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Registration is the process of taking the objects of a mod (such as items, blocks, entities, etc.) and making them known to the game. Registering things is important, as without registration the game will simply not know about these objects, which will cause unexplainable behaviors and crashes.

A registry is, simply put, a wrapper around a map that maps registry names (read on) to registered objects, often called registry entries. Registry names must be unique within the same registry, but the same registry name may be present in multiple registries. The most common example for this are blocks (in the BLOCKS registry) that have an item form with the same registry name (in the ITEMS registry).

Every registered object has a unique name, called its registry name. The name is represented as a ResourceLocation. For example, the registry name of the dirt block is minecraft:dirt, and the registry name of the zombie is minecraft:zombie. Modded objects will of course not use the minecraft namespace; their mod id will be used instead.

Vanilla vs. Modded

To understand some of the design decisions that were made in NeoForge's registry system, we will first look at how Minecraft does this. We will use the block registry as an example, as most other registries work the same way.

Registries generally register singletons. This means that all registry entries exist exactly once. For example, all stone blocks you see throughout the game are actually the same stone block, displayed many times. If you need the stone block, you can get it by referencing the registered block instance.

Minecraft registers all blocks in the Blocks class. Through the register method, Registry#register() is called, with the block registry at BuiltInRegistries.BLOCK being the first parameter. After all blocks are registered, Minecraft performs various checks based on the list of blocks, for example the self check that verifies that all blocks have a model loaded.

The main reason all of this works is that Blocks is classloaded early enough by Minecraft. Mods are not automatically classloaded by Minecraft, and thus workarounds are needed.

Methods for Registering

NeoForge offers two ways to register objects: the DeferredRegister class, and the RegisterEvent. Note that the former is a wrapper around the latter, and is recommended in order to prevent mistakes.


We begin by creating our DeferredRegister:

public static final DeferredRegister<Block> BLOCKS = DeferredRegister.create(
// The registry we want to use.
// Minecraft's registries can be found in BuiltInRegistries, NeoForge's registries can be found in NeoForgeRegistries.
// Mods may also add their own registries, refer to the individual mod's documentation or source code for where to find them.
// Our mod id.

We can then add our registry entries as static final fields (see the article on Blocks for what parameters to add in new Block()):

public static final DeferredHolder<Block, Block> EXAMPLE_BLOCK = BLOCKS.register(
"example_block" // Our registry name.
() -> new Block(...) // A supplier of the object we want to register.

The class DeferredHolder<R, T extends R> holds our object. The type parameter R is the type of the registry we are registering to (in our case Block). The type parameter T is the type of our supplier. Since we directly register a Block in this example, we provide Block as the second parameter. If we were to register an object of a subclass of Block, for example SlabBlock, we would provide SlabBlock here instead.

DeferredHolder<R, T extends R> is a subclass of Supplier<T>. To get our registered object when we need it, we can call DeferredHolder#get(). The fact that DeferredHolder extends Supplier also allows us to use Supplier as the type of our field. That way, the above code block becomes the following:

public static final Supplier<Block> EXAMPLE_BLOCK = BLOCKS.register(
"example_block" // Our registry name.
() -> new Block(...) // A supplier of the object we want to register.

Be aware that a few places explicitly require a Holder or DeferredHolder and will not just accept any Supplier. If you need either of those two, it is best to change the type of your Supplier back to Holder or DeferredHolder as necessary.

Finally, since the entire system is a wrapper around registry events, we need to tell the DeferredRegister to attach itself to the registry events as needed:

//This is our mod constructor
public ExampleMod(IModEventBus bus) {
//Other stuff here

There are specialized variants of DeferredRegisters for blocks and items that provide helper methods, called DeferredRegister.Blocks and DeferredRegister.Items, respectively.


RegisterEvent is the second way to register objects. This event is fired for each registry, after the mod constructors (since those are where DeferredRegisters register their internal event handlers) and before the loading of configs. RegisterEvent is fired on the mod event bus.

public void register(RegisterEvent event) {
// This is the registry key of the registry.
// Get these from BuiltInRegistries for vanilla registries,
// or from NeoForgeRegistries.Keys for NeoForge registries.
// Register your objects here.
registry -> {
registry.register(new ResourceLocation(MODID, "example_block_1"), new Block(...));
registry.register(new ResourceLocation(MODID, "example_block_2"), new Block(...));
registry.register(new ResourceLocation(MODID, "example_block_3"), new Block(...));

