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[5 Ways] How to Show Hitboxes in Minecraft

Minecraft is a popular sandbox video game where players can build creations out of textured cubes in a 3D-generated world. Under the hood, Minecraft uses hitboxes, invisible boxes around characters and blocks, to detect collisions and interactions. One of the most annoying things in Minecraft is trying to hit a mob to no success and looking goofy while you do it. Sometimes, you’re not used to their hitboxes, and it would be helpful to know how big they actually are. While the game does an excellent job on fair hitboxes, having extra details is essential, and that’s why there’s a shortcut to enable hitboxes for each mob in the game.

Like in many other games, enemies, allies, and NPCs have hitboxes. In video games, hitboxes, or bounding boxes, are invisible shapes drawn around characters, mobs, and blocks. They allow the game to detect when two entities overlap or come into contact. Without hitboxes, Minecraft wouldn't know when a player hits a block to break it or when a player gets damaged by a mob. Hitboxes, in essence, are regions, which can be shown by pressing the F3 + B keys in the Java Edition only. When they are shown, a white outline will be seen showing the location of the entity and the space it takes up. There is also a flat red rectangle near its “eyes.” This rectangle is the “line of sight,” which is where its in-game eyes are, which could be independent of where they appear to be. Notice how the line of sight wraps around the entity, which explains how it is impossible to sneak up behind a mob without it seeing the player. There is also a straight blue line that extends away from the line of sight. This line points in the direction the mob is facing.

Hitboxes tightly wrap around the visible textures of characters and blocks. For example, a chicken's hitbox matches the shape of the chicken model. A block's hitbox matches the block; even if a block has rounded edges or interior holes, its hitbox is still a perfect cube.

Hitboxes are essential for collision detection, projectiles, movement, and other gameplay mechanics. Players usually don't see hitboxes, but visualizing them can help understand how the game works under the hood.

Here are some ways that will enable you as a player to show hitboxes in Minecraft Java Edition;

1. Use the NBTExplorer

NBTExplorer is a stand-alone program that lets you view, edit and save files. Below is a guide on how to use it;

  • First, Download and install NBTExplorer, and you must ensure Minecraft is closed.
  • Then, Locate your Minecraft save folder, whether in the “downloads,” “documents,” or “desktop,” wherever you see fit for you.
  • Go to .minecraft/saves.
  • In NBTExplorer, open the level.dat file in your world save folder.
  • Go to Data > Player > Attributes.
  • Set “generic Debug Mode” to 1.
  • Save the change and launch Minecraft.
  • Hitboxes will now display in vibrant colors. Pink is hostile mobs, blue is passive mobs, green is other entities, and red is players.

2. Giving a Command

  • The / give command can generate an item that shows hitboxes when held. To use it:

Launch a Minecraft world in Creative mode.

  • Type this command:

/give @p minecraft: carrot_on_a_stick{display:{Name:'{“text”:”Hitbox Toggler”}'},Unbreakable:1,HitBox:1b}

  • Hold the new “Hitbox Toggler” item to see hitboxes. Hitboxes will be colored based on the entity.
  • Use the item again to turn off the Hitbox visibility.

3. F3 + B

Pressing F3 + B together will toggle Hitbox visibility in Java Edition. Hitboxes display as cyan boxes. This combination is handy for a quick toggle. But note hitboxes may not display if you're running certain mods.

4. Using Mods

This method is among the most used methods in Minecraft by players. To do this,

  • First, Start the Search for Modification

Begin your journey by looking for modifications, also known as ‘mods,' that are made to improve the visual aspects of Minecraft. The curious searcher must go on a quest into the online world of the internet to find these valuable changes.

  • Get the Mod or Resource Pack

After a successful quest, the next step is to get a mod or resource pack designed to allow users to reveal the hitboxes hidden in the game's structure. These digital gems can often be found on popular platforms such as CurseForge, an excellent source of Minecraft modifications.

  • Download the Digital Item

Once you have chosen your modification, you must download the digital item following the downloading process explained on the mod or resource pack webpage. It is wise to read the instructions and requirements, considering applicable conditions carefully.

  • Install the Modification

After downloading the mod or resource pack, the next step is to install this new addition into the Minecraft environment. To do this, you must go to the folder in the game's directory where modifications are stored.

  • Then, Enable the Addition

After you have put the mod or resource pack in the right folder, you need to enable this addition in the Minecraft launcher. This procedure is done by going to the “Installations” section, choosing the installation where you want to use the addition, and then going into the “More Options” section.

  • Interact with Resource Packs or Mods

In the “More Options” interface, users will have the chance to interact with resource packs or mods. Adding the mod or resource pack you want to use to the list of active components will allow it to affect the game.

  • Finally, Start the Game:

After you have set up the addition, you can start the Minecraft game by choosing the installation where you have added it. As the game starts, the additions will take effect, giving you the ability to show hitboxes easily.

You can adjust the Visualization to make it look better and ensure that the hitboxes are shown in a way you like. You can choose to look at the in-game options or check out the mod's documentation to change the visualization settings. This adjustment will let you change things related to Hitbox visibility to suit your taste and needs.

Mods like ToggleHitbox relax restrictions, letting you view hitboxes and customize their color and appearance. The mods help study Redstone contraptions or complex builds.

5. Texture Packs

Some texture packs like VanillaTweaks contain built-in hitbox visualizations. The hitboxes look cleaner than F3 + B, with customizable colors. Install a pack and enable hitbox textures to try it.

When viewing hitboxes, always remember that.

