New snapshot for Minecraft: Java Edition makes 'the Nether Update' even bigger

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

What you need to know

  • The Nether Update for Minecraft continues to add new features over time.
  • The latest snapshot is here, and is no exception to the trend.
  • New locations, a new type of block, and new music are all here.
  • The snapshot is available to try now, and should be official with the Nether Update later this year.

Everytime it looks like we've seen everything Mojang intends to include in the Nether Update, the surprise us with more features, more toys, and more polish. The latest snapshot, creatively dubbed "20w16a" (just rolls of the tongue,) is a decently sized update that has some new things for us to play with while we wait for the full-fledged update to come out later this year. The new snapshot for Minecraft includes:

  • Bastion remnants. These colossal structures are built from the dark and moody blackstone, and is the new official home for piglins and hoglins, and has multiple rooms including bridges, stables, housing, and treasure rooms! This is definitely the biggest change in the snapshot.
  • Chain blocks. The Nether Update has been fantastic for people who always wanted to build the perfect dark castle. Between blackstone, the new basalt deltas, and chain blocks, there's no stopping us! These are decorative blocks that are, you guessed it, chains. They look awesome, and look like a lot of fun.
  • Ruined portals. These are more about adding more versatility to the landscape, and will be important in both the Overworld and the Nether. As the name suggests, these are destroyed nether portals that have damaged the surrounding area, and often have chests full of loot nearby.
  • New music. Recently, hauntingly beautiful music by Lena Raine was added for the Nether Update. The music is amazing, and another new song is being added. "Pigstep" will play whenever you're in a bastion remnant.

The Nether Update is truly impressive in its scale, and Mojang is knocking it out of the park when it comes to polish so far. Subtle transitions, new animations, updated particle effects, and original music all come together to make every location in the Nether feel unique and powerful. Like always, this snapshot also includes optimizations and bug fixes as well. If you're interested in the full changelog, you can check out the post here.

Is the Nether Update more exciting with every snapshot or what? Let us know what you think about the progress of the Nether Update 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.