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A river bisecting a jungle biome. At the top right is a forest.
A river running through a mesa biome with mesa plateaus, with a savanna biome in the bottom right.
Jeb twitter.jpg In case you don’t know what a “biome” is, it’s a climate zone used in the game to set what kind of surface the ground has (sand? grass?), whether it should rain or snow, what trees grow there, and sometimes also what kind of animals that are allowed to spawn there.
Jens Bergensten [1]

Biomes are regions in a Minecraft world with varying geographical features, flora, heights, temperatures, humidity ratings, and sky and foliage colors. Biomes separate every generated world into different environments; examples of biomes include the forest, jungle, desert and ice plains.


Biomes have a temperature value that determines if it snows, rains, or does not have either. The required values are less than 0.15 for snow, 0.15 - 0.95 for rain, or greater than 1.0 for neither. These values can be used to determine the heights that snow generates in different biomes. The temperature also drops 0.00166667 per meter above sea level (Y=64). For example, extreme hills generate snow at Y=95, due to highland climate, as the base value is 0.2, and savannas do not experience rain or snow due to their heat.

Biomes are split into 5 categories based on their temperature: snow-covered, cold, medium, dry/warm, and neutral. They were separated to prevent biomes with huge temperature differences being placed side-by-side (such as cold taiga next to a desert), and to allow biomes with similar temperatures to be placed next to each other more often. (Such as forest and swampland)

Biome types

There are 61 distinct biomes. Biomes can be distinguished by the grass and leaf colors in the biome, along with the types of blocks present (e.g. types of trees or other plants like cacti, sand coverage in deserts). Biomes are pseudo-randomly generated using the map seed.

Biomes are separated into 5 categories. The snow-covered biomes are marked in blue, cold in green, medium/lush in orange and dry/warm in red. The biomes which are not labeled are either neutral or unknown. Temperatures are given at sea level.

Snowy biomes

In these biomes, it snows at any height. The foliage and grass is an aqua-green.

Biome ID Name and Features Description Images


Temperature: 0.0

Ice, Water, Sand, Clay

This variant of the river only spawns in ice plains biomes. The surface layer of water is frozen.
Frozen River.png

Ice Plains

Temperature: 0.0

Snow, Snowfall, Oak Trees, Ice, Spruce Trees, Igloos,[upcoming] Occasional Tall Grass

A relatively rare but expansive, flat biome with a huge amount of snow. It does not rain in this biome — it snows instead. Lakes and rivers are frozen over. Hills tend to be more mountainous. Sugar cane will spawn in this biome, but can become uprooted when chunks load as the water sources freeze to ice. There are very few natural oak trees in this biome. Spruce trees may also generate. Due to the biome's size, snow cover, and scarcity of wood, initial survival becomes difficult in comparison to other biomes.

Ice Plains Spikes

Temperature: 0.0

Packed Ice, Snow, Snow Blocks, Ice Spikes

A relatively rare variation of the Ice Plains biome that features large spikes of packed ice, as well as packed ice 'lakes'. Usually the spikes are several blocks tall, but some long, thin spikes can reach over 50 blocks in height. All grass blocks in this biome are replaced with snow.
Ice Plains Spikes.png

Cold Beach

Temperature: 0.05

Sand, Snow, Snowfall, Ice

A beach with snowy weather conditions. Often found when Ice Plains biomes border an ocean biome.
Cold Beach.png

Cold Taiga

Temperature: -0.5

Snow, Snowfall, Ice, Spruce Trees, Flowers, Wolves, Igloos[upcoming]

A snowy variation of the taiga biome with fern and large fern. Before 13w36a, all taigas were snow-covered but without fern and large fern.
Snowy Forest.png

Cold Taiga M

Temperature: -0.5

Spruce Trees, Snow, Snowfall, Ferns, Wolves

Large, mountainous version of the snowy taiga.
Cold Taiga M.png

Cold biomes

In these biomes, it begins to snow over a certain height, but before the 256 block height limit. Otherwise, it rains. The foliage and grass is an aqua-green.

