The grass block was one of the earliest blocks added to Minecraft and is one of the most abundant natural blocks in a Minecraft world.
While grass blocks might seem like a super basic block in the game, they actually have a wide range of mechanics and more uses than you might think.
Sometimes also known as natural blocks, these cute little green cubes have some interesting uses which you might not know. Read on to find out!
Grass Blocks Overview & Mechanics
Grass blocks are a type of dirt block with a grass coating on the top. For the most part, they behave in the same way as dirt blocks; they have the same strength and sounds as dirt, are also mined speedily with spades, and have one of the lowest blast resistance in the game – no TNT please!
The main difference to dirt is the grass surface on top and the way the grass affects the block and surrounding space.
Grass blocks spawn in high quantities all around the overworld and are almost as abundant as dirt blocks – well, technically they are dirt blocks, but you can say they are slightly different
These are found in most overworld biomes and come in a range of different colors based on the climate of the ground they are located in. Besides dirt and stone, they are the most common and unanimous block to be found across all biomes.
We’ll explain this in more detail later, but the only way to obtain and dig grass blocks is using a tool enchanted with silk touch, otherwise, they just drop as regular dirt.
It’s also worth noting that all the mechanics of grass blocks are identical between the Bedrock and Java editions.
Grass Block Mechanics
Grass blocks have a range of unique mechanics that mimic the way grass works in real life – remember that game?
Grass blocks spread the grass texture to nearby dirt blocks. Based on this mechanic, you can see grass slowly spread and grow across the dirt.
Grass will only move to normal dirt, and not rooted dirt or coarse dirt.
Here are the mechanics that define how grass spreads to other dirt blocks.
Grass will spread to any dirt block within a 3x3x5 radius from the original source grass block.
The original source grass block needs to be receiving light with a light level of 9 or above.
The block above either needs to be empty or transparent enough that it lets light through with a minimum level of 9.
The receiving dirt block can’t have lava, water, or a waterlogged block above it.
If a grass block is random ticked (explained below), it checks 4 random blocks within the 3x3x5 radius and adds dirt to any blocks which are able to receive grass.
To understand how quickly grass can spread, you need to understand random ticks and chunk ticks.
A chunk is a large area of blocks in minecraft (16 x 16 x 16). A tick is a tiny unit of time within Minecraft – 0.05 seconds, that works as a kind of in-game clock for events.
Any chunks that are currently loaded (or otherwise active due to certain blocks being maintained) receive a chunk tick, every tick – provided their centers are within 128 blocks of the player. Chunks are loaded depending on your simulation distance setting.
During a chunk tick, a certain amount of random blocks within the chunk receive a random tick. The number of blocks given a random tick can be changed with the /randomTickSpeed command, but this number is set to 3 by default.
This means every 0.05 second, three blocks in a chunk (4096 blocks) receive a random tick.
This is quite an in-depth explanation, which is a lengthy mechanic for something that can be explained rather simply – grass grows randomly, over a random amount of time. But if you are patient, then eventually grass will spread to every dirt block that it can reach and meets the requirements.
Grass and Tall Grass plants
Grass and tall grass also grow on top of these blocks using a similar type of random generation.
If you use bone meal on a grass block, grass, taller grass, and flowers will grow in a small radius around where you use it.
Grass Death Mechanics
Just like real grass, grass in Minecraft also dies under certain conditions. If an opaque block (or any other block which restricts light below light level 4) is placed on top of a grass block, the grass will die after it receives a random tick.
Uses for Grass Blocks in Minecraft
There are several uses for grass blocks in Minecraft – some of these you may not realize existed!
Using a hoe on a grass block turns it into farmland, which can be used for planting seeds and growing crops. You can plant almost any type of seed in this fertile farmland. Creating farmland is essential to create a reliable food source in survival mode.
Using a shovel (with the right click, rather than digging with the left click) will create a dirt path block, which creates a different texture from standard dirt. This can be used for a nice decorative effect.
