Minetest on Android

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Minetest Singleplayer on Android phone
Minetest Multiplayer on Android tablet, server: HOMETOWN

Minetest is available for Android and it could be downloaded directly on the Minetest website, Google Play or F-Droid. Even though it works on most Android devices, Android 4.0 or later is recommended. Android versions of Minetest are still in development and have bugs.

Please do not download unofficial Minetest builds from the Google Play and any other app store. The builds found there may contain excessive adverts or spyware. They may be distributed under proprietary terms, without the source code, which makes them illegal to develop. They may be old or unsupported.

This page was written by an Android player who uses Android 5.1 and Android 6.0 to play Minetest, however the steps should be more or less the same for most if not all versions of Android after Android 4.0. If any Android player who uses different version of Android noticed some differences in any steps then feel free to edit this page and add some notes reminding those differences.

Contents

Installing Minetest

Via Google Play

Install the app from Google Play. If your Android device prompted you to free up some storage before installing then please do so. However, if you're sure that the free storage is more than enough but it still prompt you to do so, then please read the instructions to install Minetest via APK.

Via F-Droid

F-Droid is a repository of verified free software Android apps and acts as an app store dedicated for free softwares.

To install Minetest from F-Droid, you are recommended to use the F-Droid client even though you can also download the APK from F-Droid. (see #Via APK)

Install the F-Droid client from its website and search for Minetest inside the client, then install the Minetest app. Alternatively, you could click this link and let the client open the Minetest detail page to install the app.

Via APK

Some users need to install the Android Package (APK) directly because their phone reported false free storage and force users to clean up space even though there is more than enough space to install the app.

If you need to install the APK file of Minetest, download the APK from Minetest website or F-Droid website instead of using APK downloader websites as these websites could modify the codes of APKs and inject unwanted contents to the app.

Please make sure that you have enabled "Install from Unknown Sources" before you attempt to install Minetest app APK. The common steps are:

  • Navigate to Setting > Security.
  • Scroll down and check the option "Unknown sources".
  • Tap OK on the prompt message.

Running Minetest for the first time

On Android 6.0 or later, you will be prompted to grant permissions upon the first run. Please grant Minetest app the following permission when prompted to do so:

  • modify/delete SD card contents - needed to create Minetest folder and modify world data
  • read the contents of your card - needed to access Minetest folder in internal storage
  • full network access - needed for playing online in servers

Before installing any other mods or playing online, please try to open Minetest setting page. This is to make sure the formspecs window will not go beyond screen and made few things unplayable as reported by some users.

There should be tabbed pages once you open the app and you'll be in the "Main" tab. Please go to "Settings" tab and click on "Advanced Settings". If you see that the window goes beyond the screen and you can't click certain text, or you feel it is too large, then it might be worth to change the GUI Scaling now before you realize in-game windows (eg. inventories) will also go beyond the screen. However, if you feel everything is fine, go ahead and play singleplayer or multiplayer online with default GUI scaling.

To change the GUI scaling, do the following:

  1. From Advanced Settings, go to Client > Graphics > Menus
  2. Select "GUI Scaling"
  3. Click on "Edit"
  4. Tap on the green box, and replace 1 with 0.9
  5. Click on "Save"
  6. If the window still go beyond the screen or still too big, repeat steps with the number 0.9 replaced by 0.8, 0.7 etc. until you get it display correctly.

You could still change the settings after you play singleplayer or multiplayer.

In case you could not change the GUI scaling from the setting menu, do the following:

  1. Open a plain text editor app (eg. Jota Text Editor)
  2. Click on menu to open or edit text files
  3. Navigate to your Internal Storage from that menu
  4. Navigate to Minetest folder
  5. Open the file Minetest.conf
  6. Search for "gui_scaling = 1" and replace 1 with 0.9
  7. If "gui_scaling = 1" does not exist, then just add "gui_scaling = 0.9" in new line
  8. Save the file and open Minetest
  9. If the window still go beyond the screen or still too big, repeat steps with the number 0.9 replaced by 0.8, 0.7 etc. until you get it displayed corretly.

