Superflat

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A default superflat world.

Superflat (Flat in Bedrock Edition) is a world type replacing the normal varied terrain of the Overworld, with customizable layers in Java Edition.

Structure[edit]

In a classic (default) Superflat world, the terrain consists of one layer of bedrock, two layers of dirt, and one layer of grass blocks. Because the entire world is a plains biome by default, villages generate relatively frequently in Java Edition, while in Bedrock Edition villages do not generate in Flat worlds.

The surface of the world is completely flat and at Y=4, except for villages and other structures if they are enabled. Since the height limit (256) is unchanged, there is almost one-third more vertical height available to build above-ground structures as compared to a normal world. Mobs still spawn normally. Because of the low altitude of the world, slimes spawn frequently.

When making a Superflat world, the player almost always spawns on the topmost layer and, on some block types, within a 20x20 area.[verify] Structures may not fully generate if the topmost layer is too low. In Bedrock Edition, the player always spawns at X/Z coordinates 0,0.

Access to other dimensions[edit]

Superflat worlds allow the player to access the Nether by building a nether portal in the usual way.

Superflat worlds also allow the player to access the End, which generates a normal dimension of floating islands, if strongholds are enabled.

Multiplayer[edit]

In order to create a Superflat world in a multiplayer server, the level-type flag in server.properties must be flat, instead of default. To alter the layers, biome and structures define generator-settings, which is basically the in-game preset code, but with a syntax similar to JSON, see the example below.

Once a multiplayer world is created, the server.properties fields have no effect on chunk generation. Instead, just like in singleplayer, the level.dat fields for generatorName, generatorVersion, and generatorOptions are used instead. If you want to alter a world after initial creation, these are the settings to change.

Customization[edit]

Superflat Button.png

In Java Edition, the structure, and content of a Superflat world can be customized. Bedrock Edition has no interface for customizing flat worlds; it always uses the default configuration (one layer of bedrock, two layers of dirt, and a layer of grass blocks) even when the Seed Picker is used. However, custom flat worlds are supported internally, and can be used by modifying FlatWorldLayers in the world's level.dat file using an external editor.

Upon selecting "Superflat" in the World Type box, a new button appears underneath labeled "Customize". The customize menu starts with the "Classic Flat" preset of one layer of grass, two dirt layers, and then bedrock underneath. There are two buttons available to customize Superflat worlds, which include the "Remove Layer" button, used for removing unwanted types of layers, and the "Presets" button, used for selecting any of nine currently available presets.

If the player can understand the preset code syntax, they can create presets of their own by entering valid information into the preset code box, where these changes can be previewed and applied. (Direct Customization is not available.) Also, superflat worlds can have certain terrain features, besides villages, such as tall grass, lakes, and strongholds, which can additionally be customized using the same code box for block layers.

Presets are shareable. As a preset is selected, a box on top of the screen has a code that is highlightable and copyable. Similar to how new worlds are shared through seeds, presets can be entered into this box to recreate someone else's preset.

Presets[edit]

Preset Layers Biome Structures Notes Preset code

Classic Flat
1x
2x
1x
Grass Block
Dirt
Bedrock
Plains Villages Default minecraft:bedrock,2*minecraft:dirt,minecraft:grass_block;minecraft:plains;village

Tunnelers' Dream
1x
5x
230x
1x
Grass Block
Dirt
Stone
Bedrock
Mountains Strongholds,
Mineshafts,
Dungeons
minecraft:bedrock,230*minecraft:stone,5*minecraft:dirt,minecraft:grass_block;minecraft:mountains;biome_1,decoration,stronghold,mineshaft,dungeon

Water World
90x
5x
5x
5x
1x
Water
Sand
Dirt
Stone
Bedrock
Deep Ocean Ocean Monuments Prior to 1.13, the player spawned at the bottom of the ocean and was unable to swim up in one go. The only way to survive was to dig down, collect mob drops and then tower up. minecraft:bedrock,5*minecraft:stone,5*minecraft:dirt,5*minecraft:sand,90*minecraft:water;minecraft:deep_ocean;oceanmonument,biome_1

