Configuration File Format

To tell the Mapcrafter which maps to render, simple INI-like configuration files are used. With configuration files it is possible to render maps with multiple rotations and render modes into one output file.

Basic Example

Here is the most basic example of a configuration file which will make Mapcrafter render something (let’s call it render.conf):

# Directory where Mapcrafter will save rendered maps
output_dir = /home/user/myworld_mapcrafter

# Directory of your Minecraft world
input_dir = /home/user/.minecraft/worlds/myworld

# One map to render, called "My World"
world = My World

Once you replace the sample output_dir and input_dir, you can run Mapcrafter like so (see Command Line Options for more details):

$ mapcrafter -c render.conf

If all went well, you should be able to open /home/user/.minecraft/worlds/myworld/index.html in your web-browser and see your map!

A More Advanced Example

Configuration files are very versatile. Each configuration file lets you render to exactly one output directory, but can read from multiple Minecraft worlds (either totally different worlds, or different dimensions of the same world), and have many rendered maps (eg: one isometric, another top-town, and yet another with night-lighting).

A more complex example, with comments to summarise each section, is given below. Scroll down for a reference of all possible options.

# Directory where Mapcrafter will save rendered maps
output_dir = /home/user/myworld_mapcrafter

# Directory of your Minecraft worlds.
input_dir = /home/user/.minecraft/worlds/world

# This is the same world as above, but the end dimension.
input_dir = /home/user/.minecraft/worlds/world
dimension = end

# This is a completely different world.
input_dir = /home/user/.minecraft/worlds/creative

# Global options set defaults for all below map sections.
world = world
render_view = isometric
render_mode = daylight
rotations = top-left bottom-right
texture_size = 12
image_format = png

# A map which picks up all defaults, with a nice name.
name = Normal World - Day

# This map renders at night time.
name = Normal World - Night
render_mode = nightlight

# Cave render mode shows underground caves and structures.
name = Normal World - Cave
render_mode = cave

# A shrunken top-down map.
# NOTE: texture_size = 6 requires blockcrafter; scroll down more more details.
name = Normal World - Topdown overview
render_view = topdown
texture_size = 6
texture_blur = 2
tile_width = 3

# A world of The End dimension.
name = Normal World - The End
world = world_end

# The creative world, with custom block sprites and all 4 rotations.
# NOTE: Use Blockcrafter to generate custom sprites.
name = Creative World - Day
world = creative
render_mode = daylight
rotations = top-left top-right bottom-right bottom-left
block_dir = data/special_blocks
texture_size = 16

# The creative world, rendered at night.
name = Creative World - Night
world = creative
render_mode = nightlight
rotations = top-left top-right bottom-right bottom-left
block_dir = data/special_blocks
texture_size = 16

You can find other example maps on the Github Wiki. Other configuration examples may be available there.

There are tons of other options to customize your rendered maps. Before a reference of fundamentals and all available options, here is a quick overview of interesting things you can do:

  • Default view / zoom level / rotation in web interface
  • World cropping (only render specific parts of your world)
  • Block mask (skip rendering / render only specific types blocks)
  • Different render views, render modes, overlays
  • Use custom texture packs, or texture sizes
  • Custom tile widths
  • Different image formats
  • Custom lighting intensity

Configuration File Fundamentals

Configuration files consist of several sections (e.g. [section]) and key+value pairs (e.g. key = value). Sections have two parts to them: their type and their name, separated by a colon (eg: [type:name]). Lines starting with a hash (#) are ignored and can be used as comments or notes.

There are four section types which can configure Mapcrafter output:

  • The General section (values entered before any section),
  • World sections (e.g. sections starting with world:),
  • Map sections (e.g. sections starting with map:),
  • and Marker sections (e.g. sections starting with marker:, also see Markers).

The General section specifies the output_dir where your map(s) will be rendered. A single index.html will created in this folder, which you can open in your web-browser and view all maps in your config. See General Options for more details.

Every World section represents a Minecraft world you want to render and needs an input_dir. You can also choose the dimension to render and a variety of cropping options. See World Options for more details.