Playing Minetest on Android

You are recommended to use Android device with touchscreen to play Minetest. If you want to play Minetest on Android device without touchscreen (eg. smart TV) or you prefer to play on keyboard and mouse even if your Android device has touchscreen then please make sure it could support physical mouse and keyboard, however certain actions could not be done without touchscreen (see #Play on Android without using touchscreen).

There will always be screen overlays that you could use to control the movement of players in-game. This overlay only exist on Android version of Minetest and it could not be turned off even if you don't want to or can't use them. The overlays will be hidden when a menu or inventory is opened.

Play on Android using touchscreen

The basic overlays you'll tap on screen are:

  • Three dots icon on the left side of screen
  • A gear icon on the top-right side of screen
  • Four arrow icons on the bottom-left side of screen
  • A dot and inverted triangle icons on the bottom-right side of screen

Available controls

Normal play

While you're playing the game normally (that is, no menu or inventory is shown), the following controls are available:

  • Look around: touch screen and slide finger
  • Double tap: place a node or use selected item
  • Long tap: dig node
  • All screen overlay actions
Menu or inventory

When a menu or inventory is displayed:

  • double tap outside menu or inventory area: close menu or inventory
  • tap on an item stack: select that stack
  • tap on an empty slot: if you selected a stack already, that stack is placed here
  • drag and drop: touch stack and hold finger down, move the stack to another slot, tap another finger while keeping first finger on screen. This places a single item from dragged stack into the slot where the first finger is touching. Tap another slot to put remaining stack.

Overlay functions

The function of these overlays are as follows:

Three dots icon

This icon situated on the left side of screen, it gives access to three more icons:

  • Chat bubble icon - Trigger a text box where you can type chats in
  • Nine squares icon - Opens up the player inventory and craft grids
  • Box being thrown to ground icon - Throws item that the player is holding
A gear icon

This icon situated on the top-right side of screen, it gives access to six more icons:

  • Binocular icon - Toggles the full viewing range
  • Eye icon - Toggles the camera view of the player
  • Three gears icon - Toggles the debug info, profiler graph and sometimes wireframe
  • Running icon - Toggles fast move (requires "fast" privilege)
  • Player go through square icon - Toggles noclip (requires "noclip" privilege)
  • Paper plane icon - Toggles fly mode (requires "fly" privilege)
Four arrow icons

These icons situated on the bottom-left side of screen, the functions are obvious:

  • Arrow up icon - Move to the front or accelerates
  • Arrow left icon - Move to the left
  • Arrow down icon - Move to the back or decelerates
  • Arrow right icon - Move to the right
A dot and inverted triangle icons

These icons situated on the bottom-right side of screen, the functions are:

  • The dot - Jump or move up
  • The inverted triangle - Sneak or move down

Play on Android without using touchscreen

Please make sure your device could actually supports keyboard and mouse, then connect the keyboard and mouse to the device (via USB, OTG-USB, Bluetooth or WiFi). To ensure Android detecting them correctly, try to move your mouse and a pointer will appear on screen. Try to use arrow keys on keyboard and it will select the apps on home screen or select some menus. You should see the physical mouse and keyboard appears in the "Language & Input" setting of your device.

Run the Minetest app after you connect your keyboard and mouse. You can now play Minetest using the keyboard and mouse. However, the mouse will only act as a finger which means you can't use the mouse buttons you use on desktop version on Android. Left and right click acts the same way, middle click is not detected. Double click acts as the same as double tap on touchscreen, whereas holding the mouse button acts as the long tap on touchscreen. While the mouse works differently, the keyboard will mostly work the same as the desktop version. See basic controls to know the basic controls and controls for more detailed keyboard controls. Depending on your keyboard, certain keys might not be recognized by Minetest due to the way Android handles keypresses. For example, a few keyboards has problems where Minetest does not detect the slash (/) key situated to the left of the right-shift key but it could detect the divide (/) key at numeric pad of the keyboard as a slash key instead.

