River

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A river biome.

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
Type

Medium/Lush

Rarity

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. This is the third most common biome in the game, only behind Plains and Forest.

MobSpawn chanceGroup size
Water creature category
Squid221–4
Ambient category
Bat10108
Hostile category
Spider1006154
Zombie956154
Drowned1006151
Zombie Villager56151
Skeleton1006154
Creeper1006154
Slime[note 1]1006154
Enderman106151–4
Witch56151
Water ambient category
Salmon551–5
  1. Spawn attempt succeeds only in slime chunks.

In Bedrock Edition:

MobSpawn chanceGroup size
Water category
Salmon16163–5
Passive category
Squid882–4
Hostile category
Drowned552–4


Frozen River[edit]

Frozen River
Frozen River.png
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:

MobSpawn chanceGroup size
Hostile category
Spider1005164
Zombie955164
Drowned15161
Zombie Villager55161
Skeleton1005164
Creeper1005164
Slime[note 1]1005164
Enderman105161–4
Witch55161
  1. Spawn attempt succeeds only in slime chunks.

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

MobSpawn chanceGroup size
Hostile category
Drowned51252–4
Stray961251–2
Skeleton241251–2
Passive category
Squid8132–4
Rabbit[note 1]4132–3
Polar Bear1131–2
  1. 80% of spawned rabbits are white and 20% are black and white.


Data values[edit]

ID[edit]

Java Edition:

NameNamespaced IDTranslation key
Riverriver biome.minecraft.river
Frozen Riverfrozen_river biome.minecraft.frozen_river

Bedrock Edition:

NameNamespaced IDNumeric ID
[No displayed name]river 7
[No displayed name]frozen_river 11

History[edit]

This section is missing information about Legacy Console Edition.
Please expand the section to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page.
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]