what do pistons do in minecraft

Renewable

Yes

Stackable

Yes (64)

Tool

Blast resistance

0.5

Hardness

1.5

Luminant

No

Transparent

No

Flammable

No

Catches fire from lava

No

A piston is a block capable of pushing blocks, players, and mobs when given a redstone pulse.

A sticky piston has the same function as a piston but can also pull the block on its face back when it retracts, unlike the regular piston, which leaves the pushed block in place.

1 Obtaining 1.1 Breaking 1.2 Natural generation 1.3 Crafting 2 Usage 2.1 Limitations 2.1.1 Exceptions 2.2 Powering pistons 2.3 Slime blocks and honey blocks 3 Technical components 3.1 Piston Head 3.1.1 Metadata 3.1.2 Block states 3.2 Moving Piston 3.2.1 Block states 3.2.2 Block data 4 Sounds 4.1 Generic 4.2 Unique 5 Data values 5.1 ID 5.2 Metadata 5.3 Block states 6 Achievements 7 Video 8 History 8.1 Piston head/moving piston “items” 9 Issues 10 Trivia 11 Gallery 12 See also 13 Notes 14 References

Obtaining < edit>

Breaking < edit>

A piston can be broken using any tool with equal efficiency, and always drops itself. In Java Edition, it is faster to break them with a pickaxe, although the Efficiency enchantment does not increase the mining speed.

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The pickaxe is the preferred tool for the head also, despite it being made almost completely of wood.[1]

Block Piston Hardness 1.5 Tool Breaking time[A] Default 2.25 Wooden 1.15 Stone 0.6 Iron 0.4 Diamond 0.3 Netherite 0.25 Golden 0.2
↑ Times are for unenchanted tools as wielded by players with no status effects, measured in seconds. For more information, see Breaking § Speed.

Natural generation < edit>

Three sticky pistons generate as part of each jungle temple.

Crafting < edit>

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe Piston Any Planks +
Cobblestone +
Iron Ingot +
Redstone Dust

Pistons are always placed facing toward the player. When powered, the piston”s wooden surface (the “head”) starts extending immediately in Java Edition; or either 2 game ticks (1 redstone tick; 0.1 seconds) later or immediately, depending on how it was powered, in Bedrock Edition. When it extends, it pushes at most 12 blocks. The piston makes a sound that can be heard within a 31×31×31 cube centered on the activating piston. Any entities in the path of the extending head are pushed with the blocks. If there is no place for the entities to go, the block pushes inside them, suffocating mobs if the block is not transparent when pushed into the eye height of the mob.

When a piston loses power, its head retracts. Like extending, this retraction starts immediately in Java Edition; or, depending on how it was powered, after 1 tick in Bedrock Edition. It finishes retracting 2 game ticks (1 redstone tick; 0.1 seconds) after it starts. A sticky piston also pulls the block attached to its head, but not any of the other blocks it may have pushed.

Sticky pistons stick to a block only when retracting, so a block next to the piston head can be pushed aside by another piston and sticky pistons cannot hold falling blocks horizontally against gravity. In Java Edition, pistons finish extending early and start retracting if given a pulse shorter than 3 game ticks (1.5 redstone ticks; 0.15 seconds). These shorter pulses cause sticky pistons to “drop” their block, leaving it behind when trying to push it with a short pulse. Also, this causes the block to end up in its final position earlier.

A piston that pushes a slime block bounces any entity that it displaces in the direction the piston is facing. In addition, when a slime block is moved by a piston, any movable blocks adjacent (not diagonally) to the slime block also moves. See the “Slime blocks” section below for more details.

In Bedrock Edition, blocks that stick to walls (such as levers) can be placed on pistons or sticky pistons.

Limitations < edit>

Pistons can push most blocks, and sticky pistons can pull most blocks, except those listed in the table below. Sticky pistons simply leave a block behind if it cannot pull it.

Pistons cannot push blocks into the void or beyond the top of the map. They also cannot push more than 12 blocks. If the requirements for a block to be pushed are not met, the piston simply does not extend.

