What's new in Minecraft Version 1.3?

Version 1.3 of Minecraft, expected to be released August 3, 2012, brings a lot of changes to the game

Technical Changes

Previously, the single-player and multi-player versions of the game were different; this has changed, and now all versions of the game are based on the old multiplayer code.

This means that the performance of the game might not be as good on older machines: you may need to reduce the view distance or detail settings to compensate.

It also means that we all get to experience some of the bugs in the multiplayer game!

If something looks wrong, don't worry, it's probably the game not your computer. There are a few examples of what to expect here.

The main gameplay difference you'll notice is that it's harder to push mobs, such as villagers, around because you will pass through them. On the plus side, it means that villagers can no longer block narrow corridors to such an annoying extent.

Villagers and Villages

Desert village

Minecraft EmeraldVillagers now have a purpose: you can trade with them!

The currency used is Emeralds: you will occasionally find these by mining, or in treasure chests, but the main way to get them will be through trade. Move into a village and sell their own wheat back to them!

Temples and Pyramids

New places to explore, hidden away in deserts and jungles; full of treasures and surprises.

Minecraft Pyramid

Minecraft Jungle Temple

Enchantments and experience

Enchanting has become MUCH easier!

XP from mining and smelting

You will now get experience points from mining ores (not stone, but coal, iron etc.) and from smelting and cooking. Every time you enter a furnace you will hear a happy little tinkle of incoming XP.

Tip: Build large banks of furnaces and smelt all the cobblestone you mine for easy access to enchantments! Bake wood into charcoal to fuel your furnaces, as that generates lots of XP too.

Enchanting uses less XP than before

The maximum level of enchantment has now been reduced to 30. Also, tweaks to the system mean that higher experience levels are easier to get to (levelling is less exponential).

Ender Chests

These handy new items are cloud storage for your stuff! Whatever you place in an Ender Chest is accessible from any other Ender Chest that you build.

Ender Chest in Minecraft

Ender chests are built from Obsidian and an Eye of Ender. Once placed, an Ender Chest can only be picked up if you use an item enchanted with Silk Touch. Destroying an Ender Chest returns your obsidian, but not the Eye of Ender.


The recipe for books has changed; now you need to kill a cow.

There's a new recipe fof a Book and Quill which can be written in.

How to make a Book and Quill in Minecraft

You can write whatever you want in one of these books, and when you're done you can sign it, which makes it uneditable but if you're playing multiplayer you can now give your book to another player. Signed books can also be sold to villagers (look for the librarians in white robes).

Book and Quill


Stairs and slabs

Stairs can now be placed upside down, by placing them against the underside or the top half of a block.


The four tree types &emdash; Oak, Birch, Spruce and Jungle Wood &emdash; now make different types of wood plank, with different colours. Stairs and slabs crafted from these wood planks will be the same colours.

Wood types in Minecraft

What's that at the back? Yes, logs can now be placed on their sides. Let's build a cabin!

This means that slabs and stairs can no longer be made with wood from a mixture of sources.

Doors, fences, chests, crafting tables etc. are unaffected by these changes: they are only available in one colour and may be crafted using a mixture of woods.


Dispensers can now be used to dispense minecarts and boats.

If you place a bucket of water or lava in a dispenser, it will be able to spit out or suck up that liquid.

Minor Changes


Signs will now stack in your inventory, which is great news for anyone using them to manage water flows or build chicken farms. The recipe now also makes 3 signs for the same amount of wood.

Buckets are now stackable too.


Boats are now no longer destroyed when broken with a tool: instead, like minecarts, you can now pick them up and carry them with you. They'll still get smashed if you bump into something, although we're told they're supposed to be stronger, faster and easier to control than before.


Pushing the "forward" key while riding in a minecart will now push you along.

Cocoa Beans

Cocoa beans, previously only available in treasure chests, can now be found in pods growing on jungle trees.

Minecraft Cocoa beans

They can be cultivated by planting them on logs of jungle wood, where they go through several stages of ripening before being ready to harvest. They can be ripened instantly by applying bonemeal.

Cocoa Beans cultivation

Sandstone Stairs

sandstone stairs in minecraft

At Last!

Golden Apples

Golden Apples were historically super powerful, then they were nerfed, now there are both kinds!

String and Tripwires

You can now draw on the ground using string.

More interestingly, you can stretch string between two trip wire hooks and when someone or something walks over it, a redstone signal will be created.

Trip WIre in minecraft

Tripwires can be stretched up to 40 blocks, and if you want to defuse one, cut the string with shears.

Debug screen

Changes to the debug screen mean it now reports altitude at both foot and eye level, as well as which biome you are in and the lighting level.

Press shift + F3 to get a version without the ugly graphs.


Gravel now looks slightly uglier.

If you use lava as a fuel in your furnace, you will now get your bucket back.

Cauldrons will now fill up with water if you leave them out in the rain.

There is now a limited demo mode for people without an account to try before they buy.

Ice and glass panes can now be collected using a tool enchanted with Silk Touch.

Empty buckets will now stack in your inventory.