Minecraft: Bedrock Edition finally gets a new beta build for 'the Nether Update'

Minecraft Nether Update Beta Landscape
Minecraft Nether Update Beta Landscape (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Minecraft has been working on its next major update, the Nether Update, for months.
  • We've seen a humungous list of changes and features coming with the update.
  • So far, most of the changes have only been seen on Minecraft: Java Edition with snapshots.
  • Now, the Bedrock Edition is getting a big update bringing it mostly up to date.

It's been a long wait. It seems like ages since we recieved the first major Nether Update beta for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition, with nothing but bug fixes and improvements since. Meanwhile, Minecraft: Java Edition is firing on all cylinders, with new snapshots coming out all the time complete with new features and mechanics. That changes today, with the (wonderful name) beta update now available for Xbox One, Windows 10, and Android beta testers, bringing with it a bunch of stuff for the Nether Update.

The changelog this time around is a big one, including:

  • Blackstone. A new, well, black stone that can be found in lower levels, and biomes like basalt deltas and locations like bastion remnants. This stone looks cool, but it's also a suitable replacement for cobblestone in crafting. Use it to make furnaces or stone tools in place of cobblestone, which isn't available in the Nether.
  • Basalt deltas. The awesome biome we've already seen and have been drooling over, this biome is the site of many volcanic eruptions, and is filled with blackened stone, pools of lava, and clouds of white and grey ash.
  • Bastion remnants. The new home for piglins and hoglins, these massive structures have multiple room types, and some neat loot, including an exclusive disc with music by Lena Raine.
  • Ruined portals. These interesting structures are demolished nether portals that can be found in the Nether and the Overworld. They can contain crying obsidian, chests, and just look plain eerie.
  • Lodestone. This is an interesting experimental block that can be extremely useful for navigation. With the lodestone, you can override a compass and have it always point towards the lodestone, rather than North.
  • Respawn anchor. Upset that you can use beds in the Nether? Well, here's the solution: something that is harder to obtain, harder to maintain, and more fickle. Sounds like the Nether in a nutshell. Respawn anchors can be constructed out of crying obsidian and glowstone, and set your respawn point in the Nether!
  • Striders. The first passive mob in the Nether, these strange creatures can don a saddle and be lead by their favorite food...through lava. The first real way to navigate through the Nether besides your own two feet.
  • Zoglins. And all-new mob we haven't seen before, this is the zombified version of a hoglin, similar to the newly-rebranded zombified piglin! These creatures are extremely hostile, so beware.
  • Soul speed enchantment. This rare enchantment can't be found through an enchantment table, but only traded from piglins. This enchantment lets you walk faster on soul sand and soul soil, at the expense of durability for your boots.
  • Other new blocks. This is the 'other' category, including new vegetation we've already seen in the Java Edition, as well as new variants of the nether bricks and quartz blocks, soul campfires, and nether gold ore.

Did you think we were done already? No. This beta also includes other more subtle changes to the world:

  • World generation changes. Blackstone and gravel can now appear in all biomes at or below sea level. Soul sand is now more common in soulsand valleys. Twisting vines now grow both up and down, and are climbable. The new nether gold ore block will start to spawn periodically in the Nether.
  • New music! As reported before, Lena Raine is composing new music just for the Nether Update. Three of her songs will be added, and each one will play in a different biome.
  • Other sound effects and ambient changes. Different biomes will have different environmental noises and sound effects.
  • A truly ridiculously long list of bug fixes, improvements, and other smaller changes. It would take a novel to list them all, but this update also comes with new commands, accessibility features, bug fixes, parity changes for Bedrock and Java Editions, and a lot more.

Mojang certainly isn't holding anything back now. Those of you who are interested can catch the full changelog on Mojang's blog, or you can learn how to join the beta for Minecraft and try out all the exciting changes we're seeing here.

Are you impressed by the sheer size of this update? Is there anything else you still wish we could try out in the beta? Let us know in the comments below!



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.