Mojang is between two major updates. It recently wrapped up its long-awaited Caves and Cliffs update this past year and will soon be focusing on The Wild. Before then, Mojang is dropping a surprise Minecraft snapshot that deals with a wide variety of tweaks, technical changes, and fixes. It also adds a surprisingly important feature that Minecraft players will be surprised has never been added to the game before. It’s called “placefeature” and it does exactly what its name implies.
“Placefeature” allows Minecraft users to place “features” within the world, with features meaning items used in world generation. Some examples include trees, grass, and blocks, but also more complex features like monster rooms, lakes of lava, amethyst geodes, and End islands. If it’s tied to world generation, then it should be able to be inserted into a Minecraft game using the placefeature functionality. Note that there are limitations. For example, structures, creatures, and NPCs don’t appear to be included.
The placefeature functionality works in-game much like any other Minecraft command, which can be input using chat. Players can type “/” in chat to pull up a list of all supported commands, which they can then peruse. Commands include “difficulty,” “debug,” “weather,” and other options that alter the game’s systems. Placefeature requires two variables to work. First, it needs the <id> of the feature to be inserted, though it can also be selected from a menu. Second, it uses the position variable [pos] which utilizes x, y, and z coordinates. “~ ~ ~” is used by default and places the feature at the player’s location.
It’s easy to see how placefeature can be utilized in exciting and creative ways. It’s a tool that can be used to create customized regions and worlds, to start. Rather than requiring users place blocks individually for custom experiences, placefeature allows for a more natural, authored generation of scenarios. It’ll also be interesting to see how data packs can expand the functionality or utilize it for bigger features.
The Minecraft update didn’t solely add placefeature. Dozens of bugs have also been fixed, mostly for extremely rare circumstances like twisted vines protecting players from fall damage, or blindness allowing players to see farther in powder snow.
The 22W03A snapshot, which features all the planned changes for Minecraft 1.18.2, is available now for Java Edition users. The update will likely be tested and approved for broader release in the weeks to come. Once that’s finished, Mojang will be able to fully focus on update 1.19, The Wild, for release late this year.
Minecraft is available now on PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, and mobile devices.