Biome ID Name and Features Description Images

Extreme Hills

Temperature: 0.2

Oak Trees, Spruce Trees, Gravel Flowers, Emerald Ore, Monster Egg

A highly mountainous biome (with some mountains reaching y=130 or even higher than y=250) with dull green-blue grass and a few scattered oak and spruce trees. Cliffs, peaks, valleys, waterfalls, overhangs, floating islands, and many other structures exist, offering outstanding views. Snowfall may also occur at certain heights, thus creating "ice caps" on the top of the mountains. This is a highland climate if above y95. More underground cave systems are present here than in any other biome. Falling is a significant risk, as there are many ledges and sudden drops large enough to cause severe fall damage or even death. Extreme hills are the only biomes where emerald ores and silverfish can be found naturally.
Extreme Hills.png

Extreme Hills M

Temperature: 0.2

Spruce Trees, Oak Trees, Gravel, Snow

Variant of the regular extreme hills biome that features higher mountain peaks, most of which reach into the clouds. Mountains are composed mainly of gravel and a little bit of dirt and grass, with a small population of spruce trees and sparse oak trees.
Extreme Hills M.png


Temperature: 0.25

Spruce Trees, Flowers, Fern, Wolves

A biome densely filled with spruce trees, fern and large fern. Wolves tend to spawn here fairly commonly. Pine Forest.png

Taiga M

Temperature: 0.25

Spruce Trees, Flowers, Ferns, Sheep

Mountainous version of the snowless taiga biome.
Taiga M.png

Mega Taiga

Temperature: 0.3

Spruce Trees, Podzol, Ferns, Wolves, Moss Stone, Mushrooms, Dirt, Coarse Dirt

Mega taiga is an uncommon biome composed of spruce trees, much like the standard taiga biome. However, some trees are 2×2 thick and very tall, not unlike large Jungle trees. Moss stone boulders appear frequently, brown mushrooms are common and a dirt-type block called podzol can be found in this biome. There are also patches of coarse dirt which will not grow grass. Wolves may also spawn here, as they do in normal Taiga biomes.
Mega Taiga.png

Mega Spruce Taiga

Temperature: 0.25

Spruce Trees, Podzol, Ferns, Grass, Moss Stone, Mushrooms, Dirt

A variation of the mega taiga. In this biome there is a much higher density of smaller spruce trees. Also, the tall trees look like large spruce trees instead of the short-topped trees in the regular mega taiga biome.
Mega Spruce Taiga.png

Extreme Hills+

Temperature: 0.2

Stone, Dirt, Spruce Trees, Oak Trees

Extreme Hills+ is a variant of the regular extreme hills biome with snow, adding a moderate amount of spruce trees and scattered oak trees.

Extreme Hills+ M

Temperature: 0.2

Spruce Trees, Oak Trees, Gravel, Grass

Variant of the Extreme Hills+ biome where huge gravel mountains appear with sparse oak and spruce trees and small patches of grass.
Extreme Hills - M = Big.png

Stone Beach

Temperature: 0.2


This stone-covered biome often appears adjacent to mountains and the ocean. Depending on the height of the nearby land, it can generate medium slopes or huge cliffs. Because of a tweet of Jeb, this biome was previously referred to as cliff biome.[2]
Oceanfront Mountains.png

The End

Temperature: 0.5

End Stone, Endermen, Obsidian, Ender Crystals, the Ender Dragon

In 1.9,[upcoming] the following can also be found: Chorus Plants, End Cities, Shulkers, Purpur Block, End Stone Bricks

This biome is used to generate the End. Large amounts of endermen spawn in this biome. This is the only biome that the ender dragon naturally spawns in. Most of the End's structure is provided by the dimension rather than the biome. It does not rain nor snow in this biome unlike the other low temperature biomes. If the biome is used for a superflat world, the sky will be dark gray, an ender dragon will spawn at 0,0 coordinates in the Overworld, and only endermen will spawn (at night), but the world structure will be as specified in the superflat custom options, with no obsidian towers nor ender crystals, unless you add the string "decoration" to the superflat preset. Outer islands in the End can be accessed using the End Gateway Portal after the Ender Dragon is defeated. These contain endermen, abundant Chorus Plants and End Cities.

End (Biome Part).png

Medium/Lush biomes

In these biomes, it begins snowing over the 256 blocks height limit. Otherwise, it rains. The foliage and grass is a vibrant light green, except swamps and roofed forests, which have a dark green grass. Rivers are also exempt from this, as they have a dull blue hue.

