The moon is a celestial body that appears during the Minecraft night.
Nighttime[edit | edit source]
Nighttime begins after the sun fully sets and the moon rises. (On the Computer and Console Editions, the moon rises in the east and sets in the west; on Pocket Edition, it rises in the north and sets in the south.) As time passes, the moon will slowly move across the sky toward the opposite horizon. Overall, nighttime lasts about 7 minutes (in real time). Players can track the moon's position in the sky using a clock.
During the night, the moon illuminates the surface in the same manner as the sun; however, light levels will fall to a minimum of four. This allows hostile mobs such as zombies and creepers to spawn. To prevent spawning, you can swap the difficulty to peaceful or turn off the day-night cycle.
Nighttime can be skipped entirely using a bed, provided there are no monsters nearby.
Stars[edit | edit source]
Together with the moon, the night sky also consists of stars. Stars appear as bright points, and the starfield rotates with the moon as the night progresses. Because they rise in the east or north and descend in the west or south (depending on the edition), you can navigate by the stars even when the moon is not visible.
Phases[edit | edit source]
The Moon goes through eight lunar phases, and changes phase every night. This allows the player to keep rough track of the passage of time, even after spending a few game days underground.
The phases are (in chronological order as they appear in-game):
- Full Moon
- Waning Gibbous
- Last Quarter
- Waning Crescent
- New Moon
- Waxing Crescent
- First Quarter
- Waxing Gibbous
There is no explicit command to change the moon's phase, but using
/time add 24000 will advance it to the next phase. Using
/time add 168000 will advance it to the previous phase (of the next lunar cycle).
Effects on mobs[edit | edit source]
The phase of the moon has two subtle effects on mob spawning:
- The number of slimes that spawn in swamps is proportional to the moon's fullness: They are most numerous during the full moon, and none will spawn during the new moon. (The moon's phase does not influence the normal spawning of slimes in designated chunks at altitudes below y=40.)
- The fuller the moon, the higher the chance skeletons and zombies have to pick up items and spawn with weapons and armor. Furthermore, there is a higher chance for their equipment to be enchanted, and if it is the enchantment levels will be higher. A fuller moon also gives spiders a higher chance to spawn with random beneficial status effects, including invisibility. All of these effects combine with the world's difficulty, with higher difficulty levels increasing the chance of mob buffs.
History[edit | edit source]
|?||During the beta period, the Minecraft moon used to rise in the north, not in the east. This was a bug, but was left in the game.|
|1.0.0||Beta 1.9-pre4||The moon now rises in the east.|
|Added eight lunar phases to the moon.|
|The moon was changed from being square to having a more rounded look to it.|
|Beta 1.9-pre6||Moon is reverted back to original square form and lunar phases converted to square form.|
|Previously, the moon graphics used to be in /terrain in the minecraft.jar. They are now contained in /environment.|
|1.3.1||12w21a||Updated stars texture. They are now smaller and brighter.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.7.3||Added moon and stars.|
|0.10.0||The night sky is now dark blue instead of black. (version exclusive)|
Issues[edit | edit source]
Issues relating to “Moon” are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- One Minecraft lunar cycle (from full moon to full moon) takes 2 hours 40 minutes of play time. This means there are approximately 9 lunar cycles in one real-world day (24 hours) of play.
- Whereas the moon moves independent of other celestial bodies in real life, the Minecraft moon is fixed in the sky relative to the stars.
- Thus, solar eclipses are currently impossible in Minecraft.
- Standing or flying at a height above the terrain of approximately 1.4x the render distance, the sun will appear opposite to the moon in the sky, making it seem almost as if the player is in space.
- The moon appears to be lit from a source at right angles to the sun-moon line, whereas it should be lit directly by the sun.
- For that matter, being fixed opposite to the sun, it should be constantly full and should result in a total lunar eclipse every night at midnight.
- The star pattern is based on a seed, but not the current world's seed. Like the bedrock pattern, the stars are always based on the same seed (number unknown). According to Mojang this is to prevent people on multi-player from working the seed out by studying the star pattern.
- The eight lunar phases actually occur in reverse sequence in the game, from New Moon, then Waning Crescent, then 3rd/Last Quarter, then Waning Gibbous, then Full Moon, and so on. (Note that in the gallery image they are in the correct natural order.)
Gallery[edit | edit source]
The separate moon phases in Minecraft.
References[edit | edit source]