Loot Tables

Loot tables are an easy way to generate random loot given random distributions of items. They are used in vanilla to generate random chest loot as well as for mob drops.

The vanilla wiki describes the loot table JSON format in great detail, so this article instead will focus on code that you might have to write to use and manipulate loot tables in your mod. To get the most out of this article, read the aforementioned wiki page in its entirety before reading this article.

Registering a Modded Loot Table

In order to make Minecraft load and be aware of your loot table, simply call LootTableList.register(new ResourceLocation("modid", "loot_table_name")), which will resolve and load /assets/modid/loot_tables/loot_table_name.json. This call can be made during any of preinit, init, or postinit. You may organize your tables into folders freely.


Loot pools in mod loot tables must include an additional name tag that uniquely identifies that pool within the table. A common strategy is to name the pool with the kinds of items that its entries contain. If you specify multiple loot entries with the same name tag (e.g. the same item but with different functions each time), then you must give each of those entries an entryName tag that uniquely identifies that entry within the pool. For name tags that do not clash, then entryName is automatically set to the value of name. These additional requirements are imposed by Forge to facilitate modification of tables at load time using LootTableLoadEvent (see below).

Registering Custom Objects

In addition to vanilla’s, you can also register your own loot conditions, loot functions, and entity properties.

Entity properties are solely for use of the minecraft:entity_properties loot condition, and are used to test if entities involved in the looting (the looted entity or the killer) have certain properties. The only property in vanilla is minecraft:on_fire.

All three are registered similarly, by calling LootConditionManager.registerCondition, LootFunctionManager.registerFunction(), or EntityPropertyManager.registerProperty(), respectively.

The methods take a Serializer instance, which takes the ID of the object as a ResourceLocation, and the Class implementing the behavior in code - LootCondition, LootFunction, and EntityProperty, respectively.

Since you register the JSON serializer and deserializer, you can require additional fields when using your condition, function, or property. See the vanilla implementations in net.minecraft.world.storage.loot.{conditions, functions, properties} for examples.

Then, in order to use your conditions, functions, or properties, simply specify the registry name you passed to the Serializer constructor. An example loot entry:

    "type": "item",
    "name": "mymod:myitem",
    "conditions": [
            "condition": "mymod:mycondition",
            "foo": 1, // can require custom parameters in deserializer
            "condition": "minecraft:entity_properties",
            "entity": "this",
            "properties": {
                "mymod:my_property": { // structure of the right side is completely up to deserializer
                    "bar": 2
    "functions": [
            "function": "mymod:myfunction",
            "foobar": 3 // can require custom parameters in deserializer

Modifying Vanilla Loot


Not only can you specify your own loot tables, conditions, functions, and entity properties, you can also modify others as they load.


Users are allowed by vanilla to place their own loot tables in the world save directory to override the game’s (and mods’) own tables. These are considered config files and thus cannot be modified by the methods described below, by design.

The entry point to modifying tables at runtime is LootTableLoadEvent, which is fired once for each table loaded. From here, you may query and remove pools by name, or add instances of LootPool. This is why modded loot pools are required to have names.

You might be wondering how we modify vanilla tables, then, since they do not have names. Forge resolves this by generating names for all pools in vanilla tables. The first pool is named main, since many tables only have one pool. Subsequent pools are named by position: pool1 for the second pool, pool2 for the third, and so on. Removing a pool does not shift the names of the other pools.

Within each LootPool, you may also modify the roll and bonus roll attributes of the pool (how many times the table will call this pool) as well as query and remove entries by name, or add instances of LootEntry.

Similar to the case for pools, entries need unique names for retrieval and removal. Forge resolves this by adding a hidden entryName field to all loot entries. If the entry’s name field is unique within the pool, then entryName is automatically set to name. Otherwise, a name must be specified in modded entries, and is automatically generated for vanilla entries. For each repeat, a number is incremented. For example, if there are three entries in a vanilla pool each with name: "minecraft:stick", then the three entryName tags generated would be minecraft:stick, minecraft:stick#0, and minecraft:stick#1. Likewise, removing an entry does not shift the names of the other entries.


You must perform all of your desired changes to the table during that table’s LootTableLoadEvent, any changes afterward are disallowed by safety checks or will cause undefined behavior if the safety checks are bypassed.

Adding Dungeon Loot

Next, an example of one of the most common use cases for modifying vanilla loot: adding dungeon item spawns.

First, listen for the event for the table we want to modify:

public void lootLoad(LootTableLoadEvent evt) {
    if (evt.getName().toString().equals("minecraft:chests/simple_dungeon")) {
        // do stuff with evt.getTable()

In this case, we are adding to the potential spawns, but don’t want to interfere with the entry weights of the preexisting pools. The most flexible and simple solution is to add another pool with a single loot entry referencing your own loot table JSON, because loot entries are able to recursively draw from a completely different table.

For example, your mod might include /assets/mymod/loot_tables/inject/simple_dungeon.json:

    "pools": [
            "name": "main",
            "rolls": 1,
            "entries": [
                    "type": "item",
                    "name": "minecraft:nether_star",
                    "weight": 40
                    "type": "empty",
                    "weight": 60


You still need to register this table with LootTableList.register()!

Then the loot entry and pool are created and added, resulting in a new loot pool for dungeon chests that has a 60% chance of nothing and 40% of a nether star.

LootEntry entry = new LootEntryTable(new ResourceLocation("mymod:inject/simple_dungeon"), <weight>, <quality>, <conditions>, <entryName>); // weight doesn't matter since it's the only entry in the pool. Other params set as you wish.

LootPool pool = new LootPool(new LootEntry[] {entry}, <conditions>, <rolls>, <bonusRolls>, <name>); // Other params set as you wish.


Of course, if the loot you want to add cannot be determined ahead of time, you can freely construct and add LootPools and implementations of LootEntry in your event handler similar to the calls shown above.

A real-world example of this approach in action can be seen in Botania. The event handler is located here, and the injected tables are located here.

Changing Mob Drops

Subclasses of EntityLiving automatically support drawing from a loot table upon death. This is done by overriding the getLootTable method to return a ResourceLocation to the desired table. This serves as the mob’s default table; the tables of both your and other mods’ mobs can be overridden for a single entity by setting the deathLootTable field of the entity.

Generating Loot In-Code

Occasionally, you may want to generate ItemStacks from a loot table from your own code.

First, obtain the loot table itself (you need access to a World):

LootTable table = this.world.getLootTableManager().getLootTableFromLocation(new ResourceLocation("mymod:my_table")); // resolves to /assets/mymod/loot_tables/my_table.json

Next, create a LootContext using the provided LootContextBuilder, which holds information about the context of the looting, such as the killer, luck of the looter, and finishing blow.

LootContext ctx = new LootContext.Builder(world)
    .withLuck(...) // adjust luck, commonly EntityPlayer.getLuck()
    .withLootedEntity(...) // set looted entity
    .withPlayer(...) // set player as killer
    .withDamageSource(...) // pass killing blow and non-player killer

Finally, to get a collection of ItemStacks:

List<ItemStack> stacks = table.generateLootForPools(world.rand, ctx);

Or to fill an inventory:

table.fillInventory(iinventory, world.rand, ctx);


This only works with IInventory for now.