I'm making an adventure map in Minecraft and give the player a shovel that can break leaves, grass, and dirt. What I want to do is allow the player to place the blocks that he or she broke. Is this possible?

8 Answers 8


This if fairly easy to do, but the command required is very long.

The way you should do this, as other answers have already pointed out, is by putting CanPlaceOn tags onto the item. There's no easy way to do this once the items are already in the player's inventory, so instead you should do it for the dropped item entities with /data.

CanPlaceOn is also fairly annoying in that you need to name every single block you want to be able to place the block onto. I used the block name table from the Minecraft wiki, and wrote a script to convert the names into the right format.

Overall, the command you need to run on a fast clock is:

/data merge @e[type=Item] {Item:{tag:{CanPlaceOn:["minecraft:air","minecraft:stone","minecraft:grass","minecraft:dirt","minecraft:cobblestone","minecraft:planks","minecraft:sapling","minecraft:bedrock","minecraft:flowing_water","minecraft:water","minecraft:flowing_lava","minecraft:lava","minecraft:sand","minecraft:gravel","minecraft:gold_ore","minecraft:iron_ore","minecraft:coal_ore","minecraft:log","minecraft:leaves","minecraft:sponge","minecraft:glass","minecraft:lapis_ore","minecraft:lapis_block","minecraft:dispenser","minecraft:sandstone","minecraft:noteblock","minecraft:golden_rail","minecraft:detector_rail","minecraft:sticky_piston","minecraft:web","minecraft:tallgrass","minecraft:deadbush","minecraft:piston","minecraft:piston_head","minecraft:wool","minecraft:piston_extension","minecraft:yellow_flower","minecraft:red_flower","minecraft:brown_mushroom","minecraft:red_mushroom","minecraft:gold_block","minecraft:iron_block","minecraft:double_stone_slab","minecraft:stone_slab","minecraft:brick_block","minecraft:tnt","minecraft:bookshelf","minecraft:mossy_cobblestone","minecraft:obsidian","minecraft:torch","minecraft:fire","minecraft:mob_spawner","minecraft:oak_stairs","minecraft:chest","minecraft:redstone_wire","minecraft:diamond_ore","minecraft:diamond_block","minecraft:crafting_table","minecraft:farmland","minecraft:furnace","minecraft:lit_furnace","minecraft:standing_sign","minecraft:ladder","minecraft:rail","minecraft:stone_stairs","minecraft:wall_sign","minecraft:lever","minecraft:stone_pressure_plate","minecraft:wooden_pressure_plate","minecraft:redstone_ore","minecraft:lit_redstone_ore","minecraft:unlit_redstone_torch","minecraft:redstone_torch","minecraft:stone_button","minecraft:snow_layer","minecraft:ice","minecraft:snow","minecraft:cactus","minecraft:clay","minecraft:jukebox","minecraft:fence","minecraft:pumpkin","minecraft:netherrack","minecraft:soul_sand","minecraft:glowstone","minecraft:portal","minecraft:lit_pumpkin","minecraft:unpowered_repeater","minecraft:powered_repeater","minecraft:stained_glass","minecraft:trapdoor","minecraft:monster_egg","minecraft:stonebrick","minecraft:brown_mushroom_block","minecraft:red_mushroom_block","minecraft:iron_bars","minecraft:glass_pane","minecraft:melon_block","minecraft:pumpkin_stem","minecraft:melon_stem","minecraft:vine","minecraft:fence_gate","minecraft:brick_stairs","minecraft:stone_brick_stairs","minecraft:mycelium","minecraft:waterlily","minecraft:nether_brick","minecraft:nether_brick_fence","minecraft:nether_brick_stairs","minecraft:enchanting_table","minecraft:end_portal","minecraft:end_portal_frame","minecraft:end_stone","minecraft:dragon_egg","minecraft:redstone_lamp","minecraft:lit_redstone_lamp","minecraft:double_wooden_slab","minecraft:wooden_slab","minecraft:cocoa","minecraft:sandstone_stairs","minecraft:emerald_ore","minecraft:ender_chest","minecraft:tripwire_hook","minecraft:tripwire","minecraft:emerald_block","minecraft:spruce_stairs","minecraft:birch_stairs","minecraft:jungle_stairs","minecraft:command_block","minecraft:beacon","minecraft:cobblestone_wall","minecraft:wooden_button","minecraft:anvil","minecraft:trapped_chest","minecraft:light_weighted_pressure_plate","minecraft:heavy_weighted_pressure_plate","minecraft:unpowered_comparator","minecraft:powered_comparator","minecraft:daylight_detector","minecraft:redstone_block","minecraft:quartz_ore","minecraft:hopper","minecraft:quartz_block","minecraft:quartz_stairs","minecraft:activator_rail","minecraft:dropper","minecraft:stained_hardened_clay","minecraft:stained_glass_pane","minecraft:log2","minecraft:log2","minecraft:acacia_stairs","minecraft:dark_oak_stairs","minecraft:slime","minecraft:barrier","minecraft:iron_trapdoor","minecraft:prismarine","minecraft:sea_lantern","minecraft:hay_block","minecraft:carpet","minecraft:hardened_clay","minecraft:coal_block","minecraft:packed_ice","minecraft:double_plant","minecraft:prismarine","minecraft:barrier","minecraft:red_sandstone","minecraft:sea_lantern","minecraft:iron_trapdoor"],HideFlags:16}}}
  • This answer works if the players do not get any blocks but the ones they break themselves. Otherwise, a finer distinction can be achieved by using the id tag to limit the posted command to a single block type.
    – MrLemon
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 8:20
  • You can also turn off doTileDrops and just /give the player the appropriate block whenever they break it. This requires a scoreboard for every type of block they can break, but it's fairly simple as well.
    – Tiffany
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 23:29

