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Tundras were a cold biome, which existed in the game prior to the Adventure Update. They could be seen as a precursor to the snowy tundra we have today but were harder to survive in because food and trees were much rarer.
Snowy, barren terrain with very few trees. Ice can be found over water. Snow is a common weather in tundras. Tundras generate when the temperature is below 50% and the rainfall is less than 20% and could often be found near taiga. They usually consisted of low plains and gentle hills but in some cases, it could be mountainous. Survival in this biome could be difficult, especially if the tundra is large as trees were very rare and snow decreased the area passive mobs could spawn.
|Java Edition Alpha|
|Java Edition Beta|
|1.0.0||Beta 1.9 Prerelease||Readded tundras as Ice Plains.|
|1.7.2||13w36a||Added variants for Ice Plains, such as Ice Spikes and Frozen River|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.9.0||build 1||Removed tundras. Added Ice Plains and its variants.|
In Beta 1.8, Notch also said that this biome would be left out until Beta 1.9. This is because snow was causing problems with the new biome generator.