Important: there is currently no way to split items from stack using keyboard and mouse on Android, you need to use touchscreen for this. Touch stack and hold finger down, move the stack to another slot, tap another finger while keeping first finger on screen. This places a single item from dragged stack into the slot where the first finger is touching. Tap another slot to put the remaining of the stack.

Installing Mods on Android

Security considerations

Prior to installing any mod, please make sure that you have received it from someone you trust. Malicious code can damage your Android, violate your privacy or cause your Android to take part in illegal activities.

Assisted Mod Installation Method

You can use Minetest Mods for Android app to install mods on Android. While the app is using some scripts to fetch mods data from Minetest forum and Minetest Mods repository, it might not contain every single mod available since scripts could overlook the forum because some author did not format their mod's forum thread correctly or using not well known file hosting to host their files. If there's any mods you could find in forum but not in this app, then download it from the forum and install them manually.

Get the app on Google Play or get the signed APK from Github.

Manual Mod Installation Method

After downloading a mod (e.g. from the Mod Releases forum) you usually have a Zip archive. In order to get the mod running, you have to unpack it in one of the folders where Minetest looks for mods.

You may have to change the folder name to the “technical” mod name (e.g. rename PilzAdam-carts-70cc4f4 to carts). You can usually find the mod name in the title of the forum topic—It is the last name within the square brackets in the topic title. For example, if the title is [Mod] Lol Mod [1.0] [anotherlolmod], then the folder must be renamed to anotherlolmod.

A modpack is installed in the same way as a mod, but you are usually not required to change the directory name of the modpack. Just make sure the name does not collide with that of any other installed mod or modpack.

If one of the below mentioned directories does not exist, create it.

Installation directory

  • Location of the mods folder within the folder structure of Minetest in the internal storage, as created by the official Android version of Minetest on first run, including some of the folders Minetest adds after some usage as client and server, as well as the positions (…) that custom-made content goes. Unrelevant folders are not expanded.
minetest/
├── builtin/
├── client/
├── fonts/
├── games/
│   ├── minetest_game/
│   └── … (installed extra games)
├── media/
├── mods/
│   └── … (installed extra mods and modpacks)
├── po/
├── textures/
│   ├── base/
│   │   └── pack/
│   └── … (installed extra texturepacks)
├── tmp/
└── worlds/
    └── … (saved worlds. Some with exclusive world mods)

After extracting the mod there you need to enable it for your world. This can either be done in the GUI by clicking on “Config mods” at the start screen, or by adding load_mod_<modname> = true in the world.mt file in the worlds/singleplayerworld/ directory.

Note that new installed mods are disabled by default, so you explicitly need to enable them.

Example structure

In this example the mods “carts” and “tnt”, and the modpack “mesecons” are installed:

    mods/
    ├── carts/
    │   ├── init.lua
    │   ├── functions.lua
    │   ├── depends.txt
    │   ├── README.txt
    │   ├── textures/
    │   │   ├── carts_top.png
    │   │   └── …
    │   └── models/
    │       ├── cart.x
    │       └── …
    ├── tnt/
    │   ├── init.lua
    │   ├── depends.txt
    │   ├── README.txt
    │   ├── textures/
    │   │   ├── tnt_side.png
    │   │   └── …
    │   └── sounds/
    │       ├── tnt_explode.ogg
    │       └── …
    └── mesecons/
        ├── modpack.txt
        ├── mesecons/
        │   ├── init.lua
        │   └── …
        ├── mesecons_alias/
        │   ├── init.lua
        │   └── …
        ├── mesecons_blinkyplant
        │   ├── init.lua
        │   └── …
        ├── mesecons_button
        │   ├── init.lua
        │   └── …
        ├── …