Registered entities

Functions receive a "luaentity" table as self:

  • It has the member name, which is the registered name ("mod:thing")
  • It has the member object, which is an ObjectRef pointing to the object
  • The original prototype is visible directly via a metatable


  • on_activate(self, staticdata, dtime_s)
    • Called when the object is instantiated.
    • dtime_s is the time passed since the object was unloaded, which can be used for updating the entity state.
  • on_deactivate(self, removal)
    • Called when the object is about to get removed or unloaded.
    • removal: boolean indicating whether the object is about to get removed. Calling object:remove() on an active object will call this with removal=true. The mapblock the entity resides in being unloaded will call this with removal=false.
    • Note that this won't be called if the object hasn't been activated in the first place. In particular, minetest.clear_objects({mode = "full"}) won't call this, whereas minetest.clear_objects({mode = "quick"}) might call this.
  • on_step(self, dtime, moveresult)
    • Called on every server tick, after movement and collision processing.
    • dtime: elapsed time since last call
    • moveresult: table with collision info (only available if physical=true)
  • on_punch(self, puncher, time_from_last_punch, tool_capabilities, dir, damage)
    • Called when somebody punches the object.
    • Note that you probably want to handle most punches using the automatic armor group system.
    • puncher: an ObjectRef (can be nil)
    • time_from_last_punch: Meant for disallowing spamming of clicks (can be nil).
    • tool_capabilities: capability table of used item (can be nil)
    • dir: unit vector of direction of punch. Always defined. Points from the puncher to the punched.
    • damage: damage that will be done to entity.
    • Can return true to prevent the default damage mechanism.
  • on_death(self, killer)
    • Called when the object dies.
    • killer: an ObjectRef (can be nil)
  • on_rightclick(self, clicker)
    • Called when clicker pressed the 'place/use' key while pointing to the object (not neccessarily an actual rightclick)
    • clicker: an ObjectRef (may or may not be a player)
  • on_attach_child(self, child)
    • child: an ObjectRef of the child that attaches
  • on_detach_child(self, child)
    • child: an ObjectRef of the child that detaches
  • on_detach(self, parent)
    • parent: an ObjectRef (can be nil) from where it got detached
    • This happens before the parent object is removed from the world
  • get_staticdata(self)
    • Should return a string that will be passed to on_activate when the object is instantiated the next time.

Collision info passed to on_step (moveresult argument):

    touching_ground = boolean,
    -- Note that touching_ground is only true if the entity was moving and
    -- collided with ground.

    collides = boolean,
    standing_on_object = boolean,

    collisions = {
            type = string, -- "node" or "object",
            axis = string, -- "x", "y" or "z"
            node_pos = vector, -- if type is "node"
            object = ObjectRef, -- if type is "object"
            old_velocity = vector,
            new_velocity = vector,
    -- `collisions` does not contain data of unloaded mapblock collisions
    -- or when the velocity changes are negligibly small