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Comprehensive guide to Minecraft 1.11

Minecraft 1.11 survival guide by Muriako

Hello everybody, today we're going to take a look at the upcoming 1.11 Minecraft update. Now that we've reached pre-release we know pretty well what to expect from the update, with only minor tweaks and bug fixes happening before release, so it's a good time to look at what changes are coming and know what to expect when you update your worlds and servers. Keep in mind that we'll mostly be focusing on changes that affect survival, but I will try to mention every important change.

Shields now block 100% of melee damage and prevent effects like burning/withering

Jumping right in, there have been a few changes to the core gameplay via changes to shields and hunger saturation. First is that shields can now block 100% of melee damage, up from the 66% that it was previously, meaning attacks from things like zombies can now be blocked completely. As you now can block melee attacks entirely it means that burning Zombies will not set you on fire if you block their hit and the Wither effect from Wither Skeletons can be blocked as well. Strangely you can also now block 100% of damage from a Creeper blast, so long as you're facing the right direction, obviously.

And shields have also been fixed so that their enchantments and durability persist after you combine them with a banner.

Saturation changes - your hunger will last a lot longer unless you're regenerating health a lot

Saturation has also changed a bit in a pretty noticeable way. Quick insight, for those who are not aware, saturation is effectively a hidden, second hunger bar that fills up as you eat and this is what determines how long it takes for your hunger to start dropping again, as well as how long you can get the increased regeneration speed when you're hurt. This saturation level is lowered by most things that you do, whether that's jumping, breaking blocks, attacking, etc, but as of 1.11 it will be draining much slower than it has in the last few versions of the game. This essentially means your food is going to be lasting a lot longer in general play, but there is one exception to this. The natural health regeneration that you get when your hunger is mostly full now drains your saturation even faster than it did before.

For example, with the new 1.11 rates, you will get 30 sprint jumps out of the same amount of saturation that you do from regenerating half a heart of health. Even eating a steak, one of the highest saturation food sources, will only give you maybe 4 hearts of the fast regeneration before your saturation runs out and your hunger will start draining again. Basically what this means is that your food should be lasting quite a bit longer while you're doing things like mining or building, but if you're taking constant damage then it will likely drain even faster than it did before, so playing better and avoiding unnecessary damage is now pretty well rewarded.

One other small thing of mention regarding hunger is that your hunger bar will now display properly when you're in a boat or a minecart, it no longer disappears like it used to for whatever reason.

Easily nametag villagers and the return of the greencoats

Next are a few changes to villagers. They had a few small changes, things like farmers now potentially selling a few more apples or cookies than they did previously, or that they can now be much more easily named with name tags, so no more needing two people or weird shenanigans to name them.

1.11 also brings back the green coat villager and has him spawning naturally in villages. We know this villager as the "Nitwit" as he has no profession and offers no trades, he's just there to derp around. You can also find and cure Zombie Villagers of this type as well.

New "Cartographer" villager that sells "Explorer Maps"

Much more importantly, however, is the addition of a completely new villager. This villager is a variant of the librarian, he looks the same as the librarian, but is called a "Cartogropher". As you may have guessed he sells things relating to maps, so blank maps or compasses are obvious choices, but of course he supplies more than that. This villager is the only source for the new explorer maps.

There are currently two of these in the game, the "Ocean Explorer Map" and the "Woodland Explorer Map". Both give you a special unrevealed map with a lovely little map drawing on it as well as having a small icon marking the location of a particular type of structure. These maps will show your position relative to the area via a white dot, the smaller the dot is the further away from that area you are, and you can find your way to the area by simply moving in the cardinal directions that would eventually lead that white dot into the map.

The "Ocean Exploration Map" will mark the location of an Ocean Monument, so what does the "Woodland Exploration Map" mark?

