Those of us who've been with Minecraft since its inception can trace how amazingly far it's come in a few short years. From the pre-alpha test —or 'classic version— to the mind-blowing worlds of "infdev," Minecraft has had a long and varied history. Today, Minecraft is a billion dollar Microsoft-owned product that changes on a regular basis. And like any massive, pioneering game, Minecraft has had its fair share of glitches and exploits that have influenced its ongoing development along the way.
In this list, we've taken a look at some of the most memorable glitches throughout Minecraft's lifespan. Some have been chosen because of their useful exploits, some for their game-changing effect, and some just for being straight up weird. Many will no longer work in the current versions of the game. In particular, those that gave the player a significant advantage or shortcut. Anything that gives players a boost —be it in single, or multiplayer modes— has likely been patched out of the game. The original Mojang development team should be commended for their efforts to combat so many frustrating glitches. And now with Microsoft's well-resourced hand having taken the reins, the craziest bugs seen in earlier versions are a rarity.
It could definitely be said there is a common parallel between fond Minecraft fans and Bethesda fans; that at the end of the day, we know your game might be *loaded* with bugs —some amusing and some infuriating— but all is forgiven in turn for the promise of an incredible experience. Here are the 15 craziest glitches in Minecraft.
15 X-Ray Glitch
Without a doubt, this is one of the most-encountered (and most useful) glitches in Minecraft. The X-ray glitch allows a glimpse through the earth around them, exposing the otherwise hidden network of tunnels and caverns below. This glitch could formerly be triggered with a variety of methods and was often found by total accident.
The real advantage of this glitch was the insight it gave for quickly finding those deep, lava-filled caverns and loot filled dungeons that always had the most valuable haul. Struggling to find that much needed last block of diamond? No problem, just make a note of the deepest visible point, and your chances of finding those rare materials increase fantastically. Sadly, the much loved X-ray glitch has been patched multiple times, and is no longer so easy to prompt.
14 Chests Inside Chests
A great little glitch for players who want to conservative space in their secluded, underground bunker, or in their lavish, turreted treehouse. The chest in a chest glitch enabled a player to use minecarts in such a way that they could stack chests within each other. This effectively minimized the space that was needed for all that storage, and could also be exploited to make an indestructible storage area under certain conditions.
Anyone who's taken hours out of their day to mine an endless patchwork of tunnels in their Minecraft world knows how much storage that process demands. Once you finally emerge back into the light, the economical player won't just throw away their excess cobblestone, but rather preserve those ~1000x64 stacks for some grand construction project that will likely never come. This glitch was great cases where you found yourself filling room after room with chests of
worthless junk valuable resources.
13 Row Boat Prison Break
The griefers of early multiplayer Minecraft servers were the bane of any host's existence. Irreversible damage was often already done by the time someone was found out and banned. In response to this issue, many popular servers introduced a lobby system in the form of a prison. This was a place to screen waiting players, much like an unruly queue pining for access to an exclusive nightclub. And, of course, undesirables soon found a way around these policies, such as the often used boat-shimmy-through-the-bars-trick.
This glitch required that player spawn a boat on the wall or bars of a prison and slowly push their way out to freedom. The method often risked suffocation damage, but was otherwise an easy workaround. Similar tricks can still be used with odd boat spawns on dry land. For example, when passing through particular walls and fences where it would usually be impossible.
12 Secret Rooms
Half the fun of building your dream bunker is loading it with booby traps and hidden features that only you, the architect, are privy to. One such perk is designing and installing secret rooms to guard your most precious assets. While there used to be a handful of impact and texture glitches that could be used to greatly concealed entrances, the most effective secret doors can often be created legitimately with clever piston block usage, or by elaborate Redstone mechanisms.
As for using a particular glitch, the easiest method of creating a secret room is simply taking advantage of the texture overlay made by a large painting placed over a door. All you have to do is remember where your entrance is and you can seamlessly clip right through your decoy artwork, just like in the movies. This particular texture exploit reportedly still works in some current Minecraft versions.
11 Massive TNT Craters
If you don't mind blowing a huge, gaping hole in your finely manicured landscape, then setting up a block of 100x100x100 TNT and detonating it is some of the most fun you can have in the game. This is best done through a map editing program that will allow you to insert blocks directly into the game, wherever you like, and saves you the time of meticulously building thousands of TNT blocks.
The player who captured this particular image got creative and built an obsidian meteor in the bottom of their crater, giving it the appearance of an impact zone. Aside from the dramatic effect on the landscape, this trick also has some practical applications. Decimating your terrain in this manner gives you an instant quarry for mining, exposing materials that would usually take much longer to find underground. Fair warning: setting off this much TNT at once *will* crash your game.
10 Upside Down Pigs
While it's hardly a game-breaking bug, the upside down mobs glitch was definitely a chuckle-worthy moment for many Minecraft players. The glitch involved using the recently added nametag item on one of many mobs to permanently flip them wrong side up. It was soon common knowledge that this effect was technically not a glitch at all, but an odd Easter Egg implemented by a developer named Dinnerbone.
Dinnerbone is a unique figure in the world of Minecraft, and is best known for his one-of-a-kind skin in multiplayer. Just like the Easter Egg of his namesake, Dinnerbone is the only Minecraft player who appears upside down in the multiplayer version of the game. This distinctive trait can be applied to any mob in the game —man or beast— by creating a nametag with either the name "Dinnerbone" or "Grumm" inscribed on it, and applying it to any creature.