Biome ID Name and Features Description Images


Temperature: 0.8

Tall Grass, Grass, Flowers, NPC Villages, Horses, Donkeys

A relatively flat biome with rolling hills and much grass, and some occasional double-height tallgrass but with few trees. Gullies, water holes, and NPC villages are common. Cave openings and water or lava springs are easily identifiable due to its unobstructed terrain. Passive mobs spawn often in plains biomes, and it is also one of two biomes where horses spawn naturally, the other biome being savanna.
2012-01-04 19.47.47.png

Plains M

Temperature: 0.8

Tall Grass, Grass, Flowers, Horses

A variant of the Plains biome with occasional water patches and a slightly mountainous terrain. 1.8 Biomes Grassland.png

Sunflower Plains

Temperature: 0.8

Grass, Sunflowers, Horses

This biome is a variation of the plains biome, where sunflowers naturally spawn in abundance. Also, because it is a variation of the plains biome, horses can spawn in this biome. Sunflower plains.png


Temperature: 0.7

Oak and Birch Trees, Flowers, Wolves, Mushrooms

A biome with a lot of trees, occasional hills, and a fair amount of tall grass. Oak and birch trees grow in this biome. Mushrooms, grass, poppies, and dandelions can occasionally be found. Forests can occasionally be generated in the center of plains biomes. This is one of the best biomes to start out in, due to the abundance of wood. The frequency of trees makes it dangerous to navigate at night, due to obscured vision, and ease of mobs to spawn. Forest biomes are also one of the smallest biomes.
Deciduous Forest.png

Flower Forest

Temperature: 0.7

Flowers, Trees

A variant of the forest biome that has fewer trees and huge amounts of various flowers. There are certain flowers that are exclusive only to the flower forest. Flower forest 2.png


Temperature: 0.8

Witch Huts, Oak Trees, Grass, Vines, Lily Pads, Clay, Mushrooms, Slimes, Giant Mushrooms (Pocket Edition only, v0.10.0 and later)

A biome characterized by a mix of flat, dry areas around the sea level and shallow pools of water with floating lily pads. Clay, sand, and dirt are commonly found at the bottom of these pools. The colors of the water, grass, leaves, and vines are much darker than in other biomes. Trees are often covered with vines and can be found growing out from the water, and mushrooms and sugar canes are very abundant. Witch huts spawn exclusively in swamps, and slimes will also spawn naturally at night, most commonly on full moons, making this an especially dangerous biome at night. Temperature varies randomly within the biome, not affected by altitude, causing colors to vary. Giant mushrooms spawn in this biome in the 0.10.0 update of Minecraft Pocket Edition.

Swampland M

Temperature: 0.8

Swamp Trees, Vines, Lilypads, Water, Witches

A slightly hillier swampland with greener grass. Witch Huts do not generate in this biome, unlike the normal swampland biome. Swampland M.png


Temperature: 0.5

Water, Sand, Clay

A biome that consists of water blocks that form in an elongated, curving shape similar to a real river. Unlike real rivers, however, they have no current. Rivers cut through terrain or separate the main biomes. They attempt to join up with ocean on the other side, but will sometimes loop around to the same area of ocean. Rarely, they can have no connection to the ocean and form a circle. They have a dull green grass hue, much like the ocean, and trace amounts of oak trees tend to spawn there as well. Rivers are also a reliable source of clay. These biomes are good for fishing.
River (With Correct Grass Hue).png


Temperature: 0.8


Generated on the shores of oceans, beaches are composed of sand. Beaches penetrate the landscape, removing the original blocks and placing in sand blocks. Some beaches generate with gravel instead of sand. These are also useful for fishing. For the history of beaches, see the Beach page.
Minecraft Beaches.png


Temperature: 0.95

Jungle Trees, Jungle Temples, Ferns, Flowers, Vines, Ocelots, Cocoa Pods, Melons

A very dense, but rather uncommon tropical biome. It features large jungle trees that can reach up to 31 blocks tall with 2×2 thick trunks. Oak trees are also common. The landscape is lush green and quite hilly, with many small lakes of water often nestled into deep valleys, sometimes above sea level. Leaves cover much of the forest floor—these "bush trees" have single-blocks of jungle wood for trunks, surrounded by oak leaves. When inside a jungle, the sky will become noticeably lighter. This is the only biome containing jungle trees. Vines are found alongside most blocks and may be found close to the surface in caves. Ocelots, jungle temples, and cocoa plants spawn exclusively in this biome. Melons can spawn here, making jungle biomes the only place where melons naturally spawn. Melons spawn in small patches, similar to pumpkins.
Jungle O' Trees.png

