Minecraft’s Update Aquatic brings friendly dolphins and fetching reefs


I do like to be beside the seaside, but there’s a lot to be said for diving into it and building oversized penis monuments. Fortunately the second and final part of Minecraft‘s “Update Aquatic” came out yesterday, and lets people with the Windows 10 version do exactly that. For players still on the Java version, work-in-progress snapshots have been available for a while but the full update isn’t ready yet.

Obviously Java folk can still get up to whatever they like underwater without the full update, unless they like erecting constructions amongst pretty coral reefs while being followed around by dolphin pals. There are treasure maps, shipwrecks and ruins to explore too, and oh huh I think I might actually play some Minecraft.

Here’s the update page.

I’ll do the dolphin deets first. There are many of them, as covered in this post on Mojang’s website. The devs advise that the optimal dolphin experience involves just chilling with them than capturing or hurting them, though personally I’m looking forward to seeing the first monstrous dolphin farm the internet produces.

The update promises “a paradise of colourful reefs, deep sea trenches, and kelp forests”, which do indeed look lovely.

You can also “discover shipwrecks and underwater ruins, take a swing at the Drowned for a chance to earn a mighty trident, or assemble the awesome conduit.” Those first two things sound neat, the Drowned are boring underwater zombies but trident chucking looks fun, and the conduit is a handy new block that makes stuff that’s near it behave as if it wasn’t wet. Including lungs.

The update definitely feels like it’s missing a deep sea horror element, though I’m holding out hope that there’s some messed up stuff that Mojang deliberately haven’t mentioned on the update page. Maybe they’re waiting for someone to get ambushed by a shoggoth while they’re larking about on the sea bed. Or maybe that’s the kind of trick you’re not supposed to play on kids. (There is, of course, already a Lovecraft mod.)

Those who plan on sticking to dry land until the Java version is ready won’t have to wait too long. The devs say they “hope to have it released by the end of July”.

Commendably, the Minecraft team are tying this into a coral reef restoration project. As part of RPS’s stealth transition to solely covering aquatic wildlife, I’m obligated to show you this axolotl.

You can buy Minecraft for £18/$27/€20 via Mojang’s website. That’ll net you both the Java and Windows 10 editions.


  1. ZakG says:

    I pretty much have this already in java Minecraft.

    Life in the Woods (original version)+ Mo’ Creatures mods built on 1.6.4 Minecraft.

    It’s kind of strange seeing Microsoft trying to catch up with all the amazing free mods that people have been making for Minecraft for decades!

    • Vinraith says:


      • Premium User Badge

        Drib says:

        Since time immemorial.

        • Aetylus says:

          True that. It’s a little known fact that Leonidas & Co held out so long at Thermopylae because most of the Persian army was distracted playing a sick new axolotl that had just been released.

          • Iamblichos says:

            Ashurbanipal would have exterminated the Nubians completely if they hadn’t released the “Gilgamesh” update. Instead he had to go back home and download the cunei-pack.

    • pack.wolf says:

      What would be a nice ‘play around with automation, power generators, and the like’ nowadays?
      Way back when I had quite some fun with Techit(?) but I have not touched Minecraft in what feels like forever, so I have no idea about mods any more.

      • TeeJay says:

        Personally I’ll recommend the “Enigmatica 2” modpack – its an up-to-date 1.12.2 kitchen-sink pack but it comes with a questbook that leads you through each mod, so it’s good if you want to (re)learn stuff.

        Alternatively have a browse of the top downloads link to curseforge.com if you’d prefer a more challenging ‘expert’ pack, a skyblock or whatever.

        You can also get a lot more in-depth advice over on reddit r/feedthebeast

      • brucethemoose says:

        Depends if you want to play on SP, a private server, or a populated public one.

        Either way, modded MC had come a LONG way. I still barely believe what’s in the game.

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    There’s some undersea horror aspect already. If you approach ruins you’re likely to face guardians.

    Oh, and in no time you’ll be up to your chin in seamen.

  3. PseudoKnight says:

    The Java edition hasn’t finalized the Aquatic update because it’s like two updates in one. They were doing massive internal changes and then decided to merge the two updates. They’ve been fixing bugs in snapshots for months now. There’s many significant features that don’t exist on Bedrock editions (though some of those are planned). The two releases aren’t exactly 1:1 comparisons.

  4. pookie191 says:

    One of these days I will have to pick up Minecraft. I’m apparently one of the only 2 people left on the planet who hasn’t played it yet

  5. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Java lagging behind win 10 doesnt’ surprise me, but it’s worrying. I don’t want Microsoft eventually just cutting off the moddable, non-microtransaction version.

    That said, the update looks neat. I mean sure it’s been done in mods before, but it’s still nice to have official support. The ocean temples were always a little bland, so having more junk underwater at least spices it up a bit.

    • DrJ3RK says:

      I refuse to use the Win 10 version (even though I’d actually prefer to get away from Java) because I also refuse to use a Live ID to sign into Windows (which is required to get and possibly use the Win 10 version). I prefer to be able to log into my OS how I please. So, unfortunately, my kids will have to wait for this update until it’s in the Java version. :(

    • PseudoKnight says:

      It’s not really lagging behind, fortunately. They’re releasing the content in stages for Bedrock. This is stage 2.

  6. Kefren says:

    I used to like Minecraft but then one of the feature changes ruined how I liked to play, and I’ve never been able to get back into it since. (In case anyone asks, it was the hunger mechanic – totally ruined my enjoyment seeing my health continuously go down as I explored; and the only way to disable it was to turn off the monsters that were one of my favourite aspects as I went on dungeon delves.)

    • Telkir says:

      This seems a strange feature to put you off the game. It doesn’t take an awful lot to find a village, steal all their wheat and carrots, then cook ’em up (along with meat from any sheep/cows/pigs you might’ve found along the way). Staying fed and getting a surplus of food is very easy. But, each to their own :)

      • ThricebornPhoenix says:

        It turned an effective and simple system (food = health) into a complicated one that involved a lot more effort. I have read that the penalties for doing things (like mining, jumping, and even just walking around) were toned down a while ago, but I found it so obnoxious before that I turned to mods to revert it.

      • Kefren says:

        But none of those were things I wanted to do – this mechanic was forcing me to spend time doing less fun stuff (and with no end, since it is a constant timer). It’s like if I played System Shock 2, and then an update forced me to strike my spanner against a wall for five minutes every hour, otherwise my character would lose health. I would come to dread those five minute periods, and wouldn’t feel inclined to load it up again. It doesn’t make a difference if other people say “I quite like hitting a wall with a spanner” or “It’s more realistic” or “It only takes five minutes and you can cut the time by reading wikis and changing the pattern of hitting, you just need to get good at doing it”. In Minecraft I liked exploring clumsily; I liked digging, and bits of building. I crafted a few simple items. The rest didn’t interest me, because I was having more fun playing it my way.

        • SBLux says:

          The hunger has been nerfed in recent times so that you can pretty much ignore it. You only need a small amount of food and you can find that while travelling easy enough.

    • Harlander says:

      I understand if you can’t be bothered with the faff, but the Hunger Strike mod lets you turn the hunger mechanism off.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Same thing happened to me, but I might get back in once they update the java version. I miss the forever night, forever snowing lands of the alpha.

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