Mining With Both Hands

Jul 29, 2015

Minecraft 1.9 will bring perhaps the biggest change since the first release of Minecraft: we will be able to use both hands! Many people are calling this “Dual Wielding”, comparing it to games where you might fight with a weapon in each hand, but before we look at whether that’s really fair, let’s look at the basics.

Choose your main hand

Until now, all miners have been right-handed, but now you can choose whether your Main hand is your left or right. Great news for left-handed players who must feek more included now.

Use your other hand

Now you can hold things in your other hand, which we’ll be calling the Off hand from now on. There will be a new slot in the inventory page to place off-hand items, and you will be able to see your off-hand item in a little square next to the hotbar.

Now, with something in each hand, what do the mouse buttons do?

Left Click will do what it always did: Attack, using the item held in your Main hand (whether that’s left or right). Left Click will never do anything with the item in your Off hand.

Right Click will Use the item in your Main hand, if that item is something that can be used; for example a torch or block that can be placed, an object that can be thrown, or something that can be eaten or drunk. Otherwise, if the item in the Main hand can not be used (e.g. it does nothing if you right click) such as a Pickaxe or other tool, then a right click will use the item in the Off hand.


If you have a Pickaxe in your Main hand and Torches in your Off hand, you can mine with the left mouse button and place torches with the left button.

If you have a Pickaxe in your Main hand, and some food in your Off hand, you can eat while you mine by pressing the right mouse button. However, if you have a Torch in your Main hand, you will not be able to eat with your Off hand, because the right mouse button will Use (or place) a torch.

It will take a little bit of getting used to!

So, how does this affect combat? Minecraft 1.9 is, after all, the Combat Update? There’ll be something about that in the next post.