Minecraft Glossary

Confused about creepers? Puzzled by pistons? Have no fear, here's a handy list of some of the words that you might hear your kids using when talking about the game.

Adventure Map
A user-created world where players embark on a quest with puzzles to solve or challenges to complete.
Bedrock
An indestructible block at the lowest level of a world. It cannot be mined.
Biomes

Areas of the Minecraft world with different terrain e.g. jungle, desert, plains.
Block
Everything that can be mined, picked up or used to make other things (e.g. dirt, wood, ores, lava, wool, pumpkins). There are over 150 different types, and each one has a unique colour and/or pattern to make identification easy. Are not necessarily cube shaped.
Bonemeal
A fertilizer that makes plants grow more quickly, made from the bones of Skeletons.
Brewing

To make a potion by putting materials into water bottles using a brewing stand.
Butter

A slang term for blocks of gold.
Cheats/Hacks

Optional commands that modify the game code to make it easier to play (e.g. render your tools unbreakable, keep all your stuff when you die).
Chest

A special block that stores all your stuff. Players might have lots of these.
Cobblestone
A commonly-used block which is obtained from mining stone.
Crafting
To put together resources to make useful items such as tools and food. Each item that players can craft has a specific recipe of raw materials.
Crafting table

A special block that players use to combine resources to make tools, food and other useful items.
Creeper

A bad guy that sneaks up on players and then explodes, causing much damage. They’re very quiet except for the hissing sound they make just before they’re about to blow up.
Diamond

A rare ore that can be used to make very strong tools and armour. Exciting to find because there’s a not a lot of them and you have to dig for a long time to get to them.
Dispenser
A special block that can hold items which are then randomly dropped out when the block receives power from a redstone circuit.
Dungeon

A special area of the map found in underground caves. They’re fun to find because they’re rare and have chests with free stuff inside, but are also dangerous because hostile mobs (bad guys) spawn there.
The End
A special dimension that contains the last challenge of the game, fighting the Ender Dragon. The only way out is to defeat it or die.
Ender Dragon
The main bad guy that you have to defeat to get to the end of the game.
Enderman

A tall, thin creature who becomes a bad guy if you look at or attack it. Hard to kill and makes a horrible noise, but has stuff that you need if you want to get to The End and fight the Ender Dragon.
Farming
To grow and harvest food resources (e.g. wheat, sugar cane) or mobs (e.g. chickens, cows).
Furnace

An oven for heating, cooking or processing resources (e.g. extracting iron from the ore block).
Griefing
To intentionally attack players or destroy/steal another player's property on a multiplayer server. Generally frowned upon or banned.
Herobrine

Mythological character that may or may not have ever existed in the un-modded Minecraft game.
Hopper
A special block which moves items in and out of containers.
Hostile Mob
Characters in the game that can attack the player.
Ingot
Items produced when ore is smelted.
Inventory

All of the stuff that the player is currently carrying - food, tools, blocks that they've picked up or mined. Usually this will all be lost when a player dies.
Jack o’Lantern
A special light-producing block made from a pumpkin.
The jar

The collection of files that run Minecraft. It’s made up of programming code, text, graphic and sound files, and some of these need to be modified or replaced when making changes to the game.
Lag

A delay in loading the game, usually experienced on multiplayer servers. This is annoying because it stops or slows the player’s movement and can result in getting killed if you don’t react fast enough to attack.
Lapis Lazuli
A rare ore used to make blue dye.
LAN

Local Area Network - a group of computers close by to each other (e.g. in the same house).
Lava

Same as in real life, hot molten rock. Sometimes found above ground but most often at the bottom of caves and mines. Dangerous to run into but can also be useful.
Logic Gate
A redstone circuit that only lets signals pass through if certain conditions are met.
Minecon

The annual Minecraft fan convention, held in a different location each year.
Mining
To dig, punch or destroy blocks in order to collect resources, clear land or dig tunnels. Can be done with either bare hands or tools.
Mobs

