Java Edition 15w31a

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Minecraft 15w31a
Release 15w31a.png

Java Edition



Release date

July 29, 2015

Snapshot for



Client (.json)
Server (.exe)

Protocol version


15w31a[1] is the first snapshot released for Java Edition 1.9, and the first snapshot released in 2015.[note 1]



Chorus flowers
  • Spawn on the top of the chorus trees.
  • Break if the supporting block below is broken.
    • It only drops when mined directly.
  • Can only be planted on end stone in any dimension.
  • Has a different texture when it can no longer grow.
Chorus plants
  • Generate in the End.
  • Can be grown using chorus flowers.
  • Breaks in quick succession if the supporting chorus plant below is broken.
  • Drop chorus fruit.
Dragon heads
  • While worn, the head's mouth opens and closes repeatedly when moving around.
  • When powered with redstone while placed on solid block, the jaw starts to open and close.
    • Will keep the mouth position of the exact moment it was unpowered.
End gateways
  • A portal block used to transport the player to the new outer regions of the end.
    • The texture is identical to the end portal block, but the model is that of a full block rather than plane.
  • The player cannot use pick block or /give to obtain it.
  • Naturally generate after killing the dragon and traveling someplace new in the End with it.
  • Show yellow beacon beam when created and used.
End rods
  • Generate in the End city dungeons.
  • Placeable horizontally and vertically.
    • The model has a little base that is oriented against the block it was placed on.
      • If placed on top of another rod, then it will have the opposite orientation.
  • Produce white particles.
  • Used as a lighting source with the same efficacy as torches.
  • Unlike torches, they are tangible.
    • Horizontal end rods can be stepped up onto like slabs.
End stone bricks
  • Generates in the End city dungeons.
  • Can be crafted with 4 blocks of end stone.
Grass paths
  • Are visually 15/16 block high
  • Obtainable by right-clicking grass with a shovel.
    • This reduces the shovel's durability by one.
  • Drop dirt, even when using silk touch.
  • Cannot be obtained from the creative inventory.
    • But unlike farmland, it can be obtained by using the pick block key in creative.
Purpur blocks
Purpur pillars
  • Generate in the end city dungeons.
  • Can be crafted with purpur slabs.
Purpur slabs
  • Generate in the end city dungeons.
  • Can be crafted with purpur blocks.
Purpur stairs
  • Generate in the end city dungeons.
  • Can be crafted with purpur blocks.
Structure blocks
  • Only placable via /setblock.
  • Can be used with NBT tag parameters (/setblock or /blockdata).
    • GUI is only used by Mojang employees.
  • Have a letter on the texture based on its mode.


  • New spectral arrows:
    • The tip is gold colored, but just in the item model.
    • Show mob and player outlines in their respective team color when hit – even when invisible.
    • NBT tag for entities to disable outlines. [Tag?] (please add corresponding tag here)
    • NBT tag to force outline: {Glowing:1b}.
    • The glowing is a status effect.
    • Crafted by surrounding an arrow with 4 glowstone dust.
      • Yields 2 spectral arrows.
  • Arrows can be tipped with potions.
    • 14 new arrow types in total.
    • Each differently tipped arrow is available in the creative menu, just like enchanted books.
    • Corresponding effect is applied on hit.
  • Restore 1 ().
  • Spawn naturally in villages.
  • Can be used to craft beetroot soup.
  • Can also be used to craft rose red dye.
Beetroot seeds
  • Used to grow beetroot.
Beetroot soup
Chorus fruits
  • Obtained from chorus plants.
  • Can be eaten even if the player is not hungry, similar to golden apples.
    • Teleports the player to a random nearby location when eaten (like an enderman or shulker).
    • Does not heal hunger points if the hunger bar is full.
      • Otherwise it will heal 4 ().
  • Can be cooked in the furnace to obtain popped chorus fruits.
Popped chorus fruits
Shulker spawn eggs
  • Used to spawn a shulker.
  • Purple with darker purple spots.


