Generated structures

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Every specific group of blocks purposefully formed in Minecraft based on coding is part of a natural structure.

The Overworld[edit]

The Overworld contains numerous generated structures, at a wide variety of scales.


Biomes dictate the shape and height of the world. At this stage, the ground is made mostly of stone and stone variants, with water filling in most empty spaces below layer 63, with exception for structures.


Mountains are hills with extreme slopes and cliffs. Mountains can sometimes have caves through them. On an amplified world, mountains are extremely common in all biomes except ocean and swamp biomes.

Floating "island"[edit]

Floating "islands" are structures that float in midair that are not connected to the ground, the sea, hills or cliffs. Floating "islands" are normally just random pieces of floating dirt and stone found near cliffs, but on rare occasions they can be large, floating structures that even have springs and trees on them. Floating Islands are most frequently found in mountains biomes (and its variants), along with the "hills", "mountains", and "modified" variants of most biomes, especially shattered savannas.


Hollows are the opposite of floating islands. They look like caves, but they have nothing to do with cave generation (although they may intersect with them). When there are many overhangs, they close together and create a hollow. They have exactly the same floor as the terrain above, depending on the biome that they are located in, unlike caves. Hollows have no specific floor. Grass blocks can generate inside too, and interestingly will survive without light. When they generate under the sea level, they are filled with water. They are extremely rare in the default world, but can be found far more commonly in certain customized worlds.


Hills are randomly generated pieces of land in the map. Like stairs, hills are always traversable to their lowest point by virtue of the algorithm which generates them; there is almost always a place on each level from where the next level can be accessed, meaning that the player can climb a hill one level at a time until they reach the top. Cases where this is not true are rare.


Surface layer[edit]

The uppermost layers of the terrain are converted to a biome-dependent material: usually grass blocks and dirt, or sand in deserts and beaches. Podzol is found in giant tree taiga, mycelium in mushroom field biomes, and red sand is found in the badlands biome. Sandstone is generated under sand.


Occasionally, instead of being converted to dirt or sand, the top layer is stripped away, leaving a 'basin' of bare stone. They bear some resemblance to a geological 'shield' (an area of tectonically stable rock that has been exposed to prolonged erosion due to its very old age; it is distinct from the geological term "basin"). They seem to be more common in forest or plains, and are occasionally seen filled with water. Commonly, minerals can be found in these, generally coal ore and iron ore. If generated in a Badlands biome, gold ore can also be seen.

Water bodies[edit]


Lakes are small bodies of liquid. Water lakes, which are small pools of water springs, can generate above sea level or inside caverns. They can also generate isolated underground, connected to no other structures whatsoever. When in a winter biome, these small lakes are never initially frozen but will turn to ice if exposed. The lakes can also be composed of lava; however, lakes of lava are much rarer. Lava lakes found at the surface are surrounded by stone (which can be replaced by ore veins such as dirt, gravel and coal). Both types of lake generate with a small air pocket above them, which may result in floating sand, floating snow cover or even the top 2/3rds of trees above the lake. Lava lakes may cause trees to burn away.

Coral reef[edit]

Coral reef
Coral Reef.png

Warm Ocean

Consists of

Coral reefs are structures that generate in warm ocean biomes. They consist of multiple clusters of coral blocks, coral and coral fans. These clusters come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, ranging from a few blocks of brain coral on the ground to large tree-like structures of fire coral.

You can manually load every piece of coral reef structure using structure block in folder coralcrust, example: coralcrust/outcropping1 will load one of coral reef variant structure

Large structures[edit]


Cave are caverns and tunnels that are automatically generated under the ground in various places, composed of primarily stone and ores. Flooded caves are also able to generate in ocean biomes.


Over Ravine.png


Consists of


Can generate in
existing chunks


Ravines are tall, thin trenches that generate either underground or at the surface, and extend 30 - 50 blocks downwards or to bedrock level in the Bedrock Edition. Ravines can spawn in the ocean making it look like underwater trenches.


