At the Minecon conference on September 28, Mojang and Microsoft have finally announced more details about the upcoming Minecraft Update 1.16, that goes by the name The Nether Update. It will include action scenes from the action RPG spin-off Minecraft Dungeons and early access to Minecraft Earth.

New biomes

So far, the Nether was almost exclusively a gloomy area, which was characterized by lava flows and black fortresses. With the Nether Updater, this hellish intermediate dimension gets two more biomes.

  1. Soulsand Valley: Soulsand Valley becomes a dry desert area where the eponymous Soul Sand is the predominant block. Soulsand has been ensuring that mobs and the player themselves are slowed down and also sink on that block type.
  2. Netherwart Forest: Netherwart is a plant that grows exclusively in the Nether and only on Soulsand blocks. In addition to the red Nether forest, there will also be a blue variety with special mushrooms.
Minecraft Netherwart
Netherwart Forest

New mobs

After the update you will encounter two new enemy types in the Nether. This is where the so-called “Piglins” and “Piglins Beasts” drift around. The former is a completely new civilization. The Piglins are upright pigs who have a tendency for gold.

As with villagers, we can trade with the Piglins, but also get into trouble. The Piglins attack any player who loots a chest in their proximities. However, players wearing gold armor are completely ignored by the pigs.

Meanwhile, the Piglins Beasts are always aggressive beasts, but they also serve as a food source and can even be bred like real pigs. The name is still a placeholder, according to the developer.

Minecraft Piglin
The Piglins are a new civilization that lives in the Nether.

New blocks

At Minecon, two new block types were introduced in more detail, which come into play with Update 1.15. The first is a honey block appropriate to the bees, on which we can not jump and also move slower. The second new block is called Target Block and has a special ability:

  • The target block registers projectiles, such as arrows or bolts, that are shot at it. Resourceful hobbyists can use this new block and a bit of redstone to build traps or other useful equipment.

There are also a few more new blocks that appear in the new Nether biomes. For example, the trunks of the new Netherwart trees.

Minecraft Targetblocks
Depending on how close we are to the target block, the stronger its signal will be on shelling.


Minecraft: The Nether Update, update 1.16, is due to be released in early 2020.