The latest Minecraft: Java Edition snapshot update adds new biomes, blocks, and more to the Nether Update

Minecraft Nether Update Crimson
Minecraft Nether Update Crimson (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • In a surprise move, Mojang is dropping a new snapshot for Minecraft: Java Edition.
  • Unlike recent snapshots, this one features pretty significant changes coming with the Nether Update.
  • This includes a new basalt deltas biome, music, blocks, and campfires.
  • This looks to be a pretty exciting snapshot, and has a lot of new stuff to check out.

Hot on the heels of the last snapshot a few weeks back, Mojang is back again, this time with a hefty load of shiny things to offload and examine. Once again, this snapshot focuses almost entirely on the Nether Update, which is the next major update for Minecraft slated for release later this year. What kind of changes can we expect to see here? Let's check it out.

  • Basalt delta biomes. These biomes are fashioned after remnants of volcanic eruption sites, and are known for their towering columns of basalt, lakes of lava, and clouds of ash. It also means a newfound home for magma cubes, the often-forgetten hostile mob of the Nether.
  • Blackstone. A new block being added in the Nether Update, blackstone is commonly found in basalt deltas. It has multiple versions including regular, polished, polished brick, and gilded (which can drop gold nuggets.) Blackstone can be used as a substitute for cobblestone, meaning the Nether scratches off another requirement for living.
  • New variants for nether bricks and quartz. This means chiseled nether bricks, cracked nether bricks, and quartz bricks. More variants to customize your builds and take them to the next level.
  • Custom music tracks. The Nether is getting more music! Three more tracks are being added, one for the nether wastes, one for the crimson forests, and one for soulsand valleys and basalt deltas. The new tracks promise to be emotional and powerful, leaning on the beauty and versatility of the piano.
  • New items. The biggest new item is the soul campfire, which uses the same gorgeous blue fire that burns on soul sand and soul soil in the Nether. I'm excited personally by this one. There's also a new piglin pattern for banners.
  • Accessibility improvements. Something that's always nice to see is further improvements to accessibility, where Mojang delivers. New "line spacing" and "chat delay" options make their debut here, to make it easier to catch chat before it disappears, or to make it easier to read with increased spacing between entries.
  • Other fixes and improvements. Like always, the snapshot has a ton of smaller fixes, changes and improvements that don't merit their own bullet points. Mojang continues to tidy things up in Minecraft, both in the Nether and out, as well as make the game more stable.

If you're interested, you can read the full changelog here, or you can skip to the good stuff and find out how you can try out the new snapshot. This snapshot seems like a good one, so those of you who want to test out the Nether Update, or simply can't wait to get your hands on it, this is a great time to jump in. For the rest of us, we'll just have to wait for the final release.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.