Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 22w12a brings the Warden and Darkness from 'The Wild Update'

Minecraft The Wild Update Announcement Image
Minecraft The Wild Update Announcement Image (Image credit: Mojang Studios)

What you need to know

  • The Wild Update is coming to Minecraft later in 2022 with new mobs, biomes, features, and more.
  • On Thursday, Mojang Studios released the latest snapshot for Minecraft: Java Edition testing some of these features.
  • Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 22w12a is headlined by the inclusion of features previously tested in an experimental snapshot.
  • Players can get their hands on the terrifying Warden mob, the new Darkness effect, boats with chest, and more.

Minecraft's Overworld recently became a whole lot more interesting with the arrival of the Caves and Cliffs Update, which overhauled terrain generation and cave biomes. With Minecraft's next content update arriving later in 2022, Mojang Studios is continuing the work with new biomes, mobs, features, and more. On Thursday, the studio released a new Minecraft: Java Edition snapshot allowing interested players to get a sneak peek at what's coming next.

The successor to the first Minecraft: Java Edition snapshot for The Wild Update, Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 22w12a includes a ton of features first introduced in February 2022 through a one-off experimental snapshot. With the release, players will be able to more fully explore and provide feedback on the Warden mob, the Darkness mob effect, sculk shriekers, and how it all ties into the Deep Dark biome.

Boats with chest from the recent Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta are also making an appearance with this snapshot, giving players plenty to try out. On top of that, there's the usual batch of bug fixes and general tweaks.

The Wild Update comes to Minecraft on all platforms later in 2022, and is intended to reaffirm Minecraft in its place at the top of the best PC games you can play. We likely have a few more months of testing ahead of us before The Wild Update officially arrives, as Mojang Studios continues to add new features and tweak existing additions.

The full changelog for Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 22w12a includes:


  • Added Darkness mob effect
  • Added Sculk Shrieker functionality
  • Added the Warden mob
  • Added boat with chest
  • Added the Swift Sneak enchantment

Sculk shrieker

  • Added functionality to the Sculk Shrieker
    • Notable for its boney appendages, this block responds to Sculk Sensors detecting vibrations by sending out a warning call to distant Wardens
  • Watch out when stepping on them, as they will feel that too and send out a call!
  • Initially it may take some time for a Warden to arrive, but you'll hear it responding in the distance…
  • Once it's close enough, a call from the Sculk Shrieker will summon the Warden nearby — be prepared!


  • The horror of the Deep Dark! A creature with no eyes, roughly resembling the Sculk that can be found throughout the Deep Dark, the Warden is an unstoppable force of nature that inhabits this biome
  • Just like Sculk Sensors, these terrifying creatures use vibrations as a means to navigate their environment
  • When vibrations aren't enough, they will also use a sense of smell to track down their prey — you can observe them sniffing their surroundings to get closer to unsuspecting players and mobs
  • To add to their myriad of ways to detect you, try not to get too close! If you collide with a Warden, it will notice you
  • In the Deep Dark, Wardens are everywhere — you just can't see them. They slumber beneath your feet, and only dig out when enough Sculk Shriekers have alerted them of your presence
  • Watch your step: the more vibrations a Warden detects, the angrier it will get. You can hear and see this from how fast the souls in its chest are beating
  • Once a mob has pushed beyond the Warden's anger threshold, it will face its prey and roar before charging
  • If, however, you keep the Warden from noticing you or getting angry for 60 seconds, it will dig back underground and despawn
  • They have a special interaction with thrown projectiles
    • If the Warden receives two projectile vibrations within 5 seconds of one another, it will grow angrier at the shooter
    • If the Warden receives a projectile vibration more than 5 seconds from the last projectile, it will not grow angrier at the shooter
    • This allows you to strategically distract the Warden without it getting angry while you take loot from nearby chests
  • Unfortunately for all players, Wardens will also disable shields when they hit them with their fists
  • They do not drop any loot
  • Wardens are powerful creatures, and it is often better to sneak around one that has emerged instead of taking it head on — you've been warned


  • A new mob effect unique to the Warden and Sculk Shrieker, which will afflict you with it when nearby
  • Lowers the gamma down at an equivalent of "Moody" while having this effect
  • In periodic pulses, will lower the overall brightness of the world so that the darkness creeps up against light sources
  • When the Warden is around, torches will be more important than ever!
  • A new Accessibility slider has been added in your Options menu called "Darkness Pulsing"
    • Controls how dark the Darkness effect gets when a Warden or Sculk Shrieker gives it to you, but will not affect the fog distance

Boat with chest

  • Lets you bring more stuff on your boat adventures
  • If you are in the boat, press the open inventory key to access the chest contents
  • If you are not in the boat, shift-right click to access the chest contents
  • If you break the boat the chest contents will spill out, like with other chests
  • Also works with hoppers, droppers, and other blocks that interact with chests
  • Like other chests, opening a boat chest or breaking the boat will anger piglins, since they think all chests belong to them

Swift sneak

  • Imbue your leggings with this shiny new enchantment to move as fast while crouching as you would normally walk!
    • When applied, it will increase your movement speed while sneaking
    • Has three different levels with different speed increases
    • It is the first enchantment unique to leggings equipment!


  • The Deep Dark biome is now less flooded than surrounding areas
  • Leaves are now waterloggable
  • Removed debug hotkey cycling render distance

Fixed bugs

  • While editing a book, you cannot use Ctrl + Home or Ctrl + End to jump to the beginning or end of the text
  • Fence gates (between walls) aren't affected by ambient occlusion / smooth lighting
  • Striders with NoAI still get cold
  • Soul sand doesn't have smooth lighting / ambient occlusion
  • Foxes path towards origin (0,0) during a thunderstorm
  • Pressing Esc or using the "Cancel" button in the "Experimental Settings" warning returns to main menu
  • Cannot use Ctrl + Backspace to delete entire words in "Edit sign" GUI
  • You cannot use Ctrl + Backspace to delete words in the "book and quill" GUI
  • You cannot use Ctrl + Arrow key to navigate the cursor between words in the "book and quill" GUI
  • Some end cities can generate floating above the ground
  • /locatebiome command doesn't consistently locate the nearest cave biome
  • TagKey creation leads to memory leak
  • Mangrove Fence Gate & Mangrove Fence are in the wrong tab in the creative inventory
  • Placing water inside the mangrove propagule breaks it
  • Mud brick slabs use generic stone sound
  • Ender dragon fight is not triggered upon entering the End
  • Subtitle "Frog hatches" should be "Tadpole hatches"
  • Mud, Mangrove Roots, and their variants are too loud in comparison with other blocks
  • Map color for mangrove log is incorrect
  • Map color for mangrove slab is incorrect
  • Map color for mangrove trapdoor is incorrect
  • Map color for mud bricks, mud brick stairs, and mud brick walls is incorrect
  • Powered rail / activator rail update order is reversed
  • The mangrove fence recipe is not grouped with the fence recipes of other wood types
  • Some Mangrove Propagules float after leaves decayed
  • Bee tries to pollinate a waterlogged mangrove propagule and dies
  • Mangrove leaves do not have a hoe as their preferred tool
  • Mangrove Leaves cannot be composted
  • Mud Brick Slab has a slower mining speed then other mud bricks
  • Mangrove fence, fence gate and boat cannot be used for fuel
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.