Minecraft TNT

The TNT block has unique properties that make it one of the most destructive forces in Minecraft. When it is activated, TNT explodes and destroys surrounding blocks, making it an effective weapon and an efficient mining tool. TNT explosions can harm players and mobs. Blast strength is mitigated by nearby water, which prevents it from damaging solid blocks. Mobs and players can still be damaged by TNT if they are in the water near the explosion point.


Type: Solid Block
Requirements: None
Physics: Only after activation
Transparency: No
Luminance: No
Blast Resistance: 0
Tool: None
Renewable: No
Stackable: Yes (64)
Data Value—Dec: 46, Hex: 2E

Minecraft TNT


Combine 5 gunpowder and 4 sand to create a TNT block.

Name Ingredients Input >> Output
TNT Block 5 Gunpowder and 4 Sand Crafting TNT from Gunpowder and Sand

Causes an explosion and breaks apart blocks near it.

Explosive Properties

There are several ways, both remotely and directly, to activate TNT blocks. Contact with fire, lava or fire charge can ignite TNT, which has the same effect as activating it through traditional methods. A trail of redstone dust powered by a torch or switch is often used to trigger TNT. Players can also right click a TNT block with a flint and steel tool to set off an explosion. Once a TNT block is ignited, it will release smoke particles and flash for 4 seconds. If the block was activated by the explosion of another TNT block, then it will flash for 1 to 3 seconds before blowing up. TNT blocks are affected by gravity, just like sand and gravel, immediately after they are activated. As of update 1.3.1, TNT does different amounts of damage depending on the difficulty setting. In peaceful mode it does no damage, in easy it does half the damage, normal it does the same damage and in hard it does 33% more damage than normal.

Minecraft TNT Explosion

The impact of a TNT blast depends on the block types and open space around it when it explodes. TNT can destroy surrounding layers of blocks, providing the blocks are destructible and have a low enough blast resistance to propagate the force of the explosion. The formula for calculating the destructive force (f) of a TNT block is energy (e) minus the block’s blast resistance (r). The energy of the blast is recalculated after it passes through a block, so the explosion has a diminished effect on each subsequent layer.

A single exploding TNT block propagates 7 spaces in each direction if it is completely surrounded by air blocks, which have no blast resistance at all. A block of TNT that is completely surrounded by stone blocks will only destroy a 3x3x3 cube, leaving the remaining stone intact. Obsidian, bedrock, water source and lava source blocks cannot be damaged by TNT.

TNT explosions can ignite burnable blocks, like wood and netherrack, in or around the blast point. The explosion can also ignite other TNT blocks, so it is possible to cause a massive chain explosion by placing many TNT blocks in a single mass and activating only one of them.


TNT explosions can be very useful utility for killing hostile mobs in survival mode games. It is also a handy trick to use on player-versus-player servers, as the damage from explosions can easily deal significant or lethal damage. Pressure plates, switches and buttons can activate TNT blocks hidden beneath the ground to create explosive land mines.

In order to activate TNT with redstone, a powered trail of redstone dust must connect to one of the block’s sides. The powered block may be one layer up or down, but it will not activate the TNT from diagonal angles. TNT cannot be deactivated once it is set off, so it is important to be careful when constructing a circuit around these blocks. It is recommended that you place the TNT after the trap’s circuit is completed.

When a TNT block explodes, it projects other blocks and tiles outwards in all directions. Players can use this to launch themselves with an obsidian cannon, or to make traps that use the TNT explosion to propel arrows toward a particular location. A TNT explosion can propel other TNT blocks after it activates them, creating the potential for functional canons and fireworks.


TNT blocks also have practical uses outside of combat. They provide an easy way for players to open up narrow mines in order to look for resources or hollow out an underground area to build in. It is also useful for clearing out large sections of subterranean gravel or sand, which are generally undesirable and time-consuming to dig through. While TNT can be used to actually mine resources, it is not recommended because the explosion can destroy both solid blocks and the resources that they drop.

Carefully placed water can control the impact of TNT blasts. Players can create a wall of water to prevent explosions from destroying blocks in a particular direction. This makes TNT traps more viable for use near buildings, as the water prevents the TNT from destroying the player made structure. Water screens are not foolproof; a TNT block that is activated and propelled by a previously exploding block can pass through the water wall and explode on the other side.


TNT is one of the oldest blocks in Minecraft. It was first introduced in Survival Test in version 0.26, and was included in alpha, beta and released versions of the game. So far, TNT has only been accessible through crafting, although developers have announced plans to add naturally occurring TNT in desert temples, also called pyramids, which will be part of a future update.

Interesting Facts

  • The TNT block is based on a real substance called Trinitrotoluene. While this substance does significant explosive properties, gunpowder is not used as an ingredient during any stage of its production.
  • An activated TNT block can fall for more than 70 blocks before exploding, providing there is nothing but air below it.
  • If a projected arrow, shot from a bow or dispenser, passes within the blast radius of an exploding TNT block, then the arrow’s trajectory will be reversed or redirected.
  • Other players can’t hear the sound of the TNT fuse burning in multiplayer games, making explosive traps all the more dangerous.

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