The new "Woodland Mansion" spawns in Forest and Roofed Forest biomes

It marks a brand new structure called a "Woodland Mansion"! These will generate naturally in forest and roofed forest biomes and are massive, 3 story high, procedurally generated structure made from a variety of wood and stone types.

As these are procedurally generated from many small pieces, over 50 of them in fact, each one you visit will be unique. They can contain several hidden rooms as well as some rare rooms (such as the one containing a giant wool chicken) and some of them even have hidden treasures within. Keep in mind that these can be extraordinarily far away so even after you get a Woodland Explorer Map you should be prepared for a very long search to finally reach it.

You'll find plenty of naturally spawning mobs within but there are some challenges that are unique to the mansion.

3 new mob types found exclusively in the Woodland Mansion structure

Those challenges comes from the addition of the some new hostile mobs that spawn exclusivey in these structures. Referred to as outcast villagers, or "Illagers", you will find the Vindicator and Evoker mobs, as well as the Vex that the Evoker summons, exclusively within the woodland mansions.

All three of these new mobs are hostile towards the player, regular villagers and iron golems and have no problems at all with other hostile mobs like zombies. The Vindicators and Evokers will spawn in once when the mansion is first generated and never again, so they can't be farmed nor will they return to attack you if you decide to stick around the mansion once you clear it out.

Here's Johnny!

Vindicators are essentially crazed villagers that will charge at you with an axe. They don't do anything particularly special and aren't too difficult to deal with, though as of 1.11 any mob that attacks you with an axe will actually disable your shield, so watch out for that.

They do have one other interesting property though. If you name one of these guys "Johnny", as an obvious reference to The Shining, he will start attacking everything except for other Vindicators and Evokers.

The Evoker

The Evokers will prefer to stand back, being a warlock of sorts, and will mostly attack by casting a spell that raises small, trap-like things in a straight line along the floor that will damage you if you don't move out of the way. You'll be able to see this coming as the Evoker will raise his hands up to channel his magic before successfully attacking. If you get too close to the Evoker this attack will change slightly and instead raise a circle of these traps around the Evoker as a defense of sorts.

The Evoker also has a weird habit of turning blue sheep red, an apparent tribute to Age of Empires.

Vexing Vexes

The Vex is a small imp-like and ghostly creature that is summoned by the Evoker. These will float around you, including straight through solid walls. Occasionally they will turn partially red, indicating that they are about to charge in to attack you. Vex have a limited life span and will automatically start dying off after a short while, so you won't end up overrun with them but you can get quite a little army after you if you're not careful.

The "Totem of Undying", a drop from the Evokers, will save you from death

You may be wondering why you would bother to enter these structures other than simple curiosity. While the Illagers do drop emeralds, the main reason would actually be to obtain the new Totem of Undying. This is a special item dropped by the Evokers and is essentially a get out of death free card.

To get the effect of the totem you need to hold it in one of your hands, so you will either be switching to it or, more likely, simply holding it in your offhand when you think it may be necessary. Essentially this totem will trigger when you would have otherwise died, preventing the death and giving four hearts of absorption as well as a short regeneration effect. The totem is one time use and is destroyed in the process, so use them wisely. These will likely be used most often for things like Wither or End Dragon fights, or if you're like me you'll "save" them in a chest and never think to use them again.

Maps now work in the End

While on the subject of the End, you can now also use maps there. Not much to say about this, though they're a pretty decent way of keeping track of everywhere you've been when you're out searching for new end cities to pillage.

Cursed Enchantments - Enchantments with a negative effect, primarily for map makers

One other thing you will occasionally be finding out in the world are cursed enchantments. These are largely considered tools for map makers, but they will be available in chests even in survival, as well as via villager trading, and you will inevitably come across them eventually. These are purely negative enchantments that can be found on various pieces of equipment.

The "Curse of Binding" will be found on armor, and once that piece of armor is equipped it can not be removed until it breaks from durability damage or you die. The "Curse of Vanishing" will make the item "vanish", or be destroyed, when you die so it cannot be retrieved.


