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An explosion of a block of primed TNT

An explosion is an active event where an entity detonates. In the process, this destroys most types of blocks, as well as causing injury to most other nearby entities, including the Player, if they are within the blast range. Explosions also propel nearby entities (including the player) away from the center of the blast. Certain explosions have the ability to create fire, such as the Ghast fireball.


Explosions can be caused by:

  • A primed TNT block
  • Creepers and their charged counterparts
  • Attempting to sleep in a bed while in any dimension other than the Overworld
  • Ghast fireballs
  • Wither projectiles, as well as the initial explosion when summoning the Wither
  • Punching an Ender Crystal


  • Position. A TNT explosion happens at the center of a primed TNT which is a 0.98 × 0.98 × 0.98 cube. A bed explosion happens at the center of the bed block (not destroyed before the explosion).
  • Ability to generate fire. The only types of explosions that can generate fire are beds and Ghast fireballs
  • Power. The power-level of each type of explosion is as follows (from weakest, to strongest):
    • 1 - Ghast's fireball
    • 1 - Wither skull projectiles (Both black and blue variants)
    • 3 - Creeper explosions (Not charged)
    • 4 - Primed TNT
    • 5 - Attempting to sleep in a bed in any dimension other than the overworld
    • 6 - Charged Creeper explosions
    • 6 - Ender Crystals
    • 7 - The initial blast when summoning the Wither

Through the use of commands, it is possible to create entities such as Primed TNT and Ghast fireballs with a larger explosion power.


Model of block destruction

An explosion can destroy nearby blocks. The damage done depends on a ray system.

  • A cube around the explosion epicenter is made and divided into a 16x16x16 grid. A ray is drawn from the center to each outer cube, resulting in 1,352 rays.
  • Each ray has starts out with a blast force between 0.7×power and 1.3×power.
  • The effect of the explosion is examined at various intervals on the ray with a step length of 0.3.
  • The blast force is lowered by (block resistance / 5 + 0.3) times the step length by the non-air block (regardless of if the block was destroyed) at the every checkpoint, and further weakend by step length×0.75 between checkpoints, until completely absorbed or attenuated.
  • A block is considered destroyed if it can't completely absorb the blast force at any checkpoint in it (air blocks can be destroyed too).

The following results can be derived from the above:

  • The blast radius of an explosion that is not absorbed by any blocks (In the open air) is equal to [1.3 * (power)]/(step length*.75)*step length. This gives the radius of an explosion not blocked by any blocks.
    • Blast Radii:
      • The Wither summon blast has a range of 12.1 blocks
      • Charged Creepers: 10.2 blocks
      • Ender Crystals: 10.2
      • Non-Overworld Beds: 8.6
      • Primed TNT: 6.9
      • Normal Creepers: 5.2
      • Ghast Fireballs: 1.5
      • Both Variants of Wither Skull Projectiles: 1.5
  • The Minimum block resistance required is a similar equation given by the [(blast radius) * (5)]. For a block to not be destroyed, it must absorb all of the blast force (i.e. have enough blast resistance) of the explosion.
    • Block Resistances:
      • 142.67 - Initial Wither Summon Blast
      • 121.00 - Charged Creepers & Ender Crystals
      • 99.3 - Non-Overworld Beds
      • 77.67 - Primed TNT
      • 56.0 - Normal Creepers
      • 16.42 - Ghast Fireballs & Wither Skulls (Only the Black variant)

By normal means, lava, water, obsidian, and bedrock are indestructible by explosions, all their blast resistances are over 500. Note: Explosions do not have a cumulative effect on blocks. Multiple explosions at once will not destroy a block with a higher blast resistance than the initial blast. Blocks do not have "temporary health" and don't manage damage from explosions, and the status of the block is monitored independently on each new explosion, not cumulatively.

Note: Destroyed blocks only have a 30% chance of being dropped as an item.

Interaction with entities

An explosion has different effects on entities than blocks. Entities are damaged and propelled by an explosion if within its damage radius of 2 × power. Note that the "damage radius" is different from the blast radius of explosion effect on blocks.

  • For each entity within the radius, define impact = (1 - distance from the explosion / radius) × exposure.
  • Apply (impact2 + impact) × 8 × power + 1 point (half-heart, so we don't have to divide by 2 everywhere) of damage to the entity.
  • Propel the entity so that its velocity increases by impact in the direction from explosion to the entity.