Every Map section represents an actual rendered map of a Minecraft world. You can specify things like rotation of the world, render view, render mode, block sprites, texture size, etc. Each [map:...] will render a unique map you can view in your web-browser. Oh, and you need at least one map, or Mapcrafter can’t render anything! See Map Options for more details.

Marker sections allow you to add map markers based on Minecraft signs. It is outlined in more detail in Markers.

Section names (eg: [map:a_section_name]) are up to you. They are used to refer back to other section (eg: in a map section, to specify which world to render). So it is recommended to use a fixed and consistent format (for example <world name>_<render view>_<render mode> for maps). Section names are also used as internal identifiers in Mapcrafter and HTML files, and should only contain letters, numbers and underscores (definitely no quotes or spaces).

You can define defaults for each section using the special [global:<section type>] section, eg: [global:map]. So, if you prefer to use PNGs rather than JPEGs, you can set image_format = png once in [global:map] rather than in every [map:...] you configure.

In addition to the section name [section:name], you can set a “pretty” name for each map using the name option. This is used in the web interface to identify your map. It can be anything including spaces, symbols and even Unicode.

Mapcrafter URLs

Mapcrafter maps are displayed in your web-browser. The URL in your browser’s address bar can be shared with others or linked to from other websites (if your maps are hosted on a public web server). The URL includes details of which map is selected, and the position and zoom of your current display. You can read the zoom level or map position from the URL (see Cropping Your World).

Here is an example URL, which shows the village used throughout this page:


Here are the parts of the URL:


Part Description
{index.html} Path to Mapcrafter index.html file, which includes the domain name.
{Map} Map being displayed, see map:<name>.
{Orientation} The displayed orientation. see rotations.
{Zoom} Current zoom level, see default_zoom.
{X}, {Y}, {Z} Current co-ordinates of the center of your screen, see Cropping Your World.

Available Options

This is a reference section for all available options for Mapcrafter.

General Options


These options are relevant for all worlds and maps, so you must put them in the header before the first section starts

Output Directory: output_dir = <directory>


This is the directory where Mapcrafter saves your rendered map(s). Every time you run Mapcrafter, the renderer copies the template files from template_dir into this directory and overwrites them, if they already exist. The renderer creates an index.html file you can open with your web-browser. If you want to customize this HTML file, you should do this directly in the template_dir because this file is overwritten every time you render the map (see Hacking Mapcrafter).

Template Directory: template_dir = <directory>

Default: default template directory (see Resources and Textures)

This is the directory with the web template files. The renderer copies all files from this directory to the output directory. You should open the index.html file the output directory with your web-browser to see your rendered map!

Background Color: background_color = <hex color>

Default: #DDDDDD

This is the background color of your rendered map. You have to specify it like an HTML hex color (#rrggbb).

The background color of the map is set with a CSS option in the template. Because the JPEG image format does not support transparency and some tiles are not completely used, you have to re-render your maps which use JPEGs if you change the background color.

World Options


These options are for worlds. You can specify them in the world sections (starting with world:) or you can specify them in the global:world section. If you specify them in the global section, these options are default values and inherited into the world sections if you do not overwrite them.

Input Directory: input_dir = <directory>


This is the directory of your Minecraft world. The directory should contain a directory region/ with the .mca region files.

Dimension: dimension = nether|overworld|end

Default: overworld

You can specify with this option the dimension of the world Mapcrafter should render. If you choose The Nether or The End, Mapcrafter will automagically detect the corresponding region directory. It will try the Bukkit region directory (for example myworld_nether/DIM-1/region) first and then the directory of a normal vanilla server/client (for example myworld/DIM-1/region).


If you want to render The Nether and want to see something, you should use render_mode = cave or the crop_max_y option to remove the top bedrock layers.

World Name: world_name = <name>

Default: <name of the world section>

This is another name of the world, the name of the world the server uses. You don’t usually need to specify this manually unless your server uses different world names and you want to use the mapcrafter-playermarkers script.

Default View: default_view = <x>,<z>,<y>

Default: Center of the map (0,0,64)

You can specify the default center of the map with this option. Just specify a position in your Minecraft world you want as center when you open the map.

This is useful if you want to crop your map and focus on the cropped part (see below).

