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Version: 1.21.x

Resource Locations

ResourceLocations are one of the most important things in Minecraft. They are used as keys in registries, as identifiers for data or resource files, as references to models in code, and in a lot of other places. A ResourceLocation consists of two parts: a namespace and a path, separated by a :.

The namespace denotes what mod, resource pack or datapack the location refers to. For example, a mod with the mod id examplemod will use the examplemod namespace. Minecraft uses the minecraft namespace. Extra namespaces can be defined at will simply by creating a corresponding data folder, this is usually done by datapacks to keep their logic separate from the point where they integrate with vanilla.

The path is a reference to whatever object you want, inside your namespace. For example, minecraft:cow is a reference to something named cow in the minecraft namespace - usually this location would be used to get the cow entity from the entity registry. Another example would be examplemod:example_item, which would probably be used to get your mod's example_item from the item registry.

ResourceLocations may only contain lowercase letters, digits, underscores, dots and hyphens. Paths may additionally contain forward slashes. Note that due to Java module restrictions, mod ids may not contain hyphens, which by extension means that mod namespaces may not contain hyphens either (they are still permitted in paths).


A ResourceLocation on its own says nothing about what kind of objects we are using it for. Objects named minecraft:dirt exist in multiple places, for example. It is up to whatever receives the ResourceLocation to associate an object with it.

A new ResourceLocation can be created by calling ResourceLocation.fromNamespaceAndPath("examplemod", "example_item") or ResourceLocation.parse("examplemod:example_item"). If withDefaultNamespace is used, the string will be used as the path, and minecraft will be used as the namespace. So for example, ResourceLocation.withDefaultNamespace("example_item") will result in minecraft:example_item.

The namespace and path of a ResourceLocation can be retrieved using ResourceLocation#getNamespace() and #getPath(), respectively, and the combined form can be retrieved through ResourceLocation#toString.

ResourceLocations are immutable. All utility methods on ResourceLocation, such as withPrefix or withSuffix, return a new ResourceLocation.

Resolving ResourceLocations

Some places, for example registries, use ResourceLocations directly. Some other places, however, will resolve the ResourceLocation as needed. For example:

  • ResourceLocations are used as identifiers for GUI background. For example, the furnace GUI uses the resource location minecraft:textures/gui/container/furnace.png. This maps to the file assets/minecraft/textures/gui/container/furnace.png on disk. Note that the .png suffix is required in this resource location.
  • ResourceLocations are used as identifiers for block models. For example, the block model of dirt uses the resource location minecraft:block/dirt. This maps to the file assets/minecraft/models/block/dirt.json on disk. Note that the .json suffix is not required here. Note as well that this resource location automatically maps into the models subfolder.
  • ResourceLocations are used as identifiers for recipes. For example, the iron block crafting recipe uses the resource location minecraft:iron_block. This maps to the file data/minecraft/recipes/iron_block.json on disk. Note that the .json suffix is not required here. Note as well that this resource location automatically maps into the recipes subfolder.

Whether the ResourceLocation expects a file suffix, or what exactly the resource location resolves to, depends on the use case.


ModelResourceLocations are a special kind of resource location that includes a third part, called the variant. Minecraft uses these mainly to differentiate between different variants of models, where the different variants are used in different display contexts (for example with tridents, which have different models in first person, third person and inventories). The variant is always inventory for items, and the comma-delimited string of property-value pairs for blockstates (for example facing=north,waterlogged=false, empty for blocks with no blockstate properties).

The variant is appended to the regular resource location, along with a #. For example, the full name of the diamond sword's item model is minecraft:diamond_sword#inventory. However, in most contexts, the inventory variant can be omitted.

ModelResourceLocation is a client only class. This means that servers referencing this class will crash with a NoClassDefFoundError.


ResourceKeys combine a registry id with a registry name. An example would be a registry key with the registry id minecraft:item and the registry name minecraft:diamond_sword. Unlike a ResourceLocation, ResourceKeys actually refer to a unique element, thus being able to clearly identify an element. They are most commonly used in contexts where many different registries come in contact with one another. A common use case are datapacks, especially worldgen.

A new ResourceKey can be created through the static method ResourceKey#create(ResourceKey<? extends Registry<T>>, ResourceLocation). The second parameter here is the registry name, while the first parameter is what is known as a registry key. Registry keys are a special kind of ResourceKey whose registry is the root registry (i.e. the registry of all other registries). A registry key can be created via ResourceKey#createRegistryKey(ResourceLocation) with the desired registry's id.

ResourceKeys are interned at creation. This means that comparing by reference equality (==) is possible and encouraged, but their creation is comparatively expensive.