Cubic Violence: Minecraft Combat Update Released

Minecraft [official site] murderers can enjoy a little more vim in their BAM! and a little more pow in their BIF! now version 1.9 of the mega-popular craft ’em up has arrived. It’s nicknamed the ‘Combat Update’ for its focus on overhauling violence, with changes including adding shields and charged attacks so fighting is less about clicking frantically. But it also brings new blocks to build with, new enemies, and delicate wings which let people glide gracefully rather than plummet to their death.

Mojang’s blog gives a quick run-down of all that’s been added in version 1.9, or changes are listed in exhausting detail over here.

If some of this sounds like old news, that’ll be because it’s been in public testing for a while. Which handily means that players have already filled fan Wikis with information on the mysteries of skeleton riders, Shulkers, elytra wings, Purpur blocks, End rods, new arrows, and all that.

This update is for the original Java version of Minecraft, mind, not the new Windows 10 Edition. Development of the two different versions is still separate but cross-pollinating, so all this should probably make it over to the Win 10 edition at some point. This goes both ways; v1.9 has added beetroots from that other version (or from the Pocket Edition which the Windows 10 Edition is based on – look, it’s complicated).

Hey, if you’re reading this, you might also dig Cobbo’s new bit insisting that heroes don’t craft – about how the success of Minecraft means that crafting systems have ended up in many games where they’re far less at home.


  1. Kefren says:

    The addition of a hunger bar killed Minecraft for me. The only official option to disable it also removed the monsters and the fun. All it would have taken was an option in the settings and I’d probably still be playing Minecraft today.

    • trollusk says:

      To turn hunger off, you can use the mod Hunger Overhaul. By default it makes hunger *more* of a concern, but it’s easily configured to switch hunger off.

      Another option is Hunger Strike, which gets rid of hunger but makes good heal you instead.

    • teedle says:

      Yeah the hunger blows. A ton Minecraft’s earlier updates seemed designed around making the game less fun (prolly cuz Notch).
      If you open your game up to lan you can put in a command for a full hunger effect and disable regeneration. Here’s the commands I’m gonna use to mess with this update:
      /effect @p minecraft:saturation 1000000 10 true
      /gamerule naturalRegeneration false
      And then my rain and no mob block ruining:
      /gamerule mobGriefing false
      /weather rain 1000000

      • AngoraFish says:

        A ton of the game’s updates, including this one, have been driven by a small but extremely vocal group of players demanding that the game have ‘more to do’ by making it an adventure game instead of a creative builder.

        Tragically, what 99% of all games are actually played for is building stuff in a sandbox – usually in creative mode.

        And yet we keep getting nether, and potions, and combat… And the relentless and almost completely unsuccessful effort to shoehorn a completely different type of game into Minecraft continues unabated.

        • Harlander says:

          99%? Think you might be exaggerating a touch there.

        • Distec says:

          Can only speak for myself, but I play Creative mode in Survival mode. Booting up Creative and just making a an AT-AT or something does nothing for me, but I will spend days strip mining an area of resources in Survival in order to make a Tower of Awesome. Going out into the world and getting the resources to enable that is what hooks me.

          • Dawlight says:

            It’s the same for me. I’m not a voxel artist, I’m a builder.

  2. chrisp_87 says:

    Will this update be coming to console versions as well?

  3. Crocobutt says:

    This was an update I wasn’t looking forward to. Haven’t tried it yet, this update might slow down the clicky, fast battles one tends to have.
    -Seasons were never implemented, and probably never will.
    -Rain/snow optimizations made them look worse.
    Well, it was fun years ago while it lasted.

  4. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Doesn’t change that much. My favorite modpacks all still run on 1.7.10. Curators are very conservative about upgrading.

    Still Tinker’s Construct is everywhere so weapons aren’t exactly a problem and there are mods for shields, mods for everything actually.

    • brucethemoose says:

      This will also affect modded combat, eventually.

      As this update didn’t do anything drastic like completely overhaul the rendering engine, porting 1.8.9 mods to 1.9 should be relatively easy. Whether 1.8.9 or 1.9.x becomes the next major version of modded MC depends on how fast Mojang gets their bug fixes out the door.

  5. geldonyetich says:

    I’ll give it a spin. While modded Minecraft is pretty incredible, from time to time it’s good to go back and experience the latest Vanilla.

    • geldonyetich says:

      I need Not Enough Items. Minecraft needs it built into vanilla. Having to consult the wiki to craft everything is some kind of fandom strength test.

  6. Rob Lang says:

    Happy to have a bit more challenge on combat and looking forward to making The End a place to go to on a regular plundering hunt like I do for the Nether. New sounds too will be nice.

    Would much prefer they put time in making feature parity in the Win10 version for the performance/view distance improvements.

  7. tonicer says:

    When i play Minecraft i feel like i’m playing oldschool shooters like Doom or Quake … the movement and the aiming feels just right … also the fov slider goes to quake pro which is cool. :)

    And then there are mods … so many mods … good mods and bad mods … but if a mod is bad or good is often based on the players opinion and taste.

    Oh and one more thing … the original java version played how it’s meant to be played (with mouse and keyboard) is and will always be the best flavor of minecraft.

    But then again this is all just my humble opinion … the opinion of one who is a MC hipster … “I played it before all those derpy egotistical youtubers.”

  8. Chaz says:

    I tried running Minecraft again on my new Win 10 installation and couldn’t get it to work properly, it didn’t seem to want to load in a world. The Win 10 app version worked but felt oddly constrained by comparison to the regular version.

  9. Shiloh says:

    My new shield looks spiffing! Not tested it in battle yet, and it doesn’t show as raising my armour rating, but I guess I’ll find out when I break into the cave system which I know is just the other side of my latest mine.