All Minecraft updates and their major features

A village, one of the biggest additions to Minecraft (Image via Mojang)
Villages were one of the biggest additions to Minecraft (Image via Mojang)

Minecraft is interesting for many reasons. Not only is it the best-selling game of all time, but it also has one of the longest active development cycles in all of gaming, with more than a decade of love put into it. The title's official release was in 2011, with almost two dozen major updates being released since then.

With Minecraft 1.21 and its many new features right around the corner, now is a better time than ever to look back on all the updates to the game since its release that have lead to now.


Every Minecraft update and content since release

1) Adventure Update 2 - Minecraft 1.0

The ender dragon, added in the game's official release (Image via Mojang)
The ender dragon, added in the game's official release (Image via Mojang)

The official release of the game was in 2011, with Adventure Update 2. This update added many of the game's most iconic features, even if they were far from as refined as they are today. These features include The End, enchanting tables, and all of Minecraft's best enchantments.

Other notable features:

  • Potions
  • Breeding
  • Villagers
  • Mushroom islands
  • Nether fortresses
  • Snow golems
  • Hardcore mode

2) Update 1.1

Spawn eggs were this update's main addition (Image via Mojang)
Spawn eggs were this update's main addition (Image via Mojang)

Update 1.1 was the game's first major update and has no official name from Mojang. Despite being a major numbered release, this update was smaller. It only added spawn eggs, beaches, desert hills, extreme hills edge, forest hills, taiga hills, and the superflat world generation type.


3) Update 1.2

This update added jungle biomes (Image via Mojang)
This update added jungle biomes (Image via Mojang)

Minecraft update 1.2 is the second no-name major release and came out in March 2012. This update brought many iconic biomes and mobs, including jungles, ocelots, iron golems, and abandoned mineshafts. Iron golems and abandoned mineshafts, in particular, have become beloved by fans, though the importance of the jungle and ocelot for future updates cannot be overstated.

The update also added:

  • Redstone lamps
  • Bottle O' Enchanting
  • Zombie Sieges

4) Update 1.3

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Update 1.3 is the third and final of the game's major releases to go unnamed. It was released in August 2012 and is probably one of the most important updates in Minecraft's history.

It introduced Minecraft's villager trading mechanics, and while this version was not nearly as powerful as it would later become, this foundation would prove invaluable in shaping later updates. But 1.3 also brought other incredible features, such as:

  • Village biome variants
  • Emeralds
  • Ender chests
  • Tripwire hooks
  • Writable books
  • Enchanted golden apples
  • Adventure mode

5) The Pretty Scary Update

The Wither boss (Image via Mojang)
The Wither boss (Image via Mojang)

The Pretty Scary Update was released in October 2012 and brought players a new boss to fear for Halloween. The update added the difficult Wither boss fight, along with beacons that players could craft to buff themselves after defeating it. This update also saw the addition of carrots and potatoes, which have become invaluable in villager trading hall setups for getting easy emeralds.

The update also added:

  • Command blocks
  • Bats
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Item frames
  • Flower pots

6) The Redstone Update

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The first update of 2013 was the Redstone Update, released in March. As the name suggests, this update was focused on adding new and exciting redstone components to the game. And it was a great update for that. The biggest additions were hoppers for setting up expert-level farms and Minecraft super smelters, blocks of redstone, and redstone comparators.

The update did change and add more than just those, though. The rest of the update's additions are:

  • Daylight sensors
  • Trapped chests
  • Nether quartz
  • Weighted pressure plates
  • Lighting update

7) The Horse Update

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Update 1.6, referred to as the Horse Update, was an update that added the horses from the famous Mo' Creatures mod to the base game. Horses were the main content of the update, though there were a few other additions, including leads for horses, coal blocks, and colored wool carpets.


8) The Update that Changed the World

A flower forest (Image via Mojang)
A flower forest (Image via Mojang)

The Update that Changed the World, or Minecraft 1.7, was released in October 2013 and was a pretty major update in terms of the game worlds themselves. Eleven different biomes were added in this update, including scary dark oak forests and peaceful flower forests.

This update also added a ton of other content:

  • Amplified world type
  • Seven new commands
  • Acacia and dark oak woods
  • Salmon, tropical fish, and pufferfish
  • Many of the game's flowers
  • Potions of water breathing
  • Stained glass
  • Oceans made significantly smaller in world generation
  • Added in fishing treasures

9) The Bountiful Update

An ocean monument (Image via Mojang)
An ocean monument (Image via Mojang)

The Bountiful Update, released in September 2014, added ocean monuments and dangerous underwater temples filled with guardians, though much of the rest of the update was less major. The only other significant addition is slime blocks, which are useful for many advanced redstone builds. The other inclusions in the update are:

  • Granite, andesite, and diorite
  • Rabbits and endermites
  • Sheep mutton
  • Armor stands
  • Coarse dirt
  • Iron trapdoors
  • Banners
  • Lapis lazuli is required for enchanting

10) The Combat Update

Update 1.9, known as the Combat Update, was the first update after the game was acquired by Microsoft and is Minecraft's most disliked update so far. As the name would give away, it completely changed combat in a way that players still complain about to this day.

The update also added end cities and the powerful elytra wings, so not all was bad. The rest of the update was:

  • Outer end islands
  • Shulkers
  • Shields
  • Subtitles
  • Igloos
  • The second hand
  • Revamped command blocks
  • Updated dragon fight

11) The Frostburn Update

The update's dangerous polar bear (Image via Mojang)
The update's dangerous polar bear (Image via Mojang)

The Frostburn Update, released in June 2018, mostly added new mobs. It added polar bears and strays to the game's frozen biomes and magma blocks and husks to the game's warmer biomes in a nice balance. The update also added bone blocks, nether wart blocks, and red Nether bricks.