Overworld
1x
3x
59x
1x
Grass Block
Dirt
Stone
Bedrock
Plains Pillager Outposts,
Villages,
Strongholds,
Mineshafts,
Dungeons
Mimics the height of default world generation. minecraft:bedrock,59*minecraft:stone,3*minecraft:dirt,minecraft:grass_block;minecraft:plains;pillager_outpost,village,biome_1,decoration,stronghold,mineshaft,lake,lava_lake,dungeon

Snowy Kingdom
1x
1x
3x
59x
1x
Snow
Grass Block
Dirt
Stone
Bedrock
Snowy Tundra Villages,
Igloos
minecraft:bedrock,59*minecraft:stone,3*minecraft:dirt,minecraft:grass_block,minecraft:snow;minecraft:snowy_tundra;village,biome_1

Bottomless Pit
1x
3x
2x
Grass Block
Dirt
Cobblestone
Plains Villages Allows easy Survival access to the Void, due to the replacement of bedrock with cobblestone. 2*minecraft:cobblestone,3*minecraft:dirt,minecraft:grass_block;minecraft:plains;village,biome_1

Desert
8x
52x
3x
1x
Sand
Sandstone
Stone
Bedrock
Desert Villages,
Desert pyramids,
Strongholds,
Mineshafts,
Dungeons
Sandstone and stone layer amounts are reversed from Default worlds. minecraft:bedrock,3*minecraft:stone,52*minecraft:sandstone,8*minecraft:sand;minecraft:desert;village,biome_1,decoration,stronghold,mineshaft,dungeon

Redstone Ready
52x
3x
1x
Sandstone
Stone
Bedrock
Desert None minecraft:bedrock,3*minecraft:stone,52*minecraft:sandstone;minecraft:desert;

The Void
1x Air The Void None Spawns the player on a mostly stone platform. minecraft:air;minecraft:the_void;decoration

Preset code format[edit]

The preset code is a string of numbers, semicolons(;), colons(:), commas(,), and asterisks(*). Each code has three main parts, divided by semicolons. They are:

  • a list of one or more block IDs;
    • The block list is a comma-separated list of block IDs, ordered from layer 0 up; if the entry for a given block has an "*", the number before the "*" is the number of layers to be generated, and the number after is the block ID.
    • A block can also be repeated over multiple layers simply by repeating the block's ID, e.g. minecraft:glass,minecraft:glass,minecraft:glass,minecraft:glass would give the same result as 4*minecraft:glass.
  • a valid biome ID;
  • (optional) a list of structure generation options.
    • Structure generation options (described below) may have additional parameters, for example village(size=0 distance=9).[verify]
    • It is important to remember that multiple parameters are separated by spaces, rather than commas or semicolons.

Structure generation options[edit]

