Ender pearl loading

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Ender pearl loading, commonly known as pearl loading or simply as pearling, is a technique that involves throwing an Ender pearl in such a way as to prevent its immediate loading, and then loading it later to activate its teleport.

Pearl loading provides a simple method of instant travel to places a player has pearls 'set' at. A pearl is 'set' when it is thrown, and 'loaded' when player interaction causes it to hit the ground. If the player who throws the pearl is online when the pearl is loaded and hits the ground, they will be teleported to the Ender pearl. (The player who threw the pearl must be in the same dimension as the loaded pearl to be teleported.) The overall system is often referred to interchangeably as 'pearl loading' and 'pearl setting', despite these terms respectively only representing half of the concept overall. Pearl loading became a common method of travel in 2017, as large bases were being built further and further from spawn. Pre-2016 travel using pearl loading was relatively unheard of. Pearl setting and loading as mechanics were first described in a December 2011 Minecraft Forum Post.

The utility of this mechanic comes from the fact that anyone can load a pearl. Therefore, it's possible to leave a pearl at a location, such as a base, and travel away. Then, the player who set the pearl can ask another player to load the pearl for an instant return to that location. On 2b2t, it allows people in far-off bases to easily access spawn by providing an instant return method. Large group bases often have designated areas to set and load pearls for their members.

The entrance to Mu's ender pearl area.

Pre 1.19 Pearl loading

Before the 1.19 update, the most commonly used method was throwing an Ender pearl into an unloaded chunk, where it would remain unaffected until loaded. Also rarely used then were redstone machines which kept pearls suspended in water columns, although these tended to be unreliable. After the 1.19 update, pearl stasis chambers became a more popular option because they are more reliable and easier to set up.

In-Air method

Before the 1.19 update, the most commonly used method of pearl setting was throwing an Ender pearl into an unloaded chunk, where it would remain unaffected until loaded by a player. Setup typically was limited to building a pathway with stairways extending off of it perpendicularly in order to throw pearls far enough to exit the thrower's render distance. The pearls then would remain in the air, unloaded, until the chunk was loaded again. These pathways with pearl-setting modules were generally referred to as 'pearl docks'.

Water Column Method

The front of Block Game Babylon's pearl dock, which utilized the water column method

Another commonly-used method was the water column method, where pearls were thrown into water streams. While the construction of pearl docks in this method represented more up-front effort, they gradually became a more popular option as they had a smaller chance of pearl failure and resulted in overall smaller pearl docks. This system differed from the In-Air method in that the pearl was thrown into chunks that were actively loaded by the thrower, and then the thrower would exit those chunks in a timely manner, unloading them. The placement of the pearl in the water column meant they fell slowly, giving the thrower enough time to exit the chunks. Water column setups tended to be used at long-term projects as they

Redstone Machine Method

Space Valkyria 4's enderporter

Redstone-based "enderporters", were created by Youtuber EthosLab in Episode 405 of his Minecraft Let's Play series in April of 2015, and became popular in 2020 as the design was perfected. The have never been widely-used on 2b2t owing to their sensitivity to lag, although redstone pearl machines were built at Avalonia and Space Valkyria 4. Where they differed from the other commonly-used methods for pearl setting is that (when 2b2t was not lagging), the chunks the machines were in could be repeatedly loaded and unloaded without the pearls touching the ground. Circumstances where this was usable were rare, however. Alternatively, they could be used in specific circumstances for 'remote pearl loading', where activity in a chunk would keep the chunk loaded for a short period of time without players in the area, and a redstone clock would be added to the machine that could be used to load a player back after a given amount of time.

Post 1.19 Pearl loading

A Pearl stasis chamber

Bubble columns are now in the game, which has changed how the pearl meta works. Projectiles such as ender pearls are affected by bubble columns and can be stored floating there indefinitely. Players create an upward bubble column by placing soul sand into the source blocks of water. When an ender pearl hits a solid surface (most commonly trapdoors that can be triggered almost instantly), the pearl activates, and the player is teleported back to the place they threw the pearl from. The rules for loading the pearl remain the same. The player must be online and in the same dimension as the loaded pearl to get teleported, although the chunk the pearl is in can now be loaded an unloaded with no concerns for the pearl touching the ground prematurely. A new change has accompanied the update, however: is pearl deletion. When a pearl is either flying in the air or stored in a pearl chamber, if a player dies within render distance of that pearl, the pearl disappears upon that player's respawn.

Name Change Exploit

Before 1.13, Ender pearls were tied to a player's username, not their UUID. Therefore, it was possible for a player to set a pearl, change their account's username, have another account to the other account's original username, and be teleported to the pearl instead of the account which originally set it, since their username matched the one who threw the pearl. This exploit was used to transfer accounts long distances without requiring them to travel to the location. Sometimes many accounts would be brought to a single location as a result of one or two original accounts, which would result in 'pearl-tp chains' of accounts with shared username histories.