Switches and Touchplates Guide

The use of switches and touchplates to create engineering marvels can be rather daunting to the average players, however it can get simple after some dedication. Here are some tricks, tips, and techniques to help players learn and advance their skills in using such items.

Devices Currently Usable

As of February 2015, these are the following items that either give or receive input:

Inputs:

  • Switch: simple input giving item, can only be connected to one receiving item; activated only by players via tapping/clicking
  • Large Switch: similar mechanics as a small switch, except that it can be connected to any amount receiving items after being placed; will continue linking receiving items that are placed after the switch until a non-receiving item (including a switch) is placed
  • Timed Switch: similar mechanics to a switch, except that after a selected amount of time, the receiving item that has multiple states (doors and trapdoors) will revert to its closed state
  • Large Timed Switch: similar mechanics to a timed switch, except that it can be connected to any amount of receiving items; like the large switch, it will continue to link itself to other receiving items until a non-receiving item is placed
  • Reset Switch: unlike other switches, this switch is to be placed after all other switches and receiving items are placed; this is to be hit, and then after the selected amount of time, it will revert any changes to receiving items within a specified area to the state that they were in originally; note that this switch currently does not link up to a specific receiving item
  • Touchplate: similar mechanics to a switch, except that it is activated by either a player, NPC, or butler bot touching it
  • Finish Touchplate: works exactly the same as a touchplate
  • Fancy Touchplate: similar mechanics to a touchplate, except it shares the same multiple linking to items like a large switch
  • Timed Touchplate: similar mechanics to a fancy touchplate, except it has the timing element of other timed items (Ex: Timed Switch)

Outputs:

  • Mechanical door: a 1x2 door with an open state and a closed state
  • Fancy mechanical door: a 2x2 door with an open state and a closed state
  • Mechanical trapdoor: a 1x1 trapdoor with an open state and a closed state
  • Large mechanical trapdoor: a 2x1 trapdoor with an open state and a closed state
  • Mechanical sign: a 4x3 sign that will read the text from a giving item that is linked to it, as well as display a manually entered message
  • Spawner: a 1x1 item that spawns one mob that spawns a selected mob when wired correctly
  • Large spawner: a 2x2 item that spawns one mob that a selected mob when wired correctly.

Basic Use

To simply link one item to another, you must first take a giving item, and place it. Select any parameters as needed. From there, take the receiving item, and place it. Select any parameters as needed. If all goes well, the giving and receiving items should be linked up. Please note that if you place an item that is not a receiving item in between the placement of the giving and intended receiving item, the giving item will not be linked to any additional (or only) receiving items that are placed. If this occurs, the only way to fix this is to redo the process for that giving/receiving pairing.

Advanced Use

Like how large/fancy versions of the giving items can be linked to multiple receiving items, the opposite of linking multiple giving items to a single receiving item is possible. This process is more technical, and relies on the mechanics of the giving items. To do this, set up a giving and receiving item as you normally would. From there, remove the receiving item. Afterwards, place the second giving item. From there, place the receiving item again where it was placed the first time. This process can be repeated indefinitely, and an unlimited amount of giving items can be linked to a single receiving item.

This same process can be applied to target teleporters and beacons. To do this, treat the target teleporter as the giving item, and the beacon as the receiving item.

Mechanics/How it Works

  • The way that all giving items work (with the exception of the reset switch) is that once placed, they have the potential to be linked to whatever item is placed next. If the next item that is placed is one a receiving item, the world location of the receiving item's "anchor block" (block in the furthest bottom left of the item) will become linked to the giving item. Even in the absence of a receiving item, input can still be sent through the giving item, so long as it exists. It is this property that allows a player to link multiple giving items to a single receiving item.
  • When using a giving item that can be linked to multiple receiving items, you can continue linking receiving items to the giving item by placing them after the giving item is placed. However, be sure to not place a non-receiving item in between placing the receiving items. The placement of a non-receiving item will tell the giving item to stop linking itself to receiving items that are placed in the future. If you make a mistake like this, you have to redo the entire process for that single giving item.
  • For all mechanical doors and trapdoors, they have a default closed as well as an open state. The closed state acts as a barrier to players, NPCs, and butler bots. The open state allows all of the mentioned entities to be able to pass through.

Tips and Tricks

  • While all forms of switches require a tap/click to be activated, touchplates simply need an entity of any kind to touch it. With that, not just players, but NPCs and butler bots can also activate touchplates.
  • If a time is not selected for a timed item, it will act like the non-timed version of it.
  • When color-coding and using multiple giving items for a single receiving item, the color of the receiving item will be based on the color selected by the last giving item linked to it. If a timed giving item is the last one used, since color coding is not an option, simply link another non-timed giving item to the receiving item with the proper color, and then mine the giving item that was just linked to the receiving item.
  • When using text for a giving item, the following phrases have some spevial properties: player will say the username of the player who activates the giving item, name says a random name from the list that names NPCs, t puts in a large space within text, and n creates a new line in the text.

Applications/Examples

  • Resetting many doors to be closed at one time: To do this, you will first need your setup of giving and receiving items as well as either a timed touchplate or large timed switch. From there, mine all of the receiving items that you want to be a part of the reset. Then, place either the timed touchplate or large timed switch. After that, place the receiving items back where they were previously.
  • Changing mechanical sign: To do this, simply do the trick mentioned in Advanced Use, and make the receiving item a mechanical sign. The different giving items that are linked to the sign will cause the sign to read their respective texts when activated.
  • Automatically changing mechanical sign: Use the example mentioned above, but this time make sure that all of the giving items are touchplates or finish touchplates. From there, create an enclosed area that contains all of the giving items, and allow an NPC (androids, pet terrapi, or certain spawned mobs are best) to be able to touch the touchplates. Depending on how the enclosed area is arranged, it is possible to make a structure that loops through the touchplates, or goes back and forth between the touchplates.

Advanced Contraptions

When used correctly, an android and touchplates can be used to make very cool systems, such as a calculator. Use of doors and trapdoors, along with touchplates and levers allows an android, or any pet NPC to navigate a "maze." With the use of the tips above, the limit reaches the sky, and with more mechanics to soon be added, the possibilites can be endless. The rest is yours to discover.