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.

Terrain[edit]

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.

Mountain[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Hill[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Basin[edit]

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]

Lake[edit]

Lakes are shallow and often 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 two-thirds of trees above the lake. Lava lakes may cause trees to burn away.

Coral reef[edit]

Large structures[edit]

Cave[edit]

Ravine[edit]

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[edit]

Stronghold[edit]

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.

Dungeon[edit]

Mineral vein[edit]

Mineral vein
Mineral vein.png
Biome(s)

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, andesite, diorite and granite, and do not replace each other or any other block. 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.

Tree[edit]

Huge mushroom[edit]

Spring[edit]

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]

Mossy cobblestone boulder[edit]

Mossy cobblestone boulder
Mossy Cobblestone Boulder.png
Biome(s)

Giant Tree Taiga

Consists of

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

Ice spike[edit]

Ice spike
Ice World Spikes.png
Biome(s)

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[edit]

Buried treasure[edit]

Shipwreck[edit]

Iceberg[edit]

Iceberg
Iceberg.png
Biome(s)

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 and strays can also spawn here, much like other cold biomes.

Buildings[edit]

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

Desert pyramid[edit]

Igloo[edit]

Jungle pyramid[edit]

Monument[edit]

Pillager outpost[edit]

Swamp hut[edit]

Underwater ruins[edit]

Village[edit]

Woodland mansion[edit]

The Nether[edit]

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

Lava sea[edit]

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 and/or magma blocks).

Fortress[edit]

Glowstone clusters[edit]

Glowstone cluster
Glowstone Cluster.png
Biome(s)

Nether

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 platform[edit]

Obsidian Platform
Obsidian platform.png
Biome(s)

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]

End gateway[edit]

End city[edit]

End ship[edit]

Chorus tree[edit]

Chorus Tree
Chorus Tree.png
Biome(s)

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 gateway[edit]

Return gateways are end gateways 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.

Videos[edit]

History[edit]

Java Edition pre-Classic
Cave game tech testDevelopment on "Cave Game" started; caverns added.
Java Edition Classic
0.0.12aAdded ocean around map.
0.0.14aAdded 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, 2010Re-added trees.
June 25, 2010, 2Added dungeons.
Java Edition Alpha
v1.0.1Caves can be far bigger and more expansive.
v1.2.0previewAdded the Nether and all Nether-related generated structures, except for nether fortresses and magma veins.
v1.2.6Added small lakes and rare lava pools, both on the surface and randomly in caves.
Java Edition Beta
1.8Pre-releaseAdded 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
1.0.0Beta 1.9 PrereleaseAdded nether fortresses.
Beta 1.9 Prerelease 4Added the End and End-related generated structures, including the End island, the obsidian platform, the obsidian towers and the end fountain.
1.112w01aSand beaches have made a return, but the way they look and generate are not the same as before.
1.2.112w04aDesert wells were added.
12w07aThe generation of beaches has been greatly improved.
1.3.112w21aAdded desert temples.
12w22aAdded jungle temples.
1.4.212w40aAdded witch huts.
1.6.113w17aWater oases no longer generate in deserts.
1.7.213w36aGravel 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.
1.814w25aAdded ocean monuments.
1.8.1pre1New witch huts can spawn witches Y 64 to 71. This allows for three spawning floors for witches.
1.915w31aAdded the outer islands of the End.
Added the end city dungeon.
Added chorus trees.
Added the end gateway portal.
15w43aAdded igloos with a 50% chance of having a basement.
1.1016w20aAdded bone and coal ore fossils.
16w21aBlacksmiths now generate with cobblestone in all biomes, rather than acacia logs in savannas and sandstone in deserts.
pre1Zombie 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.
1.1116w39aAdded woodland mansions.
Added /locate command that shows the coordinates of the nearest structures.
1.1317w43aStructures using structure files can now be modified, with the addition of data packs.
17w47aFlower pots in witch huts now have a mushroom inside of them; previously they were empty.
18w08aCaves 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.
18w09aAdded underwater ruin structures.
18w10aAdded buried treasure structures.
18w10dAdded coral reefs.
18w11aAdded shipwrecks.
18w15aAdded icebergs.
1.1418w47aAdded pillager outposts.
18w48aOverhauled villages.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.1.0Added beaches, ocean, frozen ocean, cliffs, mountains, basin, mineral vein, trees.
0.7.0Added gravel beaches.
0.9.0build 1Added 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.
0.10.0build 1Abandoned mineshafts generate above ground in mesa biomes.
0.11.0build 1Added desert wells.
0.12.1build 1Added the Nether along with lava oceans, glowstone clusters, Nether Fortresses, soul sand beaches, hidden lava, gravel beaches, and Nether quartz veins.
0.13.0build 1Added desert temples.
0.14.0build 1Added witch huts.
Cauldrons will now generate with a random potion.
0.15.0build 1Added 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.
0.16.0build 1Added ocean monuments.
Pocket Edition
1.0.0alpha 0.17.0.1Added 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.
1.1.0alpha 1.1.0.0Added woodland mansions.
1.1.3alpha 1.1.3.0Added fossils.
Bedrock Edition
1.2.0beta 1.2.0.2Added ravines.
1.4.0beta 1.2.14.2Added 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 1.2.20.1Added underwater ruins.
Caves can now generate underwater.
1.10.0beta 1.10.0.3Added 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
1.7.10Added chorus plants.

Trivia[edit]

  • 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]