Minecraft is a game that has been evolving over the course of more than a decade. As a result, the sandbox title’s history is rife with free content updates that have come in many shapes and sizes.
While some updates introduced gameplay changes and fixes, others changed the very fabric of how the game looked and functioned. Some of the most sweeping updates in Minecraft’s history remain wildly popular today. The community has often debated which updates are the best in the game, though each player has their own distinct opinion on the matter.
While there’s certainly no bonafide list of the best Minecraft updates in history, it doesn’t hurt to look at some of the biggest that changed the game forever.
Note: This list is subjective and reflects the writer’s opinion.
The most game-altering Minecraft updates of all time
5) 1.5, The Redstone Update
Debuting in Minecraft on March 13, 2013, the redstone undeniably changed the face of the game and did so in its own way. The majority of the update focused on redstone and expanding the way that it functions. New redstone blocks such as daylight sensors, droppers, activation rails, hoppers, and redstone comparators were added, completely reinventing the way redstone signals interact.
While not every player is a particularly strident redstone engineer, the 1.5 update led to the creation of some of the most incredible machinery ever conceived inside a video game.
4) 1.14, Village & Pillage
While villages existed before the 1.14 update, Village & Pillage made them much more helpful for players. Trading was reworked, and villages began to generate differently depending on the biome they were found in. The fearsome pillagers and their outposts were added, which brought raids on villages into the mix as well.
One of the biggest upsides of Village & Pillage, which was launched on April 23, 2019, was that it made acquiring Totems of Undying repeatable, as players could initiate raids and farm them instead of clearing out woodland mansions like before.
3) 1.7.2, The Update That Changed the World
The Update That Changed the World is quite a lofty title for any update, but version 1.7.2 did its best to live up to the moniker. The update added plenty of biomes and their variants, new structures, and the AMPLIFIED world type, which put the game’s terrain generation into overdrive.
The changes weren’t immediately noticeable for some players, but this update laid the groundwork for future updates that would expand on its initial work. The major update was released on October 25, 2013.
2) 1.16, The Nether Update
While the Nether existed well before update 1.16, it developed slowly over time with small fixes and additions. The Nether Update, released on June 23, 2020, changed everything by implementing new Nether biomes and structures and introducing many more inhabitants, including piglins, hoglins, zoglins, and striders.
Blackstone and respawn anchors were also added, and update 1.16 introduced the presence of ancient debris. Players can use this material to craft Netherite tools to this day.
The update massively impacted the Nether, and countless players are thankful for it.
1) 1.17 + 1.18, The Caves & Cliffs Update
Caves & Cliffs is the update that changed the game in numerous ways, as its content was so expansive that it was split into two parts between versions 1.17 and 1.18. The first leg of the update, released on June 8, 2021, saw the inclusion of several different implementations, including amethyst geodes, cave biomes, copper, axolotl mobs, and tons of more content between blocks, mobs, and items.
Not to be left out, version 1.18, introduced on November 30, 2021, was aimed at the game’s terrain generation once again. Caves and mountains were given entirely new generation methods, making mountains reach into the sky and caves become much more complex.
Mojang even upgraded existing worlds to accommodate these new features, changing nearly every aspect of the game from top to bottom.