What's new in Minecraft Version 1.4?

October 2012 brings us Minecraft update 1.4, with plenty of new stuff and a scary Halloween theme!

New monsters and mobs!Minecraft bats


Bats are the new passive (i.e. non-hostile) mobs. They sleep by day, hanging upside-down, and flutter around at night making a noise like a squeaky bicycle wheel. They are utterly adorable, although sometimes they fly too close to lava and catch fire. This will break your heart.

Don't go killing the poor little things, you don't get anything for it!

Minecraft witchWitches

Continuing the spooky theme, there's a new hostile mob that you may run into: the witch.

Witches live in huts that are generated in swamp biomes. (You'll have to explore a new swamp that you haven't visited before to find witches).

Witches use potions both to attack you, and to defend and heal themselves from attackers. Nasty lot.

Wither Skeletons

There's a new hostile mob in the Nether too: the Wither Skeleton, which is a larger, scarier version of the familiar skeleton mobs. These guys appear randomly in Nether Fortresses, and when they hit you they cause an effect called "wither" that is like being poisoned.

Sometimes, when you kill one, you can collect its head.


The Wither

Finally, we have a new Boss mob, the Wither. If you go around hanging paintings, you might notice a new piece of art:

Minecraft Wither Painting

It's a clue!

That's all I'm going to say here, but if you want to spoil the surprise, read on!

Other new features in the 'mobs' category:

  • Slimes now appear by night in swamp biomes. This makes it a lot easier to get those lovely slime balls: just head out to the swamp at dawn.
  • Mobs (at least, those with hands) can pick up and use armour and weapons they find lying around. If a skeleton or zombie gets a hat, it can protect them from the sun!
  • All the bad guys are a bit stronger and cleverer than before.
  • A minority of zombies look different from the others? a bit like villagers?

Down on the Farm

New Crops

There are two new crops you can grow: carrots and potatoes.

Minecraft CarrotMinecraft potatogolden carrotbaked potatopoison potato

Whilst neither is super nutritious, potatoes can be baked in a furnace and carrots plated with gold to make them more filling. Watch out for the small percentage of potatoes that are poisonous!

Both of these new crops can be found growing in NPC Villages, and are occasionally dropped by zombies, who apparently carry them around.

Potatoes and carrots are cultivated by planting in irrigated farmland and waiting for them to grow. They can be grown instantly by applying bonemeal.

taters and carrots

Halloween Treats

Make yourself some pumpkin pie from sugar, pumpkin and egg.

Pumpkin Pie

Feeding your livestock

There have also been changes to the diets of farm animals: pigs now eat carrots and chickens eat seeds, so now you need some of those if you want to breed those animals. Cows and sheep are still happy with wheat.

Also, breeding animals and fishing will both now provide experience points!

Saddle Up!

If you have a saddle (from a dungeon treasure chest) you can place it on a pig and go for a ride. Attach a carrot to a fishing rod to create a carrot-on-a-stick to control the direction of travel. Right-click for a speed boost!

Stone Walls

New cobblestone and mossy cobblestone walls act much like fences.

Home Improvements

Plant Pots

plant potIt's now possible to make plant pots in which you can put flowers, saplings, and other bits of vegetation (use shears to harvest grass, ferns and dried shrubs).

plant pots

Item Frames

item frameItem Frames can be used to display any item on the wall. They're especially good for mounting clocks on the wall, and are also good for labelling storage chests or displaying your wares at market.

Craft your frame from leather and sticks, then right click to apply it to a solid block. Now you can place any item you want in there with another right click.

Item frames


Zombie villagerBack in the Village

A few changes to villages and villagers:

  • Your actions will govern your reputation with a village and how villagers will interact with you, and whether they want to trade or fight.
  • When zombies kill villagers, they have a chance of rising and joining the forces of the undead. Oh no!
  • Yes, even baby villagers.

New Potions

Add a golden carrot to awkward potion to get a Potion of Night Vision.

Add a fermented spider's eye to a Night Vision potion to get a Potion of Invisibility.

Add redstone dust to either to extend the duration.

Anvil Blocks

MInecraft anvilThese new blocks allow you to rename items, repair enchanted items and even combine enchantments from different items.

Read all about them here!

Dyed Armour

Leather armour can now be dyed! Place the armour on a crafting table with a dye or combination of dyes. Multiple dyes can be mixed, and another colour can be added to armour that has previously been dyed to change the shade.

Dyed armour can be washed in a cauldron of water.

Dog collars can also be dyed.

Minor details

  • Nether portals are now "leaky" - mobs can pass through so you might find some zombie pigmen wandering your base, or bats fluttering around the Nether.
  • Doors, levers and buttons that could previously be operated with either mouse button now only respond to a right-click, making them consistent with gates and other devices.
  • Trapdoors can now be placed in more ways.
  • Buttons can now be made from wood as well as stone (and the amount of stone required is less).
  • TNT can be set off by flaming arrows.
  • New options for creating customised superflat worlds.
  • The NEXT Minecraft update will bring big changes to repeaters. For now, know that supplying power to the side of a repeater will cause it to lock into its current state. This isn't really a "101" topic.