  • Mobs have a 5% chance to spawn left-handed, through the new LeftHanded boolean tag.
    • Mobs able to hold items, will hold them according to their dominant hand.
  • Short for "Shell Lurker".
  • Hostile mobs with the appearance of a purple block.
    • Only spawn on the ground or at the walls of end cities when they first generate.
  • When attacking, they open their shell with a spinning animation, revealing the creature inhabiting.
    • The creature looks like a little white cube with big eyes.
    • Its attack consists of shooting projectiles.
      • The projectiles chase the player until it's out of range.
        • They can only move along one of the three grid axes at a time and on integer steps.
      • Projectiles can be knocked away by attacking them.
      • Getting hit by a projectile causes 2 hearts of damage and inflicts the levitation status effect.
      • They take more damage while their shell is open.
    • It has an idle animation, where it opens its shells a little to peak through.
  • Can be pushed by pistons, and resists being placed on any position that isn't 3 integers (except if they are on minecarts).
  • Can teleport like an enderman.
    • Sometimes does this while being attacked or placed in unusual circumstances:
      • Removing its support block.
      • Pushing it into a non-air block (except piston heads).
      • Pushing a non-air block into its position (except piston heads).
  • Is one of the few entities (apart from boats and minecarts) that can be stood upon.
    • It even displaces the player properly during its attacking and idle animations.

World generation[edit]

End cities
  • Generate on the new outer end islands.
  • Dungeon-type structure fashioned like a branching tower made of endstone and many of the new blocks.
    • Resemble a tree house.
  • Generate with shulkers in it.
End ships
  • Can generate up in the air, right next to an end city.
    • Always generate sailing away from what appears to be a pier.
    • Composed of many of the same materials as the end city.
  • Generate with shulkers in it.
  • Have a speed beacon, a brewing stand with potions of healing, and other various loot.
Chorus trees
  • Tree-like arrangements of the new chorus plant and chorus flower blocks.
  • Generate on the outer end islands
  • The whole structure is destroyed when the bottom-most block is destroyed, like cacti.
  • Can be farmed by planting the chorus fruit flowers that come from the top of the plants.
    • Unlike cacti, chorus plants do not require the supporting block to be below it, but rather adjacent.
      • This allows the structure to grow around obstacles, like other plants.
End gateway portals
  • Small structures consisting of an end gateway block and two little bulbs of bedrock, at both the bottom and the top.
    • Are an alternative way of traveling to the outer end islands, without having to build or fly all the way over there.
    • Since the bulbs of bedrock only leave a one block slit on the horizontal plane, it is only accessible by throwing ender pearls at it, or by riding pigs, boats or minecarts.
      • The player will be teleported to somewhere on the outer end islands.
      • The final location of the player depends on what angle they entered or at what angle the ender pearl was thrown at.
  • One gateway is created for each dragon kill.
    • Up to 20 are possible this way.
    • Gateways spawn in a radius around the end portal.
    • Another gateway is created every time the player teleports to a new location.
      • The created gateway is linked to the original so the player has a way back.

Command format[edit]

NBT tags
  • Added tags HandItems, ArmorItems, HandDropChances, and ArmorDropChances to Living.
  • Added tags HandItems and ArmorItems to ArmorStand.
  • Added tag Glowing to Entity.
  • Added tag Team to LivingBase.
  • Added tag DragonPhase to EnderDragon
  • Added entity Shulker, child of SnowMan.
  • Added entity ShulkerBullet, child of Entity.
  • Added entity DragonFireball, which extends FireballBase and has no unique tags.
  • Added entities TippedArrow and SpectralArrow, children of Arrow.
  • Added block EndGateway, child of TileEntity.
  • Added block Structure, child of TileEntity.
  • Added item tag Potion, child of tag.