Jungle M

Temperature: 0.95

Jungle Trees, Jungle Temples, Ferns, Flowers, Vines, Ocelots, Cocoa Pods, Melons

Much more mountainous version of the normal jungle, with foliage so thick that the ground is barely visible. A very resource-demanding biome. Due to the hilly nature of the terrain in this biome, and the height of the tall jungle trees, trees frequently reach into and go above the clouds. TooMuchFoliage.pngNiceviewjungle.png

Jungle Edge

Temperature: 0.95

Jungle Trees, Ferns, Melons, Flowers, Vines, Ocelots

Only spawns at the border of a jungle biome and any other biome. It's like a jungle but with fewer trees and bushes. Additionally, huge jungle trees will not spawn there. Jungle Edge.png

Jungle Edge M

Temperature: 0.95

Jungle Trees, Oak Trees, Grass, Flowers, Vines,Melons

An extremely rare and much more mountainous form of jungle edge sometimes found between jungle M and normal jungle edge. Very few to no tall trees. Jungle Edge M.png

Birch Forest

Temperature: 0.6

Birch Trees, Flowers

A forest made solely out of birch trees.
Birch Trees Only.png

Birch Forest M

Temperature: 0.6

Birch Trees, Flowers

A variation of the birch forest biome which features taller birch trees than usual. Birch forest m.png

Birch Forest Hills

Temperature: 0.6

Birch Trees, Grass, Dandelions, Cows

Birch forest with hills. Birch Forest Hills.png

Birch Forest Hills M

Temperature: 0.6

Birch Trees, Grass, Dandelions, Cows

Variation of the birch forest hills biome, featuring very large mountains and tall birch trees. Birch Forest Hills M updated.png

Roofed Forest

Temperature: 0.7

Dark Oak Trees, Huge Mushrooms, Mushrooms, Rose Bushes

This biome, also known as the Black Forest, is composed of dark oak trees, a mostly closed roof of leaves, and occasional large mushrooms. Its trees are very close to each other and it has such a dense foliage that some of the forest will be dark enough for hostile mobs to spawn, even during the day.

Roofed Forest M

Temperature: 0.7

Dark Oak Trees, Huge Mushrooms

Mountainous version of the Roofed Forest biome, with steep cliffs lining the edge. Roofed Forest M.png

Mushroom Island

Temperature: 0.9

Mushrooms, Huge Mushrooms, Mycelium, Mooshrooms, No Hostile Mobs

This rare biome consists of a mixture of flat landscape and steep hills and has mycelium instead of grass as its surface. However, if you do place down grass, it is a very bright green color, not unlike that of the jungle. Mushroom islands are most often adjacent to an ocean and are often found isolated from other biomes. It is the one of two biomes where huge mushrooms can spawn naturally, and where mushrooms can grow in full sunlight.

Technically no mobs other than mooshrooms spawn naturally in this biome, including the usual night-time hostile mobs. This also applies to caves, abandoned mine shafts, and other structures underground, meaning exploring underground is supposedly safe. However most mushroom islands have at least 1 square of another biome on them (a single piece of grass mixed in with the mycelium) which allows hostile mobs to spawn freely on the majority of mushroom islands. Monster spawners will still spawn mobs, and the player will still be able to breed animals and spawn mobs using items.

Trees can be grown from saplings in this biome, as well as other dirt or grass-based plants, as long as they are not directly adjacent to mycelium, which will take over the dirt square from the plant and uproot it. Mycelium cannot be tilled directly, but it can be dug away and replaced as dirt, then immediately tilled. Once created, farmland can resist takeover by mycelium.


Mushroom Island Shore

Temperature: 0.9

Mushrooms, Huge Mushrooms, Mycelium, Mooshrooms, No Hostile Mobs

Mushroom shores represent the flat shore area of the mushroom biome. Mushroomislandshore.png

Dry/Warm biomes

In these biomes, it neither rains nor snows at all, and the sky will only provide overcast. The foliage and grass is an olive color, except mesa biomes, which have brown grass.