Mineshaft.pngBadlands mineshaft.png

Regular mineshaft: Anywhere in the Overworld.
Badlands mineshaft: Badlands.

Consists of

Mineshafts are structures generated underground (partially above ground in badlands biomes) which consist of branching mining tunnels with wooden supports and broken rails passing through it. They are the only places where cave spider spawners and minecarts with chests can be found naturally.


Strongholds are underground structures made up of stone bricks, monster eggs, and iron bars. They consist of many rooms, most notably libraries and end portal rooms. Although they are very rare, they can be found much more easily by using an eye of ender.

Small structures[edit]

The quantity of most of these features (aside from dungeons, mineral veins, and springs) is biome-dependent; not all features can be found in every biome.


Minecraft Dungeon.png


Consists of
Can generate in
existing chunks


Dungeons are small, mostly underground, one-room spaces bordered by moss stone and cobblestone, and typically contain chests with rare items, and a monster spawner in the center, which will spawn zombies, skeletons, or spiders.

Mineral vein[edit]

Mineral vein
Mineral vein.png

Coal, iron, gold, redstone, diamond, lapis lazuli: Anywhere in the Overworld.
Emerald: Mountain biomes.
Nether quartz: the Nether.

Consists of

A mineral vein is a natural deposit of ores. Players can come across these veins in caverns or anywhere where there is natural stone. Underground deposits of dirt and gravel are generated in this step, followed by the more precious ores: coal, iron, gold, redstone, diamond, emerald (in mountains biomes) and lapis lazuli. They can only form in stone, and do not replace each other or any other block. However, there is one exception: other ores can replace andesite, diorite and granite. Note that two or more mineral veins can form next to each other and make it look like a mineral vein made of more than one material.


Oak Tree.png

Any, except deserts, beaches, mushroom fields or badlands (but exist in wooded badland plateaus)

Consists of

Trees are common structures created both during world generation and by players (grown from saplings). They are made of wood and leaves, and in Bedrock Edition and Legacy Console Edition, might have vines or mushrooms (as dying trees and fallen trees respectively).

Huge mushroom[edit]

Huge mushroom
Huge Red Mushroom.pngHuge Brown Mushroom.png

Mushroom Fields, Dark Forest or the Swamp‌[Bedrock Edition only].

Consists of

Huge mushrooms are structures made up by mushroom blocks in the shape of a mushroom. They naturally generated in mushroom fields, swamps‌[Bedrock Edition only], and dark forests, and will also generate if the player uses bone meal on a mushroom.


Springs are randomly generated blocks of either lava or water that act as a source of their respective material. While both can be found on the vertical side of stone blocks above the surface, lava springs are more often found underground beneath layer 32 in caverns and mineshafts. They do not generate above a certain Y altitude.

Desert well[edit]

Desert well
Desert Well.png


Consists of

These well-like structures built of sandstone blocks and slabs generate only in the desert biome. They have a 1/1000 chance to be generated in any desert chunk, which makes them a rare sight. It is possible for a well to generate around a cactus. The well structure will still generate with the "Generate Structures" option disabled. In Bedrock Edition, it is common to find two desert wells spawning in the same chunk.

Moss stone boulder[edit]

Moss stone boulder
Moss Stone Boulder.png

Giant Tree Taiga

Consists of

These structures are meant to represent boulders, made entirely of moss stone. The arrangement of these structures varies greatly. They can be found dotted around areas of the giant tree taiga biome. Moss stone boulders are quite rare, due to the giant tree taiga biome's rarity.

Ice spike[edit]

Ice spike
Ice World Spikes.png

Ice Spikes

Consists of

Ice spikes are tall spires made of packed ice that can only be found in the snowy tundra biomes. There are two variants of ice spikes: one is short and thick, and the other is extremely tall and thin.


Fossil Skull 1.pngFossil Skull 2.pngFossil Skull 3.pngFossil Skull 4.png
Fossil Spine 1.pngFossil Spine 2.pngFossil Spine 3.pngFossil Spine 4.png

Desert and Swamps including "Hills" and "Desert Lakes" Variants

Consists of

Fossils represent the remains of giant extinct creatures, and are composed of bone blocks, with random blocks removed and some of them replaced with coal ore.