  • Hitboxes may extend slightly beyond visible blocks. For example, chests have some transparent pixels at the outer edges.
  • Hitboxes are precisely aligned to pixel edges. So a block at 5.6 x, 8.3 z will snap the hitbox to 6 x, 9 z.
  • Living entities have slightly larger hitboxes when rotating their heads.
  • Hitbox sizes match vanilla models. If you install custom entity models, hitboxes may not change proportionally.
  • Hitting F3 + F4 will show hitboxes persistently, even when holding an item or in a third-person view.

Why Show Hitboxes in Minecraft?

Why Show Hitboxes in Minecraft

Here are some reasons you may want to visualize hitboxes in Minecraft;

  • For debugging reasons. If certain blocks or mobs aren't behaving as expected, seeing hitboxes can help uncover hidden issues in the game.
  • It helps a player to Learn and understand mechanics. Hitboxes bring clarity to game mechanics like melee combat and redstone interactions.
  • Helps with Precision building. When constructing complex creations, seeing hitboxes helps place blocks precisely.
  • It helps to Measure distances. Hitbox visualizations let you measure exact distances, like how far away a mob will detect the player.
  • Allows a player to appreciate models. Hitboxes let you admire how closely entity models match their hidden collision shapes.
  • Satisfy Curiosity. Many players enable hitboxes simply because it's an exciting peek behind the curtain.
  • You are dealing Damage to the enemy. Hitboxes show where you can hurt an enemy with your attacks. Some enemies, like ghosts, have hitboxes that do not match their appearance. For example, you cannot damage a ghast by hitting its tentacles, only its body.
  • Tactical retreats: Sometimes, you may need to run away from a mob that is too strong or too many. Hitboxes can help you see how much space a mob takes up and how close it is to you. You can also use hitboxes to find gaps or openings to escape.
  • Fast farming: You can use hitboxes to design more efficient farms for animals, mobs, or crops. For instance, you can use hitboxes to see the difference between baby and adult chickens and only kill the adults for their drops. You can also use hitboxes to manipulate the line of sight of mobs and make them move or behave in specific ways.
  • Suffocation traps: You can use hitboxes to suffocate mobs by placing blocks in their headspace. The headspace is marked by a thin red box around the mob's head. If a solid block enters this space, the mob will start to take Damage. This move can help kill mobs without using weapons or resources.
  • Spatial awareness: You can use hitboxes to improve your sense of space and distance in the game. Hitboxes can help you measure the size and shape of different entities and objects and plan your actions accordingly. You can also use hitboxes to see the direction and angle a mob faces by looking at the blue line extending from its eyes.

These are some of the benefits of showing hitboxes in Minecraft, through just hitting the F3 + F4 buttons, though it will only work on other versions of the game in the Java edition alone.

How to Use Hitboxes

Uses of Hitboxes

They are usually of importance for a lot of reasons.

  1. They can cause Damage.

Hitboxes are regions where the mob can be harmed. The hitboxes cover all kinds of Damage except for void, fall, and effect-related Damage. It is helpful because it can help the player shoot a mob such as ghast. The hitbox of a ghast does not cover the tentacles, so shooting one in its tentacles has no effect.

  1. The Ender Dragon

The Ender Dragon has unique hitboxes compared to others. It has green boxes around its different body parts, and there is also a giant white box and the line of sight lines. The green boxes are places where you can deal real Damage to the dragon.

  1. They can cause suffocation.

The mechanics of suffocation are well explained using hitboxes. If a solid block enters the “head” of the mob, it will begin to suffocate. The location of the “head” is marked with a fragile red box, so that is where a mob can be suffocated. If the mob does not have a separate outline for its head, such as a ghast, it is assumed that the entire mob is ahead. Therefore, a player can quickly suffocate a ghast by pushing a block anywhere into its hitbox.

  1. Build Farms

Different Sizes of hitboxes can be used for farms. For example, a baby chicken's hitbox is shorter than an adult chicken's. If you want to build an automatic chicken farm, you must ensure that only the adult chicken will be killed since baby chickens don't drop anything. In perspective, blocks such as enchanting tables, slabs, daylight sensors, and snow layers, which are shorter than a whole block, are best for building a farm. These can be used to manipulate the line of sight, as was used in a wither skeleton farm shown in the video:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I show hitboxes in Minecraft?

To show hitboxes in Minecraft, you need to press F3 and B on your keyboard at the same time. By doing this, you will toggle the Hitbox display on and off. You will see a message on the command console that tells you if they are enabled or disabled. This method only works in the Java Edition of the game.

Q. How do I customize the Hitbox display?

You can customize the Hitbox display by changing some options in the game settings. Go to the video settings and scroll down to the entity options section. There, you can toggle the show hitboxes option to on or off. You can also adjust the Hitbox opacity, color, and thickness to your preference.

Q. How do I understand the Hitbox colors and lines?

The Hitbox colors and lines indicate different aspects of the blocks or entities. The white line shows the contact area where you can interact with them. The red line shows the headspace, where suffocation damage occurs if a solid block enters it. The blue line shows the direction and angle that the entity is facing. The green line shows where you can damage the entity, which is essential for some bosses like the Ender Dragon.

Final Thoughts

Showing hitboxes in Minecraft requires careful exploration and experimentation with different tools of the world of modifications. This exploration also involves finding and getting specific mods or resource packs and installing and turning them on. Ultimately, you can change how hitboxes are shown to your preference, making your Minecraft experience more enjoyable with a new way of understanding space. What are hitboxes, and why are they useful? Hitboxes are invisible boxes that surround each block or entity in the game and show their size and shape. They are helpful for various reasons, such as dealing with Damage, escaping from enemies, designing farms, setting traps, and improving spatial awareness. For example, you can use hitboxes to see where you can hurt a ghast, which does not include its tentacles.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.