Blocks that cannot be pushed or pulled Block Effect (Java Edition) Effect (Bedrock Edition) Barrier Beacon Bedrock Command Block Crying Obsidian Enchanting Table End Gateway End Portal End Portal Frame Ender Chest Jigsaw Block Jukebox Lodestone Nether Portal Obsidian Piston (extended) Respawn Anchor Spawner Cannot be pushed or pulled. Glazed Terracotta Can be pushed, but not pulled. Barrel Beehive Bee Nest Blast Furnace Brewing Stand Chest Daylight Detector Dispenser Dropper Furnace Hopper Lectern Smoker Trapped Chest Cannot be pushed or pulled. Can be pushed or pulled. Double Chest Can be pushed or pulled, but separates into two chests. Banner Sign Breaks when pushed or pulled, turning to drops. Campfire Soul Campfire Breaks when pushed, turning to drops when applicable. Cannot be pulled. Bamboo Bed Budding Amethyst ‌ Button Cactus Cake Carved Pumpkin Chorus Flower Chorus Plant Cobweb Cocoa Door Dragon Egg Fire Flower Pot Flower Head Item Frame [note 1] Jack o”Lantern Ladder Lava Leaves Lever Lily Pad Melon Mushroom Nether Wart Painting [note 2] Pressure Plate Pumpkin Redstone Comparator Redstone Dust Redstone Repeater Redstone Torch Scaffolding Shulker Box Snow Sugar Cane Torch Tripwire Tripwire Hook Turtle Egg Vines Water Weighted Pressure Plate Wheat Breaks when pushed, turning to drops when applicable. Cannot be pulled. Anvil Cannot be pulled. Pushable only when in falling state. Can be pushed or pulled, but falls if unsupported. Concrete Powder Gravel Red Sand Sand Can be pushed or pulled, but falls if unsupported.

Pistons do not move blocks that are “attached to a block”, as they detach and drop as an item.

Exceptions < edit> Rails : as long as they remain on top of a solid face of a block in their new position, and that block isn”t moving at the same time. An exception is when the rail and block supporting it are on two parallel extended pistons at which the rail remains attached. Trying to move both on the same piston using slime blocks does not work, nor does moving them on perpendicular pistons (although the latter temporarily appears to work because of a bug MC-75716 ). Rails re-orient themselves after being pushed, similar to when placed manually. Carpets

Powering pistons < edit>

Pistons powered by one line of redstone.

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Pistons can be powered in various ways:

If a redstone wire is in a line shape toward the piston. In Java Edition, the wire does not automatically curve to the piston. Pistons can be powered by a powered block directly adjacent to them, whether it is strongly powered or weakly powered. Pistons can be powered by a redstone torch directly adjacent to them. In Java Edition, pistons can be powered by any powered block one block above and to the side, including the “activated space” above it (if a piston, both sticky and normal were to be facing up and a block of redstone placed on its head, it extends when powered, but doesn”t retract when the power it receives from the side or back turns off). However, the piston doesn”t extend or retract until it receives a block update. This property is called quasi-connectivity and can be used to make a BUD switch. A repeater cannot transfer power through a piston, as pistons are a transparent block. An upward-facing piston can”t be powered by a block above it, unless it is extended In Java Edition. In Bedrock Edition a redstone torch attached to a piston turns off whenever the piston is powered. Pistons can also be powered by observers. This will create a clock if the setup is correct

Slime blocks and honey blocks < edit>

A
B
Piston A may extend because the slime block ignores the adjacent obsidian. Piston B may not extend because the diamond block is prevented from moving by the obsidian and so the slime block also refuses to move.

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When a slime block is pushed or pulled by a piston, while moving, adjacent blocks also move with the slime block, unless a non-piston movable block stops the blocks that are “grabbed” by the slime blocks. These blocks may in turn push other blocks, not just the blocks in the line in front of the piston. For example, a slime block sitting on the ground attempts to move the ground block underneath itself, which in turn has to push additional ground blocks in the direction of motion just as if it were being pushed directly by a piston.

Glazed terracotta is an exception; it does not move when adjacent slime blocks are moved.

The same occurs when a slime block is moved by an adjacent Slime Block. For example, a 2×2×2 cube of Slime Blocks may be pushed or pulled as a unit by a single piston acting on any of the blocks in the cube.

A slime block adjacent to a block that cannot be moved by pistons ignores the immobile block. But if an adjacent block could be moved but is prevented by the presence of an immobile block, the slime block is prevented from moving.

