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In alpha and beta versions of Minecraft (prior to Minecraft Beta 1.6), 'Minecart Boosting' takes advantage of the minecart's physics when next to another cart to propel itself forward.

How many vertical blocks can a cart climb per square of booster track, assuming the cart goes straight up after leaving the booster area?

What's the minimum length required to go all the way from bedrock to cloud level?


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closed as too localized by badp May 26 '11 at 21:29

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No longer relevant since boosters were brok--- er, fixed as of 1.6 – badp May 26 '11 at 21:30

3 Answers 3

up vote 23 down vote accepted

Minecart boosting was removed in Minecraft Beta 1.6.
This answer is only relevant for versions of Minecraft built prior to that revision, accessible using the Minecraft Launcher's Time Machine functionality.

It depends on whether the cart has a rider (cow, chicken, player) or not.

Now, first some definitions. The type of booster used is a speed and momentum resetting booster, to ensure fair and reproducable results.

This is a booster with a length of 1 the shortest booster possible

and here a booster with length 11 a bit longer booster

The bottom bedrock layer shown in these images is layer 0, the void is directly below. the track going up shown on the left side is the actual track going up.

The results are in and show that an empty cart needs a booster of 18 long, while a cart with a rider in it will need a booster of 5 long to reach beyond the top of the map. (altrough, a booster of 17, with an empty cart, reaches sufficiently close.)

Now, for the booster lengths below these numbers, the following results has been obtained:

Raw data (height reached, booster length is position in list, where the first has a length of 1 as shown above.):

  • empty cart: 6 12 17 25.5 31 41 47 57 63 72.5 79 88 93.5 103 109 119 125
  • with rider: 6 25.5 37 66

I'm now trying to make some sense of the results for the empty cart, I don't think I have enough data points to make something for the cart with a rider.

+1 Awesome..... – tzenes Nov 2 '10 at 5:38
You can actually go above the clouds. – badp Nov 2 '10 at 7:08
Also, you can build the booster "diagonally upwards", it doesn't need to be horizontal. – Denilson Sá Nov 3 '10 at 10:41
@DenilsonSá While that is true, that would have the posibility to skew the results, by changing the starting position etc., I specifically used this type of booster for it's simplicity and reproducability. – alexanderpas Nov 3 '10 at 15:03
The rider-less cart looks like a linear function with periodic error. Probably, the error is always less than 1. (what did you use to measure height? Signs? Just curious.) – badp Nov 3 '10 at 18:28

I do not know the answer to your main question, but what I do have to offer is some insight on the difference between speed and momentum.

In minecraft, there is no real maximum momentum. Your speed is capped, but your momentum is not. As you continue boost the same minecart, it will not get any faster, but it will continue to gain momentum. This increased momentum will allow it continue going at the maximum speed for a longer time before you need another booster or downward slope to continue.

However, if you increase the momentum of a minecart too much, the game is prone to crash, so you have to be careful when doing this as well. Reaching maximum speed can be done with an extremely short booster, but the length of the booster will still affect how far you are able to go because a longer booster will result in more momentum.

Booster Article on the Minecraft Wiki.

"As you continue boost the same minecart, it will not get any faster, but it will continue to gain momentum." I have heard this from several people now, not just you. Perhaps it is just my physics background constricting my thinking to the usual definition of momentum (which is clearly not what you mean), but I still have no idea what that statement is trying to say. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Oct 19 '10 at 16:22
@Blue Momentum in Minecraft is not Mass times Velocity; it is a separate measurement that increases as you go downhill or are getting boosted, and decreases as the forces of "friction" would be slowing you down. Once it runs out, you stop moving. A better way to think of it is maybe that your speed can increase past the cap, but you only ever move so fast. Once your speed drops below the cap, the changes in speed are noticeable, but as it's above the cap it's "rendered" as going at the cap speed. – StrixVaria Oct 19 '10 at 16:23
Ahhh I see - in Physics we call that Energy :) – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Oct 19 '10 at 16:27
Making physics correlations in Minecraft is meaningless. Even if you increase the energy in the Minecart, where is that energy coming from? There's no conservation of energy present, so it's really not worth corrections to terms that have already been adopted by the community, however "inaccurate" they might be. – StrixVaria Oct 19 '10 at 16:30
Sorry, didn't mean to offend - I wasn't trying to point out inaccuracies, just trying to help out others (like myself) with too much of a physics-background, who didn't understand what everyone meant by "momentum" – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Oct 19 '10 at 16:35

In my very brief testing, a cart that was boosted for a single track section only made it up eight vertical blocks (on a 1x1 staircase). Increasing the boosted track to two sections improved the climb to 28 blocks.

How about 3 sections? – travis Oct 19 '10 at 16:25
Nice start, get me a formula and win the bounty :) – badp Nov 1 '10 at 21:59

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