Default Zoom: default_zoom = <zoomlevel>

Default: 0

This is the default zoom level shown when you open the map. The default zoom level is 0 (completely zoomed out) and the maximum zoom level (completely zoomed in) can be read from the Mapcrafter URL in your web-browser.

Default Rotation: default_rotation = top-left|top-right|bottom-right|bottom-left

Default: First available rotation of the map

This is the default rotation shown when you open the map. You can specify one of the four available rotations. If a map doesn’t have this rotation, the first available rotation will be shown.

Cropping Your World

By using the following options you can crop your world and render only a specific part of it. You can combine vertical, horizontal and block mask options in the same map.

Vertical Cropping

With these two options you can skip blocks above or below a specific level:

crop_min_y = <number>

Default: -infinity

This is the minimum y-coordinate of blocks Mapcrafter will render. 0 is the lowest y-coordinate. In the overworld, bedrock kicks in at 4-8 and sealevel is 64.

crop_max_y = <number>

Default: infinity

This is the maximum y-coordinate of blocks Mapcrafter will render. 256 is the highest y-coordinate. In the overworld, most interesting things happen below 128. For example, if you specify 32, you will “cut open” your world to see underground structures (see also render_mode = cave).

A world cropped at level 32 to show underground structures (crop_max_y = 32).

Horizontal Cropping

Furthermore there are two different types of world cropping:

  1. Rectangular cropping:
  • You can specify limits for the x- and z-coordinates. The renderer will render only blocks contained in these boundaries. All are optional and default to infinite (or -infinite for minimum limits):

    • crop_min_x (minimum limit of x-coordinate)
    • crop_max_x (maximum limit of x-coordinate)
    • crop_min_z (minimum limit of z-coordinate)
    • crop_max_z (maximum limit of z-coordinate)
    A rectangular cropped world.
  1. Circular cropping:
  • You can specify a block position as center and a radius. The renderer will render only blocks contained in this circle:

    • crop_center_x (required, x-coordinate of the center)
    • crop_center_z (required, z-coordinate of the center)
    • crop_radius (required, radius of the circle)
    A circular cropped world.


It’s best to read positions from a render_view = topdown, from Mapcrafter URLs, or using the F3 debug screen within Minecraft, as the x and z co-ordinates in bottom left of isometric maps might not be what you expect (they assume a specific y coordinate which usually isn’t the block / hight you are pointing at).


The renderer automatically centers circular cropped worlds and rectangular cropped worlds which have all four limits specified so the maximum zoom level of the rendered map does not unnecessarily become as high as the original map.


Changing the center of an already rendered map is complicated and therefore not supported by the renderer. Due to that you should completely re-render the map when you want to change the boundaries of a cropped world. This also means that you should delete the already rendered map (delete <output_dir>/<map_name>).

Block Mask Cropping

Block mask is an extremely powerful cropping tool to hide or show specific block types. It’s use requires a little knowledge about how Minecraft stores block information, and how Mapcrafter works with blocks.


Using numeric block ids, as described below, is a temporary thing. It works today, but at some point, it will no longer be supported. Minecraft textual block ids (eg: minecraft:oak_wood) will be implemented in the future. Beware!

Minecraft stores two pieces of information about each block: a block id and optional block data. You can find details of block ids in the of data values on the Minecraft wiki. Block data is different for each block id and can be found on each block page on the Minecraft wiki. Since the “flattening” in Minecraft 1.13, there are now many more block ids and less usage of block data.

Eg: Wood (which make up tree trunks) has block id of minecraft:oak_wood (plus 11 other variations), and block data axis of either x, y or z, which is the direction of the wood.

