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Occasionally, when I hurt mobs in Beta 1.8, there's a brief sparkle effect. Apparently, this indicates a critical hit.

How does one score a critical hit? What does a critical hit actually do?

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There are two different types of critical hits: Critical melee hits, and critical arrows.


Melee crits

These occur when the player strikes a mob while moving downwards. Jumping and being stuck in a cobweb count, but moving down a ladder or sinking in water do not. Additionally, you can't do critical hits while blinded.

A critical hit has a sparkle effect, and sometimes does more damage than a regular one. The damage bonus is random, and varies between purely visual (i.e. +0) to +50% damage (rounded down), plus half a heart.

For example, a normal hit with the Diamond Sword does 7 damage (3.5 hearts), while a critical hit does between 7 and 11 (3.5 - 5.5 hearts).


Critical arrows

The critical hit effect on an arrow indicates that it was charged fully; the damage bonus for those works the same as for melee critical strikes.

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  • Do you have any source for this? – mordi2k Sep 12 '11 at 17:57
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    @mordi2k Nope, original research. I punched a bunch of mobs with different weapons, critical hits and normal, then finished them off with my fist of anger to see how much damage the first hit did. Then I made a table, and the above formula fits the pattern. – a cat Sep 12 '11 at 18:04
  • @mordi2k Well, now it's original research again, but based on the source code rather than experimentation. Less fun, but I can't be having with those random damage bonus stuff. – a cat Nov 30 '11 at 20:47
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you can score a critical hit by hitting a mob (passive or hostile) while falling or shooting a arrow that is "fully charged" at it. A critical hit from a Bow will deal double damage.

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  • Not just while jumping. While falling. I've scored critical hits while floating in an ocean on the downward bounce. Also, you will not score a critical hit during the upward part of a jump. – John the Green Sep 12 '11 at 13:30
  • I think it's while "falling", rather than while jumping (though jumping involves falling, so that's how you trigger it in most cases) – Raven Dreamer Sep 12 '11 at 13:31
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    Double damage can't be true. Two hits from a Diamond Sword will kill a Creeper, but one critical hit won't. – a cat Sep 12 '11 at 13:49
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    and beside why would you go so near a creeper to perform a critical hit which might leave you dead – ProSay Sep 12 '11 at 13:53
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    @ProSay - you might be correct about arrows dealing double damage when fully charged, but lunboks was countering that that can't be right with swords. – Raven Dreamer Sep 12 '11 at 14:11

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