Structure generation option Parameters Description Biome
village size
distance
Generates villages, provided they exist in that biome type. Extremely large size values and low distance values generate many villages tightly grouped together
size determines the size of the village (default is 1, normal worlds have this set to 0, maximum is 65535).
distance is the maximum distance between villages (minimum is 9, default is 32).
Plains,
Desert,
Savanna,
Taiga,
Snowy Tundra,
Snowy Taiga
mineshaft chance Generates abandoned mineshafts. Note that they generate in midair if no terrain is present to cover them.
chance determines how common mineshafts are (from 0.0 to 1.0, default is 0.01). Higher number, more common.
All
stronghold distance
count
spread
Generates strongholds.
distance determines how far strongholds are from the spawn and other strongholds (minimum is 1.0, default is 32.0).
count is the number of strongholds that exist per world (default is 3).
spread determines how concentrated strongholds are around the spawn (minimum is 1, default is 3). Lower number, lower concentration.
All
biome_1 distance Generates biome-specific features. This enables igloos, jungle temples, desert pyramids, or witch huts.
distance for the maximum distance between features (minimum is 9, default is 32).
NOTE: desert pyramids (and potentially other structures) are not generated solely by biome_1, and "desert_pyramid" must be added to the syntax. Both "biome_1" AND "desert_pyramid" must be added to the syntax for pyramids to generate. Putting "desert_pyramid" in your syntax without "biome_1" causes issues, and attempting to /locate a desert pyramid without biome_1 enabled effectively breaks your world. This applies to 1.14+ and potentially earlier game versions. This option may also be necessary with igloos, jungle temples, ocean monuments or witch huts, requires testing.
varies
dungeon None Dungeons are generated, if possible. All
decoration None Causes plants, ores, and similar features to be generated according to the biome type. Stone, dirt, grass, sand, or mycelium are required for most features. All
desert_pyramid None Generates desert pyramids. Desert (Hills)
lake None Generates water lakes, sometimes with sand and sugar cane depending on biome. All
lava_lake None Generates lava lakes, with stone surrounding them. If all stone layers are removed in a preset that enables lava lakes, ores can generate in the stone around lava lakes, given the proper altitude. All
fortress None Generates nether fortresses. Nether
mansion distance Generates woodland mansions. Dark Forest,
Dark Forest Hills
oceanmonument spacing
separation
Generates ocean monuments in the water.
spacing determines the size of the grid, in chunks, on which monuments are generated (minimum is 1, default is 32).
separation determines the minimum distance, in chunks, between monuments. (minimum is 1, default is 5).
WARNING: spacing must be greater than separation, otherwise the game crashes.
Deep Ocean,
Deep Warm Ocean,
Deep Lukewarm Ocean,
Deep Cold Ocean,
Deep Frozen Ocean
endcity distance Generates end cities. End Highlands
pillager_outpost None Generates Pillager outposts.
Plains Desert,
Savanna,
Taiga,
Snowy Taiga,
Snowy Tundra
ruined_portal None Generates ruined portals. All
bastion_remnant None Generates bastion remnants. Nether Wastes, Crimson Forest, Warped Forest, Soul Sand Valley

Conditions[edit]

Note that several criteria must be satisfied before some features can appear:

  • The biome ID must be correct. For example, at present villages can appear only in biome IDs plains, desert, taiga, savanna, snowy_taiga, and snowy_tundra.
  • The correct structure code ('village', 'dungeon' etc.) must be present in the superflat string.
  • Structures must be turned on in world settings. (This does not affect 'natural' objects such as trees, flowers, mushrooms, and giant mushrooms. Obsidian pillars in the End also count as 'natural'.)
  • There must be suitable terrain for the structure to appear on or in. This applies to most features except for mineshafts and strongholds.
    • Villages are a partial exception; they do not form in mid-air, but can form provided there is at least one solid block layer.
      • Villages always spawn at least 2 blocks above the void.

For example, to have an 'End' superflat world with obsidian pillars, the biome ID must be the_end, the superflat string must contain 'decoration', and the top surface block must be End Stone. In this particular case 'Structures' does not need to be turned on in the world options.

Attempting to use an incorrectly formatted preset code causes the game to default to the Classic preset.

Preset code example[edit]

Consider the following preset code:

minecraft:mossy_cobblestone,250*minecraft:air,minecraft:obsidian,minecraft:snow;minecraft:mountains;stronghold(count=7),village(size=0 distance=9),decoration,dungeon,mineshaft

It consists of the following elements:

  • minecraft:mossy_cobblestone,250*minecraft:air,minecraft:obsidian,minecraft:snow — comma-separated list of block IDs.
    • minecraft:mossy_cobblestone — one layer of mossy cobblestone on layer 0.
    • 250*minecraft:air — 250 layers of air, from layer 1 to layer 250.
    • minecraft:obsidian — one layer of obsidian, on layer 251.
    • minecraft:snow — one layer of snow, on layer 252.
  • minecraft:mountainsbiome ID, in this case Mountains.
  • stronghold(count=7),village(size=0 distance=9),decoration,dungeon,mineshaft — a comma-separated list of structures.
    • stronghold(count=7) — this populates the world with seven strongholds at the default distance and spread.
    • village(size=0 distance=9) — because Mountains is an invalid biome for villages, this does nothing.
    • decoration — biome-specific decoration.
    • dungeon — allows dungeons to generate.
    • mineshaft — allows abandoned mineshafts to generate at the default placement frequency.

