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How to Use Command Blocks in "Minecraft"

Dreamhowl has been playing "Minecraft" since 2012. She enjoys building, farming, and breeding animals. She especially enjoys magic modpacks!

Learn how to use command blocks in your singleplayer and multiplayer worlds!

Learn how to use command blocks in your singleplayer and multiplayer worlds!

What Are Command Blocks?

In Minecraft, the command block can automatically run specified server commands as long as it is activated by redstone. Command blocks were originally added to support Adventure mode but also allow custom mapmakers to improve interaction with the player. Command blocks cannot be crafted and are not located in the Creative mode inventory; players with server privileges can use the “give” command to give themselves or another player a command block. The “give” command is as follows:

  • /give <player name> 137

When typing in the command, exclude the brackets around the player’s name. The number following the name must be 137, as this is the command block’s ID number. Only players in Creative mode can place command blocks, and only players with operator status on the server can input and save commands. In Survival mode, command blocks cannot be edited or destroyed by any means. Command blocks can also be used in singleplayer or multiplayer worlds: Simply turn on LAN mode and allow cheats.

Why Use Command Blocks?

Have you ever played an adventure map where it is constantly nighttime, or where the weather never changes? You may have downloaded a custom map where players are awarded special items, enchantments, or experience at the push of a button or completion of a task. All of these are made possible through command blocks. When making your own Minecraft map, you might need command blocks if:

  • You want it to always be day or night.
  • You want to change the weather.
  • You want to change the game difficulty.
  • You want to play a certain sound.
  • You want to give a player a message.
  • You want to teleport to another location.
  • You want to give players items.

Types of Custom Maps

YouTube is full of videos that feature and review various Minecraft maps. Multiplayer versus maps are especially popular. There are many categories of downloadable Minecraft maps that utilize command blocks to maximize the user experience. These are many of the reasons why map creators use command blocks. Some examples of custom map categories are:

  • Adventure maps
  • Parkour maps
  • Puzzle maps
  • Survival maps
Adventure maps use command blocks to express dialogue between characters.

Adventure maps use command blocks to express dialogue between characters.

Adventure Maps

Adventure maps are all about storyline and usually have the player act out the main role of the character in the adventure. While adventure maps previously relied on telling their stories through signs and books, they can now tell their tale through dialogue and sounds because of command blocks.

Parkour Maps

Parkour maps challenge the player to get from one end of the map to the other with as few deaths as possible. These maps often feature jumping puzzles, along with other dangerous challenges. Command blocks make it possible for players to set spawnpoints before challenging tasks.

Puzzle Maps

Puzzle maps focus on problem-solving skills, featuring mazes, traps and other difficult puzzles. Some puzzle maps also come with a storyline similar to adventure maps. The use of command blocks allows maps like these to deliver directions more easily, as well as story-related dialogue and sound.

Survival Maps

Survival maps can either be solely focused on survival for single or multiplayer scenarios, or include a storyline along with the challenge of survival. Command blocks can provide a starting spawnpoint for players, as well as story-related information if applicable. The opportunities are endless.

How to Use Command Blocks

Setting up command blocks is easier than most Minecraft players think! While commands can get intricate, some commands (like setting the time of day) are simple and easy to program into a command block. Bigger projects can come later; to start, try learning the basics of how to place, set, and use a command block!

1. Switch Gamemode to Creative

Remember that command blocks can only be spawned in and placed in Creative mode! To switch your gamemode, make sure that you have the proper server privileges (if applicable) or that cheats are enabled. In your chat box, type “/gamemode c”, “/gamemode creative” or “/gamemode 1” without the quotation marks. In Creative mode, your health and hunger bars will disappear, and typing “e” will bring up the Creative mode inventory.

2. Right-Click on a Command Block

Once you are in Creative mode, right-click on a command block to access it. Remember that you need the “give” command to spawn a command block for use. Furthermore, command blocks will only work if they are hooked up to a redstone current. Right-clicking will bring up a dialogue box where you can put a server command. The maximum command length is limited to 254 characters, so don’t get too carried away!

This command block gives the player who pushes the button a command block!

This command block gives the player who pushes the button a command block!

Did You Know?

3. Enter a Command and Click Done

When you enter a command into the command block, you will need to specify what players are being targeted. This can be done by entering a player’s name, or a selection of three different variables:

  • @p” (nearest players)
  • @r” (random player)
  • @a” (all players)

These variables are especially useful in situations where the player triggering a command block is unknown. Once you’ve set your command, click “Done” to save it into the command block.

The following examples are simple and practical applications of the command block in both singleplayer and multiplayer Minecraft worlds. If you can think of any popular (and easy to learn) uses for the command block, feel free to chime in in the comment section of the article!

