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For Minetest 5.6 and above

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A surreal dream-world where everything is possible but nothing is easy. Peaceful and Zen. Brutally obstinate. Prepare to unlearn everything you thought you knew about voxel sandbox games.


  • A complete game, deep and complex, with mods available but not required.
  • An immersive 3D world, with no pop-ups and minimal HUDs between you and the world.
  • Paragon of the "voxel" concept, with virtually every in-world thing on the voxel grid.
  • In-world crafting systems with unique recipes.
  • Rich emergent mechanics, customizable machines built of discrete and fungible parts.
  • Complex in-game technology: optical logic circuits, hinged/rotary machinery, automated crafting.
  • Subtle dynamics: material angle of repose, fuel and soil quality, conservation and decay.
  • Exercise critical thinking and logical reasoning, and learn through experimentation.
  • Built-in new player guide, discovery system ensuring players don't miss possibilities.
  • Playable and consistent across all platforms, single or multi-player. Mobile-friendly, gamepad-friendly.
  • Eggcorns! Pumwater!


  • NodeCore is a different kind of difficult. Advancement is tied to innovation and discovery, rather than honing skills, and is likely difficult, complex, and unforgiving. If you want to unlock most of the content, expect it to require both creativity and patience.
  • Only very basic, minimal-spoiler guidance is included in the game. Figuring things out yourself is part of the default experience. If you need more guidance, Join the Community (below).
  • Do not expect intuition you have built up from other games, including other voxel sandbox or puzzle games, to apply here. This game has its own logic and learning it is part of the full experience.

Recent Breaking Changes:

N.B. this is only for changes that remove some old way of doing something (i.e. not new features or new alternative routes) and are old enough that many players are expected to rely on them. It also does not include most bugfixes.

  • 02637775-9407dc65: Optic beam transparency logic makes a lot of formerly-transperent items opaque. This should make detection easier in general, but may necessitate redesigning some machines.
  • 01683215-4c09d412: Recipes for rakes have been changed based on the "intuitive" shapes new players were observed trying. It uses one fewer adze than the old recipe, and is overall less expensive.
  • 01671185-4304c47c: Recipes for storage boxes (shelves, cases/tanks, and crates) have changed. Instead of 3x3 recipes, they are based on placing things into forms, and forms are made from frames. This includes a change in the overall cost of storage units.
  • 01643785-c34bc395: Leaching soils now requires raked soils. It now requires much more human intervention than before.


This package is the stable release of NodeCore. It's ideal for streamers, offline players, or others who can't afford to deal with bugs, but new features may be delayed.

Alternatively, check out NodeCore ALPHA for the cutting-edge unstable version.

Join the Community:


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Do you recommend this game?

  • This game delivers on all of its promises- but is frustratingly difficult to play "as intended".

    This review is pending a rewrite, 2021-10-25. My opinions of it have changed a lot since I first played it. It was initially more scathing. Pastebin for the old review here:

    In short:

    • I played this game for nearly 5 hours straight and accomplished almost nothing. Got very frustrated with the early-game systems.
    • This was surprising to me- I normally take to minimal-instruction games like "The Witness" and "Understand" (as mentioned in another review) quite well- I've played both.
    • The next 5 hours, I focused on finding metal ores. They were very difficult to find, but I managed to get about ~15 "prills" (the basic unit of metal)
    • The game sped up massively after metallurgy. Forging metal tools not only speeds up the game, but unlocks most of the "interesting" content- Machinery, light logic, all of that.
    • I went from 15 prills after 10 hours over two sessions to having 40+ spare prills in between building machines to make my in-game life easier.

    However, this review is still a tentative "Not Recommend" because it was near impossible to play when played as intended. The intended way of playing is without spoilers, discovering everything through experimentation, with the hint system being pushes in the right direction. This sounds good in theory, but the implementation is severely lacking. Even the (unofficial) game wiki is no help past the "wood tier" of technology. I found more help reading the game's source code, and found that it gave me hints without making the intended action immediately obvious.

