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'The Nether Update' for Minecraft: Java Edition is officially in pre-release, with changes to Creative Mode

Minecraft Nether Update Beta Bastion Remnant
Minecraft Nether Update Beta Bastion Remnant (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • After months of active development with experimental snapshot builds, we're now in the pre-release phase.
  • This is the final stage of polish before the Nether Update can be publically released for everyone to enjoy.
  • Mojang Studios released the first pre-release build, immediately following it with a hot fix to fix corruption issues.
  • The pre-release builds includes all the new features and improvements included in earlier snapshots, along with changes to Creative Mode.

It feels like we've been waiting for this moment for a very long time. Mojang Studios has officially released the first pre-release build for the Nether Update for Minecraft: Java Edition, marking our entrance into the final phase of development. This means we could only be a few weeks away from official release, which is incredibly exciting.

As expected, the first pre-release for the Nether Update isn't going to include any major changes or new features. All of that has already been pretty much locked in, with quality-of-life improvements all we should expect from here on out. That being said, we do get some changes to the Creative Mode in Minecraft that lets you interact with more entities, as well as a new graphics option.

Here are all of the notable changes in Minecraft 1.16 Pre-Release 1:

  • You can now milk cows and mooshrooms in Creative Mode.
  • You can now fill empty buckets with water in Creative Mode.
  • Villagers struck by lightning and turned into witches will not despawn.
  • New gamerules for managing the anger of neutral hostile mobs.
  • Changes to how zombified piglins behave in the game.
  • A new 'Fabulous' graphics option, which should improve transparent elements.
  • A very long list of bug fixes.

While these aren't snapshots, you still should back up all your worlds before jumping in, as the initial release had an issue with worlds becoming corrupt after they were loaded in. A second release fixed this issue, as well as a few other crashes. You can read the full changelogs for both releases here and here. If you're interested, you can also read how to play snapshots or pre-release builds here.

We shouldn't have to wait too much longer now for everyone to have access to a stable release of the Nether Update for Minecraft.

Zachary Boddy
News Writer, Minecraft Expert

Zachary Boddy is the Minecraft Expert and a News Writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been freelancing for Windows Central and its sister sites since 2019, with a focus on Xbox and PC gaming. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.