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 1⁄4 scale, while 2D items appear as 1⁄2 scale with all the pixels extruded into a cube. Both types slowly rotate and 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.
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, on Xbox, / on Nintendo Switch, 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 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, sticked 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.
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 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.
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, a falling anvil,[Java Edition only] and contact with cactus. 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 and wither roses, do not damage items.
Items despawn after 6000 game ticks (5 minutes) of being in a loaded chunk. 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. Nether stars do not despawn[Bedrock Edition only].
|Sound||Subtitles||Source||Description||Resource location||Translation key||Volume||Pitch||Attenuation|
|Item plops||Friendly Creatures||Item getting picked up||0.2||2.0 to 3.4||16|
|?||Burning||Friendly Creatures||When destroyed by lava, but not fire||0.4||2.0 to 2.4||16|
|Name||Identifier||Numeric ID||Translation key|
Dropped items have entity data associated with them that contain various properties of the entity.
- 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, falling anvils,[Java Edition only] 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.
|Java Edition Classic|
|0.24 Resource Test||In the first public mention of item entities, "this early video of Minecraft (Classic 0.24) by Notch", they were referred to as "resources".|
|August 4, 2009||Items were showcased by Notch in a blog post.|
|0.24_SURVIVAL_TEST||Added items to the game.|
|Items currently take the form of destroyed blocks.|
|Items currently pulse white (similar to the selection cursor).|
|Instead of appearing as shrink blocks, items use pixels the same size of block pixels.|
|Java Edition Indev|
|0.31||20091231-2||Dropped items don't spin and don't glow white anymore.|
|Dropped items now appear as shrink blocks.|
|Items no longer prevent 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|
|1.3.1||12w15a||Items that are moved into the same location now combine into stacks instead of remaining independent entities.|
|1.4.2||12w34a||Items, like other entities, can now travel through portals.|
|12w34b||Some zombies, skeletons and zombie pigmen can now pick up items.|
|1.4.4||1.4.3||Items are now pushed out of transparent solid blocks as well as opaque ones. 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, 2012||Dinnerbone tweeted a picture of diamonds being rendered in 3D as dropped items. He also revealed that other items would rendered in this way, but only in fancy graphics.|
|December 12, 2012||TeamMojang (YouTube) posted a video showing off the new 3D items.|
|1.4.6||12w49a||Nether stars are the first items to not be deleted by explosions.|
|12w50a||When 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.|
|1.5||13w01a||Added hoppers, which can collect items.|
|13w03a||Added hopper minecarts, which can collect items.|
|1.8||14w04a||Dropped items don't spin, and they are visible only from the south on fast graphics.|
|14w04b||Dropped items are now completely invisible on fast graphics.|
|14w05a||Dropped items on fast graphics now face the player on all three axes, and they spin again on fancy graphics.|
|14w25a||Dropped 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.|
|1.8.1||pre4||Dropped items now spin on fast graphics.|
|1.10||16w21a||Items can now be reared by fishing rods.|
|1.11||16w32a||The entity ID of items has been changed from |
|1.13||18w07a||Items in water now float up.|
|1.16||20w06a||Netherite items are the first items to not burn in lava, and float in lava.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|v0.2.0||Added items to the game.|
|?||Items now have improved graphics.|
|1.4.0||beta 22.214.171.124||Items in water now float up.|
|1.16.0||beta 126.96.36.199||When dropped, items now render as 3D spinning animations (non-block items no longer display as sprites).|
|beta 188.8.131.52||Added netherite items, which float and do not burn in lava.|
|Legacy Console Edition|
|TU1||CU1||1.0||Patch 1||1.0.1||Added items to the game.|
|TU12||When dropped, items now render as 3D spinning animations (non-block items no longer display as sprites).|
|TU69||1.76||Patch 38||Items in water now float up.|
- bug tracker, involves item entity positioning being incorrectly handled. , the oldest standing bug in the Minecraft
- Drops — items dropped by mobs when killed.
- Chunk format for more information about the attributes of items.
- Items cannot be damaged by attacking them
- https://youtu.be/YIm_AKUbqh8 Early video of Minecraft (Classic 0.24) by Notch referring to item entities as "resources"
- "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 on Twitter, December 11, 2012
- "@PaymenowTV It's Fancy Rendering option, but really won't make much of a difference on even a slow pc." – @Dinnerbone on Twitter, December 11, 2012