Querying Registries

Sometimes, you will find yourself in situations where you want to get a registered object by a given id. Or, you want to get the id of a certain registered object. Since registries are basically maps of ids (ResourceLocations) to distinct objects, i.e. a reversible map, both of these operations work:

BuiltInRegistries.BLOCKS.get(new ResourceLocation("minecraft", "dirt")); // returns the dirt block
BuiltInRegistries.BLOCKS.getKey(Blocks.DIRT); // returns the resource location "minecraft:dirt"

// Assume that ExampleBlocksClass.EXAMPLE_BLOCK.get() is a Supplier<Block> with the id "yourmodid:example_block"
BuiltInRegistries.BLOCKS.get(new ResourceLocation("yourmodid", "example_block")); // returns the example block
BuiltInRegistries.BLOCKS.getKey(ExampleBlocksClass.EXAMPLE_BLOCK.get()); // returns the resource location "yourmodid:example_block"

If you just want to check for the presence of an object, this is also possible, though only with keys:

BuiltInRegistries.BLOCKS.containsKey(new ResourceLocation("minecraft", "dirt")); // true
BuiltInRegistries.BLOCKS.containsKey(new ResourceLocation("create", "brass_ingot")); // true only if Create is installed

As the last example shows, this is possible with any mod id, and thus a perfect way to check if a certain item from another mod exists.

Finally, we can also iterate over all entries in a registry, either over the keys or over the entries (entries use the Java Map.Entry type):

for (ResourceLocation id : BuiltInRegistries.BLOCKS.keySet()) {
// ...
for (Map.Entry<ResourceLocation, Block> entry : BuiltInRegistries.BLOCKS.entrySet()) {
// ...

Query operations always use vanilla Registrys, not DeferredRegisters. This is because DeferredRegisters are merely registration utilities.


Query operations are only safe to use after registration has finished. DO NOT QUERY REGISTRIES WHILE REGISTRATION IS STILL ONGOING!

Custom Registries

Custom registries allow you to specify additional systems that addon mods for your mod may want to plug into. For example, if your mod were to add spells, you could make the spells a registry and thus allow other mods to add spells to your mod, without you having to do anything else. It also allows you to do some things, such as syncing the entries, automatically.

Let's start by creating the registry key and the registry itself:

// We use spells as an example for the registry here, without any details about what a spell actually is (as it doesn't matter).
// Of course, all mentions of spells can and should be replaced with whatever your registry actually is.
public static final ResourceKey<Registry<Spell>> SPELL_REGISTRY_KEY = ResourceKey.createRegistryKey(new ResourceLocation("yourmodid", "spells"));
public static final Registry<YourRegistryContents> SPELL_REGISTRY = new RegistryBuilder<>(SPELL_REGISTRY_KEY)
// If you want to enable integer id syncing, for networking.
// These should only be used in networking contexts, for example in packets or purely networking-related NBT data.
// The default key. Similar to minecraft:air for blocks. This is optional.
.defaultKey(new ResourceLocation("yourmodid", "empty"))
// Effectively limits the max count. Generally discouraged, but may make sense in settings such as networking.
// Build the registry.

Then, tell the game that the registry exists by registering them to the root registry in NewRegistryEvent:

static void registerRegistries(NewRegistryEvent event) {

You can now register new registry contents like with any other registry, through both DeferredRegister and RegisterEvent:

public static final DeferredRegister<Spell> SPELLS = DeferredRegister.create("yourmodid", SPELL_REGISTRY);
public static final Supplier<Spell> EXAMPLE_SPELL = SPELLS.register("example_spell", () -> new Spell(...));

// Alternatively:
public static void register(RegisterEvent event) {
event.register(SPELL_REGISTRY, registry -> {
registry.register(new ResourceLocation("yourmodid", "example_spell"), () -> new Spell(...));

Datapack Registries

A datapack registry (also known as a dynamic registry or, after its main use case, worldgen registry) is a special kind of registry that loads data from datapack JSONs (hence the name) at world load, instead of loading them when the game starts. Default datapack registries most notably include most worldgen registries, among a few others.

Datapack registries allow their contents to be specified in JSON files. This means that no code (other than datagen if you don't want to write the JSON files yourself) is necessary. Every datapack registry has a Codec associated with it, which is used for serialization, and each registry's id determines its datapack path:

  • Minecraft's datapack registries use the format data/yourmodid/registrypath (for example data/yourmodid/worldgen/biomes, where worldgen/biomes is the registry path).
  • All other datapack registries (NeoForge or modded) use the format data/yourmodid/registrynamespace/registrypath (for example data/yourmodid/neoforge/loot_modifiers, where neoforge is the registry namespace and loot_modifiers is the registry path).

