Building a 6502 in Minecraft

We’ll admit that we haven’t been following Minecraft like we used to; its been a while since we’ve seen something amazing in Minecraft, but [eloraam]‘s 6502 emulator (part of her RedPower Minecraft mod) takes the cake.

The RedPower mod adds a lot of industrial technology to Minecraft. Pumps, solar panels, and pneumatic tubes to move blocks around are the staple of this mod, but with the addition of a fully emulated 6502 computer, Minecraft moves from an anachronistic medieval-themed steampunk aesthetic to a full-on machine age, mainframes everywhere style.

The heart of the 6502 portion of the RedPower mod are three craftable blocks; a CPU, a monitor, and a disk drive. All these blocks are connected together with ribbon cables and can interact with other blocks in the Minecraft universe. The CPU is an emulated 6502, with a few instructions borrowed from the 65816 and the addition of MUL and DIV. It’s possible to program this computer in assembly, but [eloraam] a Forth interpreter with the OS to make programming a little easier.

It’s been almost two years since we first saw the beginnings of a CPU made in Minecraft, but this mod takes everything to the next level. In actuality, this isn’t very different from the game [notch] is currently working on; both feature an emulated 80’s era computer that can do all your in-game bidding. We can’t imagine anything better to get us hooked on Minecraft again, and we’ve got to commend [eloraam] for some seriously awesome work.

After the break is a 23-minute tutorial on the functions of the RedPower CPU, as demonstrated by Minecraft aficionado [direwolf20].


  1. Whatnot says:

    I don’t get minecraft at all, but I still think it’s nice to see people that are fans have it, since they enjoy it so much.
    It’s odd since normally I’m not that empathic really.

    • svofski says:

      I also don’t understand why a 6502 sim placed in some cube moving environment is a hot new thing while same thing e.g. in a regular command line or in browser is not. But to each his own I guess.

      Yeah, the flipswitch panel is still cool.

  2. Dissy says:

    Very impressive mod, and my fav CPU!

    Whatnot: Don’t think of Minecraft as a game, think of it more like Lego. It’s just fun to build things and use imagination.

  3. Remarknl says:

    For other Minecraft players out here; Have a look at computercraft. Its a mod whitch adds computers programmable in Lua. Even internet access is possible.

  4. DJElectfire says:

    Minecraft is awesome, as there is so much you can do with it… even un-modded (aka “vanilla”) But when one adds mods such as Redpower/Industrial Craft/etc. it even get more complex and more powerful… You can use Minecraft for many things,and some have real-world uses… For example Redstone in Minecraft, is similar to electricity in the RL, and with it one can learn about different logic gates and such.

  5. truthspew says:

    I love how they use a PDP-8/E front panel for the CPU.

  6. BadIntentions says:

    They have had similar things available for YEARS in a mod called craftbook. They have a block which is essentially an PLC running a language called perlstone.
    A stack
    A 32-cell persistent variable table
    A 32-cell temporary variable table
    A 32-cell local variable table
    Three input registers

  7. ChalkBored says:

    Is anyone working on turning Minecraft into a *nix shell?

    Take the everything is a file philosophy and extend it so every file is a block. Then you can pipe commands together by sticking the blocks together.

    It would probably end up as the default shell in Ubuntu in a year or two.

  8. daniel says:

    This looks really cool, but total *headsmack* moment when they started talking about how white was the 0th bit, orange the 1st, magenta the 2nd… etc. Ahh!
    Let’s pick a standard and stick to it!

  9. Gdogg says:

    “It’s possible to program this computer in assembly, but [eloraam] a Forth interpreter with the OS to make programming a little easier.”

    I think you accidentally a word.

  10. Nuked says:

    @daniel the colors used were to just show what would happen if you triggered the first, second or third one.. they weren’t there to actually represent something. he could’ve used a machine or anything, but a colored light was easiest I think.

  11. GrizzlyAdams says:

    Maybe I’m crazy, but first thing I thought of was making a Z80 cpu block, and getting CP/M going inside minecraft. wordstar anyone?

  12. aperson says:

    I’m always happy to see Minecraft on HaD.

  13. plfx says:

    Uh oh. Minecraft NES on the horizon, captain.

  14. Hippi says:

    Bet in a few years we’ll be able to play minecraft on minecraft. Mineception.

  15. Renan says:

    I wait for the day when we will be able to run Minecraft inside itself.

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