Buried treasure[edit]

Buried treasure

Beach, Ocean (all variants; rarely), Deep Ocean (all variants; rarely)

Consists of

See Buried treasure § Structure

Can generate in
existing chunks

Yes, when using Buried Treasure Explorer Maps [verify]

Buried treasure structures consist of a single chest buried in the beach sand or gravel, with random loot in it.


Shipwreck Jungle (With Mast).png

Ocean (all variants), Deep Ocean (all variants), Beach (sometimes), River (rarely)

Consists of

See Shipwreck § Structure

Shipwrecks are structures that generate on the floor of oceans or beaches. They are made up of wood materials, and contain 1-3 loot chests. They can generate sideways, upside-down, or upright.



Frozen Ocean, Deep Frozen Ocean

Consists of

Icebergs are structures that generate in frozen oceans and their deep variants. They consist primarily of packed ice with a little bit of ice and blue ice, and will often be topped with snow. They are the only place where blue ice can be found naturally. Icebergs generate in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from small "islands" to giant mountain-like ice structures. They can also generate with "cave-like" holes in them, which sometimes reach to the other side of the iceberg. Polar bears can also spawn here, much like other cold biomes.


Buildings are naturally generating structures that form above ground. They can contain valuable treasure, but traps and puzzles as well.



Plains, Desert, Savanna, Taiga, Snowy Taiga ‌[Bedrock and Legacy Console editions only][upcoming: JE 1.14], Snowy Tundra‌[Bedrock and Legacy Console editions only][upcoming: JE 1.14],

Consists of

See Village § Structure

Villages are generated in desert, plains, taiga, savanna, snowy taiga‌[upcoming: JE 1.14], and snowy tundra biomes‌[upcoming: JE 1.14] and are a site for villagers, with whom the player can trade. They are composed of a random selection of various buildings and farms.

Desert pyramid[edit]

Desert temples, or desert pyramid[Java Edition only] are pyramid-shaped structures found in deserts, composed of mainly sandstone and stained terracotta. There is a hidden chamber in the middle of the temple, containing 4 treasure chests and a TNT trap. They always generate with their floor on layer 64.

Jungle pyramid[edit]

Jungle temples or jungle pyramid[Java Edition only] are found in jungles, and mainly consist of cobblestone and moss stone. There are three floors, the bottom floor containing treasure chests, tripwire-activated traps and a puzzle consisting of three levers that must be pulled in the correct combination to reveal one of the chests.

Swamp hut[edit]

Witch huts or swamp hut[Java Edition only] are structures that generate in swamp biomes that have the ability to spawn witches. They are composed of several types of wood materials, and contain a crafting table, cauldron, and flower pot inside.

Woodland mansion[edit]

Woodland mansion
Woodland Mansion.png

Dark Forest

Consists of

See Woodland Mansion § Structure

Woodland mansions are massive house structures that generate in dark forests, containing a wide variety of rooms. They are the only place where evokers, vindicators, and vexes spawn naturally (but only once) (until 1.14, since as of 1.14 they can spawn as part of raids).


Monuments are underwater structures that generate in deep oceans. They are composed of all three variants of prismarine and sea lantern, and are the only places where guardians and elder guardians spawn naturally.


Igloos are structures that generate in snowy biomes. The structure consists of the igloo house and in some cases, a basement hidden under the carpet.

Underwater ruins[edit]

Underwater ruins
Underwater ruin cold.pngUnderwater ruin warm.png

Ocean (all variants), Deep Ocean (all variants), Beach (sometimes)

Consists of

See Underwater ruins § Structure

Underwater ruins are clusters of many different blocks that generate underwater in ocean biomes, as well as on the surface on beaches. They come in many different variants - the cold variants consist primarily of stone bricks and the warm consist primarily of sandstone. Some contain chests inside them.

