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The south-east rule, also known as the Z-X rule, is an unintentional mechanic in Minecraft wherein various effects occur based on the cardinal directions, specifically in a south-east variant.


The following list contains effects that happen in Minecraft, relating to the south, east, or south-east cardinal directions, including:

  • Rails curve south or east when they are initially placed at a "T" intersection or a "+" intersection. They also curve away from the south or east when powered.
    • An exception to this is if there is an intersection on a downhill rail track, the minecart continues on the downhill track, even if the south-east rule applies. (see Rail#Downhill rule)
  • Any mobs that are spawned by spawn eggs, /summon, monster spawners, the player, or by breeding, always appear to be facing the southern direction initially.
  • TNT cannons tend to fire farther when facing east or south.
  • Many bugs cause problems relating to south and east, such as villagers trying to cram into the house that is mostly in the southern-eastern area of the village.
  • When the player is exactly inside the middle of a block, they are pushed out of the block north-east.
  • 2×2 trees are unable to grow, if north, west or northwest diagonal block is occupied up to the final height of the tree.
  • When the player first spawns into the world, they spawn facing south.

Model/Texture orientation[]

Blocks can be split into 3 categories based on the model behavior.

  • Always the same way (only has 1 orientation, no other facing version exists); for example, cobblestone, planks, bookshelf, obsidian, ores, etc.
  • The texture orientation is based on the location of the block, not dependent on the placing direction (dirt, grass blocks)
  • Based on the mode of placing, it uses a certain predictable orientation/block state (glazed terracotta, furnace, piston, logs)


Java Edition Beta
1.6Test Build 3Prevented dispensers from firing arrows, eggs, or snowballs through a solid block right next to the dispenser if the dispenser is facing west or south. At this time, this was known as the south-west rule, as at the time the positive X coordinate was west. This meant that any effects that now follow the south-east rule, followed the south-west rule at the time.
Java Edition
1.0.0Beta 1.9 Prerelease 4Changed the south-west rule to the south-east rule, as positive X was changed from west to east.

See also[]