Introduction to AOE Clouds

intermediate

Area-of-effect clouds, also known as AOE clouds and minecraft:area_effect_cloud internally, are special entities that have many unique properties. Normally these entities are created through throwing lingering potions, but with structures and some NBT editing magic we can manipulate them in very powerful ways for map-making.

Overview

Area-of-effect clouds have several special features we can take advantage of:

  • As dummy entities, they are highly performant and barely affect framerate, and they are also completely static and have no collision with the world. This makes them perfect for situations around players or where precise positioning is important.
  • It does not send the client updates. Once it spawns in, it will visually appear to be frozen in place until it despawns. However, it can still be moved around through commands just fine.
  • It can apply any potion effect in highly configurable ways. The duration can be set down to the tick, as well as whether or not the effect is ambient, or displays on the screen, if it emits particles, etc.
  • Entities with a runtime identifier of minecraft:area_effect_cloud inherit these same properties.

Method 1: Projectile Component

The projectile component supports spawning in area-of-effect clouds on hit. Minecraft uses this to spawn in AOE clouds from lingering potions.

Projectiles Documentation

Method 2: NBT Editing

Another way to spawn in these area-of-effect clouds is through structure files. This grants us finer control over the potion effects the cloud can have. So, our first order of business is getting a means to edit these structures.

NBT Editors

One of the following NBT editors are recommended:

Structure file

For convenience, this article contains a premade structure file you can download and use. Inside is an AOE cloud that exists for the maximum possible time.

📄 Structure file

Refer to this article for editing structure files: .mcstructure

NBT Format

TagTypeDescription
DurationIntegerHow long the cloud exists for before expiring, in ticks.
DurationOnUseIntegerHow much the duration should change when effects are applied.
InitialRadiusFloatThe size of this cloud's radius when created.
ParticleColorIntegerThe color of the particle effect, in decimal.
ParticleIdIntegerThe particle effect this cloud emits. 0 emits no particles.
PotionIdShortThis cloud's potion effect ID when created. Has no effect.
RadiusChangeOnPickupFloatUnknown.
RadiusOnUseFloatHow much the radius should change when effects are applied.
RadiusPerTickFloatHow much the radius changes every tick.
ReapplicationDelayIntegerThe interval at which effects can be applied, in ticks.
mobEffectsListDescribes what potion effects should be applied.

Below are the parameters for the mobEffects tag.

TagTypeDescription
AmbientByteDefines whether this effect's particles should be translucent or not.
AmplifierByteThe strength of this potion effect.
DisplayOnScreenTextureAnimationByteUnknown.
DurationIntegerThe amount of time this effect is applied for, in ticks.
DurationEasyIntegerUnknown, seemingly unused.
DurationNormalIntegerUnknown, seemingly unused.
DurationHardIntegerUnknown, seemingly unused.
IdByteThe potion effect ID for this effect.
ShowParticlesByteDefines whether this effect's particles should appear or not.

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