    This game is really good- but the good part is hidden under a lot of blind trial and error. It needs work, but the core (heh get it) is solid.

  • (Mostly) zen.

    Ores do not want to be mined. Stone does not want to be smelted. The only thing that really wants what you do to it is trees, and that is because without their leaves being broken for eggcorns, they cannot spread. It is tragic, but ultimately part of the trees' plan, that the tree will ultimately fall thereafter. Even the humble sponge would rather live its life than come with you.

    Metal is a distraction. Optics are a distraction. Arboriculture is a distraction. Enlightenment is knowing you do not need to struggle to survive.

    It takes hours to learn a new skill, but years to forget. Every day, we reinvent ourselves, the machines of the past, our previous crowning achievement becoming obsolete and stale. Resist the temptation to rebuild. What does it matter if it's beautiful? It serves a purpose. Perfection is a temptation.

    My friend gave me like 200 chromatic glass and I have nothing to do with it because I don't use it like she does. I spent two days learning how sponges work only to realize in horror that she had three untouched thriving colonies near her home, making my knowledge worthless. What I get from this game will not be what you get from it. I think you owe it to this game to see what you really will get from it.

  • Unique and well-polished, but not for everyone

    I think it's safe to say that NodeCore is the best game I've played in Minetest, hands-down. The game features a lot of polish and accessibility features that I haven't seen elsewhere, and since I last played the dev has clearly put a lot of effort into making the game control in a smooth and convenient fashion.

    The design of the game is also quite unique, by making every craft and interaction occur in the world itself rather than an inventory screen and often involving the interaction of natural forces and materials. This makes many normally-trivial things harder, but also gives the player an incredible skill ceiling, with all kinds of optimization and automation becoming possible as the game progresses. But it's never as simple as getting the "does thing X but faster" block--the player must design their machines using the environment. It's one hell of a concept, and I caught myself a few times spending a lot of effort trying to puzzle out faster ways of doing what I could already do because doing so is genuinely useful and engaging.

    On the other hand, I suspect it's this very concept that makes me less interested in playing. When I play games, it's usually to unwind and not have to do serious thinking about design and interactions (my job offers plenty of that, thanks). As such, as much as I admire NodeCore and can tell that it's good, it's also a game that's never held me for very long. It also doesn't help that progression is at times tied to guesswork, having to work out how a new object works by brandishing various nouns and verbs at it can be tiring even if you know it'll let you do something cool in the end.

    Regardless, if you haven't given the game a try I really implore you to do so. You won't find another game like it, and the quality is apparent. For those who enjoy what the game has to offer, NodeCore is a veritable feast.

  • A breath of fresh air.

    Nodecore has always been my go-to game for a variety of reasons. And for such a simple project, it is truly surprising how much you can do, and how much there is to uncover; if you are willing to take a little time to get immersed in its unique world. The absence of mods makes it perfect for calm, zen-like play sessions, and the plethora of ambient sounds and subtle feedback cues really make falling into a comfortable routine when you just want to log in and make some progress. The gameplay is deceptive with its complexity, though forgiving and flexible. You can choose to immerse yourself in a simple world, governed by simple forces that you may at times find familiar (gravity, radiant heat, reposition). A world where resources exist to be found at your own pace, and can be found without having to go on long, droning excursions to prohibitively rare biomes. You wont be praying to the RNG gods if you don't want to. Nodecore has all you need for a gentle, stress-free, voxel game experience. You can enjoy building vast orchards, or enjoy terraforming your area into your own perfect sanctuary. You may be more of the ambitious, go-getter type, and that's just as valid of a playstyle. Trying to take control of the secrets holding the nodecore world together will be tough, but not impossible. If you prefer a stimulating experience, where nature is as much your ally as your adversary; you will find that there is much more to the map than pretty little blocks. There are forces at work that would be willing to lend you their power if you find a way to harness them; and most of them are all around you. Best to keep your wits about you regardless of how you play, nodecore has a habit of also being mischievious. If you like to play it safe, nodecore will happily be your sandbox. If you like to live dangerously, nodecore will respond to your challenge.

