Mapgen with Rivers

Map generator focused on realistic rivers and landscapes, using physical equations.

Custom mapgen

Download (31 KB)

How do I install this?

Semi-procedural map generator for Minetest 5.x. It aims to create realistic and nice-looking landscapes for the game, focused on river networks. It is based on algorithms modelling water flow and river erosion at a broad scale, similar to some used by researchers in Earth Sciences. It is taking some inspiration from Fastscape.

Its main particularity compared to conventional Minetest mapgens is that rivers flow strictly downhill, and combine together to form wider rivers, until they reach the sea. Another notable feature is the possibility of large lakes above sea level.


It is recommended to use it only in new worlds, with singlenode mapgen. On first start, it runs pre-generation to produce a grid, from which the map will be generated. This usually takes a few seconds, but depending on custom settings this can grow considerably longer.

biomegen mod is recommended to add biomes. It is also possible to add biome-registering mods like Ethereal NG.

By default, it only generates a 15k x 15k map, centered around the origin. To obtain a bigger map, you can increase grid size and/or block size in settings, but this can be more ressource-intensive (as the map has to be loaded in full at pre-generation).


Settings can be found in Minetest in the Settings tab, All settings -> Mods -> mapgen_rivers.

Most settings are world-specific and a copy is made in mapgen_rivers.conf in the world folder, during world first use, which means that further modification of global settings will not alter existing worlds.

Map preview

The Python script can display the full map. You need to have Python 3 installed, as well as the libraries numpy, matplotlib, and optionally colorcet. For conda users, an environment.yml file is provided.

It can be run from command line by passing the world folder. Example:

./ ~/.minetest/worlds/test_mg_rivers



Do you recommend this mod?

  • A new side of the game

    This mod is great, realistic, and that's what I particularly like in the game. Thanks to these more than magnificent landscapes, we have access to new opportunities to build, with mountains sometimes very close to the sea which are beautiful to see, and delightful to use. Thanks for this fantastic mod.

    I noticed a problem which is that along lakes or seas there is water under continents, islands, even trees.

  • Really cool and realistic

    This mapgen is very nicely done and fun to explore, however it would be nice not to spawn in solid rock a mile below the surface of the earth ;) The land, though it is very realistic and mountainous, could also use some lowering, since the clouds are only about fifty metres above sea level. Otherwise I highly recommend this mapgen!

  • Great mapgen

    Great mod! The rivers and the way they get bigger when they join together and the lakes above sea level all make for a much more interesting exploration experiance in a fresh world.

    I very strongly recommend that you, the server admin or single player, also get the biomegen mod to add biomes other than bare green grass and bare snowy mountain. It's pretty much required for a playable world (you need it to have things like trees).

  • It's beautiful.

    I have been fascinated with what this mod is capable of doing with mathematical calculations and little weight to improve terrain generation and even improving the experience in general.

    But it is not very intuitive for survival with mining.

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  • awesome job

    this mod is very realistic, the Rivers flow very well and the lakes above y coord 0 look good. great job.