12) The Exploration Update

A dangerous woodland mansion (Image via Mojang)
A dangerous woodland mansion (Image via Mojang)

The Exploration Update, released in November 2016, aimed to give players a reason to set out from their base into uncharted territory. It did this by adding shulker boxes so players could bring large quantities of items around, as well as adding dangerous and rare woodland mansions. These large buildings are filled with illagers that players need to fight off while they explore and loot.

The update also added:

  • Totems of undying
  • Llamas
  • Nitwits
  • Cartographer Villagers

13) The World of Color Update

All the different concretes and terracottas (Image via Mojang)
All the different concretes and terracottas (Image via Mojang)

The World of Color Update, released in June 2017, added a plethora of colorful blocks to the game, including the crazy-patterned terracotta range of blocks, dyeable beds, and colored concrete. However, this was not all the update added, with the rest of the update being:

  • Better wool colors
  • Advancements replaced achievements
  • Functions added to creative commands

14) The Update Aquatic

Tridents were a main feature of this update (Image via Mojang)
Tridents were a main feature of this update (Image via Mojang)

The Update Aquatic, released in July 2018, was the first of the game's overhaul updates, which aimed to revamp large parts of the game by filling them with new and interesting content. This update was focused on oceans.

Kelp, seagrass, dolphins, turtles, drowned, coral reefs, shipwrecks, submerged caves, and icebergs were all added in an effort to have players spend more time interacting with the game's oceans. The update also added:

  • Swimming updates
  • Phantoms
  • Treasure maps and buried treasure
  • Bubble columns
  • Conduits
  • Tridents

15) The Village & Pillage Update

A peaceful morning in a plains village (Image via Mojang)
A peaceful morning in a plains village (Image via Mojang)

Update 1.14, also known as the Village & Pillage Update, was released in April 2019 and has very quickly become one of the community's favorite Minecraft updates. This update overhauled villager trading to its much more powerful and loved form and added pillagers and raids that gave players a way to farm totems of undying.

The update also updated all the game's textures and added:

  • Bamboo forests
  • Pandas
  • New crafting stations
  • Foxes

16) The Buzzy Bees Update

Bees flying around flowers (Image via Mojang)
Bees flying around flowers (Image via Mojang)

Minecraft 1.15, named the Buzzy Bees Update by Mojang, came out in December 2019. This update added bees to the game, along with all of their accessory items, including beehives, bee nests, honey bottles, the ever-useful honey blocks, and honeycomb blocks.

This update was shy of new content, as it mostly focused on bug fixes and optimization, including a near-total rewrite of the game's rendering code.


17) The Nether Update

A piglin in a bastion (Image via Mojang)
A piglin in a bastion (Image via Mojang)

The Nether Update is another of Minecraft's most beloved updates. It completely overhauled the Nether, transforming it from a barren wasteland that players only ventured into once to get blaze rods into an exciting and interesting biome with new discoveries around every corner.

It added four new biomes, including crimson and warped forests, basalt deltas, and soulsand valleys. This update also added piglins, along with the robust piglin bartering system and the brute-defended, loot-filled bastions that these humanoid swine call home.


18) Caves & Cliffs pt. 1

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Minecraft 1.17 was originally a much larger update that was split in half. This first half was released in June 2021 and added a lot of adorable Minecraft cottagecore aesthetic content, including lush cave plants, candles, copper, amethyst, glow squids, and axolotl variants like the elusive blue axolotl. This content would go great with any of Minecraft's best cottagecore resource packs.

The rest of the update was:

  • Goats
  • Raw ores
  • New stone blocks
  • Various texture improvements
  • Powdered snow

19) Caves & Cliffs pt. 2

A deepslate lush cave (Image via Mojang)
A deepslate lush cave (Image via Mojang)

The second half of Caves & Cliffs was released on November 30, 2021. This half of the update was focused on updating the game's terrain generation rather than adding new content.

This update saw Minecraft's cave systems massively improved and updated, along with more modern surface terrain. This update also added 64 blocks of world height below bedrock, pushing the world much deeper. This extra depth also caused Minecraft's ore distribution to change.


20) The Wild Update

Ancient cities were a main feature of this update (Image via Mojang)
Ancient cities were a main feature of this update (Image via Mojang)

Minecraft 1.19, or The Wild Update, was released in June 2022. The main features of the update are the deep dark underground biome, along with ancient cities, sculk, and the extremely dangerous Minecraft Warden. The deep dark was actually supposed to be released in Caves & Cliffs, but Mojang was unable to finish it in time, hence its inclusion here.

The update also added the interesting and complex allay mob alongside:

  • Mangrove swamps
  • Frogs
  • Recovery compasses
  • Chest boats

21) The Trails & Tales Update

The official art for Trails & Tales (Image via Mojang)
The official art for Trails & Tales (Image via Mojang)

The Trails & Tales Update is the most recent version of the game, coming out in June 2023. This update included archeology and all of its accessory items, first teased all the way back in Minecraft Live 2020. This update also added the instantly adored cherry grove biome.

The update's other additions include:

  • Ancient seeds and plants
  • Pottery
  • Camels
  • Sniffers
  • Armor Trims
  • Bamboo blocks and items
  • Hanging signs

Minecraft has come a long way since it originally left beta, to the point where, at times, it feels like a new game entirely. And with update 1.21 and its radical new additions only a few months away, the changes do not appear to be stopping any time soon.

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Edited by Angad Sharma
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