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LIFE.png Game Of Life
Section Life
Spawn temperature 8726.85°C
Heat Conductivity 16%
Relative weight 100
Gravity 0
Acid dissolve rate 0%
Flammability 0
State Solid
Misc properties
Source code

LIFE is an element that implements various cellular automata rules. All these different rules can be found in the Life menu.

All buttons in the Life menu create a particle of LIFE, but with a different ctype which indicates which cellular automata rule that particle is following.

Powder Toy also has one other CA rule which isn't listed here, since a separate element is used - WireWorld (WWLD).

GOL Game of Life

Rulestring: 23/3

Link to Wiki: Conway's Game of Life

This element is essentially Conway's Game of Life from way back when. It's been used to make enormous computing machines in the past, and now it's in Powder Toy. Even though the window size of Powder Toy limits it from being able to make enormous machines, all kinds of interesting things can still be made.

The basic premise is that on every frame, every pixel is calculated and the computer checks for the number of neighbors around each cell. If a cell is surrounded by two or three living cells, it continues to live on the next frame. However, if an empty cell is surrounded by exactly three live cells, it comes to life on the next frame. The result is the bacteria-like behaviors that GOL particles display.

GOL formations that remain static and do not change over time are called still-lives. Particles that change over time but remain stable (not exploding or anything). Certain formations have the ability to move across the screen but do not 'explode' in any way, these are thus called gliders. For more Information, check the wikipedia page.

The following names are essentially GOL, but using different functioning rules. Also, rules like star wars, Frog, Frog 2, have a extra number on the end. That number is the amount of frames an alive cell can keep itself alive without dying.

HLIF High Life

Rulestring: 23/36

The same as GOL but with one extra rule. High Life particles survive if surrounded by 2 or 3 particles, and come to life if surrounded by 3 or 6 particles. Because of the extra "6", there is an interesting spaceship and replicator that is unique to Highlife. Other than that, high life and GOL are very similar [1]

ASIM Assimilation

Rulestring: 4567/345

Assimilation particles survive if surrounded by 4, 5, 6, or 7 particles, and come to life if surrounded by 3, 4, or 5 particles. The result is a diamond-generating ruleset that can usually perfectly regenerate into its original shape if a large portion is deleted. Diamonds of ASIM can also absorb "fizzy" patterns, which makes them larger.

2x2 2×2

Rulestring: 125/36

2×2 particles survive if surrounded by 1, 2, or 5 particles, and come to life if surrounded by 3 or 6 particles. The result is particles which tend to make surprisingly geometric patterns when produced in even squares or lines. These oscillators can be made with 2×4 rectangles, 2×8 rectangles, 2×12 rectangles and so on.

For more information on 2×2, please visit [2]

DANI Day and Night

Rulestring: 34578/3678

Day and Night particles survive if surrounded by 3, 4, 6, 7, or 8 particles, and come to life if surrounded by 3, 6, 7, or 8 particles. The result is an exotic particle who's physical properties are exactly inversed both in floodfilled areas and empty ones. In other words, the same patterns can appear inside of a solid block of Day and Night as outside of it, hence its name.

AMOE Amoeba

Rulestring: 1358/357

Amoeba particles live up to their name, sloshing around figuratively speaking, producing a peculiar mess of splashy patterns. The result is what looks surprisingly like... Amoebas. Amoeba particles survive if surrounded by 1, 3, 5, or 8 particles, and come to life if surrounded by 3, 5, or 7 particles.

One cool property demonstrated by amoeba is that whenever one draws a perfectly straight line form left to right, or up to down, a fractal triangle is produced.


Rulestring: 245/368

Move particles don't move anything... besides themselves. They survive if surrounded by 2, 4, or 5 particles, and come to life if surrounded by 3, 6, or 8 particles. The result is a particle that makes patterns that are adept at... moving. The patterns its makes tend to die off rather quickly from random soup, however.

PGOL Pseudo Life

Rulestring: 238/357

Pseudo Life produces patterns that look superficially like normal GOL, hence its name. Particles of Pseudo Life survive if surrounded by 2, 3, or 8 particles, and come to life if surrounded by 3, 5, or 7 particles.

DMOE Diamoeba

Rulestring: 5678/35678

Diamoeba particles are peculiar indeed. They're like a half-way step between Amoeba and Assimilation particles, producing irregular diamond shapes that lean towards gently disappearing on their own. They can survive when surrounded by 5, 6, 7, or 8 particles, and come back to life if surrounded by 3, 5, 6, 7, or 8 particles.

An interesting rectangular pattern is created when creating a perpendicular straight line.

34 34

Rulestring: 34/34

34 Life particles are an exploding-type particle that can be used to make certain types of useful patterns, but tend towards exploding randomly bigger and bigger if made much larger. 34 Life particles survive if surrounded by 3 or 4 particles, and come to life if surrounded by 3 or 4 particles (hence its name.)

LLIF Long Life

Rulestring: 5/345

Long Life particles actually don't resemble normal Life particles, being an alien type all their own. They tend to generate diamond shaped oscillators that essentially become stable and never die. Long Life particles survive when surrounded by only 5 particles, but come to life when surrounded by 3, 4, or 5 particles.

STAN Stains

Rulestring: 235678/3678

Stains particles are an exploding-type pattern that tends to splash outwards from its point of origin in predictable patterns in solid fill. Stain particles survive when surrounded by 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, or 8 particles, and come back to life when surrounded by 3, 6, 7, or 8 particles.

SEED Seeds

Rulestring: /2

An exploding rule in which every cell dies in every generation. It has many simple orthogonal spaceships, though it is in general difficult to create patterns that don't explode.


Rulestring: 12345/3

An exploding rule that crystalizes to form maze-like designs. If you put a square of MAZE with a side length of 15 or more, it will grow infinitely.

COAG Coagulations

Rulestring: 235678/378

An exploding rule in which patterns tend to expand forever, producing a thick "goo" as it does so.

WALL Walled cities

Rulestring: 2345/45678

A stable rule that forms centers of pseudo-random activity separated by walls.

GNAR Gnarl

Rulestring: 1/1

A simple exploding rule that forms complex patterns from even a single live cell. Expands rapidly by itself.

REPL Replicator

Rulestring: 1357/1357

An exploding rule in which every pattern is a replicator.

However, this is not a unique property of the rule string, as many others like Fredkin and Replicator 2 replicate, though they are not included in The Powder Toy.

The reason why every pattern in this rule is a replicator is complicated, but here is the link,


MYST Mystery

Rulestring: 05678/3458

Similar to diamoeba.

It is the only life variant in TPT that can survive with 0 surrounding cells.

STAR Star Wars

Rulestring: 3456/278/6

The 6 at the end means that if a Star Wars particle dies, it stays for 6 frames, and dissapears, instead of going away instantly. The 'dying' particle is not counted as a neighbor, and nothing can be born into that space until it dies. The dying particle will also turn from a dark blue to a much brighter blue as it dies.

LOTE Living on the Edge

Rulestring: 3458/37/4

Like Star wars, a LOTE pixel will survive for an extra 4 frames after it 'dies', those pixels will change color from a red to a yellow when this occurs.

BRAN Brian 6

Rulestring: 6/246/3

BRAN particles tend to form 'glider'(those things that look like spaceships) formations consisting of a 2 pixel by 2 pixel square and various trailing pieces. It is very hard if not impossible to make stable patterns

FROG Frogs

Rulestring: 12/34/3

FROG formations sometimes result in gliders that move slowly across the screen, somewhat like frogs

FRG2 Like Frogs Rule

Rulestring: 124/3/3

Similar to FROG, but less stable.


Add a new custom GOL type. Use ctrl+shift+rightclick to remove them.

Valid rules are of the form B(begin)/S(stay), or optionally B(begin)/S(stay)/(generations), as explained here. The one exception is that 0 cannot be present in the begin list, because that would just immediately fill the screen with the custom type.

"Generations" is how many different states there custom GOL type has; this is 2 by default (live and dead). Anything larger than 2 means that once a live cell starts dying, it lingers for some time before it disappears: 3 means one extra frame spent living, 4 means two, etc. The upper limit is 17.

How it works

All kinds of GOL particles use Temperature to display in heat mode how long it's been since a particle has been born. A LIFE particle is always born at the highest possible temperature, and gently falls to the lowest temperature until it's destroyed by any means. In other words, the newer a particle is, the hotter it will be. Watch GOL on heat view and you will see that older particles slowly fade to blue while newer ones remain pink.

You can abuse this property to heat other elements, but otherwise it doesn't have much use. Generally, oscillators are used as heaters, still lifes are used as coolers.

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