Minecraft: Java Edition gets major combat changes, planned for all versions

What you need to know

  • Minecraft is getting a combat overhaul.
  • You can test out some of the changes in the Java Edition today.
  • Minecraft is part of Xbox Game Pass.
  • You can purchase Xbox Game Pass Ultimate through the Microsoft Store for $1.

Minecraft has become a cultural sensation over the years, and now reaches over ninety million gamers every month. Mojang has released a number of updates which have added tremendous depth to the experience. Despite these changes, combat remains a sore sport for many gamers, especially newcomers. Luckily, the team is working hard to address this problem.

In a post on Reddit, Mojang's Jens Bergensten — also known as "Jeb" — said that major changes were coming. You can read part of his statement below.

The combat mechanics in Minecraft: Java Edition have been a controversial topic ever since the 1.9 update. We want the mechanics to be the same across all editions, but simply porting Java to Bedrock or vice versa is not taking us forward. We want to find a system that is flexible and works well across all input devices... This 'manually installed Java snapshot' is the first experiment of the new direction of combat mechanics. It's based upon the current Java Edition system, but with... major changes.

Main issues with Java

  • Combat is too slow for player vs. player (PvP) encounters.
  • Damage per second is too low to beat regenerating items.
  • Combat is too hard for new players to understand.

Main issues with Bedrock

  • Combat is tedious on a controller.
  • Almost all weapons are too similar.
  • Armor is unbalanced and somewhat broken.

Combat fixes

  • Way faster attacks.
  • Attacks only happen when your weapon is fully charged.
  • You can hold to attack.
  • Now weapons have different reach.
  • When you stop attacking, the attack timer will continue charging.
  • At 200 percent you can perform special attacks that have longer reach.
  • Sweeping only occurs on swords with the enchantment.
  • Critical attacks bypass shields because they're so powerful.
  • Shields have no delay anymore.
  • Shields can be used when crouching.
  • If you hit something, the enemy's invulnerability timer will be shorter with a quick-attack weapon.

If you want to check out the changes today, you have to download the Java Edition file here. Installing it is a little tricky though. You'll want to unpack the folder into your local Minecraft "Versions" folder. You can find the Minecraft folder by pressing "Control" plus "R" and typing "%appdata%/.minecraft" into the box. After that, all you have to do is create a new launch configuration and select the "1_14_combat-212796" version.

Hopefully this new version will fix the combat issues. While you shouldn't expect radical changes which completely change the feel of the game, they should make the experience more fair when you're engaging other players in PvP. What else do you think Mojang should fix? Let us know.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.