Returning to the mobs, we do have one other new mob that was added to the game, and this one is a lot more friendly than the ones previously mentioned. Minecraft now has llamas. These spawn naturally in both extreme hills and savanna biomes in one of four different colors. They need to be tamed, similar to horses, and both wheat and hay bales will speed up taming as well as make the babies grow faster, with hay bales also being used to breed them.

They are neutral mobs so they won't attack you, at least not unless you attack first. They do actually have a special attack, which, being llamas, is of course the ability to spit at anything they don't like. They will only do this if they are attacked or if they see a wolf. Llamas don't like wolves apparently.

Llama caravans

They have a bit more use than that though. Unfortunately you can't really control them directly, despite being able to ride them, though you can use a lead on them and they keep up fairly well behind a horse. They also have a unique property of automatically forming caravans, meaning when you lead one llama any others in the area will try and follow behind it automatically, forming a little line.

These caravans are limited to 10 llamas at a time, though you can form multiple caravans at once by leading multiple llamas. They will even try and maintain this line when leashed to a fence, so it's reasonably easy to keep them contained. They can be equipped with a chest, giving them a randomly assigned 3 to 15 slots of inventory space, and instead of getting a saddle you can place a carpet on them with each of the 16 colors of carpet giving a unique design, some of which are quite entertaining.

Several small changes to mobs

That's it as far as new mobs go, though there were some minor changes to already existing mobs as well. Here are the most noticeable ones :

  • Elder Guardians and Zombie Villagers now have unique subtitles, as well as some unique sound effects for Zombie Villagers and Wither Skeletons
  • Skeleton Traps reduced to 1/5th their previous spawn chance
  • Creepers that have a potion effect applied to them, say with a splash potion, will leave a linger potion cloud of that potion effect behind if they explode
  • Guardians drop cooked fish if they die while on fire and Elder Guardians drop wet sponges instead of dry ones
  • Blazes and Endermen will take small amounts of damage from splash water bottles
  • Raw rabbit will now be affected by looting
  • Skeleton Horse bone drops will now be affected by looting
  • Husks will try to avoid going in water

and of course the most important change of all :

  • Chickens now have their neck texture

Shulker shells

Now there is one other thing that I have thus far left out in regards to mobs, and that's the new purpose that Shulkers have, and oh what a fantastic purpose it is. Killing Shulkers will now get you a "Shulker Shell" item. The shells seem to drop about 50% of the time and this is also increased slightly by looting, so be sure you have that on your sword when you go to collect them.

So, what are they for? If you take two of them and put them around a chest in a crafting table, one above the chest and one below it, you'll get a new item called a "Shulker Box". This is essentially a single chest with a snazzy opening animation, but it has one other property that makes it arguably the most important change of this update.

Shulker Boxes - chests that can be broken and moved without losing their contents

The Shulker Box is Mojang's answer to the ever growing inventory space issues that the community has been complaining about for years. These are essentially chests that can be broken and still keep their inventory, meaning they behave much like backpacks or special bags do in modded Minecraft, just with the additional steps of placing and breaking them.

You can carry multiple of these with you, effectively multiplying your inventory space and giving you a lot of organization potential (and potentially making dying in lava absolutely devastating). You can also dye them any of the 16 colors in the game for aesthetics or for easier organization. These can also be placed within chests or ender chests for further space saving, organization and ease of transporting large numbers of items.

Like regular chests, hoppers can put items into these boxes as well as pull items out, and they can also be moved very easily with redstone as they can be broken with pistons, moved with hoppers and droppers, and even placed down with dispensers. In addition to all of that they can also be placed sideways or even upside down and will open up in that direction, though they do require at least a half block of space in the direction they're opening to be accessed, they won't open even if it's a transparent block on top of them, unlike regular chests.

And no, you cannot put a Shulker Box inside of another Shulker Box, there is no infinite storage.