Upcoming structures[edit]

Java Edition.pngMclogo.svg

These structures have not been implemented into a full version yet but have appeared in snapshots of an upcoming version of Java Edition. (Refer to 1.14)

Pillager outpost[edit]

Pillager outposts generate in desert, plains, taiga, savanna, snowy tundra and snowy taiga biomes, and are inhabited by pillagers.

The Nether[edit]

The Nether, though equally vast, contains far fewer types of generated structures than the Overworld.

Lava sea[edit]

Lava Sea
Swimming Ghasts.jpg

The Nether

Consists of
Can generate in
existing chunks


Lava seas are found at and below level 30 in the Nether. They make a large portion of the Nether, and are extremely common. They can stretch for hundreds of meters in any direction, and are usually bordered by netherrack (or more rarely soul sand).




Consists of

See Fortress § Structure

Fortresses are very large complexes made mainly of nether bricks (with added nether brick fences and stairs to be found). They contain blaze spawners, nether wart farms, and loot chests in them.

Glowstone clusters[edit]

Glowstone cluster
Glowstone Cluster.png


Consists of

Glowstone clusters are typically veins of glowstone that can be among the hardest natural materials to harvest that don't require digging. They form in coral-like structures on the underside of hanging Netherrack, so they are often found on the ceilings of the Nether, where they provide light along with the ever present lava.

Other things located in the Nether[edit]

There are areas of soul sand and gravel around layer 64, veins of nether quartz ore, large "veins" of magma blocks and "hidden lava", which is a single block of lava generated randomly between netherrack.

The End[edit]

The End is the final and most barren dimension, with very few types of significant structures, until after defeating the Ender Dragon, which will open gateways to more structures.

The Central Island[edit]

The center of the End is a large, asteroid-like island composed entirely of end stone, floating in the void. At a distance of 1000 blocks away, an endless expanse of more islands begins, away from the main island. These consist of large islands, about the size of the main island, and smaller ones, which are usually very thin and small.

Obsidian pillar[edit]

Obsidian Pillar
Obsidian Pillar.png

The End

Consists of
Can generate in
existing chunks

Yes, while the Ender Dragon is respawning

Obsidian pillars, also known as obsidian spikes or obsidian towers, are tall, tower-like structures that generate in The End in a circle around the fountain. The End crystals on top of each one will heal the Ender Dragon.

Obsidian platform[edit]

Obsidian Platform

The End

Consists of
Can generate in
existing chunks

Yes, is replaced upon dimension re-entry

The obsidian platform is a 5 by 5 square of obsidian that is generated once a player enters the End. (Note that if the obsidian is destroyed, or if a block is placed on top of it, when the player enters the End, the obsidian will be restored and any blocks on top of it will despawn.) Obsidian platforms generate at X, Y, Z = 100(100.5), 48, 0(0.5), mostly far away from the island, making it tough to get there. Players who enter the end will spawn at X, Y, Z = 100, 49, 0 and the other entities that enter the end will spawn at X, Y , Z = 100.5, 50, 0.5, the middle of platform and 1 block higher than the platform.

  • Sometimes the platform generates inside a case of end stone. It will remove enough end stone so that the player can walk around.
  • Occasionally the platform will generate in midair.

Exit portal[edit]

Exit portal

The End

Consists of

The exit portal is a structure that generates when the player goes to the End. It will activate after the player has killed the ender dragon, allowing them to go back to the Overworld.

End gateway portal[edit]

End Gateway Portal

The End

Consists of
Can generate in
existing chunks

Yes, when an ender dragon is killed.

The end gateway portal is a portal to quickly get to the outer islands of the End. It can only be accessed via a one-block gap, meaning that ender pearl, elytra or correctly placed water is required to enter it. (As of 1.13, you can use water to swim through a 1x1 block gap.

End city[edit]

End cities are tall castle-like structures that generate in the outer islands of the End, consisting primarily of end stone bricks, purpur blocks, and end rods. They are the only places where shulkers can be found.