You may do this command for an adventure map:

/give @s minecraft:oak_button{CanPlaceOn:["minecraft:diamond_block"]}

This gives you an oak button that is only placeable on a block of diamond.

  • How do you do this as a /summon command and spawn the item at a specific location? Also, I know how to spawn items in a prefilled chest, but how do you spawn this button in a prefilled chest?
    – Rozzzo
    Commented Oct 20, 2020 at 0:03

It is done using the CanPlaceOn tag:

For one tag: {CanPlaceOn:["minecraft:planks"]}

For multiple tags: {CanPlaceOn:["minecraft:planks","minecraft:stone"]}

So the command would look like:

/give APlayerName minecraft:stone 1 0 {CanPlaceOn:["minecraft:planks"]}
  • 1
    I don't want to give the player blocks, though, I want it to be the blocks that the player breaks/obtains that the player can place.
    – crgsqdmn
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 21:38
  • Do you mean if a player mines a tree, for example, they can only place those logs on a specific block?
    – stopit25
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 21:54
  • @crgsqdmn the CanPlaceOn tag allows a player to place a block, that they have obtained. What @stopit is trying to suggest is in adventure mode, you have to suggest a type of block on which the player can place blocks. Players can't just go around placing blocks wherever they please.
    – Ben
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 23:16
  • Looks like you have to make a floor full of blocks with data tags that only allows certain blocks to be placed on it.
    – 54D
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 2:11

I dont think you can do it for blocks that drop normally, but you can set up a trade system so your players can exchange the blocks they pick up for the same blocks that have the addition of being placeable

The trade system could be an NPC with a custom trade for the specific block, selling the block with the addition of being placeable, or even a filter system using hoppers that power a command block to give a player the block they put in with the placeable addition

I would supply code but I'm still a little new to this, I hope you can work it out!


You should use the CanDestroy tag for the shovel. This tag lets an item destroy whatever items listed and ONLY those items.

First, let's start with the /give command. For the shovel, it would be pretty simple:

/give @a minecraft:iron_shovel 1 0

Then, you would add the CanDestroy tag after that, which looks like this:


To get it to work, you just put the name of the block you want between the "". For example, if you wanted to break specifically grass, it would look like this:


You can also extend the tag with commas, so you can select a group of blocks broken, and it will only break blocks in that group. To break grass, dirt, and leaves, it would look like this:


The tag is starting to look pretty long, but luckily, we don't need to do any more!

Now, all we need to do is attach the tag to the command:

/give @a minecraft:iron_shovel 1 0 {CanDestroy:["minecraft:grass","minecraft:dirt","minecraft:leaves"]}

And that's it! That command will give you an iron shovel that can only break grass, dirt, and leaves. If you wanted, you could also give the shovel the Unbreakable tag too, which makes it never take damage when in use. That would look like this:

/give @a minecraft:iron_shovel 1 0 {CanDestroy:["minecraft:grass","minecraft:dirt","minecraft:leaves"],Unbreakable:1}

Now, for placing the blocks. In adventure mode, there's no way to make a block be placed on any block. You could try to run a clock that checks for blocks in your inventory, and then replace those with blocks with the CanPlaceOn tag to place those on specific blocks, but that's pretty complicated. Placing down blocks with a CanPlaceOn tag won't work either, cause the tags go away when you break that block. So unfortunately, I don't think theres a solution to your problem..

  • 2
    Good explanation, but OP only seems to be asking about how to make the blocks placeable.
    – SirBenet
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 13:39

Using the Can Place On tag will work.
First, set this command:


Fill in the brackets with an Minecraft Item Name:


add an new bracket with an new Item Name to add more tags:


If you want an item to be able to break objects in adventure mode, use the Can Destroy command tag:


and pretty much repeat the steps above:

  • How are these tags supposed to be placed on all dirt, leaf, and grass blocks? Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 4:38

I would make it so after a block breaks and you pick it up the item replaces itself with the same item, but with the CanPlaceOn tag. This tag would have the block(s) you would place it on. I personally have no idea how to do such a thing, but I bet someone else would have the ability to explain it, or there is a video on how to do it as well. Hope this helps.


This is just a suggestion but dont be angry if it doesnt work but try to make the block u want to mine already has the tag like {CanPlaceOn:["minecraft________"]}and tag the item ure gonna mine has the tag that can be placed on the block that it needs to be placed on so that u wont have a problem on placing the blocks on the wrong block

Hope It Helped

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