From the above process, the following results can be deduced:

  • Entities will always get at least 1 point of damage if they are within the radius, regardless of their explosion exposure.
  • The maximum damage that entities can take (at the explosion center with 100% exposure) = (1 × 1 + 1) × 8 × power + 1 point of damage = 113 (56.5) (summoning wither), 97 (48.5) (charged creeper, ender crystal), 81 (40.5) (bed Nether/End), 65 (32.5) (TNT), 49 (24.5) (creepers), 17 (8.5) (fireballs, wither skull). When entities are away or covered by blocks from the explosion center, they take less damage.
  • The maximum velocity gain that an entity can obtain from a TNT explosion is 1, at the explosion center with 100% exposure.

Different damage effects will ensue. For example, existing items will be destroyed, and the armor on a player will absorb part of the damage. Items dropped in the process of, or actually after, the explosion are not affected because they have no interaction between the explosion.

The propulsion effect is often used for TNT cannons.

Calculation of explosion exposure

Explosion exposure is simply how much an entity is visible from the explosion center and is approximated with the ratio of visible sample points on the entity. The approximation algorithm has sampling error that results in directional asymmetry of propulsion. For example, a typical TNT cannon has a maximum range in the west direction partly because the primed TNT has largest sampled exposure in that direction.

Causing fire

If the explosion has the ability to cause fires, it will randomly start fires in 1/3 of all destroyed air blocks that are above opaque blocks. This is bugged and doesn't occur in versions Beta 1.6 - Beta 1.8.

Blast Resistance

Block Name Blast Resistance
Bedrock 18,000,000
Enchantment Table 6,000
Obsidian 6,000
Lava 500
Water 500
End Stone 45
Brick (Block) 30
Stone Brick 30
Cobblestone 30
Diamond (Block) 30
Gold (Block) 30
Iron (Block) 30
Jukebox 30
Moss Stone 30
Nether Brick 30
Nether Brick Stairs 30
Nether Brick Fence 30
Stone Stairs 30
Slabs 30
Stone 30
Iron Bars 30
Iron Door 25
Monster Spawner 25
Dispenser 17.5
Furnace 17.5
Coal Ore 15
Diamond Ore 15
Wooden Door 15
Fence 15
Gold Ore 15
Iron (Ore) 15
Lapis Lazuli (Block) 15
Block Name Blast Resistance
Lapis Lazuli (Ore) 15
Redstone (Ore) 15
Wooden Stairs 15
Wooden Plank 15
Chest 12.5
Crafting Table 12.5
Wood 10
Bookshelf 7.5
Jack-O-Lantern 5
Melon (Block) 5
Pumpkin 5
Sign 5
Note Block 4
Sandstone 4
Wool 4
Rails 3.5
Clay (Block) 3
Farmland 3
Grass ?
Gravel 3
Cake 2.5
Sponge 3
Dirt 2.5
Ice 2.5
Lever 2.5
Mycelium 2.5
Pressure Plates 2.5
Block Name Blast Resistance
Sand 2.5
Soul Sand 2.5
Stone Button 2.5
Cactus 2
Ladders 2
Netherrack 2
Glass 1.5
Glowstone (Block) 1.5
Bed 1
Leaves 1
Snow (Block) 1
Snow 0.5
Seeds (Item) 0
Flowers 0
Fire 0
Mushrooms 0
Portal 0
Redstone (Wire) 0
Redstone (Torch) 0
Redstone (Repeater) 0
Sugar Cane 0
Sapling 0
Torch 0
Flowing Lava 0
Flowing Water 500
Air 0

Typical damage radii

a player will get certain damage if these radii are within an area of a 100% exposure ground 1-, 2-, or 4-TNT explosion as shown in the following figures with the amount of damage shown on each circle.


  • An explosion powerful enough to break bedrock would have a blast radius of over 30,000,000 blocks, which is enough to destroy the entire world in 1.8. An uninterrupted blast would cover 238,775,501.2 blocks.
  • Prior to Beta 1.8, explosions produced smoke particles.
  • Explosions can lift a player into the air to a height that is high enough to cause fall damage, making Creepers and their charged counterparts dangerous in more than just initial damage dealt.

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