Minecarts are used for transportation, without a player having to give much manual effort. Minecarts are one of the fastest ways to move between places on solid ground. However, they require a system of Rails to be placed, so they can travel from one place to another. Thus, minecarts are more effective for transporting players across the commonly-traversed ground. Any Player or Mob may sit in and ride a minecart along a rail. They may also push a minecart along a rail, by walking into it. Also, players may grab and push a minecart along a rail by holding the right-click mouse button.
Placing a Furnace inside a minecart creates a Minecart with Furnace which can push other minecarts along a track if fuel is added to the furnace.
Minecarts require Rails on the ground to move. There are four different types of rails: a basic Rail, a Powered Rail, a Detector Rail, and an Activator Rail. Basic rails are used for moving the minecart without any boosts. They are the most commonly used because they use relatively less-expensive resources, compared to the two other varieties of rails.
A powered rail is used to give the minecart a boost of speed as it moves along the railway and requires a Redstone charge to activate. Detector rails are typically placed directly next to powered rails in a rail system, as they generate the redstone charge needed to activate the powered rail. The detector rail generates this charge as the minecart passes over it. Activator rails are a special type of rail which, when powered by a redstone charge, will detonate a Minecart with TNT as it passes over. If a mob or player is in a minecart as it passes over an active activator rail, they get ejected out of the minecart.
If a player puts a Saddle on a Pig and then manages to get into a minecart, they can ride the minecart without a rail system. The controls are Space (default) for forward, D (default) for left, and A (default) for right.
Minecarts that run into an Iron Golem will bounce off, instead of picking up the iron golem. This also happens with smaller mobs.
When a minecart abruptly hits a solid block (like Stone) while moving along a rail, there is a unique sound effect of metal clanging.
Minecarts can sometimes glitch, so the rider can't get out of them.
Between Snapshots 14w11a and 14w17a, if a minecart was moving too fast, and it needed to turn, it would derail.
Also, between snapshots 14w11a and 14w17a, minecarts could travel much faster in a straight line.
An Arrow fired from a Bow at full power can destroy a minecart.
For some reason, minecarts can also be ridden by boats as well and vice versa.