The newest update to crafting game juggernaut Minecraft releases today and introduces a host of new features to the Nether, including new biomes and craftable materials. This is the first update to Minecraft since December of last year, which saw bees added to the game in version 1.15.
The Nether Update was announced at Minecon Live 2019, and developer Mojang has been teasing it out ever since. In February they released a playable snapshot of the update so that players could get a sense of its new features before its release. The update, true to its name, focuses on the hellish Nether area, which is only accessible via Nether Portal. The Nether is famously one of the most dangerous regions in Minecraft, as it is not only filled with deadly lava but also populated with dangerous mobs. Players have been braving it for years to retrieve valuable and endemic potion ingredient, as well as other late-game treasures.
Now players have even more reason to explore this sinister alternate dimension. Per a Microsoft press release, he Nether Update completely overhauls the region, adding several new biomes to the area to break up the all-encompassing red Netherrack that used to compose the Nether in its entirety. These biomes feature new forms of plant life, including giant glowing fungi, and new creatures like Piglins and Hoglins, as well as striders, which players can tame and ride over lava. Perhaps most importantly, players can also find a new material called Netherite, which can be used to upgrade diamond weapons and armor into even more powerful forms.
The Nether has been in Minecraft since 2010, when it was first introduced as a unique means of fast travel across large distances. New content has been steadily added to the area over the years, but never to this large a degree. Mojang hopes to make the Nether more accessible to players with the update, and to help facilitate that ruined Nether portals will now spawn throughout the game, structures which players can use to get a head start on visiting the region. With this many new entities, items, and structures to explore, players now have more reasons to visit the Nether than ever before.
Minecraft has always been a game about boundless creativity, and that creativity is very much on display in the many bizarre and wondrous things Mojang has added to the Nether. Minecraft players of all kinds should find no shortage of things to enjoy with this new update. Players who prefer the survival aspect of the game have many new challenges to surmount in one of Minecraft’s most frightful regions, with powerful rewards awaiting them should they succeed. Players who are more interested in the game’s creative side have plenty of new materials to work with to improve their creations, and a host of strange new environments to explore to get the creative juices flowing. Minecraft has often been described as a game that’s enjoyable for everyone, and as long as updates like this one keep coming, that doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon.