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I died, but very near my spawn point. When I came back to the point where I'd died (I fell to my death) there was my stuff spread around, as well as loads of experience orbs! I don't know how much I had before I died, so is the amount I just picked up:

  • The exact amount I had before I died?
  • Some random/fixed portion of that amount?
  • Fixed?
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up vote 15 down vote accepted

It appears the amount of experience lost upon dying is approximately the same as the amount of orbs that gets dropped.

Upon the player's death, a number of Experience Orbs are dropped at the location of death. … The number of orbs that are reclaimed is about the same number as the amount lost. - MC Wiki

Upon testing it myself, it seems the experience dropped isn't equal to the experience you had before you died. After running three tests, I usually got about 1/2 of the experience I had before I died.

This image contains three tests: the experience meter before is on top and the experience bar after is below. Also, in the third test, I had an entire bar of experience plus what is shown.

Experience: Before and After

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When I get to a computer, I'll verify this myself in-game. – Kevin Yap Sep 18 '11 at 18:24
about the same? – fredley Sep 18 '11 at 18:27
@fredley Yeah, that's why I'm going to test it myself. – Kevin Yap Sep 18 '11 at 18:32
Cool, thanks :-) – fredley Sep 18 '11 at 19:04
I'm pretty sure this answer is outdated. Could you update it? (I'd write an answer myself but I'm not sure of the exact behavior and Minecraft Wiki is vague about the actual experience total; my impression is that given sufficient starting experience you get at most about 5 levels worth.) – Kevin Reid Feb 4 '14 at 2:03

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