'Minecraft 1.3' Update Guide

Notch & Co have released version 1.3 for Minecraft, which brings a lot more to the plate if you choose to download it. Featuring several world-changing features, a new world saving system, 4 new blocks and 2 new craftable items, 1.3 brings a formidable amount to the table.

We're here to guide you through the new features so you can be prepared the next time you journey into the world of Minecraft. And if you're behind and haven't played in a while, be sure to check out our Minecraft 1.2 Update Guide. For now, let's get into what 1.3 gives us!

World Selection And Rendering Changes

Before you even get into the game, the first thing you'll notice is that you can now name and rename worlds, and have more than 5 of them thanks to an implemented scrollbar. Before you use a world in the new version, it'll have to be converted into the new format, which may take some time - but after that, you're good to go.

When it loads, you'll see the fantastic new Smooth Lighting shine upon your blocks! You can revert to regular lighting, but 'Smooth Lighting' renders the world in a more dynamic, smooth fashion - and the world will now load faster, thanks to the new 'McRegion' coding implemented in the update. The menu for the game also went through some changes, with Notch adding a Graphics options button so those settings have their own screen.

Sandstone will now naturally occur underneath layers of sand, having been presumably compacted under the weight above it. Lastly, for that added bit of realism, pressing F1 now gets rid of the heads up display, so if you wanna get serious about this stuff - it's time to go hardcore. Pressing F3 will now also show an entity number above mob heads, for development purposes - but if a skeleton is blasting you and you can't see him in return, tapping the button probably wouldn't hurt.


Ever have those nights when you're sitting in a hovel, listening to zombies creep around outside? Well, if you had a bed, you could just plop down and dream about some diamonds till the morning! The bed allows you to quickly forward to the daytime, but be warned: if you're not in a secure place, there's a chance you'll be awoken facing a nasty mob a foot from your face - sleep with your torches up! It should also be noted that in multiplayer, beds will only fast-forward to the day if every player is using one at the same time.

Half Blocks

The long awaited addition of more half blocks has finally arrived! Cobblestone, Sandstone and Wood now all have half-blocks that you can make using the usual formula. There were many Crafters out there who didn't like that only smooth half blocks could be placed, and now your gigantic sandcastles and wood fortresses can have stylized half blocks to match the mood. Destroying a double-half block will now finally give you two of them back, as opposed to the single unit return that's been happening until this update.

Redstone Repeater

For those Redstone engineers out there, this is sure to excite: Redstone Repeaters are designed to either repeat or slow a redstone signal, and right clicking a repeater will change it from 1-4, slowing down the signal respectively each time you click. However, there's more uses for a repeater: it can also be used as a Wire Diode, which means that it will only accept a signal from its back, and will only output from its front, ignoring the spaces to its left and right - for those making circuits in tight-spaces, it's a handy feature.

The Bleeding Obsidian

Nothing is known about the new block - and official sightings are scarce and unproven. It's existence is confirmed only by - and we checked - the inclusion of the texture for this block in the source code. Some speculate that this is lapis lazuli mixed in with obsidian, and others speculate that it is a new form of material, an Obsidian-Diamond hybrid to make the ultimate tools. However, so far nobody knows what's going on, and even the name isn't official. We'll keep you posted on updates as they happen, as it's possible this block won't have a purpose until a future update - but looking at what the block looks like, it's likely going to have a solid impact.

The Tidbits

Here's the last bit of updates and changes:

  • A new painting has been added (see above)
  • Slimes now have a higher rate of spawn
  • Sulfur has been renamed to gunpowder again
  • Sandstone digging time decreased
  • Pressure Plates now only required 2 of their respective materials
  • New Mojang logo on splash screen

That about sums it up for the Minecraft 1.3 update. What do you think about the changes and additions? Tell us your thoughts!

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