257 This article is about Multiplayer experiences and content.

Information below may not be integral to the main experience of Minecraft. Some aspects of this article may differ between separate multiplayer servers.


PvP is a multiplayer-only game mechanic, being an abbreviation for Player vs. Player, that is defined by two or more players entering combat with each other at the same time. PvP does not affect Singleplayer worlds unless opened up to LAN. PvP is generally a well received mechanic, despite causing numerous occasions of frustration among groups of players. It has been used in many popular mini games such as Hunger Games, Hide 'n Seek, and spleef.


PvP mechanics are rather simple: one player attacks another player until the target has their health depleted, defeats the attacker, or manages to escape. PvP is generally only fought with weapon-class items, such as the bow and sword. However, a multitude of items compensate as PvP accessories, as well as back-up weapons (Axes are generally the most popular non-weapon tool for PvP). PvP is essentially an extension onto PvW mechanics, and is similar to fighting mobs, excluding strategy and knowledge. Players simply use their wits to defeat each other. Similar to dying normally, when a player is killed by another player, any items in their inventory are dropped unless the keepInventory rule is on.

It is to be considered that the mechanics of PvP can be adjusted with Plugins (such as MCMMO and Factions). Plugins can add mechanics, such as special abilities and boosting stats. They are also capable of changing mechanics in slight or extreme ways, such as damage dealt with specific items. /scoreboard teams options also works to modify PvP.

Tools and Accessories

As stated before-hand, PvP is generally fought with Swords and Bows (at least one Arrow is a requirement in order to use the bow), with their respective items, power-ups, uses, etc. Armor is not completely necessary, but can give any player a better chance at defeating opponents.

Armor and Weapons

Swords are the main weapon of choice for combat. However, any axe can still do substantial damage. Swords are preferred, as they require far less materials to make and frequently do more damage per upgrade. Axes, on the other hand, deal slightly less damage than their respective sword counterpart, but have more durability than the sword to whom its damage is equal to. Armor is very essential to PvP, as it can block and/or reduce damage done. Armor, in a way, increases a player's health, giving them the ability to last longer in a fight. Similar to swords, the greater a material that is used to create the armor, the more durability is added and damage reduced. Bows are not necessary for PvP combat, but can be extremely helpful in many situations. Bows can be used to assault opponents from afar, as well as attack opponents attempting to escape from one.

General Accessories

There are many in-game accessories that are very useful in combat. Ender Pearls are one of the more basic utensils. Ender pearls can allow any player that uses them to teleport a decent distance. This can be used to escape a fight, avoid or catch up to other players, or reach a better vantage point for using the bow.

Golden Apples- of both varieties- are very useful. A tier-one golden apple is great for healing small amounts of health as well as giving the player a temporary health boost. The second-tier golden apples (Super Golden Apples, Notch Apples, GG-Apples, etc.) are the most useful. Second-tier golden apples heal all health through regeneration, healing all damage almost instantly. These apples give the player a moment of near invincibility, as well as Resistance, Fire Resistance, Absorption, and a small replenish of Hunger.

Flint and Steel is a popular choice among "PvPers", granting the player the ability to set an opponent on fire without the use of enchantments. Fire can be used as a good substitute for poison, damaging the player as well as their armor. However, fire can become difficult to avoid if used incorrectly, and can cause damage to the user. When used correctly, flint and steel can easily level the playing field against over-powered foes.

Water and Lava buckets can be used in a wider area of circumstances and affect a larger range than fire. Lava does more damage, but is easily avoidable. Water can be used to stall opponents, as well as reduce or remove fall damage.

Shields can be used to block hits, giving up a percentage of movement speed to do so. The shield blocks any attack 180 degrees in front of it, with the only exception being TNT. It can also be used to reflect arrows back at the one who fired them, making it useful in both defense and offense.


Potions play a large support role in any combat situation. However, potions are more difficult to obtain, and may not be available on certain PvP servers. Potions can easily replenish health and restore it faster, with a drawback of having to consume the potion, as well as being incapable of stacking. Potions with negative effects, such as poison, can cut a player's health down quickly depending on the type, as well as bring status effects onto a player. Splash potions are best when used on groups of players, or when the user can easily avoid them. Unlike fire, however, splash potions have a larger range of effect, but work differently depending on the area hit. Potions can deal damage to players, keep them from regenerating, or weaken their attacks.


Depending on the type of player and their preferences, each player's style of combat is different. Many players tend to use straightforward combat, going straight towards the offensive. Also, depending on the stats and possessions of any player, combat can be altered, and a player's tactics to combat this may have to be different.

Offensive Strategies

The majority of combatants use straightforward fighting techniques. Attack the player violently and relentlessly until they are defeated. However, several offensive strategies can be used to increase the odds of winning.


Learning to strafe properly can completely tilt the scales to the user's favor. Strafing mainly revolves around circling one's opponent whilst hitting them repeatedly, making it extremely hard or even impossible for them to attack. Players can also run through them and remain behind their back, and hit and run over and over if they have the speed status effect. This is extremely effective in 1.8 PvP, although it works well for 1.9 too.