How to Change Game Rules

Game Rules are a recent feature that allow players and command blocks to adjust specific base settings of the Minecraft world. There are nine listed game rules that can be controlled with command blocks on your map. You can use game rules to create eternal daylight or darkness, disable mob spawning, disable mob drops, and more! When entering the “gamerule” command, use the following formula:

  • /gamerule <gamerule> <true/false>

Game Rules and Their Effects in "Minecraft"

Game RulesGame Effects

commandBlockOutput

Enables/disables text output of command blocks

doDaylightCycle

Enables/disables day/night cycle

doFireTrick

Enables/disables fire spread/dissipation

doMobLoot

Enables/disables mob drops

doMobSpawning

Enables/disables spawning of mobs

doTileDrops

Enables/disables blocks dropping items when broken

keepInventory

Enables/disables keeping inventory on death

mobGriefing

Enables/disables removal of blocks by creepers or endermen

naturalRegeneration

Enables/disables players to naturally regenerate health

Redstone loops create repeating commands, like this rain weather machine!

Redstone loops create repeating commands, like this rain weather machine!

How to Set the Weather

Some maps have a dark theme that goes perfect with rainy weather or thunderstorms, while others are best played in clear skies. There are many ways to control the weather with command blocks depending on your needs. For a simple weather command, enter the following into a command block:

  • /weather <input>

In this case, input is replaced with either “clear”, “rain” or “thunder” in the formula. You can connect a button or lever to the command block to switch the weather manually, or set up an automated redstone loop to continually reset the weather for you. This is easily accomplished using redstone repeaters, redstone, a button and a building block.

Command blocks can be set to save a spawnpoint in case of player death.

Command blocks can be set to save a spawnpoint in case of player death.

How to Set a Spawnpoint

Spawnpoints are vital in many Minecraft maps, including adventure maps, parkour maps, puzzle maps, and more. It is incredibly annoying to have to walk back from the beginning of the map each time each time a player dies. Using the “spawnpoint” command is like saving your game progress or reaching a checkpoint. Here is the “spawnpoint” command:

  • /spawnpoint

By connecting a command block to a building block with a button or pressure plate, players can set their spawnpoint to the location of the command block. If you want to get complex, you can add coordinates to the “spawnpoint” command to specify exactly where the spawnpoint is set. By having a spawnpoint command, players do not need to sleep in a bed to set their spawn.

Players can use the teleport command to travel to any location in the "Minecraft" world.

Players can use the teleport command to travel to any location in the "Minecraft" world.

How to Teleport to a Location

Running from place to place can get exhausting, especially on a multiplayer server. Thankfully, with the use of the “teleport” command, players can travel to specific coordinates in the Minecraft world, or even the locations of other players. To use the “teleport” command, enter this into a command block:

  • /tp <playername> <x> <y> <z>

With command blocks, it is easiest to have a defined set of coordinates to teleport the player to, such as the location of the next part of the adventure map. If the command block isn’t meant for a specific player, you can use “@p” to select the nearest player. If you are on a multiplayer server, you can tailor the command block to just your use by inputting your Minecraft username.

It is easy to hide command blocks behind walls and structures for aesthetic appeal.

It is easy to hide command blocks behind walls and structures for aesthetic appeal.

Just the Basics

These are just a few ways to use command blocks in your singleplayer or multiplayer Minecraft world. There are far more intricate commands and redstone circuits that mapmakers use to provide fantastic player experiences. If you have any more ideas about simple uses for command blocks, feel free to share them in the comment section below!

Test Your Knowledge of Command Blocks!

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Which players can place command blocks?
    • All players can place them
    • Only players in creative mode
    • Only players in survival mode
    • Only players in adventure mode
  2. How do you get command blocks?
    • Find it in the creative mode inventory
    • Find it in a dungeon chest
    • Use the "/give 137" command
    • Close your eyes and wish really hard
  3. Which command is used to target players?
    • @p (nearest player)
    • @r (random player)
    • @a (all players)
    • All of the above
  4. Which of these is not a weather command?
    • /weather clear
    • /weather rain
    • /weather sunshine
    • /weather thunder
  5. Which of these is not a teleport command?
    • /tp
    • /tp
    • /tp
    • /tp

Answer Key

  1. Only players in creative mode
  2. Use the "/give 137" command
  3. All of the above
  4. /weather sunshine
  5. /tp

Questions & Answers

Question: When playing Minecraft, how do you remove blocks with the command block?

Answer: In Minecraft, you can remove blocks at specific coordinates with the following command (replacing x, y, and z with the cooridnates of the block): /setblock x y z minecraft:air

© 2013 Jessica Peri

Comments

EmpathyHeals from Lincon, NE on April 09, 2015:

Sure go ahead, the generator isn't mine but it's public; go ahead and link to the game, as people can download it and use it in single player or on their server!

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on April 09, 2015:

@EmpathyHeals: That is a great generator! And the link to your game is interesting. Do you mind if I link to both in my hub?

EmpathyHeals from Lincon, NE on April 09, 2015:

Thanks, this is great! I am in love with this http://bimbimma.com/mcstacker/ command generator for command blocks! It gives such excellent commands for them so you can spawn whatever. I have made this very educational game with command blocks, in case anyone wants it (you can download my hard work!) http://www.planetminecraft.com/project/dying-to-le...