Minetest 5.6.0 released!

By rubenwardy


Minetest 5.6.0 has been released with dynamic shadows, improvements to mod management, a clearer player registration process, and more!

Last year, we decided on a roadmap of goals to focus on. This release has made good progress on these goals, especially regarding graphics and user interfaces (UIs).

You can download Minetest from our website. Also check out the full changelog.



A big focus in 5.6.0 was improving our graphics and input code. Minetest uses a 3D rendering library called Irrlicht. Irrlicht is quite outdated and is no longer being updated, so in 5.5.0 we created a fork called IrrlichtMt. This has allowed us to fix many bugs that we couldn’t before. We have also been removing unused code and replacing what we can with other libraries. Our goal is to completely remove Irrlicht, using SDL2 and OpenGL directly.

Dynamic Shadows

Minetest also now supports dynamic shadows based on the sun and moon position. Nodes, players and entities will all cast shadows, and shadows can be colored by semi-transparent things such as water or glass. Work for this feature was actually started in 5.5.0, but didn’t make that release for various reasons.

In order to enable dynamic shadows, a mod or game must opt-in to it. You can use the Enable Shadows mod to allow them to be enabled in any game but be aware this may not work as expected.

Fixed Transparency Sorting

One major change was adding proper transparency sorting; this has fixed many glitches related to viewing transparent materials through other transparent materials such as liquids, glass and leaves.

Mod Configuration (“Select Mods”)

It’s now possible to have the same mod in multiple places, and then select a specific instance to enable. Having the same mod installed multiple times is common because mod packs often contain mods found elsewhere.

The “Select Mods” dialog has been updated to show helpful information when there are missing dependencies. The user interface also now shows the mod’s human-readable title rather than its technical name.

Dependency errors in the Select Mods dialog
Dependency errors in the Select Mods dialog

Improved login/register UI

Minetest’s per-server login system was confusing to new players. We frequently got questions about how to create accounts. To fix this, the “confirm password” registration dialog has been removed. There are now separate buttons for “Register” and “Login”, as well as a new registration dialog. This should make the process clearer to new users.

Split login and register
Split login and register
New register dialog, replacing the confirmation dialog
New register dialog, replacing the confirmation dialog

Scripting API

Minetest now has an API that lets mods run Lua code in another thread. This can be used to offload expensive calculations, unblocking the main server thread.

It’s also now possible for games and mods to hide the position and other information contained in the debug (F5) display.

Using name in game.conf is now deprecated; title should be used instead. This improves consistency with mod.conf which uses title for human-readable names.

Loading a world using mods with missing dependencies currently disables those mods automatically. This is now deprecated. In the future, worlds will fail to load instead. This improves user experience since players are often confused when mods disable themselves.

Last, but not least, the particle spawner API has seen a lot of improvement, adding more features to control animations and physics.

Read more

Read the full changelog.


Cover image is by Ronoaldo, and features 5.6’s shadows with Nice Textures (texture pack) and Ethereal NG (mod).

Thanks to our post contributors this month: Ronoaldo.