Getting Started

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Welcome to Minetest! This page explains what Minetest is all about, how to get it, and how to start playing your first games alone or online.

“What is this strange ‘Minetest’ thing I keep hearing about?”

Welcome to Minetest (Minetest Game, Coniferous Forest)
  • Minetest is a platform on which you can play many games which are set in a world entirely made out of blocks, voxels.
  • You can play offline or online, in singleplayer or multiplayer.
  • Most games (but not all!) have a sandbox gameplay focused on construction, mining and creativity.
  • The default game is Minetest Game, but there are many more.
  • You can install mods to modify certain aspects of gameplay. Mods are an inherent part of Minetest, it is even what games consist of.
  • Mods work out of the box when playing on servers, no additional installations required. Mods are server-side, everything is handled automatically.
  • The name "Minetest" only refers to the game engine. The name "Minetest Game" only refers to the default game.

Getting Minetest

Windows

  • Download Minetest.
    • The 64-bit build is extremely recommended. Always use this unless you are absolutely sure you're on an old machine that doesn't have a 64-bit processor.
  • Minetest on Windows is distributed in a portable archive. Extract it where you want, whether it be on your desktop, in your documents folder or in the root of your C: drive.
    • Keep in mind you need write permissions to the folder. Do NOT save to C:\Program Files\ or similar, as it will cause problems (no write access).
  • To run Minetest, open the extracted directory and look for the bin (binary) directory. Inside the bin directory is the Minetest executable, minetest.exe.
    • If you want a desktop shortcut or the like, just make create a shortcut to this executable.

macOS

Linux

If you are on a distribution with up to date enough repositories, you can install Minetest from your package manager.

Otherwise it is recommended to obtain Minetest through other means, such as the Flatpak package.

If all else fails, you can build from source by cloning the engine repository and following the build instructions.

You can try to compile Minetest from the latest source on GitHub using this one-line script for installing/compiling Minetest Git, for Debian / Ubuntu / Mint


Playing

Now that you have it installed you can either; play singleplayer, play on a local server or play online by connecting to a server.

Play Singleplayer

When playing singleplayer, you should look at the games that are available. The default game that ships with Minetest, Minetest Game, is best played with mods and might not be particularly enjoyable in vanilla. You can browse the games that are available by pressing the "plus" icon in the gamebar.

To install mods or texture packs, go to the "Content" tab, press "Browse Online Content" and pick the type of package you want to browse. To enable a texture pack select it in the content tab, and to enable mods you have installed, you need to select the world you want to play with mods in, press "Select mods", and enable the wanted mods.

To play singleplayer, simply create a world, select a map generator (optional) and click Play. By default, you start in Minetest Game. Read How to build your first house for your first steps in Minetest Game.

There is the Tutorial game for an interactive introduction to common Minetest gameplay elements.

Play Online

Joining multiplayers server is done in the "Join game" tab. To select a server, click on its name in the server list. If you know of a server from e.g. a friend that's not listed in the server list, you can manually input the address and port to the right.

When you are new to a server, you need to first register. Press the register button and input the username and password you want to use. Next time you log in with this username and password.

Accounts in Minetest are not centralised. This means that accounts are stored on each server, rather than on a central server. You do not have to use the same username, but using different passwords are recommended (however servers cannot see your password, it is one-way hashed during transit). Some servers allow a blank password but using a password is strongly recommended to stop others stealing your player and causing damage. You can change your password by clicking 'change password' on pause menu (ESC).

Basic Controls

Most of these can be changed in the “Change Keys” menu. For a more complete list of keyboard controls, see Controls.

The default and most important controls are:

  • W/A/S/D: move
  • Space: jump
  • Left mouse button: Punch, mine blocks, move an item stack in an inventory
  • Right mouse button: use (e.g. open chest or furnace), place blocks, move one item or split items in an inventory
  • Shift+Right mouse button: place blocks
  • Middle mouse button: move 10 items in an inventory
  • Mouse wheel: select item in the hotbar
  • 0-9: select item in the hotbar
  • Q: drop block, item or tool in hand
  • I: open or close the inventory menu
  • T: open the chat window
  • Shift: descend on ladders or sneak (walk slower, prevents falling off ledges)

Gameplay

The common Minetest gameplay is taught in the Tutorial game which is aimed towards complete newbies, it can be installed from the content browser.

A very brief but outdated introduction into Minetest can be seen in this video.

A quick-start guide for Minetest Game can be found at How to build your first house.

The following wiki pages explain some basic Minetest concepts more or less in-depth:

As soon as you grasped the basics, you may want to look up which blocks and items are available and get an overview about farming. Just want to build? Try creative mode! If you want more, consider trying new mods and games. If you want to play online, you should read the gameplay notes for multiplayer servers.

Advanced topics:

See also