Datapack registries can be obtained from a RegistryAccess. This RegistryAccess can be retrieved by calling ServerLevel#registryAccess() if on the server, or Minecraft.getInstance().connection#registryAccess() if on the client (the latter only works if you are actually connected to a world, as otherwise the connection will be null). The result of these calls can then be used like any other registry to get specific elements, or to iterate over the contents.

Custom Datapack Registries

Custom datapack registries do not require a Registry to be constructed. Instead, they just need a registry key and at least one Codec to (de-)serialize its contents. Reiterating on the spells example from before, registering our spell registry as a datapack registry looks something like this:

public static final ResourceKey<Registry<Spell>> SPELL_REGISTRY_KEY = ResourceKey.createRegistryKey(new ResourceLocation("yourmodid", "spells"));

public static void registerDatapackRegistries(DataPackRegistryEvent.NewRegistry event) {
// The registry key.
// The codec of the registry contents.
// The network codec of the registry contents. Often identical to the normal codec.
// May be a reduced variant of the normal codec that omits data that is not needed on the client.
// May be null. If null, registry entries will not be synced to the client at all.
// May be omitted, which is functionally identical to passing null (a method overload
// with two parameters is called that passes null to the normal three parameter method).

Data Generation for Datapack Registries

Since writing all the JSON files by hand is both tedious and error-prone, NeoForge provides a data provider to generate the JSON files for you. This works for both built-in and your own datapack registries.

First, we create a RegistrySetBuilder and add our entries to it (one RegistrySetBuilder can hold entries for multiple registries):

new RegistrySetBuilder()
.add(Registries.CONFIGURED_FEATURE, bootstrap -> {
// Register configured features through the bootstrap context (see below)
.add(Registries.PLACED_FEATURE, bootstrap -> {
// Register placed features through the bootstrap context (see below)

The bootstrap lambda parameter is what we actually use to register our objects. It has the type BootstrapContext. To register an object, we call #register on it, like so:

// The resource key of our object.
public static final ResourceKey<ConfiguredFeature<?, ?>> EXAMPLE_CONFIGURED_FEATURE = ResourceKey.create(
new ResourceLocation(MOD_ID, "example_configured_feature")

new RegistrySetBuilder()
.add(Registries.CONFIGURED_FEATURE, bootstrap -> {
// The resource key of our configured feature.
// The actual configured feature.
new ConfiguredFeature<>(Feature.ORE, new OreConfiguration(...))
.add(Registries.PLACED_FEATURE, bootstrap -> {
// ...

The BootstrapContext (name is typoed as BootstapContext in 1.20.4 and below) can also be used to lookup entries from another registry if needed:

public static final ResourceKey<ConfiguredFeature<?, ?>> EXAMPLE_CONFIGURED_FEATURE = ResourceKey.create(
new ResourceLocation(MOD_ID, "example_configured_feature")
public static final ResourceKey<PlacedFeature> EXAMPLE_PLACED_FEATURE = ResourceKey.create(
new ResourceLocation(MOD_ID, "example_placed_feature")

new RegistrySetBuilder()
.add(Registries.CONFIGURED_FEATURE, bootstrap -> {
bootstrap.register(EXAMPLE_CONFIGURED_FEATURE, ...);
.add(Registries.PLACED_FEATURE, bootstrap -> {
HolderGetter<ConfiguredFeature<?, ?>> otherRegistry = bootstrap.lookup(Registries.CONFIGURED_FEATURE);
bootstrap.register(EXAMPLE_PLACED_FEATURE, new PlacedFeature(
otherRegistry.getOrThrow(EXAMPLE_CONFIGURED_FEATURE), // Get the configured feature
List.of() // No-op when placement happens - replace with whatever your placement parameters are

Finally, we use our RegistrySetBuilder in an actual data provider, and register that data provider to the event:

static void onGatherData(GatherDataEvent event) {
// Only run datapack generation when server data is being generated
// Create the provider
output -> new DatapackBuiltinEntriesProvider(
// Our registry set builder to generate the data from.
new RegistrySetBuilder().add(...),
// A set of mod ids we are generating. Usually only your own mod id.