Creatures, characters and animals that exist in the Minecraft world and interact with players. They can be hostile (creepers and zombies) or passive (animals and villagers).
Mob Spawner

A block that looks like a cage from which mobs of bad guys are created and released. Usually found in dark and scary places like abandoned mine shafts and dungeons.
Mods

A little bit of code that changes the way the standard Minecraft game looks or acts (e.g. adding new animals or giving a player more powers).
Mojang

The company that make Minecraft.
Nether

The hell-like dimension that exists below the main Overworld. Full of fun and scary things.
Netherrack
A stone block that is only found in the Nether. It can be set on fire.
Noob

Someone who is a new player, usually still learning the ropes. Often used as an insult.
Notch

The guy who first created Minecraft (his real name is Markus Persson).
Obsidian

Very hard block which is used to protect players from attack and build portals to the Nether dimension.
Ore

Valuable resource blocks that are used to craft into tools and armor (gold, redstone, iron, diamond, lapis lazuli, coal).
Overworld

The main part of the Minecraft world, from the sky down to the bedrock at the bottom of mines.
Passive Mob
Characters in the game that will never attack the player.
Piston

A special block that can push other blocks (sticky pistons can also pull them). They are powered by redstone, and used to make machines and traps.
Portal

A special door that transports players from one place to another (e.g. between the Overworld and Nether dimensions).
PvP

Player vs Player, a mode of play where players fight with each other using weapons.
Redstone

An ore which can be extracted and used for circuits, torches and traps.
Redstone Torch
A special kind of torch which acts as a power source for redstone circuits.
Render Distance

How far away a player can see. Only some chunks of the world are visible at any one time, the bits in the distance that you can’t see look like fog. Setting a lower render distance will make the game load faster at the expense of a more foggy view of the world.
Resource Pack
A system that allows players to easily change things like the images, sounds, music, mesages and fonts of the game.
Seed

A value that determines what a particular Minecraft world will look like. You can use the seed to generate and play in multiple versions of the same world.
Server

A central computer that runs a Minecraft world that many people can access at once, providing a way to play online with other people.
Skin

The way a character looks. Everyone starts with the same default look (known as Steve), but this can be easily customized. Skins can also refer to the textures of other things in the game too, like blocks or animals.
Smelting

To process resources with a furnace in order to make materials from ores or to cook food.
Soul Sand
A dirt block found only in the Nether, which makes mobs and players move more slowly. It is used for making a Wither.
Spawn

Being ‘born’ or created into the game. Despawning means to stop existing in the game.
Spawn Egg
An item used to make a mob appear on command.
Spawn Point
The place where a player comes into being in the game. Also the spot where a player starts again if they die and come back into the game.
Spelunking

To explore caves and mine the resources found there.
Spider Jockey

A spider being ridden by a skeleton. Exciting to find because they're rare to see and a challenge to defeat.
Stronghold
An underground structure that contains the portal to get to The End. These are very hard to find.
Temple
An uncommon structure containing hidden booby-trapped chambers with valuable treasure.
Texture Packs

A group of image files that change the way things look in Minecraft (e.g. making all the grass purple). Have now been replaced by Resource Packs.
Tools

Items that a player needs to hold in order to do various jobs, like mining or chopping down a tree (e.g. pickaxe, hoe, shovel, axe).
Updates

Regular and highly anticipated releases of the game software to fix previous problems and introduce new features. These don’t cost extra money but do require you to download the update to access the new stuff.
Vanilla Minecraft

The standard version of the game without any modifications applied.
Whitelist

A restricted list of the players who are allowed on a multiplayer server.
The Wiki

The community encyclopedia of all things Minecraft.
Wither
A player-created hostile creature that is very difficult to defeat.
Zombie

A bad guy that comes out at night and attacks players by touching them. They moan and growl, and catch fire during the day.
Zombie Pigmen

A potentially hostile mob that spawns in the Nether or when lightning strikes near a pig.