Observer Blocks - Useful little block that serves as a BUD

While loosely on the subject of redstone, there wasn't a whole lot specifically done with it beyond a small change that makes trapdoors automatically open when placed if they're powered. That is, aside from one significant change, which is the inclusion of the "Observer Block".

This is a redstone related block that's crafted with 3 cobble across the top and bottom of a crafting table, quartz in one side of the middle and redstone in the last two slots. If you haven't kept up with the W10/PE version of the game, the "Observer Block" was first implemented there as an alternative to the BUD, or Block Update Detector, abilities that we have on the Java version. In basic terms, this block will send out a redstone signal any time the block that it's facing updates in some way, whether that's from a block being placed, water freezing to ice, a tree growing, etc.

There are some interesting technical aspects to this block, the first being that it also detects block state changes. This means we can detect things like doors opening, which we can't currently do with BUDs. It also outputs a one-tick pulse, which will be great for compacting certain redstone circuits. It can be moved by pistons and emits a pulse each time that it moves, making it a movable power source that powers in one specific direction. It strongly powers blocks, outputs a full 15 strength signal and can be pointed in any direction. Even after some of the unfortunate nerfs to its usefulness in the snapshots it is still a unique block with a lot of interesting potential.

And don't worry, the already existing BUDs aren't going anywhere in the Java edition of the game, this is simply another option we now have to work with.

maxEntityCramming- A new gamerule that prevents mobs from being stacked

There is one other change that does pretty drastically influence some redstone related builds, though it's not directly related to redstone itself. There is a new gamerule added to the game called "maxEntityCramming". What this does is prevent mobs from being stacked too drastically in a single block space. More specifically, using the default settings, if there are more than 24 mobs standing inside each other they will all start taking large amounts of damage until less than 24 remain.

This effectively means that mob farms, particularly spawner based ones that funnel all the mobs into a 1x1 area, will no longer be particularly effective. There are numerous solutions to this depending on the circumstances, moving mobs around into storage cells or keeping them in a 3x3 area should be relatively straight forward in most cases, though with some mobs, like Blazes, it may get a little bit tricky to reduce them to 1 hit and contain them.

Do keep in mind that this is a gamerule and it can be disabled entirely by typing "/gamerule maxEntityCramming 0", or you can set the number to a more reasonable value like 150-200 to still allow reasonable use of farms but also prevent any accidental overloads of mobs. Why they felt the need to make the default value as low as 24, well, who knows.

New furnace fuel sources - Not particularly important, but it could save your life someday

Another small change is the inclusion of many more items to what can be used as fuel in a furnace. This is a pretty inconsequential change since most of these items last a very short amount of time as fuel, it was mostly just done for consistency, but now if you ever have extra items made of wood or wool when you're struggling with fuel sources you can most likely use them.

Some helpful commands for creative mode players

There are also a few changes that don't particularly affect survival but I figured were worth a quick mention. Most notably, the addition of the Locate command. Typing "/locate" and then the name of a structure (and pressing tab will give you a list of those options) will give you the coordinates of the closest one of that type, meaning you can easily find strongholds, fortresses, end cities, etc. Definitely a massive help any time you need to find one of those structures and you aren't limiting yourself to pure survival.

There is also another new gamerule, "doWeatherCycle", which will prevent the weather from changing automatically allowing you to have perpetually clear skies or endless rain.

The creative inventories have been organized a bit more with the cobble walls being moved to the decoration blocks tab, spawn eggs being organized alphabetically, and getting several more spawn eggs for the sub-mob types like Wither Skeletons, Elder Guardians, Husks, Zombie Villagers, etc.

Bug fixes - the good

And finally, let's cover some of the bug fixes coming along with this version. There are some minor improvement ones, like two tall plants not showing other random plants when you break them, that's been fixed finally, as has the bug making entities invisible inside of minecarts and boats. You may have also noticed that the healing and harming tipped arrows weren't doing much of anything before, and that's been fixed as well.

(EDIT : The fix in this next paragraph seems to have been reverted in later versions due to other issues. Sad times) There was also a long overdue fix for one of the oldest bugs in the game. You've undoubtedly been in the situation where you see items constantly moving or dropping off a block and been unable to pick them up where they landed, instead having to go back up to where they were moving from to get them. This has finally been resolved in Minecraft 1.11, so we shouldn't need to worry about that anymore.

They also seem to have massively reduced the frequency of "ghost blocks", those annoying invisible blocks that you would sometimes have lingering behind after breaking a block, so speed mining with Haste II beacons should now be much less annoying.

Bug fixes - the "bad"

There were a couple unfortunate casualties among these bug fixes, the first being that you will no longer try to interact with iron doors or trapdoors. What this effectively means is that any farms or machines that were taking advantage of this mechanic, usually for AFKing, are no longer going to work. Most notably this affects most designs for AFK fishing. Don't worry though, as soon as this change was first announced there were several new designs made within hours so you should be able to find alternatives and fixes with a quick search on Youtube.

They've also fixed the translocation bug. This was the bug that allowed entities to be pulled through a piston when it retracted, something the community has been using quite a lot for all sorts of farms and various inventions since it was discovered in 1.9, as well as all the fancy, super compact elevators that were designed using them and the new Observer blocks.

End Gateways can now be found randomly throughout the End

Going back to world generation for a second, there was one other somewhat significant change. That is that you can now find End Gateways randomly throughout the End, so rather than having to walk all the way back to one of the ones you generate after defeating the dragon you will occasionally come across them as you're out searching for Elytra or Shulkers (yes, you will be searching for Shulkers. You'll see why soon!). These randomly generated gateways will teleport you straight back to your spawning platform on the main End island.

Several nice little changes

There are several other minor tweaks in 1.11 that just make things a little bit better, such as :

  • The Elytra can now be placed on armor stands
  • Rail hitboxes only taking up half a block instead of a full block
  • Flower hitboxes actually match the flower now, so you no longer need to click around until you find it
  • You can pull items out of flower pots by right clicking them
  • Game warnings are now displayed above the hotbar instead of in chat (These are the messages like when you couldn't sleep in a bed or when you reach the build limit)
  • The chat limit has been raised to 256, up from 100, so you're no longer limited to less than tweet length messages
  • New sounds for anvils breaking when they fall, as well as cauldrons being filled or emptied with buckets/bottles
  • Witches that are spawned from witch huts no longer despawn
  • Fishing rods are much more effective at pulling entities
  • Damage colors on the durability bars of items are now brighter, more visible colors
  • Sneaking on non-full blocks, such as chests, will no longer allow you to walk off the edge
  • Items rising through blocks (item elevators) no longer fly wildly out of control or fly out from the top

Here are the changes in video format

Blocking burning zombies

Blocking creeper blasts

Hunting monuments

Fighting vindicators

Heeeeeere's Johnny!

Evoker attacks

Red vs blue

Vexing vexes

Totem of undying

Wolf warfare

Llama caravan

Carpet variations

Lingering creeper juice

Shulker box recipe

Retaining storage

Inventory management

Transporting shulker boxes

Observer block recipe

Observing updates

Tipped arrows work

Fake block bug

Thanks for reading!

So, I believe that covers everything you should need to know for the 1.11 update. Naturally if you have questions about any of this feel free to ask back on Reddit and I'll be happy to help you out. That's all I've got for you guys today, hopefully it was helpful, and I'll see you guys next time!

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KatKastle 3 years ago

Thank you so much! This is awesome!

nkiyoshi 3 years ago


divine 3 years ago

such a great guide thanks for putting this together!

NikolajTheGuy [mod] 3 years ago


Cast4wayGames 3 years ago


morpheus 3 years ago


3 years ago



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