If you play Minecraft on PC then there’s a good chance that you already caught Jens Bergensten’s hint of what to expect in update 1.6. In case you haven’t yet, the photo above – which was tweeted by the developer a couple of weeks ago – should give you a clue.
Details of update 1.6 have now been posted on the Minecraft Wiki, and the main feature is the addition of horses for both breeding and mounted combat. The horses can be tamed using the treats that appeal to them most – including sugar lumps and apples – and can be ridden using a special saddle that, unlike the regular saddle, can be constructed from leather and iron ingots. If the player attempts to mount the horse without first taming it, they will find themselves thrown off – bucking bronco style.
It is theoretically possible to engage in mounted combat using pigs, but since Minecraft pigs can only be controlled if the player is holding a carrot on a stick, swapping the carrot out for a weapon results in a rather odd form of combat where the player attacks in whichever direction the pig feels like facing. The tamed horses can be directly controlled by the player, and will automatically jump 1 block on height, making it easier to traverse hills. Apparently they can also climb ladders, which probably makes for quite a remarkable sight.
The horses can be tied up to a fence post using the new leashes, which can also be used on other mobs. Presumably this includes all hostile mobs, so if you’re so inclined you can re-enact a certain scene fromÂ Day of the DeadÂ by leashing a bunch of zombies to posts and standing just out of reach. Attempts to leash Creepers should be taken with extreme caution.
To ensure that the mounts are protected during combat, the update will also introduce horse armor that can be crafted in iron, gold or diamond varieties (no leather armor, unless you count the horse’s skin). The animal’s Minecraft Wiki page also drops a hint about using the animal to pull a prank on friends in multiplayer; by using an invisibility potion whilst mounted, you can effectively disguise yourself as a horse and sneak up on unsuspecting competitors.
In addition to the horses, the update will add donkeys and (if you cross-breed the two), mules. Donkeys can carry chests on their saddles, useful for relocating or for free-roaming adventures that garner more loot than can be carried in the player’s inventory.
Aside from the new equestrian arrivals, Minecraft players will also get carpets for their dwellings, which can be constructed by using placing two pieces of wool in a horizontal line. The Respiration enchant has also been improved, so that players under the effect of this potion will have better visibility whilst underwater. The update also adjusts mob scaling, so that enemies will become harder and harder to fight the longer you spend in the same area.
Finally, there are two bug fixes included: Endermen who take environmental damage will no longer blame their plight on the player and become hostile, and an issue using the anvil with languages set to anything other than English has also been fixed.
If you’re a Minecraft player, let us know what you plan to do with your new mount in the comments.
Source: Minecraft Wiki