End ship[edit]

End ships are common floating structures that are often generated alongside end cities. They are the only place where the elytra and the dragon head can be legitimately obtained.

Chorus tree[edit]

Chorus Tree
Chorus Tree.png

The End

Consists of
Can generate in
existing chunks

Yes, when a chorus flower is planted on end stone and left to grow.

Chorus trees generate on the outer islands of the end. They are formed in tall, coral-like patterns.They consist of chorus stems and chorus flowers. A chorus flower will generate at the top of each branch. They are the only source of chorus fruit and chorus flowers. The player can grow a new chorus tree by planting a flower on a block of endstone.

Return portal[edit]

Return portals are end gateway portals that generate randomly throughout the outer End islands. These will teleport the player back to the center island's spawn platform.

Technical details[edit]

Structures are generated for a given chunk after the terrain has been formed. The chunk format includes a tag called TerrainPopulated that indicates whether structures whose point of origin is in that chunk have been generated. If it is false or missing, they will be generated again. Structure generation is based on what is already in the chunk, so (for example) flagging a chunk that has already been populated for repopulation will approximately double the amount of ore in it.

When structures are generated, they can spill over into neighboring chunks that have been previously generated. Thus, a tree at the edge of the generated world (and probably only visible using external tools) may be overwritten by a lake before the player reaches it. It is also theoretically possible for two worlds generated with the same seed, from the same version of Minecraft, to differ slightly depending on the players' travel routes, because the order in which chunks are generated may determine which of two conflicting structures will overwrite or suppress the other.