Mapcrafter doesn’t work with minecraft:oak_wood axis=x, it translates those into simple numbers to render each block. You can find Mapcrafter blockid’s by locating the block id + block data in one of the texture block files, and subtracting 2 from the line number. So the three axis of minecraft:oak_wood = 4137-4139. (That magic number 2 comes from a zero indexed array with one extra header line).

line 4138 - minecraft:oak_trapdoor facing=west,....
line 4139 - minecraft:oak_wood axis=x color=4532,uv=4533
line 4140 - minecraft:oak_wood axis=y color=4534,uv=4535
line 4141 - minecraft:oak_wood axis=z color=4536,uv=4537
line 4142 - minecraft:observer facing=down,powered=false color=4538,uv=4539


If you use Blockcrafter to create your own block data files and block sprites, the example blockid numbers given here will not work! Nor will the linked texture block data file above. These examples only apply for vanilla Minecraft 1.13 - different Minecraft versions, the presence of mods or custom resource packs will change these.

block_mask = <block mask>

Default: show all blocks

The block mask is a space separated list of block groups you want to hide/show. If a ! precedes a block group, all blocks of this block group are hidden, otherwise they are shown. Per default, all blocks are shown. All block ids should be entered as decimal numbers, based on their location in block data files. Possible block groups are:

  • All blocks:
    • *
  • A single block (independent of block data):
    • [blockid]
  • A single block with specific block data:
    • [blockid]:[blockdata]
  • A range of blocks:
    • [blockid1]-[blockid2]
  • All blocks with a specific id and (block data & bitmask) == specified data:
    • [blockid]:[blockdata]b[bitmask]

For example:

  • Hide all blocks except blocks with id 1,7,8,9 or id 3 / data 2:
    • !* 1 3:2 7-9
  • Show all blocks except grass (in various forms), dirt and coarse dirt:
    • !2376-2381 !1296 !2175
A world with grass and dirt removed.

Map Options


These options are for maps. You can specify them in the map sections (the ones starting with map:) or you can specify them in the global:map section. If you specify them in the global section, these options become default values and are inherited into the map sections if you do not overwrite them.

Name: name = <name>

Default: <name of the section>

Your map name appears in the drop down list of maps.

This is the name for the rendered map. You will see this name in the dropdown list of maps, so you should use a human-readable name (spaces, numbers, symbols, even unicode are all OK).

The configuration section for this map has also a name (in square brackets). This section name is used for internal representation, command line arguments, and on-disk directory names, so the section name should be unique and only use alphanumeric chars and underscore (definitely no spaces).

Render View: render_view = isometric|topdown|side

Default: isometric

This is the view that your world is rendered from. You can choose from different render views:


A 3D isometric view with up to 4 rotations.


A simple 2D top view.


A 2.5D view similar to topdown, but tilted.

Render Mode: render_mode = daylight|nightlight|plain|cave|cavelight

Default: daylight

This is the render mode to use when rendering the world. Possible render modes are:


High quality render with daylight lighting.


Renders the world without any special lighting. Slightly faster than daylight but not as pretty.


Like daylight, but renders at night. Hope your world has lots of torches!

Cave Light:_images/map_render_mode_cavelight.png

Renders only underground caves so you can see underground. Blocks are colored based on their height to make them easier to recognize.


Same as cavelight but with plain lighting.


The old option name rendermode is still available, but deprecated. Therefore you can still use it in old configuration files, but Mapcrafter will show a warning.

Overlay: overlay = slime|spawnday|spawnnight

Default: none

Additionally to a render mode, you can specify an overlay. An overlay is a special render mode that is rendered on top of your map and the selected render mode. The following overlays are used to show some interesting additional data extracted from the Minecraft world data:


Highlights the chunks where slimes can spawn. Note that other conditions need to be met for slimes to spawn in the overlay areas (eg: swamps or flat worlds).


Shows where monsters can spawn at day. You’ll need to find dark caves to see this overlay (or use render_mode = cave).


Shows where monsters can spawn at night. This covers most of the map, except for areas with light sources.

At the moment there is only one overlay per map section allowed because the overlay is rendered just like a render mode on top of the world. If you want to render multiple overlays, you need multiple map sections. This behavior might change in future Mapcrafter versions so you will be able to dynamically switch multiple overlays on and off in the web interface.

Rotations rotations = [top-left] [top-right] [bottom-right] [bottom-left]

Default: top-left









This is a list of directions to render the world from. You can rotate the world by n*90 degrees. Later in the output file you can interactively rotate your world. Possible values for this space-separated list are: top-left, top-right, bottom-right, bottom-left.

