as several items stuck together. Stacks of 1 appear as one item, 2-16 as two items, 17–32 as three, 33-48 as four, and 49+ as five.

The rotation rate of the item is approximately 2.87675 degrees per tick, or 57.595 degrees per second.


Item entities come from many sources. Some common ones are:

  • The death of a mob or player.
  • A block that is mined by a player, destroyed by an explosion, or washed away by water.
  • An inventory item tossed by pressing the drop item key (default Q on PC, D-pad down on Xbox, Down button/+Control Pad down on Nintendo Switch, Down button on PlayStation) or dragging a stack outside of an inventory window.
    • In the mobile versions of Bedrock Edition, items in the hotbar can be dropped by pressing on the item's slot. The entire stack is dropped.
  • A container (other than an ender chest or a shulker box) that is destroyed while holding items inside.

The player may be thought of as having an "item pickup" box that surrounds their hitbox. This pickup box extends 1 additional block to the horizontal sides, and 0.5 additional blocks up and down. Any item whose hitbox intersects with the pickup box can be picked up. The pickup box is inclusive on the horizontal sides (distance less than or equal to 1 will count), and exclusive on the vertical sides (distance less than 0.5 will count, but not equal). When the player's hitbox size changes, such as when crouching‌[Java Edition only] or sleeping, the pickup box size changes with it.

Once an item entity's hitbox overlaps with the player's pickup box, it can transfer its items. As many items as can fit in the player inventory, excluding the armor slots and the off-hand slot, are transferred. If any item is transferred, a "plopping" sound is played. If all items are transferred, the items appear to move into the center of the player. The item entity never physically moves, however, which means it can appear to go through lava and blocks in its path. This can happen through blocks that are thinner than a full block, but also through the shared edge of two full blocks. Unlike experience orbs, multiple item entities can be picked up simultaneously. Dropped items have a delay of 10 ticks (half a second) between appearing and being able to be picked up, or 40 ticks (2 seconds) if thrown by a player, dolphin, or fox.

When two stackable items of the same type come within 3/4 of a block of each other, they merge into a single stack if the resulting stack size does not exceed that item's maximum stack size.

Items do not collide with other entities(except boats) and are only moved or stopped by blocks.

Like other entities, items can be pushed by flowing water and bubble columns, pushed by a piston, launched by a moving slime block, stuck to a honey block, or caught in a cobweb. Items move at faster speeds if ice is placed under the flowing water. When in still water, items float slowly up to the surface.

Items can be reared by fishing rods, costing 3 durability.‌[Java Edition only]

If an item is within a solid block, then it flies out one of the unobstructed sides, or out of the top of the block if surrounded by solid blocks on all sides. It does this even if the space below is unoccupied; therefore, it is possible to recover an item dropped by breaking a hole in a floor by quickly placing another block there.

Items visually disappear when the player is about 16 blocks away from them, and reappear when they get closer. This distance can be adjusted by the "Entity Distance" slider in video settings.

Unlike most entities, items cannot be spectated in Spectator mode without use of the /spectate command.


Items cannot be attacked by players or mobs; attempting to do so simply hits through them. However, they take damage and disappear from environmental or block-based damage such as explosions, fire, lava, and contact with cacti. Items have essentially no health, so they are destroyed by the slightest damage, though if set on fire they may remain for a few seconds before disappearing. Nether stars are immune to explosions, and netherite-based items and tools are immune to fire and float on top of lava. Also, some blocks that normally damage mobs, such as magma blocks, campfires, sweet berry bushes, wither roses and powder snow, do not damage items.


Items despawn after 6000 game ticks (5 minutes) of being in a loaded, entity-ticking chunk; this is affected by the player's simulation distance. If two item stacks merge, the timer is set to the item that has more time remaining. The 5-minute timer is paused when the chunk is unloaded or no longer processing entities. Nether stars do not despawn‌[Bedrock Edition only].

Items that fall into the void immediately despawn when they fall below Y=-128 in the Overworld, or Y=-64 in the Nether and the End.


Java Edition:
Item Entities use the Ambient/Environment sound category for entity-dependent sound events.

SoundSubtitlesSourceDescriptionResource locationTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
Item plopsPlayersWhen an item is picked upentity.item.pickupsubtitles.entity.item.pickup0.21.6-3.4 [sound 1]16
BurningAmbient/EnvironmentWhen an item is destroyed by lava, but not fire[2]entity.generic.burnsubtitles.entity.generic.burn0.42.0-2.416
  1. 0.6-3.4 for using /give and items from advancement rewards

Bedrock Edition:

SoundSourceDescriptionResource locationVolumePitch
PlayersWhen an item is picked uprandom.pop0.250.6-2.2
PlayersWhen an item is droppedrandom.pop0.30.55-0.75
BlocksWhen an item is destroyed by lava, but not firerandom.fizz0.51.8-2.4

Data values[]


Java Edition:

NameIdentifierTranslation key

Bedrock Edition:

NameIdentifierNumeric ID Translation key

Entity data[]

See also: Chunk format

Dropped items have entity data associated with them that contain various properties of the entity.

