Getting Started

From Minetest

Welcome to Minetest! This page explains what Minetest is all about, how to get it, and how to start playing your first games alone or online.

“What is this strange ‘Minetest’ thing I keep hearing about?”

Screenshot of Minetest Game, a game for Minetest
  • Minetest is a program on which you can play many games which are set in a world entirely made out of blocks.
  • You can play offline or online.
  • Minetest supports running various games, which is the core feature of Minetest
  • Most games (but not all!) have a sandbox gameplay focused on construction, mining and creativity
  • The default game is Minetest Game, but there are many more.
  • You can install mods to modify certain aspects of gameplay. Mods are an inherent part of Minetest.
  • Mods work out of the box when playing on servers, no additional installations required. Mods are server-side, everything is handled automatically.
  • The name “Minetest” only refers to the game engine. The name “Minetest Game” only refers to the default game.

Getting Minetest


  • Download Minetest. If you have a 64-bit version of Windows, you should use a 64-bit download, but the 32-bit build will also run on 64-bit systems. The inverse of this is not true – 64-bit builds will not run on a 32-bit Windows.
  • Extract the downloaded archive. We suggest C:\Minetest\, C:\Games\Minetest\ or %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Minetest\. It doesn't matter where, as long as you have read/write access. Do NOT save to C:\Program Files\ or similar, as it will cause problems (no write access).
  • To run Minetest, open the extracted directory and look for the bin (binary) directory. Inside the bin directory is the Minetest executable, minetest.exe.

Here is the directory structure you should have:

├── bin/
├── builtin/
│   ├── async/
│   ├── common/
│   ├── fstk/
│   ├── game/
│   └── mainmenu/
├── client/
│   ├── serverlist/
│   └── shaders/
│       ├── nodes_shader/
│       └── water_surface_shader/
├── doc/
├── fonts/
├── games/
│   ├── minetest_game/
│   └── minimal/
├── locale/ 
│   └── (lots of language folders)
├── mods/ 
└── textures/
    └── base/
        └── pack/


  • Download Minetest.
  • Extract the file. It doesn't matter where, as long as you have read write access.
  • Open the .app file in the extracted folder.

Or use Homebrew to install the latest stable version:

brew install minetest
brew linkapps

GNU/Linux Installation

  • If you can, download the version already compiled for your distribution of GNU/Linux. If you can't find one, you can compile it yourself from here. In this case, you should also install a game.
  • If you are on Debian, Ubuntu or derivative, you can also use:
sudo apt-get install minetest

This may however give you an outdated version, see the pages below for information on versions available:

minetest on
minetest on

  • You can also try to compile Minetest from the latest source on GitHub using this one-line script for installing/compiling Minetest Git, for Debian / Ubuntu / Mint
  • On some Linux-systems, you can also install Minetest as a SNAP-package, see snap-store. Such a SNAP-installation would be separate from a minetest-version installed via apt or compiled, with its files, mods, worlds, screenshots etc. stored under ~/snap/minetest/. That means, you could have eg. an old 0.4.x and a new 0.5.x version both ready to play on your pc.
  • Minetest can also be install from the Flatpak package, see also Quick Setup for more information on setting up Flatpak. The configuration file(minetest.conf, mods, world, etc.) will be saved under ~/.var/app/net.minetest.Minetest/.minetest.
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install flatpak
(GNOME) $ sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak 
(KDE)   $ sudo apt install plasma-discover-backend-flatpak 
$ flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub
(Reboot the system)

$ flatpak install flathub net.minetest.Minetest
or Search "Minetest" and install from Gnome Software / Discover.

Folder structure according to CMakeLists.txt

based on the building scripts in CMakeLists.txt on github

DirVariable WIN32 APPLE UNIX/Linux/BSD RUN_IN_PLACE UNIX/Linux/BSD Description
SHAREDIR . ${BUNDLE_NAME}/Contents/Resources . ${CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX}/share/${PROJECT_NAME} Directory to install data files into
BINDIR bin ${BUNDLE_NAME}/Contents/MacOS bin ${CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX}/bin Directory to install binaries into
DOCDIR doc ${SHAREDIR}/${PROJECT_NAME} doc ${CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX}/share/doc/${PROJECT_NAME} Directory to install documentation into
EXAMPLE_CONF_DIR . ${DOCDIR} . ${DOCDIR} Directory to install example config file into
MANDIR unix/man ${CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX}/share/man Directory to install manpages into
XDG_APPS_DIR unix/applications ${CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX}/share/applications Directory to install .desktop files into
APPDATADIR unix/appdata ${CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX}/share/appdata
ICONDIR unix/icons ${CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX}/share/icons Directory to install icons into
LOCALEDIR locale ${SHAREDIR}/locale locale ${CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX}/share/${PROJECT_NAME}/locale Directory to install l10n files into

for Apple "BUNDLE_NAME" is set to "${PROJECT_NAME}.app" where the project_name is set to minetest and
the "BUNDLE_PATH" is set to "${BUNDLE_NAME}"


Now that you have it installed you can either; play singleplayer, play on a local server or play online by connecting to a server.

Play Singleplayer

To play singleplayer, simply create a world, select a map generator (optional) and click Play. By default, you start in Minetest Game. Read How to build your first house for your first steps in Minetest Game.

There is also an unofficial Tutorial for an interactive introduction into Minetest in general.

You can also choose to install other games. We recommend this, because games is one of the key features in Minetest; if you only look at Minetest Game, you will be missing out on a lot of other interesting creations from the community.

Play Online

Change password screen

Joining a multiplayer server is done in the 'Client' tab. To select a server, click its name on the server list. The address and port will be automatically filled. Some servers are not listed on the server list. Find the server's topic, and enter the address and port given into the text boxes in the client tab. An address will look like or The port is a whole number between 1 and 65535.

After choosing a server and selecting it, you must enter a username and password.
When a username first connects to a server an account for that player is created.

Accounts in Minetest are not centralized. This means that accounts are stored on each server, rather than on a central server. You do not have to use the same username as on the forums, and you do not even need to have a forum account. Using a password is strongly recommended to stop others stealing your player and causing damage. You can change your password by clicking 'change password' on pause menu (ESC).

Minetest uses SRP authentication.

Some servers require you to request for build privileges on their forum topic, as an anti-griefing measure.

Basic Controls

Most of these can be changed in the “Change Keys” menu. For a more complete list of keyboard controls, see Controls.

The default and most important controls are:

  • W/A/S/D: move
  • Space: jump
  • Left mouse button: Punch, mine blocks, move an item stack in an inventory
  • Right mouse button: use (e.g. open chest or furnace), place blocks, move one item or split items in an inventory
  • Shift+Right mouse button: place blocks
  • Middle mouse button: move 10 items in an inventory
  • Mouse wheel: select item in the hotbar
  • 0-9: select item in the hotbar
  • Q: drop block, item or tool in hand
  • I: open or close the inventory menu
  • T: open the chat window
  • Shift: descend on ladders or sneak (walk slower, prevents falling off ledges)


The basic Minetest gameplay is taught in the unofficial Tutorial which is aimed towards complete newbies, see Games/Tutorial for a guide on how to install and start it.

A very brief but outdated introduction into Minetest can be seen in this video.

A quick-start guide for Minetest Game can be found at How to build your first house.

The following wiki pages explain some basic Minetest concepts more or less in-depth:

As soon as you grasped the basics, you may want to look up which blocks and items are available and get an overview about farming.

Just want to build? Try creative mode!

If you want more, consider trying new mods and games.

If you want to play online, you should read the gameplay notes for multiplayer servers.

Advanced topics:

See also

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