Java Edition Pre-classic
Cave game tech testDevelopment on "Cave Game" started; caverns added.
Java Edition Classic
0.0.12a Added ocean around map.
0.0.14a Added trees. At this point they were simply stumps covered with a thin leaf layer.
0.0.15a (Multiplayer Test 1) Trees have a new shape.
August 25, 2009Video uploaded showing changed cavern generation; longer and narrower caverns, and bigger caves the deeper you travel.
Surface lava lakes shown to be possible but unlikely, despite existing as early as 0.0.12a_03.
Java Edition Infdev
March 20, 2010 Re-added trees.
June 25, 2010, 2 Added dungeons.
Java Edition Alpha
v1.0.1 Caves can be far bigger and more expansive.
v1.2.0 preview Added the Nether and all Nether-related generated structures, except for nether fortresses and magma veins.
v1.2.6 Added small lakes and rare lava pools, both on the surface and randomly in caves.
Java Edition Beta
1.8 Pre-release Added abandoned mineshafts.
Added villages.
Added strongholds.
Added huge mushrooms.
Added river biomes and vast oceans.
Sand and gravel beaches removed due to the changes in the terrain generation algorithm.
Java Edition
1.0.0 Beta 1.9 Prerelease Added nether fortresses.
Beta 1.9 Prerelease 4 Added the End and End-related generated structures, including the End island, the obsidian platform, the obsidian towers and the end fountain.
1.1 12w01a Sand beaches have made a return, but the way they look and generate are not the same as before.
1.2.1 12w04a Desert wells were added.
12w07a The generation of beaches has been greatly improved.
1.3.1 12w21a Added desert temples.
12w22a Added jungle temples.
1.4.2 12w40a Added witch huts.
1.6.1 13w17a Water oases no longer generate in deserts.
1.7.2 13w36a Gravel beaches have been returned to the terrain.
Mountains now generate as part of the "M" biome variants.
The desert oases appear in the desert M biome.
Moss stone boulders were added.
1.8 14w25a Added ocean monuments.
1.8.1 pre1 New witch huts can spawn witches Y 64 to 71. This allows for three spawning floors for witches.
1.9 15w31a Added the outer islands of the End.
Added the end city dungeon.
Added chorus trees.
Added the end gateway portal.
15w43a Added igloos with a 50% chance of having a basement.
1.10 16w20a Added bone and coal ore fossils.
16w21a Blacksmiths now generate with cobblestone in all biomes, rather than acacia logs in savannas and sandstone in deserts.
pre1 Zombie villagers generated in zombie villages no longer despawn.
Wooden fences are now substituted with the correct wood type for the biome.
Paths no longer replace most blocks, instead considering the blocks underneath, preventing them from generating in treetops or bridging ravines.
1.11 16w39a Added woodland mansions.
Added /locate command that shows the coordinates of the nearest structures.
1.13 17w43a Structures using structure files can now be modified, with the addition of data packs.
17w47a Flower pots in witch huts now have a mushroom inside of them; previously they were empty.
18w08a Caves and ravines can now generate underwater.
Frozen Ocean have made a return, but without customized, they look and generate, but are not the same unused.
18w09a Added underwater ruin structures.
18w10a Added buried treasure structures.
18w10d Added coral reefs.
18w11a Added shipwrecks.
18w15a Added icebergs.
Upcoming Java Edition
1.14 18w47a Added pillager outposts.
18w48a Overhauled villages.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.1.0 Added beaches, ocean, frozen ocean, cliffs, mountains, basin, mineral vein, trees.
0.7.0 Added gravel beaches.
0.9.0 build 1 Added villages, caves, lava pools, rivers, abandoned mineshafts, huge mushrooms, moss stone boulders, strongholds, ice patches, ice spikes, dungeons and desert wells.
Frozen oceans are now no longer generated.
Removed gravel beaches.
0.10.0 build 1 Abandoned mineshafts generate above ground in mesa biomes.
0.11.0 build 1 Added desert wells.
0.12.1 build 1 Added the Nether along with lava oceans, glowstone clusters, Nether Fortresses, soul sand beaches, hidden lava, gravel beaches, and Nether quartz veins.
0.13.0 build 1 Added desert temples.
0.14.0 build 1 Added witch huts.
Cauldrons will now generate with a random potion.
0.15.0 build 1 Added jungle temples.
Added savanna and taiga village variants.
Villages can generate in cold taiga and ice plains biomes. Buildings are made out of spruce wood like taiga villages.
Villages have a 2% chance to generate as zombie villages. Buildings in zombie villages contain cobweb and moss stone.
0.16.0 build 1 Added ocean monuments.
Pocket Edition
1.0.0 alpha Added the End and End-related generated structures, including the End islands, the obsidian platform, the obsidian towers, the end fountain, end cities, end gateways and chorus trees.
Added igloos.
1.1.0 alpha Added woodland mansions.
1.1.3 alpha Added fossils.
Bedrock Edition
1.2.0 beta Added ravines.
1.4.0 beta Added buried treasure structures.
Added shipwrecks.
Added icebergs.
Added coral reefs.
Ravines can now generate underwater.
Frozen oceans have made a return, but the way they look and generate are not the same as before.
beta Added underwater ruins.
Caves can now generate underwater.
Upcoming Bedrock Edition
1.10.0 beta Added Pillager Outposts.
Overhauled villages.
Legacy Console Edition
TU5CU11.0Patch 1Patch 1Added villages, abandoned mineshafts, strongholds and ravines.
Sand and gravel beaches removed due to the changes in the terrain generation algorithm.
TU9Added the End along with End-related structures such as the End island, the obsidian platform, the obsidian towers and the end fountain.
Sand beaches have made a return, but the way they look and generate are not the same as before.
TU12Desert wells were added.
TU141.04Added jungle and desert temples.
TU19CU71.12Added witch huts.
Water oases will now no longer generate in deserts.
TU31CU191.22Patch 3Added ocean monuments.
TU43CU331.36Patch 13Added fossils and igloos.
TU54CU441.52Patch 24Patch 4Added woodland mansions.
TU681.76Patch 38Added shipwrecks, underwater ruins, coral reefs, icebergs, underwater caves and ravines, and buried treasure chests.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
1.7.10 Added chorus plants.


  • In previous versions, before snow cover was solid, a lava lake with floating snow cover above it could be a deadly trap before the snow melted.
  • The smallest possible fully-grown chorus tree (assuming the growth is not obstructed) would have 5 chorus plants.

See also[edit]