Automata - elBukkit/MagicPlugin Wiki


An "automaton" is a magical being make of blocks. Automata are a completely optional feature, meant to bring a new challenge and form of gameplay to Minecraft.

Automata Video

Magic has a more generic superset of Automata, "automatic blocks" which can be used to spawn mobs, add effects to the world, or other special behaviors.


Automata are not available by default, you can add the to your server with

/mconfig example add automata

This will not spawn them by default. (See the Other Side example if you want that). You can test out an automata (be careful!!) using the the /cast command:

/cast birth_hunter
/cast birth_snake
/cast birth_worm
/cast birth_virus

Those go in order of danger. Use great caution spawning these anywhere near civilization!

Destroying Automata

To destroy an automata, you must use block-destroying spells such as Blast. Once enough of their blocks have been destroyed, the automata will die.

The Soul

The "Animate" spell extends SimulateSpell, which runs variations of Conway's Game of Life. If you're familiar with the game of Life, then awesome! If not, cellular automata are a very interesting subject and I suggest you read up- though it's not required, and there won't be a test :)

Just know that SimulateSpell will shuffle around blocks of a certain type within a certain radius. If all goes well, the blocks will get cleaned up as the Automata moves around.

Some automata like Virus and Worm grow very large, though.

The SimulateSpell also does a couple of extra things:

Variations and Block Types

Every automata is bound to a specific type of block, and will be named as such- e.g. "Hunter gold block". An automata will only simulate (modify) blocks of its native type, so take care what you create one out of. Many block types are restricted (see materials.yml) by default to avoid creating a Virus out of Dirt or something similarly destructive.

Geeky Technical Notes

Two automata of the same block type but different variations (e.g. "Hunter gold block" vs "Defender gold block") will simulate each other's blocks. This can cause them to go a little haywire and potentially self-destruct, particularly if the rulesets of the two different Automata are very different.

Two automata of the same block type and same variation will most likely cancel each other out (or one will consume the other) if they collide. There are also performance-related glitches when this happens, due to both of them sharing the same Mage. They will, for instance, share a single dynmap marker- meaning it will bounce around on the map if two "Hunter gold block" automata are active at the same time.

Spawning Automata

Every automata has an associated spell. At the time of this writing, none of these spells will be naturally available on a wand. The Wolf generally has them all, as does Conway's wand - or you can use /wand add and one of the following:

The "animate" spell is the base spell, but it is also set up to make a "Magic Golem". This one is WIP, but eventually will be an automata you can ride and steer.

Casting any of these spells on a Blob of blocks (that are not restricted) will create an Automata of that type.

Upon death, these Automata are configured to cast a particular spell (generally a Blast or Collapse tailored to their block type), and also drop some XP and a special item. This item is technically a Wand - it is a single-use, locked wand (it can not be combined or modified) with no mana that casts the automata's soul spell.

This can be used to "reawaken" the automata, or to create a new one on a different set of blocks.

Naturally Spawning

You can configure a world to spawn automata naturally. I definitely suggest doing this in a secondary world! This is what the Other Side example is all about.

This is done by using a "cast" entity spawn rule - giving the plugin a percent chance of casting an Automata spell whenever a certain entity type spawns.

Take care which entity types you choose for replacement, vanilla light-level rules will apply. There is also an optional "allow_indoors" parameter I use to make sure they never spawn indoors (underneath a non-air block), regardless of light level. This would need to be disabled in the nether.


Several automata, particularly the Worm and Virus, are potentially very messy. I would not call them destructive per se, they will cover the world in blocks, but as long as you choose a block type that doesn't exist naturally, it is easy to clean up with SuperConvert + erase.

It may also be a good idea to use the Backup spell (or copy your world) before trying out an Automata. Even better, set up an alternate world to keep them in, I suggest using MagicWorlds if you'd like a customized look and feel for your world.

Keep in mind that, by default, an Automata will drop its heart on death. This allows the player to reswpawn the Automata on a block type of their choosing. Unless you constrain the spells with permissions, a player may take that item to another world and use it there.


For updated Automata information, including configuring your own, see here: