Minecraft's infamous 'Herobrine' world seed has been found

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Herobrine is a legend in Minecraft (opens in new tab), the star of a creepypasta not dissimilar to Slender Man. He was first reported in a 2010 4chan post, according to a history on the Minecraft Wiki (opens in new tab), but went largely unnoticed until a streamer named Copeland shared several images "proving" the odd character's existence. Herobrine appears in singleplayer games, so the story went, where he does weird things like carving 2x2 tunnels in the rocks or cutting all the leaves off of trees; he looks identical to the default Minecraft skin, but with white, empty eyes.

Like all good legends, this one had a hook in the real world: Herobrine was reportedly Notch's dead brother (opens in new tab), although to be honest I'm not sure whether the idea was that Notch coded his deceased sibling into Minecraft to preserve him for eternity, or if it was his vengeful spirit come back to haunt the game. Not that it really matters, because—spoiler alert—the whole thing was made up. Herobrine doesn't exist (Copeland explained how he got the ball rolling here (opens in new tab)) and, for the record, Notch never had a brother.

What is real, however, is the Minecraft world in which Herobrine was first seen. Unfortunately, nobody knew exactly which world it was: Specific Minecraft worlds, as we explain here (opens in new tab), can be perfectly recreated with "seeds," but if you don't know the seed, you're pretty much out of luck. It is possible to crunch the numbers to discover specific seeds, though: The Minecraft title screen seed (opens in new tab) was discovered in July 2020, and the Pack.png seed (opens in new tab) was dug up a few months later. And now, as detailed at Minecraft@Home (opens in new tab), the original Herobrine seed has been discovered as well.

The seed was discovered on January 16 by andrew_555 (Kminster), who said on Reddit (opens in new tab) that it took "probably about 50 hours in total for developing/writing the code back in September" followed by months of occasional debugging, until they "realised there was a wrong leaf in the recreation which had been the problem all along." 

The project page also credits Neil, BoySanic, polymetric & MC (PseudoGravity) as "major contributors."

Here are the details:

  • Seed: 478868574082066804
  • Version: Java Alpha 1.0.16_02
  • Alpha coordinates: X=5.06 Y=71 (72.62 eye pos) Z=-298.54
  • Modern coordinates: X=5.16 Y=71 Z=-298.53
  • Camera angle: RX=93.75 RY=-1.2

If you'd like to check out the original Herobrine world for yourself, you'll need to use Minecraft Java Edition with "Historical versions" enabled in the launcher. Select version a1.0.16 and then either edit the save file (that version doesn't support entering seeds) or, more easily, use this prepared world file (opens in new tab). That'll generate a fresh version of the Herobrine world, with you standing exactly where you should be. If you run into trouble, or just want to chat about this world (or, I would guess, other interesting places to visit), hit up the Minecraft@Home Discord (opens in new tab).

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.