Top left means that north is on the top left side on the map (same thing for other directions).

Texture Size texture_size = 16|12|blockcrafter

Default: 12

This is the size (in pixels) of the block textures. The default Minecraft textures are 16px, which gives this highest level of detail.

The size of a tile is 32 * texture_size, so the higher the texture size, the more image data the renderer has to process and the more disk-space is required. If you want a high detail, use texture size 16, but texture size 12 looks still good and is faster to render.

Mapcrafter’s pre-rendered block sprites include sizes 16 and 12. If you want to use other sizes, or custom resource packs you will need to generate them using Blockcrafter.

Block Directory block_dir = <directory>

Default: data/blocks

This is the folder where block sprite files are located. You can set this to use textures from a custom resource pack.

The standard Minecraft block sprites are included with Mapcrafter, if you want to use sprites from a custom resource pack, you should use Blockcrafter to render new images.

You can use the following command to find the location of the block_dir Mapcrafter is using:

$ mapcrafter --find-resources

Tile Width tile_width = <number>

Default: 1

This lets you reduce the number of tiles / files Mapcrafter renders by merging them together. Individual tiles will take longer to render, but fewer files will be written to disk.

This is a factor that is applied to the tile size. Every (square) tile is usually one chunk wide (1:1). That is, one image at highest zoom generated by Mapcrafter corresponds to one anvil chunk (or 16x16 Minecraft blocks). If you set tile_width = 2 one Mapcrafter tile will correspond to 2x2 anvil chunks (32x32 blocks), which is a 1:2 factor. So a larger tile_width will create a smaller number of larger image files, and each change in your Minecraft world will cause a larger area to be re-rendered.

Usually tile_width = 1 works very well. But there are some circumstances where a larger tile width is beneficial, including: smaller texture_size values, rendering to slower hard disks, and Windows systems. These all benefit from fewer files of larger size.


A larger tile_width requires considerably more RAM during rendering and viewing, as more tiles and chunks are kept in memory and browsers need to work with larger images. Please increase this slowly and test carefully!


If you change a map’s tile_width, you need to delete existing files for your map so that smaller tiles are removed.

Image Format image_format = png|jpeg

Default: png

This is the image format the renderer uses for the tile images. You can render your maps to PNGs or to JPEGs. PNGs are lossless, JPEGs are faster to write and need less disk space. Also consider the png_indexed and jpeg_quality options.

PNG Indexed png_indexed = true|false

Default: false

With this option you can make the renderer write indexed PNGs. Indexed PNGs use a color table with 256 colors instead of writing the RGBA values for every pixel. 256 colors is usually enough for Mapcrafter’s images, and requires ~¼ of the disk-space.

JPEG Quality jpeg_quality = <number between 0 and 100>

Default: 85

This is the quality to use for the JPEGs. It should be a number between 0 and 100, where 0 is the worst quality which needs the least disk space and 100 is the best quality which needs the most disk space.

Lighting Intensity lighting_intensity = <number>

Default: 1.0

This is the lighting intensity, i.e. the strength the renderer applies the lighting to the rendered map. You can specify a value from 0.0 to 1.0, where 1.0 means full lighting and 0.0 means no lighting.

Lighting Water Intensity lighting_water_intensity = <number>

Default: 0.85

This is like the normal lighting intensity option, but used for blocks that are under water. Usually the effect of opaque looking deep water is created by rendering just the top water layer and then applying the lighting effect on the (dark) floor of the water. By decreasing the lighting intensity for blocks under water you can make the water look “more transparent”.

You might have to play around with this to find a configuration that you like. For me water_opacity=0.75 and lighting_water_intensity=0.6 didn’t look bad.

Render Biomes render_biomes = true|false

Default: true

This setting makes the renderer to use the original biome colors for blocks like grass and leaves.

Use Image Mtimes use_image_mtimes = true|false

Default: true

This setting specifies the way the renderer should check if re-rendering tiles is required. This only applies when re-rendering an existing map. Different behaviors are:

Use the tile image modification times (true):
The renderer checks the modification times of the already rendered tile images. Any tiles with chunk timestamps newer than this modification time are re-rendered.
Use the time of the last rendering (false):
The renderer saves the time of the last rendering. All tiles with chunk timestamps newer than this last-render-time are re-rendered.