Java Edition:

Main article: Entity format
  • Entity data
    • Tags common to all entities
    •  Age: The number of ticks the item has been "untouched". After 6000 ticks (5 minutes) the item is destroyed. If set to -32768, the Age does not increase, preventing the item from despawning automatically.
    •  Health: The health of the item, which starts at 5. Items take damage from fire, lava, cacti and explosions. The item is destroyed when its health reaches 0.
    •  Item: The inventory item, without the Slot tag.
      • Tags common to all items
    •  Owner: If present, only the player with this UUID can pick up the item. Used by the give command (and can be set in a summon command) to prevent the wrong player from picking up the spawned item entity.
    •  PickupDelay: The number of ticks the item cannot be picked up. Decreases by 1 per tick. If set to 32767, the PickupDelay does not decrease, preventing the item from being picked up.
    •  Thrower: The UUID of the player who dropped the item. Not present if the item was not dropped by a player.

Bedrock Edition:

See Bedrock Edition level format/Entity format.


Java Edition Classic
0.24 Resource TestIn the first public mention of item entities, "this early video of Minecraft (Classic 0.24) by Notch", they were referred to as "resources".[3]
August 4, 2009Items were showcased by Notch in a blog post.
0.24_SURVIVAL_TESTAdded items to the game.
Items currently take the form of destroyed blocks.
Items currently pulse white (similar to the selection cursor).[3]
Instead of appearing as shrunken down blocks, items use pixels the same size as block pixels.
Java Edition Indev
0.3120091231-2Dropped items don't spin and don't glow white anymore.
Dropped items now appear as shrunken down blocks.
Items no longer prevent the placement of blocks but instead are moved to the nearest chunk. [more information needed]
Non-block items added (as sprites); they now rotate to face the player.
?Dropped items now spin again.
Java Edition Beta
Oversized items
In awe at the size of these fluids
A bug causing many item forms of blocks to be displayed at the 12 scale rather than 14 was fixed. The following items were affected by this at least at one point:
Java Edition
1.3.112w15aItems that are moved into the same location now combine into stacks instead of remaining independent entities.
1.4.212w34aItems, like other entities, can now travel through portals.
12w34bSome zombies, skeletons and zombie pigmen can now pick up items. are now pushed out of transparent solid blocks as well as opaque ones.[4] Items can push into solid blocks while trying to escape a solid block instead of stopping (this has been used to create vertical transport of items). New feature: items are pushed out of the inside corner of stair blocks, causing "bouncing" effects.
December 11, 2012Dinnerbone tweeted a picture of diamonds being rendered in 3D as dropped items.[5] He also revealed that other items would rendered in this way, but only in fancy graphics.[6]
December 12, 2012TeamMojang (YouTube) posted a video showing off the new 3D items.[7]
1.4.612w49aNether stars are the first items to not be deleted by explosions.
12w50aWhen dropped, items now render in the fancy graphics setting as 3D spinning animations (non-block items no longer display as sprites).
Dropped items now merge with nearby items and be stacked.
Enchanted items now show the enchanted glow when dropped.
1.513w01aAdded hoppers, which can collect items.
13w03aAdded hopper minecarts, which can collect items.
1.814w04aDropped items don't spin, and they are visible only from the south on fast graphics.
14w04bDropped items are now completely invisible on fast graphics.
14w05aDropped items on fast graphics now face the player on all three axes, and they spin again on fancy graphics.
14w25aDropped items now render in 3D on fast graphics, instead of just on fancy graphics, likely due to item models being fully implemented and replacing the need for 2D items. However, they do not spin.
1.8.1pre4Dropped items now spin on fast graphics.
1.1016w21aItems can now be reared by fishing rods.
1.1116w32aThe entity ID of items has been changed from Item to item.
1.1318w07aItems in water now float up.
1.1620w06aNetherite items are the first items to not burn in lava, and float in lava.
1.20Pre-release 5Item are no longer destroyed by falling anvils.[8]
Pocket Edition Alpha
v0.2.0Added items to the game.
?Items now have improved graphics.[more information needed]
Bedrock Edition
1.4.0beta in water now float up.
1.16.0beta dropped, items now render as 3D spinning animations (non-block items no longer display as sprites).
beta netherite items, which float and do not burn in lava.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1CU1 1.0 Patch 11.0.1Added items to the game.
TU12When dropped, items now render as 3D spinning animations (non-block items no longer display as sprites).
TU69 1.76 Patch 38Items in water now float up.


  • MC-4, the oldest standing bug in the Minecraft bug tracker, involves item entity positioning being incorrectly handled.


See also[]

  • Drops — items dropped by mobs when killed.
  • Chunk format for more information about the attributes of items.


  1. Items cannot be damaged by attacking them.
  2. MC-36538
  3. a b https://youtu.be/YIm_AKUbqh8 Early video of Minecraft (Classic 0.24) by Notch referring to item entities as "resources"
  4. MC-15
  5. "Diamonds are a miners best friend. It's only fair they get treated to some luxury rendering. http://dinnerbone.com/media/uploads/2012-12/screenshots/Minecraft_2012-12-11_12-13-11.png … #AndMaybeEverythingElseToo"@Dinnerbone (Nathan Adams) on X, December 11, 2012
  6. "@PaymenowTV It's Fancy Rendering option, but really won't make much of a difference on even a slow pc."@Dinnerbone (Nathan Adams) on X, December 11, 2012
  7. https://youtu.be/tMOZLAxPWFE
  8. MC-120158 — "Anvils and other falling_blocks with HurtEntities set to true kill items and xp orbs" — resolved as "Fixed".