Games/Minetest Game

From Minetest

Minetest Game
Minetest logo.png
A game
Game Type Sandbox
Author Minetest developers
Latest version 5.7.0
Forum topic 9724
Source code GitHub

Minetest Game (previously called “minetest_game” and originally “mesetint”) is a game for Minetest which is usually distributed along with Minetest by default. It is mostly a big sandbox. Click here for a quick-start guide.

Gameplay overview

Minetest Game is a simple and peaceful “sandbox game”, this means there are no goals and no built-in computer enemies. The player is thrown into a world made of cubes and can attempt to explore the surface and hitchhike through grasslands, forests, deserts, jungles, snowy and arctic regions, explore the seas with a boat or swim and dive, and collect various materials and craft tools from them. Using a pickaxe, the player can dig into the depths and collect precious minerals, but a careless player can also be cooked by lava. Or the player could become a farmer or forester and plant trees and crops. Almost every block can be removed with the correct tool and with the collected blocks almost every building can be erected—only the imagination is the limit. Minetest Game has a focus on creativity, building and exploring worlds, rather than being a challenge, so the gameplay naturally is sandbox-style.





The world

  • Several biomes to discover: Grasslands, desert, jungle, ocean, savannah, decidious forests, coniferous forests, snow, cold desert, glacier
  • Underground dungeons
  • Small and large underground caves
  • Underground lava pockets
  • 6 minerals: coal, iron, copper, gold, mese, diamond, used to craft tools and stuff
  • Rare mese block at below Y=-1024 (equals 9 mese crystals)
  • 6 tree types: “normal” tree, apple tree, jungle tree, acacia tree, aspen tree, pine tree. Includes saplings to grow new trees
  • 6 flowers (used to create colors), waterlily, mushrooms and some other small plants

Craftable tools

Other gameplay aspects


As default game

Minetest Game is included by default to give some initial single player content when Minetest is downloaded in the single archive file from the download section of the homepage. It includes some basic mods that add enough game content to offer a simple playable game. Control keys and basic gameplay activities are set to function similar to other games of the genre to make immediate playing possible.

Minetest Game is not needed to play on other servers as all game content is controlled and "served" by the hosting server. Only when running an own Minetest server is some playable content needed that is normally a collection of mod scripts in a “game” folder. “Single-player” may be viewed as a special case when the local Minetest program acts as local game-server, hosting a local game and then connects to its own self as client.

As basis for new games

The gameplay can be modified considerably by Lua scripts organized in mods. As a lot of mods, offered by the community, name “default” as dependency, Minetest Game is thought as the basic content on which game designers may build their own games. Thus if compatibility with most mods is the aim of a new game, it is advisable to start building the new game by adding content to a copy of Minetest Game.

As collection of modding examples

Although this may seem trivial this function of the Minetest game should not be forgotten as it often offers the first example of how to code things for modders.


Note: This section it outdated.

Minetest Game contains the following mods:

Notable things not included

As Minetest Game was included in the download archive it was supposed to be lightweight and as gameplay-neutral as possible. It therefore often irritated new players that particular things known from similar games were not included by default:

History and plans

0.4.9 branch

Since early 2014, Minetest Game (then called “minetest_game”) was semi-officially under feature freeze. It was not dropped and was kept available in maintenance-mode as basis for all mods that depended on "default". The consensus of the Minetest developers seemed to be that Minetest Game should be changed as little as possible[2] (feature-freeze) and rather no new content added. Thus offering the most compatibility to old mods and leaving the bulk of game content for game designers to develop.

0.4.10 branch

With the release of 0.4.10, Minetest Game Minetest-NeXt was merged[3] with Minetest Game.

Future development

To give more examples of the possibilities of the Minetest engine it had been discussed to include more example games in the download archive. The only other “game” that was included in the 0.4.9 versions of Minetest was “Minimal development test” (now Development Test), which is only recommended for testing purposes. Games suggested as example games[4] have been Dwarves, PilzTest, Nostalgia, Realtest, Eden or a game based on the Ethereal mod. More recently BFD, Minetest NeXt and Carbone have been considered among others. The idea is to showcase a variety of different gameplay, environment and atmosphere concepts.


Calinou's Law

Calinou's Law is a supposition about the density of ores in Minetest Game. It states, approximately:

The more mods you install which add ores, the more likely you will be to find nothing BUT ores by the time you dig down to -31 km.

In theory, one could reach a state in the game where there are indeed nothing but minerals and no plain stone at some depth by adding enough ore-bearing mods, however this particular idea refers more to the issue some people have of going on a mining expedition and coming back so loaded down with ores that one has no room in their inventory for anything else, such as cobblestone. Calinou's Law is this phenomenon taken to its logical extreme.

Compare "rainbow caves" phenomenon, wherein there are so many minerals in a given area that cave walls take on a multicolor or "rainbow" appearance.


Minetest Game is free software, without advertisements and free of charge. It is licensed under the LGPL v2.1 (or later) for the source code and CC BY-SA 3.0 for the media files.

Notes and References

  1. Though rats might just be able to sneak in if you are not careful ;-).
  2. "Minetest Game will no longer be developed" thread on the Minetest forum.
  3. "(0.4.10) NeXt merged / Updated minetest_game" thread on the Minetest forum.
  4. as discussed on IRC at 2013-10-17