Sneaking

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Sneaking is part of the basic controls in Minetest for preventing falling off edges. This move is a bit unusual in some aspects, so it deserves its own article.

Contents

Basic sneaking

The default key for sneaking is Shift. You will sneak as long as you hold down the sneak key. You can not sneak while you are at a ladder, inside a liquid or have activated fly mode.

Sneaking makes you walk slower and prevents you from walking and falling over a block's edge. If you try to walk beyond the edge of a cube while holding down the sneak key, you won't fall. You can walk a bit beyond the block's edge while sneaking, up to a certain limit, of course. This means for a spectator it will somewhat look like as if you float in mid-air while sneaking.

Sneak glitch

Sneaking at the edge of a ledge by abusing the sneak glitch

Normally, sneaking requires you to have enough space to stand on. As of 0.4.16, you can't sneak if you have only one block of space (not enough for the player to stand normally), as shown in the first screenshot.

Being able to do otherwise is called the “sneak glitch”. Although this is no longer normally possible, Minetest 0.4.16 permits to re-enable the sneak glitch by using mods. The mod Enable sneak glitch does this.

Old bugs

Up to version 0.4.15, there were many bugs (apart from the sneak glitch)

Avoiding fall damage

Up to version 0.4.15, you don't suffer any fall damage if you fall on a normal block's edge or on a slab or snow or on some other non-cubic shapes while holding down the sneak key. This bug is known as issue 329 and is fixed since version 0.4.16.

Sneak elevator

A simple sneak elevator in a wall
Alternative sneak elevator in a corner formation

A common structure for using/abusing the sneak glitch is the so-called sneak elevator (also known as “sneak ladder”). In its simplest form, a sneak elevator is just a vertical line of solid blocks which are spaced apart by one air block each, so that air and solid blocks are alternating. Sneak elevators can be built very easily built into high flat walls and cliffs, because you can continue to dig out the holes for the sneak elevator while climbing up.

To use/abuse the sneak glitch, stand in front of the sneak elevator, then hold down both the sneak key and the jump key. You will move up the entire structure at an insane speed (Ca. 6.2 blocks/second in Minetest Game 0.4.15, compared to only 2 blocks/second at a wooden ladder).

Sneak elevators are no longer possible in version 0.4.16, even if the sneak glitch has been re-enabled by using a mod.

Climbing high blocks

Normally, you can only jump high enough to climb 1 block at once. But sometimes you can climb a wall of a height of 2 blocks while jumping and sneaking at the same time. This is not reliable and requires many attempts to actually climb the wall. This bug has been fixed since version 0.4.16.