From Minetest


If a world is "Survival" and not "Creative", you'll spend much of your time mining.

This page discusses mining. Mining is simply the act of digging up a node; typically a stone block or an ore or other material such as gold or quartz.

When you dig up a node, it may crumble and "drop" something or it may stay the same. Either way, the results usually go into your inventory.

Once you've mined a few nodes, you can use the results to make objects such as furniture or tools. This is called "crafting".

How to mine

Depending on a world's modset, you'll usually need a privilege to do mining. The privilege will typically be "interact" or "build".

Mining is done by pointing to the desired node and holding the attack button (Left mouse button by default). If you're wielding a tool such as a pickaxe, the tool is used to mine the node. Otherwise, the game tries to use your hands to mine the node. That usually won't work (unless you are acquiring primitive materials such as dirt, or wood to build tools).

Not everything can be mined with all mining tools. Some tools are better for certain materials. Also, mining often takes some time to finish. The mining speed depends on your tool and the node you want to mine.

Mining depths

This chart shows where you can typically find a few of the most common ores or materials:

Resource Lowest Y Highest Y Note Supplied by
Lapis Block -5000 +200 (minetest)
Coal   +64 abundant 0 or below lapis
Iron   +2 more abundant as approaches -64 (default)
Zinc   +2   technic
Silver   -2   moreores
Copper   -16 abundant -64 or below (default, formerly moreores)
Tin   -32 abundant -128 or below (default, formerly moreores, at +8)
Marble   -50   technic
Gold   -64 abundant -256 or below (default, formerly moreores)
Mese   -64 ore abundant -256 or below, blocks -1024 or below but rare (minetest)
Uranium -300 -80   technic
Chromium   -100  
Diamond -128 abundant below -256 (default, formerly technic)
Granite -150   technic
Lava   -256  
Mithril   -512   moreores
Mycena Essence,
Glow Mese Crystal
-33,000 -700   caverealms
Dungeon Master's Lair -5000 -4000   caverealms
Deep Realms -7000   caverealms


After a block has been mined, it may leave none, one or some items which go straight into your player inventory. The items left behind are also called the “drop” of the node and it is said that a node drops something after being mined.

Most blocks drop themselves. This is also the default behaviour if not specified otherwise by the modder. But of course there are other drops possible, too. This is the list of possible drop types:

  • itself,
  • a different item,
  • multiple items,
  • nothing at all,
  • item or items based on chance (probability-based drop).

If the drop wouldn't fit in your inventory, the items literally drop on the floor instead.

Mining speed

The mining speed is determined by groups.

Mining in typical modsets

You start with a hand which is itself able to mine a lot of nodes already, but at the worst speed. Axes are good to mine wooden nodes. Pickaxes are good to mine stone-like nodes. Shovels are very fast at digging dirt, sand and gravel. Axes, pickaxes and shovels come in 6 variants: Wooden, stone, steel, bronze, Mese and diamond. In this order, the tools become stronger and stronger and usually mine faster.

Most nodes drop themselves. Notable examples for nodes which don’t drop just themselves:

Notable examples for probability-based drops: