A PyMOL State is somewhat analogous to a specific timepoint within a molecular dynamics trajectory, which is equivalent to a single conformer of a conformational ensemble. However, it is also analogous to a single result out of the many you might obtain from a molecular docking run.
When no frames have been defined in PyMOL, the program effective defaults to mapping each state to a single frame.
Many commands in PyMOL take a “state” argument, which takes on extra meaning if the value is zero or negative:
state=0requests that the operation be performed over all states.
state=-1requests that the operation be performed over the current global state only.
state=-2requests that the operation be performed over effective object states only.
State values of -3 and below may imply additional special behaviors.