Biome ID Name and Features Description Images


Temperature: 2.0

Sand, Cacti, Dead Bushes, Sandstone, Sugar Cane, Desert wells, Desert Temple, NPC Villages

A barren and relatively inhospitable biome consisting mostly of sand, large dunes, dead bushes, and cacti. Sandstone is commonly found underneath the sand. It almost never rains in this biome. No passive mobs spawn naturally in deserts. Sugar cane can be found if the desert is next to an ocean or river biome. The lack of visual obstruction makes mobs highly visible at night. Desert villages, desert wells and desert temples are found exclusively in this biome.

Desert M

Temperature: 2.0

Sand, Cactus, Water, Sugarcane

Unlike in normal deserts, patches of water can be found in desert M.
Desert M.png


Temperature: 1.2

Acacia Trees, Tall Grass, NPC Villages, Horses, Cows, Sheep

A relatively flat and dry biome with a dry grass color and scattered acacia trees. Villages can generate in this biome, and it is one of only two biomes (the other being plains) where horses spawn naturally. Rain almost never falls in this biome, similar to the desert.
Savanna Acacia.png

Savanna M

Temperature: 1.2

Acacia Trees, Tall Grass

Variant of the savanna biome. Dirt paths and giant mountains are prevalent in this biome. However, this biome is unique in that its mountains can generate past the clouds, and even to the world height limit, without using the AMPLIFIED world type.
Savanna M updated.png


Temperature: 2.0

Dead Bush, Hardened Clay, 6 colors of Stained Clay, Red Sand, Cacti, Red Sandstone, Above ground mineshafts (Pocket Edition exclusive), Gold ore(Pocket Edition exclusive)

Mesa is a rare biome made of hardened clay, stained clay, and dead bushes – similar to a desert. Red sand will also generate here instead of regular sand, with occasional cacti. Its composition is useful when other sources of clay are scarce. However, finding mesa biomes can be difficult due to their rarity.

In the Pocket Edition, mesas can contain above ground mineshafts. They also allow gold ore to generate at any height, rather than just at layer 32 and below.

Mesa Cliff.png

Mesa (Bryce)

Temperature: 2.0

Red Sand, Cactus, Red Sandstone, Dead Bush, Hardened Clay, 6 colors of Stained Clay

Mesa (bryce) is a variant of the mesa biome, featuring a low desert-like ground area with tall, thin, spire-shaped columns of hardened clay, similar to the structures in the real Bryce Canyon.
Bryce Canyon.png
36, 38, 39


Temperature: Same as their respective base biomes.

Like the hills biomes, but flattened at the top. Added for savannas and mesas. (Mesa plateau F is a variant of the mesa plateau, adding a few layers of dirt/grass and a forest of small trees with brown leaves)
Mesa Plateau updated.png Savanna Plateau.png
164, 166, 167

Plateau M

Temperature: Same as their respective base biomes.

Similar variant of the plateau biomes, which are themselves a variant. The mesa plateau M biome features slightly flatter terrain and smaller plateaus in general, compared to the average mesa plateau biome. On the contrary, the savanna plateau M biome features incredibly large and steep cliffs that jut violently out of the terrain, compared to the regular savanna plateau; these cliffs generally exceed cloud height, sometimes above y=200, and sometimes even border the world height limit.
Mesa Plateau M updated.png Savanna Plateau M.png

Hell (The Nether)

Magma Cubes, Netherrack, Glowstone, Soul Sand, Nether Brick, Gravel, Nether Quartz, Ghasts, Blazes, Skeletons, Zombie Pigmen, Nether Fortress, Wither Skeletons, Nether Wart, Lava

This is the biome used to generate the Nether. In a Superflat world using this biome, the Overworld will contain only Nether mobs (ghasts, packs of zombie pigmen and occasional magma cubes) and won't receive rain, but it won't have Nether structures (such as Nether quartz or glowstone veins or Nether fortresses), and it can still have water lakes and mineshafts, beds will also explode in this biome, even when in the Overworld.

2011-05-19 16.36.14.png

Neutral biomes

These biomes are usually covered with water and have very little land exposed. Either that, or they have many variants of themselves which are also variants of other non-neutral biomes. The foliage and grass in these biomes usually have a dull green grass hue.