You can place grass blocks in composters, which gives you a 30% chance of increasing the composter’s compost level by 1. (This is only a feature in Bedrock edition though). Composters eventually create bonemeal, which can be used to accelerate the growth of crops and plants.
Spawning Animals and Sheep Food
Grass blocks play a key role in how friendly mobs are spawned.
For every random tick (explained above) there is a tiny chance for a friendly mob to spawn on a grass block. This could be a cow, sheep, chicken, or other friendly overworld mobs.
This won’t happen if the block is in the player’s vision, as the developers wanted to avoid having random animals popping into sight.
The tall grass plants that grow on top of these blocks can also be eaten by sheep. If a sheep decides to eat a grass plant, it will re-grow its wool (if you’ve shaved it).
How to Get Grass Blocks in Minecraft
If you want to get some grass blocks in your inventory, there are only a couple of ways to do it.
The first thing to note, is that if you dig up them up with a regular tool, grass blocks turn into dirt blocks – without grass.
The way around this is by digging grass blocks up with a tool that has the silk touch enchantment – this will drop a grass block, rather than dirt ones.
Place a shovel into the table, and lapis lazuli into the other slot
Mouse over the enchantment options and see if you get silk touch.
If one offers a silk touch enchantment, click it to enchant the tool.
If silk touch isn’t available, break the enchantment table and replace it.
You will need to have a few levels of experience to be able to unlock the enchantment, so start killing some mobs!
The only other way to obtain grass blocks in survival mode is by killing an enderman that is holding one.
If you are in creative mode, you won’t be able to find grass blocks in the menu, however, you can still get grass blocks easily. All you need to do is use the “Pick Block” button on a grass block. On PC, the default key binding for this is the middle mouse button.
You can also give yourself or other players grass blocks by using the in-game commands. You need to have cheats enabled in your single-player game, or you need to have operator permissions in a multiplayer server.
The command to give yourself grass is as follows:
/give grass_block quantity
If you don’t have cheats enabled in your single-player world, you can follow these steps to do so.
Open the pause menu
Click “Open world to LAN”
In the new window, click “Enable Cheats”
Start the LAN world
Cheats and commands will now be available in your single-player world.
This only lasts for the duration of the session, and you will need to re-enable cheats every time you log out and back into your world.
Note, that activating cheats disables your ability to earn achievements in that world.
Grass Block Types and Appearance
There are several different variations of the grass block in Minecraft. While they all count as the same block in the inventory, they come in different color variations.
The color of the grass is different depending on the biome it’s in. There is a huge range of tints that can be applied to grass based on their containing biome. The grass will always be tinted to match the color of the biome – no matter how the block is created or placed.
You can make certain modifications to dirt blocks. Besides the option to make grass paths like the above, you can use snow blocks to add a layer of snow over the top of the grass. One block of snow will coat one grass block.
Now you know everything about grass blocks, you’ll be able to start making cool gardens and natural spaces in your minecraft world.
These cute-looking blocks are one of the most common in the game world, although they can be hard to capture – as you need to get a silk touch enchanted weapon to harvest them, we’ve told you how to do that, so you should have no problem getting hold of these!
How Do You Make a Grass Block in Minecraft?
You can’t actually make or craft grass blocks in Minecraft, you can only collect them from the environment.
To collect grass blocks you’ll need to dig them with a silk touch enchanted tool, otherwise, they will just drop as regular dirt. If you have cheats activated, you can use the command “/give grass_block”
How Rare is a Grass Block in Minecraft?
Grass blocks are not very rare – they are probably one of the most common blocks in the Minecraft overworld. They spawn naturally in almost every biome – where there’s dirt and light, there are grass blocks.
The problem is, you can’t just use a regular tool to mine them. You need to use a tool with a silk touch enchantment.
Dane started off gaming at the tender age of 3 with the first Atari console. His favorite video game genres are turn-based RPGs (can I get a shout out for Tactics Ogre?) and fighting games. Read more...