Minecraft

Minecraft's Redstone update due next week, pre-release available now

Phil Savage at

If your idea of playing Minecraft is simply mining a bit of ore to build some better weapons with which to biff Creepers, the patch notes for the upcoming Redstone Update probably read like some alien language. It adds new sensors that create a signal output in response to variable weights or differing amount of sunlight. Then there's the Capacitor block, which allows for variable signal strengths. What's any of that got to do with the price of diamonds?

For the community's talented mapmakers, though, the added flexibility should be a huge boon. As well as the extra redstone circuitry, the update also provides more uses for the clever Command Blocks - giving extra tools to create amazing adventures, all without the need to install extra mods.

We've already had a taste of what game-warping feats can be achieved through the new items, courtesy of this basketball minigame. For more, look to mapmaker Hypixel, who's new adventure map Wither's Challenge, gives a taste of what can be achieved. It's a wave-based 3-player horde mode, using the new scoreboard command to display remaining lives, and letting players spend experience points for shop items.

The update is due out March 13th, but you can download the pre-release version right now from here.

Full change list below.

  • Added Redstone Comparator (used in Redstone logic)
  • Added Hopper (collects items and moves them to containers)
  • Added Dropper (similar to Dispensers, but always drops the item)
  • Added Activator Rail (activates TNT Minecarts)
  • Added Daylight Sensor
  • Added Trapped Chest
  • Added Weighed Pressure Plate
  • Added Block of Redstone
  • Added Nether Brick (item)
  • Added Nether Quartz and ore
  • Added Block of Quartz, with half blocks and chiseled variants
  • New command: /scoreboard
  • New command: /effect
  • Containers and mobs can have custom names
  • Inventory management has been changed, for example you can drag-place items over slots
  • Texture packs now have separate images for each block and item, and can have animations
  • Nether Quartz Ore now spawns in the Nether
  • Smooth lighting now has three settings (none, minimal, maximum)
  • More detailed death messages
  • Some hostile mobs now are harder in Hard difficulty
  • Many, many, bug fixes
  • Removed Herobrine