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I have seen the Enderman pick up grass blocks but I want to know is what blocks they can pick up and what block they can't pick up.

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At least in the pre-release beta, there seems to be no limit. Endermen carrying dungeon spawners and bedrock have been sighted. – a cat Sep 10 '11 at 13:13
I have video evidence that some of the previous findings (which seem to be based on 1.8 Pre-Release code) are incorrect. Bedrock and Obsidian can no longer be picked up by Endermen. For video proof please visit – user12591 Sep 19 '11 at 17:24
Looks like that notch will remove the block carrying in the next update. "notch: By the way, I will nerf the endermen block carrying. It was a horrible idea." So we can now sleep at night – Warface Sep 20 '11 at 18:00
You should change the accepted answer from the one that applied to Beta 1.8.1 to the one that applies to the current version (it was tested for 1.3.2, but is still correct) of Minecraft. – IQAndreas Dec 22 '13 at 8:55
up vote 19 down vote accepted

This is no longer relevant for the current version of Minecraft, but in Minecraft Beta 1.8.1, Endermen were able to pick up and any solid, entirely cubic block except the following:

  • Any double slab
  • Bedrock
  • Chest
  • Dispenser
  • Furnace
  • Jukebox
  • Monster spawner
  • Note block
  • Piston and sticky piston
  • Snow block

They can, however, pick up the following blocks which are not entirely solid cubic blocks:

  • Cactus
  • Flower (both types)
  • Mushroom (both types)

Notably, tilled farmland is not a full height block and the Endermen cannot pick it up, but if they walk on it, turning it back into a dirt block, they can pick up that dirt block. Likewise, Endermen cannot pick up stairs (any type), half slabs (any type), fences, doors, gates, iron bars, cobwebs, beds or cake.

Endermen cannot pick up things attached to blocks, such as buttons, ladders or redstone wire. However, they can pick up the block it is attached to, which will cause the attached thing to drop as if the block was destroyed.

Endermen can pick up both naturally occurring blocks and blocks placed by players. In the Minecraft 1.8 pre-release they were able to move bedrock, but as of Minecraft 1.8.1 this was no longer possible. They cannot pick up water or lava.

(Sources: Sir_Tiffy on Reddit, MrPixelTech on Youtube, testing in Creative mode, and the swiss cheese pattern of Ender-holes in my monster grinder)

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The obvious solution. – a cat Sep 16 '11 at 18:54
Only problem is eating it when your hungry! – Joe the Person Sep 17 '11 at 4:09
They don't touch obsidian, either. – Raven Dreamer Sep 19 '11 at 18:27
great answer, now i will make a mob grinder out of double slabs ^^ – Gigala Feb 1 '12 at 13:45
Looks like this might be out of date...The Mine Craft wiki says different – mikeTheLiar May 16 '13 at 21:07

As of MineCraft 1.7.4, the following are the only things Endermen are allowed to pick up:

  • Cacti
  • Clay
  • Dirt
  • Flowers (red and yellow)
  • Grass
  • Podzol
  • Gravel
  • Melons
  • Mycelium
  • Mushrooms (brown and red)
  • Pumpkins
  • Sand
  • TNT

Source: Looking at the source using Minecraft Coder Pack (MCP) for MineCraft 1.3.2, and the MineCraft wiki for later versions.

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I decompiled yesterday to have a look at the "Always spawn on sand" question, and upon inspection, I do not appear to have any Enderman related files... (and yes, I'm sure I have 1.8.1) – John the Green Sep 19 '11 at 20:28
@John I pulled this directly from, so I don't know what to tell you: endermen are in the game, so there's definitely code related to it. And every mob has its own class, so it stands to reason there is an EndermanEntity class. is mostly deobfuscated in MCP 4.4. – user3389 Sep 19 '11 at 21:05

Endermen from what I've seen and heard can pick up most types of blocks including natural and player-placed blocks, chests, furnaces, noteblocks, mob spawners, obsidian, and bedrock. There appear to be some types that they cannot pick up, but there is not yet any final list of these.

A user on the Minecraft forums gives an account of an Enderman picking up his chest, causing the items to burst out everywhere (as I commented extensively on Sir_Tiffy's Reddit thread, chests cannot be moved with their contents intact for the same reasons pistons cannot push them).

I'd post more links but the spam prevention won't let me since I don't have any rep yet.

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Endermen will only pick up and move certain blocks, regardless of whether they were natural or placed by the player. They will pick up blocks horizontally and vertically nearby, within a short reaching distance similar to the player's (3 layers). Endermen will not drop the block they are holding when enraged or slain. It will simply disappear,

According to an enderman can only pick up:

grass blocks, dirt, mycelium, sand, gravel clay, dandelions, rose, brown and red mushrooms, cactus, pumpkins, melons, and TNT.

Endermen cannot pick up entities, such as boats, minecarts, primed TNT, and mobs.

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This answer is correct these days - Endermen cannot pick up nearly as many blocks as they used to be able to. However, it does look like this is copy-pasted directly from the Minecraft wiki. You should rewrite the answer in your own words. – Shinrai Jul 24 '13 at 22:55

Enderman can pick up any full block, except obsidian. They cannot pick up transparent blocks such as glass, glass panes, stairs, half-slabs, etc.

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Enderman can pick up simple items like dirt, stone, brick, ores, ect. I have seen them carrying flowers, but they are mostly spotted with dirt or, when in caves, stone. They can not pick up obsidion or bedrock, and they do get mad at blocks that they can not pick up. Clearly, enderman are the smartest mobs , and can actually outsmart steve. they can see up to 64 blocks away.

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The reason you mostly see them with those blocks is likely statistics. Since Dirt and Stone are some of the most common block types in the game, when an Enderman picks up a block at random, odds are it will be one of those. – Batophobia Jun 20 '13 at 19:24
How does this answer differ from the ones already provided? – IQAndreas Dec 22 '13 at 3:08

To summarize as well as I can from everything I've read, Endermen can pick up any NATURALLY SPAWNING block. It does not pick up blocks that exist only if a player has created it (I.e. any blocks that must be crafted with the crafting bench).

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