Here’s what we know about structure blocks in 1.10.

Mapmakers rejoice! This morning, Jeb_ tweeted the above image, announcing that Searge has been working on making the “Structure Block” usable by mapmakers in 1.10. The Structure Block was added to the game’s code in 1.9, but were unusable by anyone other than Mojang developers. Structure Blocks are used to access external files to load predefined block structures into the world, and were first shown off at the “Behind the Scenes” panel at Minecon 2015. So what do we know about this block, and what will be be able to do with it? Searge did an impromptu AMA about it on /r/minecraft today, giving us a bit of insight. Here’s what we know:

  • The Structure Block can save structures that you’ve built, and load them into any world at any position. [Source]
    • Structure Blocks have four modes:
      • Save, which stores structures
      • Load, which loads saved structures
      • Corner, which returns the volume of an area marked on all sides by corner blocks
      • Data, which is used internally for editing entity data, such as chest contents or mobs. It’s unclear how exactly these will be used by mapmakers upon release, but will presumably make use of Loot Tables. [Source]
  • You can mirror and rotate structures when you load them. As of the Minecon 2015 demonstration, these operations could only be performed on the vertical axis. [Source] [Source]
  • Structures will be stored per-world, meaning mapmakers can bundle their structures in a world file. [Source]
  • Structures will be saved in single, easily-sharable files, effectively replacing any need for “one-command” installers for command block creations. [Source]
  • Structures are limited to a size of 32x32x32 blocks. [Source]
  • Structure blocks give a nice white outline around the area that a structure will fill before loading it. [Source]
  • Air blocks are saved in structures. At the moment, Barrier blocks are not loaded in structures, which allows for irregularly shaped structures, but could cause problems if you ever need to load something containing Barriers. [Source]
  • Saving structures will only be done manually through the block’s GUI. [Source]
  • Searge has ensured us that mapmakers will be given a “very nice way to place structures that are bundled with a world,” presumably referring to an automated/dynamic way of doing so via Command Blocks. When questioned about how the structured can be activated, Searge said that he’s “experimenting with different options.” [Source] [Source]
  • Despite being used in the creation of End Cities and Igloos, structure blocks can not be used to randomly generate custom structures in the world. [Source]
  • The Structure Block will only be obtainable and usable by opped players in creative mode, just like command blocks. [Source]
  • According to Searge, the structure blocks are “Quite efficient” and “most likely faster than the /clone command in the majority of use cases.” [Source]

The most obvious use of these blocks is to share creations, particularly Command Block creations, without the need for one-command installers. With the addition of a native structure format, .schematic files used by MCedit and WorldEdit will likely phase out soon. A perhaps more powerful use, however, is to allow mapmakers to dynamically load structures, such as minigame play areas. Normally, these types of structures would have to be built and stored in the spawn chunks, and loaded in with the /clone command. Structure Blocks will make this process faster and more efficient, as well as freeing up space in the spawn for more of your command blocks. Its rotation and mirror ability also means that mapmakers working on symmetrical maps, such as Race for Wool maps, can easily build their maps without needing to fiddle with MCedit or WorldEdit. Developers working on projects like Gamemode 4 will likely be able to combine Structure Blocks with Command Blocks to randomly spawn structures in a world as it generates, complete with random rotations. The possibilities for this new block are, from where we are standing now, seemingly endless. What other potential uses do you see this block having? Let us know in the comments. We’ll keep updating this post as we learn more information.

8 comments
  1. It is unclear if we get a new command to load structures or that you power a load structure block, I think structure blocks will not be affected by redstone whatsoever, probably a loadstructure command with coords is what we will get as well as rotations like
    /loadstructure [rot]

    1. I tried to avoid speculation in this post, but from what I understand, no new commands are being added here at all. I think the only way to load structures will be with Structure Blocks, which may be able to be powered by redstone, but perhaps more likely will be activated by an NBT tag which can be set via /blockdata. I think a redstoneless method of activation is more likely given the entirely redstoneless direction that Command Blocks have been going (More on that here http://moesh.ca/tutorial/eliminate-redstone/).

  2. “Structures will be saved in single, easily-sharable files, effectively replacing any need for “one-command” installers for command block creations.”

    If this is to be true, I hope that it’s not going to be hard to create the structure files stored on the disk programmatically. For example: a ‘command combinder/compiler’ that currently compiles to a ‘one-command’ installer would then be able to compile to a structure file.

  3. 32x32x32 is not large enough to mean that schematics will be no longer be needed as you suggest in your otherwise excellent article.

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