Falling Block

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Falling Block
Falling Node.png
An object in Minetest
Object collision No
Block collision Yes
Entitystring __builtin:falling_node

A falling block (or falling node) is an object which appears when a block capable of falling (like sand or gravel in Minetest Game) starts to fall. We also call blocks capable of falling physical blocks, while with “falling block”, we refer to the moving object which is actually falling.

Triggering a fall

Normally, physical blocks rest on top of solid blocks. As soon the “support” below a physical block is dug (or replaced with any passable block like air or water), the block starts to fall.

It is rarely possible that a physical block is free-floating. The map generator might sometimes generate floating sand. This is not an accident.

In this calse, physical blocks don't fall automatically. But they start to fall when they have been punched or receive an update. If a block starts to fall, it also updates its direct neighbors. There are other ways in which physical blocks can receive an update. This means, punching a block of floating sand in a large patch of floating sand will cause a chain reaction and a complete collapse.

After the fall

The falling block stops when it hits a solid block. Now one of two things happens:

  • If at the landing position there was a replacable block (examples in Minetest Game: water, air, flower, grass), it will be destroyed
  • If at the landing position there was a non-replacable block (example in Minetest Game: torch), it will drop as an item


  • If sand drops into an air block, the sand will now be in the place of the air block. The air block is gone.
  • If the sand falls on a flower, it's the same: The flower is gone, too.
  • If the sand falls on a a torch, the torch drops as an item with the sand taking its place.

Physical blocks in Minetest Game

The following physical blocks exist in Minetest Game:

For an up-to-date list, see Category:Falling.