Slime blocks are not pulled by a non-sticky piston, nor are they moved if an adjacent (non-Slime) block is moved by a piston.

The maximum of 12 blocks moved by a piston still applies. For example, a 2×2×3 collection of Slime Blocks may be pushed or pulled by a sticky piston as long as no other movable blocks are adjacent to it.

A piston cannot move itself via a “hook” constructed of slime blocks, but self-propelled contraptions can be created with multiple pistons. For that, see the article Tutorials/Flying machines.

The same happens for the honey block, but it does not stick to slime blocks.

Technical components < edit>

Piston Head < edit>

Piston Head
Renewable

Yes

Stackable

?

Tool

Any tool

Blast resistance

0.5

Hardness

1.5

Luminant

No

Transparent

Yes

Flammable

No

Catches fire from lava

No

The piston head is a technical block used as the second block of an extended piston. A block state defines whether it is a normal or a sticky piston head. It can be placed using the /setblock command or with the debug stick, though if not part of a proper piston, it disappears after receiving any block tick, such as when a block is placed next to it unless the player uses the debug stick. It drops nothing.

In Java Edition, the normal and sticky piston heads are distinguished by a block state. In Bedrock Edition, they used separate block IDs.

Metadata < edit>
See also: Data values

In Bedrock Edition, piston heads use the following data values:

Piston/DV2

Block states < edit>
See also: Block states

Java Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description facingnorthdown
east
north
south
up
westThe direction the piston head is pointing. shortfalsefalse
trueIf true, the piston arm is shorter than usual, by 4 pixels. typenormalnormal
stickyThe type of piston head.

Bedrock Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description facing_direction00
1
2
3
4
5The direction the piston head is pointing.

Moving Piston < edit>

Moving Piston
Renewable

Yes

Stackable

?

Tool

None

Blast resistance

0

Hardness

?

Luminant

No

Transparent

Yes

Flammable

No

Catches fire from lava

No

The moving piston is an unobtainable technical block that contains part of a piston head, and/or part of one or two blocks that the piston is carrying into or out of the grid cell (including blocks carried indirectly via slime blocks). Since moving blocks vary in how much of each grid cell they occupy, they can”t be stored as normal blocks and are instead stored as block entities. It is overwritten with air, the piston head or the carried block at the end of the piston stroke; but if it is placed through editing and no piston is connected, it remains indefinitely.

It is invisible and non-solid in Java Edition, and cannot be broken without the use of commands or TNT. Although it is non-solid, fluids cannot pass through it. It also prevents players from building at its location. Mobs can see through it, but cannot walk through it. The game treats the block as a stone block when it comes to the player”s footstep sounds. It is similar to Invisible Bedrock in properties with the exception that the player can walk through the moving piston but not invisible bedrock.

Block states < edit>
See also: Block states

Java Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description facingnorthdown
east
north
south
up
westThe direction the block is being pushed by the piston. typenormalnormal
stickyWhat piston base this has. Block data < edit>
See also: Block entity format

The moving piston has a block entity associated with it that holds additional data about the block.

Block entity data Tags common to all block entities  blockState : The moving block represented by this block entity.  Name : The namespaced ID of the block.  Properties : Optional. The block states of the block.  Name : The block state name and its value.  extending : 1 or 0 (true/false) – true if the block is being pushed.  facing : Direction that the piston pushes (0=down, 1=up, 2=north, 3=south, 4=west, 5=east).  progress : How far the block has been moved.  source : 1 or 0 (true/false) – true if the block represents the piston head itself, false if it represents a block being pushed.

Sounds < edit>

Generic < edit>

Java Edition:

SoundSubtitleSourceDescriptionNamespaced IDTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
distance https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig1.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig2.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig3.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig4.ogg Block brokenBlocksOnce the block has brokenblock.stone.breaksubtitles.block.generic.break1.00.816 https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit1.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit2.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit3.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit4.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit5.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit6.ogg None[sound 1]BlocksFalling on the block with fall damageblock.stone.fallNone[sound 1]0.50.7516 https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit1.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit2.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit3.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit4.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit5.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit6.ogg Block breakingBlocksWhile the block is in the process of being brokenblock.stone.hitsubtitles.block.generic.hit0.250.516 https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig1.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig2.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig3.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig4.ogg Block placedBlocksWhen the block is placedblock.stone.placesubtitles.block.generic.place1.00.816 https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit1.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit2.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit3.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit4.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit5.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit6.ogg FootstepsBlocksWalking on the blockblock.stone.stepsubtitles.block.generic.footsteps0.151.016
↑ a b MC-177082