Dominant hand option
  • An option for players to change their dominant hand on their player model.
    • Under "Skin Customization".
  • Changes the orientation of the offhand slot in the hotbar (left often suits right-hand players better and vice versa).
Dual wielding
  • Players can now use both hands at the same time to do different actions, with the left and right mouse buttons.
    • For example, if a player has a pickaxe in their main hand and a torch in their other hand, right clicking will place the torch.
      • This happens because a pickaxe lacks a right click use, and therefore the game tries to then treat the other item as if it's being right clicked.
      • The player cannot click both buttons at the same time.
    • This is achieved through an extra inventory slot called the "offhand" slot.
      • Pressing F (by default) will switch whatever item is selected in the hotbar with the item in the offhand (including no item).
      • The offhand slot is displayed next to the hotbar when it's not empty (left for right-hand players and vice versa).
  • Only the main hand can be used for attacking.
    • Even bows can't be used in the offhand.
  • Bows can be used when something else is in the offhand.
    • Arrows in the offhand take priority over arrows in the rest of the inventory slots.
  • The offhand model is invisible in first person view, while it's empty.
  • Some attributes and enchantments will apply to the offhand item, while others will not.
Status effects
  • Levitation
    • Received when the player is hit by shulker projectiles.
    • Makes player involuntarily float high into the air.
      • Can be used to get to higher places.
    • Listed as a negative effect, due to the potential to kill from fall damage.
    • Higher levels of levitation result in faster floating, except for the last two:
      • Effect level 255 does nothing.
      • Effect level 254 results in slow fall (similar to lunar gravity).
  • Glowing
    • Received when players or mobs are hit by spectral arrows.
    • Makes player's outline glow, seen even through non-transparent blocks.
      • The outline includes the models of the currently held items.
    • Listed as a negative effect, because it prevents players from hiding from other players.
    • It becomes colored differently if the player is part of a team, to match its team color.



Dead bushes
  • Will now drop anywhere between 0–2 sticks when broken without shears.
  • Changed the shading on acacia, birch, dark oak and jungle doors.
  • The block states flip and alt were removed, and the integer state upper was reimplemented as the byte state up.
    • This reduced the number of states representing fire from 3072 to 512.
Glass panes and iron bars
  • Glass panes/iron bars without any connecting blocks are now 2x2 pixels in footprint.
    • This is compared to the big cross configuration that was the default.
Pressure plates
  • Now have a slightly thinner item model.
  • Are now rotated 90° in the inventory.
  • No longer require supporting blocks.
    • Therefore they can be moved by pistons freely.
  • An open trapdoor may be climbed like a ladder if it is directly above one and on the same side of the block.


  • The bow in the hotbar now shows an animation for drawing back an arrow.
  • Arrows in the off hand are prioritized over arrows in the rest of the inventory slots.
  • Unlike other blocks: chests, trapped chests and ender chests have their item model rotated, to have the front face in view of the player.
    • This made it easier to distinguish between trapped and regular chests while being held, since only their front face is different.
Ender pearls
Fishing rods
  • Casting fishing rods now has an animation in the hotbar/inventory.
  • Now display as a mini map when held in the off hand, or if the offhand slot is occupied.
    • The (old) large version is visible only when held in the dominant hand with both hands-free.


Ender dragons
  • Similar to the one on console edition.
  • The dragon can be re-spawned indefinitely by creating a creeper face configuration out of clay in the End.
    • Subsequent dragons will spawn new gateways, but won't drop XP or create new dragon eggs.
  • The dragon AI and attacks has been changed:
    • Breathes fire/purple particles on players and mobs, while on top of the portal.
    • Drops fireballs on top of the player.
    • Defends the obsidian pillars more, the further the fight progresses.
  • The dragon flies and stops over the portal sometimes, only then can the last blow be dealt.
  • Remain aggravated towards the player despite being in contact with water.
  • Drop the block they were holding when killed.
  • Have an animation for lifting up and drawing back their bow.
  • Farmer villagers now harvest beetroot.

Non-mob entities[edit]

Armor stands
  • Can now be summoned to dual wield with commands in creative.
  • Slightly altered the path of projectiles.[2]

World generation[edit]

The End
  • A set amount of differently-sized obsidian pillars are arranged in a circular fashion.
  • The exit portal is pre-generated at the center of the island, but without the dragon egg and portal blocks.
  • Now generates a great amount of islands in every direction from the main island, though separated from it in all directions by an empty gap of about 1,000 blocks.
    • Mini islands generate between the center and main islands.
    • End islands and mini end islands have chorus trees spread throughout them.
The Nether
  • Removed the Nether fog.

