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River

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A river is common technical biome. Rivers serve as borders between various other biomes, and usually lead to oceans, although they can also form loops.

Description[edit]

Rivers are thin, lengthy biomes that frequently generate across the world. They typically serve as a division between two different biomes, but can also split a single biome in two. They are filled with water up to sea level, though rivers may run dry in certain areas due to higher than usual elevation. Exposed grass in rivers takes on a bluish-green hue. Riverbeds consist of dirt, sand, gravel, and clay, and are one of the few places where clay generates, alongside lakes, swamp marshes and ocean hilltops. Seagrass generates atop the riverbed, and sugar cane occasionally generates on the riverbank. Neither passive nor hostile‌[BE only] mobs (except drowned) spawn within river biomes themselves, but frequently wander into them from the surrounding biomes if they can spawn there. Drowned can spawn underwater, as can salmon and squid.

When generated between two high-elevation biomes, such as mountains and hills, river biomes may pose a fall damage hazard, but are otherwise mostly harmless.

If this biome is used to generate a buffet world, it appears as a shallow ocean, of no more than 10 blocks deep, with mostly sand, dirt, clay and gravel floor and infrequent grassy islands that rarely contain oak trees and, more rarely, pumpkins.

Variants[edit]

There are two different river biomes.

River[edit]

River
River.png
Data

dec: 7 hex: 7 bin: 111

ID

river

Type

Medium/Lush

Rarity

Very common

Temperature

0.5

Structures

Disks
Vegetation patches

Blocks

Water
Grass Block
Dirt
Clay
Sand
Gravel
Sugar cane
Seagrass

The standard river variant. Salmon and squid may spawn here.

Until Java Edition 1.16:

River mobs
Mob Spawn chance Group size
Water category
Salmon 57 1–5
Squid 27 1–4
Hostile category
Spider 100615 4
Zombie 95615 4
Drowned 100615 1
Zombie Villager 5615 1
Skeleton 100615 4
Creeper 100615 4
Slime[note 1] 100615 4
Enderman 10615 1–4
Witch 5615 1
Ambient category
Bat 1010 8
  1. Spawn attempt only succeeds in slime chunks

‌In Java Edition 1.16[upcoming], the fish and other water mobs are split into different mob categories. Other categories have been unchanged.

River mobs
Mob Spawn chance Group size
Water creature category
Squid 22 1–4
Water ambient category
Salmon 55 1–5

In Bedrock Edition:

River mobs
Mob Spawn chance Group size
Water category
Salmon 1616 3–5
Passive category
Squid 88 2–4
Hostile category
Drowned 55 2–4


Frozen River[edit]

Frozen River
Frozen River.png
Data

dec: 11 hex: B bin: 1011

ID

frozen_river

Type

Snowy

Rarity

Uncommon

Temperature

0.0

Blocks

Ice
Water
Grass Block
Dirt
Clay
Sand
Gravel

Frozen Rivers replace regular rivers, and generate only within snowy tundra biomes. As the name implies, the top layer of water is entirely frozen, though below the ice is the usual sand, gravel, and clay, though seagrass does not generate on the riverbed. While sugar cane can generate alongside a frozen riverbank, it quickly uproots itself after generation due to the water being frozen.

In Bedrock Edition, along with salmon and drowned, strays, rabbits, and polar bears can spawn in frozen rivers. No other hostile mobs can spawn, even underground.

Frozen rivers can cut through snowy tundra only, not its variants; a river that separates the snowy tundra from any other biome is only partially frozen.

In Java Edition, frozen rivers use the same mob spawning chances as rivers for water and ambient categories. As for the others:

River mobs
Mob Spawn chance Group size
Hostile category
Spider 100516 4
Zombie 95516 4
Drowned 1516 1
Zombie Villager 5516 1
Skeleton 100516 4
Creeper 100516 4
Slime[note 1] 100516 4
Enderman 10516 1–4
Witch 5516 1
  1. Spawn attempt only succeeds in slime chunks

In Bedrock Edition, frozen rivers use the same mob spawning chances as rivers for water categories. As for the others:

River mobs
Mob Spawn chance Group size
Hostile category
Drowned 5125 2–4
Stray 96125 1–2
Skeleton 24125 1–2
Passive category
Squid 813 2–4
Rabbit[note 1] 413 2–3
Polar Bear 113 1–2
  1. 80% of rabbits will be white 20% will be black and white.


History[edit]

Java Edition Beta
August 18, 2011Notch tweeted a screenshot of a revamped river biome.
1.8Pre-releaseAdded rivers. Previously, were generated as part of the terrain generation algorithm.
Java Edition
1.1318w16aRenamed FrozenRiver to Frozen River.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.1.0Added biomes, including rivers.
0.13.0build 1Added rabbits, which can spawn in frozen rivers.
0.15.0build 1Added strays, which spawn in frozen river biomes.
Pocket Edition
1.0.0alpha 0.17.0.1Added polar bears, which can spawn in frozen rivers.
Bedrock Edition
1.4.0beta 1.2.13.8Added drowned, which spawn in river biomes.
beta 1.2.14.2Added salmon, which spawn in rivers.
Rivers now generate with seagrass.
1.13.0beta 1.13.0.9Squid can now spawn in rivers.

Trivia[edit]

  • Lakes can technically still generate in the waters of rivers and frozen rivers, when either are used as buffet worlds. This can be more clearly seen in frozen river worlds, as holes in the ice.
  • Regular rivers can still generate cutting through frozen rivers.
  • Both types of rivers override ravines at or close to the surface level, causing the ravine to be abruptly cut off by a wall of stone. However, if the ravine is long enough, it may continue on the other side of the river.
    • Oddly, ravines can generate underground in river biomes without being cut off.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]