Biome ID Name and Features Description Images
0 Ocean

Temperature: 0.5

Water, Gravel, Squid

A large, open biome made entirely of water going up to y=63, with underwater relief on the sea floor, such as small mountains and plains, usually including gravel. Oceans typically extend under 3,000 blocks in any direction, around 60% of the Overworld's surface is covered in Ocean. Small islands with infrequent vegetation can be found in oceans. Passive mobs are unable to spawn on these islands, but hostiles can. Cavern entrances can be found infrequently at the bottom of the ocean. In the Console versions, they surround the edges of the map.
1.8 Biomes Ocean.png

Deep Ocean

Temperature: 0.5

Water, Gravel, Clay, Squid, Guardian Ocean monument

A variation of the Ocean biome. In deep ocean biomes, the ocean can exceed 30 blocks in depth, making it twice as deep as the normal ocean. In contrast to default oceans, the ground is mainly covered with gravel. Ocean monuments spawn in deep oceans, which spawn guardians.
13, 17, 18, 19, 22, 28, 31, 33, 156, 161


Temperature: Same as their respective base biomes.

Hills are generated within forest, taiga, desert, jungle, and ice plains biomes (as well as their variants) and are referred in the F3 menu as "ForestHills", "TaigaHills", etc. Forest hills seem to be generated more rarely than the other hills in their respective main biome. Ice Mountains are usually taller, with height comparable to Extreme Hills biomes.
Forest Hills Biome.pngBirchForestHills.pngDesertHills.pngTaigaHills.pngColdTaigaHills.pngJungleHills.pngRedwood Hills.png

Unused biomes

These biomes no longer generate naturally, but still exist in Minecraft's code, and can be accessed by using the Custom world type.

Biome ID Name and Features Description Images


Temperature: 0.0 Ice, Water, Gravel, Squid

A variant of the ocean biome that is completely frozen over. However, warmer rivers occasionally run through it.

Extreme Hills Edge

Temperature: 0.2 Grass, Dirt, Stone, Pigs, Sheep, Cows, Wolves, Spruce Trees, Oak Tree, Snow (occasionally)

Similar to the jungle edge sub-biome, this sub-biome spawns exclusively at the edge of extreme hills biomes (or any variant). Extreme Hills Edge.png

Biome IDs

Each type of biome has its own biome number, shown in the following table. These biome numbers are used when creating a customized superflat world. Biome variations normally have an ID number of 128 + <original biome number>.

Number Biome Variation Variation Name
0 Ocean N/A N/A
1 Plains 128 Plains M
129 Sunflower Plains
2 Desert 130 Desert M
3 Extreme Hills 131 Extreme Hills M
4 Forest 132 Flower Forest
5 Taiga 133 Taiga M
6 Swampland 134 Swampland M
7 River N/A N/A
8 Hell N/A N/A
9 The End N/A N/A
10 FrozenOcean N/A N/A
11 FrozenRiver N/A N/A
12 Ice Plains 140 Ice Plains Spikes
13 Ice Mountains N/A N/A
14 MushroomIsland N/A N/A
15 MushroomIslandShore N/A N/A
16 Beach N/A N/A
17 DesertHills N/A N/A
18 ForestHills N/A N/A
19 TaigaHills N/A N/A
20 Extreme Hills Edge N/A N/A
21 Jungle 149 Jungle M
22 JungleHills N/A N/A
23 JungleEdge 151 JungleEdge M
24 Deep Ocean N/A N/A
25 Stone Beach N/A N/A
26 Cold Beach N/A N/A
27 Birch Forest 155 Birch Forest M
28 Birch Forest Hills 156 Birch Forest Hills M
29 Roofed Forest 157 Roofed Forest M
30 Cold Taiga 158 Cold Taiga M
31 Cold Taiga Hills N/A N/A
32 Mega Taiga 160 Mega Spruce Taiga
33 Mega Taiga Hills 161 Redwood Taiga Hills M
34 Extreme Hills+ 162 Extreme Hills+ M
35 Savanna 163 Savanna M
36 Savanna Plateau 164 Savanna Plateau M
37 Mesa 165 Mesa (Bryce)
38 Mesa Plateau F 166 Mesa Plateau F M
39 Mesa Plateau 167 Mesa Plateau M
127 The Void[upcoming] N/A N/A

Technical details


The temperature and rainfall values of the biome are used to change the colors of grass, foliage, and (for swamplands) water.

