Around the Block: Plains
On the line
Welcome to a brand new series on Minecraft.net! It’s called Around The Block, and in it we’ll be featuring every biome in the game. Yes, even modified wooded badlands plateau! What’s a biome? Well, Jens explained that nicely in a 2013 blog post:
It’s a climate zone used in the game to set what kind of surface the ground has (sand? grass?), whether it should rain or snow, what trees grow there, and sometimes also what kind of animals that are allowed to spawn there.Jens Bergensten
Expect a grand tour of Minecraft’s landscapes, featuring a field guide to the different species that make it their home, any rare resources to find, and key dangers to watch out for. Shall we get started?
We’re kicking off with one of the classics – plains. Plains were among the first set of biomes added when the terrain generator was totally reworked in the Alpha v1.2.0 update, which also added the Nether, fishing, and clocks. They’re also one of the more common biomes in the game, making them easy to find – second only to forests.
It’s not hard to know when you’re in a plains biome. The ground is flat, there aren’t many trees, and everything is covered with grass and tall grass. In fact, grass is by far the most common species in a plains biome, occupying almost all open ground.
Feeding on that grass you’ll find plenty of sheep, cows, pigs and chickens, as well as a few rarer species. Plains are one of the only biomes where wild horses will naturally spawn, making them the perfect place to hunt down a trusty steed. Very occasionally, if the equine gods are smiling on you, you’ll find a herd of donkeys.
There aren’t many trees in plains biomes, and when you do find one it’s usually oak. Look carefully and you might find a bee nest in its branches, with its inhabitants feeding on the plentiful flowers that can be found nearby. In fact, there’s a rare variant of plains called sunflower plains, which are the only place where these proud flowers will naturally generate.
The only common dangers to watch out for in a plains biome are ravines, cave entrances, or lava springs that you might fall into. Be aware, though, that Pillagers make this biome their home, setting up outposts that they’ll defend violently, and Illager patrols also frequently pass through.
On the surface, plains seem like an obvious place to set up home. The flat ground makes construction and farming easy, and you can spot any dangers from a long way away. Plus there’s a ready supply of passive mobs to farm for food and resources.
However, there are some downsides to living in plains. Wood can be scarce, and the thick grass cover makes it both difficult to fight hostile mobs and difficult to see holes in the ground before you blunder into them. Once you’ve tamed a horse, things become easier, as the higher vantage point lets you see above the grass and travel very efficiently.
One final factor to consider is that villages are both full of wood and resources and very easy to find in plains biomes. Not that we’d condone raiding those poor villagers’ chests and ripping down their homes for your personal gain. No sirree!