Command format[edit]

NBT tags
  • Tag Equipment (under Living) has become deprecated.
  • Tag DropChances (under Living) has become deprecated.


  • No longer shows the crosshair in 3rd person view.
  • Rearranged the survival inventory and the creative "survival tab" to accommodate for the new offhand slot.
  • Unified the orientation of many items in the inventory.
Status effects
  • Status effects icons are now displayed on the HUD on the right hand corner, instead of just in the inventory (similar to Pocket Edition).
    • They are ordered by the time of infliction from right to left.
    • Positive effects are on the top row and negative effects on the bottom row.
    • Effects that are about to run out, blink.
      • They blink faster when they are closer to running out and start fading away.


  • CustomNameVisible:true will make the name tag on mobs show in the same way as on players.
  • Entities can now be summoned straight to teams: {team="TeamName"}.
  • DropChances and Equipment tags are no longer used.
    • ArmorItems, HandItems, ArmorDropChances and HandDropChances are used instead.
  • Proper support for multiple bosses' health bars, so they show at the same time without obstructing each other.
Damage tooltips
  • Items can damage differently based on where they are placed to (main hand, offhand, armor slots).
Death messages
  • Death messages will now be displayed on the player's death screen as well as in the chat.
  • Different models/textures can be used for each different damage values, item states, and whether the item is held in a different hand.
    • This works on compasses, clocks, and anything that can have a durability bar.
    • It also contains additional tags for bows and fishing rods.
  • Models can be put together based on block state attributes, such as fences.
    • As a result, the vanilla set of block models was reduced by almost 300.
  • Block model JSON is now strict: comments and quote-less identifiers are not allowed.
  • display tag defaults have changed, and the thirdperson and firstperson tags were replaced with thirdperson_righthand, thirdperson_lefthand, firstperson_righthand, and firstperson_lefthand.
  • parent and elements tags can coexist now, though the top level elements tag overwrites all former ones.
  • UV is now optional, and if not supplied it will automatically generate based on the element's position.
  • Removed the Broadcast Settings section, as well as Twitch integration as a whole.
  • Removed Super Secret Settings and Alternate Blocks from video settings.
Resource packs
  • The required pack version number was changed to "2" in pack.mcmeta.
    • Older resource packs require user acknowledgment to use.
Structure data
  • Now comes from /assets/structures.


13 issues fixed
From released versions before 1.9
  • MC-438 – Ender pearl can't be used in creative mode.
  • MC-1537 – Sometimes doors in strongholds are misplaced.
  • MC-1663 – Dying while having a GUI window open doesn't make the death screen appear.
  • MC-1956 – Arms misplaced in skeletons with a bow.
  • MC-2768 – Ladder bug with trapdoors.
  • MC-4474 – Boss health bar temporarily viewable after respawn and loading another world.
  • MC-5404 – Name Tags/XP Orbs/Splash Potions are angled in third-person mode.
  • MC-42841 – Incorrect Creative instant health damage value.
  • MC-47526 – Ender Crystal entity spawning 1 block too low.
  • MC-56268 – Breaking the bedrock below an ender crystal (in the End) creates performance drops, rapidly flickering light.
  • MC-68062 – Boss health bar only visible when looking at boss.
  • MC-69320 – Data tag output by /entitydata and /blockdata contains too many commas.
  • MC-75082 – End music will stop every time the ender dragon loads out of view.


Video made by slicedlime:


  • Before 18w43a, 15w31a holds the record as having the most content in one developmental release, having nearly twice as much content as Java Edition 1.4.2 had in October 2012.
  • 15w31a was previously removed from the launcher for some time, but was added back in September 2018.


  1. Not counting 15w14a, which was an April Fools' hoax snapshot