A biome's rainfall value is typically a value from 0.0 to 1.0. A biome's temperature starts at a given value at sea level, Y=64, and goes down by 0.00166667 per meter increase. Starting values range from 2.0 (e.g., Desert) to -0.5 (e.g., Cold Taiga). The temperature does not increase below sea level.

The temperature and rainfall values are used to access two texture images in Minecraft, grass.png and foliage.png, in \assets\minecraft\textures\colormap. These textures are triangular, only the lower left is used, despite the upper right of the foliage file having colors. The adjusted temperature and adjusted rainfall values are used to access these two triangles. Treating the lower left corner as temperature = 1.0 and rainfall = 0.0, with adjusted temperature decreasing to 0.0 at the right edge and adjusted rainfall increasing to 1.0 at the top edge, the values used to retrieve the colors are computed as follows:

AdjTemp = clamp( Temperature, 0.0, 1.0 )

AdjRainfall = clamp( Rainfall, 0.0, 1.0 ) * AdjTemp

"clamp" limits the range of the temperature and rainfall to 0.0-1.0. The clamped rainfall value is then multiplied by the 0.0-1.0 adjusted temperature value, which brings its value to be inside the lower left triangle. Some biomes' ranges are shown on the right; the multiplication makes all the line segments point towards the lower right corner.

The color for grass block top and sides, along with various forms of grass – specifically tall grass, ferns, double tall grass, and large ferns – is modified by the color retrieved from the grass.png image. The color for various tree foliage - all tree types except spruce and birch, which have fixed colors in the code – is modified by the color retrieved from foliage.png.

At borders between or among biomes, the colors of the block and its eight neighbors are computed and the average is used for the final block color.

Exact temperature and rainfall values for biomes can be found in various projects, e.g. this biome code.

Swampland color

Swamplands are special. Temperature, which starts at 0.8, is not affected by altitude. Rather, a Perlin noise function is used to gradually vary the temperature of the swampland. When this temperature goes below -0.1, a lush green color is used, 0x4C763C, otherwise it is set to a sickly brown, 0x6A7039. In addition, the color of the water in swamplands is always multiplied by a greenish tinge, 0xE0FFAE. These colors are locked in the code and not retrievable from any texture.

Roofed forest color

The roofed forest biomes' grass color is retrieved normally, then averaged with a dark green color, 0x28340A, to produce the final color.

Mesa color

All mesa biomes' grass and foliage have hardwired colors, two tan colors, 0x90814D and 0x9E814D respectively. These are not modifiable by grass.png and foliage.png and unaffected by temperature.


Icon Achievement In-game description Prerequisites Actual requirements (if different) Version restriction Xbox points earned Trophy type (PS)
Adventuring Time Discover all biomes The End? Visit these 36 biomes. Other biomes may also be visited, but are ignored for the achievement. Biomes are counted as visited even before The End? is achieved.[3] PC N/A N/A
Discover 17 of the 40 different biomes Visit any 17 biomes. Does not have to be in a single world. Xbox and Windows 10 40G