Bedrock Edition:

SoundSourceDescriptionNamespaced IDVolumePitch https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig1.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig2.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig3.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig4.ogg BlocksOnce the block has brokendig.stone1.00.8 https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit1.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit2.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit3.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit4.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit5.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit6.ogg BlocksFalling on the block with fall damagefall.stone0.41.0 https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit1.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit2.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit3.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit4.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit5.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit6.ogg BlocksWhile the block is in the process of being brokenhit.stone0.370.5 ?BlocksJumping from the blockjump.stone0.121.0 ?BlocksFalling on the block without fall damageland.stone0.221.0 https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit1.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit2.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit3.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit4.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit5.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_hit6.ogg BlocksWalking on the blockstep.stone0.31.0 https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig1.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig2.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig3.ogg https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Stone_dig4.ogg BlocksWhen the block is placeduse.stone1.00.8

Unique < edit>

Java Edition:

SoundSubtitleSourceDescriptionNamespaced IDTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
distance https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Piston_extend.ogg Piston movesBlocksWhen a piston extendsblock.piston.extendsubtitles.block.piston.move?(<1)16 https://wtbblue.com/wiki/File:Piston_contract.ogg Piston movesBlocksWhen a piston contractsblock.piston.contractsubtitles.block.piston.move?(<1)16

Data values < edit>

ID < edit>

Java Edition:

NameNamespaced IDBlock tags (JE)FormTranslation key PistonpistonNoneBlock & Itemblock.wtbblue.com.piston Sticky Pistonsticky_pistonNoneBlock & Itemblock.wtbblue.com.sticky_piston Piston Headpiston_headNoneBlockblock.wtbblue.com.piston_head Moving Pistonmoving_pistondragon_immune
wither_immuneBlockblock.wtbblue.com.moving_piston NameNamespaced ID Block entitypiston

Bedrock Edition:

NameNamespaced IDNumeric ID FormTranslation key Pistonpiston33Block & Itemtile.piston.name Sticky Pistonsticky_piston29Block & Itemtile.sticky_piston.name Piston HeadpistonArmCollision34Blocktile.pistonArmCollision.name Sticky Piston HeadstickyPistonArmCollision472Blocktile.stickyPistonArmCollision.name Moving BlockmovingBlock250Blocktile.movingBlock.name NameSavegame ID Block entityPistonArm

Metadata < edit>

See also: Data values

In Bedrock Edition, pistons use the following data values:

Bits Values 0x0 facing down 0x1 facing up 0x2 facing north 0x3 facing south 0x4 facing west 0x5 facing east 0x6, 0x7 6-sided piston 0x8 (bit flag) When 1, the piston is extended.

Block states < edit>

See also: Block states

The piston and sticky_piston blocks use following block states:

Java Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description extendedfalsefalse
trueIf true, the piston is extended. facingnorthdown
east
north
south
up
westThe direction the piston head is pointing.
The opposite from the direction the player faces while placing the piston.

Bedrock Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description facing_direction00
1
2
3
4
5The direction the piston head is pointing.
The opposite from the direction the player faces while placing the piston.

Achievements < edit>

Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Gamerscore earned Trophy type (PS)

*
*

The texture of pistons has been changed. 18w44aPistons are no longer transparent. 1.1620w06aThe hardness of pistons has been increased from 0.5 to 1.5. Pickaxes are now more efficient on pistons. Upcoming Java Edition 1.1720w45aParticles now appear if a block is broken by a piston. Pocket Edition Alpha v0.15.0build 1

*
*

Added pistons and sticky pistons. Pistons and sticky pistons have a version exclusive animation and the ability to push block entities. ?