Video[edit]

History[edit]

Java Edition pre-Classic
rd-132211The level generation was changed from the original messy and random generator (as shown in the Cave Game "Tech Test video" ), to be completely flat. This was later removed in favor of variable terrain.
Java Edition Classic
0.0.13aThe world is now flat again.
0.0.13a_03Reverted to not flat terrain.
Java Edition
1.1January 4, 2012Jeb announces a "super-flat world type option" and shares a first screenshot.
12w01aAdded Superflat world type.
1.3.1?Prior to 1.3.1, there was no consistent spawn point unless the player had slept in a bed; the player could respawn far from the previous spawning location without anything in sight. This may have been due to the lack of ground at the usual height of about 64.
12w25aSlime spawning in Superflat is reduced.
1.4.212w36aBy going into the level.dat and editing the generatorOptions line, the player can create custom Superflat worlds.
September 10, 2012Dinnerbone mentions that he is adding presets to go with the new customization feature.
12w37aAdded Superflat Customization GUI.
Comes with 7 presets: Classic Flat, Tunnelers' Dream, Water World, Overworld, Snowy Kingdom, Bottomless Pit (Broken in this version), and Desert.
In this version, the Add and Edit Layer features were not fully implemented, leaving their respective buttons grayed out.
12w39bThe "Bottomless Pit" preset is fixed.
October 2, 2012Dinnerbone tweets an image of trees naturally generating in superflat worlds.
12w40aGenerated structures (trees, ores, strongholds, etc.) can now be generated in this mode. The preset code version number is changed to "2" to reflect this.
Added a new preset called "Redstone Ready", with 52 layers of sandstone, three stone, then one layer of bedrock, and has no generated features or structures.
The "Add Layer" and the "Edit Layer" buttons were removed.
?At some point, changes to server.properties stopped being looked at in multiplayer after the world was created. Equivalently, any data in the level.dat file overrides the values in server.properties. This means that single player worlds can now be trivially moved to multiplayer. While confirmed in 1.5.2, this probably happened much earlier.
1.7.213w36aStrongholds are no longer generated in the air.
1.814w08aNow uses named block IDs to input layers instead of numeric block IDs.[1]
Block ID/number of layers format changed from NumberxID to Number*ID.
Preset code version number changed to "3".
1.915w37aAdded a new preset called "The Void", where terrain is nonexistent except for a stone platform at the spawn.
1.1317w47aSupport for version numbers in preset codes was dropped.[2]
pre5Biomes are now written as namespaced IDs in preset codes.
1.1620w21aRemoved structures from preset codes temporarily.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.9.0build 1Added flat world type.
Legacy Console Edition
TU5CU11.0Patch 11.0.1Added superflat world type. Unlike in other editions, the Nether is also flat in this world type.
TU25CU141.17Added Superflat Customization UI.

Issues[edit]

Issues relating to "Superflat" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.

Trivia[edit]

  • The volume of an entire default superflat world, not including villages, bonus chests, or air, is 14.4 million km3, and the world is composed of 1.44×1016 blocks.
  • Because cloud height isn't affected by the world generation, clouds appear underground in the Tunneler's Dream preset.
  • If the player selects the desert preset, and remove all layers but sand, it is possible to create a massive, endless wave of falling sand. All one has to do to accomplish this computer-breaking feat is dig straight down to the bottom of the world. The sand then begins to fall from the initial digging coordinates.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. https://www.mojang.com/2014/02/minecraft-snapshot-14w08a/
  2. MC-123228, "Superflat generator strings no longer contain generator version" resolved "Working As Intended"
  3. https://twitter.com/jeb_/status/157390390788489216