1.0.4 Added Winter Mode. Maps now have a snowy or grassy theme randomly determined when creating the world.
1.2.0 Added biomes; they were rain forest, seasonal forest, forest, shrubland, taiga, tundra, savanna, plains, swampland, desert, and frozen desert.
World saves remained unchanged, other than a change in the hue of the grass. If the player moves into ungenerated chunks, the new biomes would generate.
1.6 Added the Sky Dimension with its own biome. It could only be viewed through the use of mods and hacks.
1.8 Biomes got an overhaul, removing some biomes, such as the tundra and the taiga, and others replaced with nine fractal-based biomes that were a mix of the previous biomes and new biomes. See here for more details.
Official release
1.0.0 Re-added tundra (as ice plains) and added Mushroom Islands.
1.1 Re-added snow in taigas, added hills and beaches.
Smoothed color transitions between biomes – swampland grass, foliage and water smoothly transition into other biomes.
1.2.1 12w03a Added jungle biome.
12w07a The Anvil file format was introduced and it allows for biomes to be stored in the world data. In contrast, the Region file format relies on the seed to dynamically calculate biome placement. This would cause biome placement in older worlds to change when the biome generation code was changed. With the current Anvil format, the biome data is stored along with the rest of the world data, meaning it will not change after the world is generated and can be edited by third-party map-editing tools. Furthermore, "edge" biomes allow for biomes to continue extend beyond the edge chunks of an old world. This allows for smooth transitions in world generation after the generation code changes in an update.
1.3.1 Hills in forests and deserts are taller.
1.6.1 13w17a Water lakes no longer spawn in deserts.
1.7.2 13w36a Mesa, mega taiga, roofed forest, birch forest, savanna, extreme hills+, deep ocean and snowless taiga biomes were added as well as variations for many of the biomes. Biomes were also separated by temperature, and snowing was added to extreme hills.
The frozen ocean and extreme hills edge biomes no longer generate naturally.
Biome-hopping achievement "Adventuring Time" added, but it was broken until 1.8 making the goal of getting all achievements impossible in 1.7.
1.8 14w17a The End's biome name is now "The End" instead of "Sky".
Adventuring Time is now available without commands. Before, the 38 biomes had to be visited without visiting any other biomes, which made the achievement unavailable because the End has to be visited for its prerequisite, The End?. The “no other biomes” restriction is now lifted.
Visiting the frozen ocean and extreme hills edge biomes, which no longer generate since 13w36a, is no longer required for Adventuring Time.
14w26a Changed generation of marsh-like areas in swamp biomes.
1.9 15w37a Add new biome "The Void", which is used in Superflat preset "The Void".
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.9.0 build 1 All biomes as of PC version 1.7.2 have been added. These include: Jungles, mesa, plains, roofed forests, savannas, taiga, extreme hills, mushroom islands, flower forest, mega taiga, mega spruce taiga, swampland, desert, forests, and deep ocean.
0.9.5 Added bryce mesa, extreme hills +, and jungle M.
0.10.0 build 1 Mesa biomes have gold at every elevation and can spawn mine shafts on the surface.
Water in swamps is tinted dark gray.
Huge mushrooms spawn in swamps
0.11.0 build 1 Added birch forest M, birch forest hills M, extreme hills M, and extreme hills+ M.
build 8 Changed the default biome.
build 10 Increased the amount of gravel on extreme hills M biome.
0.12.1 build 1 Added Nether biome.
build 10 Leaves coloring shaders are now only used when the color for a biome actually changes.
Console Edition
TU5 CU1 1.00 Added swampland, ice plains, extreme hills and ocean biomes
Removed rain forest, seasonal forest, savanna, shrubland and taiga.
TU7 Re-added tundra (as ice plains) and added Mushroom Islands.
TU9 Re-added beaches and snow in taigas, added hills.
Smoothed color transitions between biomes – swampland grass, foliage and water smoothly transition into other biomes.
TU12 Added jungle biome
TU14 1.04 Hills in forests and deserts are taller.
TU19 CU7 1.12 Water lakes no longer spawn in deserts.
TU31 CU19 1.22 Added mesa, mega taiga, roofed forest, birch forest, forest, savanna, extreme hills+, deep ocean, snowless taiga and 20 technical biomes.
Changed generation of marsh-like areas in swamp and extreme hills biomes.
A very old image of biomes work-in-progress. "To the right of the player is a taiga, to the left is either a forest, or woods, I can’t remember. In the distance is probably tundra." ~ Notch


Issues relating to “Biome” are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.


  • Mountainous biomes have names ending with "Hills" in the F3 Menu, except for mega spruce taiga, whose mountainous version is called "Redwood Taiga Hills M," rather than "Mega Spruce Taiga Hills".
  • The world generation was changed in 1.7 to greatly reduce the incidence of biomes with the highest temperature differences, such as an ice plains and a desert, from generating next to each other. Such juxtaposition can still be seen in rare cases, although these occurrences are much less common.
  • The term biome is analogous to its scientific usage: on Earth, a biome is climatically and geographically defined by distinctive communities of plants, animals and soil organisms supported by similar climatic conditions. They are often referred to as ecosystems.[4][5]


Graphs and templates



  1. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, "Biome", accessed April 20, 2012
  2. Unabridged, "biome", accessed April 20, 2012

See also