*

Pistons and sticky pistons with data values 6 and 7 now have an extremely glitchy appearance. It is not known when this block was introduced, and it was removed some time between 1.10.0 and 1.13.1. Bedrock Edition 1.10.0beta 1.10.0.3

*
*

The texture of pistons has been changed. 1.13.0?Sticky piston heads are now a separate block from normal heads, instead of being differentiated by a block state. The namespaced ID is now stickypistonarmcollision, while the numerical ID is 472. ?The movingblock for pistons can no longer be placed using commands. Legacy Console Edition TU3CU1 1.0 Patch 11.0.1

*
*

Added pistons and sticky pistons. TU14 1.04 Pistons now take double the amount of time (2 redstone ticks or 4 game ticks) to extend, but they still retract instantly. 1.90

*
*

The texture of pistons has been changed. New Nintendo 3DS Edition 0.1.0

*
*

Added pistons and sticky pistons.

First screenshot of pistons.

Piston head/moving piston “items” < edit>

Main article: Direct item forms of blocks
Java Edition Beta 1.7

*

Piston heads have an unobtainable item form corresponding to its block ID, which uses the piston head texture. It can be obtained via inventory editors with numeric item ID 34. This item has a blank name in the inventory.

*

The moving piston has an unobtainable item form corresponding to its block ID, which uses the top texture of the grass block. It can be obtained via inventory editors with numeric item ID 36.This item has a blank name in the inventory.If certain colors of cloth were obtained in a world prior to their mass removal in late Infdev, items of these could convert forward into piston head or moving piston items. 1.8Pre-release 2 ;)Added pick block functionality. This will change the currently selected slot to any containing these otherwise-unobtainable items, but will not allow them to be obtained if not already in the hotbar. Java Edition 1.0.0Beta 1.9 Prerelease 2Mousing over a piston head or moving piston in the inventory now causes a game crash. Beta 1.9 Prerelease 4Mousing over a piston head or moving piston in the inventory now no longer causes a game crash, rendering a tiny empty tooltip box instead. Beta 1.9 Prerelease 5

*

The grass block top texture changed in this version, and as a result, this changed the moving piston item form appearance. 1.2.5prePiston heads and moving pistons can now be obtained via Pick Block in creative. 1.3.1?Piston heads and moving pistons can no longer be obtained with pick block in Creative. 12w16aPiston head and moving piston items can now be obtained in singleplayer worlds via the /give command using their respective numeric IDs. In chat, they are referred to as “null.name”. 1.513w02a

*

The item form of the moving piston block has changed to the piston head texture following block and item texture storage reforms. 1.6.113w26aThe names for piston heads and moving pistons as items has been changed to “tile.null.name”. 1.7.213w37aThe direct item forms of piston heads and moving pistons have been removed from the game. They can no longer exist as an item in any way, only as placed blocks. Bedrock Edition ?The moving piston item is called tile.pistonArmCollision.name. ?

*

The piston head block uses this item texture. ?The moving piston item is called tile.movingBlock.name. ?

*

The moving piston block uses this item texture. ?Sticky piston heads are now a separate block ID from piston heads. ?The item form of the sticky piston head is probably called tile.stickyPistonArmCollision.name.

A piston head in the inventory.

A comparison between a normal stone block, and a stone block with a block 36 on it

A “sphere” made out of block 36.

Issues < edit>

Issues relating to “Piston” are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.

Trivia < edit>

When toggled between on and off rapidly with a gravity affected block (such as sand) above it, a piston can eventually break the block, which can be picked up as a resource. However, gravel broken this way never drops flint. Mobs can spawn inside the piston head block. Carpet can be placed on the piston extension block, and remains even if it is replaced with a solid block using /setblock. In Bedrock Edition, the piston head is invisible and non-solid when placed with commands. The moving piston cannot be placed with block placement commands in this edition. Piston head extend animations are different in Java Edition from those in Bedrock Edition. The piston heads in Bedrock Edition look slightly different than the ones in all other versions. If a piston is at the top of a world and is facing the top or is at the bottom and is facing the bottom, it cannot extend.[4] The moving_piston is transparent and does not emit light. If a light-emitting block is moved, the player can see it turn dark briefly. If an opaque block is moved, the player may see light passing through it.

Gallery < edit>

Notch”s explanation on how the rod (a full block long when extended) fits into the piston box (whose depth is a block minus the face”s thickness).[5]

Fundamental logic gates, implemented purely with pistons and redstone repeaters, clockwise from upper left: AND, OR, XOR, and NOT.

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