Hiding and Sneaking

Using a more sneaky approach can grant a player the element of surprise. This mainly revolves around finding one central target and following them until the precise moment the player deems fit to fight. This can be very helpful in free-for-all situations, and can give any weaker player the upper hand. If a player is capable of hiding until the target takes a sufficient quantity of damage, they can easily take out a much stronger opponent.

Escape Combat

In many instances, users may find themselves up against equally matched players. A simple strategy is to attack the target until he or she is dead, or the player is running low on health/hunger. This strategy prolongs fighting, but can easily turn the odds. Escape combat can not only be employed in an offensive manner, but as a defensive resort as well.

Ranged Combat

Bows can easily determine the winner of any battle. Whichever player controls the distance will have the upper-hand in most situations. Bows can easily do equivalent damage as a sword without the risks of taking unnecessary damage. Because of the bow's flexible enchanting list, bows can be altered to provide many effects that a sword can, but from a distance.


If a player knows an area particularly well, they can be capable of leading other players into environmental hazards, such as lava or pre-set hazards. Many hazards typically lead to instantaneous death, and can be used to one's advantage. Trapping is commonly paired with fleeing techniques to force the opposing player to follow them into their trap. Terrain such as water can assist ranged fighters by creating a distance between them and their targets, as well as forcing another player to climb uphill to reach one.

Defensive Strategies

Defensive strategies vary from offensive strategies as players using defense are typically the underdog in a given situation. Defensive strategies also apply in chases between players and situations where the player has low health. Many defensive situations call upon the assistance and use of a bow.


A player can use the trapping situation defensively by hiding out near a hazardous area and forcing the chaser to come to them. Using hazard methods calls for a player to have planned for situations like such. Placing hazards is the key to this strategy, as hazards can delay a player, create a distance, or deal substantial damage. Fire is one of the more typical hazards. If an opponent is charging at a player, fire can be set behind the player if they are capable of turning around quickly. This fire can be difficult to avoid if the player cannot move out of the way. This can cause a stronger foe's health to plummet quickly. Lava can be employed in a similar manner. Water can be placed down to create distance for a player to escape quicker or turn the tables and switch strategies. Water can be helpful when using a bow as water slows down players. The natural knockback from a bow can prevent players from getting out.

Bow Combat

Bows are very resilient and can be used in a quick manner (but not at spamming speed) to deal damage to a player in a defensive manner. Bows can be used if an opponent has a disadvantage in terrain, such as being downhill or in water. Players can also escape up ladders and other hard-to-reach areas while using the bow to delay and damage opponents.


Diversions is an indirect strategy. The basic concept of this is to get a player that is following one to switch their target or train of thought to another situation. If a player is fast enough, it is possible to run to opponents into each other and have them struggle against the other. Mobs can also be used in a similar method, forcing a player to distract themselves with mob-combat to where the player can make a hasty escape.

Quick Escapes

Quick escape strategies usually rely on using Ender Pearls to create a distance between two players. If a player is able to get to a desirable area, they can use Ender Pearls to ascend to a higher area and surprise the foe with arrows.

Teams Combat

Team combat can be unfair on almost all occasions unless the server distinctly separates players into teams to fight against each other.

One Versus

If any given player is pitted against a group of players, they can easily be ganged up on and taken out with relative ease. Against two players, offensive techniques can still be used, but may be rendered ineffective. A simple tactic would be to lure players into a more desirable area, or trap to delay them or kill the other, leaving a single enemy to face off against.

Fighting against groups of three or more can be nearly impossible, as just about every offensive strategy becomes obsolete. The best chances of survival lies in the player actually escaping from the enemies' sights. If combat is necessary, the bow will be a good ally. Despite bows being used in distance situations, they should be used sparingly, as three or more foes can easily get their target confused. Again, using the terrain and traps is the suggested method.

If a player has any given distance between team members, they can use a wide range of strategies to fight one to two combatants at once. If the players are still in groups, set up one's own hazards that can affect multiple party members.

Group Versus

A group of players can easily overcome a single player due to the sheer numbers and pure chaos. Rushing is the preferred method as this can lead to allies attacking the single opponent at once, dealing massive damage. Players can also split into teams to ambush a player, or can split up and ambush them still. It is recommended to stay on one's toes and pay attention to one's target's actions. If the target is headed into water, avoid following unless equipped with ranged weapons, as the target may be trying to slow one's team down and pick them off as they chase them.

Team Versus Team

Team vs. Team is a very common thing for PvP minigames, such as Team Fortress parody maps and 'Minecraft Capture the Flag' minigames. Team strategies are a mix of all types of combat, both groups and single-party members, as well as offensive and defensive. In these situations, it's best to stay alert of one's surroundings to avoid confrontations. The battlefield can quickly become chaotic if groups of five or more are assaulting each other, so it is best to pick out a single target in one vs. one strategies in order to cut down the size of a team faster.

Note: Using a group to take out a single player is incredibly unfair and can ruin another player's experience. Try and avoid using teams unless the game permits it.

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