You can force re-rendering all tiles using the -f command line option.


Obsolete and Changed Options

Several options were removed or changed in the Minecraft 1.13 overhaul in Mapcrafter 3.0. Some of these have been moved into the BlockCrafter project.

Instead of texture_dir, you should use block_dir to pick up custom textures or sprites.

Options moved to BlockCrafter: texture_blur, water_opacity, render_leaves_transparent. However, these are not currently configurable in BlockCrafter.

Options removed entirely: crop_unpopulated_chunks (unpopulated chunks are always cropped), render_unknown_blocks (unknown blocks are extremely rare, and always rendered).

Marker Options


These options are for the marker groups. You can specify them in the marker sections (the ones starting with marker:) or you can specify them in the global:marker section. If you specify them in the global section, these options are default values and inherited into the marker sections if you do not overwrite them.


Marker options have no direct effect in Mapcrafter. You must use the separate mapcrafter_markers executable. See Markers for more information.

Name: name = <name>

Default: <name of the section>

The names of marker groups.

This is the name of the marker group. You should use a human-readable name (spaces, numbers, symbols, even unicode are all OK) since this name is displayed in the web-browser.

The configuration section for each marker group has also a name (in square brackets). This section name is used for internal identifiers, so should be unique and only use alphanumeric chars and underscore (definitely no spaces).

Matching Prefix: prefix = <prefix>

Default: Empty

This is the prefix a sign must have to be recognized as marker of this marker group. Example: If you choose [home] as prefix, all signs whose text starts with [home] are displayed as markers of this group.

If you leave this empty, the marker section will match all signs.

Matching Postfix: postfix = <postfix>

Default: Empty

This is the postfix a sign must have to be recognized as marker of this marker group.


Note that prefix and postfix may not overlap in the text sign to be matched. Example: If you have prefix foo and postfix oo bar and your sign text says foo bar, it won’t be matched. A sign with text foo ooaoo bar would be matched.


Marker configuration sections will only match each sign in your world once. You should order your [marker:..] sections to be from most specific to most generic. See Markers for an example.

Title Format: title_format = <format>

Default: %(text)

You can change the title used for markers (the name shown when you hover over a marker) by using different placeholders:

Placeholder Meaning
%(text) Complete text of the sign without the prefix/postfix.
%(prefix) Configured prefix of this marker group.
%(postfix) Configured postfix of this marker group.
%(textp) Complete text of the sign with the prefix/postfix.
%(line1) First line of the sign.
%(line2) Second line of the sign.
%(line3) Third line of the sign.
%(line4) Fourth line of the sign.
%(x) X coordinate of the sign position.
%(z) Z coordinate of the sign position.
%(y) Y coordinate of the sign position.

The title of markers defaults to the text (without the prefix/postfix) of the belonging sign, e.g. the placeholder %(text).

You can use different placeholders and other text in this format string as well, for example Marker at x=%(x), y=%(y), z=%(z): %(text).

Text Format: text_format = <format>

Default: Same as title_format

You can change the text shown in the marker popup windows as well. You can use the same placeholders you can use for the marker title. And, you can use HTML for formatting.

Icon: icon = <icon>

Default: Default Leaflet marker icon

This is the icon used for the markers of this marker group. If left blank, the default Leaflet marker icon is used (a blue map marker).

When using a custom icon, you should also specify the size of your custom icon in icon_size.

You can put your own icons into the static/markers/ directory of your template directory. Then you only need to specify the filename of the icon, the path static/markers/ is automatically prepended.

Icon Size: icon_size = <size>

Default: [24, 24]

This is the size of your icon. Specify it like [width, height]. The icon size defaults to 24x24 pixels.

Match Empty Signs: match_empty = true|false

Default: false

This option specifies whether empty signs can be matched as markers. You have to set this to true and prefix to empty to match empty signs.

Show Markers By Default: show_default = true|false

Default: true

With this option you can hide a marker group in the web interface by default. If true, the markers appear when you map loads. If false the markers are hidden until you click on the marker list.