  • How Not to do discovery-based gameplay.

    This game attempts to give the player an experience of discovering the mechanics on their own through experimentation and exploration. This is Not what happens. The game is filled with things that you can only learn through looking at the completely gameplay-disconnected hints screen and then only achieve through immense trial and error, simply guessing what the creator intended. Meanwhile the emergent gameplay is few and far between; everything executes a specific hardcoded function that doesn't have too much interaction with other features, and it's very difficult to discover these in a natural way. The worst part? There are a few specks of that kind of gameplay. I won't mention them here because I still wanna respect spoilers and all, but if you've played you probably know what I'm talking about. I think in an ideal world, to achieve what this game set out to do, youd want to have lots of simple, easy to discover mechanics, as well as maybe a few obscure mechanics that you can find through more experimentation, each of these mechanics weaving together in interesting ways that allows the player to create completely unique designs using all the principles they discovered.

  • A great game with a different system!

    It's great fun to play and there are no bugs. It might be a little difficult to find your way around the new system, but then it's really fun!

  • Unique systems

    A refreshing game where all crafting is built in the world. For example, shelves can be built using frames and sticks, similar to making an iron golem in minecraft. The lack of death and danger helps the player steadily work through the game with no pressure. However, the exact method of crafting can be hard to work out. For example, packing different materials into ash.

  • This game encourages you to build things to make your life easier.

    TL;DR: In Nodecore you craft things in the world instead of a crafting table GUI. But it's a lot harder to craft and smelt stuff in Nodecore than in Minetest/Minecraft. Nodecore encourages you to build ways to make crafting stuff easier for you.

    My full review is over 2000 characters, so I put it on a pastebin:

    Edit: I also put it in the comments

  • Great game, 17/17 eggcorns

    My first impression when I joined was that this was minimal_dev/devtest but with trees. Then I found an eggcorn and some sticks. After a few days of forgetting everything I knew about MTG/MC-like games: It slowly started to click, and I've been addicted ever since. Poor MTG only receives attention when I'm maintaining my mods, a few of which I've already ported/started porting to Nodecore

  • A strange wonderful puzzle game spanning paradigms, and full of possibility

    Nodecore will be many things to different players. The nodecore you're presented with when you play for the very first time is an open world take on a puzzle game. The experience invariably starts with "wow, I can't mine a tree with my bare hands? how am I meant to gain its powers?" Details aside, with diligence, you may come to find that you can indeed gain the tree's powers. Then the puzzles quickly open up, with many avenues you can explore... replenishing the earth. Harnessing fire. Delving for signs of ores. It becomes hard to call it a "puzzle game," yet it remains hard not to call it one.

    You learn to interact with bits of the world and craft more stuff, little by little, and it paints an immersive big picture. There's an elegant minimalism, with nodes having a variety of uses, and many parallels in the recipes and interactions. As you tech up, you find more opportunities for optimization and process refinement, and similarities in different interactions allow you to get creative making infrastructure with multiple uses.

    Nodecore's detractors will claim that the game is too hard to play as intended, and that it's not reasonable to expect someone to figure out the game's mysteries with only what it provides. Are they right? Well, sorta. Mostly yes. It depends on the player, really. But you don't have to play "as intended"! So by all means, you should give it a try, and if you get stuck, come ask the community. Nodecore players will generally give gentle hints at first, in the spirit of the puzzle. But if you get seriously frustrated, just be direct and honest about what aspects of the game you aren't enjoying, and request more direct information. The game opens up from exploration of mechanics to engineering with those mechanics, and it's valid to end up skipping the first step. Just try it first so you don't rob yourself of the chance to enjoy it. If you do skip to engineering gameplay, though, it stands out on its own.

