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This page contains a hopefully complete list of terminology related to Minetest.

Minetest and its components

  • Minetest: The game engine whose wiki you are on right now, generally refers to the engine.
    • People may refer to the default game Minetest Game as simply Minetest, but this is incorrect and does not reflect Minetest's status not as a game but as a game engine that hosts many different games.
  • IrrlichtMt / Irrlicht[1]: The name of Minetest's 3D rendering library. It was forked by the Minetest developers from the original Irrlicht, which is ancient and poorly maintained nowadays.
  • Game: A collection of mods and some additional metadata, which can be selected from the main menu. Not to be confused with Modpack which is a pack of mods selectable like regular mods.
    • Previously were referred to as Subgames, but this term is outdated. Please update any references to it as such.
  • Minetest Game (abbreviated MTG): The name of the default game that is shipped with Minetest.
    • minetest_game: Repository name of Minetest Game and technical name of the game.
  • Mods : What all games consist of, or can be added on top of an existing game. They are written in Lua using Minetest's modding API.
    • Sometimes abbreviated SSM, Server-Side Mod to make the distinction that regular Minetest mods run on the server as compared to CSMs which run on the client.
  • Client-Side Mod (abbreviated CSM): An experimental API allowing for the client itself to run Lua code.
    • Server-Sent Client-Side Mod (abbreviated SSCSM): A currently unimplemented feature referring to CSMs being sent from the server to the client, to allow for code to be run on the client for improved latency, among other things.
  • Modpack: A collection of mods which can be selected like a regular mod. Not to be confused with a Game, which can be selected from the main menu as its own distinct game.
  • Texture pack: A collection of textures that can replace the textures in games and mods. May only support specific games and/or mods.
  • ContentDB (abbreviated CDB): The official place to upload and download games, mods and texture packs. It is what powers the content browser accessible from the main menu.
  • Server: The program that manages and distributes mod, texture and sound data to the players. It also does all of the mod initiation.
  • Client: The program that the player uses to connect to singleplayer or multiplayer games. Handles the rendering of the world.
    • In singleplayer, the client will start a server in the background restricted to the singleplayer user which will then join it, acting both as a client and a server in that case.
  • minetest.conf: A file in the root directory of Minetest's user directory which contains configuration settings for Minetest. A list of the settings can be found in the main menu's "All settings" menu or in minetest.conf.example.

In-game Content

  • World: A saved game in Minetest, which contains:
    • Map: a database of the map's content, everything from blocks to chest contents.
    • Player passwords, their health, and their inventory.
    • Other needed files, such as ban lists, seed numbers and protected areas.
  • Nodes: 1×1×1 meter individual cubes in the game, and are grouped and loaded by their mapblocks. Informally referred to as blocks by regular players.
    • Node Metadata: Additional data that is attached to a node's position in the map. For example container nodes use this to store their inventories, and signs use this to store what is written on them.
    • Liquids: Nodes with some kind of property related to liquids. In development, this term is problematic when used without any clarification, as node properties related to liquids are decoupled. To avoid confusion, say to which precise technical property you refer to, for example, the "liquid" drawtype, liquid spreading/flowing, liquid visocity, liquid player movement physics, etc.
  • Blocks/MapBlocks: 16×16×16 groups of nodes.
  • Sectors: Stacks of single mapblocks, extending from the absolute bottom of the map to the top.
  • MapChunks: Groups of 80x80x80 nodes (5x5x5 mapblocks), they are an abstraction used only for mapgen for performance reasons.
  • Object: A movable thing that is not bound to a fixed position on the map. Following kinds of objects exist:
    • Entity: An object that is defined and controlled by Lua. For example: mobs, falling nodes or primed TNT.
    • Player: An object that represents a player.
  • Items: Any thing that can be put inside of an inventory. Items can have special uses like digging, dealing damage, crafting, placing, etc., but this is optional. Note the 3 item types are a technical distinction, not a semantic one.
    • Tool/Tool item: a type of item that is non-stackable and has a "wear" property so it is capable of wearing out and break.
    • Node item: the "item form" of a node which can be placed by default. Every node has a node item associated with it. For example, Cobblestone from Minetest Game is a node when it exists in the world, but it is a node item when in an inventory.
    • Craftitem: A type of item that is neither a tool nor a node item.
  • Item stacks/ItemStack: Stacks of identical items with an item count.
  • Environment: A global Lua/C++ scripting object that (amongst other things) provides access to all nodes, (active) objects and players.
  • Active Block Modifier (Abbreviated ABM): Functions that run on nodes of a certain type, changing them or giving them interactive properties (eg. grass and moss growth).
  • Loading Block Modifiers (Abbreviated LBM): Similar to ABMs but are only run when a mapblock is loaded. They can also only run once, depending on its definition.

Lua and Modding-related

  • Lua: A simple, minimal and fast programming language which is used for Minetest's API.
  • Modding API/Lua API/Minetest API: a selection of functions and values, used by mod files to modify, extend or add features and blocks. API stands for Application Programming Interface.
  • lua_api.txt: A file in the doc/ directory and contains a full reference for the Lua API. The same content is also available in HTML format.


  1. Officially, Minetest's rendering library is called “IrrlichtMt”, but the name “Irrlicht” is used interchangingly. When we say “Irrlicht”, we usually mean Minetest's rendering library, not the original one