9 Minecart Boosters
There once was a time when the Minecraft world had no access to Redstone resources, and consequentially no electricity. So, much like the real pre-electrification world, players found innovative ways to solve problems without powered means. The interesting thing about this glitch is that it's an example of an exploit that eventually became an integrated part of the official game.
In versions before the Redstone powered mine track was available, players would build short track loops to exponentially build up speed before launching their carts off at great velocity. Eventually, the Redstone wires were integrated to many other useful blocks and tiles, giving players the 'booster tracks' that formerly required a bit of clever exploitation. Similar glitches can still be exploited using boats and the slime resource, but are basically obsolete.
8 Duplicate Items
The various item duplication glitches found in Minecraft have been some of the most lucrative —and also most quickly patched— exploits in the game. The ability to replicate any item of your choice is a Holy Grail for players looking to cheat their way to success, or maybe just to save the hassle of hundreds of hours mining in survival mode.
Any glitch that allows the player to recreate an item in their inventory infinite times has always been quickly remedied once discovered. This is because it is a totally game-breaking advantage for anyone using it. Usually, it is as simple as an inventory bug that can give a player duplicate stack after stack of any desired material, so long as they already have one legitimate stack to start with. There aren't any (known) methods of replicating this glitch at the moment, and don't expect there to be any in the future that last very long.
7 Floating Islands
Floating islands are a glitch-turned-feature that can still be encountered in current versions of Minecraft, but were first found most prolifically and originally by accident in the "infdev" version of the game. This was the first version of Minecraft that presented an infinitely expanding world (a key feature in every version since) and often generated a crazy patchwork world of floating islands.
This random generation of islands suspended in the air was generally received as a cool quirk people wanted to see kept in the game. Since the "infdev" version, many of the kinks in Minecraft's procedural generation have been sorted out, but some of the happy accidents along the way have been retained as part of the current version. Nothing beats spending the afternoon building your own windmill in the sky to recreate Feel Good by Gorillaz.
6 Mob Fishing
An unintended side-effect of the fishing rod tool is that many players started using it for a function aside from its intended purpose of catching fish: reeling in other people and creatures. The fishing rod can be used on most other mobs and items as an added appendage where you might not normally have the reach. For example, a great unintended use for the fishing rod is as a makeshift dog leash.
While it's less of a glitch and more a misuse of an existing tool, 'mob fishing' has become a common term among players who have created their own minigames from the versatile device. One of many other great tricks using the fishing rod, this technique lets players fling someone into the air. If they have the elytra wings equipped, and are inside of a body of water, they can effectively slingshot a friend into the atmosphere.
5 Unlimited Oxygen
An absolute classic among Minecraft glitches, if not just for its simplicity, was the unlimited oxygen glitch. This glitch allowed players to breathe indefinitely underwater with the use of one simple tool. All that was required was to keep an empty bucket in your inventory, and to then spam click the water in front of you as you traveled through it.
The resulting effect was as if you were perpetually bailing out the water in front of you, as if to create an air pocket over and over again. This is just one of many physics-defying moments from a Minecraft glitch that made the player feel like they were in some Loony Tunes world where the normal rules didn't apply. Not that anyone expects hyper-realism from Minecraft, but it's definitely a trick that feels like it should not be possible within the limits of the game.
4 Speed Hacking
Speed hacking is the use of any exploit in the game which allows the player to speed up time in their Minecraft world. To clarify, it is not the player character just moving faster, but the entire world, mobs and all. The great advantage of this is that a player can get repetitive tasks done far quicker than he or she would usually be capable of. For example, large strip mining projects can be done in a fraction of the time that it would usually take to laboriously get through one row or column, block by block.
One particularly clever method of using this exploit was on an older Windows version of the game. The player could go into the settings of their operating system, and any advance in time there would speed up the game's time to match it. Similar exploits can be made in older console games like Fable, which require the player to wait real-time hours or days to generate income.
3 Builder Bots
Player created bots of any kind are technically not a glitch themselves, but are still a worthy inclusion on this list because of the exploits they allow players to make. Builder bots in Minecraft have been popular since the first multiplayer creative maps from some years ago. There was a huge culture of player created sprite art and collaborative sculpture emerging then, and the use of builder bots meant players could generate amazing shapes in an instant.
The earliest builder bots responded to commands that were given to them through the server chat, and could make enormous 3D structures like cubes or spheres with machine-like precision. Bots could also be programmed to make certain sprites on command using a simple text file input.
2 "The Far Lands"
Probably one of the most truly bizarre glitches in Minecraft comes at the extreme limits of its procedural generation, called by some players as "The Far Lands." This effect can be found in certain versions of Minecraft by traveling a massive distance from your initial seed point. Eventually, you will arrive at a wall where the landscape changes dramatically.
The cause of this glitch is generally explained as the infinite generation algorithm reaching the extent of its practical capacity. As the player travels further, the terrain will gradually become more extreme, but then hits this critical point of a completely alien structure that extends across the horizon. Definitely one of the best examples of Minecraft's inner workings going completley off the rails.
1 Piston Block Duplication
The piston block duplication glitch is a likely contender as the most popular and widely replicated glitch in Minecraft. A player could set up a particular arrangement of powered pistons to infinitely generate a row of whatever block they input. The benefits of this system are obvious: why spend hours down the mine, looking for diamonds, when you can create a machine that makes endless copies for you?
Another example of a glitch quickly amended by Minecraft's developers. When you can have an unlimited amount of whatever material you want, it removes the incentive to dedicate time in the game. Just like the replicator on the Starship Enterprise, how can you truly appreciate what you have if you've never had to really work for it?