  • A unique type of game that makes Minetest not be a copy of you-know-what-sandbox-game

    In this game you don't build on craft tables etc. but you assemble everything in front of you on the ground. This feels very natural. I love the minimum set of nodes where game complexity emerges purely from combination of the few things you have. This is very different from, e.g., MT Game, where you have so many different ores and jewelery, most of which are more or less useless, or just for decoration. In Nodecore, the blocks themselves have only basic functionality, there are no sophisticated furnaces, doors, electronics, but only flammable materials, hinged blocks (nice idea) and other stuff I still need to discover. The list of challenges usually gives you enough guidance to reduce the number of things you need to try. At least for me, that is. I got to metallurgy, hinged panels etc. without external help. Let's see if I can invent automats. The game has many ways to build machines from a handful of basic elements. Ways I still have to discover :) But beware: the game is a time sink. I only got this far because I have played it for ~30h and more. In classic MT, this is enough time to gather tons of many different materials, build super-armor, weapons and a cool castle. Something that is not the goal in Nodecore. Already building a simple house from beautiful materials is tedious. You will know what I mean when you see that you need to mix materials with ash, put water on them, let them dry, shape them to your favourite look and finally cook them, and this for every single block of your house's walls. On the other hand, in multiplayer, having a nice little house is something to be proud of in Nodecore :)

    Excuse me, need to go now and find some of that darn "Lux" ore...

  • An Axiomatic Survival Experience

    Nodecore is a game that will appeal to fans of xkcd, hofstadter, turing machines, the game of life, dwarf fortress, and factorio. It has a small number of basic building blocks, with rich interactions between them. There are no mobs, no nightfall, nothing to rush you. Experiment and discover at your own pace. The game has many built-in challenges to get you started, and you'll soon be thinking of your own challenges as well!

    To give you a taste of the rich interactions in Nodecore, here's an example. How do you imagine you would smelt something in a world with no furnaces? In Nodecore, smelting happens automatically when a block is next to fire. But you can't just place fire, you have to use fire spread mechanics. You'll brainstorm your own designs, figuring out where to place flammable and non-flammable blocks to get exactly the "furnace" you want, and you'll end up with a machine that truly belongs to you.

  • nodecore is MC for gamers

    Nodecore's 'punish you for not being careful' style makes it a challenging game. Also, multiplayer tends to lend itself to a lot of collaboration do to specialization and emerging tech with machines that can be built inside the game.

  • Well done but lacking intuitiveness

    A great experience when you know what you're doing, but the crusade against formspecs makes the game very hard to pick up. I recommend adding an in-game guide of some kind, as I initially thought this was a terrible game before actually learning what it is. Overall a good game, 8.6/10.

  • Not for Everyone

    You are alone, in a single-biome world in eternal night, with little-to-no danger. What are you going to do? Fill out your tech tree, of course!

  • Interesting but difficult

    Interesting, but very difficult, which beckons

  • Difficult and Fun.

    An interesting take on the classic voxel survival formula, Nodecore requires you to craft things physically in the world, and use node interactions to create new nodes and materials. You'll certainly be scratching your head trying to figure out what to do next sometimes, however the ingame hints are there to assist you.(Even if sometimes you'll need to search up a tutorial) Either way, the game is still fun, even if I never got that far in it. I'd suggest you give it a roll, and likely hood is you'll get further then me.

  • Incredibly immersive and difficult

    I am really conflicted about this game. The crafting which takes place in-game, the absence of interfaces makes the games really immersive. I also like the ambiance and noises (and the sky !). But it 's really difficult to play, I had to look into the wiki and the code to know to do things. It is really hard and long to dig stuff and it's quite discouraging. The concept is really great but this game is not for everyone (if someone is new to minetest and/or just want a casual game maybe not =). I think having more detailed in-game help would make the game more playable and avoid pausing to search instructions online or in the code; like detailed hints that you can ask when you're stuck and can't fullfill a challenge. It could be a mod if you don't want this in the core of the game. One could also add more or less detailed help with difficulty levels.

