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More specifically, the bottom face of the bottommost bedrock block is at Y coordinate 0, and the top face of the highest block that can be placed is at Y coordinate 255. The player can press F3 to see what Y coordinate the player's eye is currently at, with the player's eye located about 1.6 blocks above the layer the player is standing on. For example, a player standing on a shore of an ocean will see their Y coordinate as approximately 64.6.
Before Minecraft 1.2.1, the height limit was 127. In Creative Mode, players could fly above this level, but were not able to build above it. Note that sea level was still layer 62 before the update, so the height of the actual terrain did not change. This change in height was introduced along with the switch from the Region file format to the new Anvil file format, which was implemented in Snapshot 12w07a.
Natural resources and altitude[edit | edit source]
Features in the landscape of the Overworld are found at different altitudes, as shown in this graph:
There is also an interactive chart. Beware the logarithmic scale: a slight difference in the y coordinate means a large change in relative frequency of this block type. Some observations:
- Looking at water, the ocean level at layer 62 is obvious. Going down, the amount decreases more quickly at layers 56 and 48, the usual depth of river and ocean biomes respectively. There are corresponding peaks in the amount of clay beneath them. (Note that clay can occasionally be generated even in high-altitude lakes.) Between layers 33 and 12, most water is falling down sub-ocean ravines, spreading out on the lava-filled bottom at layer 10 and producing most of the naturally-occurring obsidian.
- Ores and gravel (not shown) usually occur as a fixed percentage of the amount of stone (also not shown), tapering off at the ends of their allowed range. This is why coal and iron follow parallel tracks between layers 40 and 60.
- The one exception is lapis lazuli ore, which has a linear progression up to a peak at layers 13-14.
See the following table for a textual description of resources by altitude and tools needed to gather them.
|Landscape Feature||Complete range||Commonly found between||Ideal layer||Implement needed to obtain|
|Coal ore||Layers 0-114||Layers 5-66||Layer 48||Pickaxe|
|Gravel||Layers 1-115||Layers 5-56||Layer 48||None|
|Dirt (including Grass and Mycelium)||Layers 0-119||Layers 5-80||Layer 61||None|
|Sand||Layers 2-112||Layers 43-63||Layer 61||None|
|Water||Layers 1-111||Layers 48-62||Layer 62||Bucket|
|Iron ore||Layers 0-63||Layers 2-58||Layer 42||Stone or better pickaxe|
|Gold Ore||Layers 0-31||Layers 4-29||Layer 28||Iron or better pickaxe|
|Lapis Lazuli ore||Layers 0-30||Layers 11-17||Layer 14||Stone or better pickaxe|
|Lava||Layers 0-85||Layers 4-10||Layer 10||Bucket|
|Obsidian||Layers 2-62||Layer 10||Layer 10||Diamond pickaxe|
|Emerald Ore||Layers 4-32||Layers 4-29||Layer 20||Iron or better pickaxe|
|Diamond Ore||Layers 0-15||Layers 4-13||Layer 12||Iron or better pickaxe|
|Redstone Ore||Layers 0-15||Layers 4-13||Layer 12||Iron or better pickaxe|
|Bedrock||Layers 0-4||Layers 0-2||Layer 1||Only breakable in Creative Mode|
- The range in which the block can be found in the map used for the graph.
- The layer where getting that resource is easiest. We consider the amount of lava/water lakes, the amount of caves, the altitude (and whether it is at the surface), and the amount of gravel/sand.
- Redstone has the same layer and line-size statistics as Diamond, but is generated 8 times per chunk as opposed to 1.
Other naturally occurring features appear at different altitudes such as grass, wood, flowers, mushrooms, clay, cobblestone, sugar cane and Obsidian, but all of these features are random and will only appear in conjunction with another block and the proper environment.
|Grass||Dirt, Light and Grass|
|Sugar Cane||Dirt or Sand (as of beta 1.8) and Water|
|Wood||Dirt, Light and a sapling|
|Flowers||Dirt and Light|
|Mushrooms||Dry land and darkness|
|Obsidian||Lava source and Water|
|Cobblestone||Lava and Water or Dungeons|
The Nether[edit | edit source]
A similar graph, showing the distribution of blocks unique to the Nether:
|Landscape Feature||Complete range||Commonly found between||Implement needed to obtain|
|Netherrack||Layers 1-126||Layers 4-123||Pickaxe|
|Soul Sand||Layers 14-73||Layers 58-64||None|
|Glowstone||Layers 2-120||Layers 96-106||None|
|Nether Brick||Layers 19-86||Layers 48-60||Pickaxe|
History[edit | edit source]
- Originally, solid blocks could be placed from layer 0 to layer 127.
- As of Beta 1.6, solid blocks could no longer be placed on layer 127. However, beds, signs, torches and other non-solid blocks could be placed on layer 127.
- As of Beta 1.6, entities are no longer invisible when above the build limit, however, they are black (like if they were in darkness).
- As of the 1.8 Pre-Release, the player's view distance decreases in lower altitudes.
- As of the 1.8 Pre-Release, entities are no longer black when above the build limit.
- Before 1.8, the sea level was at layer 63 instead of 62. Players who have maps created before this update will find one-block-high "waterfalls" at the edges of the terrain previously generated when moving into new, post-1.8 terrain.
- In 12w07a, the maximum height was increased to 256. This change was officially released with Minecraft 1.2.0. Sea level and terrain height did not change with this update; 127 layers were simply added above the cloud level, which had previously been the maximum.
Bugs[edit | edit source]
- Above about Y:240, when you can see the horizon on "normal" render distance, the sun and moon are visible during day and night at the same time - only works at around sunset and sunrise.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The Beta 1.6 update made it impossible for players to place blocks on the uppermost layer of the map (Y-Coord. 127).
- At extreme depths, black fog closes in.
- Although the highest possible altitude the player can climb at normally is 257 (door "glitch" + jumping), a TNT cannon can blast the player many layers past the sky limit.
- Going under Y -64 in the Void will cause the player to receive damage very quickly, killing him/her. Also, this is the only way to die in Creative mode(except the /kill command).
- Although blocks cannot normally be placed past Y-254, there are several exceptions:
- Beds, along with other non-solid blocks (Signs, Torches) can be placed on the 255th layer. Also, if a door is placed 1 layer below the top of the map, its upper frame will pass the 254th mark.
- By placing a water source block on layer 255 using a Water Bucket on a solid block on layer 254, then placing a lava source block on the water using a Lava Bucket, both Cobblestone and Obsidian can be created on layer 255. The opposite (placing water on lava) works as well.
- Placing a rail, flat snow, etc. block on the 255th layer, then trying to place a block on it will give you the message: Height limit for building is 256. This also applies when trying to place a block on top of a solid block at layer 255 (using MCEdit, or water and lava).
- Notch, on his Twitter feed before the Adventure Update, posted a picture showing his experimentation with height limits and terrain generation up to 512, featuring a mountain much higher than normal mountains. Though the height limit was eventually increased to 256 in 1.2.1, terrain generation above 127 still has yet to be implemented.
- The maximum height (coordinates) a player can reach is displayed as "6.7108E7" Example 1 Example 2 (6.7E7 is 6.7 times 10^7th, or 67 million, approximately 2^26th)