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Particles are an effect within the game used as polish to better improve immersion. Their usefulness also requires great caution because of their methods of creation and reference.

Creating a Particle

Particles are broken up between its client only implementation to display the particle and its common implementation to reference the particle or sync data from the server.

ParticleTypeBOTHThe registry object of a particle's type definition used to reference the particle on either side
ParticleOptionsBOTHA data holder used to sync information from the network or a command to the associated client(s)
ParticleProviderCLIENTA factory registered by the ParticleType used to construct a Particle from the associated ParticleOptions.
ParticleCLIENTThe renderable logic to display on the associated client(s)


A ParticleType is the registry object defining what a particular particle type is and provides an available reference to the specific particle on both sides. As such, every ParticleType must be registered.

Each ParticleType takes in two parameters: an overrideLimiter which determines whether the particle renders regardless of distance, and a ParticleOptions$Deserializer which is used to read the sent ParticleOptions on the client. As the base ParticleType is abstract, a single method needs to be implemented: #codec. This represents how to encode and decode the associated ParticleOptions of the type.


ParticleType#codec is only used within the biome codec for vanilla implementations.

In most cases, there is no need to have any particle data sent to the client. For these instances, it is easier to create a new instance of SimpleParticleType: an implementation of ParticleType and ParticleOptions which does not send any custom data to the client besides the type. Most vanilla implementations use SimpleParticleType besides redstone dust for coloring and block/item dependent particles.


A ParticleType is not needed to make a particle spawn if only referenced on the client. However, it is necessary to use any of the prebuilt logic within ParticleEngine or spawn a particle from the server.


An ParticleOptions represents the data that each particle takes in. It is also used to send data from particles spawned via the server. All particle spawning methods take in a ParticleOptions such that it knows the type of the particle and the data associated with spawning one.

ParticleOptions is broken down into three methods:

getTypeGets the type definition of the particle, or the ParticleType
writeToNetworkWrites the particle data to a buffer on the server to send to the client
writeToStringWrites the particle data to a string

These objects are either constructed on the fly as needed, or they are singletons as a result of being a SimpleParticleType.


To receive the ParticleOptions on the client, or to reference the data within a command, the particle data must be deserialized via ParticleOptions$Deserializer. Each method within ParticleOptions$Deserializer has a parity encoding method within ParticleOptions:

MethodParticleOptions EncoderDescription
fromCommandwriteToStringDecodes a particle data from a string, usually from a command.
fromNetworkwriteToNetworkDecodes a particle data from a buffer on the client.

This object, when needing to send custom particle data, is passed into the constructor of the ParticleType.


A Particle provides the rendering logic needed to draw said data onto the screen. To create any Particle, two methods must be implemented:

renderRenders the particle onto the screen.
getRenderTypeGets the render type of the particle.

A common subclass of Particle to render textures is TextureSheetParticle. While #getRenderType needs to be implemented, whatever the texture sprite is set will be rendered at the particle's location.


ParticleRenderType is a variation on RenderType which constructs the startup and teardown phase for every particle of that type and then renders them all at once via the Tesselator. There are six different render types a particle can be in.

Render TypeDescription
TERRAIN_SHEETRenders a particle whose texture is located within the available blocks.
PARTICLE_SHEET_OPAQUERenders a particle whose texture is opaque and located within the available particles.
PARTICLE_SHEET_TRANSLUCENTRenders a particle whose texture is translucent and located within the available particles.
PARTICLE_SHEET_LITSame as PARTICLE_SHEET_OPAQUE except without using the particle shader.
CUSTOMProvides setup for blending and depth mask but provides no rendering functionality as that would be implemented within Particle#render.
NO_RENDERThe particle will never render.

Implementing a custom render type will be left as an exercise to the reader.


Finally, a particle is usually created via an ParticleProvider. A factory has a single method #createParticle which is used to create a particle given the particle data, client level, position, and movement delta. Since a Particle is not beholden to any particular ParticleType, it can be reused in different factories as necessary.

An ParticleProvider must be registered by subscribing to the RegisterParticleProvidersEvent on the mod event bus. Within the event, the factory can be registered via #registerSpecial by supplying an instance of the factory to the method.


RegisterParticleProvidersEvent should only be called on the client and thus sided off in some isolated client class, referenced by either DistExecutor or @EventBusSubscriber.

ParticleDescription, SpriteSet, and SpriteParticleRegistration

There are three particle render types that cannot use the above method of registration: PARTICLE_SHEET_OPAQUE, PARTICLE_SHEET_TRANSLUCENT, and PARTICLE_SHEET_LIT. This is because all three of these particle render types use a sprite set that is loaded by the ParticleEngine directly. As such, the textures supplied must be obtained and registered through a different method. This will assume your particle is a subtype of TextureSheetParticle as that is the only vanilla implementation for this logic.

To add a texture to a particle, a new JSON file must be added to assets/<modid>/particles. This is known as the ParticleDescription. The name of this file will represent the registry name of the ParticleType the factory is being attached to. Each particle JSON is an object. The object stores a single key textures which holds an array of ResourceLocations. Any <modid>:<path> texture represented here will point to a texture at assets/<modid>/textures/particle/<path>.png.

"textures": [
// Will point to a texture located in
// assets/mymod/textures/particle/particle_texture.png
// Textures should by ordered by drawing order
// e.g. particle_texture will render first, then particle_texture2
// after some time

To reference a particle texture, the subtype of TextureSheetParticle should either take in an SpriteSet or a TextureAtlasSprite obtained from SpriteSet. SpriteSet holds a list of textures which refer to the sprites as defined by our ParticleDescription. SpriteSet has two methods, both of which grab a TextureAtlasSprite in different methods. The first method takes in two integers. The backing implementation allows the sprite to have a texture change as it ages. The second method takes in a Random instance to get a random texture from the sprite set. The sprite can be set within TextureSheetParticle by using one of the helper methods that takes in the SpriteSet: #pickSprite which uses the random method of picking a texture, and #setSpriteFromAge which uses the percentage method of two integers to pick the texture.

To register these particle textures, a SpriteParticleRegistration needs to be supplied to the RegisterParticleProvidersEvent#registerSpriteSet method. This method takes in an SpriteSet holding the associated sprite set for the particle and creates an ParticleProvider to create the particle. The simplest method of implementation can be done by implementing ParticleProvider on some class and having the constructor take in an SpriteSet. Then the SpriteSet can be passed to the particle as normal.


If you are registering a TextureSheetParticle subtype which only contains one texture, then you can supply a ParticleProvider$Sprite instead to the #registerSprite method, which has essentially the same functional interface method as ParticleProvider.

Spawning a Particle

Particles can be spawned from either level instance. However, each side has a specific way to spawn a particle. If on the ClientLevel, #addParticle can be called to spawn a particle or #addAlwaysVisibleParticle can be called to spawn a particle that is visible from any distance. If on the ServerLevel, #sendParticles can be called to send a packet to the client to spawn the particle. Calling the two ClientLevel methods on the server will result in nothing.