  • Name same as the game

    while playing nodecore I literally remembered playing minecraft hardcore but with one change that the mechanics the principle were based on real life. Suprisingly I was adddicted to this game becuase of my frustation on playing this and it also reminded me of a game called survivalcraft which somewhat had the same principle like nodecore.

    Thanks for this game

  • Like the crafting mechanics but many hints are practically useless.

    It is a prime example of an idea executed poorly, most of the hints that are supposed to help you advance/progress through the game are too vague and confusing/hard to be interpreted. It is near darn impossible to figure them out on your own.

    Also there is no documentation whatsoever to help you when you get stuck. I got a headache trying for hours to figure out the most trivial tasks like (an example) growing sedge on moist grass and still failed to do so. Don't get me started on melding and leaching and mixing how the heck could these be interpteted in the game..

    I like the crafting mechanics in this game but I hate the completely esoteric vibe it has, It's as if only the guy that made it knows what the duck is going on with the "recipes".

  • Hard and rewarding

    I don't want spoile anything but you have to atleast try it!!! you'll play it for a some time and then rage-quit but after you get the basic recipies it will become one of the best voxel games and there's no danger nor day cycle just you and you imagination!!!

  • science

    Played this game for a while, enjoyed it overall. This game is about getting knowledge through experimenting and employing that knowledge to make stuff, pretty much the scientific method. Some puzzles are easier than other, for example I had no problems with fire, glass or the metal stuff, but I still haven't figured out leaching water through soil. The natural world is far from exciting so the game could get some improvements there, the only exploring I did was basically finding pumwater. Nevertheless the world is calm and soothing which is nice. That's not your typical Minecraft clone - you will need patience and a brain for this one.

  • 8/10 A truly special experience. And don't sweat about spoilers!

    In the earlygame, it seems to occupy most of the player's play time. Later, the player realizes this initial assessment couldn't be further than the truth. Mastering the controls, environment and rudimentary interations to perform simple sandbox things is but a droplet of what NC offers. Nodecore is actually a game about exploiting resources and mechanisms to perform more efficiently. The true depth of NC is lies elsewhere than figuring out how to light a fire. I like to think of NC being the sum of two gameplay loops: Exploration and Automation.

    Exploring in NC isn't like in Minecraft or Skyrim. You explore the small stuff: mechanics and interactions. Exploration in NC is more similar to fiddling around with elements in puzzle genres like A Monster's Expedition, Infinifactory or The Talos Principle. What makes NC exceptional here is that it doesn't present itself as a puzzle ever, instead as a game where you feel inclined to understand the nature of the world and environment around you. The eureka moments are precious, worth the many reviews here praising it. This is a one-time experience, but that doesn't mean you should be completely averse to spoilers. After all, there's plenty of games where spoilers and community help makes the game much more enjoyable.

    What happens when you've done exploring? Well, if it ended there I would have called NC shallow and uninteresting. No, automation in NC defines it in my humble opinion. It is evidently designed with more intent than the rather the sometimes baffling redstone world. In some ways, I feel like I'm doing an assignment as you translate concepts from real-life electric signals to virtual optics. In other ways, I feel like playing or Mindustry designing a factory to transmutate materials and calculating its efficiency in various points. Gameplay concepts of designing, iterating and fixing your contraptions is what I truly love about Nodecore.

    Few sandbox games are like this. 8/10

  • Really cool game, but wooden mattock could be added

    I really like NodeCore. NodeCore's unique mechanics are just cool. But please add a wooden mattock. (I know, there is already a mod for that, but it should be vanilla)

  • This should be the Minetest base-game.

    This game feels very good and polished, I have never experianced a crash or any noticable lag. I have noticed a fair amount of complaints on 'minetest-game' in its place as the base installed game in the client. I feel this would be a favorable succeder; It is quite original and interesting, it is stable (Like minetest-game), it is very preformant, and it does what is expected. Mineclone2 is the top Minetest game, however I think it is far too unstable to be the default game.

