A while back I asked a question about maintaining speed with a minecart up a ledge. I did some maths (or math) and figured it out, answering my own question. However it did not seem effective in practice. I was wanting to find out more about minecart physics and understand it.

Does anyone have any knowledge of minecart physics they can share or quote from external sources.

I'd like to know about the changes in speed and kinetic energy/momentum when using different types of rail going uphill, downhill, flat, diagonal, and on a turn.

Once I have enough information to effectively calculate efficient minecart and rail solutions I shall place it on an edit at the end of the question for reference.

Thanks in advance!

  • I think your best bet is to experiment, or get someone to do it for you.
    – Johonn
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 12:25
  • @Johonn what do you think this is?
    – kotekzot
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 12:27
  • @Johonn I shall do later when I get the chance, at the moment I'm just asking if anyone knows anything or if the information already exists to save me some effort, probably haven't worded that well though.
    – Cameron
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 12:28
  • Website recommendations are off-topic for Arqade, I'm afraid.
    – Frank
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 12:54
  • @Frank I'm looking for the information, but i see your point. I'll reword it to ask for information and not locations.
    – Cameron
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 12:57

1 Answer 1


Minecart physics can be found on the Minecraft Wiki page for Minecarts. I think what you are looking for is under Loss of Speed:

One unit of kinetic energy could be defined as the energy gained by a cart going down a one block slope, and lost by a cart when it goes up a one block slope.

If a 45 degree downward slope is connected directly into an upward slope, an initial height of 60 blocks will result in a final height of 40 blocks, a loss of 20 units of potential energy. But if 20 sections of flat track are inserted between the slopes, the final height will be 35.

This implies that one unit of energy is lost for every 4 sections of horizontal track traveled with an initial stored energy of between 60 and 40. At much lower speeds, much less energy is lost, implying that the energy lost is a percentage of the cart's current energy. The above gives about 0.5% energy loss per section of track.

One implication of this is that more energy lost when the cart has more energy, so a gradual slope should allow you to travel much farther distances than a steep slope followed by a long flat section. (This is different from real-life physics, where friction does not increase with velocity. However, it may be an attempt to mirror air resistance, which does increase with velocity.)

  • I know about this already, but it's just too vauge.
    – Cameron
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 21:35
  • 1
    @Cameron I think that covers pretty much all of your question to be honest. Using this you can work out the speed in these "block units" for each situation you listed except the uphill part.
    – DBS
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 21:40
  • It uses "could", "implies", and "between 60 and 40". I tried to use this to work out my previous problem but in practice it wasn't effective.
    – Cameron
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 21:43
  • When they say about, and before, it probably means they ran multiple tests, and got slightly varied results, based on the fact that the cart can sit halfway between blocks, before and after motion. As was mentioned, the game physics differ from real-life physics, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was some built-in variance.
    – JSydiE
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 22:11
  • The could is used 'could be defined' which is fluff talk for 'is defined' and the implies are used in the same fashion they use in maths and physics when one conclusion results in a second conclusion. So I don't understand what you issue is as neither case makes the numbers or formulas any less correct.
    – ydobonebi
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 4:33

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