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A screenshot of the Eyemine software inside Minecraft.

Play Minecraft with your eyes

Using EyeMine from SpecialEffect

At Mojang Studios, we believe everyone should get to experience the joys of exploring the Overworld, building a cozy home, and losing an enchanted diamond pickaxe in a lava pit – even folks who don’t have the ability to use conventional control systems like a gamepad, touchscreen, or mouse and keyboard. Luckily EyeMine from SpecialEffect is here to save the day! 

EyeMine is a free download that lets the game be controlled using eye movement alone. Once installed, it works with a piece of hardware called an eye tracker to follow a player’s gaze. By looking at different parts of an on-screen keyboard, different actions can be triggered – if you want to mine a block, you would simply look at the mine action on the keyboard, and then look at the block you want to mine. 

There are three different interaction levels for players with different abilities. The most basic lets you navigate a world, mine underground, and attack monsters and animals. An intermediate level lets you build structures and ride minecarts and boats, while an advanced keyboard lets you search for items and chat with friends. 

The project originally launched in 2018, but has been refined substantially since. EyeMine V2 was released in 2021 with feedback from players that make the experience much more enjoyable – including a zoom for more building precision, and the ability to adjust the speed of interactions like looking and walking.

To get started, you’ll need a PC running at least Windows 7 with the minimum specs for Minecraft, plus a copy of the game, and a compatible eye tracker. A set of tutorials will get you up and running, and if you need a break from Minecraft then SpecialEffect has created a selection of other games that you can play with an eye tracker too.

“Back in 2016, we received requests from two people using eye gaze to access their PCs for schoolwork, communication and casual games, who really wanted to be able to play Minecraft. They knew the game inside out, having enjoyed watching YouTubers and friends play, but they were unable to play it themselves,” SpecialEffect project manager Bill Donegan told us.  

“The possibility to create our own mods in Minecraft meant that we were able to make it more accessible with eye control than we would have been able to with most games. Since then, with the help of the community, we have been able to update the interface and in-game mods to improve the speed and ease of use for players and offer beginners and advanced players ways to play. It is entirely open source and available to players for free around the world.” 

Duncan Geere
Written By
Duncan Geere

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