    This original peice strikes me as a suitible and acceptable replacement for a new base-game.

  • Don't expect a casual voxel freebuild game

    Despite trying my best, I struggled to understand how to do the most basic things in this game, which was extremely frustrating. And when I finally understood, I realised it just wasn't my type of game.

    Considering this is pretty much how the game is advertised, and how complete and well thought out it seems to be, I cannot blame anyone but myself though.

    I cannot recommand NodeCore since I did not engage with it enough. But I don't think it deserves a negative review either since what has prevented me to do so are design choices that seem to be coherent.

    So don't expect a casual voxel freebuild game!

  • Cool, novel.

    Annoying to try to mess with in creative or to mod, but great for survival worlds. Interesting mechanics. I can't say much because you really have to just play it. The skybox is cool.

  • Easy to understand, hard to learn

    Once you get into the community, though, they can give you tips and tricks on how to play, making it a very enjoyable experience.

  • Very Interesting

    The first Minetest game I played that feels quite polished. A novel concept of health and crafting, with puzzling rather than survival as focus. Should have known earlier that there are hints in the inventory and that crafting works vertically rather than horizontally - I thought I would have to arrange 8 planks in a box like in a Minecraft Crafting Grid to make a chest and the like. Because than I wouldn't have looked up so much in the wiki, which is much more helpful than e.g. in Exile though :)

    Just missing some ambience, I guess that could be aided by finer textures and some select sounds and music.

  • A simple voxel game that awakens our inner genious.

    NodeCore is both different and indifferent.

    At first sight, it does not look any different from MTG or MineClone with an exception of relatively unevenly situated trees and little forest formations. On second thought, you realise that it is indeed different from anything you've seen before. Blocking your ears with earbuds to not hear the muffled screams of your minetest modding slaves, you proceed further into the game. Your failures do not face any aid, and you start thinking that Warr1024 was right, it is indeed brutal... and indifferent to your mistakes. Some may give up, some might search for help online, but only the few ones persist - the future scientists. What I really enjoy about nodecore is the fervor it has been kindly filled with and the freedom of discovery. As others stated, each element serves a single function, with no node appearing useless. And it is in fact like a test, a challenge that determines if you are a scientist by nature. The mine-test.

  • Original e Intrigante

    No hace falta ser amante de los puzles para que te guste este juego. Puede chocar un poco que rompe los esquemas de juego clasico de estilo Minecraft pero eso tambien le da originalidad. Aun tengo mucho que descubrir en este juego.

  • Great Game

    This game provides very interesting gameplay mechanics that are quite enjoyable even though they may be tough at times.

  • great game

    A welcome and challenging alternative to the default minetest game and the like

    The graphics are well made too

  • Just why do u need to make the progression like this?

    I do truely believe that this game has a lot of potential, and it can probably be a lot of fun.

    But i just don't get, why you want to make the game more complicated than it actaully is

    As soon u know how to craft stuff, u will just do it. But getting the knowledge about how to craft the different stuff, is just by reading "guides" thats more like riddles. But why does it has to be like this? If u really want people to play this way, which is not working for the majority of people, then make it into a gamemode.

    Just look at minecraft, it started out with no recipe book, but later they added it. Why? because people used the wiki. But this game is too unpopular to have a community work on the wiki and niether does the developer.

    Its such a shame man. I will probably continue playing this as a pursue that potential the game has. But it just saddens me that I have to struggle through the game.

  • i wanna know da lore

    there a structures that have tools and other things like ash and gravel and that confuses me and i need some lore or something as an explanation

    but cool puzzel game

  • It's too difficult for a sandbox game

    This game has lots of complex mechanics and is really, REALLY time consuming and ruins the entire concept of a sandbox game

  • Good but can be improved.

    Good but can be improved.



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