Basic Item Usage

Items are represented through an ItemStack. An ItemStack is an inventory item with information such as the amount of the item in the stack, the type of the item, and extra data such as durability. An Item itself is the graphical representation of an ItemStack as an entity. Be aware that you’ll always get a copy and not the actual ItemStack and thus, you will need to set it back into an inventory if desired.

Checking an Item’s Type

Checking the type of the item is very simple. You just need to call the ItemStack#getType() method.

import org.spongepowered.api.item.ItemType;
import org.spongepowered.api.item.ItemTypes;
import org.spongepowered.api.item.inventory.ItemStack;

public boolean isStick(ItemStack stack) {
    ItemType type = stack.getType();
    return type.equals(ItemTypes.STICK);

See how simple that is? Because sticks can stack, we can also find out how many are present.

Getting the number of items in an ItemStack is relatively easy. The ItemStack#getQuantity() method will handle this for us.

Modifying ItemStack Data

Manipulating data such as durability or the lore of an item is accomplished by simply using keys. You just need to specify the key that needs to be changed:


public void setUnbreakable(ItemStack stack) {
    stack.offer(Keys.UNBREAKABLE, true);

In this, we specified that the Keys#UNBREAKABLE key is the key that we would like to change. We then set its value to true to imply that the item will never break. All of this is enclosed within the offer() method of the ItemStack to return our changes back to the ItemStack.

Different keys will require different values based on their job. For example, to change the lore of an item, one would need to specify a List of Text rather than an boolean or other value. It is also important to perform checks to see if the key can actually apply to the item. For example, some items might not have durability or may already have lore applied to the item.

import org.spongepowered.api.text.Text;

import java.util.List;

public void setLore(ItemStack stack, List<Text> itemLore) {
    if (stack.get(Keys.ITEM_LORE).isPresent()) {
        stack.offer(Keys.ITEM_LORE, itemLore);


Almost all API methods that return an ItemStack only return a copy of it, so modifying it does not have any impact on the real stack (e.g. in an inventory). You have to explicitly set it for your changes to persist.

Item Properties

Certain items may hold specific properties. For example, certain items can mine specific blocks, such as a diamond pickaxe to obsidian. Properties are used for determining if an item can cause an action without actually checking up the type of the item. We can check if an item can mine obsidian by using the HarvestingProperty of that item.

import org.spongepowered.api.block.BlockTypes;

import java.util.Optional;

public boolean canMineObsidian(ItemStack stack) {
    Optional<HarvestingProperty> optional =

    if (optional.isPresent()) {
        HarvestingProperty property = optional.get();
        return property.getValue().contains(BlockTypes.OBSIDIAN);
    return false;

This code will check to see if the item has a HarvestingProperty, such as a pickaxe. If present, it will then return if this item can harvest obsidian without the need to check the type of the item. This is useful in the event that a mod or a Minecraft update adds a new tool with the capabilities of mining obsidian.

Comparing ItemStacks

The ItemStack class contains a neat method for comparing two ItemStacks. By using the ItemStack#equalTo(ItemStack) method off of an already existing ItemStack, we can see if the two ItemStacks are «equal». That is, they share the same stack size, ItemType, and data. An example is show below:

public boolean isEqual(ItemStack stack1, ItemStack stack2) {
    return stack1.equalTo(stack2);